Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Wednesday Wanderings

 Brace yourselves:  like so many others, I'm going to talk about Game of Thrones (the show) - the most recent episode and beyond into this final season.

People have complained that after all the buildup about the Night King and the armies of the dead, he was defeated in a single episode.  I don't have a problem with this or feel it was anticlimactic.  The buildup to this most recent episode made it clear that there was no retreat.  Lose one battle, and the armies of the dead would swell past the point of no return.  As in the greater game of thrones, you win or you die.

Could they have the battle multiple episodes?  I don't think so, for two reasons.  First of all, it's only possible to maintain that kind of intense tension for so long before the viewer becomes fatigued.  The viewer becomes worn out, even bored, and future moments lose their impact.  Second, an episode break would have killed the momentum.

What did bother me in the episode was Theon's death.  Not the fact of it, but the manner.  Sacrificing himself was fitting to his arc, but I would have preferred if there was some kind of combat between him and the Night King / his lieutenants.  That specific choice have at least bought time.  As it was, it seemed meaningless; he delayed the Night King only long enough for that notable to wipe blood off his weapon.

So who sits on the Iron Throne at the end of this?  I hope ... it's not who we expect.  Tyrion, perhaps - his intellect would make him a formidable king.  (And if we put stock in certain glimmers, with Sansa by his side?)  Perhaps Gendry will seize the day.  Or in the tradition of war not determining who is right, but rather who is left, what if Jaime is left to rise above his family's twisted legacy?

Or picture this:  next episode, Daenerys announces her intention to march on Cersei.  Arya's all, "I just have to go do a thing."  Dany arrives, demands an audience with the queen, who ... pulls off her own face to reveal everyone's favorite assassin.  Story's over, folks, two whole episodes of follow-up and epilogue. 

You might detect from the thread of these musings that I'm not that fond of Jon Snow.  I don't dislike him, but as a character, he's such a bundle of well-worn tropes:  honorable to a fault, plain spoken, doesn't like politics, illegitimate son who turns out to be heir to the throne ... he's very much the expected winner of this saga, and that's a good part of why I hope it turns out otherwise.  Game of Thrones has succeeded in part by (sometimes) taking the unexpected turn.  Let's not end on the oldest plot in the book.

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