In which I write about Game of Thrones

This is a spoiler-filled article about Game of Thrones. It has nothing to do with LP&G Cyber Communications. I cannot keep up with more than on blog, so you get it here. Enjoy for a moment something not about business. The fact is I spent much of this morning hearing people complain about the end of Game of Thrones, and then I explained to them why I liked it, and then they told me I should write about it. So here I am, blogging about Game of Thrones.

Final Spoiler Warning. Ned Stark is not a spoiler. Though I suppose Sean Bean himself was a spoiler just by being in the show. Poor Sean Bean.

There are a few things that we just have to accept considering there are books and a TV show and differences between the two and some direction from George R.R. Martin (henceforth GRRM) to the showrunners. These include: (1) the show deviated from the books significantly even before the published books ended; (2) GRRM gave the showrunners the final scenario and ending; and (3) the show HAD to end–that is, we could not spend an entire season watching Daenerys’s descent into darkness.

As for Daenerys’s decision in the penultimate episode, I believe enough has been written reminding us all of her promise that when her dragons were grown she would “lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.” Tyrion was correct that she had our hearts when she was killing the slavers and burning the masters, and perhaps we forgot what happens when Targaryens believe their friends are turning against them. Seeing Dany go more and more insane over several more episodes would have been, perhaps, more satisfying. But I think that in the end the promise was there.

Speaking of which, with her dragon to do the work, Daenerys did to King’s Landing what Aerys Targaryen had threatened to do with wildfire. If we are talking the shorter Targaryen story–the one of losing and regaining the throne–she has come full circle, even if it was for a different reason. I’ll leave Dany’s story here. She was not going to be Queen. And as for the Targaryens coming full circle, Aegon the Conqueror forged the Iron Throne using Dragon’s Breath, and once the final Targaryen ruler died, her dragon destroyed the Iron Throne as well. It was more than just a metaphor for her reign, and the reign of the Lannisters/Baratheons; it was a literary end of the seven kingdoms.

But what of Jon? The Bastard who wasn’t, who didn’t want to be King in the North, who didn’t want the Iron Throne. No one else was around to see how Daenerys died, and Dragon flew off with her body. But he didn’t want the throne, and he felt enough guilt over having killed Dany. His winning the throne would have been–perhaps fine? Satisfying? It would have made the story of the Game of Thrones the story of Jon Snow, and, especially now and also having read the books, I do not believe that GoT is the story of Jon Snow. Rather, I think that the story all along has been the story of the Stark Family.

We were recently explaining GoT to someone who had never seen it, and what made it such a different show. My husband commented, “It starts with this family, the Starks, and you think that the whole show is going to be about them, and by the end of the first season the head of the family has been beheaded. It’s not like any other show.” In this statement, he inadvertently got the gist of the finale. The story, in the end, was about the Stark family. Yes, there were Tullys and Tarleys and Targaryens and Baratheons and Freys and all of the other families and in the end we saw them through the eyes of the Starks.

(Here’s where I agree that the showrunners messed up a lot.) They Really messed up the Bran Stark story. They did not make it clear all that Bran could do. His power looked incredibly stupid, especially during the Battle of Winterfell. But Bran’s eyes can be anywhere in the 7 (6) kingdoms and beyond. Bran is as all-powerful as they get. Bran being the Three Eyed Raven (Crow–book/show) is so much more than “going away for a while” and flying around as a raven. He can warg into any animal. Or human. He has shown that he can handle power without becoming corrupted. He doesn’t even want the power.

In that, he is a fine choice to rule the six kingdoms. The North, which never wanted to be part of the seven kingdoms, becomes its own kingdom, with Sansa as Queen in the North. Jon looks happier than he has ever been, when he would have been completely miserable on the throne. Not only has the finale shown us that the story was always about the Starks, it even brought back Ghost, the Direwolf, the symbol of the Starks, to his owner who rejected the Targaryen name in favor of his name from the North.

Some final things that I did love: as hateful as Cersi was, seeing Cersi and Jamie lying together like twins in utero was a great touch. Brienne’s comment at the end of Jamie’s story was kind, and, technically, true.

In time, Game of Thrones will be known more for being an epic fantasy that took us through twists and turns, surprise deaths aplenty, and a story that could never possibly be fully finished. For today, think of this as the end of an epic story of one powerful family that could have been destroyed but in the end won the day.

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