Some Quick Thoughts on the Game of Thrones Finale

game_of_thrones

Prepare yourself……spoilers are coming.

I posted on Facebook last night that the fastest ten weeks of the year are when Game of Thrones is on. The flip side of that is that the remaining forty two weeks feel even longer, especially when we’re left with all the questions that we have after the season five finale. In the words of the great philosopher Gwen Stefani, “that shit was bananas – b-a-n-a-n-a-s.”

**Seriously….spoilers are about to fly. Duck and take cover.**

Image via HBO/HuffPost

Image via HBO/HuffPost

Of course the big question that everyone has is whether Jon Snow is actually dead after his co-workers on the Night’s Watch got all stabby-stabby with him. I had some clue that this was coming because book readers cannot keep their damn mouths shut, but also because there were way too many lingering shots on Olly this season and his growing discontent with our man Jon Snow’s leadership. Olly was representative of the growing disgruntlement of the brothers in black who weren’t too thrilled with Jon opening up the Wall as sanctuary for the Wildlings and losing a bunch of their brothers in the process. Jon wasn’t elected Lord Commander by a landslide so his mandate to govern was on pretty shaky ground before he started making some pretty controversial decisions. But since we didn’t actually see Jon die, we’re left to ponder the following questions and issues until next season:

  • If Jon did die, are there ways to bring him back or have his spirit live on in another being? I don’t think it was a coincidence that Melisandre turns up at the Wall right before this goes down. Her track record is dubious (more on that later) but there’s really no other reason to have her in that location and she does have a fondness for Jon. So perhaps Kit Harrington won’t be on next season, but the spirit of Jon Snow will prevail in another form. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about option, but I guess it would depend on how it’s executed (no pun intended).
  • If Jon Snow is dead – completely 100% dead – why were we supposed to care who his mother is? If the online theories are true – and I am a believer – figuring out Jon’s true parentage will mean nothing if he’s no longer among the living. If this was all a red herring, I tip my cap to George R.R. Martin.
  • Where the hell was Ghost? Jon’s direwolf turned up in time to save Sam a few weeks ago, but he’s nowhere to be found when the Night’s Watch is turning Jon into a pin cushion. Curious.
  • Also MIA – the Wildings. Were they already gone? They wouldn’t necessarily be able to stop what happened to Jon, but I’d imagine after what happened at Hardhome they might have a little loyalty to him.
  • Did Jon tell anyone else about what went down at Hardhome, or just Sam? That seems like valuable information to have given to a person who is no longer at The Wall. And since when was opting out of the Night’s Watch so easy?
  • Speaking of which – what’s the status of Jon’s Valyrian steel sword? That’s kind of an important tool in the war against White Walkers.

Of course, Jon Snow’s potential murder wasn’t the only big thing that happened on last night’s finale. We also saw Cersei’s brutal “walk of shame” through the streets of King’s Landing. That’s another scene that I knew was coming and I wasn’t sure how much power it would have since Cersei has had something terrible coming to her for a while now. But even though she’s kind of the worst – which really makes her the best – that was a tough scene to watch. While some people will argue that it went on too long I think that it was necessary to make the viewer uncomfortable and feel some pity for Cersei. It was also necessary to show the process of her slowly becoming undone as the long walk continued. And hats off to the nun or whatever she was that was accompanying Cersei and yelling “Shame.” That lady did not miss a beat once even during all that insanity. She’s got some real musical timing. My only complaint…..

needs-more-cowbell

There’s no arguing that Cersei had a spectacularly bad day, but the fact that they were able to resurrect the Mountain a la Frankenstein has got to make her happy. If I was looking to avenge wrongdoings, I’d be pretty happy to have that killing machine in my corner. Of course, the question is what side effects there are of bringing him back – we don’t know how reliable he really is. Still – he cuts an impressive figure in the Kings Guard uniform. That alone might scare some people.

Since we’re apparently all about bringing people back from the dead now on Game of Thrones, would it be too much to hope for that somewhere in that herd of Dothraki that Jason Momoa is lurking, Khal Drogo resurrected. Probably, but a girl can dream.

Honestly, the smartest thing that they could have done in Meereen is leave Tyrion as the puppet leader. If anyone is going to deal with that quagmire, it’s him. And hooray that Varys is back. Took him long enough!

I really hope that we are done with Dorne; I had high hopes for that storyline but it just didn’t work. The Sand Snakes were kind of lame and Myrcella has been out of the story so long that I didn’t really care what happened to her other than how it impacts Jaime. That moment felt pretty forced and totally unearned, by the way. The Lannisters may have fallen the farthest this season, which is not a good look for them. And how did Myrcella and Tommen turn out to be such sweet kids when their older brother Joffrey was such a nightmare?

We didn’t actually see Brienne execute Stannis, but I’m assuming that he’s actually dead. Brienne needs a win and bringing justice to Renly’s murderer is not something that she’s likely to waiver on. I was with Stannis up until that unfortunate burning his daughter alive incident; he wasn’t flashy and could use some personality, but I thought he might make a halfway decent king. But I’ve got to draw a line somewhere and apparently setting your kid on fire is a hard no for me. I hope this isn’t the last that we’ll see of Davos. The Onion King is good people.

It’s really not a Game of Thrones season finale unless something awful happens to someone from House Stark and this finale really outdid itself. I really don’t 100% understand what’s going on with Arya’s storyline; Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless Men confuse me. Arya finally got one of her kills – which happened so abruptly that I thought it might have been a dream sequence – but her disobedience was rewarded with blindness. Not sure how useful a blind Arya will be to anyone or what her future now holds for her. Honestly, she was probably better off sticking with the Hound.

Sansa continued her streak of the worst luck ever by finally lightening a candle that Brienne didn’t see. But Theon finally snapped out of his Reek persona in time to save Sansa from mutilation at the hands of Ramsay’s Girl Friday Myranda. But of course since this is Sansa her good fortune doesn’t last for long and she and Theon are forced to jump over the ramparts of Winterfell into the snow below. We didn’t see what happened when they landed, so their fates are currently unknown. I’m guessing that there was enough snow to cushion the blow, but the bigger issue is how they are going to flee Ramsay, who isn’t going to be pleased that his wife and slave have left the building.

Most important question to me – where the hell is Littlefinger? I’m possibly the only person rooting for him to take it all. I even have the Littlefinger figure on my desk to prove it:

Littlefinger hanging out with Ron Burgundy. They'd make a formidable team.

Littlefinger hanging out with Ron Burgundy. They’d make a formidable team.

Game of Thrones is a lot of things, but it is rarely boring (other than Dorne). The sign of a great season finale is that I can’t stop pondering what all of this means and where the story is going. Now that the show has surpassed the storytelling of the books, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what happens next which is kind of exciting. Less exciting is the potential return of Bran Stark, though hopefully his ability to warg will finally pay some dividends. It’s nice that everyone will be on equal footing for a while, even if that footing is completely uncertain. At this point, the safest bet might be #teamWhiteWalker.

What did you think of the finale? What are your theories about what will happen next? Sound off in the comments below.

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