Finale Thoughts: Game of Thrones brings The Winds of Winter

Spoilers might burn like wildfire.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

There’s really very little to say about it. In the game of thrones, you win or you die. And sometimes you have to kill everyone. The trial of Cersei Lannister was never meant to be. Loras Tyrell gets judged, and marked to become a sparrow. Margaery Tyrell wants the High Sparrow to hold his end of the bargain, a deal made with her embracing the Faith Militant’s fanatical religious view to save herself and her brother. Cersei only has one hidden ace, thanks to Qyburn and the little birds. Lancel’s death is a fact the moment he spots a little bird – these children are never spotted. Lancel saw one because it was obviously a trap from the start. Cersei obviously wanted him to suffer more because Lancel was a Lannister. And finally, the barrels of wildfire under the Great Sept of Baelor were a rumor, but Jaime knew that the Mad King was up to. There’s supposed to be wildfire under the Red Keep as well.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

I’m actually relieved. I think the entire chapter of the High Sparrow was an obvious moral tale about religious fanaticism that seemed to weight down and unnecessarily slow development. Every house that had political interests in King’s Landing seemed doomed to play cards with the High Sparrow. Except Cersei. Even though both Tommen and Kevan Lannister fell in line, Cersei seemed stubbornly resistant even though she was losing allies left and right. So she relies on Qyburn, Westeros’ own Dr. Frankenstein, who as the Master of Whisperers controls the little birds. Grand Master Pycelle is taken out of the equation and we see what the little birds can do as a hostile force. Cersei is even sure to imprison Septa Unella, the nun who tortured her, and make sure she spends the rest of her whole life in pain in horror. We don’t get to see what happens to her once Ser Robert Strong, aka Gregor Clegane 2.0, enters. That’s for the best. Cersei does attempt to spare Tommen, but the young king can’t handle it and throws himself out of his window. The choice is clear, he chose his bride over his mother. Cersei accepts that, as he orders Qyburn to burn him and bury his ashes into the mass grave that once was the Great Sept of Baelor. She’s burying all her enemies together.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister is in the Twins, the seat of House Frey. He’s not really into doing small chat with Walder Frey, but that’s what he has to do. You can see him wince as Walder compares himself to him, “we’re both Kingslayers.” Jaime can’t leave him soon enough. Walder Frey is left alone after the Lannister take their leave, only to be served by a girl he doesn’t know. A girl that up until know we’ve only seen making eyes at Jaime. However, this is not any girl. This girl once had no name but she’s claim it back. Walder Frey soon learns he’s been eating a pie made out of his own two sons, and the Starks have their revenge as Arya cuts his throat open. Jaime dodged a similar fate by walking away.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

In the North, Sansa’s conversation with Petyr Baelish reveals nothing surprising. Littlefinger wants the Iron Throne and wants Sansa as queen. Nope to that. Jon and Sansa have a conversation about how she’s the real Lady of Winterfell, and how they should both trust each other. Both of them are present as they received all the Lords of the North. However, it’s soon obvious that nobody wants to throw in for a war now that winter is finally here. Enter child ruler Lyanna Mormont who kicks ass as she inspires the Lords to get off their asses and heed the call. Once more we hear the phrase King in the North. The moment would be so much cooler if it weren’t for one chauvinistic fact. The Lords are willing to see beyond Jon being a bastard, but not beyond Sansa being femail. They have an actual full-blooded Stark in the room, and just because she’s female she won’t do. The other messed part of that equation is that we also see Bran finally witnessing the moment that Lyanne Stark gives birth to Jon, tasking Eddard to protect him with his life. The Rhaegar part of the equation is not explicitly confirmed, but all but implied. This makes Jon a Stark AND a Targaryen as well as Daenery’s half brother.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

And speaking of that Daenerys finally gets to sail the narrow sea with a huge armada of ships. There’s a few things that have to happen before that final sailing scene which are extremely condensed for time. We get a conversation with Tyrion in which Dany names him the Hand of the Queen. Varys actually arrives at Dorne just as Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell are about to make an alliance for revenge against the Lannisters (Cersei, specifically). Varys seals it all with the Targaryan saying: “Fire and blood.” There has to be some time allowed here between this scene in the last as we see Varys in the command ship with Daenerys and Tyrion.

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

It’s been a great season. It was a great finale. But as good as each storyline came to its end, it does seem like at some point we knew almost, if not everything that would come to pass. How did Jon actually won? Sansa made the difference relying on Littlefinger’s hold of the Vale. How did Cersei won? She was ready to do anything to win, including relying on Wildfire, Qyburn and practices deemed unnatural. How did Daenerys win? Dragons and Dothraki. Everyone had to rely on something or someone that broke all rules. Sad is, we all had heard of theories of these finales. As satisfying as each conclusion was, it was an expected one. There’s a silver lining. We now have to come up with brand new theories on what’s to come.

Finale Thoughts:

  • Winter is here. Yeah, the Night King is coming and the undead with it but we’re counting on the Starks to strengthen Winterfell and the North from invasion. Jon and Sansa will need to trust each other, but must Sansa be relegated to a background role? The Lords of the North would rather have a king. Will that drive a wedge between the two siblings? What about the truth that Jon is not a son of Eddard but of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen?
  • The dragons are coming. Given the name of the Narrow Sea, how long is that trip going to be? Can we get Daenerys making landfall by next season? If she is now allied with the Tyrells, the Martells and… well, a faction of the Greyjoys, are the scales on her favor? Cersei has the Iron Throne and the Lannisters are powerful but they’re also close to broke. The Crown owes money to the Iron Bank of Braavos, remember? It’s Cersei and Jaime against everyone else.
  • I skipped over the whole Samuel Tarly and Gilly at the Citadel. We’re supposed to find it funny, but I was just bored throughout.
  • Queen Cersei finally sits on the Iron Throne. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark finally get Winterfell. Arya Stark finally gets to kill the man behind the Red Wedding. Daenerys Targaryen finally gets to sail back to Westeros. Tyrion becomes the Hand of a Queen he truly respects. Everyone gets their wish- wait, no…
  • Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, the High Sparrow, Kevan Lannister, Mace Tyrell and Lance Lannister die in a green explosion of Wildfire. Walder Frey and his sons meet their end at the hands of Arya Stark. Tommen lost everything he loved and took his own life. Cersei’s most dreaded enemies forge an alliance against her. Jon and Sansa have to face both the Night’s King and the forces of the Iron Throne. No word on what their relationship with Daenerys Stormborne will be.

That will do for now.

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