Television Tuesday :: I can’t quit Game of Thrones.

23 Jun

One, I can’t quit it because I watch it with other groups of people.  Two, because I care too damn much about my girls and foolishly pray that they’ll eventually be done right by.  Three, because at this point I’m thinking of it as being essentially a pinboard for aesthetic so I can cosplay/visualize the books.  Four, I care too much about seeing it through because of the books.  Five, because occasionally nice things still happen.

Occasionally.

I have about fifty varieties of rage about the not-nice things that happened.  Upon repeat viewings with different groups of people, I actually just got up and left the room at the end of episode six (poor Sansa [Sophie Turner] who deserves so much better, who is still acting the hell out of it but shouldn’t have to be stuck in that shithole of a plot divergence); I spent my first viewing of episode nine repeatedly yelling the phrases “oh you evil douchebag” and “fuck you” in echo (poor Shireen [Kerry Ingram] who deserved so much better always); I cringed during the finale but understood sort of why that happened that way because of the plot divergence mess that entire line had devolved into (poor Myrcella [Nell Tiger Free, who is incidentally adorable]).  Etcetera.  The thing that made all of my people angry and/or befuddled I knew was coming, and I don’t know what its outcome will be because I’ve heard so damn many theories, but suffice to say: Kit Harington, you have consistently improved as an actor, good job buddy, Jon will forever be my boy in this series.

But in the grand tradition of this series, here is a list of 5 things that were pretty all right about this season.  Pretty much the only significant 5.

5. By the end of the finale episode, some things were actually sort of where they were supposed to be in reference to the book plotline, mostly.
Arya (Maisie Williams) had been made blind (it’ll go away, don’t worry show friends; I was about to write “it’s a learning experience” but if I do that I also have to qualify that holy shit watching the House of Black and White stuff made me so much more uncomfortable than reading it, and sorry ser who shares my roof who loves Jaqen H’ghar [Tom Wlaschiha], I kept mentally going “John Garrett?”) like she was supposed to be; Dany (Emilia Clarke) had been found by the Dothraki horde (and, book friends, can I just say how happy I am that we didn’t have to actually watch the events of the chapter preceding that in the book, which did make me physically uncomfortable to read); Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) were finally on their way to Oldtown like they should have been oh, at the beginning of the season; Cersei (Lena Headey) had her walk of atonement and that, while horrible to watch, is as it was supposed to be; the Jon stuff resolved as it was supposed to, though it was unpleasant.  At this point the relief of things finally going back on-book almost feels like happiness.  And a different plotline was at an entirely different place than it was supposed to be and I was overjoyed, but I’m not going to talk any more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

4.  Well, Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) was crazy and did do poison.
When they announced that Tyene was going to be utilizing “double daggers” my initial reaction was to cringe.  I absolutely love book Tyene, as I’ve said before, and for y’all who don’t read the books let me just tell you why without spoiling plot points: book Tyene is Oberyn’s daughter not by Ellaria (Indira Varma) but by an unnamed septa, and she has inherited some of her mother’s devotion, at least outwardly, as well as inheriting her mother’s blonde hair and blue eyes.  She’s feminine and septaesque in demeanor and plays it up, but she’s also devious and prone to using poison as her weapon, her only weapon in contrast to her sisters.  All I needed for the Sand Snakes, really, was for Tyene to be crazy and do poison, but when they announced the double daggers I pretty well abandoned that hope. But!  Though she was Ellaria’s short-haired daughter fighting with double daggers, she coated those with poison and did injury with them, pretty much for the sole purpose of fucking with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) in a way that did have at least some of the crazy cadence that endeared Tyene to me in the first place.  This got carried too far, culminating in objectively one of the worst lines this season, but the initial moment of crazy and poison was perfect (and Obara [Keisha Castle-Hughes] and Nym [Jessica Henwick] sitting behind her rolling their eyes as if to say “come on, Tyene, everyone has seen your boobs, honestly” was perfect too).  This is a comfort, because the entire rest of the Dorne plotline was pretty much a giant mess.  Which sucks, because the Dorne chapters are the reason that A Feast for Crows is probably my favorite of the books, but honestly, deciding not to have Arianne in the show was a terrible decision for the plotline and they didn’t invest nearly any time in it like they should have, and that’s a whole other rant.  Suffice to say, at least Tyene was crazy and did poison.  That’s something, anyway.

3.  Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) is so freaking important.
Her relationship with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), as I said last year, is incredibly important because asexual relationship between characters of color.  And her relationship with Dany is incredibly important because when Dany is having a crap time of it, Missandei is the one she turns to for the truth.  Missandei and Dany spent that entire time in the pit clutching each other and trying to protect each other and yeah, this did make Dany leaving on Drogon’s back a little awkward but that happened in the book so whatever.  Daario (Michiel Huisman) describes Missandei as “the queen’s closest confidante” and says “who does she trust more than Missandei?  Certainly not me” and normally I don’t give a damn what Daario says but that’s lovely and important and I’m glad.  And what’s more, watching her face during virtually any scene where you can see her face is the most telling wonderful thing.

2. Easter eggs for book readers
The scene where Jon reads the letter to Stannis (Stephen Dillane) from Lyanna Mormont (“Bear Island knows no king except the King in the North, whose name is Stark) is a favorite; Sam’s line to Olly, along the lines of “I’ve been worrying about Jon for years… but he always comes back!” is another; certain gratuitous hints about a favorite fan theory that are still not obvious to people who don’t know to be looking for them are others.

1.  SHIREEN FREAKING BARATHEON TEACHING GILLY HOW TO READ
As evidenced by my loud virulent swearing through episode nine, and as evidenced by everything I’ve ever said before, I also freaking love Shireen.  There were theories I had either heard or had that Shireen could be Important, possibly because of her greyscale, so her ultimate fate disappointed me at best and enraged me at worst. But, the scene early in the season, so early that it feels like it was last season emotionally, where she was teaching Gilly how to read brought me the absolute most joy of anything I could imagine.  So there’s that.

–your fangirl heronie.

silly goose

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