On the previous episode, Game of Thrones left me feeling angry. The treatment of female character originally written as being strong, witty, capable, completely ruined by men’s perception of what power looks like in the heads and hands of women. I ended up procrastinating, setting aside those reviews/commentaries and watching the rest of the season as a casual viewer. Many time I sat down having in mind finally continuing talking about this seasons, but every time, I procrastinated. We are not whatever today is and A Game of Throne’s finale happened, I watched it, and here I am, sitting, this time with the actual intent to talk about the season that just happened.
So, here goes.
This episode doesn’t play around the bush, it begins with Jon’s arrival at Dragonstone. There we get a friendly reunion between Jon and Tyrion, Tyrion and Davos meet and as Tyrion pleasantly presents Missandei to them, she means business and is quick to welcome them, but also ask them to disarm. Jon and Davos are bummed, but it’s to be expected. I did get a little anxious at Jon giving his sword away, considering that things aren’t known to go too smoothly in Westeros, and Daenerys isn’t exactly the friendliest of person, nor someone who is known to keep calm – at all. Davos sparks a conversation with Missandei about her place of birth and she…well she smiles at him, and goes on right her merry way because; who is this white man, again? You’ve got to love Davos, but this made me giggle. Missandei doesn’t have time for any white man’s foolery.
As they make their way to Dragonstone’s castle, Tyrion and Jon walk side to side, catching up (sort of) on the time that has passed and things that have happened before, and since. Tyrion asks about Sansa and then asks if she misses him, to which Jon only replies with the most beautiful side eye of all side eyes. Tyrion foolishly believes that this is his cue to tell Jon that his marriage with Sansa was never “consummated” aka he never raped her, to which Jon replies all that can be replies “I didn’t ask.” The conversation continues, there are many things I could go into, references to Ned’s and Robb’s demises, “Things don’t go well when Starks go South” (AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH), and as Jon replies that he isn’t a Stark, motherfucking Drogon decides to make the guests feel real welcome and flies right above them all, causing Jon to shit his pants.
Higher up, also at Dragonstone, Varys approaches a pondering Melisandre, who is hiding from Jon. Melisandre explains that her work here is done, that she has DRUMS ROLLS brought ice and fire together, and that her time here is coming to an end. Although she says that she will be going to Volantis, Melisandre lets Varys knows that she will be back as she has to die in Westeros, and so does he. She leaves him with what almost feels like a prophecy of some sort. A part of me is glad to know that she will be seen again, considering the role her character has played. She is overlooked, her prophecies are still in the making. As Varys looks on, a single Greyjoy boat can be seen approaching Dragonstone.
Going back down, in the castle, a meeting fans have waiting six whole seasons is happening: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, meeting at last. Let me preface this by saying that although this meeting absolutely does not go as well and nicely as fans would have hoped, this has become one of my favourite Game of Thrones scenes of all time with probably the absolute funniest Game of Thrones lines of all time. And I mean meme worthy, this shit was all over my feed until the release of the next episode, it was fucking ridiculous. Missandei goes on to list all of Daenerys’ titles, it’s annoying, it’s taking forever, and we’ve heard all this a million times by now. By the time it’s Jon Snow’s time to be introduced, Sir Davos the motherfucker has forgotten that this was his one job and simply says “This is Jon Snow, he’s king in the north”. I laughed, paused the episode, laughed and then had to take a breather at how ridiculous this shit was. Good one, HBO, good one.
The scene that follows is a beautiful one albeit a frustrating one. Daenerys welcomes Jon warmly, until she realizes that he isn’t here to bend the knee and swear loyalty to her. She apologizes for the crimes of her father, Jon acknowledges that, but that isn’t why he is here and he refuses to give away his title, or give the north to her. As he attempts to call for Daenerys’ and Tyrion’s faith and trust, Daenerys makes it clear that she does not believe him nor trust him, and although I am no fan of her, “I’ve been sold, I’ve been chained an betrayed, raped and defiled, do you know what has kept me going all these years in exile? Faith. Not in any god, not in myths and legends, in myself. In Daenarys Targaryen.” It is a beautiful speech, a beautiful reminder of Daenerys’ character, of what she has gone through, what she embodies as a female character, her ability to be empathetic but also cruel, her ability to rise from the ashes, figuratively and metaphorically. But Jon’s response, although short, is a beautiful reminder that none of this matters ultimately, if nobody can work together to defeat the death that is coming to get everyone, regardless of family names. Davos, then, attempts to help convince Danaerys of at least Jon’s capabilities and achievements, gets so fired up he’s nearly hushed quiet at how damn proud he is and makes us feel of Jon and all that he has gone through. Before they jump at each other’s throats through, Varys enters the throne room and Daenerys ends the conversation so she can be told about the failure of the Greyjoys at the hand of Euron.
Following this, we quickly move to Theon being pulled out from the water. There, he tells everyone that Yara was taken, but by being alive, also telling them that he has failed Yara, that he couldn’t, or rather, didn’t attempt to save her. Failing his sister for the second time.
In King’s Landing, we watch as Euron enters the city, with Yara, Ellaria and Tyene dragged behind him. He presents them, but mainly Ellaria, as gifts to Cersei. Cersei agrees to an alliance, makes him friend to the crown, and as she also accepts being given as a reward to him, says that it is only to be done after the war has been won (I see what you’re doing girl). Jaime makes it clear that he doesn’t like Euron, but Euron makes it even clearer, and actually asks for sex tips from Jaime on how to fuck Cersei, right there, in the Throne room. Bit baffled, I won’t lie.
The scene is an annoying scene to think about, especially considering what comes after. Now, what Cersei ends up doing with Ellaria and her daughter Tyene isn’t something I wasn’t expecting. Cersei has been shown to be one of the more cruel character in the Game of Thrones story (some book characters give her a bit of a run for her money) but it’s hard to see what the show-runners have done of characters like Ellaria, and The Sand Snakes, amazing female characters, how they have been ruined, and how easily they are being killed off considering how important they are to the original story, but simple it was for whatever representation we received from getting a few women of colour in the show to be ruined and written off. Cersei, reminiscing of Marcella’s death, kisses Tyene with the same poison and, since they are both chained at face to face but out of reach, sentences Tyene to die and Ellaria to watch her daughter’s death, watch as her body rots, remaining alive in that cell for the rest of her life. I can hardly think of a crueler death. But thinking back it’s not hard to sympathize with Cersei’s need for revenge due to Marcella’s murder. She is a mother and Marcella was, unlike Joffrey, even more innocent than Tommen, she was good, and she was nothing like Cersei. So, although the character of Ellaria was completely trashed and ruined by the creators of the show, in the context of the show (and the show alone) I can sympathize with Cersei’s reasoning (even if: fuck).
A bit later, Cersei, in bed with Jaime, shows that she has absolutely no fucks left to give and opens the room to her bedroom even though Jaime/her bed are in full sight. She is told that the Iron Bank has arrived and the next scene we are given is Cersei attempted to borrow money from the Iron Bank as well as obtaining their support. She is reminded that she is broke but also reminds them that their investment in slavery most likely isn’t seen in a positive light by Daenerys and that, in the end, it’ll cost them. Cersei promises to pay her debt in a fortnight and I’m just left scratching my head at how she plans on doing that.
Back on Dragonstone, Tyrion approaches Jon as he is busy bruting about the fact that he is basically a prisoner (not sure what he expected when he refused to bend the knee) and that nobody believes him, including Tyrion. Tyrion and Jon have an important conversation about how hard it is and will be to make people believe in a bigger enemy (bigger than Cersei) that you cannot see is coming for them all, and Tyrion recommends that Jon has for a simpler, smaller thing from Daenerys: Dragonglass. After Tyrion attempts to talk to Dany, Jon joins her outside of the castle, there they talk about Daenerys’ brothers and she points out that Jon lost two brothers too. I was a little confused consider that Jon lost 3 brothers, Robb, Rickon and Bran, who he believes to be dead. Daenerys allows Jon to mine Dragonglass but makes it clear that she does not believe him, which is fine, I guess, but there are dragons in front of you so, I don’t know.
Switching to Winterfell and my beloved Sansa, we see her basically demonstrate how great of a leader she is even though everyone who watches the show seems to either see her clearly for what she is or hates her beyond every other character in the show.
Also, I know many people think she is still being manipulated by Littlefinger but nah, watch my girl Sansa playing that game of thrones. There, we finally get another Stark reunion with Bran and Sansa being reunited. This remains quite an odd scene for me considering how emotional Sansa was, and how profoundly cold and apathetic Bran is towards her and during her embrace. It’s hard to see Sansa so emotional which Bran seems not to feel a thing, this isn’t the Stark reunion I was hoping for.
Bran nonchalantly tells Sansa that he is the Three Eyed Raven and she reacts how anyone would react, by simply responding that she doesn’t know what the fuck that means. He explains that he can see everything that has ever happened and all that is happening in the present, which should be helpful but only seems to be helpful when it’s convenient for the writers of the story. Rather than explaining or giving examples that make sense, help gain Sansa’s faith in his abilities in a…nicer way, Bran tells Sansa about the night of her wedding, the night she was raped by Ramsay, the beginning of yet another nightmare for her. He tells her how beautiful she was, and I absolutely fucking hate that scene and that dialogue. Of all the things that Bran could tell Sansa, reminding her of her rape, of her trauma, her abuse, regardless of whether Bran is still Bran, is cold, is traumatic, is wrong. As Sansa leaves the Godswood, she stops herself from looking behind her multiple times as if almost afraid of Bran.
At the Citadel, seems Jorah is completely cured and I guess that’s nice?
The episode ends with two things. At Casterly Rock, the Unsullied lay siege to the castle, but they do so far too easily which worries Grey Worm (as it should), and it turns out to be a trap. Euron’s fleet arrives (such timing) and begins to destroy the Targaryen ships.
The army they expected to fight turns out to actually be down south, attacking Highgarden, they slaughter the Tyrells, and the episode ends with a wonderful scene of a conversation between Jaime and Olenna Tyrell. Olenna asks Jaime how he plans on killing her, and Jaime explains that after many long talks with Cersei, who originally wanted to truly hurt Olenna, Jaime was able to convince her to kills Olenna in a kinder, faster and simple way: poison. This is a great scene to watch as we know that Olenna is responsible for the death of Joffrey, it’s deeply satisfying that she is given a gentle death, tricking them all until the end. As Olenna swallows the last drop of her poisoned wine, she tells Jaime that she was the one to kill Joffrey and not Tyrion. As Olenna attempts to make Jaime realize that Cersei will be the end of everyone, including himself, Jaime defends her, making it clear that he continues to be blind to the true nature of his sister. The episode, ending with the realization, ending with Olenna asking Jaime to tell Cersei that it was her so that she knows that she couldn’t get true revenge on her son, and that is a beautiful ending.
Although Olenna’s death is one I wasn’t looking forward to considering a number of amazing scenes and dialogue we are given through Diana Rigg’s beautiful acting, this was an amazing way to go.
7.5/10This was a better episode, but it is its ending that helped me forget about the previous episode’s ending, the complete disrespect within the Dorne storyline. Olenna’s badassery and Diana Rigg’s superb acting all throughout the show has been an absolute pleasure, and I will miss her greatly.