In a Game of Thrones season stacked with mind-blowing scenes, Greg Kennedy lists the best bits as the big finale beckons
What a crazy ride we've had with Game of Thrones this season, from icing-sweet tenderness and big-vista adventure to cringe-inducing mutilation and carnage. Westeros is hardly a world for the faint of heart.
With this year's 10th and final episode, Mhysa, King Joffrey challenges the haughty Tywin Lannister. The crippled Bran Stark tells a ghost story. In Dragonstone, mercy comes from strange quarters. Best of all, will the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys, emerge as a conqueror - or a liberator - at the Yellow City of Yunkai?
It's a cruel and unusual punishment to be capped at 10 hours per season, but as we count down the minutes until tonight's finale, here's a list of some of the juiciest jump-off-the-sofa and dab-a-misty-eye moments from season three.
Topping them all for calamity and heartbreak is the "Red Wedding" massacre and death-throes agony of the King in the North Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn and the savage belly-slashing of his pregnant wife Talisa. To see the Starks' hopes of avenging Ned Stark expire so horribly proved more than some viewers could bear; the Twitterverse lit up with a supernova of grief after The Rains of Castamere. "You should care," the author George RR Martin told Entertainment Weekly. "If somebody dies and you just go get more popcorn, it's a superficial experience isn't it?"
When one-handed Jaime Lannister leaps into the bear pit to put himself between Brienne of Tarth and the claws of death, both the heart and the adrenalin gush hard. "You gave her a wooden sword!" the Kingslayer snaps at the evil Locke, her tormentor. "I've only got one bear," he lamely replies.
When young Arya Stark bids adieu to her friend and podgy travel pal Hot Pie, the boy bakes her a bread in the shape of a direwolf, in an achingly beautiful, gentle scene that shows his fondness for her.
Sunshine on her platinum hair, Daenerys looks heavenly in her Viking-blue dress at the rail of a sailing ship as her three dragons swoop, arc and soar above the ocean swells. One flame-broils and gulps down a fish, then alights next to Daenerys to be petted like a kitten.
Shock and awe
Fat Samwell Tarly, who cowered in a blizzard in the dying seconds of season two when a White Walker screamed by on a corpse-horse, finds his mojo - and how! When one of the blue-eyed fiends comes to steal the baby of his wildling girlfriend Gilly, he plunges a Dragonglass blade into the demon's back. It shrieks, falls to its knees and shatters into oblivion.
Jon Snow and Ygritte inch up the Wall of ice as dizzying as the Burj Khalifa. As she taps a piton into a seam, cracks fan out and great slabs of wall sheer off - leaving them dangling - as the climber above slashes at their safety rope to save his own scrawny hide.
Jaime Lannister's pitiful screams after the sadistic Locke chops off his sword hand. "You're nothing without your daddy - and your daddy ain't here."
"No flowers! I said NO flowers!" barks the bratty-boy King Joffrey - reeking with bad manners, his overblown sense of entitlement in full bloom - as the royal tailor fits him for his wedding suit.
The foot-crushing, fingernail-gouging, mind-messing torture inflicted upon Theon Greyjoy - who's no choirboy himself - on the wooden dungeon rack of the enigmatic Ramsay Bolton.
With each rude insult and crude sexual slander that The Master slaver hurls in his Valerian tongue at Daenerys while she's in Astapor negotiating for an army, we know his bad karma's going to get him. When Daenerys, her new army now in hand, at last reveals that she understood every word - Valerian is her mother tongue - we cheer as her dragon turns the slaver into a flame-broiled fool.
The third-season finale of Game of Thrones is broadcast at 11pm Monday June 10 on OSN First HD
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