It is believed that when a plant is dying you must prune off the dead clippings in order to get new life. Well, it seems with a handful of more deaths Game of Thrones is preparing to bring new life to the show. Though, of course, what is death without renewed life?
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: New Friends (Tyrion)
As can be expected when a girl whose sole means to rule are dragons she can sometimes barely get to obey, once she is gone, and the dragons are nowhere to be seen, time turns backwards. Meaning, slaver’s bay is returning to its old ways and there is the question of what to do? Well, unleash the dragons Tyrion says and this is all based on the idea that he can befriend them. An idea which seems ridiculous, naturally, for who dares to even approach the beast, much less befriend them? But with King’s Landing politics likely not applicable to Meereen’s, what is left for Tyrion to do?
Though even with the dragons letting him undo their chains, there is no guarantees they will keel or work with him. All that is for sure is now they are capable of either causing havoc or simply continuing to rot in their chambers and refuse food. Something which, if the dragons choose that road, will make it so all Daenerys has tried to accomplish will be over almost as quickly as it begun.
Topic 2: All Father’s Must Die (Ramsay and Yara)
Once again Game of Thrones tries to shake things up by getting rid of the old guard. In this case it is Roose Bolton and Balon Greyjoy. Two men who have ruled for ages, but in that time have made quite a few enemies. For them both though, it was not an external force which did them in, but family. For Roose it was his old son who, before his stabbing, he warned about what happened to Mad Dogs. But really, with the birth of a new son, and of course the ability to make more, what was Ramsay to do? While never one to perhaps crave great titles and thrones, Ramsay has never been much for threats. So whether it is his father’s love or his recent promotion to a legitimized child, anything, and anyone, who would step in front of his progress has to die. Unfortunately for Roose, that meant him. But this is another case where you have to wonder if this murder is brash and made for shock value more than anything. I mean, Ramsay killing Walda and his little brother alone could have been another, but to kill off an established character, almost like if done on a whim, it just leads you to wonder who is holding the reigns anymore.
Then with Yara and her father Balon, while we are told Theon is heading home, one must question what can the Greyjoys bring to the show? Like the Frey family they have had their moment in the sun and for eons have been in the shadows, so what can have them come into the light and not be burned? Could Yara, Theon, and their uncle bring renewed interest? As of now I doubt it and I wonder if they maybe but more fat on a show which every now and then seems very bloated.
Topic 3: Keeping Up With The Starks (Sansa, Arya, and Jon Snow)
The family that refuses to die off remains gripping to the roots of life and using their nails, teeth, and whatever they can grip their fingers and toes to in order to stay alive. Well, at least for some more than others. Sansa seems fine for now as she plans to head to Castle Black, but Arya and Jon Snow are different cases. Arya is still a beggar as the waif whoops her ass once more, but then Jaqen appears. With his offering of comforts so comes what might be Arya’s final test. For with her denying his gifts of food, housing, and more, he seems ready to take her off the streets and perhaps continue her training. But we aren’t left sure if that is exactly his plan or perhaps he found the things Arya left behind and plan to give her one last test before accepting her.
Leaving Jon Snow. At the wall things have become hostile as Ser Alliser is ready to kill off those who remain loyal to Jon. However, with wildlings breaching the gates, and striking fear in damn near everyone, so comes an end to Ser Alliser’s short renaissance. But with peace now here comes the question of what may happen with Jon’s body? There is no exact time said on how long it takes before the dead can become a white walker, but there are calls to burn his body soon. But there is one last hope: Melissandre. Someone who, after one failed vision after another, has wavering faith. Thus making the idea Ser Davos to revive Jon Snow seemingly preposterous. Not because it can’t be done, but Melissandre questions if she can do it. Alas, while at first it seems she can’t it is done. Thus delivering what seems more like fan-service than a righteous return.
Things To Note
- Brandon Stark is featured in the episode, but outside of him seeing Ned Stark as an adolescent, and Meera learning she will be needed for his future, there isn’t much to tell. In fact, he remains a bit of a bore.
- Cersei remains in mourning and Tommen, to protect her, doesn’t let her go to her own daughter’s funeral. A rather odd decision, but as Tommen explains his desire to finally come around and protect his loved ones, you can understand said decision better. For it has finally clicked in his mind he is king, and while the Lannisters aren’t so far the best with this title, they are the keepers of the Iron Throne just the same. So it shall either be together they rule, as Tommen proposes to his mother, or either one by one, if not all at once, they shall fall.
So Many Pointless Deaths: I’d make the argument that the death of the older actors will be what dooms Game of Thrones. For honestly, it seems once the books were no longer something to worry about, now it is a matter of shocking the audience or making it so the young actors have more time and space. But perhaps what bothers me the most is that all these deaths have terrible builds. Ramsay, to me, could have waited to kill his father. He could have watched the shift from him being the focus to his newborn, he could have seen or heard Roose speak about his new son and make it seem perhaps he would be a more suitable air, there could have been more than one warning against Ramsay’s brash actions, but no. Dying on Game of Thrones is a regular event and I guess being that is a common perception, deaths will happen and sadly, these deaths, whether of the King of Dorne or the Iron Isles, they will be quick, swift, and unaffecting.
On The Fence
Why Does Jon Snow Live?: Fan-service is a curious thing. The death of Jon Snow was the biggest shock of the last season, but now he lives. With all the deaths happening one would think this one would be permanent. After all, if the show wanted to remain credible, keeping a fan favorite dead would have been it. That would have been the way to show the world of Westeros remains brutal and your favorites still have the chance to die. With his revival though comes the question of what will matter more: storylines or ratings? For they can’t do weekly kills forever and the show has to, needs to, do unpopular things. Otherwise, all Game of Thrones will become is its worst case scenario. Another HBO show which is highly reliant on sex, violence and gore for it couldn’t cut it on any station which would censure such. Not because it needs brutality mind you, but because at its heart it is no more than mindless entertainment. One which won’t be about discussion of who made what decision, but be like a horror film in which the conversation solely is about the brutality and how can they up themselves next time?