There’s SO much that happened last night!
Let’s start with the dragon in the room. Remember last week when I said
there’s nothing to say about Dany. She’s had her epic moments this season, and I don’t think anything can top them.
Well I was wrong. I mean sure, she LITERALLY burned down the patriarchy (more on this in a bit) in Vaes Dothrak, then she gave the most inspirational speech ever (at least since Independence Day or Pacific Rim), and then she got back in time to use all three dragons and take down the Masters, thus contributing to the end of slavery as an institution in Essos.
Speaking of ending things…
Now let’s address the giant in the room… and I mean that both in terms of why I’m upset and in terms of the literal giant Wun Wun and how he met his end. I’m upset because Rickon died (yes the Stark with the least amount of plotlines… or lines) and because Wun Wun’s death was equally devastating, in part because both died at the hands (and arrows) of Ramsay Bolton. It’s like the writers might have worried after the epic battle (and Wun Wun’s epic breakthrough) that the viewers might have forgotten about Ramsay shooting Rickon with an arrow. Did NO ONE teach that kid to zig-zag!?!?!?
And so to keep viewers emotional they had Ramsay kill Wun Wun with an arrow. What unifies them though isn’t just that they were killed by Ramsay, it’s that they were the last of their kind. Now, maybe there’s some old giants still alive north of the wall that we don’t know about, and a lot of you are going “UM HELLLLOOOOOO, There’s still 4 Starks out there”, but guess what, none who can reestablish a ruling line in Winterfell.
Stay with me on this. Sansa (who is now one of the most ruthless characters we’ve got, keeping knowledge of Littlefinger from Jon and then watching Ramsay get eaten with such calm) and Arya (my favorite little assassin) are both girls. Which means sorry, they get no titles, they can hold land till they marry, then, because of the system they were born into, once someone like Sansa marries Winterfell belongs to her husband. And Bran is WAY too busy figuring out everyone’s past along with his future, so he’s out. Then there’s Jon… what to say about Jon, one he’s a bastard, and two, the fact that he’s actually probably Lyanna Stark’s son means he belongs on the Iron Throne, not in Winterfell.
The Starks (noble and epic though they were) are a part of an ending era. An era ruled through an imploding system and it’s now clear that we’re not watching that system’s struggle for survival, we’re watching its ruination. Every noble family is suffering and seeing its line decline. The Lannisters, The Baratheons, the Tyrells and the Martells (and House Arryn was practically done for when this series began). Remember when I said Dany burned down the patriarchy… it’s really been burning out all along, some of it more violently than others. And let’s not pretend that there’s any hope of restoration at this point. Our chances of the Stark family becoming a strong noble line again are about as good as Melisandre bringing back Rickon.
Melisandre will likely be too busy dealing with Davos next week anyway.
Game of Thrones though is not called “The Song of these houses that fought”. It’s “The Song of Ice and Fire”. Magically speaking, the Wights are the Ice, the Dragons are the fire. Humanly speaking (or as human as you can get in a world with wargs, ice zombies, dragons, priests/priestesses, and lest we forget Hodor telepathic time travel)… where was I, ah yes: Humanly speaking Jon Snow is both (if his fan theory parentage is to be accepted… and it darn well better be at this point). Sure Dany brings the fire… but to what end?
This show has given us no shortage of brilliant, fierce, strong women but their success (even in a world where the games are changing) will be limited. Any ruling woman (whether it’s Yara in the Iron Islands, Sansa in Winterfell, the unforgettable Lady Momont on Bear Island, or even Dany on the Iron Throne) will have a single reign and as much as I’d love these woman to leave the world a better place when they leave it, once they leave said world one of two things will happen.
Either they will bear children which would mean, unless a lot of change happens in a short time, each of them marrying and providing offspring for a man (seems a bit like a step backwards to a feminist point of view… and something the now ruling ladies of Dorne would NOT stand for), or when they die should the system of families and houses be restored, all manner of manipulation and backstabbing will continue, the “wheel” turning again, despite Dany having broken said wheel.
Ok I lied, there’s a third option MAYBE, just MAYBE Dany will be the first in Westeros to institute democracy and the wise knights, ladies and peasants will elect leaders worthy of the Iron Throne.
Oh, and yes, as you can tell I’ve completely neglected to talk about everything that was awesome in this episode. The battle for Winterfell was as epic as things could get. I’d never quite felt that anything truly topped the Wildfire of season 2 (and I both hope and don’t hope we’ll see more of it via Cersei’s desperation). But I was gasping and shouting and holding my breath through the whole thing and I can’t wait to watch it again.
Don’t believe that it was more epic than season two’s wildfire?!?!
Also, let’s talk about Sansa. Let’s forget for a moment that she exists within a world and a system that makes women bargaining tools at best and objects at worth. Let’s take a moment to look at how she magnificently reminded Ramsay that he hadn’t fed his dogs in seven days. And then, just as he was being mauled and she began to step back she leaned back in to watch just a bit more. Finally I think it’s safe to say that every woman watching shared her smile before the screen went to black.
I can’t wait for next week, and I hate that its already the finale.