SPOILERS. I have no words at how much effort writing this took – covering three countries: source, stop over, destination. I call this utmost commitment. Or insanity. So help me God.
And here we go. Winter is a breath away.
 King’s Landing
That first few minutes of the episode, that slow dramatic build-up towards the trial will sweep Emmy awards for GOT. And goodness did Cersei deliver a big wildfire blow. I expected that she will erase the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant with the wildfire attack, but I am impressed how she essentially eliminated everyone who has wronged her. The Tyrells (I grieve for Margaery in particular, because I adore Natalie Dormer); Ms. Confess-Shame; Pycell.
And the sheer cold fear she now controls in all of King’s Landing. Be loved or be feared? Cersei’s choice is clear. Choose violence.
What frustrates me is that the timing of Jaime’s arrival took out the opportunity for him to kill Cersei. The prophecy on Cersei’s life says that she will have three children versus the twenty of her husband (LOL where Gendry at), that all her children will die before her (RIP Tommen), and that “Little Brother” will kill her. She always assumed that was Tyrion, but I join the fandom in saying that would be/should be Jaime; since as I said in a previous post, Jaime killing Cersei will redeem his character.
But again, however, Cersei’s sitting on the Iron Throne, and Jaime’s obviously pissed. I am curious if this is a way for the series to reconcile with the books, because in the novels so far, Cersei is begging for Jaime to represent her in her trial by combat, but Jaime is just nonchalant about the request. So will Jaime leave Cersei? Unlikely at this point. Given he knows how crazy Cersei can be, the most rational choice is to stay with her, guard her. Or maybe, guard the realm against her.
I am not ecstatic about Cersei’s storyline from hereon, because the only possible plot for her is to be defeated. Through various possibilities:
- Dany sacks King’s Landing. We’ll get to Dany in a bit.
- Martell+Dorne’s women poisoning Cersei or crushing her head. Because Oberyn.
- Arya getting to Cersei first. (I am not even writing a separate section for Arya in this post. Because, meh, so predictable. And her story for the next season will be just as predictable. Take out the names in her list one by one. Including Cersei, if Arya gets to King’s Landing first. But will Arya do this? Would she not go to Winterfell? Will she be No One-Stark and just assassinate everyone without even reuniting with her family? At this point, it’s of little consequence to me. Arya’s been boring me for seasons anyway.)
- Heaven forbid that Jon fails to stop Night’s King and the big winter gets to King’s Landing.
I do not see how things can be better for Cersei. And I blame the series’ pace (and GRRM’s writing pace boooooo). Because the series is dying to finish itself, given it has overtaken the books, we lose any chance of spending more time with Cersei and humanize her take on things from hereon. In previous seasons, and even up to this episode, it has been easy to go #TeamCersei because her point of view is explicitly and elegantly dealt with. I do not think they will spend more time on the likes of the scene between Cersei and Tyrion (the love-hate-but-complete-trust relationship). Or the times Cersei would monologue while being drunk. Those moments were key character development moments. I believe Cersei’s scene with Ms. Confess-Shame is one of the last times we will hear her explain her side of narrative.
P.S. WILD. FIRE. BOOM. Loved that. Plus points for Bran’s visions coming true.
P.P.S. Is nobody going to pick up the issue of children murderers in this episode??? Dude. That was not cool. GOT burned a child (Shireen). GOT killed an unborn baby (Red Wedding). GOT killed many children (the purge of Robert’s bastards). But turning them into murderers of Pycell? Was that even necessary? Was Pycell ever cruel or unjust to children to deserve that? I did not like that. Not cool.
The moment my heart skipped with not because the R+L=J theory was finally confirmed, nor that Jon Snow was declared King in the North. My heart jumped when the GOT theme (the one that plays in the opening sequence) PLAYED AS JON’S THEME during his proclamation. If that is not a sign of him being Azor Ahai, I do not know what else can be. (On this, can someone with music editing talents overlay Dany’s theme “mhyssa” with Jon’s theme – the version that played in this episode? I don’t know; perhaps there is a musical score cheat that will give us an idea what is to come.)
Anyway, there are two significant elements to the North storyline for me so far:
(a) Littlefinger and Sansa
In my previous blog post (and in the comments in my Facebook link), I said I could not see any further storyline for Sansa after her redemption from Ramsey. But now I do, reinforcing my wish from my previous blog. I said, Sansa should be the sacrificial blood that makes Lightbringer possible. And my wish is that things turn out this way:
- Littlefinger manipulates Sansa to question Jon’s legitimacy as king. (Actually, Jon’s proclamation has legal basis, because he didn’t seek claim to the House of Stark; Sansa is STILL Lady of Winterfell. However, just like how Robb Stark became king, Jon was proclaimed by acclamation of the noble houses of the North. So that is legit; even Popes can be declared that way #AngelsAndDemons. However, I am sure Littlefinger will have some way to manipulate Sansa.)
- Sansa makes a mistake. She commits some kind of treason. She is exposed. She is found guilty.
- In the North, he who passes judgment swings the sword. That is the tradition of justice. So when Sansa is found guilty, Jon would have to use his Valyrian steel to behead her, thus giving birth to Azor Ahai’s Lightbringer, making part of the prophecy come true.
Again, all this is wishful thinking. Because I do not hide my non-love of Sansa.
(b) Jon as Targaryen
My reaction to the entire Tower of Joy sequence was: F***ING FINALLY. After spending six years of joining and following sites of a community of #Believers, when the confirmation came, I was, “CHECK!” Then my heart just moved on.
Because when R+L=J was confirmed, the first thing to my mind was, WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION OF THIS THEN? Remember that the truth about Jon’s parents is SIGNIFICANT ONLY TO (A) MAKE THE POINT THAT HE HAS A LEGITIMATE CLAIM TO THE IRON THRONE; AND (B) BE THE ICE+FIRE (The Prince that was Promised). Now that we confirmed he is Targaryen and has claim to the throne as Dany (even more than Dany’s if ever), HOW DOES HE PROVE IT? Bran’s vision is not something he can write for a raven to Jon. And Bran has no credibility to testify because of his affiliation to Jon. This is where it gets exciting to my mind:
THE ONLY WAY JON PROVES HIS TARGARYEN BLOOD IS IF HE GETS TO BE A DRAGON RIDER. That means he meets Dany, maybe get some incestuous thing going on consistent with Targaryen tradition (because even Dany is open with alliances by marriage, and who is the only eligible king right now, huh?), and then perhaps, in the middle of the war with the Night’s King, or a little before that, Jon gets to ride one of the dragons. Preferably Rhaegal, the dragon named after Rhaegar Targaryen, because #Daddy. If that happens, I think I would have a heart attack out of sheer joy. The possibility of this happening is not farfetched anyway.
P.S. Lyanna Mormont is the best. You know how she basically smashed every Lord’s pride with “You did not answer to the call, *DAMN YOU BUT I DID*”. If Jon+Dany isn’t happening, my alternate vote is for Jon to take Lyanna Mormont as his bride. Marrying a “Lyanna” would be fitting. He is no Crow no more anyway.
P.P.S. I need more time to discern how Melisandre’s banishment from the North has anything to do with the succeeding storyline. UNLESS, at this point, would she be the one to meet Dany at the gates of Westeros? Is her purpose in this universe is to be the discoverer of the Azor Ahai? Because in fact, the three-headed Targaryen dragon theory has not been played up enough in the TV series (compared to how many crumbs are scattered in the books to feed the thesis). Maybe Mel’s purpose is to put together the three-headed dragon theory. I am not too sold on this possibility for now. Think on this, I will. (Oops wrong universe reference.)
 Meereen, plus plus
The most moving scene for me is Tyrion explaining how Dany made him believe, and Dany’s appointment of Tyrion as Hand of the Queen. When she took out a pin, part of me was screaming “please be the Targaryen sigil, please be the Targaryen sigil”. But no. *tears* So I leave it at that. Tyrion is officially Dany’s hand. But my hope is still that their relationship will go far beyond than that. #Family #Believe
Aside from that, there is nothing much to pick up from the storyline. So Dany dumped Daario; goodbye boy toy. So she is going full throttle to Westeros. The end scene of the hundred ships is ripped from the image in Troy the Brad Pitt film, only with dragons. The impact of the entire scene was thanks to the musical score.
What I would like to take up at this point is that, in the end, this is all about Littlefinger versus Varys. Littlefinger is out to get the Iron Throne for himself. I will bet little to zero on that. Because Varys… Oh his story goes a loooong way back. Remember that Varys is the one who allowed Viserys and Dany to escape from the sack of King’s Landing during Robert’s Rebellion. Varys has always been a Targaryen supporter. Which is why, when needed to build alliances for Dany, where did he go? To the natural ally of the Targaryens – the women of Dorne (I linked the back story of this from the previous blog. Here again.) It’s just a bonus that the Sand Snakes have now Olenna Tyrell as an additional back-up, because, well, Cersei. So Varys is successfully creating his supporters for Dany. That is significant in the big game.
P.S. HOW IN THE WORLD DID VARYS GET FROM DORNE BACK TO MEEREEN THAT QUICKLY? Got picked up by one of the dragons? Wow. I will replace my Uber with anything of that speed.
So we say goodbye to the last episode 10 ever. Because as per announcement of the producers, the last two seasons will be six or seven episodes each only. Well that sucks. But to everything there is a season. And this season’s joy just ended.
Season 6 has been outright generous with reveals. What we gained from the season are significant answers from what fans have gone insane about for years. But again, at the expense of character deepening. We have less quality time with characters, because the point of the series now is to give the basic narrative of how GRRM envisions his masterplan. I do not see that changing for the next seasons. They will be event-driven, but not so much character development-driven. I do have reservations about that, but I’ll take what will be given, because it’s GOT.
For now, I send my symbolic hugs to everyone (me included) who will suffer in various levels over the next 10 months before GOT returns for the next season. *BIG TIGHT GROUP HUG*