The eight episode of the fifth season of Game Of Thrones gave us one of the best cinematic battles ever produced for network or cable television. The previous big battles on GOT, The Battle of Black Water and the Battle of Castle Black were a feast for the senses but the latest, The Battle of Hardhome is by far the best of all the seasons so far. Unlike the battles of Black Water and Castle Black, Hardhome was completely unexpected and took viewers completely by surprise.


Jon Snow travels to the Wildlings camp known as Hardhome. Located on a peninsula in the Shivering Sea. Hardhome is a cold, dissolute, bleak landscape surrounded by step icy cliffs. Jon Snow successfully gets his former enemies (the Wildlings) to join forces with him and the Night’s Watch for the prophesied battle the White Walkers. He promises them land south of The Wall. Fans of the show have seen the Walkers in addition to hearing the prophecy season after season, “winter is coming.” Well, we finally got a taste of winter.


As Jon and his Night Watchmen usher the Wildlings into row boats to board the awaiting ships in the Shivering Sea; the winds begin to whirl, dogs start to bark and what appears to be gray storm clouds appear on top of the cliffs overlooking Hardhome. What looks like an avalanche is really cascading undead Wights (zombies) overrunning the cliffs upon the unsuspecting Wildlings.


For about 15 minutes, the viewer is treated to multiple waves of action and excitement. Arrows flying, swords and axes swinging, icy undead zombies attacking from ever where…oh, and amongst the carnage, there’s a big ass giant kicking zombie ass.


It’s crazy this episode did zombie horde better than The Walking Dead on AMC. The only thing that was missing were the ice spiders (as big as hounds) that one of the Wildlings mentioned earlier in the episode. I’m hoping we will see them in the future.

ice spiders

Best of all, we finally get a better view of the ruler of the White Walkers…the Night’s King. He has the power not only to create White Walkers but also raise the dead and turn them into Wights. The more people and animals the White Walkers and Wights kill, the larger the Night’s King army becomes.

It seems the only things that can defeat him and his minions are Valyrian steel (see clip below), Dragon Glass and by presumption, Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. Some may not know but the Night’s King is apparently a couple of thousand years old…cool.

The Battle of Hardhome has set the bar ridiculously high for the show’s writers, producers, choreographers and FX teams for seasons to come. I’m hoping they’ll surpass it.


Cypher Avenue Rating: 5 of 5