You might have noticed it was about to start over again. Or, that it actually did. Beginning of the end. Final Season of an epic that quite literally moved between ice and fire for almost a decade. This past winter I entertained an obviously overly optimistic plan notion of rewatching all of the previous seasons before the final stretch. As it is I’m approaching the Red Wedding, which of course means I’m somewhere in the late third season. Some of us have day jobs. And other shows to watch…
Needless to say, a lot has happened since that infamous event. In case you happen to speak (and read) Swedish, seasons 1-7 are all reviewed at russin.nu. Two episodes into Season 8, it’s definitely on again. Commentary, analysis, recaps – online, printed or podcasted regarding the way the show manages (or not) to live up to all of these different expectations. ”Game of Thrones” does, as we all know, not display precisely the same priorities as it did when it first appeared. It’s grander, visually more spectacular and dwarfing all competition in the special effects department, rather than the Medieval Times-inspired drama with some fantasy components added that we saw coming out of the gates in 2011. Good thing or not? I hadn’t read the books at all when I started watching the show, but I did get through the first two novels a while back to compare the George R.R. Martin vision with that of showrunners Benioff & Weiss at least to some degree. Sometimes they actually improve on the source material, other times they obviously have to leave out exciting stuff. And I still consider Seasons 1, 3 and 4 my personal favourites. That said, how could I not look forward to see this to the end? Who’s going to take the throne, for one thing?
Well, here we go. Gendry. The guy without any visible ambitions beyond tending to his craft, down in a darkened forge somewhere, depending on where he’s needed and as you might remember, also depending on the need to hide. He’s always been trying hard to avoid attention, learning the leechy way what can happen when the wrong people find out you’ve got royal blood running in your veins (then again, who doesn’t in Westeros these days?). But, when all the others have tired of battling – or simple been wiped out by enemies, living or walking dead, he will reluctantly accept responsibility and take on the task of running the seven kingdoms, maybe not so much with an iron hand but very likely employing Arya Stark as personal bodyguard (and maybe more, depending on how you interpret what came out of their interactions in the dungeon last week). Remember Hot Pie? Regardless of where he resides right now, he will have to move to the capital and run the Royal Kitchen. Daenerys and Jon Snow, confused about who’s really got the strongest claim to the crown, will give it all up and find freedom in simply roaming around the known world riding the backs of dragons. Or eventually found the precursor of what we know as modern-day travel agencies.
Cersei, yeah, Cersei. Finally, she’s about to realize that a life in luxury without any real friends whatsoever is somewhat overrated and decide to seek life in silent seclusion at some isolated abbey, maybe on one of these small islands we seldom get to visit on the show. The supercynical power player might really get religion at last – and there are a few to choose from. She might bring the baby we haven’t seen yet, or give it up for adoption. Sansa, Theon and Brienne, probably eagerly assisted by Tormund Giantsbane, get into the hotel business. North of the now breached wall. An ice hotel, but that goes without saying I guess, with guided tours into the ’Formerly known as Night King-land’. Did I get forget something important? Advisers to the young ruler? There are still some moderately clever people around to choose from. Eventually it could all end up with some sort of a protosocialist cooperate or social-liberal democracy with free elections and a universal basic income.
Unless they’re all dead by then. But of course, all of these predictions hinges on the result of the upcoming battle between the Living and the White Walkers & Co. All of this might be completely out of the question just a few days from now. We simply have to wait and see.