Five Things I Learned While Binge Watching Game of Thrones

Oh my God, I’m so tired. I haven’t slept well in weeks, I seem to be perpetually on the brink of a panic attack, and I’ve reached a level of existential dread I had not previously thought was possible. But hey… I’M CAUGHT UP ON GAME OF THRONES!!! I know, I know; I did this to myself, by not watching the first seven seasons as they came out. Kindly bite me. What matters now is that we are all here, and the final season is just around the corner. In celebration, I’ve compiled a few of my takeaways so far — the great questions and trepidations that I hope to unearth further, beginning this Sunday. Basically, my mental health is going to have to wait. The night is dark and full of terrors, winter is coming, etc… There is television to be watched, and we simply don’t have time for those sort of real-life dilemmas. Here we go:

(Note: this whole thing is a spoiler if you are not caught up; you have been warned)

I am, of course, a Daenerys fan. She’s a badass, and her come up story is the best in the show, by far. BUT — don’t think I’ve forgotten that her transformation from a young terrified girl to the boss we see today, only began to take shape after she was taught how to properly put it down in the bedroom. I don’t even remember the name of the chambermaid who turned Yung Dany out, but I hope she thinks of her from time to time… because now, Khaleesi is an absolute goddess, breaking hearts left and right (although she might also be ageist, because everybody seems to be getting the biz except ol’ Jorah), and is well on her way to ruling the Seven Kingdoms. I guess we can probably thank the dragons as well, because I can’t imagine what mothering three previously-extinct creatures + finding out that I physically could not burn would do for my ego. But make no mistake, it all started when she learned how to buss it down on Khal Drogo.

I like to imagine that all of the Knights and Lords of the realm are to the Game of Thrones Universe what, say, boy band Popstars are to us. So in those terms, Jaime Lannister would be, like, Justin Timberlake (Christ I’m old)? Sure, there are probably some Jon Snow fangirls up North. There might even be a few weird chicks out there who are into Ramsey — akin to the “Lance Bass girls” of our generation… lol okay Ashley, there are other ways to rebel, have you tried heroin? But surely, it’s Jamie Lannister whom most of the young Westerosi women have a poster of on their bedroom ceiling. So why, then, does he continue to fuck his evil sister Cersei? He’s not even remotely the same person he was at the start of the show; he’s undergone tremendous growth and character development, so it doesn’t make sense to me. What’s worse, perhaps, is that watching these siblings neck each other doesn’t alarm me at all anymore? I will not allow this show to desensitize me to incest, so in order to prevent that, I’m going to have to continue to harp on it every so often. Sorry in advance. Furthermore, Jaime now stands on the side of justice, and I genuinely believe that he wants to help protect the Realm; the very one that Cersei is threatening to destroy. You can tell he’s starting to see this, but will it be enough for him to keep it in his pants? Maybe Jaime will wind up killing Cersei, like he killed the Mad King? They did both have a thing for wildfire…

You might be thinking that this qualm doesn’t deserve it’s own category, but I disagree. To me, it is emblematic of a much larger negligence behind the scenes: So you’re telling me I spent six goddamn seasons wondering what this poor guy’s deal was, only to learn that he got trapped in a linear paradox by a nosy, time-traveling paraplegic? Wherein he both always and at the same time never was stuck uttering a condensed version of the command “Hold the Door?” Hold deez nuts, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. That is ridiculous. Honestly, this plot line did not even need to be fleshed out. We have bigger fish to fry right now. Who the fuck was that guy that was turned into the first White Walker? Was he someone of importance, or merely a sacrificial lamb? Is he the Night King? Is Bran the Night King (think about it)? How does uncle Benjen keep materializing out of thin air in the most insane, last-ditch circumstances? These are the resolutions I require, not “why does Hodor always say Hodor?” Frankly, I just assumed he was like Groot…The henchman doesn’t need a reason for not articulating full sentences. Hodor deserved better, guys.

The number one complaint that I heard going into this show was that “everyone you like will die.” But honestly, I agree with their decisions so far. I don’t think anyone remains who shouldn’t, this is truly the A Team approaching Season 8. Some of the people that needed to die were obvious: Joffrey? Stannis? Ramsey? Yes, get them the fuck up out of here. Other deaths were less predictable, or their necessity was not made clear until later. It was jarring to see Ned Stark get beheaded, for example. Initially I felt deceived; my trust in this show faltered. But now, I know that none of what has followed would’ve been possible without that single event. And sure, I miss Drogo. Rather, I miss watching a shirtless Jason Momoa rip people’s throats out while sporting kohl eyeliner. But guess what? I have a Google Incognito search bar, and Khaleesi is much more valuable where she is now. Robb, you challenge? Please. If Robb Stark existed in the present day, he’d be the guy from your office who comments “nice pic :-)” on any photo where you’re showing cleavage. He was white bread, and I don’t miss him at all. On the other side of the scale, Cersei is objectively a twisted bitch, but she’s also one of the best characters in GoT. There wouldn’t be a show without Cersei. Do I want her to end up on the Iron Throne? No. But do I want her dead? Also no. By now, I understand that certain characters in this show are made to seem important, but at the end of the day are merely pawns; their deaths used to rattle our cages while setting up more crucial storylines. Overall, there is an excellent crop of secondary characters that have become the lifeblood of Game of Thrones: Your Hounds, your Tormunds, your Sams, your Aryas… And then of course, there are the few major players who stand at the apex: Your Jons, your Khaleesis, your Cerseis, your Tyrions. Everyone is where they need to be… for now.

Now for the real question: What are we going to DO, you guys? The army of the dead has crossed the wall. They have a dragon that breathes some sort of ice-fire. They can only be killed with extremely specific weapons, and they have the numbers by a ratio of like, 20:1. I truly do not see any way out of this. My prediction is that, if we do somehow beat them, it’s going to be because someone manages to kill the Night King, and then everyone that he turned (aka everyone) will fall with him. As a matter of fact, I feel very certain that that’s what’s going to happen. If anyone wants to make this interesting, I will gladly put some money on that. But we’re going to need to wise up and stop making such terrible-fucking-decisions if we’re ever going to get there. For instance, when Jon and his boys were trapped in the center of the ice, being swarmed by the army of the dead (a situation which, by the way, could very easily have been avoided if they had they been smarter in the first place), why did they just stand there instead of trying to smash the ice into some sort of moat around them? They had like, five entire minutes. Also, it was tragic how they completely wasted their last living giant in the Battle of the Bastards, by treating him like any other soldier. My mans Wun Wun was an absolute unit; give him a Medieval flail with a 30 foot radius, and put some armor on him, for God’s sake. THINK, BOYS. THE ENEMY IS THINKING. YOU SHOULD BE TOO.

Other questions I have:

  • Who do we have to speak to about a prequel season? I need to see Aerys descend into the Mad King, the Rhaegar/Elia/Lyanna situation play out, Robert’s Rebellion, the Battle of Trident, Tywin’s Sack on King’s Landing, etc.
  • How hard is it to be a brothel extra in Game of Thrones? Is it prestigious, or do you think anyone willing to show tit can do it? Asking for a friend.

If you liked this article, follow me on Twitter @baythehuman and Instagram @baileyrbowers for more unfounded advice and opinions.

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