A year and a half ago, when the dead Viserion blasted icy fire at the Wall, I was torn apart. Part of me was wailing as Tormund and Beric Dondarion fled, perhaps to safety. Part of me was wailing that such a mighty creature was now a thrall to the Night King. Part of me was wailing that these were the last six minutes of the season and that the wait for the final season was going to be long, long and full of terrors.
A woman and half
But now it’s here. The final season. This is where many who have wriggled their way through life in Westeros and elsewhere may get the chop. And someone will get the prize, that ‘ugly big lump of a chair’ as Lady Olenna described the Iron Throne. She will not be around to see who eventually makes it to as monarch of the Seven Kingdoms, the Andals and the First Men. Her time was up when at Highgarden, Ser Jamie Lannister administered to her a lethal poison. She was equally lethal with her revelation that his so, the obnoxious Joffrey, had died at her hands, not poisoned by Tyrion or Sansa. Lady Olenna was a woman and half. Queen Cersei simply does not measure up to her finesse. Cersei is simply in love with power and brute force. Olenna was in love with wielding that power. A mountain of a difference. Speaking of Mountains, the much-rumoured Clash of the Cleganes, if it happens should be epic. “You know what’s coming for you, brother, you’ve always known” snarled the Hound at his resurrected brother, the Mountain. I hope the Mountain meets the truly horrible end he deserves.
Epic battle scenes
From the gossip that has been oozing slowly out of the GoT sets, this season should bring us some gloriously epic battle scenes. Gossip has it that the Battle of the Bastards (Hit’im Snow, hit’im!) was just a precursor of many other chillingly breath taking mêlées. I would like to believe that the living win out in the end but with George R R Martin’s dystopic viewpoint, this may turn out badly for all those with a beating heart.
So, what do I hope will happen to those who still have a pulse? With Jon’s parentage now revealed as Targaryan, his right to the Iron Throne comes ahead that of his aunt/lover Daenerys. The latter has never inspired me much in the film version. I feel she fared much better in the books, but then I am very much Guttenberg’s daughter. Perhaps, who knows, even Tyrion may be a Targaryan, after all the dragons did not chomp the half-man to bits. Also, perhaps, Tyrion will get to give Cersei her come uppance. I still enjoy re-reading the Battle of Blackwater in the books, not so greatly rendered in the series, when Tyrion was hailed for his ability and bravery as ‘Half-man’. Yes, I’m a Tyrion fan, you got me. I cheered when he skewered Tywin and I do so hope he gets to top Cersei. Poetic justice and all that. Jamie has evolved so much as a character. From a largely two dimensional baddie, this man, also thanks to the superb acting skills of Nicolai Coster-Waldau, has shown an ever increasing depth of feeling and emotion, similar to the development of Tyrion’s character (Peter Dinklage). By comparison, Cersei (Lena Hedley) has lagged behind. Not least, Jamie’s high regard for Brienne of Tarth, she, the no-beauty, who seems to have a hold on Jamie’s heart through her dogged pursuit of loyalty. I have a bad feeling she will not make it through.
Fate of Daenerys a secret
Will Daenerys live? Tightly guarded secret that and, with the actors saying that they cried in the pre-shoot read-throughs, anything may happen. Arya and Sansa seem to have bonded well, even if Peytr Baelish may not appreciate that bond and the way they played him to perfection. The Stark sibling are definitely a force to be reckoned with: Bran the seer and who knows, perhaps also linked to the Night King, Arya the Faceless Man and her wonderful revenge on the Freys, Sansa, the sweet girl who has been forged as finely as Valyrian Steel in the great adversities life threw at her. Now they will be joined by Jon Aegon Targaryan Snow and Daenerys as well as Drogon and Rhaegal, the Unsullied and the Dothraki. A formidable force indeed. Many GoT pundits are predicting the death of all three dragons with Drogon and Rhaegal killing off Viserion the wight-dragon. Perhaps, with Bran’s link to the Night King, both must die for the threat of the living dead to be over.
Will he get the castle?
And then there is the host of secondary characters. Varys the Spider, whom I must say, I have a soft spot for is likely to cop it as well as Melisandre, the Red Priestess, that much seems certain given the conversation these two had on the cliff-edge. Sir Bronn of the Blackwater (expletives deleted) may well get his castle. And Samwell Tarly, a truly heroic figure, honourable and brave, if not dashing. I do hope Samwell makes it through with Gilly and little Sam.
This season is a finale. It is also the end of an era. I remember my introduction to the world of Ice and Fire. It was a sceptical foray into dystopia. I can say that I am truly a convert even if I still gnash my teeth when my favourite characters bite the dust. I will be gnashing lots, I fear in the coming six weeks.
The question is: to binge or the watch weekly?
Game of Thrones will be available on Go On Demand from the 15th April 2019.