Posted in Television

All in The Family

A rather somber Game of Thrones episode, don’t you think?

It certainly feels like we’re seeing final curtain calls now. We seem to be saying goodbye to one character after another, whether through death or departure.

So many farewells in this last episode. What a lovely gesture by Sansa to slide a Stark direwolf pin onto Theon’s armor as his corpse lay on the funeral pyre. Jon’s goodbyes as he left Winterfell were even more heart- wrenching: to Tormund, to Sam and Gilly, and–sob!–to Ghost. We’ve got two more long episodes to go, so I’m hoping we see some of these characters at least once more.

There was a contrasting type of farewell by Arya and the Hound. Due to unfinished business neither will see Winterfell again. The Hound looks to repay his brother, currently Cersei’s giant in armor, for tossing him into the fire as a child and giving him that scarred face. Arya’s mission, of course, is to complete her Hit Parade, which has always been topped by Cersei. If anyone has known her destiny, it’s Arya, who probably first proclaimed herself “Not a lady” at the age of three. He doesn’t think so, but with her self-knowledge she did Gendry a kindness by turning him down.

Speaking of which, now that Gendry is no longer a bastard but Lord Baratheon, doesn’t that put him on a par with Jon and Daenarys with respect to claiming the throne? Dany may have thought it was clever to ennoble him, but I think that move is going to bite her in the behind in the long run.

On a lighter note, I thought the Stark conclave was hysterical, what with Jon insisting “We’re family.” I was waiting for him to say “We’re family, but not the family you think, since I’m really your cousin, not your brother.” And so much for secrets—I was surprised Jon’s true identity hadn’t appeared on a billboard by episode’s end, given how much these characters blab. Speaking of which, too bad “loose lips” didn’t figure into Tyrion’s war strategy—knowing about those catapults in advance sure would have come in handy.

So now Brienne gets her second heart’s desire—Jamie. Aren’t they the oddest couple, though? Sansa and Tyrion, whom I’m still rooting for, make more sense, even though Brienne’s been pining for Jamie since Season 2. More than the romance, their last conversation, in which Jamie recounted his evil deeds, was shocking in its honesty. His final assessment of Cersei and himself— “She’s hateful, but so am I”—was another gut-wrench. Watching the evolution of Jamie Lannister from Cersei’s amoral pawn to the man he is now has been one of the highlights of GoT. I still expect Brienne and Jamie to die side by side in battle, with her telling him “Jamie Lannister, you’re a good man” before she goes.

Ah, Cersei—playing the baby daddy game for all she’s worth. She reached new heights–or depths, depending on your point of view–of cruelty in this latest episode. I don’t think we’ve actually seen a head lopped off on this show before, not even Ned Stark’s. Poor Missandei. At least she rallied the troops with that last “Dracarys,” though her execution may have sent Dany round the bend. What a strange expression on the queen’s face after she turned away from the death scene.

Three quickies until next week:

Paralleling Jamie’s evolution has been the growth of Sansa. I really disliked her at the start of GoT—her boy-craziness over Geoffrey helped set one tragedy after another in motion. Yet over time she’s become one of the most clear-headed characters on the show. This is why I’m hoping she ends up with Tyrion—they’ve grown into a great match for each other.

I am so going to enjoy Euron Greyjoy’s getting his.

If Lena Headey were to be paid by the sneer, she’d be the richest woman on TV.

To be continued.

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