There Were Hundreds of Ways Out / But Only One Way Here: Final #GameofThrones Thread

This show and these books and every single bit of terrible merchandise from all of it will be worth it forever for introducing us to this goddess. Go argue elsewise if you must but do it away from my hearing.

Since this is the last one ever I have a few things I’d like to address from previous episodes.

First, no, Sansa Stark did not thank her rapist in that scene with the Hound.

Second, of course this all could have gone another way. That’s THE POINT.

People make choices and those choices have consequences and nobody HAD to do any of this. Lysa Arryn could have burned Littlefinger’s note and none of this shiz would have happened and Robert would still be falling down drunk at jousts and stuff.

“What if Dany went crazy but in like a sympathetic way?” is not a way of arriving at the same point. It’s another story, which is fine, but you’re not writing the one that’s on TV.

Third, Danaerys Targaryen was not being ruined by sexist showrunners who turned her from a heroine into a villain. What books did you all read? Forget the books, what show did you all watch?

Dany has always been problematic AF. So has Jon, frankly, with his martyr complex and his whinging about Ned and his refusal of the throne Because A True Ruler Never Wants It. So has Varys. So has Tyrion (so, so much, has Tyrion). So, honestly, have Arya and Brienne. If you think you’ve been watching a show about heroes and villains buddy have I got beachfront in Arizona for you to buy.

This is a story about power. About what it does.

To everyone.

Quick takes: No voices on the previouslies, and barely any of those. If you’re here then you know by now.

Do not fuck with Grey Worm or his posse will end you. And frankly Jon getting in between GW and Dany was real dumb. Lest we forget, they have been Through Some Shit together.

I don’t have a lot of patience with Tyrion but his moving through the Red Keep was hard; he lived there a long time, and back then he still thought there was a way out. He still thought his brother was noble and his sister could be redeemed. His niece and nephews were alive and he only knew half the lies his father had told him.

LOVED the Dothraki being so into Drogon. He’s like a big horse to them and it’s very consistent, as was Dany addressing them as blood of her blood. We forget how long she was with Drogo. We forget how much she loved being with him.

At the age of 17, she ate a stallion’s still-beating heart. I’ve never been so on her side as I was in the first five minutes of this episode.

I know we bitched a lot about the cinematography so let me just say that shot of Dany walking out with the dragon behind her blew me behind the Tastee Freeze.

Watching her approach the Throne, finally. Finally. Like I said, she’s always been problematic, but: Sold in marriage. Abused. Raped. Chained. And just for a moment, everything you want, and all it took is everything you are.

So many stories end this way. You start out loving something and you twist it and torture it to keep it, and in the end you both die bloody, while the snow falls like ash around you.

Just a stupid chair, after all. Melt it down in dragonfire, under the broken arches. All that death, all that ice and fire, disappeared in an instant. If we’d known it was so easy, would we still have found ourselves here?

So let’s talk about endings. Let’s talk about what I care about, and let the whole internet howl about what they want to howl about. Let’s talk about who got an ending they really deserved.

The Hound. I caught this last week but didn’t have time in between all the FUCK SHIT DANY JUST BURNED DOWN THE WORLD. Arya called him by his name. She called him Sandor. Not Clegane, not Joffrey’s Dog, not the name she whispered amongst all the other monsters. She gave him his due, and when he went into the flames he knew exactly who he was.

Jaime Lannister. Jaime went back to Cersei and I hated that he did that, and I understood that he did that, because the people who abuse you always make sure to love you first. And at first I thought it was a betrayal of his redemption arc, but it wasn’t. He didn’t go back for him.

He went back to show Cersei there was one person who saw her for everything she was and loved her, not in spite of how terrible she was, but somehow, because of it. If you’ve never been loved like that, I hope you feel it just once, because there’s nothing on earth more powerful.

It was as profound an act of generosity as anything I’ve ever seen in fiction.

And in thanks Brienne gave him the story he wanted. Ser Brienne of Tarth, an honorable knight.

Catelyn Stark. Of all the people I really wished we could have seen at the end, through some kind of Return of the Jedi glowing mindfuck ghost story, it was Cat. Angry, unhappy, reckless Cat, who thought all her children were dead. And there they were.

Alive, strong, and that was her ending. Sansa Stark, Queen in the North, calling her banners and making a home. Arya, powerful beyond measure, exploring beyond the edge of the world. And the son she never wanted, the burden of Ned’s idiocy and lies, gone to the Watch to guard the realms of men.

Remember Cat and Ned, in Season One? All those years ago, wanting their daughter to be queen. Cat wanting her son to be king. Your wolves have come again after all, Catelyn. The North that called the Young Wolf’s name by the fire, that North, remembers.

Look, of course there’s a lot to hate here and I’m not telling you not to hate it. I had ten fan theories I loved more than anything we saw, most of them involving Stoneheart or Stannis or the Night King being secretly Aegon in the past. Be as mad as you want about Brandon Stark, First of His Name, and the ruination of every prophecy and hope for everyone else that we nurtured all these years.

Be mad about wasted potential, moments of beauty we’ll never get to see because of money or laziness or stupidity or plain old animal fear.

But I’m choosing to love, tonight, a story about reckoning with power. About the fragility of all our motivations, all our wanting, our anger and pain. There aren’t very many stories our culture latches onto like we have this one. George R.R. Martin wrote a violent, horny D&D campaign that turned on its head fantasy stories we’ve taken for granted for GENERATIONS, about knights and kings and maidens fair, and we were all caught up in it, and it made us laugh and cry and think about the world we moved through differently.

That’s never wasted time. That’s never wasted effort or love and it’s never silly. Sam can thump down all kinds of books but it was never their story we were telling. It was ours.

It was a story about power, after all.

A.

One thought on “There Were Hundreds of Ways Out / But Only One Way Here: Final #GameofThrones Thread

  1. frazer says:

    Writing worthy of the scope of this series, Athenae. Thank you.

    Like

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