Image credit: HBO
They go to Xaro's precious vault and find it's empty. His vast wealth was a mirage. Dany seals Xaro and Doreah in the vault together, giving them some Poe-like justice. This bit I really liked. Do you think they'll have sex again before they die? You know, just for the hell of it? Nothing else to do in there...
So Dany and her followers rob Xaro's house instead. Drogo would have approved.
North of the Wall: Okay, we've deviated so much from the books, I have no idea what's coming here for the big finish.
Sam and his Night's Watch brothers are just hanging out in the snow, still digging latrines, he's pining for that girl he left back at Craster's house (yeah, we almost forgot about her — she's still getting molested and all, great...). They hear a horn blow. They assume it's Halfhand. But that doesn't make sense as he's dead.
The Night's Watch code goes like this: once for a ranger returning, twice for enemies, three time for White Walkers and four times for a Night's Watch member having sex (so I made up the last one, but it's not like they'd ever get to blow it four times anyway).
The horn blows three times. The other men run. Sam, well, let's face it. He's not really built for cardio. Shadowy figures appear. The first creatures we see are walking dead. Let's just use the z-word: Zombies. Then we're treated to our first really clear view of a full-fledged White Walker.
He's riding a dead horse. The blue-eyed demon looks...amazing. Once again, the Thrones team finished a season with a CGI image that's startling and realistic. The White Walker glares at Sam, who just sobs. The thing roar-hisses, and just keeps on going — with a legion of walking dead behind him. Ready to start Westeros War Z.
And to dark. We're left with questions. Such as: What happened to Theon? (Yes, book readers, I'm wondering too: Will he be in season three? Doing what?)
But overall, there's more closure in this episode than I would have thought possible. Dany got her dragons back (and said goodbye to Drogo). Robb married the sexy medic. Tyrion lost power, but plans to stay at King's Landing. Jon Snow "joined" the Wildlings. Arya, Bran and Rickon all escaped their immediate peril. Sansa won't have to marry Joffrey. I was satisfied on all fronts (except I wished Jon hadn't seemingly killed the Halfhand because he ripped on his mom). Also, between the direwolves, dragons, zombies, White Walkers and magic flame gazing, I think this is the most fantasy-filled episode we've seen yet, yes?
Be sure to check out our post about Momoa's surprising finale cameo here. There's also some Thrones scoop from the producers about season three in that story. And here's that season three cast list for those who missed it last week.
Well, it's that time. I've been live writing and revising this finale recap for six hours now, thanks for staying up with me. And thanks again for reading along all season. Here's all the EW.com Thrones recaps this year ("50 Shades of Greyjoy" and "Control Issues" were probably the most fun). I'll be back in 2013 to write about what's sure to be a very dramatic Thrones third season. Follow me on Twitter at @james_hibberd.
Until then, save the date.