Game of Thrones, “The Winds of Winter”. A Review. With spoilers obviously. I mean, if you haven’t seen it yet, you just shouldn’t read this, now should you?
The idea that the world’s biggest library is in a harbour city guarded by a whopping big lighthouse was a nice Alexandrian touch. And in a world with so much slaughter and misery, it was nice to luxuriate with Sam Tarly at the spectacle of the bookstacks themselves. It was nice to luxuriate AT Sam Tarly enjoying the spectacle. A library designed by M.C. Escher with prompts and assistance from Umberto Eco. More than anywhere he’s ever been, you think – Sam is finally in a version of “home”. Mind you, the front desk librarian did remind me of a few librarians I have encountered over the years.
But what a deal of other stuff happened eh? EH?
Arya served up a Thyestean feast to Lord Frey of offspring pie – something straight out of Seneca or Titus Andronicus. Of course, we knew it was her long before she whipped her face off. Lord Frey has surely lived long enough. Arya still has her little list of society offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed. I don’t think he’ll be missed.
Littlefinger finally told Sansa he wants to sit on the Iron Throne. But I still don’t really know what Littlefinger wants – indeed, that’s the appeal of his character – never being remotely sure of his motives. I wonder what it’s like being wooed by someone who still has a crush on your dead mother and shows no signs of ever wanting to get over it? Sansa knows by now. I’m not sure about the idea of Jon Snow King of the North. The scene was a rerun of the scene for his
half brother cousin Robb, but I always thought there was something satisfying about Jon NOT being a king, or pretending or wanting to be one. Bran, as three eyed raven, high-fived quite a few internet rumours by confirming that Jon’s mother is Lyanna Stark and it will be hard for the remainder of the series to avoid the satisfying consensus that his father was Rhaegar Targaryen.
So – Jon is half Stark, half Targaryen. He certainly doesn’t look like a Targaryen. If the dynastic marriage possibilities discussed by Daenerys form the basis of much of series seven, then Jon Snow-Stark-Targaryen will have to be in the frame. For sure, he’s her nephew – but Targaryens are even more incestuous than Lannisters. Marrying a nephew is practically bringing new blood into the family.
But this was mainly a King’s Landing episode. Now the build up to the enormous explosion was delicious – the threatening delicacy of the music, the slow dressing up, the sense of ceremony. Grand Maester Pycelle was finally whacked by a pack of Dickensian urchins, someone else who had lived an inexplicably long time and who we are not invited to grieve over. And the whopping great wildfire flash and boom was very satisfying. What was not satisfying, of course, was the extermination of Margaery. I join just about everybody on the internet in feeling that we at least deserved to know the nature of her plotting before she was incinerated. Obviously she had some sort of scheme to outwit the Head Sparrow and outflank Cersei, and we deserved to see more than a few scraps of this scheme before she left us. Ho hum.
And now Cersei sits on the Iron Throne. With all three children dead (farewell Thommen, we hardly knew ye), it is highly plausible that she is completely insane at this point. At one point, I expected her to stare at Great Sept of Baelor seconds before its annihilation and whisper “Burn them. Burn them all.” But there is still time for this classic Mad King Aerys line to be quoted. There can be no defense of King’s Landing against the Targaryen armada without wildfire.
And so we wait. Season Seven = Daenerys in Westeros fighting for the Iron Throne. Season Eight = the last defense of the living against the dead.
And before then, months and months of deliciously unfounded speculation.