I had originally planned to review the last two episodes of Game of Thrones before offering up my opinion on season 6 as a whole. Alas, at this point I don’t think there’s much need or demand for my take, if only because I doubt it would be that dissimilar from your own. Season 6 was just fine through episode 8, then it hit the last two legs of its journey and provided us with a couple of brilliant hours of television. We were reminded exactly why we love this show so much and then were immediately faced with the agonizingly long wait until season 7.
That’s pretty much how we’re all feeling, right? Kevin recently recommended Shameless to me, so maybe I’ll see what kind of shenanigans William H. Macy has been up to in order to kill some time.
That being said, I’d still like to briefly discuss the road that Thrones is about to go on and speculate on whether or not the monumental series can deliver on all of the promises that have been made over the past six years. As Sansa and Jon Snow observed, “Winter is here, just like father always promised.” We’re off to a good start.
Spoilers will obviously follow, so if you’re not caught up on Thrones, don’t keep reading. Unless you enjoy having things spoiled for you, then let’s go!
Whenever you take a really long road trip, it’s always a bit surreal when you actually reach your destination. You’ve seen all of the signs that told you how many miles were left, you bug your friends with, “Are we there yet?” until they’re ready to punch you in the face, but then you actually get there and you aren’t sure what to do. Alright, maybe you stretch for a bit or hastily search for the nearest bathroom. When you’re feeling loose and your bladder is nice and empty, then it hits you. We made it, guys. We made it. But now what?
Game of Thrones is like that really long road trip, because I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve heard that something specific is bound to happen. “Daenerys is going to conquer the Seven Kingdoms.” “The White Walkers are coming.” “Jon Snow’s parents will be revealed.” “Winter is coming.” It was almost six full seasons of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss beating us over the head about what was to come and what to expect. Now that a couple of those promises have actually come to fruition, we’re getting pretty close to that moment where we all just sort of look at each other and say, “We made it. But now what?”
I think the results will be far more bittersweet than many of us probably realize. Another chapter has been closed in the power struggle that the show was named after, but by now we’ve been conditioned to never expect reigns to last or houses to co-exist. There is still plenty of bad blood between the few families left standing in Westeros, and that’s before you account for Daenerys’ long-awaited arrival to her homeland, where plenty of Targaryen style justice will inevitably be dished out. As Varys said, it’s all about fire and blood now, which is bad news for anyone else who wants the Iron Throne.
But does any of that really matter? Eventually the Wall is coming down and the Night King and his spooky army will come pouring through, and at that point will anyone care about who is in power and who’s not? Sure, we’d all like to see Cersei burn for being a total bitch from the moment she first appeared onscreen, but as it pertains to the lives of the other characters, I don’t know how much that will factor into the endgame. We’ve seen glimpses of the White Walkers’ power and are aware of the limitless horde of decrepit zombies they have at their disposal, but nothing close to a full-scale invasion. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the Night King and his homies have only made a couple of appearances over the past two seasons. With maybe only 13 episodes remaining, something has to give.
Translation: the White Walkers are going to be bringing the pain, most likely at the expense of several characters that everyone really likes.
They have to, right? On a show that’s only had one episode where no one has died, I think we’ve become somewhat desensitized to people getting killed off. Joffrey, Ramsay and Cersei may all be monsters, but these are the White Walkers. They are supposed to be the most horrible adversaries imaginable. Basically, Thrones has spent its entire run preparing us for one massive slaughter, and this is after events like the Red Wedding and the Battle of the Bastards.
So yes, winter is finally here. We know that Lyanna Stark is Jon’s mother, although the show has yet to reveal the father (but come on, you know who it is). And I think we’re all pretty convinced that Daenerys is actually coming to Westeros this time (fingers crossed). As far as the White Walkers go, that’s the one arrival that has yet to even begin. And if they truly want to deliver on that one, then it just has to be awful for anyone with a pulse.
But we won’t know for sure until next year, or maybe the year after. Until then, check out Shameless with Kevin and I.
And just to double check, “Are we there yet?”