In an odd way, “Game of Thrones” is a lot like the “Simpsons.” The show is filled with bumbling Homers, who are outmaneuvered and outfoxed by wily Marges.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrote the finale based on George R. R. Martin‘s novels; David Nutter directed.
The show, of course, is a fantasy, so the writers have lots of leeway to do whatever they want with their characters.
Still, viewers expect characters at the very least to act, if not totally rationally at least in their own self-interest. In the case of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), none of the above were present, which made his death totally stupefying.
For one, it was an act of treason by members of the Night’s Watch, who are held together by nothing if not loyalty and sense of duty. Would they really turn on Jon, their duly elected leader, so quickly in violation of their sacred oath?
Second, if they had it in for Jon, why would they allow him to bring the Wildings inside the wall? Better to leave them on the other side to fend for themselves against the White Walkers.
Now the Night’s Watch has a hostile force inside the wall that greatly outnumbers them. Once they learn that Jon is dead, the Wildings will realized they’ve been betrayed and will fight to the death against the Night’s Watch.
Jon was also really the only member of the Night’s Watch who understood the threat posed by the White Walkers.
Second-in-command Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), clearly signaled he wants to fight the old war against Wildings, instead of preparing for the new one against the White Walkers.
You could argue that there is some historical precedent with the murder of Caesar by his political enemies in ancient Rome. But the circumstances were totally reverse. The Senators feared a dictatorship; the Night’s Watch guaranteed one. Even so, Caesar’s death touched off a bloody civil war.
Jon’s death seems to have sealed the fate of the thinly manned Night’s Watch, either from within (Wildings) or without (the White Walkers).
What’s more, the Night’s Watch lost a key ally with the death of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). Now the Night’s Watch has another enemy, the Boltons. Will they seek revenge for the Watch’s support of Stannis?
If Season 6 doesn’t include destruction of the Night’s Watch, then the show is really off-base. “For the Watch,” should be its death knell.
While Stannis had it coming, it seemed a little too far fetched to have Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) suddenly show up to met out justice for Stannis’ murder of his brother Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony).
Brienne operates by a strict code of honor, so why would she simply murder him, while he lay wounded? There’s no honor in that.
If Baratheon was like most medieval kings he would have fled the battlefield to fight again another day, even as most of his army was slaughtered. He did just that at Blackwater Bay.
His death mostly mirrored Richard III’s of England, although Richard died in far more heroic circumstances, charging into Henry VII’s army to kill his rival for the throne.
The fact that Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) had the strength to challenge Stannis in the field suggests that most of Stannis’ horsemen defected to Bolton’s side following the gruesome death of daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram)and the suicide of wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald).
You may recall, their initial strategy was to hole up inside the castle to counter Stannis’ numerical superiority.
A defection makes some sense. At the battle that led to Richard III’s demise, the English King was also met by betrayal.
His ally, The Earl of Northumberland, refused to join the attack to support his flank. And another ally, Sir William Stanley switched sides in the middle of the fight to aid Henry.
Melisandre’s (Carice van Houten) assurance that Shireen’s death would guarantee a victory at Winterfell, led directly to Stannis’ blunder. Talk about a Homer.
Melisandre returned alone to Castle Black. If she’s not burned at the stake in Season 6, there really is no justice.
At Winterfell, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) quickly learned how to play the game. She knows she has powerful allies in the North, if she can get away from Ramsay. She makes her move following the battle.
She wins the loyalty of tormented Theon Greyjoy, aka, Reek, (Alfie Allen), who saves her from Ramsay’s murderous lover, Miranda. They jump off the castle wall, presumably into a snowbank, which allows their escape.
She’s now in a position, with the aide of Brienne of Tarth and Davos, to raise an army to retake Winterfell, dispatch the Boltons and reestablish Stark control of the North, if not contend for the Iron Throne herself.
Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), is also a strong woman, but once again, acts in a way that defies logic and self-interest.
By killing Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) with a poison kiss, Ellaria struck out against the Lanisters and Doran (Alexander Siddig). It should guaranteed her own death, especially after swearing allegiance to Doran.
Of course it makes no sense to kill Myrcella to avenge the death of her husband in King’s Landing. She now also has an enemy in Myrcella’s fiance, Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian).
Her actions will cost her and her daughters’ lives, while Doran may be even more determined to preserve his bond with the Lanisters… if he survives.
Another powerful woman, Queen Mother Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), talks her way out of the Sparrows’ prison, but it comes at a cost.
She must walk naked through the streets. But it’s a small price to pay. Now, she’s free to exact her revenge.
Of course, if the show were more reality based, no religious group would imprison someone so powerful and allow them to live.
During the Spanish Inquisition, those who confessed were burned at the stake. Those who refused to confess were tortured and burned at the stake. Get it?
High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) needs to have his head examined for letting her go. But in Season 6, it’s doubtful he’ll even have a head, if Cersei has her way.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) kills Ser Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), to avenge the death of her tutor, Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou). Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), in turn, blinds her for failing to follow orders.
But we bet it’s just temporary. Jaqen will restore her sight after she learns her lesson and Arya will reunite with Sansa in Season 6.
The show’s final strong female is Queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). She was carried away by Drogon following an attack by Sons of the Harpy. Now she’s left to fend for herself in a rocky wasteland, swarming with Dothraki warriors.
Dany was once married to a Dothraki chief, which may or may not be a good thing. Meanwhile, Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario, two potential rivals, set out to find her.
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is left behind to help rule her empire with Grey Worm. Just in time who should appear but Varys.
“I did miss you,” Tyrion says.
“I know,” Varys replies.
At least we have them to still kick around. Stay tuned for Season 6 in April.
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