The one good thing about this season being only 6 episodes is that this review can be over a week late lolol sorry y’all I’m tired and I was in New Hampshire doin’ hikes and seein’ a moose and goin’ to Maine
Am now the proud owner of a lot of maple syrup and a new coffee mug because I am planning to eventually die underneath a pile of ceramic coffee mugs that I have purchased and also a copy of Say Anything’s “…Is” and “…Was” on CD because we went to a store with cheap music and movies and video games and my car still has/only has a CD player and I would like to scream the music of my teenage years on my way into work
And since I’m this late about posting this, there has been a news blitz about Kit Harington checking himself into a rehabilitation/wellness center. I’m sorry he’s struggling, and I’m very glad he’s getting the help he needs, and I think you guys are all good about this, but I do not want to see a single joke about “heh heh he’s going to rehab because the finale was so bad.” It’s not funny, it’s cruel, the jokes and stigma around rehab and addiction prevent people from seeking it out, and part of the reason he’s headed there is probably crap like “here’s a petition to remake the whole show.” Be fans; don’t be assholes. (I didn’t sign that petition and you shouldn’t either.)
I watched the finale from our Airbnb in New Hampshire, and having the White Mountains was at least somewhat soothing to me because I only screamed a little. As before, so again: I will list the stuff I liked and the stuff I hated and then a sort-of… group therapy decompression? I don’t know, guys. I didn’t watch the documentary this weekend because I am tired and the discourse is tiring, but I will watch it eventually.
Tired: Thrones stuff
Wired: getting your spouse to watch Napoleon Dynamite for the first time because why not and now he’s quoting everything like it’s 2005 and I’m not at all mad because now we get to quote “break the wrist; walk away” nonstop
*tees up 1812 Overture*
WHAT I LIKED
Peter flippin’ Dinklage
Our homie has been winning Emmys in seasons where his character was given nothing to do, and I don’t understand that, when you have a cast of actual gods and goddesses being perfect at everything, but Dinklage locked down his Emmy nom and probably his Emmy win with this episode. I’ll address his scenes with Jon in a moment, but can I just cry a little over his acting when he finds Jaime and Cersei? I was already with him as he was walking around King’s Landing and heartbroken over the destruction, but oh God, finding Jaime’s hand in the Red Keep and then seeing them both and you could tell he was crying for Jaime but also for Cersei and for the family he didn’t have and never could have and now never can have and I!!!! just!!!! cannot!!!!
And this is plot that I didn’t like. Plot I still don’t like. Particularly Jaime’s weird escape and return to Cersei. But Mr. Peter Dinklage had me in my feelings to the max during this scene and I just want to take this space to thank him for all the work he’s done. Yeah, I sometimes talked trash about his accent being a bit all over the place. And I got frustrated by his being played as softer and softer as the seasons went on. But Dinklage during Blackwater? Dinklage during Tyrion’s trial? Dinklage speaking with Oberyn? Dinklage? We were blessed that he agreed to take this part, and blessed that he did what he did, and just, yes. He deserved a part like this, and he deserves to be as well-known as he now is, and I hope he continues on this arc forever and ever and that people don’t ask him about playing Tyrion for the next decade because oof.
Jon and Tyrion talking
I was tweeting about this scene while it was happening and it was just a lot of “guys I like this am I wrong or” because I don’t have a great hold on my feelings nor do I have confidence for large segments of my life but this was apparently not an unpopular take! People did like this scene.
“Love is the death of duty” is a really excellent thing to discuss and analyze in the scope of this show: where should loyalty lie? Is betrayal possible only to a person, or to a cause? And the reverse even more so!!!! “Duty is the death of love” like!!!!! That is some really, really excellent discussion, and this conversation happened between the two men in charge who held on the longest: both Jon and Tyrion were stanning for Hey Miss Murder Can I until this last episode. Tyrion drew the line, and Jon is trying to decide if he needs to. And then they go on to discuss whether people can be more than their house words which!!!! Just!!! YES GOOD. Can people be redeemed? Can people reach a point of no return? Are you born fundamentally strong or weak, smart or kind, good or bad? Let’s make a show that analyzes this for 8 seasons and frequently drops the ball but when we’re running it? Hoo boy, it is stunning.
That one scene of Dany with Drogon’s wings
Boy howdy am I a basic bitch but I loved this cheesy-ass scene. Dany in black with the wings of a dragon in the back aw yessss gimme dat unsubtle CGI layering
I’m a simple woman with simple likes
Dany’s death scene
If this scene had been at the end of another ten or so episodes, I would have been 100% on board. It was extra as hell, with the ash and the throne and their outfits and Drogon and all of it, but y’all, it was just really gorgeous.
And I’m logging my support right now, right this second, for Drogon’s weird castlenap. My headcanon Drogon is a big doggo who loves his mom and just wants to break stuff but not because he’s mean it’s because he’s a dog. And this scene was prime “jon y u boop the snoot? was mid-snoozle and you did me a heckin frighten, fren” content. And yeah, he just murdered like several hundred thousand people but he looked like a big pupper takin a nap in his basket. Right Drogie? You just wanted to do a liddul naptime, because it is tough to be a dragon, and the throne room is still kind of warm because you lit it on fire, and you’re just cozy and you’re gonna have liddul dragon dreams where you whimper and kick out your feetsies and take out an entire city block and I’ll be over here with my smartphone filming it and putting it on YouTube where was I going with this
(I’m composed of at least 15% doggo memes at all times hashtag deal with it)
Anyway, this was a really very stunning scene, and I was really not fully prepared for Jon to stab Daenerys, and while I would have liked him to walk into the room to find her actually sitting on the throne, that is a minor aesthetic request that doesn’t change how much I liked this. Yes, they did a really terrible, awful job at getting Dany to Mad Queen status. But I can’t retcon things; I can’t time travel and I’m not J.K. Rowling, so if I’ve been served an overcooked and excessively seasoned bit of plotline that didn’t rise properly in the oven, at least it was plated nearly perfectly. Kit and Emilia sold this really well, the satisfaction and the wildness and the heartrending and the fear and all of it, and to have him embrace her in order to kill her was a really good choice. And Drogon appearing to freak out about his mom was again, extra as hell, but I liked it! His nudge to Dany’s body was making me genuinely a bit sad, and his melting of the throne is not subtle but it was a hell of a scene. I’m clearly not a cinematographer or any kind of visual artist, because I don’t know anything and I’m not subtle, but this scene was the “zoom in on Darcy’s hand after he hands Elizabeth into the carriage” from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice for me. I liked it lots and lots.
The one final thing I really liked about this bit is how Jon must have confessed to Dany’s murder. No one else saw him, and yes, there’s a pool of blood and Dany and Drogon are missing so it doesn’t look *good*, exactly, but it’s just a very deliciously Ned Stark (and therefore a Jon Snow) thing to do. He absolutely would go and confess and accept whatever punishment they decided on for him. Because of course he would. He’s so earnest and honest that he literally died for it and tbh I think he’s just really tired and low-key hoping they kill him again and it sticks this time.
Okay I have been joking about where my smol trout is for seasons and acting like he was going to just show up and take the Iron Throne and I would like to inform whoever has been recording my conversations that Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state and that I’m not mad at all because this was the mouse-brown bow on top of this mixed bag of a final episode. And then to get up and argue why he should be king essentially on the basis of “I have existed in this timeline and have not yet died” and then Sansa asks him to sit down and he does it I am deceased. They dragged him back into the show to then drag him and thank you, so much, SO much.
The White Book
To be honest, this was not perfect. I didn’t love that the last substantial scene we got with Brienne was essentially about someone other than her, and I did wish that she noted that Jaime knighted the first woman knight in the Seven Kingdoms because that is goshdarn important. However, this was still pretty bittersweet in an awful way, and I’m glad we got this bit of closure. And also where did Brienne learn calligraphy because that font is baller.
THE ACTUAL GOODEST OF GOOD BOYS. HE LOST AN EAR FOR YOU, JON. I’M GLAD YOU GOT TO REUNITE BUT IF YOU WERE STILL IN THE SOUTH REPEATING “SHE’S MY QUEEN” A HUNDRED TIMES THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. This is silly and childish and I needed Ghost so much, guys. So much. Good giant fluffy murderwolf.
Not that I don’t like him, I do: the character has been really good and Jacob Anderson is a goshdarn delight who you should all appreciate immediately and also go listen to his music he performs under the name Raleigh Ritchie and he makes bops and where was I going with this oh yeah
I don’t know why they made him into like, an Unsullied Batman who is made of revenge and intense stares because Missandei got killed. What, she said “dracarys” and you decided that every Lannister soldier needs to die? Did Dany say that? Like, explicitly? Just take ’em captive, you weirdo??? And then Tyrion is in Thrones-y jail and then so is Jon and yet Grey Worm’s still like die-hard For Dany who is super dead and dude like what is the *point*. I would have loved a scene with him and with Jon discussing what it is like to have love and duty intersect. But the way they made him fall, it seemed like his love for Missandei made him no longer Unsullied and no longer good and no longer interested in what is right, which is just, no. He’s still Unsullied training-wise, but he isn’t a slave any longer, and he has the ability to choose what he wants to do, and I don’t see him choosing cruelty.
And then he hops on a ship all chill for Naath. With his like, unclear number of armed dudes to an island that is pacifist. This is gonna end up super fucked, GW. And my frustration with this is super personal, since I have really liked him and the work Jacob did with his character and his relationship with Missandei (even when others didn’t like it), and I just feel like they did both of them dirty, big time. Meh.
Soldiers, comma, number and talking to
*enormous sigh* can we decide how many Dothraki and how many Unsullied are in Daenerys’ armies from episode to fucking episode? Yes, I’m aware the show is done. Yes, I’m aware this doesn’t matter. Yes, I need to get a hobby that isn’t this. But this drives me up a goshdang wall. We had like a hundred horseyguys at Winterfell who rode off Leroy-Jenkins-style and either died or were blown out like birthday candles and then the wights killed what looked like most of the Unsullied. Then we are in King’s Landing for episode 5 which is apparently a respawn point or something because we got way more horseyguys and Unsullied and it is just curved-sword-and-spear central, now. Then Drogon burninating the peasants and once D-Day is over she stands on that weird set of steps and addresses what looks like the graduating class of Penn State 2019 to tell them some stuff about absolute power corrupts absolutely or whatever idek. In Valyrian, to the Unsullied, and I guess the Dothraki will get like a translation later or something?
Also, okay, I get that dramatic license allows sound to travel in speeches as far as it needs to, but Dany is not talking loud enough to reach even that first row. Again, nit-picking forever, but it stuck in my mind even more because the whole “give a speech from far away that no one can hear” was a joke in the season finale of Barry, which you need to be watching if you aren’t!
I think this is a general summary of why I am tired of gritty, grimdark, “realistic” stuff in general. They will pride themselves on “this is what it would be like, for real,” but only when it comes to people never bathing and violence against women.
The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives, I’m outtie
I don’t understand, at all. Stay with Sansa? Use your creepy face switcheroo at some point? Do literally anything other than Frodo Baggins Into the West out of there? When exactly did Arya Stark express an interest in being a seafaring murderpuppy who is wearing, still, a lot of fur for a person on a ship where things get very damp very quickly? And I have to imagine Gendry at some point in the near future being like “she did WHAT NOW” because seriously that is just cold.
I’m not saying she had to stay with Gendry. I’m not saying she had to stay with Sansa. I’m just saying she needed to do something that made sense. Go with Jon, even; at least then several dozen fanfiction writers would be happy instead of no one being happy.
The new Small Council
So uh Sam, not to criticize, or anything, considering you did put some feelers out there for democracy, which is awesome, but uh, you are super duper not a maester yet and probably need to like finish your degree. You got through orientation and your first lab course at *most* and you’re playing like you’re a professor. Davos can stay he is legit good at ships but um is he married in the show, too, or can we get him the rest of his kids, or something?
Brienne will rise to whatever task she is put to because she is a warrior goddess composed of steel with a heart made of warm flannel and a spine made of granite but why does she wanna do this? And not be with the Stark girls, because oaths and stuff? Bless her for knighting Pod, and bless the show for giving us one more Podrick Payne “mom look I did good” smile, but how and why did she get this job, and who is gonna run Tarth, and no wait I figured out why she’s on the council
It’s to kill Bronn
Remember when I spoke earlier in the season about liking that one moment with Bronn and his crossbow? Remember how I said they’re not gonna develop it well? Remember how I’m a genius? I am a genius. Why is Bronn-chitis on this small council? He can’t do anything other than hit people and he said he’s retired from that, so what exactly does his gross self bring to the table other than gambling debts and an STI he doesn’t disclose to his partners? (Not shaming anyone’s infection status, just shaming this gross fuckface made of mildew and misogyny)
Anyway I would have preferred Brienne’s last scene to be, like, her drawing a map of all the pubs and brothels Bronn frequents so she can kill him and make it look like an accident. She wouldn’t do it but she gets to dream about it.
Nnnnnnnnope. As a quick thing, Bran the Broken is some gross ableist shit and yeah, yes, I know this is medieval times or whatever but if it were actually accurate Bran would be dead like 8 times over and the people watching it are living in 2019 so don’t be gross in the way you were gross.
Also the Dornish Prince doesn’t even get a name, huh
Okay also was Howland Reed part of this little meeting to elect our malfunctioning iPod? Was that him on the left? And if so, did he not talk to his daughter at any point in the last several months??? And if it isn’t Howland Reed, I can definitely hear Meera from a thousand miles away getting the raven with the news and going “EXCUSE ME THEY DID WHAT”
This was just really, really bad, guys. Like, sink-the-episode bad. And this was an episode I was enjoying up to this point (see above cooking and plating metaphor). But then Tyrion decides it’s story time and the most powerful people in Westeros are so ensorcelled by a B-grade “three eyes, no heart, can’t lose” speech that they agree together to elect the person equivalent of Microsoft Encarta on shrooms to the big chair and that’s the end of the show. What. Also Bran if you knew the future and let all those people burn and that ever gets out you are talkin’ bout a revolution and you are so fucked.
This was the stretchiest stretch of this season and it was just really really awful. “Why do you think I came all this way?” I don’t know, Bran. I’m assuming you saw a bird and decided to follow it because that makes about as much sense as anything else. Yet another plot that could have worked with another season of development but we didn’t have that so it just looks like we put malfunctioning Ask Jeeves into the power position.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk
You all are very aware that I didn’t like what they did with large parts of the last bunch of seasons. But please do not think that I was hate-watching this show or torturing myself. There were parts of it I really, really loved. And for people to say that they wasted 8 years (what?? you watched seasons 1-4 which were objectively great so no you didn’t???) or that they hate everything or that they want the show redone or that they are raging about the ending is just not really okay. Criticising the show is fine; I do it here all the time! But if it’s become who you are as a person, don’t do that. And especially don’t let it turn into petitions. If you’re angry, make memes. Talk to your friends. Blog. Do whatever. But don’t act like you walked on broken glass for nearly a decade out of love or something. You can be disappointed, you can be upset, you can be grossed out by the social issues the show brought to light, but you really can’t be bone-achingly irate about something you read not looking exactly how you want.
And you know it’s not true! Yeah, we had Dorne, and Euron, and sexposition, and weird High Sparrow stuff, and Euron, and Arya’s Braavos plotline dragging, and Ramsay, and Barristan’s death, and Euron. But we also had the Tower of Joy, and the Red Wedding, and Blackwater, and Brienne battling the Hound, and the Mountain and the Viper, and Jaime’s “burn them all,” and Hodor’s name, and Tywin, and Tyrion’s trial, and watching the dragons grow, and Davos, and every line Olenna got. The good stuff was frontloaded, sure, but it was there, and just because the ride stutters at the end it doesn’t mean the whole thing wasn’t worth it. I don’t regret watching this show or reading the books and I’m so happy to watch all of the actors get whatever jobs they want now because of this show. This was a positive use of my time and I’d do it again knowing the ending would disappoint.
Thank you all for joining me on this ride, and I’ll be sure to let you know what show I’ll start next. If you’re interested, donate button is up top. If you have recommendations please hit me up, and seriously, thank you: knowing people read my rambling is a huge ego boost and a source of happiness.