|Game of Thrones episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Alan Taylor|
|Written by||David Benioff|
D. B. Weiss
|Featured music||Ramin Djawadi|
|Cinematography by||Jonathan Freeman|
|Editing by||Frances Parker|
|Original air date||June 3, 2012|
|Running time||64 minutes|
"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 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.
In King's Landing
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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. As a season finale, "Valar Morghulis" is a slightly extended episode.
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. In the United Kingdom, the episode was viewed by 0.973 million viewers, making it the highest-rated broadcast that week.
"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. Matt Fowler of IGN rated the episode 9 out of 10. David Sims of The A.V. Club gave the episode an "A" grade.
Awards and nominations
|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|
- "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...
- Martin, George (2005). A Feast for Crows. New York: Bantam Dell. p. 88. ISBN 0-553-80150-3.
- Garcia, Elio; Antonsson, Linda (March 24, 2014). "EP210: Valar Morghulis". Westeros.org. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
- "44 incredible Game of Thrones locations". Skyscanner. April 18, 2016.
- 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.
- "Top 10 Ratings (4–10 June 2012)". BARB. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- "Valar Morghulis". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Fowler, Matt (June 2, 2012). "Game of Thrones: "Valar Morghulis" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- Sims, David (June 3, 2012). "'Valar Morghulis' (for newbies)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
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