Well for our bloggers that are really sick of seeing these GoT posts, this will be my last.
The battle for “The Iron Throne” is over, like literally and figuratively, Drogon melted that metonymic chair down to what was essentially lava. Good boy, Drogon! I did love this entire scene! I loved that Drogon (who btw in the books they are referenced as being smarter than humans) knew who the real enemy was (the pointy thing) and turned it to molten lava. I loved that he recognized Jon for who he was and bowed to him upon leaving, a nod to Jon’s lineage. EPIC!
And I loved this scene….and that he carried her off, as corny as that may have seemed.
From there though, I have mixed emotions on the Game’s ending. In truth, much of this depends on if/when GRRM finishes the books and how much the endings align? I would say that it wasn’t a very fulfilling ending and I will detail my reasoning in a minute.
This season has been volatile to say the least, especially with Thrones fans. Understandably the reactions are largely dependent on what characters you love most, and the fates that they may have met. D&D have fallen under heavy criticism, with valid arguments for and against this season’s work. GRRM quoted that “Art is not a democracy. People don’t get to vote on how it ends.” and that is true. But when you are an artist, you put yourself “out there” to be critiqued, and not always is the response something you may want to hear.
The problem with this last season is that VERY LITTLE of it felt natural. As fans, we were not able to grow into each scenario as we have in the past. Glaring problems (Starbucks coffee cup aside) existed and were only accentuated throughout a rushed season with FAR TOO MUCH left to wrap up in just 8 hours.
Now onto my reasoning’s for my very conflicted emotions over GoT this season…..and you may not care but considering this is my blog post, I will tell you anyway just exactly what my problems were with this season:
#1 Jon and Dany. Problem number one for me, which actually started at the end of last season. Their relationship never felt natural. Their chemistry seemed strained and artificial. Jon no longer was Jon and Dany became something we no longer understood, essentially bullying Jon at every turn (again NOT Jon). At best they seemed an odd couple. Possibly the problem was that this was all too rushed….or maybe, it just didn’t truly “fit” what the story had always been all along and the fans teased that out immediately.
In stark (no pun intended) contrast, the chemistry between Jon and Sansa felt much more palpable and real. The little arguments, their bantering, their laughing and their sincerity coupled with their struggle to learn to rule alongside one another was beautiful to watch. Jon was still Jon, Sansa was still Sansa and they were better together. (I’m just saying……the whole incest thing was happening anyway).
#2 R+L=J didn’t really matter….and I guess that’s okay. BUT then what was the point? Was it meant to be nothing more than the “last straw that broke Dany’s back” type of thing? Was it nothing more than the reason Jon would be forced to kill his kin…and “his queen”? It seemed a waste of time and energy just to be a red herring, and such a disillusioned story line. Where in all of this last season were we able to see Jon find any resolution and acceptance with this? We didn’t and we never will. Frustrating.
#3 Dany as the Mad Queen, quite literally overnight. Okay, I KNOW that there were seeds planted all along suggesting her descent into “madness” from the inevitable “mad Targaryen gene” that she inherited from her father, the “Mad” King Aerys. (There is a lot of “madness” going on there.) And I understand the plot point. She was a tyrant, but not your typical one. She was beautiful and at first, she seemed to have and hold to her ideals of liberating the oppressed. The problem with every tyrant is that they are difficult to recognize, even of themselves. The lines USUALLY get very vaguely and insidiously blurred, leaving those that loved and followed the tyrant stunned and bewildered. The process into tyranny is gradual and many do not see it unfold. It is usually just the last step that becomes obvious. In truth, GoT did give us many hints along the way BUT again the problem lies in the fact that they literally brought Dany’s last tyrannical leap into play within a few hours (real fan time) and it left many viewers and fans confused, not able to make peace with it even remotely.
#4 Bran on the throne. Never in all my theorizing, plotting and charting did I see this one coming? And no, I will disagree with anyone who says that is subverting expectations. It is just simply, unsatisfying. Bran sat out ALL of season 5, only to see him back in season 6….as Bot Bran. If we had any fan love for Bran it was as a young kid climbing walls, jumping off roof tops and being the little Lord of Winterfell (when Catelyn and Rob left him hanging). Beyond that, Bran was…..well a boring back story. Possibly if this is GRRM’s ending, he may get us there more artfully, but to see him crowned king last night felt 100% completely out of left field, and NO, not in a good way. More than that, it’s creepy to have an “all-knowing, all-seeing” king.
#5 The Night King. I don’t know what I can add that hasn’t already been said but to find that he is nothing more than just a “bad guy” who died at the hands of the “good guys (and gals)” was….deflating. Make him someone to us! Make him believable. Make him a Stark, give us a sad story that when we witness his end it is devastating and somehow brings about CONFLICTED feelings from those killing him, and from those of watching the show at home. Instead, for no apparent reason other than world (or Westeros) domination he marched south to kill all men (although he seemed to leave Jon alive an awful lot) to be….King of Death? legit already been done…boring.
#6 The way the show ended made me not like Tyrion (whom I have adored ALL along) because every time he talked people into their demise and somehow came out on top? (Sorry, Varys….I was totally conspiring with you only to throw you under the bus….and oh yeah, thanks for killing Dany for me Jon….but as hand you are banned to the Wall for….killing Dany (the very idea I planted firmly in your head by pointing out that she would kill Sansa and Arya)????????)
#7 Jon dumbed down and then exiled to the north.
I actually want to scream or swear right here but I won’t. This was THE MOST unfulfilling, frustrating, maddening, infuriating part of this season. For years, Jon has been our reluctant “hero” and truly, he is probably THEE fan favorite (maybe possibly only second to Dany for some fans). I GET that he wouldn’t end up ruling Westeros, that would be very Aragorn-ish and I agree, it doesn’t fit “Jon”.
Some (Tormund) may argue that Jon is a “true” northerner destined to wander the far north with his new com padre (Tormund), Wildling followers, and his loyal dog but that also doesn’t exactly feel right either. It really doesn’t.
“I always wanted to be Jon Stark.” This is the ending that felt right. The ending that felt “bittersweet”.
“Whoever Jon’s mother had been, Ned must have loved her fiercely, for nothing Catelyn said would persuade him to send the boy away. It was the one thing she could never forgive him. She had come to love her husband with all her heart, but she had never found it in her to love Jon. She might have overlooked a dozen bastards for Ned’s sake, so long as they were out of sight. Jon was never out of sight, and as he grew, he looked more like Ned than any of the trueborn sons she bore him. Somehow that made it worse.” ~Catelyn
Jon was more Ned Stark’s child than any of Ned’s true-born children. He emulated him. Like Ned, he always did “the hard thing and the right thing”. Like Ned he bumbled and stumbled along but along the way he won people’s trust, he won their loyalty, and he won their love. Mostly, he fought for his people, and he lost his life for it (like his father-uncle). Only to be resurrected by the Lord of Light (who clearly knows how to play a bad joke)
to unite ALL of Westeros (yes, that was Jon bringing together the Wildlings, and the rest of the continent, while bringing an all important ally (albeit a tyrannical one) who had a huge army and 3 dragons to conquer the Night King, kill Dany and bring about the DAWN). And as a HUGE THANK YOU from Westeros (the continent he saved) and his family and closest friends (that he saved) he is exiled to the Wall?
Even more frustrating was to watch Sansa, Arya, Sam and Davos simply bend to…..GREYWORM, who essentially decided the fate of Jon????????????? Sansa-who earlier fought for Jon, Arya-who loved him most of all her siblings, Sam-who followed Jon’s lead endlessly and Davos-who literally willed Jon back alive. Suddenly they were simply….“sorry Jon…peace out….oh yeah, sorry all we could find was this little boat to row you back to the Wall with…..we gotta get going now, we have our coronations to get to……see you around “. HOLY FRUSTRATING. HOLY UNFULFILLING.
Okay, so when I calm down a bit, I can sort of understand where they were trying to get to with Jon heading north BUT HOW they went about it was ALL sorts of wrong.
THROUGHOUT Thrones Jon has done the hard “thing” but the “right” thing. Always. To send him off a “criminal” to the Wall was not poetic (a nod to Aemon like some suggest….remember Aemon CHOSE to go to the Wall). Instead if that was the avenue, let Jon be the one to make the choice to step away, to abdicate the throne (something that king BRAN himself told us JON was the RIGHTFUL HEIR to), to walk away from Winterfell and from his family (the same ones that he fought so hard to protect and supposedly killed his “Nissa Nissa” for). Ugh, it just feels empty writing that out….
I know what you’re wondering…..then how do I think it should’ve ended? Well, I will tell you, cuz again, it’s my blog post……
Dany was always destined for her end…..as unsatisfactorily as it played out on the show. (BTW, I will say this, as much as I didn’t “love” her character, she was kick-ass on the back of Drogon (well, not when she was burning innocent men, women and children) and literally had probably the coolest role on Thrones!)
Greyworm (and his reproducing-murdering army???? WHERE did ALL those Unsullied come from anyway) should’ve been shipped out the minute Dany died, for Christ sake…..he literally had been on Westeros for like 3 hours (fan time).
Sansa should have been Queen of the 6 kingdoms, something she was pruned for (a younger more beautiful queen) and Tyrion as her Hand and Brienne her Queensguard. I could care less who sat the Kings Council although clearly Davos and Sam should be on it. (BTW that whole table king council scene felt completely W.E.I.R.D.)
and Jon Snow should’ve been King in the North (the ENTIRE north), as KING JON SNOW, legitimizing bastards EVERYWHERE by keeping his name given to him by his father-uncle, the man he adored…..the same man that he was the most like out of all of Ned’s children, because let’s be honest no matter the R+L=J thing….Jon is Ned’s “son” through and through.
Bran. I don’t know…honestly, he was such a lesser character for me that I never gave it much thought.
and Arya, her ending, I will admit was perfect….she is Nymeria at heart and a wanderer fits her soul.
BUT as George says, we do not get a vote on the ending, if we feel that passionately about it, then I guess we need to write our own book. However, that being said, we can critique the artistry and as fans that mostly adored this iconic story on screen, we can attest to the fact that the ending left us disheartened, confused and most importantly, unfulfilled.
The stories, the people, and the plots we fell in love with just simply seemed to fall apart these last two seasons. Key aspects simply got thrown aside and mostly, we are left trying to piece our own ending to one that seems filled with plot holes and editing missteps.
I do hope we see a more masterful approach to GRRM’s ending to his books, and I anticipate we will. Even if it ends the same way, I would imagine he would get us there in such a way that it will feel right. Perhaps the intricate manner in which GRRM has woven his characters and their stories together proved to be more than D&D could manage without source material from GRRM. Regardless, it is done, definitely a bittersweet end for us Thrones fans!
I do have to say, the cinematography and the music all along but especially this season was just EPIC!!
And the acting, as always, was stupendous! Truly, to make us, the fans as passionate as we are about Thrones and it’s debatable last season is a testament to the actors amazing ability to bring us into the world of Ice and Fire!