Monday 14 October, 2019

Game of Thrones in Review, Trini-style: Episode 6

With Gerard Llanos




Our watch has ended.

After nearly 10 years and 73 episodes, it’s over! Just like Dany’s sanity, all good things must come to an end. The final season was universally panned as a disappointment but many critics, myself included, give the series finale masterpiece status. Whatever its story flaws, it was a visual, musical and theatrical masterpiece.

If anyone was paying attention over the years they would have realised that Dany was never quite playing with a full stack. But we gave her a pass because she was anti-slavery and had nice boobs. At the beginning of the finale, we have a number of people coming to terms with her war atrocity in different ways.

As Jon, Tyrion and Ser Davos walk through the carnage, they encounter Grey Worm about to execute Cersei’s former soldiers, who have surrendered and are chained and kneeling. Jon jumps in the middle to try to save the soldiers. “How much more defeated do you need them to be?” Grey Worm is not in a forgiving mood and definitely isn’t going to disobey Dany.  Jon has no choice but to leave it alone (or war a squad of The Unsullied).

In an absolutely genius performance, Tyrion searches for his brother among the ruins. He comes across Jaime’s hand sticking out of the rubble. He bitterly unearths Jamie and his sister brick by brick delivering a jaw-dropping dialogue-less story of love, grief and forgiveness for his siblings. A brilliant scene!

In one of the best shot scenes of any show in recent memory, Dany stands atop the stairs of the palace flanked by Drogon. The sky is dark with the ashes of the people of Westeros drifting to the ground like snowflakes. The wild Dothraki cavorting behind a legion of disciplined deadly unsullied.

She thanks her soldier for helping her “free the world” from “tyrants” and asks them to support her in doing more “freeing” in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms with a special shout out to Winterfell. Jon and Tyrion listen in muted horror.

The Queen turns her attention to Tyrion, who is clearly not getting a Christmas bonus this year. “You freed your brother. You committed treason," she charges.

He reminds her that she just “slaughtered a city” and throws his Hand badge away in the presence of the entire army.  Needless to say Tyrion immediately gets thrown in jail. I was honestly surprised she didn’t call Drogon over immediately.

Arya appears out of nowhere to have a chat with her brother. Arya tells Jon “Your queen” playing up in she--”

“She’s everyone’s queen now,” he glumly responds. “Try telling that to Sansa,” Arya says.

The writing is on the wall for the Starks.

“Did you bring any wine?” A very Tyrion question to ask. Jon visits the former hand of “everyone’s queen”.

Again, a pivotal performance by the imp. Jon can’t help but be doltish over Dany. Even as Tyrion gently makes the case that Dany is mad and is already a worse monster than all of the tyrants of the Seven Kingdoms combined, Jon still defends her. Tyrion plants the idea in Jon’s head without ever actually saying the words.

Dany is finally face to face with the Iron Throne. The mission of her life. It’s about the only thing left standing in a room with its ceiling blown off but its there waiting for her to sit on.

Jon strides into the hall to talk with his lover for the first time since the carnage of “The Bells”. She starts up with some small talk because she seems genuinely happy to see him. Jon cuts right to the chase. “Have you been down there? Have you seen them? Little children, burned?”

In true pathological narcissist mad gyal fashion, Dany tries to blame Cersei for her atrocities.

Jon then tries to get Dany to drop the beef with Tyrion. But she is hell-bent on grilled dwarf. There goes that stupid look on his face again. Just when we thought all was lost, when Dany moves in for the babes-leh-we-forget-that-nah kiss, but not before Jon plunges a knife into her chest.

The crowd goes wild!!!

The Emmy for best performance by a CGI Dragon goes to Drogon, hands down. In a truly mesmerising sequence Dany’s dragon mournfully tries to wake up the dead queen, this turns to palpable rage and grief. Jon has to be toast. In a surprise move, instead of attacking Jon, Drogon melts the iron throne to slag.  As Drogon gently lifts his mother in his claws and flies off into the distance you can literally feel his grief. You cannot help but wonder what he would say if he could talk.  

Skip forward several weeks. Jon has been arrested for Dany’s murder and Tyrion is still locked away.  Grey Worm escorts Tyrion to a gathering of the lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms. Grey Worm is out for blood. So is Yara Greyjoy.

Ser Davos tries to keep the peace and offers Grey Worm The Reach for him and The Unsullied to settle in. Grey Worm just wants Jon’s head. There’s also the small matter of what’s going to happen to Tyrion, who is technically still a prisoner on remand.

Tyrion displays his impressive ability to turn a hopeless situation in his favour. He manages on the point of a knife to convince Grey Worm that the choice to kill Jon Snow can only be made by a King or Queen.  “We don’t have a king or queen,” Grey Worm points out. “You’re the most powerful people in Westeros — choose one,” Tyrion replies to the lords and ladies. #elections

Edmure Tully believes that now’s the time to go all Silver Fox on us and he isn’t anywhere as good as the Bas. Sansa mercifully cuts the boring speech short.  Sam suggests one man one vote. They quickly laughed that down. What’s next, a minimum wage?

Somehow, Tyrion despite being in chains and having a not so great track record is asked to make a suggestion. Short man very eloquently nominates Bran. “I know you don’t want it. I know you don’t care about power. But I ask you now if we choose you, will you wear the crown? Will you lead the Seven Kingdoms to the best of your ability from this day to the last day?” Tyrion asks him.

“Why do you think I came all this way?” Bran is one sneaky differently- abled person.

Everyone supports Bran for Prime Minister and just like that his wheelchair turns into the seat of power for the Six Kingdoms and the independent state of The North. Long live Bran the Broken. Grey Worm is not happy with the turn of events and is especially pissed when the newly minted King hires Tyrion as Hand of the King. The sewers never worked better.

But what of the imprisoned Jon Snow?

In an incredible twist of irony, Jon Snow is sentenced to the Black for his murder of Dany. His watch is just beginning. Of course it trumps being beheaded or the new kingdom signing war with Dany’s nutless super soldiers.

Down at the dock, it’s time for everyone to go their separate ways.  The Unsullied tool up and head to sea. Grey Worm chooses Nath as the destination for his fleet. No doubt in honour of his fallen love.

The Starks also meet on the dock for their final family meeting. Jon is about to head back to Castle Black for a life time of no sex, cold weather and post office. Sansa is off to assume her role as Queen in the North. Arya is off to explore what is West of Westeros and Bran off to be the Broken King. It is an emotional farewell.

Inside the Red Keep, Brienne emotionally writes in the Song of Fire and Ice. She searches for Jaime’s name and finishes his story. In spite of the fact that he broke her heart, she makes sure that the noble deeds of the Kingslayer are not forgotten.

Back inside the Red Keep, Tyrion nervously prepares for his first small council meeting as Hand of Bran the Broken. With some satisfaction, we see that Sam is now the Chief Maesta and everyone’s favourite sellsword, Bronn is now the owner of High Garden and Master of Coin. Clean water? Low priority! Brothels? Top priority! Remind you of anything?

Despite the many complaints about the final season Game of Thrones has been an incredible ride. One that was packed with incredible action, real-life drama, gratuitous sex and uncommon wisdom into the past eight years. For those who haven’t watched it, don’t be dissuaded by the criticisms of the final season. It was a brilliant and enriching drama with lessons that can be brought into real life.

May we all win in our individual game of thrones. 

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