Last night Game of Thrones finally went big at the Emmys. Too little too late. Getting Emys for the worst season to date is the very definition of irony. And yes, choosing Mother’s Mercy over Hardhome was truly a crime. So let’s take a look at five worst moments of the award winning finale episode of Game of Thrones’ season 5.
SHIRTLESS RAMSAY AND HIS TWENTY GOOD MEN
On one side we have Stannis Baratheon, a seasoned military commander who fought many battles, who won many battles and who held Storm’s End during Robert’s Rebellion, and survived. On the other side we have RamsAy Bolton, a bastard boy, son of Roose Bolton who has no wits and no experience not to mention that nothing in his storyline has ever suggested that he is a good tactician. Sure, he can defeat the Ironborn with his bare chest but still, for this to work we have to suspend our disbelief to infinity and back. Therefore, in theory, Stannis Baratheon should have a well-defensed camp and naturally, the success of Ramsay’s attack becomes suspect. People are trying to justify this lack of logic by suggesting that RamsAy had some help from within, but, friends, this is the show run and written by D&D so lack of logic is the least we can expect.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RENLY
“In the name of King Renly, the rightful heir to the Throne, I sentence you to die” were the last words of Brienne of Tarth right before she did her duty by beheading King Stannis. At this point, I wanted someone, anyone to put this storyline out of its misery. Having Brienne do it was a nice touch, but alas, highly predictable. Predictability is not what bothered me in this scene however. It was it’s inaccurate choice of wording. Yes, I know that for Brienne Renly IS the rightful heir to the Throne and ONE TRUE King. However, something that makes sense to Brienne (and a good number of fans) doesn’t necessarily make it true. I know, we can enter a philosophical discussion now, during which we can argue that every single person in Westeros is the rightful heir to the Throne if he/she has an army big enough to win him/her the Throne. Yes, this is partially true but let’s discuss it a bit first.
Once upon time there was 7 Kingdoms in Westeros ruled by 7 kings. Then one day, upon loosing their homeland, three Targaryens – Aegon the Conqueror, accompanied by his two sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys – riding three huge dragons came, saw and conquered the entire continent (apart from Dorne) uniting it under one seat ruled from one ugly chair. Since that time until the day Roberth Baratheon rebelled against the King, the Targaryens were the ones in charge. They established the royal line, which was passed on through male bloodline, i.e. from father to son. Taking the Throne for himself Robert established himself the new King of Westeros. Im order to make sure his bloodline would continue he married Cersei Lannister who gave him three children. During the events of the first book, A Game of Thrones, Ned Stark came to realize that Cersei lied and that her children are not Baratheons but Lannisters. Performing the Westerosi CSI (black and gold of hair) Ned foolishly decided to confront Cersei. In the meantime, Robert was killed by a boar, or Lansel Lannister, depending of your viewpoint and Ned ended up in jail for treason against his boy king Joffrey Lannister (pretending to be Baratheon). Before getting executed Ned made sure that Stannis knows the truth about his brother’s “children”. In other words, Ned Stark died so Stannis, the middle child, would be crowned a king. Because, once again, in the Kingdom’s polity established by the Targaryens the crown passes on through male bloodline, from father to son. If the father doesn’t have a legitimate son, the crown goes to his younger brother. If the King has two brothers the crown goes to the older of the two. In this case the older was Stannis. Not Renly. Ned knew it. I know it. George knows it, which is why he made this so complicated. This then makes Renly the usurper against his own brother. Therefore, Renly was not true or rightful anything. He was a flamboyant, pretentious kid who unfortunately died in a very brutal way.
So, how is it that Lannisters sit the Throne you wonder? If I am right then they are not the rightful heirs to the Throne. Yes, you assume correctly, they are not. They usurped the Throne but not by war or armies. No, it was all Cersei’s doing. She slept with her brother and bore him the children whose identities are simultaneously both the worst and the best kept secret in King’s Landing. Without paternity test and DNA there is nothing anyone can do, which is why, five seasons later, she still rules as the Queen Mother, formerly as the Queen Regent. Broken, but unwavering.
Don’t get me wrong. Everyone can conquer the Throne. However, this doesn’t mean that the Throne was originally his or hers by the right of birth. In the present times the only legitimate right to the Throne was in the hands of Stannis, who will never ever sit on it. Now, as for Daenerys who continuously claims that the Throne is hers by the right of birth, well, it is not. It never truly was to begin with because she is a woman. But I will get on that in a moment. The reason Daenerys doesn’t have the right to the Throne lies in the fact that Robert Baratheon took the Throne from her father before she was even born. He led an army and conquered Westeros same way Aegon the Conqueror took it several hundred years earlier. That said, Daenerys has lost her birthright while Robert’s hypothetical sons gained it. Now, if Joffrey was his son then Throne would be his and it would pass on to his son and to his grandson and so on. Being a woman is what makes Daenerys immortal (All men must die but we are not men) in her eyes but it is also what makes her ill suited for the Throne in the eyes of Westeros law. In the history of this Kingdom there was only one woman who sat on the Iron Throne and let me tell you, that didn’t go so well, for anyone involved. Now, Daenerys has the right of conquest like any other noble there or anywhere however, she first has to gather an army strong enough for the task and then she can make new laws or whatever she needs to establish herself as the new “rightful” ruler of Westeros. If the Throne belongs to Targaryens by right, then she has to stand in line since there are two boys that best her at this. First one is Aegon Targaryen, the alleged son of Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ older brother who lost his life at the Trident battling Robert Baratheon. Then comes Jon Snow, alleged son of the same man, who first has to prove he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and then that he is the legitimate son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, meaning that the two were already married when Jon was born. As their aunt, Daenerys is third in line, and as a woman she stands little to no chance, especially if her two dragons get killed during her absence. However, if she riles up the Khalesar behind her, gets her Unsullied back in line, manages to keep all three dragons alive, has Varys (who originally supported her nephew Aegon) and Tyrion as her advisers, manages to sail to Westeros, to join forces with one of the local royal families, learns a bit more about the country, gets of her high horse, stays alive for a little while and manages to take the Throne by force, then and only then will she be the rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. In the mean time, she should take a number and stand in line.
As for Renly, well, you get the picture. I hope.
SANSA’S LEAP OF FAITH
I admit, if I was forced to marry Ramsay Snow Bolton I would jump from the Eiffel tower if it meant I would finally get rid of the psycho. However, I would not expect to survive. The jump would be my last resort. My stairway to Northern heaven.
Who knows what was going on in her head. Maybe she was lead by the idea of Bran’s miraculous survival. But then, who wass going to bring her back to health now that her whole family is gone? Ramsay Bolton’s guards from down below? Although I loved the atmosphere of the scene, its “hell yeah” moment, the apparent triumph of the marginal ones, once more I had to suspend my disbelief to the infinity and back. It makes me wonder, is that how the Emmy winning writing really works?
VARYS’ SUDDEN CHANGE OF HEART
All roads lead to Mereen. Even the road of our favorite Spider because, what do you know, he now supports Daenerys’ claim to the Iron Throne? I don’t know about you but I never took Varys for a fickle creature. To jog your memory, it was Varys who made sure Jorah got his royal pardon in exchange for information about our beloved Mother. It was Varys who ordered her death during the first season and why Ned resigned as the Hand of the King, which got him severely injured and Jory killed. It was Varys who plotted with Mopatis down below, surrounded by dragon bones, when Arya overheard them.
The same Ilyrio Mopatis, Varys’ closest and longest friend, the husband of (possibly) the last known Blackfyre, who made sure Daenerys and Viserys ended up in the hands of Drogo’s khalesar, and a step closer to death. Their plan worked with Viserys, whose ill temper melted his head, but then Mister Jorah Friendzone changed his mind making sure Khaleesi lives at the market. Ironically, Mopatis’ gift – the petrified dragon eggs – ended up turning into the real dragons and the rest is history. Even Jory’s death. So what changed Varys’ loyalty to the realm in the show? The lack of prince Aegon Targaryen, that’s what.
JON’S ANTICLIMACTIC AND SHORT DEATH
Waiting for Jon’s death by betrayal was so exciting for me. I got over it a few years ago and ever since that time I was imagining all the cool ways they could execute this genius moment. But then, in Season 3, I met a boy named Olly and all my dreams perished into the smoke of Azor Ahai’s rebirth. I knew then what I know now; the little ungrateful shit will be the final dagger in the dark, the one that brought the cold. And just like that, one element of surprise went down the drain. Come fifth season the whole Internet buzzed with the memes depicting Olly killing Jon. Way to go HBO! Way to go. Alas, they didn’t stop there, no, they made his name be the last word Jon uttered before leaving this world. Not Ghost. Olly. Olly, because why would he whisper the name of his bellowed direwolf, his only friend left at the Wall, the one that never leaves his side?! The one that helps Sam get laid but is gone while Jon is being brutally murdered. Makes no sense, right? Especially considering that he is not a Stark or a warg. No. He whispered Olly as in “You too Olly?” You get it right? As in friend, son, brother? The Ides of the Wall. Yes, yes, it was a very subtle reference and another Ceasar.
That said, if the memes are our witness, then we knew this reference is coming probably even long before they decided to make Olly the focal point of this epic moment. Anyways, considering that we already know how the story goes – Starks are easy to kill (Ned, Robb, Cat and now Jon) duh – they could’ve given the audience a perfect ending this time because merely killing a Stark is no longer good enough. After the Red Wedding, not to mention Ned’s beheading, we are used to everything. So not killing Jon in an explicit graphic manner is one-stepping backwards HBO! It is neither creative nor shocking.
But, if you just stuck to the book, then things would’ve been so much grander. The truth is, there was great potential in this scene. Great! First of all, Kitt Harrington is now a well-known actor, beloved amongst the fans of the show, so, logically, in the time of Internet and instant photography, one would have to work really hard if one wanted to keep a secret from spoiler thirsty fans. Kitt is spotted in Belfast on numerous occasions; reports are saying he is filming battles and leading the army of Wildlings. We know HBO. We know. He lives. We also know that his last words were: “Ghost” and we know he is potentially the greatest warg that ever lived. We know because the writer has told us as much when he thoroughly created the setting for this scene in the prologue of A Dance with Dragons. Mere seconds before dying, Jon’s ability was triggered (same as Bran’s) by the shock of imminent death, enabling him to warg into Ghost, his direwolf that was being conveniently locked away that night, which is why he didn’t save his friend’s life. Now imagine the following scenario. Jon is stabbed. We all scream. “Not another one! Not Jon!” and as the camera zooms out slowly showing us the pool of blood flowing from Jon’s dead body into the snow, his eyes turn white. Wouldn’t that be epic? Not only would we be shocked (loosing a major character is never easy); we would also get an award in the form of “HELL YEAH! Jon is a warg!” moment.
This would leave the audience across the world speechless yet hopeful because for the first time they would have something to look forward to. But no, the writers/producers decided to crush our soul again instead. Too bad some people have read the books and some others have spotted the actor about. What a wasted opportunity. In the end what we’ve got was yet another mediocre scene, packed with mediocre lines (using Uncle Benjen’s name in vein like that… Shame! Shame! Shame!) begging us to suspend our disbelief yet again.
Are we not entertained?
Best quote award winning style: “You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy.”
Text written by: Monika Ponjavić