Valar Morghulis

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"Valar Morghulis"
Game of Thrones episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 10
Directed byAlan Taylor
Written byDavid Benioff
D. B. Weiss
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byJonathan Freeman
Editing byFrances Parker
Original air dateJune 3, 2012 (2012-06-03)
Running time64 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Blackwater"
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"Valar Dohaeris"
Game of Thrones (season 2)
List of Game of Thrones episodes

"Valar Morghulis" is the tenth and final episode of the second season of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones. It is the sixth episode of season 2 to be written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and is directed by Alan Taylor, his fourth episode of the season. The episode is 64 minutes long[1] and aired on June 3, 2012.

The episode's title is a code phrase spoken by Jaqen H'ghar to Arya Stark during the episode, but its meaning is not explained until the third season episode "Walk of Punishment": "All men must die." This is consistent with the meaning given in the books upon which the series is based.[2]

This episode marks the final appearance of Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo).

Plot[edit]

In King's Landing[edit]

Tywin is named Hand of the King and Baelish is awarded Harrenhal. Ser Loras asks Joffrey to wed Lady Margaery, with Cersei and Pycelle's agreement. Baelish offers to smuggle Sansa home but she declines. Varys plots to undermine Baelish.

Scarred and without allies except Podrick, Tyrion learns Cersei was behind the attempt on his life. Shae tries to convince him to leave for Pentos, but he refuses.

At Dragonstone[edit]

Stannis tries to strangle Melisandre for his defeat, relenting after truly comprehending his involvement in Renly's death and is struck by divine visions, restoring his faith in Melisandre.

In the Westerlands[edit]

Escorting Jaime to King's Landing, Brienne finds three women lynched by Stark soldiers, whom she kills before burying the women. Brienne reminds Jaime that she serves Catelyn, not House Stark.

Robb confides to Catelyn that he loves Talisa and will not proceed with the arranged marriage to House Frey. Despite Catelyn's warning, Robb marries Talisa.

At Winterfell[edit]

Under siege, Theon rejects Luwin's advice to leave for the Night's Watch, believing Jon will kill him. Theon tries to rally his men, but is knocked out by Dagmer and brought to the Bolton forces. Luwin is stabbed by Dagmer.

Bran and his party find Winterfell sacked and Luwin dying in the Godswood, advising them to head for the Wall before having Osha mercifully kill him.

In the Riverlands[edit]

Fleeing Harrenhal, Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie are surprised by Jaqen, who offers to train Arya in his abilities, but she declines. He gives her a special coin and the phrase "Valar morghulis" to use to find him, and reveals his face-changing ability before departing.

In Qarth[edit]

Pyat Pree's magic strands Jorah and Kovarro outside the House of the Undying while trapping Daenerys within. Encountering strange visions, she finds her dragons chained as Pyat Pree appears and binds her. Daenerys orders her dragons to breathe fire, killing Pyat Pree and freeing her.

Escaping with her dragons, Daenarys finds Xaro in bed with Doreah and seals them in Xaro's empty vault, as her companions loot Xaro's house to buy a ship.

Beyond the Wall[edit]

Qhorin goads Jon into killing him, convincing the wildlings Jon has defected. Jon is introduced to the massive wildling force and promised a meeting with Mance Rayder.

Sam is surrounded by an army of wights and a White Walker, who ignore him as they march toward the Night's Watch encampment.

Production[edit]

Writing[edit]

The episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

The episode was written by producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (their sixth and final script of the season) and directed by Alan Taylor. It was Taylor's final episode on the show until he returned for the season seven episode "Beyond the Wall". The episode covers chapters Tyrion XV, Sansa VIII, Theon VI, Arya IX, Bran VII, Daenerys IV, and Jon VIII from A Clash of Kings and the prologue and chapters Jaime I, Tyrion I, and Jon I of A Storm of Swords.[3] As a season finale, "Valar Morghulis" is a slightly extended episode.

Filming[edit]

The Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik was used as the location of the House of the Undying.[4]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

In its original broadcast on June 3, 2012, the episode received 4.20 million viewers, to become the most-watched episode of the series until the third season aired.[5] In the United Kingdom, the episode was viewed by 0.973 million viewers, making it the highest-rated broadcast that week.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

"Valar Morghulis" received highly positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 92% with an average rating of 8.83 out of 10, based on 25 reviews. The site's consensus reads: Smart writing, a few surprising plot developments, and an ominous final scene make "Valar Morghulis" a satisfying conclusion to a stellar season.[7] Matt Fowler of IGN rated the episode 9 out of 10.[8] David Sims of The A.V. Club gave the episode an "A" grade.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2012 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie, or Special Paul Engelen, Conor O'Sullivan, and Rob Trenton Nominated
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Rainer Gombos, Juri Stanossek, Sven Martin, Steve Kullback, Jan Fiedler, Chris Stenner, Tobias Mannewitz, Thilo Ewers, and Adam Chazen Won
2013 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Long Form Dialogue and ADR in Television Won
Best Sound Editing – Long Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television Won
Visual Effects Society Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program Rainer Gombos, Steve Kullback, Sven Martin, and Juri Stanossek Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What to Watch This Week: May 28 – June 3". DirecTV. 28 May 2012. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. In the special 70-minute second season finale...
  2. ^ Martin, George (2005). A Feast for Crows. New York: Bantam Dell. p. 88. ISBN 0-553-80150-3.
  3. ^ Garcia, Elio; Antonsson, Linda (March 24, 2014). "EP210: Valar Morghulis". Westeros.org. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  4. ^ "44 incredible Game of Thrones locations". Skyscanner. April 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 5, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs + 'Game of Thrones' Finale, MTV Movie Awards, 'Sister Wives', 'The Glades', 'Longmire' + More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Ratings (4–10 June 2012)". BARB. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  7. ^ "Valar Morghulis". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Fowler, Matt (June 2, 2012). "Game of Thrones: "Valar Morghulis" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  9. ^ Sims, David (June 3, 2012). "'Valar Morghulis' (for newbies)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 5, 2013.

External links[edit]