I’m English, I have Monday off work, so I’m staying up for the final episode. Now, about King’s Landing…
SPOILER ALERT: CONTAINS GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Every now and then, I write a personal blog as opposed to the daily articles I write in my career. As I walked past my new hip flask an hour ago (pictured), I was reminded that we’re about to witness the conclusion to one of the greatest stories ever told, and with that in mind, here’s a quick scribble about the show.
I love to analyse other stories as a writer, and Game of Thrones has been fantastic to watch unfold, and I have all the books. Perhaps an unpopular opinion here, but the penultimate episode of the final season that has drawn criticism far and wide is exactly what we needed to see in my view. From a writer’s perspective, the tyrannical destruction of Kings Landing, and the assumed deaths of thousands of ‘innocent’ people, was precisely in keeping with the show’s design.
And we shouldn’t have been surprised to have seen it either.
WHEN DEATH WON’T SHOCK YOU, WHAT NEXT?
Don’t get me wrong, it was painful to watch as a fan. But as a writer, it made perfect sense.
One of the things that’s kept Game of Thrones fans on their feet and so ingrained in the story is the killing of popular characters and heroes. The Red Wedding was the ultimate example of it. So, in the final season of a story with the motto “all men must die”, there’s little shock and awe when the characters we love are taken from us. It’s the final season, and we know that so many of them won’t survive. We no longer mourn their deaths and miss their presence in the episodes to come, because there’s no more of the story to unfurl.
Take the hound, for example. He’s been one of my favourites from the beginning, and I’ve wanted him to survive. But ‘Cleganebowl’ was a battle I’ve been waiting for since the start as well, and with his life extinguished with just one episode to go, there’s no mourning his death. Had he have died after the battle with Brienne, I’d have been gutted! But dying in the second-to-last episode in a show? Who cares anymore? It was the perfect end for him.
When death no longer has the element of shock, you damage what we love instead. The only way to hurt us was to twist the light of Daenerys into the darkness of tyrannical destruction. How else would Game of Thrones keep up appearances as the story that takes its audience by storm?
We had to be shocked. They clearly delivered. Even the simple deaths of Jamie and Cersei were a part of it.
SHE HAD IT IN HER
Shock element aside, it’s not like the Mother of Dragons didn’t have it in her anyway. Just look at her story and what she’s been through, and look at the dragons she wields. They’re not cute like Toothless. They look like they were made of pure evil: sharp-toothed, menacing eyes and spiked all over.
That’s no mere child. That’s a killing machine right there.
Backed into a corner with her claim to the throne under threat, she could only have followed suit and fallen foul of the famous ‘Targaryen madness’ that’s borne from questionable breeding and a touch of the megalomaniac.
WHO WILL CLAIM THE THRONE?
Personally, I fancy something outlandish and unthinkable. Jon or Daenerys ending up on the throne is too easy, and I expect both to die; perhaps Daenerys can kill Jon as he tries to do the right thing and avenge the destruction of King’s Landing. Maybe Arya will then finally kill the Queen (just not the one we assumed she would) and take revenge for her fallen cousin.
That leaves Gendry, who has so weirdly survived, and was randomly made a Lord after the battle of Winterfell (deservedly so, I might add).
Perhaps he’ll die too. I tipped Arya to kill the Night King (albeit based on a slightly incorrect assumption), and I think she could be more than just a king slayer. Perhaps she’ll be a king bearer as well after that pre-battle night of passion.
With minutes to go, I’m so ready to find out how this all ends!
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