Winter is here. (Spoiler alert!)

Officially one of the best episodes of Season 6, The Winds of Winter (“WOW“), attempts to neatly but unsurprisingly tie the last few loose strands of GOT as we have know it for the past five seasons. Although we, as book readers, have been in unchartered territory for most of Season 6, we are now at a stage where our knowledge of the books will no longer serve us in our perpetual quest to appear superior and pompous of our awareness of the vast GOT universe. However, we are not complaining as this season has surpassed our expectations of the depiction of our imagination of the GOT universe in the books, yet, it has also lessened the surprise/ wow factor. WOW while flawlessly executed followed a pattern of predictability ticking off each box of suspected fan theories. So yes, Jon Snow is Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s son, Cersei Lannister did use the wildfire (what an exquisite scene!) and Danerys Targaryen finally is on her way to Westeros. However, the little snippets of surprise by the writers such as emasculating plots related to crucial and interesting characters in the lead up to the final two seasons or the forecasted  12-15 episodes of GOT pale the otherwise sublime heights of WOW.

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For starters, why kill Margaery Tyrell? One of the most cunning players with a game clearly up her sleeve, she was extinguished in the wildfire set ablaze by Cersei and Qyburn. In a clear sign of Cersei’s utter and blatant lack of emotional quotient and highlighting her ruthless visage to usurp the Iron Throne by any means, the Sept of Baelor collapses in a heap of rubble but not before taking Tommen Baratheon with it who jumps to his death upon seeing the sheer depravity with which Cersei had used the wildfire. To be fair, Cersei had probably made her peace with the fact that she would one day lose all her children (Maggy the Frog’s prediction) and since Joffrey Baratheon’s death had resigned to the fact that she would lose Myrcella Baratheon and Tommen Baratheon. Her unflinching acceptance of Tommen’s death, her stately walk to the Iron Throne and her muted interaction with her brother Jaime Lannister while at the throne proved that this woman would stop at nothing to seek vengeance for herself – her Walk of Shame, the sufferings she had faced after marrying Robert Baratheon who had never loved her and a father (Tywin Lannister) who had never believed her enough for her to ascend to the throne. Talk about self-destrucionist tendencies. While it appeared to the viewers a a Pyrrhic victory, to Cersei, it was the moment she had been waiting for and which Lena Headey exemplified through her superior acting and complete nonchalance of the many deaths surrounding her at King’s Landing.

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The other character which shocks you with her sociopathic tendencies is Daenereys Targaryen. I have always had a gripe against the HBO portrayal of Daenerys as it is in contradistinction to her otherwise boring and inferior presentation in the books. My least favourite character, I don’t understand what is the ho0-hah about a weak, selfish and ignorant woman who gets plain lucky by: (i) marrying the greatest Khal – Khal Drogo who for a Dothraki treats her so damn well; (ii) birthing dragons who just happen to hatch; (iii) screwing around with sorcery which works adversely against her enemies; (iv) having the right kind of support around her to cater to her many needs – “Oh, I want to abolish this century old practice of slavery.” “Oh, I need to fulfil my sexual desires.” “Oh, the Sons of the Harpy are behind my life!” – Body Count = Millions; and (v) having people humour her unfounded belief in her entitlement to the Iron Throne by blood and not by any other virtue. To further support my above arguments, take this – she feels nothing when leaving behind one of the few men who love her and she doesn’t think twice about Meereen and her children (so much for Mhysa!). Dany couldn’t even bother to think twice about the wave of death and destruction her dragons will wield upon Westeros because who cares about normal people?! I think Westeros is China or India because apparently there are too many in its population for the GOT to be parcelled along the many houses which are constantly fighting over it and to add to that we have the Mad King’s (Aerys II Targaryen) psychotic daughter – Daenerys and her dragons! Consider this, the North with its winter killed Stannis Baratheon and his men, Jon Snow (scratch that, Sansa Stark) with her meagre army killed Ramsay Bolton and Co, the Wall has too few men (Jon just hanged five of them), Wildlings (sorry guys) don’t count as part of Westeros (oh wait, I think they just made up for the population decline owing to the several deaths), Riverrun and Riverlands is teaming with people due to Walder Frey’s insatiable appetite to procreate but now that he has popped we can expect another steady decline as his successors weren’t exactly bright, King’s Landing has barely enough to count as a populace what with Cersei killing few more in the wildfire and the other places…are not exactly relevant. The Vale and a few others have just enough to die in the subsequent seasons of GOT. My point being with the population in Westeros being at an all-time low and with the onset of winter, I doubt if anybody at the Iron Throne would actually have anyone to rule over which brings me to an important aspect of GOT – the war over the Iron Throne versus the war against the Night King and his army of wights and the Others. It would be interesting to see how the writers manipulate the characters in the competing but parallel story lines. It would be plain disappointing if this turns into a Hum Saath Saath Hain with Westeros uniting and combating the Night King. I can’t imagine a scenario where Cersei and Daenerys are best friends. Both don’t deserve BFFs.

On to Westeros!

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Welcome, Daenerys, to the great game!

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We had just recovered from a FemiNazi episode 9 – ‘The Battle of Bastards‘ but to then have cries of the “King of the North” in WOW for the utterly useless and dull Jon Snow was a kick in the face. It should have ideally been Sansa Stark as the Queen of the North (Littlefinger vociferously nods with me) for obvious reasons: She deserves it. I believe that Targaryens are just plain lucky, like our Dany (see paragraph above) and Jon Snow who reincarnates from the dead. The only difference between the two is the addition of Stark blood which makes Jon saner, more honourable but also dull. I give credence to Jon in attempting to fight the Others but otherwise the man does not belong in the show. He should have been replaced by Lady Lyanna Mormont – the most positive and pathbreaking female character in GOT yet. Her quick wit, supreme confidence and superior negotiation skills at such a young age make her the most impressive GOT character. Lady Mormont for President and every other important post in the world! Move over, Cersei and Dany. GOT currently is exuding strong female energy and it would have furthered this feminist plot to make Sansa the Queen in the North to take on Cersei at King’s Landing. However, it increasingly appears that Jon intends to lead the Northerners to the Wall to fight the Night King leaving his politically astute sister – Sansa to fortify their position internally in Westeros. Just go back to the Wall, Jon. Die, maybe?

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Dorne and the Iron Islands continue in their coy and cozy role as the step children of GOT who support their more important elder siblings in the fight for the Iron Throne. Highgarden too has now been relegated to that inferior position with Oleanna Tyrell (another brilliant characterisation by the writers!) attempting to align with Dorne and Daenerys to rebuff Cersei. “No more reaving, roving, raiding, and raping” for the Iron Islanders as Asha Greyjoy (Yara for the TV show viewers) commits to Daenerys to avoid getting killed by Euron Greyjoy and to establish a new world order in which it is perfectly reasonable to unleash dragon fire on innocents to claim the Iron Throne (Is my inherent prejudice against Daenerys obvious?). Wonder what the Drowned God would say to that!

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Nobody cares about Samwell Tarly and his Oldtown adventure but since he is now in possession of Heartsbane (Valyrian steel) it is evident that he will be sticking it out till the end in the war against the Night King. Oh also, there might be some correlation to the chandelier in the Oldtown library with the opening credits…yawn. Sorcery, anyone? Or time-travel like Varys rushing from Dorne to Meereen to set sail to Westeros in front row seats in Daenerys versus Cersei.

Sadly, Melisandre is sent away to the south but I doubt if this is the last we will see of her in GOT unless she is wiped out by the writers as another liability of the unending GOT universe. Ser Davos Seaworth needs to stop being an emotional mess over Stannis Baratheon and Shireen but here’s another character the writers need to polish off in the next season. Wasn’t he supposed to be locked up and then released by the Manderlys as per the books? Why is he even alive? I would trade a Ser Davos for Aegon Targaryen – son of Rhaegar Targaryen whom the TV show has completely given a miss. Here I thought it would be a return of the Targaryens with Jon, Daenerys and Aegon (full circle?).

Shame. Shame. Shame. Where is Aegon?!

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Final thoughts:

  1. Is the Night King “chilling”? (Pun intended!)
  2. Isn’t Meera bored of Bran?
  3. Gendry is still rowing to God-knows-where (hell, he doesn’t even know to row – another convenient clean-up/ casualty?). In the broader picture of things, does a Robert Baratheon survivor matter considering Daenerys and her dragons? Although, technically, Gendry is the rightful successor to the Iron Throne.
  4. Welcome back, Arya Stark aka The Faceless Assassin. Stark family reunion, bitches!
  5. Award for the creepiest characters till date – the Little Birds who drove knifes into the Grand Maester Pycelle and into Lancel.
  6. Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne – yawn.
  7. Beric Dondarrion, Stoneheart and The Hound – Let’s kill all the Freys and then some wights.
  8. RIP Hodor – the most touching episode of Season 6 ‘The Door‘.
  9. RIP Wun Wun. How will we break the sieges now?
  10. How is the population of Westeros going to grow?

Till next time, folks!

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