(AKA The Death of Fantasy) by LEVI ROGERS and Sam Williams
SO MANY SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SW: Levi, I’ve got to admit, while I LOVED that individual episode, I think the show-runners royally messed up the entire white walker story line. I mean, why should I even bother to re-watch scenes with Bran becoming the Three-eyed Raven, or the Night King chucking his spear into a dragon? By the time Arya thrusts her dagger into the Night King all we’ve been told is that the Night King wants to bring on an endless Winter and that he wishes to rid the world it’s memory, AKA the Three-eyed Raven. That’s it. That’s all we get. No explanation as to why the Night King didn’t kill Jon instead of staring at him, no explanation as to how the White Walkers knew to bring chains to fish the dead dragon from the ice, no explanations as to why Bran, not the Three-eyed Raven, but actual human flesh Bran and the Night King seem to have a connection. That doesn't sit well.
I mean the whole motivation as to why they go straight to Winterfell doesn’t really make sense. Aren’t they already going to rid the world of its memory by killing everyone? Like even if Bran is the only one left, he’s not going to be able to tell a bunch of Wights how the Night King ate stew one time and hated it. They’ll all be dead. Why go to Winterfell? Just because the town is literally named Winter Fell??? Honestly it seems like the show-runners couldn’t quite get their grip on this major fantasy element, and the White Walkers did what they did because the plot said so. Thoughts?
LR. I am in total agreement. It felt very anticlimactic to me. It would make more sense if Jaime were the one to kill the Night King or at least Arya said something like, “Not today” as she stabbed the Night King. But things just happened and then that was it. And the whole thing was VERY dark, which normally I’m on board with, i.e., the dark and chaoticness of battle, but still. It was fascinating to watch unfold, the suspense especially, and yet it left me slightly empty...which is what I fear for the finale.
SW: Of course, Bran could warg back in time and accidentally turn himself into the Night King, meaning that the Night King wanted to kill Bran before Bran became the Night King. ITS A POSSIBILITY RIGHT?
Don’t mind me Levi, I’m just grasping at the dust of what used to be my white walker straw. Anyways, what one question do you have about the last three episodes of GOT?
LR: I don’t really have questions. It just makes me really nervous about this ending in a satisfying conclusion. Is this why Martin has taken so long to finish the series? Because he knew there were some things that wouldn’t be able to be wrapped up? I don’t know.
SW: I’m super nervous. I think I’m one of few people who doesn’t care that much about who exactly sits on the Iron Throne. I’m interested, don’t get me wrong, but as it can’t be Cersei, who still needs to get murdered by one of her little brothers, and it won’t be Euron--as he hasn’t been written in a compelling way--then it’s got to be one of our heroes or the return of the white walkers, which I’m fine with.
My main questions all have to do with why did all these small moments from the Night King and Three-eyed Raven story-lines matter if this is truly the end of those stories? Why on earth did the writers waste time showing us the Night King turning a live baby into a white walker baby? You know?
I’ll get over it.
Because I don’t really have a question for moving forward, I did some sleuthing on the internet. Using all the powers of the internet known to mankind (a couple social media tools) I connected with thousands of individuals (around 36 random strangers and friends) querying after their every thought about Game of Thrones (asked people what one question they had moving forward).
I got some good responses:
Does Jon “come out” as a Targaryen?
How slowly will Cersei die?
What was Bran doing during the battle?
How hard will I cry and how long will my depression last when it’s over?
When’s the next book coming out?
A gif of the Hound and Mountain looking at each other with “SUP BRAH” captioning it.
A gif of the Hound drinking beer.
And a gif of Dwight from The Office throwing toilet paper.
My two favorite questions, as you probably guessed is from, friend of MMPP, Abbie Steckler, who is a filmmaker and editor down in LA. She wrote, “Who’s going to end up on the throne? That’s my main question for the season. And I guess my one big question concerning these few episodes - what exactly is Bran’s power and why is he useful?”
I think what Abbie is asking is a perfect example for how last week’s episode traumatized the fandom. This pressing question of who will win the Iron Throne, if the Iron Throne even exists by the end of this show, is the most pertinent issue moving forward. However, the fandom seems caught up on the apparent failings regarding the fantasy elements of the show. We seem split into two camps, one that decries what the show-runners have done with story-lines like the Night King, and one that believes the show has never really been about zombie-like snow creatures but only the political aspects. Basically it boils down to, “They aren’t wrapping this up that well” and “Shut up and enjoy the show.”
It absolutely matters who “wins.” The show has been leading up to that moment since the first episode. And while not all story-lines are created equal, it matters to a lot of people that we discover the mystery behind Bran, the Night King, the Lord of Light, etc. I mean, the show opened with the revelation that white walkers exist and are killing people. While the show runners have been exceptional in drawing us in to the political world of Westeros, we never got the world-building that fantasy such a compelling genre for viewers.
Who wins? I’d guess Sanza or Tyrion rule as protector of the realm, like Ned Stark was supposed to. Game of Thrones is so heavy handed with this circular theme--events repeating to help or hinder characters--that having someone fill the position Ned lost feels right. I’d guess that Jon and Dany both die but their child lives on.
However, like I said, this question is rather immaterial to me now. I’m more concerned with what you are Levi: Will this show be given the ending it deserves? That is based on so much more than just who wins, or loses, or dies. Starting with season five, as the show started its path away from Martin’s books, the richness of Game of Thrones has ebbed away, i.e. all the travel and timing issues that plagued season seven. And while separate episodes continue to dazzle, like the Long Night, the overall story has suffered. It seems Game of Thrones writers have been excellent at building off of what Martin created, but have not been as successful with creating new material. I may eat my words.
In the end it seems to me the only question worth asking is: What type of ending are we getting? I'm not convinced it's going to be the one this show deserves.