Let’s start off by saying that Game of Thrones’ teleportation game is the strongest it’s ever been. Varys stole Littlefinger’s abilities and spruced them up a bit. These characters have the most amazing skills when it comes to moving around the known world. It’s utterly ridiculous. But more seriously, the finalè, again, proves just how cinematic this show can be. It was another beautifully shot and produced episode. And again, I praise the production team and director for doing such a phenomenal job (not only in the finalè but in season 6 as a whole). And I state again, rather frustratingly, that the writers have just thrown logic to the wind.
Look, I have been quite vocal about my…disappointment with season 6 overall. It’s been wildly inconsistent. Character motivations seem to be driven in the service of the plot instead of actual character development and there has been little to no narrative logic to many episodes and it seems like a great many plot lines were just added to the narrative for “the fun of it.” Because, honestly, if you were to look at most of the NARRATIVE highlights (not visual) from season 6, most of them come from, GRRM himself. “The Door,” which in my opinion was the most on point episode of the season, came straight from the main man himself. “Promise me Ned” is straight out of ASOIAF lore. The hound returning has long been hinted, and predicted at, in the books. Jamie’s river lands storyline was stripped straight out of the pages of A Feast for Crows and the first half (which, unarguably, is the much better half) of Arya’s Braavos storyline also came out of A Feast for Crows and the Winds of Winter sample chapters. The point being that when the show veers away from the heart of what made GoT great, it doesn’t succeed.
The prime example of this point is what has happened in Dorne. If they were going to do the Dorne-Targaeryn alliance, Doran should’ve been the one to carry out his master plan because, you know, beside the fact that he was actually a Martell who had a much more valid and logical reason (not to mention historical reasoning) to buddy up with Danaerys (and then obviously, Quentyn should have been added to the story, but that’s another argument entirely), it could’ve saved the Dorne plot line from the tragedy that it is.
This is all not to say that Game of Thrones is a bad show and that I hate it and will stop watching it. It doesn’t and I won’t. Even at its worst, it’s still light years better than most other shows on TV today. It’s just sad to see the show runners devolve the story from one of complexity and nuance to one filled with cliches and inaccuracies.
Now, specifically, the finalè, which I would rank in my top three episodes of season 6 (with 9 and 5 being the other two), was a great 69 minutes of TV. If we were being completely honest, it was 69 minutes of fan service. Everything we, as fans wanted, we got. I loved the way Cersei’s descent into madness has been done and we finally got to see her watch in glee as a building was burnt down with wildfire. It was a great scene in the books. It’s been a long time coming. I just hope that Jaime finally turns to his book persona and let’s go of her. Frey pies was finally confirmed. It’s equal parts horrifying and satisfying. Jon being King in the North has been everyone’s dream since the first season started (though personally, I still want Bran to come and be King in the North) but we will see what happens 👀. Sam finally reaching Old Town means he can start his Maester training. It doesn’t look like they’re going to do the book version of it (with the Sphinx and the rest of them) which is a little sad but if they do decide to do it, it’ll be really cool. Danny getting out of Mereen and sailing for Westeros was the perfect way to end the season. Kings Landing has no idea what’s coming for them. Fire and Blood forever. And finally…the tower of joy. Six years. Six years I’ve waited for the Tower of Joy scene and even though I felt it was a little rushed I still loved it’s reveal. Lyanna’s “Promise me, Ned” line gave me chills, if only because it was the first hint we ever got in the books that Jon Snow’s parentage was not as it was presented. It was everything we could have ever hope for. I loved it.
I’m curious to see what’s going to happen in season 7. I believe, and really hope, that it will be better than season 6 was. Dan and David have shown that they are capable of composing some brilliant scenes if they actually put their minds to it and make the right decisions and not just write scenes for the sake of writing them. Now my watch for season 7 begins.
And just as a side not, I really hope and pray, and I really am praying to every god that exists, that we get the Winds of Winter by then.
A second side note, RIP Lady Stoneheart. I really had hope of your return this season but alas, you have, officially been cut. I cannot understand why but you have.