This week on Game of Thrones, viewers were let off easy for the finale – the producers probably realised that we are all still recovering from last week’s episode and the Red Wedding. But there were still a number of plot twists (beware of spoilers ahead.) After witnessing the brutal murders of some of her last remaining family members, Arya Stark got some measure of revenge by stabbing one of Walder Fray’s soldiers, as her captor-turned-companion Sandor "The Hound" Clegane took care of the soldier’s comrades. Obviously, the violence will keep getting worse from here on, but after last week’s episode, Thrones fans seem to be able to stomach anything.

Then we had Jaime Lannister, finally back at King’s Landing and reunited with his twin sister Cersei, while Jon Snow had a reunion of another kind, returning to the night’s watch, after escaping the wrath of his scorned lover, wildling Ygritte. On two opposite sides of the GoT universe, two very different characters continued their journeys. While Bran walked on towards his destination north of the wall – a journey, which still seems rather inexplicable, Daenerys Targeryen continued to build her power through the love of her people and finally freed the slaves of Yunkai. While some rise and others fall, as usual in the game of thrones (which you win or you die, as Robb Stark and co. reminded us last week) something altogether darker and more sinister is brewing north of the wall – the White Walkers and their army of undead.

Of course, we got the occasional quip from Tyrion Lannister (the ever entertaining Peter Dinklage) to lighten the mood, but after recent events, let’s just say that there’s a whole lot of lightening to do.

Game of Thrones’ ratings, on the other hand, are definitely something to lift the spirits, what with 13.6 million viewers on average tuning in to watch each episode on various outlets (according to USA Today). The audience for the original Sunday broadcast alone is also pretty impressive, at 4.9 million – almost double the numbers for season 1. If chaos is a ladder, as Littlefinger famously commented in an earlier episode, then Game of Thrones is doing a great job at climbing it straight to the top of ratings charts.

Game of Thrones cast, an evening with Game of Thrones
The number of original cast members seems to dwindle with each episode.

Emilia Clarke, Met Gala
Emilia Clarke's character seems like the only one still on the rise after this season.