Warning: this post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones, so if you haven’t seen it beware. If you have seen it… OH MY GOD!!!! Right!?!
We have just survived one of the most highly anticipated weekends of the last few years; the release of Avengers: Endgame and the long awaited battle of the living against the death in Game of Thrones. And I have to say; Game of Thrones has absolutely wiped the floor with Endgame. This week’s episode is, without a doubt, one of my favourites of the whole show, packed full of suspense, action and the trademark GoT twists.
How Dark Is Too Dark?
There has been a lot of talk about this episode being too dark, but for me, this made it a very visceral episode and is actually one of the main elements that make this episode one of my favourites. Alongside the darkly lit scenes, we are given scenes that are confusing and erratic but again, this adds to the feeling of suspense that accompanies the whole viewing experience. Instead of seeing what is going on in the battle, we are forced to feel it, and that is pretty special.
The music in Game of Thrones has always been spot on but this week it really added to the suspense. The beginning of the episode was slow, thumping and methodical; it pumped you up ready for the start of the battle. The end of the episode, however, had beautiful, haunting music that filled you with dread, very reminiscent of the episode where Cersesi blew up the Sept of Baelor. And its slow build up, changed that feeling of dread into one of hope and ‘oh shit, somethings about to happen’.
Throughout the whole show ‘Kingslayer’ was a name that is used as an insult, a term of criticism and disgust. A name given by those who do not understand why Jaime did what he did, who do not understand that they may have all been killed if he hadn’t. Given the events of this episode, I would love for that name to be transferred from Jaime to Arya; and for it now to be seen as a name of honour and respect. Something to be proud of.
Sansa & Tyrion
I mentioned in an earlier review that I thought Sansa and Tyrion would’ve had a happy marriage and it seems now that they agree. However this newfound mutual respect and understanding may have catastrophic results for one or both of them, if Missandei informs Dany of Tyrion’s divided loyalties. I hope not though, I think that, perhaps more than anybody else, these two deserve a little happiness.
Amongst all the noise and chaos of the battle, and the declarations of mutual respect, there was something else underneath that really pulled at my heartstrings: Tyrion. For me, this episode really highlights Tyrion’s need to feel valued, appreciated and wanted. He talks about doing everything he can to avoid death but he is desperate to get out there into the battle and prove his worth, to show he can still out-think his opponents, that he is still valuable. And that is what makes the relationship between him and Sansa so sweet; she knows his value, as she says, “You were the best of them”.
Throughout this season so far there have been many instances of symbolism and coming full circle, not just for the characters but also the weapons too. Hear me out, because this is just shows the amount of thought that has gone into every aspect of the show so far.
Ice = Widow’s Wail / Oathkeeper – We all remember Ned Stark’s massive sword being melted down by Tywin Lannister and given to his son, Jaime and grandson, Joffrey. Now wielded by Jaime and Brienne respectively, these two swords were used to protect Winterfell and House Stark.
Heartsbane – Last week, Sam lent Ser Jorah the Tarly family sword, Heartsbane, for the upcoming battle. Ironically, this sword was predominantly used to protect Daenerys, who had burnt Sam’s father and brother alive with dragonfire, for not bending the knee.
Bran’s Dagger – Lastly, the valerian steel dagger that was used in the attempt to murder Bran, way back in season one, was Arya’s weapon of choice in defeating the Night King, subsequently saving Bran’s life, along with everyone else’s.
You Do Nothing, Jon Snow
We are so used to seeing Jon be the hero, but this week he struggled and it was actually quite refreshing to see some different players have their moment of glory. However, it appears that he may have a slightly bigger part to play than it first appears. I am talking in particular about the moment near the end with the dead dragon.
I assumed that his decision, to face the dragon head on, was born purely out of frustration, a sacrificial play to try and take out it out. However, I saw an article that shows this may have, instead, been an attempt to distract the dragon, leaving the entrance to the Godswood open for a certain assassin to slip in and take out the Night King. Don’t believe me? Check out it out here.
The Night King is dead but the fight for the Iron Throne still awaits and Dany’s power has taken a considerable hit. Obviously we now have another, more legitimate, heir to the throne; Tyrion’s loyalties may now be divided and her most trusted advisor and friend, Ser Jorah, is dead. The Dothraki have pretty much all been wiped out and the Unsullied have taken a huge knock in numbers. And finally, one of her remaining dragons looked like it was seriously injured in the battle. That is some serious damage to take in the space of a single night!
I am not Dany’s biggest fan but, I have to admit, that there was something quite satisfying about seeing her finally pick up a sword and get her hands a little dirty. I think she has finally realised that she cannot just depend on her dragons to earn and keep the Iron Throne. Whilst I feel that her actions this week will have earnt her some respect from the people of The North, they are a fickle lot and they will still want to keep the North for themselves. It will be interesting to see how this will play out in the final fight for the Iron Throne.
Remembering The Dead
There are always casualties in a battle, and this week was no exception. In order to give the fallen the credit they deserve, I will remember them in a separate post.
Seen it? What did you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.