Everything I wanted, a few things I didn’t and plenty more besides: the biggest show on tv ends its biggest season with a super-size finale drawing together the past, the future and the forthcoming apocalypse in epic fashion, with a few extra helpings of fan service along the way.
At Kings Landing, it seems like Team Targaryen and Team Lannister’s parley is really just an excuse – like last week’s ill-fated Bravo Two Zombie expedition – for a series of charming reunions that I didn’t even know I wanted, ranging from the affectionately snarky (Tyrion and
NotRobson Bronn! Tyrion and Pod! The Hound and Brienne!) to the moodily taciturn (Brienne and Jaime!) to the drowning in outright hatred (Cersei and Tyrion! The Cleganarama!). Oh yeah, and Theon’s there too. In fact, for someone absolutely nobody who ever watched GOT gives a flying raven about, there’s really quite a lot of Theon this week. Theon being needled by his nasty uncle; Theon having a heart-to-heart with the very understanding Jon Snow and learning that although he doesn’t have to choose between being a Stark and a Greyjoy, Starks are obviously much nicer; and Theon getting his face pounded by Iron Man (not that one) before becoming King of the Iron Islands Dinghy and sailing off to rescue his Iron sister…. Huh. Much like the show, suddenly I’ve spent ages banging on about Theon too.
Back to the rest of the story.
After Daenerys’s impressive entrance – although, did she really think Cersei Lannister wouldn’t be able to count to two? – and a bit of panto villainy from Euron (Boo! Hiss! He’s behind you! etc), there’s a mortifying moment when it looks like the guest of honour has passed his best before date and the mood is going to change from knife-edge anticipation to “wha, wha, whaaaa” farce but, after a few seconds of making me want to crawl under my sofa, the show relents and, with a little help from the Hound, out dashes Mr Wight in satisfyingly scary form, with even Cersei Lannister looking a bit worried. Well done Mr Wight. Sorry ’bout your arm. And your torso. And, er, everything else.
Of course, because Jon is Ned Stark’s son in everything but actual biological fact, he can’t make the promise Cersei wants so things don’t go entirely according to parley plan, but it doesn’t matter all that much because Cersei doesn’t really want it anyway. “I always knew you were the stupidest Lannister,” she tells the sorely-tried Jaime, who finally walks/rides away to join the fight against the dead because “Fuck loyalty,” says Brienne. Only if it’s loyalty to your homicidal psychopath of a sister, though, Jaime. It’s taken you long enough to join Team Living, don’t be getting any ideas about betraying them too.
On the topic of homicidal psychopath sisters, meantime, Littlefinger’s advice to Sansa is essentially to get rid of crazyface Arya and bump Jon from the Throne in the North. Sansa looks like she’s buying it, too, but – oh my God, at last! – turns out she isn’t, she hasn’t been and she won’t ever again, as the remaining Stark children unite to expose the man at the root of just about everything evil that ever happened to their family, and END him. It’s not unexpected, but it’s been a long time coming and all the more satisfying for it. As is Sansa and Arya’s (little sis now not so much crazyface as crazy like a fox) sweet, sad exchange on the walls of Winterfell. “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” Indeed. (And I miss Ned too.)
For his part, however, the current lone wolf is becoming a lot less solitary, as weeks of various GOT characters trying to convince me Jon and Daenerys have the hots for each other culminate in Jon and Daenerys showing me exactly how much. While Bran – with an assist from lovely, steadfast Sam that surely the know-all-see-all Three-Eyed Raven shouldn’t have needed? – solemnly confirms, for anyone not paying attention at the back, that the King in the North is actually the rightful King of everywhere else. And dude is having sex with his aunt. (Ewww.) Can Daenerys get pregnant? Is Cersei? *Shrugs* Family and parenthood have been recurring themes throughout all seven seasons of the show, and they’ve been particularly prominent this season and this episode, but let’s be honest, the people of Westeros have much bigger problems. Namely the DRAGON THAT JUST DESTROYED THE ENTIRE WALL AND THE ARMY OF THE DEAD NOW MARCHING UNCHECKED ACROSS THE PLANET!
Eff. Me. What a show. What a season. And what a spectacular way to finish. This run hasn’t pleased all of the people all of the time, but I loved that the Game sped up, and I loved the way it mixed so many quiet, powerful scenes of significance and feeling with so much all-out bloody mayhem. Assuming the real world doesn’t end before then, I am very, VERY excited for season eight.