The final episode of the final series of Game of Thrones is now public domain. The haunting musical overture will no longer herald excitement to come but will be there to signal the opening of re-runs to the devotees of this cult creation. Mixed feelings all around however, as the gates of the major stronghold close for one last time. From praise to derision, this last season has garnered a whole gamut of comments. These are my top moments.
Jon Snow and Ghost
I remember the first season when the direwolf lay dead with her pups still alive. Gored by the stag, the parallel on the entwined fates of the Starks and Baratheons was a clear foreshadowing. When the Stark children were given their pups, a little one was overlooked. An Albino pup which was dubbed as ‘the runt of the litter’. As was Jon Snow really, the misfit, the odd one out. They were an instant bond. Through trials and tribulations, the savage animal showed a loyalty unparalleled in a series known best for its Machiavellian plot twists. When Snow left a badly mauled Ghost after the Battle of Winterfell, my heart broke. The reunion was therefore all the sweeter.
The Battle of the Basterds
“Hit ‘im, hit ‘im” I yelled as Jon Snow laid into the beyond awful Ramsey Bolton. That battle was one of the best TV scenes I ever saw, script wise and cinematographically. For me it is way up there with the Ben Hur chariot race. The build up of the sense of dread and defeat was painfully and painstakingly slow. When Jon Snow is practically buried under a mountain of dead, the viewer was left breathless, sharing in the character’s asphyxia. And then the finale, of the battle, the Knights of the Vale saving the day, Wun Wun storming the gates of Winterfell, Jon beating the living daylights out of Ramsey and Sansa, delivering the coup de grâce with a little Mona Lisa smile, surely an indication of the formidable woman she had become.
The Mountain…and practically anyone
Hathor Julius Bjornsson certainly did not have much script to learn but who needs script when there is such magnificent and ominous presence? In combat, soldiers are taught that if they fear the enemy, the battle is half lost. As audience we start fearing the Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane from the very first series. It is easy to fear Clegane, the brother-burner, clearly a hulking killing machine with no scruples. It was only when he was closed in with the odious Septa Unella that he actually made me raise a grin. In the books, the Mountain is even more menacing, because the reader, unlike the viewer, has an imaginary person to contend with. The fight against Prince Oberyn Martell was poetically fluid and brutal in its conclusion. The conclusion was to an extent echoed in the long awaited Cleganebowl where, one of my favourite characters, Sandor Clegane defeats his by-now zombie brother by hurtling both of them to their death by fire. Awsome.
When I started reading the books, I wondered how a dwarf could possibly command a presence in such an intricate novel. Both in the books and on screen this was so the opposite of reality. Peter Dinklage’s magnificent rendition of the character arc of Tyrion Lannister was breath-taking. His trial was a masterpiece of pathos and betrayal. “I am on trial for being a dwarf…all dwarves are basterds in their father’s eyes” said the little big man. His one liners, ‘I drink and I know things’ are epic. As was his revenge on his father Tywin. His last scene with Jamie was a tear-jerker, if ever there was one.
Boom goes the Sept of Baelor
She actually blew it up! That is what went through my mind when Cersei, in one fell swoop annihilated her enemies by penning them into the Sept of Baelor. Cersei’s master stroke as, for Olenna Tyrell, murdering the obnoxious Joffrey was hers. That I think was Cersei’s greatest moment.
The Red Wedding, the Purple Wedding and the Dothraki Wedding will live on as deadly affairs. While the deaths of the Dothraki Wedding were largely inconsequential, those of the Red Wedding and the Purple Wedding had huge ramifications. The Red Wedding practically truncated house Stark and shifted the power balance in the North while the Purple Wedding got rid of the hated Joffrey and tipped the scales to the side of the Tyrells.
My favourite word and I really wish I had a dragon. The scene when Daenerys’ dragon torches the slave master is so fulfilling that from then on we almost urge the Dragon Queen to Dracarys basically everything in her way. She did. It ended up killing her in the end, though. And Drogon, her last remaining child, took her to her final resting place and disappeared.