Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner & Maisie Williams
You have been warned!
As most of you will know, this season has begun to move away from the books and into unknown territory. Showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have alluded to the following seasons 7 & 8 to being shorter than the usual 10 episodes with 8 being the series final. So it really illustrates how the show runners are now much freer in their story telling and are packing in as much as possible.
We’ve seen more action and progression than the last five seasons combined, some serious character development, a battle to end all battles and the death of so many characters it’s a surprise there is anyone left!
This season focuses very heavily on religion and the women of the series. After a very shaky 5th season and the dealings with misogyny, it might seem like the writers are trying to make up for the backlash by empowering the female leads. We follow Daenerys, who slayed all the Dothraki Khals to then lead their people, subdued the Masters and claimed their fleet of ships to sail to Westoros, made an arrangement with Yara Greyjoy for Iron Island ships and left a man she loves to pursue her ambitions for ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Quite an accomplishment for 10 episodes.
The Stark ladies have not been left out of ambitious movements either. Sansa, who started out as a very naive girl and grew into someone much more intelligent, was devastatingly abused last season. In my opinion, unnecessarily so. She has escaped torture and faced her demons head on, becoming much stronger and outspoken. A development that could also have been achieved without her abuse. Lazy plot aside, Arya has also worked through a lot of pain to gain unmeasurable confidence in her abilities and use them to avenge her family.
Other players like Yara Greyjoy, Ollena Tyrell, and the Sand Snakes of Dorne have made power moves to secure the future of their individual rule. And all of this is topped off by Cersei Lannister taking the Iron Throne in the finale. A woman who is so cut throat and zealous in her love for her children and her own power, that she is driven to murder the entire Faith Militant along with a large amount of Kings Landing nobility and the Tyrells.
(Honorable mention to Lyanna Mormont. The most bad ass 10 year old in all of Westeros!)
Underlying these strong women’s stories is the theme of religion and how it affects the story in Game of Thrones. We hear so much talk of The Gods this season but what we see is the way religion is used to control or is built up to disappoint.
Firstly, a pacifist community of believers living free and following a Septon are shown to have saved The Hound and are building a place of worship. They are joyous and generous people that are redeeming themselves and forgiving others peacefully until they are cruelly slaughtered.
In Kings Landing, The Sparrows manipulate most of the goings on by using the fear of the Gods to their advantage. Controlling the impressionable King Tommen and commanding a large military to sway politics.
In opposition to this is the mysterious Lord of Light. We saw the Red Witch fail in her presumption of Stannis being victorious in battle and effectively lose faith in her God when she removes her enchanted pendant. Instead we are now directed towards the resurrected Jon Snow.
Jon’s miraculous survival of the Battle of the Bastards can surely only be credited to the Red God. Not only was he brought back from the dead, but not one arrow hit him at the start of the battle, not one definitive blow from a horseman during the battle and not a stampede of soldiers could keep him down.
Effectively this has been the most enthralling and strong season to date. Beside the fight scenes, special effects and dialogue, I’d like to mention the incredible soundtrack. Felt dramatically in the opening minutes of episode 10. This score was so intriguing and ominous that it really set the viewer up for a killer of a finale (pun intended!).
Now sadly we must wait another 9 months for another season. Sure to be as intense as ever and hopefully with a few more twists and turns.