It seemed forever ago that we last gathered around the electronic hearth to be transported to Westeros, where dragons, ice zombies and “king killing” heroes are the norm, but last Sunday night was game time, finally! Winter has most definitely arrived in the north, and the cold arctic blast (the Night King) is just a breath away. It may prove to be a long, or short winter, especially since we learn that Sansa wasn’t expecting to feed a massive army, and two very large dragons.
“What do dragons eat anyway?” asks Sansa. Not happy and clearly annoyed with Dany.
“Anything they want.” says Dany.
Then the icy stare down between the two. And Jon thinking, “Gods, this isn’t going to be easy….”. Nope it’s not, in fact things are about to get very real.
Let’s start with Arya who is in Winter Town watching the parade clamber by, seemingly detached…until she sees Jon (heart quickens), the next the Hound (heart solidifies), and finally Gendry (heart quickens again). A girl has much to consider, a girl has much to do….
In addition we see Tyrion and Varys, bickering as their norm. Finally we see Grey Worm and Missandei astride horses, regal as well.
Quickly though, the scene changes to one of reunions (both sweet and awkward, is Bran ever not awkward these days?), recriminations, and spilled (like lightening fast) secrets. Other than Euron, where all time slows to a snail’s pace, because let’s be honest, he’s predictable and dull while still managing to loosely capture the whole “crazy Joker” vibe (though he is not Heath Ledger by any means).
And from there we are off at a sprinters run, one that surprised me although we do only have FIVE shows left before (*gulp) GoT is over, like for real over.
We covered a lot of ground in a short time, everything from Cersei and Euron doing the deed (interesting tidbit-Cersei is drinking wine, clearly not pregnant?), Theon rescuing Yara almost too easily? (well, Euron was a bit busy), Bronn being manipulated by Cersei (with the idea that Bronn is the 3rd smartest person on GoT, I am thinking this backfires on Cersei), Sam finding out about Dany burning his not so beloved father, but very beloved brother Dickon; to Edd, Tormund and Beric finding a familiar symbol (with poor dead lil Ned Umber pinned at the center) on their way south to Winterfell.
Past seasons would have fumbled along for a few episodes, but not true this season, we essentially got the unload, the reaction and the response in a single scene or line. Not very engrossing, or enthralling but it is efficient. And I guess it has to be, I mean the Night King does have a dragon and although his icy army doesn’t walk fast, they still can only go so slow….
Let’s talk about a few key reunions: Jon and Bran. Jon is happy to see Bran, and Bran is…well, Bran and Jon is, well…confused. Sansa gives Jon a knowing look like, “Yeah, Bran’s weird now, bro and Arya, she has her own death-cult vibe going as well, just you wait.” Jon hugs Sansa, who welcomes Jon warmly but over his shoulder, an icy stare at Dany…and the tone is set.
We can see that the conflicts are everywhere and more than anything, it possibly solidifies a few ideas of my ideas. One, Dany is aggressively power hungry, wanting everyone to yield to her. She expects to be queen, not allowing for patience, she wants it quite literally, ‘overnight’.
We can start to see the “Mad King Aerys” come out, and it seems even more foreshadowed as Jon says “she is not her father”, ah hum, yes she is Jonny boy, yes she is. More importantly her half-threat about Sansa not respecting her wasn’t lost on anyone, including our sometimes slow boy Jon (double gulp, “maybe I made a mistake?”~Jon?).
It makes this statement by Davos Seaworth a near impossibility, as he raises the possibility of a marriage between Jon and Daenerys. “They do make a handsome couple,” says Tyrion. “Nothing lasts,” says Varys. Ah, Varys, the second smartest person on the show….
With that idea, let’s talk about the smartest person on GoT. Nope, it is CLEARLY no longer Tyrion, as we see per the conversation with Sansa and Tyrion.
“I used to think you were the cleverest man alive.” ~Sansa
*Used to is correct, Tyrion is slipping. It is interesting to see the power dynamic change between Tyrion and Sansa, with the latter truly becoming the smartest person on GoT with probably the clearest picture of what is happening. Let’s be clear, Sansa is in a tough position. She understands more than anyone that Cersei cannot be trusted (sorry Tyrion) and that Dany cannot deny her (crazy) genes. And we cannot deny her agenda. Thrones does a great job of making us realize that Sansa is truly the “voice of reason” at this point, successfully reigning in her sister and clearly holding tight to Jon. Arya also playing a pivotal role in reminding Jon that their family is the most important preservation among the mass destruction.
And then the BOMB of all bombs, well at least for Jon (sorry Jon, we already knew). You do “know nothing Jon Snow”, because you really are Aegon Targaryen VI. The King of…everything….(sort of), delivered by Sam (at Brans persistence) and why so persistent Bran Flakes? This seemed well timed (right after Sam learned that Dany fried his dad and bro), with an angry Sam placing doubt about Dany, giving Jon pause, then unloading the “you’re the rightful heir to Westeros” bomb. It seems it would be the least of Jon’s concerns, or anyone’s for that matter with an army of undead bearing down in them.
Of course, if you read my other blog post you will know that I believe that part of Brans mission (as the TER/Brynden) is to see a Targaryen sit the throne and seemingly his eyes are set on Jon….and I would argue that at this point we are heading in that direction.
We end with Bran in the courtyard, who has been waiting “for an old friend”, who we quickly find out is Jamie. And there the episode ends…
“Everything is something you have seen before”. ~Littlefinger
It is history repeating…a time loop of sorts.
Again, we cannot deny the similarities between aSoIaF and tLotR.
- tNight King=Sauron
- Cersei=Denethor (false rulers, both mad)
- tTER=Saruman (good and bad)
The ultimate idea of tLotR is that Aragorn, the hidden prince and true king of Gondor (and man) had to learn to essentially; believe in himself and learn to lead and most importantly, to be stronger than the greed that had plagued his forebears. Of course, Aragorn must find a way to defeat Sauron (the bad guy) with the help of Gandalf (the good counselor guy) with manipulation from Saruman (once good but now bad counselor guy).
We see much the same with Jon, he is the true hero of the story with the assistance of wise counselors with many unseen and misunderstood heroes around him. He is the foreground story of aSoIaF but of course there is the background story as well which is the TER who is not well understood for his position of good or bad, who is ultimately the embodiment of Bran (not unlike Frodo, the one to deliver the ring to the fires of Mordor to be destroyed) who must deliver the key to defeating tNight King (sacrificing himself?).
The only problem is that I cannot see the show ending as happily as tLotR, the cliche’ storybook ending. It definitely wouldn’t feel as bittersweet as I think GRRM is going for.
How might season 8 end?
Much like it began……
A Baratheon (Gendry) on the throne, but this time a Stark (Arya) will be his queen. “There is power in king’s blood.” Mel
Of course, this is dependent on the theory that R+C=G
A Stark couple will be once again be warden (Jon) and wardeness (Sansa) of the north (Ned and Cat 2.0).
And of course, Jon is the Prince who was Promised…to lead men, restore balance and bring Westeros together. He is Aegon Targaryen VI, and as his forefather did, he will unite the 7 kingdoms. However, unlike his predecessor, he will choose to not rule and bend the knee to the rightful king of Westeros, Gendry Baratheon (Robert did in fact usurp the Targaryen dynasty).
Ned and Robert will finally have what they wanted the most, their houses united.
The lone wolf (Bran the Builder) dies but the pack survives (Jon, Sansa, Arya and Bran).
*The lone wolves (Bran and Bran the Builder, sorta one in the same?) die but the pack survives (Jon, Sansa, and Arya).
Most likely the second option. Let’s be honest, Bran Flakes is out permanently. However, for the rest of the Stark crew, they are a bit behind Bran-boy because in their mind, he is still their brother…albeit an odd teenager. And besides, what could be more bittersweet than Bran dying, and it may come to sacrificing himself to end the battle of ICE (BtB/NK) and FIRE (Bran/TER). And even more, what if both Bran Starks know they have to sacrifice themselves? Remember, the Night King was once just a man who I think was the first Last Hero and the first Bran the Builder STARK. He didn’t ask for his icy hell. and now we have the last Last Hero and the last Bran the Three Eyed Raven STARK who didn’t exactly ask for his predicament either. Two powerful beings with what I argue to be a mix of good&bad=Gray. learning all of that, and realizing they have to die is pretty damn bittersweet. What else would make Jon blubber after reading the last of the script for season 8?
Where does that leave everyone else? Not exactly sure, just like I am not sure about the above (#carlatinfoil) either.
Jamie is ultra important. Besides Sansa, he has had the greatest character arc on the show. I can’t help thinking that his “kingslayer” title will once again come in to play. It is entirely possible that he is “Azor Ahai” and that he will kill Cersei (Nissa Nissa=Valonqar), and then the Night King (fulfilling two prophecies at once?). That would be some good stuff for his Knight Book pages, saving Westeros and Kings Landing…once again. I mean, I will be totally pissed if this whole time they have quite literally shoved it in our face that he will in fact “kill” the Night King=Kingslayer…..and i MISSED it. 🤨 Then does he get mortally wounded and “die in the arms of the woman he loves (Brienne)”? 😢 and then what about the Hound consoling Brienne?
(And I am still debating if A+J=C&J and possibly T is an option?)
Tyrion, I think he will just totally snap. I am unsure how he will go out but if it is indeed because he betrayed Jon, it may not end well for him. I am thinking that Wildfire plays into his future…and Kings Landing, with not a good end. After all, he did wish every soul in Kings Landing dead at one point….
Jorah, hmm. I can’t help but think that he has loved Dany for almost the entire series (def his Nissa Nissa). And she loves him…. in a fatherly way. It would be incredibly bittersweet if he has to kill her because she goes all cray cray.
I believe that Davos plays an important part in that he will have to kill Mel. I feel as though this will be bittersweet in the end…
Grey Worm and Missendai….hmm, I feel that the love birds will be separated. I just feel as though Missendai isn’t maybe who we think she is? at the least, I think she dies…
Tormund and Edd…I love them both but I am thinking….not good scenarios.
And of course Sam…I feel as though he is telling this story so I believe he lives and I am hoping that Gilly and Sam do as well, though I didn’t like the whole “laying in bed ship going down feel” that we saw in teaser pics…
Tomorrow the saga continues….pull your boot straps up, things are about to get really real…