I am very sorry to have to say this. But I am pretty disappointed with what I thought was going to be the finest hour of the show. The finale had some great scenes, but huge changes that were quite a let-down.
- Stannis charging, Jon meeting with Mance, the funeral at Castle Black... I loved all of the Wall stuff. It's got an exciting future, waiting to see these characters interact.
- The Hound vs Brienne was harrowing and fresh new material. Arya departs at last after a scene with the Hound that felt to me very much from the books.
- I like the Dany scene. Not much else to say but that I liked it. The dragons look great as always.
- Cersei and Qyburn was quite good, Qyburn really creeped me out with his comments. More Lannister scenes followed, which would never ever have happened with book Cersei, but they were powerfully acted nonetheless.
- The skeleton wights, while being very cool visually, were somewhat comical and not truly frightening. It got worse when Leaf used magic lightning fireballs to save the day. Meera killing Jojen was tragic and emotional, at least.
- Bloodraven was an enormous disappointment. I thought they would at least attempt some amount of prosthetics and CGI with him, but not even a tiny bit. No corpse look, no one red eye, no roots growing through his body and face. Just an old man sitting on a tree.
- Not a hint of the truth about Tysha. Jaime and Tyrion part on happy terms instead of the depressingly sad way of the book. Tyrion is whitewashed further, when he is forced to kill Shae out of self-defence, afterwards apologizing to her dead body. The Tywin scene is ok, but loses a lot of its power without the Tysha reveal. Varys boards the ship with Tyrion, clearly set to replace Illyrio.
- No Stoneheart. I have no more to say on that front.
Overall, though I loved the content at the Wall, the episode fell flat for me, and that's mostly because I was really looking forward to the changing character of Tyrion as he goes down a dark road. I was also incredibly excited for Bloodraven and Leaf, which looked to me like a bad joke.The removal of Stoneheart just added more vitriol into my system. I will need a long while to recover from that disappointment.
The snowflakes are melting in your hair.
There are ghosts everywhere. We carry them with us wherever we go.