THE SEASON’S OVER.
DIDN’T YOU SEE THE..?
LIKE…YOU ACTUALLY WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT IT?
AFTER ALL THE OTHER ONES?
AN AMATEUR WROTE THEM…
IT’S JUST A TV SHOW, ANYWAY…
AND A BOOK SERIES…
WHICH CAME FIRST…
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LEAVE UNTIL I…?
BUT YOU KNOW…
I WARNED YOU…
BOTH ABOUT QUALITY AND SPOILERS THIS TIME…
THIS IS TECHNICALLY THE SPOILER WARNING…
RIGHT THIS SECOND…
WELL…LET’S WRAP SEASON 6 UP SO I CAN GET BACK TO IMPORTANT WORK LIKE…
WHAT DO I DO AGAIN…
-whispers in confirmation-
PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THEM?
-whispers in the negative-
THEN WHY DO I…?
LET’S DO THIS.
So…against all odds, I’m back to wrap up the latest season of Game of Thrones. I assumed with my last..let’s say effort…I had really said the last few things I wanted to say with the season without crossing the line of coming off as a complete loser with not much else to do with his spare time. Sure, that is 100% the truth, but I kind of just wanted to sit back and enjoy the finale like I have been able to successfully for the last few seasons.
A lot happened…
So in keeping the faith with the last few I did, there really isn’t going to be a unifying theme for this post. I kind of want to keep things loosey-goosey and just talk/write about all the things I actually have something “meaningful” to talk/write about. Sort of like…a revie…no…NO…I not like one of those…things. Let’s just keep it loose and see where this takes us.
In terms of a GoT finale, “The Winds of Winter” was a rather eventful one. So many mult-season plot threads came to a head, with only minimal set up here and there in the last 15 minutes or so. In fact, it may have finished more narrative threads than any other finale in the show’s history up to this point.
So in an attempt to keep things somewhat tidy, I’ve sectioned off the proper elements of the plot…y’know…cause…um….
HERE COMES THE BOOM
In terms of the ever-shifting board that is Westeros, we should start off with the literal boom that kicked off the finale.
If you’ve ever seen an explosion onscreen before, it’s not really a question of whether or not the recently stabbed Lancel is going to stop the flame and save the day. That’s an inevitability the second the countdown begins. No, the name of the game is who is going to make it out of the church in time before it goes up in smoke, namely Margaery who the show has put the most time and effort in attempting to characterize of the group. The answer, sadly, is no one as Cersei takes out the most players in a single move since the Red Wedding. While that event was definitely more shocking, this will without a doubt have wider ranging ramifications, most obviously for Cersei.
I’ve read a number of comments praising Cersei for her cunning and utter ruthlessness. I, however, find her most interesting for two key reasons: like Walter White, she uses her love of family as an excuse for her addition for power AND her complete inability to see the bigger picture. She’s rather idiotic in the power plays she enacts season after season, and with this latest coup, I can’t help but think back to a conversation she had with Robert waaaaaaay back in Season 1…
Unlike Cersei, Margaery understood (and feared) the emerging power of the Faith, and actually worked towards concocting a plan that would allow her to use that power to meet her own ends. Cersei however doesn’t have the foresight to play fair with the pieces she has, preferring to throw the board off the table in a fit of rage. Sort of like a child who is on the verge of losing. It’s a drastic move, that initially works. She appears to be in complete control while she sips wine watching her plan culminate with an explosion of green fire, but what happens next shows just how little foresight she has.
She not only loses her final child (and by extension, snaps her last tether to audience sympathy), but also allows for Lady Olenna to turn her considerable resources to Daenerys. (Least we forget the Tyrell’s are the one’s that have been supplying food to King’s Landing for quite some time now.) Cersei’s power stems from fear, as unstable as the Mad King, who also used fear to rule, and whose actions Cersei echoes by using wildfire to kill a mass of her own people to exact revenge for a situation she herself created. She finally has the power she has always longed for, despite that it cost her everything that made her even remotely empathetic. As far as I’m concerned, Cersei is now the series’ BIG BAD actually in Westeros, and will only be seconded by the Night King and his zombie horde once they make their way south of the Wall. (Her new Darth Vader meets David Bowie ensemble is simply the cherry on top.) It was fun rooting for her while it lasted, I suppose.
When Jamie appears at her coronation, he has a noticeably worried look on his face; least we forget he the last time he was placed in the service of a mad ruler.
An acquaintance of mine and I had a disagreement regarding the episode the other day. He attempted to call me out on my ALLEGED hypocrisy in cheering for Arya’s sudden and completely unexpected assassination of Walder Frey while poo-pooing the Sand Snakes and their “similar” ability to just be cool all the time while saying cool catchphrases and wasting everyone’s time…
I know, I know. I promised I’d stop hammering in on the complete suckage of the Sand Snakes, but I have to defend my honor least I be drawn into a duel that I will no doubt lose.
Sure, there are a lot of logistical questions that spring up after the initial shock where’s off.
How on Earth did Arya have the time to both kill the Frey boys and cook them? Not to mention, how many people did she have to kill to even achieve that?
Let’s talk about earned moments.
We don’t know the first goddamn thing about the Sand Snakes and their “motivations.” Hell, in an actually satisfyingly meta-moment the other night, Olenna Tyrell redeemed all the Dorne nonsense by putting the convoluted country in its proper place.
Conversely, Arya’s training with the Faceless Men seemed to take forever HOWEVER it did move the story forward all while at least developing Arya a bit. Was it good story-telling? No, not in my opinion (particularly near the end), but at least but it at least fit the minimum of narrative propulsion. Like Cersei, revenge is what drives Arya and it’ll be interesting to see if she can pull herself out of the spiral that Cersei has embraced or succumb and in essence lose what’s left of her humanity. Given we’ve seen her embrace her past (Needle) and turn away becoming truly No One, I’d say there is hope for her yet.
My only true concern with this arc is that it seems to embrace something the show had otherwise been avoiding: Game Of Thrones CONSTANTLY teaches us about how violence begets only violence, and proceeds to deliver scenes like this. Meryn Trant’s execution last season was painful to witness. Everything from his nasty, uncomfortable pederasty to his muffled, crying is honestly disturbing. That seemed like the whole point. By contrast, Walder Frey’s execution and Ramsey being fed to his own dogs are freaking pep rallies. As if to day, it’s okay if the Starks do disturbing things. I’m not saying both of those kills were not satisfying on a base level. No, I was cheering along with everyone else. I just worry that, as this series enters the final stretch, it will move closer and closer to fan fiction territory.
But there’s nothing rah-rah about Cersei’s victory, and that’s precisely what gives me hope the creative staff know what they’re doing.
WEST COAST, HERE WE COME!
Could someone please re-score Dany’s fleet heading westward to Biggie Smalls’ “Going Back to Cali?” Please and thank you.
This is perhaps the most long-overdo moment the episode final gives us. Dany, as a character, has felt somewhat stagnant over the last couple of seasons which largely played into her being separate from all of the other character across the Narrow Sea. Adding Tyrion into the mix certainly spruced things up a bit, but they haven’t had more than a few scenes together and he was largely on his own this season himself as Dany was whisked away for plot reasons.
Like Ayra, Daenerys has been stuck on in what felt like a narrative rut in getting to her ultimate destination in Westeros. Try as they might to make us care about the goings on of Meereen and Essos as a whole, the show’s writers were never able to give real weight to Dany’s season six arc, as it was so obviously a means to an end. But season finales are for movement, and we’re finally moving forward, with some last minute allies to boot.
I’m pretty pumped that this long-lasting (so long it was basically canon over a decade ago) theory was actually executed and revealed in a manner I wrote about a few weeks back. Don’t interpret that as me patting myself on the back or anything of that nature. I’m just happy they saved the reveal for a time in which it would actually mean something to Jon, even if he isn’t in on it yet.
In the aforementioned post, I wrote about this season potentially being something of a soul-search for Jon. Having just returning from the dead, he obviously found himself at a bit of a crossroads as to who he was and what beliefs/actions led to his getting stabbed by the people he thought he trusted. I don’t want to just regurgitate what I said in the early post (PSSSSST that means go read it. #SharksWithLaserBeams, like, comment, subscribe!!!!!!!) so I’ll just expand my earlier point; now that we have confirmation, what does this mean for Jon. He doesn’t know but he is ascending to his proper place as King in the North.
Also now that we KNOW Jon is Dany’s nephew, I wonder if this show will have the balls to pit the two against one another or if they will join forces quickly as to fight back the coming hordes. I’ll only believe it when I see it. I assume Cersei will be her own undoing so I haven’t really put her into the mix up North mentally just yet, but we’ll see what part she plays in the larger conflict although I don’t see her cooperating well with anyone at this point.
- The Sansa Situation: Basically Sansa’s growth is slowly but surely starting to annoy me. “Only a fool would trust Littlefiner.” Yes, for sure. So why in the holy hell are you so caviler with is passion for you? At long last he’s laid bare his motivations, and it’s convincing. He wants to be on the Iron Throne AND you to be his queen. That is his deepest desire. You have him at that point. And she goes and brushes off his kiss AND doesn’t tell anyone AGAIN. If I’m you, the very next thing I do after that chat with Littlefinger is plot how to keep him in line, whether by stringing him along or killing him. He even just implied he wants to kill Jon to get you on the thrown. She doesn’t need Littlefinger at this point, necessarily. After all, her cousin Robin is the true Lord of the Vale and much more easily manipulable. This is all padded with the fact that she, above almost anyone, how dangerous Littlerfinger is if he doesn’t get what he wants. Also still no reasoning behind not sharing CRUCIAL information with Jon last week when she was given the chance. Please course correct, writers.
- So Bran crossing the Wall is what is going to doom us all, right? He was marked by the Night King which in turn allowed him and his army to decimate the Three-Eyed Raven’s hideout.
- A lot of jokes about how Varys can purportedly teleport has he is in Dorne at the episode’s beginning and already back with Dany and Tryion by episode’s end. At this point, I just accept that a character’s sneakiness is tied to their relative ease in traversing the map. How do you think Littlefinger’s been doing it all these years? My actual reasoning however is that this show isn’t necessarily hold any sort of time constraints in that weeks or months could pass between episodes or even within episodes. Least we forget the first two or three episodes of the first season takes place over many months traveling from Winterfell to King’s Landing.
- Sam and Gilly’s Oldtown adventure largely feels like fluff at this point but if we get some White Walker info out of it, the ends should justify the means.
- R.I.P. King Butters..er…Tommen. The larger question however is…what does this mean for Ser Pounce?!?!?!
- An already crowded episode, but c’mon just give me a bit more of the Hound. Please? I look forward to his (hopeful) reunion with Sansa as they are both up in the North. She could be looking a Queens Guard after all.Hound shows up at Winterfell with the BwB, pledging his allegiance to the Starks.Littlefinger – “You can’t trust him. He was till recently a Lannister man.”Hound – “And what about the time you betrayed Ned Stark for the Lannisters and put a knife to his throat?”Just imagine that but better written.
- I didn’t cry but my eyes may or may not have started tingling when Ser Davos finally confronted Melisandre. His line “Your lord is evil,” ties into a larger interest I have in both Davos and Melisandre. Neither is particularly wrong in the argument. On one hand, just about everything Melisandre has done in the name of the Lord of Light has worked leading many, including herself, that following this being is the right course of action regardless of what that entails. Davos, being a moral anchor, sees right and he sees wrong. Burning a child at the stake is unquestionably a heinous act, regardless if it had helped Stannis win. However, Davos isn’t looking at the bigger picture (ice zombies, starving men) whereas Melisandre is casting away humanity in favor of survival. She isn’t evil or greedy; just like Stannis. As he famously said, “If I must sacrifice one child to the flames to save a million from the dark … Sacrifice … is never easy, Davos. Or it is no true sacrifice.” It’s the divide I see between people in speaking about Stannis (who I still maintain is one of the best characters the series has offered up to this point) and this potentially final scene between his two most trusted advisers was a nice cap on that arc.
- And maybe got a little choked up when Tyrion was given the Hand of the Queen pin…although given that the two have only shared basically, maybe, three or four scenes together at this point.
- Really going to miss Margaery. She may be the biggest loss since Oberyn in terms of character I loved to watch work. She played the game with the rest of them, and the show’s writers did a fantastic job of taking her from the almost voice-less plot point she was in the books to a fleshed out, sneaky so-and-so you actually pulled for. The show didn’t neglect her the way it did her brother and the other Tyrells. Her scenes are among King’s Landings best thanks in no small part to Natalie Dormer’s calculated gaze. She’d have made a far better ruler than most characters. She didn’t even have to compromise her own values all that much until the High Sparrow came along. The only moment she really lost is when the High Sparrow let her see her brother. She tells Loras not to play into the fanatics’ hands, but her even being there with him is playing into their hands. That’s when, I assumed, she had made a deal she could eventually get out of, once safely in the Red Keep. That’s when one of the most successful power players on the continent is blown away by its sorest loser. The High Sparrow set the table. Margaery played the game. Cersei flipped the table over, calling back to the Joker’s conversation with Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets”
- Lyanna Mormont is just delightful. Two scenes and she’s already a fan favorite. She hasn’t transited out of novelty to fully-formed character just yet however so here’s hoping there is more of her in Season 7.
So…that’s OFFICIALLY it for Season 6. With only two left, I’m more than sure I’ll have something to say over the next couple of years before all is said and done.
But what show can I go on and on about in the meantime?!
Orange is the New Black?
That’s a thing!
There are characters (coughPipercoughAlexcough) that annoy me!
….But should I?
….I was sad when P…
….Oh shit, that’s a spoiler….
WAIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!
SHIT, I’M STUCK.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR, JERKS.