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'Game of Thrones' recap: Season finale is mother of all episodes

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In contrast to the gut-wrenching carnage of last week’s “Game of Thrones” –- in which Robb Stark (Richard Madden), his bride Talisa (Oona Chaplin), mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and loyal banner men were slaughtered –- the season finale ends in joyful triumph. For Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), that is.

“Mhysa,” the 30th episode of the HBO hit series, refers to the word “mother” in the language of Yunkai’s slave population. Make that former slaves, because Daenerys liberated them without a wisp of dragon smoke.

“Mhysa, Mhysa, Mhysa,” her newfound subjects exclaim in adoration as they lift Daenerys high on their shoulders. With her power growing by the day and those three young dragons becoming ever deadlier, can anyone stop her from seizing the Iron Throne?

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Meanwhile, the throne’s current occupant, vile teen King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), is absolutely giddy upon learning of Robb’s demise at the infamous “Red Wedding” hosted by treacherous Lord Walder Frey (David Bradley).

Joffrey is so giddy, in fact, that he’s already planning the dinner menu for his own nuptials. He wants to serve Robb’s severed head to poor Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Sansa’s new husband Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) forcefully objects, risking Joffrey’s wrath.

Taking an even stronger stance against Joffrey’s cruelty is Lannister patriarch Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), who orchestrated the Red Wedding slaughter. An angry Tywin essentially orders his brat of a grandson to bed without supper. It’s good to be the hand of the king.

As for newly orphaned Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), she’s on the road with her escort/bodyguard Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann). When they come across Lord Frey’s troops laughing about the Stark slayings, Arya gets revenge. She scores her first kill with a dagger and the Hound finishes off the rest. Small-but-mighty Arya is coming into her own.

Far to the north is Arya’s crippled brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who’s on a seemingly impossible mission to cross The Wall and stop the lethal White Walkers from overrunning the Seven Kingdoms.

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Heading in exactly the opposite direction is Night’s Watch steward Samwell Tarley (John Bradley-West) and young Wildling mom Gilly (Hannah Murray), who know firsthand the threat posed by White Walkers. Sam also knows how to kill the creepy creatures –- with obsidian “dragonglass” weapons –- and he shares this invaluable knowledge with Bran.

Speaking of Sam, he’s reunited with his wayward Night’s Watch brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who now bears the scars of an ill-fated romance with Wildling warrioress Ygritte (Rose Leslie).

“I know I love you. I know you love me,” Jon tells Ygritte before hopping on a horse and riding for home. But tender words don’t assuage his jilted lover, who fires three arrows into Jon before bursting into tears. Looks like Jon will recover –- if he stays away from those Wildling girls!

Finally, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) takes pity on captive Gendry (Joe Dempsie), whose royal blood makes him a candidate for human sacrifice at the hands of Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten). It’s all part of her scheme to install Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) on the Iron Throne.

After Gendry is set free, a furious Stannis orders Davos’ execution. “You’re going to need me,” Davos protests, because those ominous White Walkers are “coming for all of us.”

Stannis is unmoved, however, until Melisandre unexpectedly intervenes to spare Davos. She’s a surprising ally at the end of another surprising season of “Game of Thrones.”

So how long do we have to wait for Season 4? Too long. Way too long.

ALSO:

'Game of Thrones' fans see red over 'Red Wedding'

'Game of Thrones' recap: A bloody wedding runs red

George R.R. Martin talks 'Red Wedding,' new book on 'Conan'

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FamilyMarriageWeddingsGame of Thrones (tv program)Conan (tv program)Peter DinklageCharles Dance
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