Game of Feels: The Winds of Winter
Warning: This post is highly spoiler-toxic. Proceed at your own risk.
Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones has made even the toughest fans lose their goddamn minds. While most of us complained constantly about the show delaying the real action, none of us were ready for what Benioff and Weiss had in store for us. And what was that, you say? Winter. Winter is here and we have all lost our jelly beans.
Given that we’re still trying to process what has happened in “The Winds of Winter,” we’ve decided to join forces a la Lady Mormont and pick the episode apart kingdom by kingdom. May the seven gods see us through this.
We begin with the dullest (yet still important) moment. Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell try to form an alliance to face the incoming wrath of the Lannisters. Varys shows up at one point, and then we never hear of these people again.
Ivan: We need more of Lady Olenna every chance we get. After watching her quickly turn the impetuous sand snakes into blubbering tadpoles with some of that legendary sass, we learn what Varys has been up to after all, as a new alliance is forged and added to the Danny killing machine. On a side note, can all Eunuchs teleport? This man did a multi-continent hop-around in a matter of one episode.
Gaby: Okay, so sand lady and grandma Tyrell have a chitchat. I honestly couldn’t care less. Olenna has no pieces left on the board, and thus her use will simply be an immeasurable rage for Cersei. Which is fair. I mean, Cersei did smile while killing her grandkids. At least she has her sass still going for her. And I’m game for anyone helping Dany.
Rachael: Varys is the best. That’s all.
Samuel Tarly taking in the Maester’s Library at the Citadel was hands-down one of the most heartfelt and moving scenes on Game of Thrones yet. There was no shocking death, nothing to make viewers cower behind their hands, just one man’s pure, unadulterated joy at finally arriving where he truly belongs after six long seasons.
Rachael: As someone who loves books more than anything,I know how you feel, Sam. I know how you feel.
Gaby: This was all about Sam having the only true moment of joy in this goddamn episode. Free of revenge or complications. Dude was just happy with his books. I felt like we were being given access to the library of Alexandria pre-fire.
Ivan: Sam was so happy the pages of his books are gonna be all stuck together.
The Mother of Dragons is having a real good time assembling her army for attack. She shares a sweet moment with Tyrion, making him Hand of the Queen, and a not so sweet moment with Daario Naharis, who is left behind to guard Mereen.
Ivan: Daenerys is heading to Westeros like, “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
Gaby: I really like how Dany is constantly checking herself before she wrecks herself. It concerns her whenever she does something heartless (like leaving the hunk that is Daario behind) but ultimately lets it go when she knows she’s done the right thing. Teamed up with Tyrion, this is probably the most moral squad out there, and they have dragons. So, really. What’s not to like?
Rachael: For me, Mereen had one of the most important scenes in the entire episode, the result of which was an OTP that I did not see coming (or, as I’ve come to call it, a WOAHTP.) After Dany breaks it to Daario that she has no intention of bringing a lover with her ( what conqueror needs that baggage really) she has a heart-to-heart with Tyrion. Tyrion tells Dany, “He wasn’t the first to love you and he won’t be the last” with a look on his face like a kicked puppy in what might be one of the most heavy handed moments of foreshadowing. EVER. Of course, this goes completely over Dany’s head and she proceeds to make Tyrion the Hand of the Queen, and if you didn’t get at least a little misty eyed then you’re a heartless human being.
The episode starts off with some odd dramatic music, and then there’s some green stuff, and then stuff explodes, and people explode. Cersei smirks behind her wine glass and Tommen just takes a dive right out of it. By the time this scene is done, the music has taken a turn for the better, and Cersei gets the last laugh.
Ivan: To take up on King’s Landing, Cersei’s maniacal plan is finally revealed in explosive fashion (blatant pun intended) as we watch the confused gentry of King’s Landing go up in flames along with the High Sparrow, his minions and the almost-made-it Tyrells. In true GoT’s fashion we see Margery, ever-clever, pleading to be let through as she realizes Cersei isn’t up in the Red Keep playing paint by numbers. We cut to the very last of useless cousin Lancel trying to put out the coming fire. Cersei has found the Mad King’s last sweet present: WILDFIRE ALL UP UNDER THE SEPTON. Somehow Arya was stabbed 17 times and ran a marathon, but Lancel gets a bug-sting stab from a three-year-old and can hardly drag himself over to blow out a candle. Tyrell’s, it’s been real. High Sparrow, there was only ever room for one Bernie Sanders on TV. BYE-EEE!
By the way, by the look of Jaime’s face when he arrives just in time to crash Cersei’s crowning, I think he’s about to haul ass real soon. After all, Cersei is the last vestige of Jaime’s former self and his greatest flaw but he might be about ready to stop letting her hold him back. As Aemon once explained: “Love is the death of duty.” Jaime, go for it, we’re all rooting for you AND we never thought we would. Remember when he pushed a little kid out of a window?
Gaby: So everybody’s just exploding, Tommen’s jumping out the window, Cersei’s being the baddest bitch in town, and Jaime is having absolutely NONE of it. Now, of course we all knew Cersei was going to come back and bite some people in this ass somehow, but I personally didn’t calculate that she would actually succeed at getting a leg up on everyone. It even seemed like even Tommen was expendable to her at some point. And then, after having lost everything, Cersei turns her back on the only person she’s always been faithful to: Jaime. Now that she’s up on the throne, it seems like the prophecy can’t help but come true. The Kingslayer will now become the Queenslayer, and my God am I excited for Jaime to finally exist as a separate entity from his psychotic twin sister. I always liked the guy. Except when he pushed Bran. But in retrospect and in context, he’s still a solid dude for the times we are living in.
Rachael: Did anyone else notice that Cersei’s theme sounded a lot like The Rains of Castamere? And can I take a moment to address those terrifying children that Cersei somehow enlisted to help her kill the maester and blow up the city? Where did they come from? Who are they? Why is it that all children are instant nightmare fuel when they’re covered in mud and carrying knives? *shivers*. Anyways… for me one of the most important takeaways from the events in King’s Landing was the look that Jaime gave Cersei as she sat on the Iron Throne. It was not a look of love. It was not a look of awe. It was a look that made me think that the woman sitting on the throne is definitely not the one Jaime fell in love with. I wonder where we’ll find him next season. At Cersei’s side? Killing her? Or high-tailing it back to Brienne.
Side note: After tonight I think it’s officially safe to say that Bronn is the biggest shipper of Brienne and Jaime in all of the seven kingdoms.
Arya Stark finally took down Walder Frey, who has been sitting at his throne for too damn long. His right to live was gone and done since he decided to throw a wedding in season three.
Gaby: The girl was No One so she could slip into Riverrun unseen, but then the girl was SOMEONE and that someone was Arya Stark of Winterfell, ready to serve dinner. You know what they say, revenge is a dish better served cold. And cold it was. It was so cold that winter came after six seasons. While it is highly concerning that Arya has become a ruthless murderer, it is evident that the poor child could not have survived otherwise. TEAM ARYA ALL THE WAY. Also, she’s so close to Winterfell already. Imagine that reunion with Jon. Plus, when Jon was mad about Melissandre burning young girls at the stake, we all know Arya popped into his head. Arya, his baby sister, who he presumes is dead. Get ready for when those feelings hit you.
Ivan: Before we all start cheering on Arya for finally killing off the crusty old fart Walder Frey, let’s consider what this says of her. This wasn’t just some poisoned oysters, but a human meat pie a la Frey and sliced throat as Arya watched euphoric in elation at her own nefariousness. In one way, this is our heroine finally exacting revenge on the villains. In another way, it is a once heroine committing sociopathic murder. There was another person on today’s episode that was also consumed with revenge and smiling all pleased as her enemies were vanquished. This one is now sitting on the Iron Throne, but is either the better?
Rachael: My god. The last person I thought we’d be seeing in this episode was Arya Stark (let alone Arya Stark in Riverrun, so close and yet so far from her siblings.) What worries me is the look of elation on her face as Walder Frey died. This is not the girl who left Winterfell six seasons ago. This is a killing machine who most likely will not make it out of this show alive.
First Jon has to deal with the drama that is Ser Davos and Melissandre. Then he has a nice moment with Sansa where she apologizes for not telling him about, you know, having a secret army that was going to change the whole course of the battle. Sansa also informs him that a white raven has arrived announcing that winter is here. Little Finger gets creepy like always, and then proceeds to literally soil his undergarments when the North proclaims Jon Snow their king.
Gaby: This season, Sansa Stark’s inner dialogue has been, “Boy, bye.” Little Finger cannot believe that the North has opted for King Jon, ruining his plans (albeit, momentarily) of using Sansa as Lady of Winterfell to sit his sorry behind on the Iron Throne. But who cares about how Little Finger feels? Certainly not me. You know what’s the only thing I feel? My love for Jon Snow burning as strong as it did back when we first saw his broody face in season one. Hell yeah, Jon Snow is King in the North. But, of course, let’s all take a deep breath because the Stark happiness always becomes rather… stark.
Rachael: Sansa Stark is still the most important character in this whole show. If you looked up the definition of ‘slay’ in the dictionary you’d find a picture of Sansa Stark with a smirk on her face surrounded by piles Lemoncakes. She’s not just a girl. Sansa Stark is a queen and don’t you ever forget it. Lady Mormont is the best hypewoman in the history of ever. Jon Snow, King in the North is actually the reincarnate of Aragorn, Son of Arathorn.
All jokes aside though, Liam Cunningham deserves some kind of award for his portrayal of Davos in this week’s episode. Shireen might have been Stannis Baratheon’s daughter but Davos was her father in every sense of the word, and his confrontation with Melissandre over her actions last season hurt to watch.
Ivan: There is something eerily rewarding and conversely ominous in the proclamation of the new King in The North. In what is essentially an homage to the proclamation of the fallen Rob Stark as King, Jon Snow is enlisted as the new Lord of Winterfell. “The white wolf,” has arrived just as the first breath of winter crawls it’s way through Westeros. Moreover, there is an unresolved dynamic between Sansa and Jon’s reverse tug-and-pull for the Lordship of Winterfell. We know it is not in Littlefinger’s creepy interests but, has he managed to douse Sansa with a false sense jealousy or doubt?
North of Winterfell
While it seems like Bran’s saddle-back ride with uncle Benji is over, fans are finally getting what they deserve and we’re flashed straight back to the Tower of Joy as Bran wargs back in time to answer the question we have all been waiting for. In the flashback, we follow Ned as he makes his way towards his sister Lyanna who is lying in a pool of her own blood while an awkwardly quiet midwife tries to figure out where to stand. Ned reaches her just in time for a final conversation that is of course muted to us, while Lyanna’s newborn child is handed to Ned. She begs her brother to take care of her child and to keep his linage a secret, because her son is, you know, the true heir to the Iron Throne. Who is this baby you ask? Our beloved Jon Snow. WHAT?
Gaby: I will say I was irrationally bothered by how you couldn’t hear what Lyanna was whispering. I get it that we all know what’s up, but I’m terrified that Bran, in his tormented brain, will not process the information right. I did feel 100% better when the face of crying baby Jon cut to the face of Jon, King in the North. That moment wins the award of “Moment with the Most Feels” for me in this episode, which granted is a big deal considering that I needed ice cream to see the finale through.
Ivan: At a loss with one too many feels and shock my one thought is, does anybody else notice this baby is fresh off the womb and already brooding? All hail Jon Targaryen!
Rachael: TARGARYEN: CONFIRMED?!?! Maybe. While all signs seem to point to Jon being the product of Lyanna’s affair we never actually heard what she said. I guess we’ll have to wait until next season.
In conclusion, “Winds of Winter” has not done us good. JESUS CHRIST HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO WAIT A YEAR?!!?!?!