Let’s Talk About Game of Thrones Season 6 (Part 2)

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Let the record show that I was 100% correct.

…Which doesn’t mean a whole lot because it was by far the most common fan theory, but I knew about it way before all the set leaks and crap, so there.

There’s been some debate over whether Jon Snow’s resurrection is cheap and insufficiently grimdark to be in a story like Game of Thrones. I’m coming down on the “no” side of that one, which may surprise you. Normally I do feel that bringing dead characters back to life indicates a story that values shocking the audience over telling a good story (which… is actually my main complaint about Game of Thrones), but in this case  I feel like it’s earned.

Jon’s biggest source of conflict, apart from keeping his hair properly conditioned, has always been the tug of war between his oath to the Night’s Watch and his desire for a higher purpose, whether that’s sallying forth with his brother to avenge Sean Bean’s death or Davos urging him to put the wrongs of the Seven Kingdoms to right. Dying conveniently frees him from his obligations on the wall, and the particular manner of his death was a very stiff wake up call to the realities of the world he’s living in. He’s always been the most idealistic character on the show, consistently underestimating the impact of human violence and assholeitude, and I think getting stabbed repeatedly by his own men should finally cure of him of that.

On a related note, has anyone else noticed that this show constantly equates authority with a willingness to execute people? The show started with Sean Bean grimly cutting a dude’s head off, and then when Robb Stark took over leadership of the North he grimly cut more dude’s heads off, and when Jon became Lord Commander he promptly had to cement his position by grimly cutting a dude’s head off, and now when he comes back he grimly hangs his assassins (which involves cutting a rope, in a similar manner to cutting a dude’s head off) and when Theon took over Winterfell he tried to grimly cut a dude’s head off but bungled the job because he took power illegitimately, and thus was not imbued with the divine right of decapitation that is bestowed on all rightful rulers.

In case you couldn’t tell, I find this to be one of the most asinine and juvenile aspects of the show. Like a lot of fantasy, Game of Thrones is obsessed with ideas of Kingship and Law and Duty and Honour and all that shite, but its actual understanding and willingness to explore those themes is shallow at best.

Meanwhile, Rickon Stark is back! I had completely forgotten about him. I’m kind of hoping Ramsey just kills him immediately, because that would make it more likely that Sansa would take over Winterfell and I really want that to happen.

At the other end of Westeros, it’s becoming clear that the situation in King’s Landing with the High Sparrow is this season’s irritating plot thread that’s going to hang around for episode after episode like a bad smell. I actually already had reservations about the Faith Militant due to how they seemed to go from basically non-existant to powerful enough to arrest the Queen in the space of a single episode, but at least their rise was kind of exciting. Now any storyline involving them just consists of a lot of belligerent people glaring at each other and failing to get their way. I also don’t get why the characters are acting as if the High Sparrow is untouchable just because he’s surrounded by some dudes with cudgels. Any time anyone goes near him he makes vaguely threatening remarks about a peasant uprising (which you’d think would be enough for Cersei to get him arrested for treason or something), but we’ve been given no indication that he has the influence or popular support to make that happen, so it looks as if the characters are just refusing to do anything except make the most timid moves against him in order to keep the plotline going.

This particular gordian knot is all the more irritating because it hinges more or less on entirely on Tommen’s inability to king up and just slap the High Sparrow, and I get that his entire character revolves around being weak and ineffectual, but it’s still incredibly annoying to watch.

So where will the Exciting Story go next? Will Jon and Sansa meet, or will George RR Martin’s odd phobia against letting main characters occupy adjacent space once they’ve been separated ruin things yet again? Here’s some predictions:

  • That dude giving Rickon to Ramsey will turn out to be part of some sort of clever ruse, thus explaining why he made such a big show of not swearing allegiance.
  • When the White Walkers reach the wall, a newly-confident Melisendre will volunteer to fight them on the front lines, convinced that the Lord of Light will give her the power to defeat them. She will be incorrect about this.
  • Cersei’s zombie bodyguard has some sort of hidden motive. Keep an eye on that guy. He’s suspicious.
  • Tyrion will continue faffing about in Mereen because the show’s writers couldn’t think of anything interesting for him to do until the end of the season.

Let’s see if I’m right about any of them.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Game of Thrones Season 6 (Part 2)

  1. Aaron A.O. (@AaronAO)

    Something that really bothers me about the books and show is how passive the peasants are. If this was more like real life then the peasants would have risen up several seasons ago. Instead the peasants only exists to be victimized, when the show remembers them at all.

    Reply
  2. Andrea Harris

    I must say the preoccupation with “honor” and “rule of law” and all that jazz are what bores me about most fantasy these days too. I can take a bit of that, but then everyone started imitating Tolkien and I want to read something else thanks.

    What I like about fantasy are all the things we’re not supposed to care so much about: fantastic worlds and events and creatures and people and situations. But we can’t have that, we have to have even our fiction be Good For Something so we get more fantasy racism “saving the world” from dark barbarian hordes who don’t have any honor or rule of law. But I don’t need fantasy for that, I can just read a history book.

    Reply
  3. reveen

    I hope the Umbers are up to sneaky bullshit. The Northern Conspiracy is, like, one of the few things that makes the situation of the Starks not a complete parade of failure and misery (the other being Sansa in the Vale, which the show fucking jettisoned). Up until this point all we got on that front was that note the Mormonts sent to shit-talk Stannis. No Manderlys, no Umbers on both sides of the Stannis/Bolton war, no hill clans, no Alys Karstark. The North in the show remembers jack shit.

    But that said, if the Umbers are up to something, they’re going about it in the stupidest way possible. Yeah, just antagonize the guy you’re trying to get in with by refusing to kneel and being belligerent at every turn. Sure, go ahead and just hand over Rickon to this well known psychopath to do whatever with. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  4. Nerem

    Well I guess it’s better then Gundam 00’s version of ressurection a dead protagonist by having his identical twin brother replace him who just also happened to be a mecha pilot of comparable skill (though at least it wasn’t just in sniping).

    Reply
      1. Nerem

        You could tell that despite making it to be a two-season show from the start, they still rewrote everything between season 1 and 2. And I mean, they killed off most of the cast at the end of season 1 and then they’re magically fine for season 2 with no comment except for needing to find a new Lockon Stratos. Also they did an about face on the bad guys being the heroic-sounding Innovators and suddenly they’re actually ‘Innovades’ who are 99% LIKE Innovators but not, also evil.

        Not to mention all the magic pixie dust technology being invented 200 years in advance and a 200-year-old prophetic plan that involved a lot of events happening in such a specific way you have to wonder how he could have foreseen them.

        All because he somehow super-accurately prophecized that aliens would arrive in 200 years exactly and need telepathy to contact.

        (Also telepathy solves all conflicts)

        Reply

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