White Walkers attack as Tyrion and Dany out-awesome each other

By James Hibberd
Updated May 31, 2015 11:05 PM
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Credit: HBO

Valyrian steel FTW! Bet you didn’t know Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers, did you? Heck, even George R.R. Martin might not know that, given how this season has taken so many unexpected detours from the source material. Maybe crossbows and lemoncakes kill them too, you just never know until you try.

And so at last, we come to the big battle episode of season 5 – and you probably didn’t even know there was a big battle episode in season 5. Unlike the Battle of the Blackwater in season 2 or the Battle of Castle Black in season 4, tonight’s Hardhome fight was a surprise to the characters and the audience too since nobody ever knows what those unstoppable White Walkers are up to (maybe Thrones should give the Night’s King his own sympathetic storyline in season 6 – then he d really be in danger of getting killed off).

The structure of this episode was unusual too, with roughly half the episode your usual tasty Thrones-ian buffet of storylines – with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) banter as one supremely delectable appetizer – then the second half suddenly gave us a big beefy entree of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) slaying White Walkers for nearly 30 minutes.

RELATED VIDEO: The Game of Thrones Cast Reveals Secrets from the Season 5

Game of Thrones airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on HBO.