***Spoiler Warning: This post contains Game of Thrones discussion through Season 6, Episode 5. If you’re not caught up, back on out. Spoilers***
Is anyone else noticing just a little too much reliance on big starts and/or endings, lately? While “The Door” left us all broken and emotional, traumatized by yet another dead direwolf (only Ghost and Arya’s Nymeria are left) and an achingly terrible revelation about where Hodor got his nickname, everything else felt a jumbled mess.
George R. R. Martin may taking this “Valar Morghulis” thing just a little too far. Yes, David Benioff and Dan Weiss are (partially) working with no source book material, but as the showrunners mentioned during their “Inside the Episode” notes, the Hodor story came directly from the Song of Ice and Fire author, himself. We can be angry with B & W over that ridiculously poor dialogue between Littlefinger and Sansa, but Martin is still behind most of the deaths we see.
“If you didn’t know you’re an idiot; if you did know, you’re my enemy.”
“You freed me from the monsters who killed my family, and you gave me to other monsters who murdered my family.”
“Do you have any idea what he did to me?”
Really? Was Baelish that overwhelmed by Sansa — who, to be fair, has grown into a damned impressive leader — all he could manage was a string of pathetic apologies?
Not much later, the drivel Daenerys unloaded on Jorah was equally inane, though both Clarke and Glen sold the scene with their teary eyes and longing glances.
Where books leave nuance, and give theories to ponder, the series’ writers choose to pound us over the head (to what end?). As with the poorly mishandled mess that was Dorne, GoT again rushes through a side-story (the scene transitioned so abruptly it jarred the senses), and it’s difficult to understand why they even bothered. A quick Kingsmoot is whittled to two candidates: Yara, championed by her impassioned brother, and Euron, who comes out of nowhere, quickly admits to murdering his brother, and is rushed through his Drowned Men initiation by Aeron Greyjoy, during which Yara and Theon make off with the Iron Fleet of ships. But, no worries; Euron is having a whole new fleet built, presumably in magical speedytyme, so he can catch up and conquer the Seven Kingdoms by offering Daenerys his new fleet and marrying her. I can’t be the only person thinking this whole aside matters not one whit.
Arya fights the Waif yet again, is given a second chance again, sent on a mission that causes her to witness her father being murdered again, and asked if she really believes she can become No One, again. Tyrion is drinking and witty again. He, Varys, Grey Worm and Missandei attempt to come up with a plan to win over the people of Meereen, again. Another Red Priestess claims to know everything again, has seen the true future predicted in flames…again. Tormund gets flirty with Brienne again, clearly the night’s best repeat.
Valar Morghulis. All men must die, it’s true, but is that all there is? Is this GRRM’s plan, to kill off everyone we know and love one by one, and in the end that’s all we’ve done — watched these characters die? We thought, we’d hoped that Bran had grown and been learning along the way of life. He’s forever dismissing his caretakers’ warnings; apparently it wasn’t enough to lose the use of his legs, and in another ridiculously naive and childish move, Bran carelessly wanders off again. With yet another foolish and costly mistake — after discovering Leaf created the White Walkers to defend the Children of the Forest against man — in one fell swoop, Bran managed to effectively cause the deaths of Leaf, Summer, the Three-Eyed Raven, and the biggest soul crusher of all, his most loyal friend. Hodor…who held the door. But, why? (Valar Morghulis!) There’s only one thing left for Bran, and only one person* who can save him, and nothing for us to do but wait to see who dies next.
*One person who might be able to save Bran and Meera — and can we take a minute here to CHEER Meera, who deserves a huge shoutout for taking charge, calling Bran out of his vision, and basically giving anyone a chance to live at all — is, ***Spoiler ahoy:
Why did Sansa lie to Jon about where she got the information on the Tully army? Did Littlefinger get to her with that “half-brother” comment? After just reuniting with Jon last week, the two of them reminiscing and talking about the importance of their bond, it’s hard to believe Baelish so easily undermined that, but at the same time, completely credible Sansa wouldn’t be completely sure who she can trust.
The play was quite well done, though watching Arya’s face throughout was rather crushing. Clearly a girl becoming No One is much harder than it would seem.
There has to be some significance to all these direwolves dying, right? It’s not just unusually cruel animal punishment, right?