This has been the most up and down season of “Game of Thrones” yet.
I think if I hadn’t committed to writing a blog every week I would have stopped watching after episode 6. When all is said and done I’m glad I stuck around. However, I am glad that after this blog entry I won’t have write about it every Monday. I also blogged about “Looking” earlier this year (check out my blog from the season 2 finale of that show: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/looking-season-2-episode-10-season-we-hope-not-series-finale/) and as much as I like blogging about TV shows it does take a considerable amount of time away from my creative writing.
Last night’s episode began with the fallout from Stannis’ decision to have his daughter, Shireen, burnt so that the lord of light would help him in his quest to capture the Iron Throne. It had looked like Stannis and his troops were snowed in but with the snow melting signs seem to indicate Shireen’s death did bring a thaw. Stannis and his company are ready to ride on Winterfell. But, it’s not that simple. In fact things are a total mess. Melisandre is very pleased with herself but when she tries to show physical affection to Stannis he rebuffs her. I loved this. Then Stannis gets bad news. It seems during the night about half of his troops deserted him. This came as no surprise to me. Who in their right mind would want to fight for a King who burns his own daughter?! Then things go from bad to worse. Stannis is led to the hanging body of his wife Selyse. Apparently she couldn’t live with herself after she allowed her daughter to be burned alive so she killed herself. I was never a fan of Selyse but her decision brought me to tears. Then as if things weren’t bad enough Melisandre leaves the camp too. Not even that evil witch lady is standing by Stannis anymore.
Up at the wall, Jon tells Sam about the battle against the army of the dead. They discuss how all the Dragonglass is gone but how Jon was able to kill a white walker with Valyrian Steel. Sam tells Jon that he wants Jon to let him and Gilly and the baby go to the Citadel so that Sam can become a Maester. In a cute moment Jon figures out that Sam and Gilly had sex. Then Sam and Gilly and the baby leave. As they left I wondered if Sam and Jon would ever see each other again. In this world characters that leave each other are rarely reunited.
Ten minutes into the episode Stannis and his remaining men head off to Winterfell. It was at that moment I predicted that in this episode that Brienne would kill Stannis…
At Winterfell, Sansa escapes her cell with the some kind of corkscrew she had grabbed before when Ramsay had let her out. I loved seeing Sansa fight.
Above Winterfell, Pod sees Stannis’ mean heading towards Winterfell and tells Brienne.
Back at Winterfell, Sansa lights the candle in the tower signaling for her friends in the north that she is in trouble. Brienne just misses seeing this distress signal as she follows Pod to see what is happening with Stannis’ army.
As Stannis and his army get close to Winterfell he says he wants to attack at Sunrise but things just aren’t meant to go Stannis’ way. The Bolton army is ready for them and headed their way. As the two armies march toward each other Sansa watches form the tower window. The Bolton troops far outnumber the troops Stannis has. Lord or light or no lord of light Stannis is doomed.
After Stannis’ army is trashed Brienne finds him. She tells him who she is and how she is avenging Renly’s death.
Until last week I had been kind of indifferent to Stannis but after he burnt his own daughter I hated him. When Brienne asked if he had any last words I loved the defeated look on his face. My one gripe about this scene is that we didn’t get to see the life leave Stannis’ face.
Moving back to Winterfell one last time, Sansa is stopped my Myranda. Talk about Stockholm syndrome with Myranda. Sansa stands up for herself and proclaims she doesn’t want to end up like Theon/Reek. But as I suspected there is some of Theon left and he finally breaks through as he throws Myranda to her death right before she shoots Sansa with an arrow. Knowing Ramsay is about to return Sansa and the newly reborn Theon make the decision to jump off the walls of Winterfell and into the snow.
I like how this storyline wrapped up for the season. Especially in light of how the episode ended I like the idea of seeing Sansa and Theon on the run in season 6. It’s probably the most optimistic path moving forward for any of the remaining Starks.
Moving to Bravos, we see Meryn Trant whipping the hell out of three girls. The third one doesn’t respond to the pain. Looking to break the third girl he dismisses the first two. Even before it was revealed that the third girl was Arya I knew it was. Having borrowed a face from the hall of faces Arya rips it off to reveal who she is. She stabs Meryn Trant’s eyes and chest. She reveals who she is before slashing his throat.
The question for Arya all season has been is she ready to become nobody. The answer has seemed to be no. She has continued to carry around her desire for vengeance (as witnessed by her murder of Meryn Trant) but it has finally gotten her into trouble. Jaqen H’ghar is very upset with her for taking a life that wasn’t hers to take. Then he kills himself…except it isn’t him. Arya (and the audience) really understand this for the first ime. Jaqen H’ghar is just a face. Whoever that face once belonged to is now long gone. Then Arya suffers her punishment for taking Meryn Trant’s life. She goes blind. I imagine “Jaqen H’ghar” picked this punishment because she took Meryn Trant’s eyes before she took his life. I was devastated when this happened. I have always loved Arya and it was so heartbreaking to see what has become of that tough little girl I fell in love with in the pilot episode of this show.
I’ve mentioned several times that I visited Dorne in April. Or rather I visited the castle in Seville, Spain that served as the Watergardens of Dorne (check out my blog on the day I visited this castle: https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/return-to-espana-day-10-seville/) but other than that the Dorne storyline has been underwhelming. As Jamie, Bronn, Myrcella and Trystane leave Dorne it seems this storyline has all been for nothing. Ellaria is on her best behavior and even gives Myrcella a kiss good-bye.
On the boat Jamie and Myrcella talk. Jamie tries to work up the nerve to tell her the truth about her and Cersei. But before he can actually say the words she says she already knows. A part of her has always known and she’s glad he is her father. Imagine how much she hated Robert if she really would rather be a product of incest and a bastard than to be the daughter of the late king? Of course, there are no happy endings in this world and as it turns out the nice moment between Jamie and Myrcella’s was a classic TV farewell moment. Mere seconds after their bonding moment Myrcella begins to bleed from her nose. She has been poisoned by…Ellaria. That kiss was literally the kiss of death. Back on the shores of Dorne Ellaria stands with the Sand snakes, wipes the poison off her lips and take the antidote to save her life…If I cared about Mrycella I would have been sad but they never developed the character and as I said way back when Margaery was arrested I am willing to sacrifice all of Cersei’s loved ones in order to see her suffer. Of course, this death was kind of a given since the season opened with the prophecy Cersei had heard as a young woman about all three of her children dying.
Off in Meereen, we see Jorah, Tyrion and Darrio sitting around trying to figure out what happens next.
Missandei brings Greyworm in and the five of them discuss what the best thing to do is. They not only need to try to find Dany but they need to keep Meereen from tearing itself apart. The plan they come up with is for Darrio and Jorah to head in the direction Drogon went (North) to try to find Dany. Meanwhile, Tyrion will try to govern Meereen with the help of Missandei, Greyworm and….Varys. I was very happy to see the return of Varys.
It is one thing for Dany to escape on Drogon but it’s another to get back to Meereen. Drogon is very tired from saving Dany clearly doesn’t want to go anywhere (I worry that he is dying). I always root for Dany and I’m, obviously, thrilled with the way she escaped the attack from the Sons of the Harpy but now she’s in the middle of nowhere with a Dragon who won’t take her home. As she’s out looking for food she is surrounded by small army of Dorthraki. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing isn’t clear. I want to believe that it is a good thing. I want to believe that Dany will rally the Dorthraki to her cause and bring them down to Meereen and then by the end of next season she’ll be ready to make her play for the Iron Throne. But at this point nobody knows what’s going to happen with this storyline so my guess is as good as any.
Moving to King’s Landing, things are in an awful place for Cersei. She is wretched in her cell and she chooses to confess to the High Sparrow. Of course her confession isn’t genuine and it’s only a partial confession. She lies about her cousin being the only man outside of her marriage that she had sex with. The High Sparrow confronts her about the parentage of her children (of course now it’s only one child since Tommen is the only one remaining) and she denies the “rumor”. Cersei’s confession is not enough to get her completely off the hook. She is still going to face trial to the charges she didn’t confess to but she is going to be allowed to return to the Red Keep as long as she accepts her atonement.
I knew her atonement would be harsh but I really had no idea what it would be. After being scrubbed clean, Cersei has her hair cut off with a razor. It is cut so short that her scalp bleeds. She then is presented to the city as a sinner.
As this happens she looks longingly up at the Red Keep but it’s only the beginning of her atonement. She is forced to walk naked through the city as Septa Unella rings a bell and calls “Shame” every step of the way. At first the citizens of King’s Landing silently watch the Queen Regent but then they begin shouting at her. She is truly and utterly humiliated as the people call her cunt, slut, whore, sinner and brother fucker among other things. They spit on her, throw shit on her and flash her. At first she is stoic in how she faces it but it’s finally too much and she collapses in tears. Looking up at the Red Keep she finds the strength to keep going. When she finally through the gate to the Castle she is greeted. We find that the reanimated Mountain is now a member of the King’s Guards…Is Cersei’s punishment harsh? It certainly is. Yet, she has been Queen or Queen Regent for a long time and she’s been awful to the citizens of King’s Landing. While I didn’t gloat in her humiliation I certainly didn’t feel sorry for her either.
The episode, and the season, wrapped up at the Wall. Davos pleads to Jon to send men to Stannis’ army but Jon refuses. Then Melisandre arrives looking defeated. It is at this point Davos and Jon learn that Stannis has been defeated and Shireen is dead.
This show is known for breaking people’s hearts. I was truly shocked when Ned died in the first season. When season 3 aired my husband and I didn’t have HBO and he went to great length to keep me from getting spoiled on the Red Wedding. When I finally saw it I was sad but a little underwhelmed with it. Yet, nothing, NOTHING that has happened in five seasons on this show had convinced me that the season would end the way it did. Jon Snow dies. There is it is. He is killed by other members of the Night’s Watch because they consider him a traitor for helping the Wildlings.
I really NEVER EVER EVER expected Jon Snow to die. I expected him to be around until the end. Given all of the rumors about who his parents are I couldn’t imagine a way that he wouldn’t be around at the conclusion of this story. I really don’t think anything in his show has EVER shocked me as much as Jon Snows death.
So what happens now? Nobody knows. The show has caught up with the books. Everything moving forward with either be a spoiler or different from the last two books. I feel devastated because of Jon Snow but I know book readers have known about this for years. I know book readers are lost because George R.R. Martin has dragged his feet getting the last two books out and now they have to make a decision. Do they stop watching the show and wait for books that may never come? Or do they watch the show just to see what happens next even if it might not align with Martin’s plans?
I know I will continue watching the show next year. I imagine Cersei is going to be out for vengeance against the High Sparrow but when she receives word that Myrcella is dead will it break her spirit for good? What will happen to blind Arya? I imagine Sansa and Theon will meet up with Brienne and Pod but beyond that I don’t know. I really don’t give a flying fuck what happens at the Wall now. Those asshole deserve to be killed by White Walkers. I suppose we will return to Bran and see what his fate is. Will we ever see Rickon again? With Stannis’ death the Bolton’s are clearly in control of the north. That leaves Dany and only Dany. I have always believed that she is the true heir to the Iron Throne and I still believe things will end that way but with the death of Jon Snow I have to accept once and for all that anybody and everybody, including Arya, Dany and Tyrion can die.
It’s going to be a long wait until next spring.
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