There is a method to the madness often displayed by Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. It is a method fans have grown accustomed to, and it a method that was shattered with the final scene of Game of Thrones Season 5.
Often the final episode of the season is where things are wrapped up, and sufficiently resolved until the next season began. And this worked well, because often the biggest and most shocking events are reserved for the 9th episode of the season. Ned Stark’s death in season one, the Battles of Blackwater and the Wall in seasons two and four; and the mother of all shocking episodes, The Red Wedding in Season 3.
These episodes contained huge, game changing moments- and they needed a great resolution. That happened in the next episode, the season finale where everything is wrapped up in a pretty little bow and then you wait ten months for the next season.
Game of Thrones season 5 has become the exception to that rule. The finale of the show was more episode 9 than most of the episode 9’s we’ve ever had. The season has left us on several cliff-hangers, with characters in a situation that sees them in some sort of danger. This naturally screams for a resolution, but uncharacteristically we now have to wait for the next season in 2016, to have any idea of the potential fates of most of the characters we love.
And the season ended with a big bang, Jon Snow ambushed by his sworn brothers and stabbed over and over again in the gut. This has been Kit Harrington’s best season, as we’ve finally seen Jon come into his own, and mature into that great leader he’s always shown he could one day be.
His problem was being saddled with bigoted, small minded criminals for sworn brothers, who refused to see the forest for the trees. Jon was a reformist, seeing that the real threat is that of the white walkers and not the wildings; his brothers refused to see that, and Jon honestly did not do a very good job of explaining it to them. It all ended with a Julius Cesar situation, so much so that Jon muttering ‘et tu, Olly?’ would not have seemed out of place.
Thus ended the season which Snow lying in a pool of his blood in the snow, a scene as heart wrenching as any we’ve seen in this show. There are many theories as to Jon’s fate, but I would not go into them here as some people might not appreciate getting spoiled.
Over the narrow sea in Essos, the fire to Jon’s ice, Daenerys Targaryen is stranded with her dragon Drogon. Drogon came to rescue her from the Harpy’s the previous episode, but he’s wounded and has little interest in flying anywhere.
The moment Dany decides to take a little stroll, she finds herself surrounded by a Dothraki horde. I doubt they’ll be very much pleased to meet her, whether they remember her as Drogo’s Khaleesi or not. So once again we have another character in danger whose fate we have to wait over 10 months to discover.
Cersei pled for her sins, and had to take a ‘walk of shame’ as atonement. Intentionally or not, Game of Thrones made a statement about the dangers of giving any sort of power to religious fanatics, which just mirrors the kind of horn we blow every day on GhanaCelebrities.com.
Cersei’s walk encapsulated all that is wrong with humanity and organised religion, and her vile depravity does not take away from the real suffering and humiliation she had to go through. Remember not for her real crimes- incest and murder and infanticide and the rest- but just for adultery.
However she’s back home now, where creepy Qyburn was waiting with the resurrected Mountain. He’s supposedly taken a vow of silence until all of Cersei’s enemies are dead; and knowing Cersei that would take the rest of her life to accomplish.
We all love Arya, but her actions this season has left a lot to be desired. She reneged on the first ever mission she was given, and then killed Meryn Trant. It was a brutal and gory scene, as Arya finally embarked on the path to whittling down her list. But it came at a terrible price, betrayal of the many faced god is not taken kindly, and she paid for it with a life and her sight.
There was a lot going on in this finale, Sansa finally escaped Winterfell, taking a huge plunge off the walls with Reek; whilst Stannis’ pathetic season ended at the edge of Brienne’s sword—at least so it seems. The show runners set the board with next season mainly in mind, and it was a decision that meant we got cliff-hangers rather than resolution.
I approve, because whilst I’ve had enough difficulties with this season to mean I wouldn’t anxiously await next season like I always do- the uncertainty of character fates makes it more likely to keep me guessing, whereas just resolving everyone’s arcs would have left me more impassioned towards next season.
As it stands, I’m excited to see what they would do next season, and for a book reader who has complained for most of this season I think that is an accomplishment for the show runners; testament to the power of the finale they were able to deliver.
And what is your take on season 5?