Back to IndieWire

Review & Recap: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 3 Episode 10, ‘Mhysa’ Draws Things To A Close (For Now)

Review & Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 Episode 10, 'Mhysa' Draws Things To A Close (For Now)

Well, after last week’s horrible trauma, which I’m not sure everyone has gotten over, “Game of Thrones” returns with a final episode of the third season, “Mhysa,” that lets us lick our wounds and offers some uplifting moments to temper all that violence and nihilism (don’t worry, there’s still plenty of violence and nihilism too). And we even get a few small moments of justice and a tiny bit of revenge on the part of one of the Starks. As for tying up loose ends, I didn’t have high hopes for this episode’s ability to draw all of its many disparate story lines to satisfying close, but, as directed by David Nutter, this episode addresses most of our characters and brings them to a place of certainty, at least, until the next season. 

The Crossing
Episode 10 picks up right where 9 left off, as Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) strides from the banquet hall to look out over the slaughter of the Stark army by the Frey men. The Hound/Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) snags a Frey banner as a disguise as he takes Arya (Maisie Williams) out of the Frey, um, fray. They don’t get out there quick enough for her not to see her bother Robb’s (Richard Madden) headless corpse paraded about on horseback with a wolf’s head attached… somehow… to his body. Poor girl, witness to WAY too many headless bodies of father figures in her life. Let’s hope the Hound keeps his! 
Later, when they are on the trail, they come upon some Frey men making camp and laughing about her mother and brother’s deaths, getting into icky details about just what difficulties one might have attaching a wolf’s head to a man’s body. Arya slips off the horse and approaches the camp, making like a sweet innocent looking to get some warmth. She offers a coin, and when the Frey man reaches for it, she swiftly and brutally shanks the dude in the neck. The Hound fights off the other three, and simply asks her to give him a heads up the next time she plans to off someone, and then sits down to eat the camp food. Arya clenches the coin and whispers “Valar Morghulis,” which means “all men must die” in Valyrian. 

After the slaughter, Frey continues to preside over his banquet hall, as the Stark blood is cleaned from the floor. Roose Bolton mentions that the Blackfish (Clive Russell), the uncle to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), escaped. I was wondering what happened to him… that was a long piss. Frey mentions newlywed Edmure (Tobias Menzies) spent his wedding night in the dungeon. Frey seems unconcerned with one man and more concerned with his new reputation as a man with a taste for young women who don’t take no shit from nobody. Roose Bolton, the new warden of the North, is completely remorseless for his traitorous, murderous turn against Robb Stark, saying Robb never took his advice (Lannister money also helps…). In a sort of wonky bit of exposition, Frey asks about Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) so that Roose can explain that the Ironborn turned Theon over to him and he gave him to his bastard Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), whom we know as Torturey Creepface (is it the haircut? I think it might be that brushed forward bowl cut that enhances the creepface in Joffrey and this one. #GOTtheories). 

The Dreadfort
Yup, good ol’ Creeperton RamRam still has poor, penis-less Theon strung up on that damn crucifix, while Ramsay munches happily on a sausage with mustard. Theon and everyone in the audience collectively think, “no… it couldn’t be… please tell me that’s not,” and Ramsay assures that nope, it’s just a pork sausage (new euphemism alert in 5..4..3..2..). Ramsey continues to torment him by asking him about phantom boners (indie band name alert in 5..4..), and when Theon begs him to kill him, Ramsay protests that Theon is worth so much more to him alive. Instead, he decides to rename him Reek for how bad he smells, and he whacks Theon in the face until he accepts his new name. 

Iron Islands 
Speaking of Theon’s missing member, his father, Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide) and sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) receive a package and a note from Ramsay, declaring the swift removal of all Iron Islanders in the North, lest they be flayed alive. Yara unwraps the package and cue the Justin Timberlake… it’s a dick in a box. And there’s more of it where that came from, as long as Theon/Reek is still alive. Balon denies Theon as his son and a man, and refuses to help him, saying he’s a fool and disobeyed his orders and his mind is made up. But Yara’s mind is made up too: to go and get her brother with the fastest ship and the fifty best killers she has. Do not mess with a Greyjoy woman, Ramsay! 

King’s Landing
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and new teenage bride Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) are bonding over their outsider status and giggling over childish pranks to pull on those who laugh at them. Sometimes Sansa is just such a tween. Tyrion quickly gets pulled into a family meeting, ahem, small council meeting, where Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) crows about the Stark deaths. In fact, he wants to serve Sansa her own brother’s head at his own wedding, because there really are no limits to the depths of his sadism. While Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to laugh it off, and Tyrion gets pissed on his wife’s behalf, Joffrey insists that his desire is real and that “everyone is mine to torment.” Goody gumdrops, you little shit. Is what Gramps Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) is totally thinking, as he straight up just tells Joffrey to GO TO BED (in so many words). Joffrey squealing “I’m not tired!!” is too funny though. You might be evil, Tywin, but you do it with SUCH style. 

Left alone at the table, Tywin and Tyrion talk about what it really means to have power in Westeros (hint: it ain’t a crown), and the ethics of war mongering. Tywin claims that family is above and beyond everything else in terms of importance and everything he does is in service of protecting the Lannisters (you’d think this guy was in a “Fast and Furious” movie with the amount of times he throws around the word “family”). He even goes so far as to say he didn’t kill Tyrion as a baby because before he’s a dwarf, he’s a Lannister. You might be a little drunken monster but you’re OUR little drunken monster. Oh, and he tells him to impregnate Sansa by any means necessary so that they can have a Stark-Lannister progeny (geez, the family issues this kid is going to have) to rule the North. 

The contents or lack thereof of Sansa’s uterus are really all anyone cares about in King’s Landing right now, and Master of Secrets Varys (Conleth Hill) even pays a visit to Shae (Sebil Kekilli), Tyrion’s lover/Sansa’s handmaiden, to press a bag of diamonds in her hand and ask her to leave Westeros because she’s complicating the ascendency to power of Tyrion, pretty much the only guy left who might actually be able to turn this ship around. She tosses the diamonds at his feet and tells him that Tyrion can do the breaking up himself if he so pleases. 

Meanwhile, Tyrion’s drowning his lady sorrows in wine (what else is new?) with Podrick (Daniel Portman), when Cersei crashes the party and shoos Pod with an icy “leave.” She and Tyrion do their weird sibling hate-bonding thing, and she declares she’s not going to marry Loras. She also tells Tyrion to give Sansa a child so that she can be happy (it’s not the worst idea anyone’s ever had), and Tyrion, using her as an example, questions just how happy children can make a person (imagine if Joffrey was your child, shudder). Still, Cersei speaks to how powerful it is to have that bond with her children, that Joffrey was a happy baby, all she had, and that not even Joffrey can take that away from her (though he will certainly do his darndest!). Tyrion again questions the “Lannisters against the world” policy that seems to be their family motto, and while Cersei seems at peace with the idea of constant war, as long as they are on top. 
Later, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Colster-Waldau) slips into the gates of King’s Landing with his new BFF/possible GF Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). You don’t just deal with hand amputations and bear battles and not come out of that at least a little bonded, right? In a truly bizarre, dialogue-less scene, Cersei is aimlessly looking at a seashell (the hard life of a Queen Regent) in her chambers when Jaime slips in the door and whispers her name. They both sort of share meaningful looks for thirty seconds and that’s it. Moving on! 
In the North
Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Hodor (Kristian Nairn), Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) have set off on their Beyond the Wall (BTW) adventure. They decide to hole up in the Nightfort, where Bran tells them spooky stories about a cannibalistic cook who was turned into a giant white rat that eats its young because it killed a guest, which the gods cannot forgive. So, stay tuned for something really bad to happen to Walder Frey. In the middle of the night, they hear noises from the well, and who should pop up but Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray). Sam instantly recognizes Bran as Jon’s brother because of the direwolf and Hodor (amazing). Bran asks him to take him BTW, but Samwell is like HELL NO, because he is the smartest person on this show. They warn of the death that lies BTW, and try to convine Bran to go to Castle Black to find Jon. Bran just shrugs and is like “I HAVE to do this, bro.” So, Samwell hooks him up with those White Walker-killing daggers, which we find out are dragons claws obsidian and also I am so glad he still has them. The little bunch sets off to the swelling and mildly cheesey strings of the theme song, and we all hope they aren’t an instant White Walker snack. 
Sam and Gilly make their way to Castle Black and manage to convince the Maester that Sam didn’t break his vows and make a baby with this lady. He recites the oath and the Maester believes him because ok. There are bigger things to deal with! Sending out ravens to everyone to tell them that the White Walkers are coming! 
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is not having the greatest of days. As he tries to wash his eagle claw facial gashes (no! Not his face!), his spurned ex, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) sneaks up and draws an arrow on him. He tries to tell her “it’s not you, it’s me babe, I love you but I have to go,” and you know what, she rightfully looses not one but three arrows into him as he scrambles on his horse and rides away. Hell hath no fury like a Wildling scorned. 
He manages to make it back alive to Castle Black, much to the relief of all the audience members who would not be able to deal with another death and of a character so beloved as J.S. He recognizes Pip and Sam (what is this, LOTR?) before they hustle him inside. 
Dragonstone Island
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) befriends Baratheon bastard Gendry (Joe Dempsie) down in the dungeon of Dragonstone Island, for better or for worse. They share a common background, coming from Fleabottom, and Davos shares some of his troubles with the young lad (dead son, half a hand, crazy boss possessed by a priestess… the usual). Gendry is refreshingly honest in admitting to being taken in by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) because he wanted to get laid, and you know “big words, no clothes,” the most tried and true of all seduction methods.
Later, Davos is practicing his reading with Princess Shireen (Kerry Ingram), and while she offers him her book about the old Valyrians, he focuses on the messages from the ravens, now that he’s Hand Of The king (well this one at least). He rushes down with the news of the White Walkers, only to find a triumphant Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Melisandre, believing that Robb’s death was a result of their weird leech barbecue they had with Gendry’s blood. They believe that their faith in the Lord of Light has been rewarded, and Stannis declares he will unite the seven kingdoms with whatever arms he has, including magic and sacrificing young bastards like Gendry. 
Because Davos believes this to be so completely wrong and evil, he decides to let Gendry go, shoving him off into the sea in a row boat, despite his inability to swim or never having been in a boat. And then, because he always does the right thing, he tells them he let him go. Stannis sentences him to death, at which point Davos uses his trump card, pulling out the White Walker warning from the Night’s Watch. Melisandre burns the scroll and declares now the real war is in the North. She commands Stannis to save Davos, because he’s going to need him, but not before she tosses off some serious shade (no one cuts side eye like Lady Melisandre). 
In the Land Across the Narrow Sea
Finally we get to check in with abolitionist Danaerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her newly conquered city of Yunkai. She and her crew are standing at the gates, waiting to see what happened with the slaves. They slowly come streaming out and just stare at her for awhile. She tells them she cannot grant them their freedom because it is not hers to give, it is theirs to take. The crowd starts to call out to her “mhysa!” meaning mother, and she walks into the crowd where they pick her up and put her on their shoulders like she’s just made the winning basket and she crowdsurfs like it’s Lollapalooza ’96. It’s kind of weird that the show decides to rely on the slightly racist, definitely cliche stereotype of hordes of adoring brown slaves worshipping their white liberator, but it’s a moment of true humanity and jubilation, and one for Khaleesi to be rewarded and revel in the success that has come from her sticking so rigidly to her principals and beliefs. With the deaths of Robb and Catelyn last week signaling the show’s willingness to not always let the good guys win or even live all the time, this moment is one that says, maybe, just maybe nobility can prevail. For a moment in time at least. 
What’d you think of the finale? What are the major differences from the books and how did that affect things? 
Thanks so much for reading and sticking with my recaps this season, and being such great fact checkers (I need all the help I can get). You are all appreciated! 
Valar Morghulis! 

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , , ,



Oh good grief, seriously stop beating the racism drum for every small sleight. In this story Daenerys rescued these people, and if a woman with 3 dragons had just freed you from servitude – you would worship her as a god no matter what the color of your skin was. As a brown asian myself, who lived in a post-colonial country, I have seen Asians rise because they got past any perceived injustices and moved on. Colonialism was recognized for both its evils and its benefits but success in our current lives meant moving beyond that. It is time the same happened in america – it is pointless to hold the victim card and see racism in everything and blame the "white devil" for all your problems. In modern day america, if you don't make it, it's all on you – any made up ceiling is mostly self-inflicted. Indian, Korean and Jewish americans are actually richer on average in the U.S. than their WASP counterparts. Blacks in america have a much higher average wealth than the average wealth in most African states yet complain much more about how life isn't fair. Life isn't fair get over it and make the best of it – you'll be surprised how far you can go as Asian americans can attest to.


As a person of color, I long for the days when GoT was more subtle with its racism. You know. Like when they altered Drogo/Danny's storyline to make the big bad brown man rape the innocent, lily-white woman instead of sticking with that lame-o consensual sex angle… Or when they completely eliminated two minor, women of color characters (who were powerful, mind you) with very important parts to play and replaced both of them with a lily-white made-up-on-the-spot character who was hated by fans and eventually HAD to be killed off…Or when they killed off another important supporting character who just happened to be a woman of color just for snits and giggles.

(This is, by the way, completely ignoring the source material's audacity to have the brown-skinned Dothraki play Savage, Lustful, Must-Be-Tamed Others…)

All of that I ignored. Or bitched quietly about.
But this?
They legit have the nerve to ignore source material (which clearly states that the slaves were made up of countless ethnicities) and coincidentally turn them into brown and black people? And have these helpless darkies essentially praise/worship that nice white conqueror, lift her up, and call her "Mother"? Then zoom in a way that specifically highlights her whiteness?

Listen to me clearly, white people (I know that saying that is going to sound more racist to some of your ears than all the be I just pointed out, but that's a whole other level of irony).

I understand if this doesn't seem like a big deal to a lot of you. After all, people of color are ungrateful, oversensitive brats who look for racism. Because it's fun instead of hurtful and uncomfortable and (in the many spaces on the Internet) a bit intimidating.

I understand if you think that it's just our Emotional Negro Thinking, and that we know nothing about real racism (unlike completely unbiased you).

I understand if you think art exists in a vacuum and has nothing whatsoever to do with real life, even when it mirrors life exactly.

I understand if your black friend/relative/uncle deems it Not Racist (the rest of us will surely fall in line; we are pretty singular-minded).

I understand if you heard that idiot Morgan Freeman say that ignoring racism will end it (despite the fact that that's never worked with anything ever).

And finally, I understand if race talk makes you uncomfortable. It's an uncomfortable issue for everyone. So is explaining baby-making to small children. But you put on your big person panties and do it, OK? Because you're an adult. And if you can't even recognize the issue or you're spending most of the time gas lighting by trying to convince people that there's nothing to see here…They're just being paranoid… You are, quite simply, being a little shit. We can do better people.

Katie Walsh

Ok guys, I'm not saying that Danaerys is being racist or even that the show has ill intentions in their presentation of race in this scene. There is, however, a willful naivete about using this "white savior" imagery that has a historically racist context outside of Game of Thrones. We cannot just take media images at face value and just say "oh well it's in this fantastical world, so it's ok," we have to also attempt to understand why a director would decide to cast and shoot a scene like this for mass consumption in 2013. So yes, I know there are a lot of different factors in Danaerys' liberation of the slaves, and I do see her as a positive hero in this scene, but the way the show creators presented it is naive/blind to the problematic imagery that they created. Media images have meaning outside of their text, as everyone puts their own experience and context on it.

However, I'm glad that this discussion came up, always interesting to see what everyone says.


You guys are idiots,you've fully amnesia'd out on the context of that scene. Yall are commenting on the scene as if it exists in a vaccum.

1.) Dyneres was the khalesi and was married to drago, another colored race.

2.) she liberated her slave army in hopes to have enough people to take over westeros

3.) she freed those slaves to engender trust in her new armys new leader. That shes forreal when it comes to the liberation of slaves and standing for freedom.

4.) shes doing everything for power and she wants to be loved by the people she ruled and not hated like her father the mad king.

5.) context context context! I can understand how someone can interpret it as a "white supremacy" angle, but it doesnt really speak to the basic ideas of the story thats been told so far.


Yeah some weirdo race angle there def. Its kinda been there the whole time, i wish they would change it really its a bit perturbing, especially for people coming from a country/learning about sociology of countries with a past colonial history they would know why this is a bit racist, i understand why some people wouldn't see it, guess environment defines your outlook.


I didn't think the race thing was a problem… I thought the "over-the-top" nature of the scene didn't come from the race, but from the epic, grand nature of the cinematography and music.


Forgive me if I sound horribly ignorant, but I personally didn't find the race divide an issue in the last scene. She's freeing slaves all over Essos- so she gets to a city that is predominately brown, so what? That's just the race of that geographic area. Slaver's Bay has Ghiscari heritage, they're a mixed race. They're darker. 100 miles North and she could be liberating people who were lighter in skin tone. She's Valyrian- she's not going to meet many people who are fairer than she is. I think we need to disregard race in this. She's a great leader. She's liberating them they are people who should be free, not because of any race/colonialism thing. Keep in mind that Daenerys was practically a slave to her brother (and even Khal for the first little bit).

"Stop talking about racism and it will go away of its own accord."


The scene at the end looked like the white propaganda films of the 1920's and 40s. It was not beautiful-it was nauseating on several levels. A true white fantasy-a racial caste system has been evident throughout the series. The book does not specify this-why did Nutter? An "old" normal for some-not society. Conscious casting decision-ok, but lets not mince words about what it is. Great writing otherwise, but I wont take part in it for sure next season. It does speak to a larger issue of some whites granting themselves license on what I'm convinced are depictions get off on, and their convenient whiny excuse and denial is.. "well..I voted for Obamaaa.."..and?


"Slightly racist" – and to all the comments.. You all need to get over yourselves. I saw no racism in there, if you saw people as humans and not by color then there would be no such thing as racism. You make it racist because you still see color. You're basically creating racism by calling something racist.

Now to my next point just for you people who see color. The slaves captors were also brown. They live in a foreign country. You should actually acknowledge Daenarys, she is a white girl who knows what it's like to be a slave herself – to her brother. So she's saving others. Everyone in the land she's in now are the same color, so stop getting so riled up.

If you can't understand then stop watching Game of Thrones. This isn't the show for you.


'It's kind of weird that the show decides to rely on the slightly racist, definitely cliche stereotype of hordes of adoring brown slaves worshiping their white liberator'

Yep.Spot on. Exactly what I thought when I saw that scene.Totally bizarre and over the top.
This episode is one of the more stale/cheesy shows in almost the whole collection..The Jamie/Cersi scene was lacking and so forth.Or maybe nothing will ever top Episode 9's emotional response..theres always next season


Thanks for taking the time to write the recaps, they're the best part after the show! Very witty and entertaining.


Racism? Really? It didn't even cross my mind. You conveniently ignore the fact that the slave masters were just as "brown" as the slaves are. It's sad that people look for offense when clearly none was intended.


"It's kind of weird that the show decides to rely on the slightly racist, definitely cliche stereotype of hordes of adoring brown slaves worshipping their white liberator"
Racism can mean anything you want to these days


It's not Melissandre the one who says Davos has been "saved by the fire god you like to mock." It's Stannis himself.


"It's kind of weird that the show decides to rely on the slightly racist, definitely cliche stereotype of hordes of adoring brown slaves worshipping their white liberator, but it's a moment of true humanity and jubilation, and one for Khaleesi to be rewarded and revel in the success that has come from her sticking so rigidly to her principals and beliefs. "

yea that shit was over-the-top ridiculous. they've been doing that all season. i wonder how they're described in the books

donna d

Yeah I was a little annoyed but actually completely OVER the WHITE SAVIOR CRAP!!! Really??? That last shot made me want to puke.

Brandt Hardin

The finale was great but what in the world was in that box the Greyjoys opened?

Robbie Ness

I'm so glad Arya got her chance to use Jaqen's coin and deception to stab the Frey soldiers. When she escaped Harrenhal, she was supposed to kill the soldier at the gate in the same manner and I was kind of miffed that we didn't get to see it. Glad that they hadn't cut the scene altogether, but simply shifted it to another event – even with the event not happening in the books, I think it was a great revenge for Robb and Catelyn, and showed us a glimpse of the hardness in Arya Stark.

I only wish we didn't have to wait nine months for season 4 =(


Your write-up is FAR more entertaining/clever than the actual episode — I was disappointed by the ep's lack of significant development, though I guess the silver lining is I now don't care that I have to wait a year.. hope next season starts off with the bang the finale was missing.


Davos seriously asks all the best questions: I don't know why there's a "g" in "night" either.

Edmure survives: he's the Lord of Riverrun now, and as long as he remains a Lannister hostage — aka ALIVE — they retain control of the Riverlands.

I kind of can't deal with Jaime making it back to King's Landing this episode. He's not supposed to be here this soon! And that Cersei/Jaime scene was THE WORST. If you're going to have them meet up at this point… have it come with more payoff than inscrutable eye contact.


Walder Frey says "Edmure Tully is spending his wedding night in a dungeon"


FACTCHECK: Those daggers that Sam used to kill the white walker and that he gives to Bran&Co? Those aren't dragon claws, they're obsidian.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *