This week’s Game of Thrones episode was packed to bursting with talking points, so I figured I would try a different format with this post in the shape of a Q & A. Let me know in the comments if you prefer this to my usual essay-based approach. Since there is so much to cover, I’ll draft up the questions I think you want answered so that we can get down to the important stuff, and avoid me summarizing what you’ve already seen. Alright then, let us begin!
- Why did this episode feel different?
If you felt this episode felt strange in some way- even a little contrived- then you’re not alone. In my opinion, this is the inevitable outcome of trying to conclude a show that prior to this season, seemed to be getting bigger and bigger with its amount of characters and plot threads. We are used to having all these separated storylines that typically narrowly miss each other, and only briefly overlap. The formula so far has been an uphill battle for our favorite characters, with a seemingly endless series of obstacles. But now the writers are faced with the task of having to tie up all these loose ends and shrink the scale of the show somewhat so as to focus on a satisfying climax. And with a show as complex as this one, it must be like looking at a bowl of spaghetti and trying to remove each individual noodle and lay them flat alongside each other. And so far I think the writers have done a good job. I liked last night’s episode, and even though the pace was way faster than we are used to, it’s a necessity at this point. It might be uncomfortable to see the characters traversing hundreds of miles in such a short amount of screen time, but the writers simply don’t have enough time to maintain the pace they’ve used in previous seasons. I liked it. It was a bit different, but the interesting scenes and narratives kept me interested.
- What is Littlefinger up to?
I like where the show is going with this. If you’re confused about the significance of his scene, the note he planted under his mattress was a letter Sansa was forced to write way back in season one. Basically, she was coerced by Cersei to denounce her father Ned as a traitor and to implore her brother Robb to bend the knee and recognize King Joffrey’s legitimacy. Here’s what the note says:
“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark”
You can see from the picture above that Littlefinger was in attendance when this took place. But why is he planting this note in his room? What does he stand to gain from all this? What we know about Littlefinger is that he wants 2 things: power and Sansa. I’m not sure to what extent Littlefinger knew that Ramsay was a psycho when he married her to him, but I do honestly believe that Littlefinger would never want her dead. By sowing discord among the Stark siblings, he is able to better his position. Arya, Bran and Jon are a threat to Littlefinger’s influence over the two houses of Stark and Arryn. And what he will ultimately be hoping for will be to exploit the weaknesses of the war-ravaged south through the power of the armies that Winterfell and the Eyrie command, probably by why of negotiating a marriage or two.
However I don’t think this will ever happen, and I fully expect Littlefinger to die in episode 7. What our main takeaway from this season will be, in my opinion, is the strength of the reunited Stark children.
- Why didn’t Randyll & Dickon bend the knee?
Honestly, I think it’s the show just tying up loose ends by killing off redundant characters. They’ve served their purpose, which was to swing the Battle of Highgarden in the Lannister’s favor. A battle against all the united armies of the Reach would have resulted in massive casualties for the Lannisters. And as I’ve said before, what we’re seeing at the moment is the show moving quickly to get to the important stuff. Giving Jaime the armies of House Tarly was an easy way for them to isolate Olenna, get rid of her storyline, and move on with the gold. As we know, the gold did in fact reach Kings Landing, so House Tarly have fulfilled their role in the plot. What little remained of their army has now bent the knee to Daenerys. It does seem silly to throw one’s life away for Cersei after just joining her side, but I think the show can justify it on the grounds that Randyll has a strong sense of pride and dignity, and liked the idea of not submitting. Sorry if that sounded like admiration, because it wasn’t- he’s a fucking asshole and I enjoyed seeing him charred. Hopefully now Sam will be made lord of House Tarly. I don’t necessarily think this will happen, but the rules of legitimacy and all that have been proven flexible before, so it ain’t impossible.
- Is Cersei really pregnant?
A good number of fans think that she is lying in order to keep Jaime in Kings Landing and presumably not lose faith. I think she’s telling the truth, but I don’t think that baby will ever be born. I’m backing Jaime to finish her off at some point in season 8 and add “Queenslayer” to his list of monikers.
- Why did Davos recruit Gendry?
It did seem a little contrived, especially with how easily Gendry was prepared to leave with him. I think the show just about gets away with it and I accept it because of what I mentioned above about the need to move things along quickly. I think Davos went and got him because he’s a helluva smith and they could use him up north to craft weapons of Dragonglass. I can’t help but feel the real reason he is back is the show’s way of telling us that they haven’t just forgotten about him. I don’t think he is going to serve any great purpose, and I do have a feeling he is going to die next episode. However I would love to see him reunited with Arya at Winterfell. Sadly, this isn’t a Shakespearean Rom-Com where everyone gets married off at the end. My money is on an ending more akin to Hamlet than Much Ado About Nothing.
- Who will die in the next episode?
I love this whole Golden State Warriors/Avengers style super team they’ve got set up for next episode. Episode six is confirmed to be 70 minutes in length and I’m sure as hell hyped up for it. I think it will predominantly feature the expedition north of the wall of this fellowship of GoT heavyweights. The reason for their going north doesn’t make sense in my opinion, but I’m willing to overlook it just because the chance to see all these characters together is too good to resist. I absolutely would not be surprised if everyone dies except for Jon Snow. As much as I love Jorah, I think he is certain to perish. I hope I’m wrong, but the way his farewell with Dany went, I think the end is nigh for him. Beric and Thoros will definitely die, that I’m sure of. What I can’t seem to make my mind up on is whether the Hound will join them or if Beric will transfer his ability to him before he eats it. I really don’t want to see Tormund die. He’s a great character and I’m rooting for his romance with Brienne more than any other potential coupling in the show. Sadly, I don’t think it will happen.
- Why is Sam’s storyline so important?
Sam might just be the narrator for The Song of Ice & Fire. Every time we see him this season he has unearthed some crucial piece of information. I’m not really sure where he is headed at this stage, and given how fast everyone is traveling, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up at Winterfell by the end of the season. The latest revelation from his thread was Gilly’s casual reference to annulment, and how Prince Rhaegar once got a marriage annulled so that he could remarry straight away. This is basically confirmation that Jon Snow is not a bastard, that his rightful name is Jon Targaryan, and that technically he has a greater claim to the throne than his (screaming hot) aunt. I do think they will reveal his heritage at some point, and that they didn’t just slip this in for no reason. I expect the revelation to come either in the last episode of this season or early next season. A lot of fans seem convinced that we will see Jon ride a dragon at some point, and I’m starting to agree. There are just too many nods toward his true ancestry this season, and I think one dragon will get killed and that the other two will be ridden by Jon and Dany.
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