It’s taken me a Iittle time, well around two years but I finally got round to watching the last year of Game of Thrones. I actually watched the final two years of Game of Thrones in a week as I couldn’t remember if I had watched the penultimate series until I was around five episodes into it and so decided to watch it right through.
I’ve always been a huge Game of Thrones fan, I’m just generally too busy to watch television, even when I’m stuck at home Excluded and unable to leave the house for a year.
Game of Thrones is almost my ideal programme. It’s historic fiction, largely based on aspects of British history and it’s not really sensationalised. What elements aren’t drawn on local history and culture include nomadic Steppe warriors which I studied at University. I feel at home watching it, the bleak moors of the north are pretty much home to me whilst my last two and very distance foreign holidays were to Malta and Dubrovnik which have stood in for Kings Landing…. not to be mistaken for Kings Langley which is about 2 minutes in the car from where I lived for nearly 15 years.
It’s a little bit controversial to say so but I totally loved the last two years of Game of Thrones, even the divisive and even derided final episode or two.
I always like to have my own opinion and not go with the flow unless I agree with it and I deliberately kept away from knowing how the series would end, which wasn’t easy at the time when not just the internet but social media and mainstream news were discussing the plot points and apparently widespread dissatisfaction.
Probably like most people a few years ago I would have liked to have either Jon Snow or Khaleesi take their place on the Iron Throne, maybe even as a royal couple but Game of Thrones isn’t a fairy-tale and once it became clear in the penultimate year that Khaleesi and Jon were fairly closely related, well I thought right a way that wasn’t going to happen.
Pretty much the only complaint I can sympathise with is that elements of the plotting or characterisation seem a little rushed in the final year or two but that’s ok to me. Everything makes sense and I’m glad I wasn’t totally able to work out the ending, though I did get close in the final episodes. Unlike many others I’m glad that the Night King was dealt with early in the last series, I know many expected that to happen in the very last episode but if I was making the show, I’d have done the same and then have the final episodes play out between the contenders for the throne.
I’ve been reading about there was so much outrage that Khaleesi turned out to be an even greater villain the Queen Cersei but that is how life somehow turns out. The warning signs were always there. Sometimes you do get virtuous people who get caught up in their own beliefs and propaganda that they can’t see they have become the very thing they hate. Though I didn’t expect her to go quite so crazy when she destroyed Kings Landing, it was always a possibility to me and in fact I was quite ready for her to be the victorious Queen and be crazy and evil as the end credits rolled.
I liked how Jaime died protecting his sister and Queen and indeed incestuous twin lover after his character was redeemed and after his nobility clearly shone through. Personally I would have had a scene between Cersei and Khaleesi, it reminds of the fantastic Star Trek 2:The Wrath of Khan were as brilliant as it was and as much loved as it is, Kirk and Khan never had a moment together and really they should have.
I liked how Jon Snow was deserving of being the King but got something he wanted much more, to be back in the North, regardless of him being exiled there rather than choosing to go there. He never wanted to be King and indeed never sought the throne.
I’m also thrilled that little Tyrion didn’t just survive but prosper. I always really liked him, his cleverness and way with words and his unapologetic attitude to drink and sex which in a way epitomised much of the show. He was still making me laugh in the last episodes; I guess I could empathise a lot with him and whether it is Mr Spock, Sherlock Holmes or medieval Imps, I do like my heroes to have something of a brain.
I’m even happy that Bran got to be the King, in many ways the perfect choice and chosen by in effect a Witenagemot the old Anglo-Saxon tradition of a wise council deciding upon their monarch.
When he was a young man George R. R. Martin was adamantly opposed to the American war in Vietnam, that’s why there was so many bloody deaths and battles that are shown in all their viciousness but not in a glorified way. That’s also why the senseless deaths of so many people in Kings Landing took place, to show how war doesn’t really pay at all.
In fact there were only two bits I wasn’t overly thrilled with and neither really have anything to do what other people have repeatedly found to be contentious. Firstly, I always really hated Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied. I never found anything redeeming in his character and though it’s nothing personal, I don’t like the actor and I hated his Estuary Mockney accent. After his better half was beheaded on the walls of Kings Landing, I would have liked him to meet his end too.
I also took an increasing dislike to Sansa Sark; the actress is like all the others, wonderful but her character seemed to progress merely through suffering and in my mind didn’t earn her place as Queen in the North merely by just surviving. That being said I did like how perhaps the most boring and stereotypical female character got to be Queen rather than the kick-ass tomboy Arya or indeed the beautiful and in the end violent Khaleesi which are both in a way modern biases in fiction.
I’m really going to miss seeing new Game of Thrones, it’s only been a day and I already miss it. The characters, the witty dialogue, the fantastic scenery and cinematography. The downright obscene violence and conniving politics and plotting. That’s all I want in a television programme, to treat me like an adult. Game of Thrones has over 600 named characters on screen, I’m not sure I can name 600 people in real life! And around 6,500 onscreen deaths let alone the implied hundreds of thousands more.
So many tremendous scenes such as the birth of dragons, the death of Jon Snow, the terrible Red Wedding, the well-deserved though shocking death of King Joffrey. And all those lines that will forever sum up a big chunk of popular culture in the 2010’s. “Winter is coming”. “A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of a sheep”, “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say,” and my favourite “You know nothing Jon Snow”.
There are surprisingly lots of funny moments in Game of Thrones, though many of them have some rather terse language.
One scene that always makes me laugh is this one, it also has a few rude words.
Thanks for all the memories, the ups and downs and the fantastically rich and in-depth world of Game of Thrones. I don’t think there will ever be anything to quite match you again.