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HBO: Game of Thrones

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The show was no longer an adaptation. It stands to reason it wouldn't be George R. R. Martin brilliant anymore. 

 

That was a really good finale.

 

Clarke did, once again, marvelous work as she addressed her army. I gasped when Jon stabbed her. Expected but, still, I wasn't sure they'd pull that trigger. LOVED, and predicted, that Drogon would melt the Throne.

 

I did not expect Bran to become King and didn't have much hope we'd see all the other great characters, but all was pleasantly surprising.

 

Really happy Davos, Brienne, Bronn, and Sam are on the small council.

 

Really happy Sansa is Queen in the North.

 

Really happy Arya's exploring.

 

Really happy Jon's back Beyond the Wall which makes him happy.

 

It was heartbreaking watching the Stark children share their last scene together but I am so happy their montage was the end. 

 

Sigh. What a show. What a journey. Goodbye, Game of Thrones.

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So the spoilers were true, aside from some confusion about whether Tyrion would die. The character has been pointless for years and years and made so many bad decisions he was never remotely punished or even confronted for - death would have been more fitting for his arc and for being the last of the Lannisters. But he was so important to GRRM (and to D&D, even if they treated him as a Gary Stu and let Peter Dinklage do all the heavy lifting), I'm not surprised he lived. 

 

Bran was one of my favorite characters for years, and in many ways his (or should I say whatever he's become) getting the throne is fitting, but I don't get the feeling D&D have cared about the character in a long time, so the groundwork was never laid. 

 

Oh well. 

 

The cast did their best, so kudos to them. And Davos lived. And Theon had a good sendoff. 

 

That's probably more than I could have expected, so I'm happy enough.

 

 

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I warned people not to sleep on my boy Bran. That plucky little dude has been my underdog since Season 1.

Edited by Vee

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Additional thoughts:

 

  • I was very very happy with that last Small Council scene - seeing Bran, Tyrion, Grand Maester Sam, Davos as Master of Ships, and uh, Bronn (well, him getting Highgarden and all the coin he wants makes sense) all strategizing and bickering like a classic Small Council. That fuels many story ideas folks can dream about, I suppose. And Podrick and Brienne looked glorious in their golden armor. I hope Brienne can love again someday.
  • Arya's ending called back to her Queen Christina ship moment at the end of - was it Season 4 or 5? I was happy she got to keep adventuring, but regained her humanity. I think they've done a very good job of that in the last three seasons, after the unspeakably tedious stuff in S4-5 with the Faceless Men. They made a concerted effort to make Arya reclaim her humanity and identity and it paid off. Maisie Williams has done real, visceral work when she could've just leaned on being a fan favorite caricature when people just wanted Arya to be their fanfic queen killing all the bad guys on her list like some idiotic cartoon. Loved the House Stark sails on the ship. I do hope Arya will be back sometime, for her sister and for Gendry.
  • Sansa's arc is obviously not without its issues. She did not need to be raped to evolve, and putting those words in her mouth this season was a mistake. But I think the Sansa of the last three seasons has also been very strong, and human and not a robot or ice queen. And I think Sophie's done great work.
  • Bran being king floored me but makes me happy. I was always a big fan of Bran and his supposedly 'boring' story - I do think it was too jarring an adjustment last year when nothing prior indicated he would 'stop being Brandon Stark', but Isaac played it well. It's probably fanwank but Bran seemed considerably more in touch with his humanity and his final scenes, with a touch more warmth and good humor, especially in the Small Council. Maybe he gains more of a handle on his divided self as he adjusts to being both Bran and the Raven.
  • This season, and the last one are definitely flawed, but especially Seasons 5-6. The last season was quite rushed, this one less so. But it was a mistake IMO not giving both seasons ten episodes, to fully explicate Daenerys' turn more for the skeptics. (I didn't find it in any way OOC or extremely sudden, but I do feel it was a bit rushed.) And I don't buy that Grey Worm/Torgo Nudo (his real name?) would not demand either Tyrion or Jon or both dead. There's absolutely no way the Unsullied and Dothraki would leave Westeros without at least one of their heads. IMO Jon's life should've been the (willing on his part) price for peace in the Six Kingdoms. But, hey, it's a solid finale for me.
  • Jon's ending was bittersweet. I still felt he should've died, but I liked that ending, the hint of a more open society blended from before and beyond the Wall with the free folk. Was he leaving with them? I couldn't tell.

 

And now some interviews, including a few wonderful and very candid ones with Emilia, both different and essential reads. Emilia is so underrated by audiences and critics IMO and did amazing work on this show, often while facing life-threatening illness.

 

 

 

This excerpt of New Yorker interview with Emilia sums up many of my thoughts on Daenerys - I love the Lawrence of Arabia parallel. I do think the turn was a bit rushed, but not nearly as much as some claim. And I like her shutting down the interviewer's attempt to fish for outrage over Daenerys. No, ending "more triumphantly" is fanfic.

 

Quote

Now that it’s all over, I want to get your reaction to the fate of your character, Daenerys. Are you disappointed? Were you surprised? Have you taken note of the feminist criticism of this?

 

I read these scripts coming on to two years ago now. When I did, I took a very long walk around London in a daze, not quite knowing how to digest the news. Now, finally, people are going, “Oh, now we understand why this season hit you hard.” I had no idea what to expect for this last season. I hoped for some juicy things to get into, as I always do for each season, but I didn’t see this coming. Throughout the show, there have been these glorious moments of Daenerys taking on a very strong role in a battle or in a decision to be made. There were these wonderful moments when she takes control, and it’s really liberating and beautiful. She frees people, she kills the baddies, and it feels good.

 

And, I must admit, I was sitting tentatively on that chair thinking, How long is this going to last? Everyone was saying, “Isn’t she great? She’s our savior, Mhysa.” It’s been beautiful and amazing, but I’ve been looking over my shoulder the entire time while everyone else gets a more human—for want of a better word—story line. They do good things. They do bad things. They do silly things. They do brilliant things. They fall in love. They break hearts. Daenerys has quite consistently had this road to salvation, and she’s been sitting atop a very safe mountain.

 

I remember the boys—our writers and showrunners—telling me that Daenerys’s arc is that of Lawrence of Arabia. I watched “Lawrence of Arabia,” and I was, like, “Great, cool. He’s brilliant. He survived, and it’s wonderful.” But then you remember how that movie ended, with Lawrence’s disintegration. I didn’t quite put those two things together. Or maybe I didn’t want to see it coming because I care about Daenerys too much.

 

Can you talk about that a little more, how Daenerys’s arc is like Lawrence of Arabia’s life?

 

Well, fundamentally, he’s brought in as a savior. He goes in and fights for the people, but then, ultimately, it’s a story about how power corrupts absolutely. You see power turn this man wild and mad. He can’t see anymore through the haze, the giddy highs, of being in charge. And that’s what Daenerys experiences. And yet I care for her so much. She’s been a part of me for so long that, in reading this script, I did what any actor is told to do and would do. You have to agree with your character. If you don’t agree with your character, then you shouldn’t take the job.

 

I really just had to sit there and wrestle with how I could make good on what they had written. Because that’s her. They are the writers. They have made this woman, and I’m going to take on what it is and try and interpret that to my best ability. Now, when I showed the first glimmer of coldness, in Season 1, when Khal Drogo kills my brother, Viserys Targaryen—Jason [Momoa] kills Harry Lloyd . . .

 

A glorious moment.

 

It was the first time I inhabited this kind of steely serenity, this calm, quiet. So that’s where I’ve gone with her. She’s so completely in control of this part of her that it actually calms her.

 

I’ve always wanted to warm her up, because I’ve seen the more feminine aspects of her. I’m not saying that as anything derogatory at all. But she was a child. She was sold. She grew up around a life that was written for her. She was on the run her entire life. She lost every single person that meant anything to her. She was brought up by a brother who was telling her why her family had been taken from her, because people haven’t allowed them to inhabit the Iron Throne.

 

So that’s always been her mission and, at every turn, she’s sacrificed everything. She sacrificed being a mother. She sacrificed love. She sacrificed happiness. She sacrificed an easy life. She sacrificed friends. She sacrificed everything to be the ruler that she believes herself to be. And, with each next step up that ladder—with each next mass killing, with each bad person that she kills, for every ten good people that she saves, for putting her friends and her lovers in harm’s way—each step up that ladder has just solidified her course towards sitting on top of the Iron Throne. Because then it will all have been worth it.

 

Every time I was faced with Daenerys having to do something pretty cold, like a mass killing, it was always with this thought that she’s headed toward her destiny. She’s gone too far to turn back now. So then she finally falls in love with someone who is her age, someone appropriate, who seems to love her back, who seems to be a good guy. The fact that she’s his aunt is just kind of by the by! And then it seems almost too good to be true. Even when she finally gets to relax for the first time, she’s thinking, My God, I can have it all. I can have my love. I can have my career. I can have the prospect of a family. I can have it all. . . . But no! I [!@#$%^&*] can’t.

 

She encounters the dark side of that. She’s not wanted. She’s not loved completely there. And so she gives herself to Jon [Snow] entirely, and she gives him many, many choices, many options to see clearly with open eyes. And she’s asking him, “If you wanted to be with me, then let me fulfill this. . . . I know I can be a good leader, so let’s do this together. Let’s do it.” And he doesn’t. And that disappointment is the final thing that breaks her as a human being, because, my God, all she’s known is pain, sacrifice, and abuse. All she’s known is people turning on her, people betraying her, and she’s completely alone. And so, with all of that, I think that it brings us to the moment where she’s on top of the dragon and making that choice.

 

When you were sitting on the green-screen dragon in that scene as it began, what were you thinking and feeling to bring that moment about realistically?

 

On the motor unit, riding a dragon, it takes a week to shoot a minute’s worth—sometimes two weeks. And it’s very hard to engage your acting muscles when you’re, like, “I’ve got to be aware of the dragon breathing.”

 

But we wanted very much to show this moment of humanity and choice, a real person deciding to do the thing that they know will only harm themselves, but they can’t help it. I think it’s an incredibly human trait. We all have that thing, whether it’s binging on chocolate or drinking seventeen bottles of wine or having an affair. Whatever it is, everyone’s got this dark part of themselves that no one really likes inhabiting. It’s something we all really struggle with.

 

A lot of well-known series have ended in a way that’s either mystifying or disappointing.

 

I always knew that the show was never going to satisfy everyone. I watched and loved too many television series to ever think that would be possible. The stories are too vast, the characters too complex. The show is, in a certain way, divisive: “Whose side are you on?” Also, if you’re pleasing everyone, then it’s probably quite tepid. But to me it seemed like the only way it could end.

 

Didn’t you want it to end more triumphantly for Daenerys?

 

I’m not sure it could. Even for a part that I’ve given so much to and I’ve felt so much for, and for a character that’s seen and lived through so much, I don’t know that there was any other way. But it was a shocker to read.

 

Meanwhile, re: the shocking cameo by a character I didn't recognize for ten minutes then felt unspeakably guilty about, it's good to know I am not alone:

 

Edited by Vee

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I see Jon did in fact leave the Watch and just join the Free Folk with Tormund. That makes me happy. Back to Ygritte's land.

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I kind of wish they'd had Satin Flowers make a (debut) appearance. 

 

I forgot to say, Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) was on SNL last night, in a very brief cameo. Apparently he's a rapper. He didn't get to say or do much, even though he appeared in one of their rapping videos. I guess at least he got a little bit of TV time. 

 

Thank you for all the articles you've posted over the years, @Vee . I'm glad you were able to enjoy the show to the end. 

 

And to the people who used to post about the show here and disappeared - I hope you enjoyed the finale, wherever you are. 

 

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5 hours ago, DRW50 said:

he was never remotely punished or even confronted for - death would have been more fitting for his arc and for being the last of the Lannisters. 

 

The finale made an entire point of how, yes, he was punished. But, no, not some gruesome death.

 

4 hours ago, Vee said:

 

Meanwhile, re: the shocking cameo by a character I didn't recognize for ten minutes then felt unspeakably guilty about, it's good to know I am not alone:

 

Whoa! Really cool!

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1 minute ago, YRBB said:

 

The finale made an entire point of how, yes, he was punished.

 

I guess they see it that way. I can't say I agree. But I was never a fan of that character so who I am to say. 

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I was good with the finale.  With the exception of a very talkative Tyrion, I thought it was pretty well done.  I sure hope Dinklage isn't paid by the word!  They didn't have to give him so much in the finale, especially since he was in chains for treason!  

 

Jon and Dany had negative chemistry to their final scene bored me and it made no sense for Drogon not to light Jon up!

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20 minutes ago, ChitHappens said:

it made no sense for Drogon not to light Jon up!

 

He was a Targaryen. The dragons are loyal only to them.

 

More including an interview with Isaac Hempstead Wright:

 

 

LOL:

 

 

Edited by Vee

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LOTS of bullsh-t went around. How is Bran king when he's barely a real person at this point? Why is Sam's bitchass back? That only reminded me how much I hate that he's not dead and he already got his happy ending with Gilly.

 

Id rather Jon dead than disgraced and sentenced to go serve his life at the Night's Watch again. And why is there even still a NW? That seemingly was and should be abolished after what went down

 

Best part was Sansa being named Queen of the North. Very satisfying. Im fine with Arya's ending bc I just watched the end of season 6 and its what she mentioned she wanted

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I was satisfied with the ending.  I predicted a Stark would end up with the Throne, I just didn't think it would be Bran.  LOL    I see a future movie with Arya's adventure out west. 

 

If Dany had to die, I hoped it would be Jon who kills her, so I was happy with what happened there.   Fantastic scene with Drogon nudging Dany, realizing she's dead, burns down the Iron Throne, and then takes off with her body. 

 

I do wish that there were more episodes, in seasons 7 and 8, so things could've been fleshed out more.   I loved Cersei so I would've liked to see more of her this season, and wish she got a better death. 

 

Despite the criticisms and faults that show has received for these last couple of seasons, it still will go down as one of the best dramas of all time - when we see those lists (Top 10, Top 20, etc), GOT will be on it, and rightfully so.  

 

 

 

 

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