Game of Thrones: The fINALE Season So Far
Winter came for the final time on 14th April 2019 and admittedly, it’s been an action-packed season thus far with a lot of mixed reviews about how it’s progressing.
Cast your mind back to season 7 where it ended with the Night King’s army growing from strength to strength after the initiation of Daeneyrs’ dragon, Viserion, into the Army of the Dead. Remember that? Now cast your mind back even further to the very first episode of Game of Thrones when Ned Stark warned us over and over that “Winter is coming”. I think it’s safe to say that for viewers (and characters), Winter has been alluded to as the most abstract and dangerous villain of all. Who is Winter? What is Winter? What will happen when Winter finally comes?
In Season 8 Episode 3: ‘The Long Night’, Winter arrived at Winterfell and the long-awaited battle between the Army of the Living and the Army of the Dead commenced. We saw the screaming Dothraki men, all 13 of Lyanna Mormont’s house, the remaining men of the Knight’s Watch, the Unsullied, helpless Sam Tarly, one-handed Jaime, our good sis Brienne of Tarth and gangster Arya Stark fight tirelessly on our screens for over an hour. A lot of viewers, myself included, were shocked and amazed by the action, graphics, suspense and deaths packed into one episode. However, some viewers were left feeling a bit underwhelmed by the fact that Winter came and went in one episode and I understand that.
A true GoT fan will know that it has been drilled into us that Winter is coming, so for it to end so suddenly can leave a lot of questions unanswered. Yes, we know that the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest to protect them against the First Men, but who was he before that? Was he a Stark? A Targaryen? A random man? What was his motive or agenda? Did he have one to begin with? A lot of questions here but after reflection, I’ve concluded that the Night King was just evil and evil does not always need a storyline, it is what it is. It’s hard for us to get our heads around this concept because the other characters we’ve seen display evil acts are charged with emotion; be it anger, jealously, hate or love but NK just wanted mass murder and didn’t care. RIP NK, the evil you have done in this world is enough. It just shows that the Battle of Winterfell wasn’t the most important, it has always been about the Game of Thrones!
Moving on to a character who I feel has been done a slight injustice, miss Brienne of Tarth. In my opinion, her character has been built up in such a heroic and admirable way, she defies the standards of beauty and mannerisms of women in society today, and to see her character sort of weaken at the hands of her lover was quite sad. I can’t lie, the Twitter memes were very funny, but I am disappointed in her character arc. Brienne was introduced to us as a strong and independent woman and has been that way throughout the series – and that is not to say that because she had sex with Jaime she is now weak – however I suppose it was uncomfortable to watch her become vulnerable (which I think took a lot of bravery on her part) and have it thrown in her face and her heart broken. Maybe I would have liked to see her show some more restraint and less naivety regarding Jaime but unfortunately, the streets of Winterfell are mean and cold hence why she chased him in her night gown. Ouch.
Finally, let’s discuss the destruction at King’s Landing in Season 8 Episode 5: ‘The Bell’. Brief summary: Dany went on a murder spree, Cersei actually cried, The Mountain is UGLY and should’ve kept the helmet on, Jaime is a fool in love (nothing new there), Qyburn had the funniest death after Oberyn and Varys is most definitely screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!” from beyond the grave. Before I get into this, I just want to say that I really enjoyed this episode, although at times it felt a teeny-weeny bit rushed, there was still a lot to take from it. Did anyone else expect to see Daenerys’ character do a complete 180°? At first, I was surprised to see such a sweet and lovable character transform into an i-don’t-give-a-f**k type of person but then after piecing together the intricate details of the series thus far, Dany’s character arc makes sense. The closer she gets to the Iron Throne and the more tangible it seems, the more erratic she begins to act. One could even argue that as she gets closer to becoming the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, she morphs into her father who was the Mad King. In previous seasons, we’ve seen our dear Dany make strategic, tactical decisions and has always remained calm. She gained the trust of thousands of people, built a grand army and raised 3 dragons but over time she started losing her assets and as a result, she became more power-hungry and desperate. I think Daenerys has been the biggest threat from the beginning, we just didn’t know it. Barbecuing the whole of King’s Landing was Dany obviously acting out frustration and anger. It could be anger directed at all the men in her life who she had listened to, anger at the betrayal of her trusted advisors, anger for the loss she had suffered and anger towards the Lannister’s. Which brings me to topic of Cersei.
Like every other GoT fan, I wanted to see Cersei die a slow and painful death. I thought Jaime was going to kill her. I saw a lot of people saying how they were irritated by the way Cersei died but again, I think it made sense. Yes, I wanted to see her suffer but I believe that Cersei watching her city crumble and her defences fail was torture enough. She honestly believed that she was invincible and her shock when she realised she was losing struck a sense of fear into her. When have we ever seen Cersei scared? She is only scared when she is powerless and that is how she suffers because as she famously corrected Littlefinger, “Power is power” and without it, she is weak.
My predictions for the finale: Jon will finally catch a break, Sansa will sit on the Iron Throne, Tyrion won’t die and Arya will kill Dany either as herself or using someone’s mask but who’s?
Written by Precious Sodimu (IG: @preciousxo__)