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BWW Recap: 'The Winds of Winter' Have Blown on GAME OF THRONES

Last night was the finale of Season 6 of HBO's Game of Thrones and after a riveting epic episode of battles, we got something rather different this week. It had your standard Thrones finale elements; death, shocks, violence, and twists. However, most of it didn't really make much sense. We got plot development, but Thrones just seems like it's on a high speed train, eager to get to the final stop, without caring about THE JOURNEY along the way. We had to say goodbye to a great many cast members this season, but this episode alone wiped out so many that it was hard to take a moment to even feel the impact of their character's death. The show has really embraced the 'efficiency is coming' methodology and it can surely be felt in this packed, fast-paced, and rather convoluted episode built on shocks but devoid of logic.

In what was surely the longest episode of the show's history, one would think they would use that time, especially in a finale, wisely. However, we opened up with a incredibly long sequence of everyone getting ready for the upcoming trials. We saw the High Sparrow putting on his modest burlap shift, Tommen being adorned with his kingly attire (I thought the Faith was against ornamentation), Margaery with her crown, and Cersei with what was surely an adaption of one of Katniss Everdeen's Mockingjay costumes. Backed by a rather inappropriate period drama in the likes of Pride and Prejudice piano score, this sequence not only felt chunky, but misplaced and awkward. This episode overall would have benefited from a shuffling of scenes, but it really felt like those extra nine or so minutes we were given this week were directly used for this moment which didn't tell us a whole lot. A minute on this sequence would be understandable. It conveys character emotion leading up to a big event, but we learned nothing new by lingering. Tommen whom was just sitting alone in his room seemed rather perturbed leading up to the trials which is strange considering he considered himself a member of the Faith and was ordering the disbanding of trial by combat just a few episodes ago. Margaery still seems to have a plan, but that soon gets thrown out the window, which feels more like there was no real conception as to what the plan actually was. Cersei is wearing the equivalent of the Dark-Sansa garb we saw her in during Season 4, so we can assume she'll do something Dark™.

Loras' trial is up first, but Tommen can't seem to be bothered to show up for that one, thus we fill the Sept of Baelor with Sparrows, Margaery, Mace, Kevan, and a great deal of Westerosi nobility. Loras is looking worse for wear, to put it mildly and it's clear that the 'it' he wanted to stop so desperately before, never did. What Margaery's plan was is impossible to decipher, considering Loras was actively being tortured still and was forced to go through the trial anyway. If all that would come out of her scheme would be more torture and Loras virtually having to give up his entire life, including his claims to High Garden and his family name, then I'm not too sure her plan really accomplished anything. Loras was forced to confess his crimes of being gay, a trait that has been the sole focus of his character ever since Renly died, and pledge ALLEGIANCE to the Faith. When the High Sparrow dismisses his inheritance and titles, accepting him as a member of the Faith by carving the seven pointed star into his forehead, Mace understandably looks shocked and upset, but Margaery holds him back. She seems to be expecting something out of this, but what that is is not exactly clear. Especially since seconds after, she marches to the High Sparrow once the carving is done and confronts him about his promise of being merciful. He dismisses her and it becomes even clearer that perhaps she never really had a plan in the first place.

Meanwhile, we follow Lancel Lannister tracking a random peasant boy through the streets. We are not told exactly why, as it's TRANSPARENT it was a ploy by Cersei or rather, Qyburn, but Lancel's motivations still remain unclear. Nonetheless, he shadows him until he corners the boy in an UNDERGROUND space filled with casks. Casks, of course, filled with Wildfire. Why the Wildfire was in wooden casks is a mystery, considering that seems rather counterintuitive, unlike the clay casks that held them in the novels. How has the Sept of Baelor not already come crashing down? Lancel makes to grab this boy but he gets stabbed instead and left on the floor to die. Across THE ROOM we see Wildfire all over the floor, puddles of it. Does the substance even work like that? Candles are burning down within the pools of it and Lancel crawls his way over, anxious to blow them out before the Fuse reaches it's end.

As this is happening, Tommen is forced to stay in his room by Franken-Gregor Clegane, and Margaery apparently has ESPN or something (That Mean Girls reference was pertinent there right?) because she tells the High Sparrow that something is wrong. Cersei is not at the trial, but we're not sure what exactly sparked this concern. Margaery acts rather disjointed and frantic in her last moments, jumping from highs to lows. She tries to convince the Sparrow that something is going to happen, and makes to clear her way out of the Sept with Loras, but she is unable to get through. Though with all the panic starting to stir, no one seems intent on moving out of there, least of all the High Sparrow. For once, he has no words. Presumably, after giving all those long speeches, he's grown tired of talking. Maybe he'll join the real Elder Brother and Septon Meribald on the Quiet Isle.

It's too late for that though because just as Lancel reaches the candles, BOOM. The cask explode along with Lancel and the entirety of the Sept of Baelor. Thus we say goodbye to Lancel, Margaery, Loras, Mace, Kevan, and the High Sparrow forever. Loras' character has been reduced to his sexuality ever since Renly's death on this show, but the fact that they had him condemned for his sexuality, then confess to a sin for loving who he loved, mutilating him as punishment before he gets blown up with the mass of people at Kings Landing seemed rather tasteless and cruel, especially considering this episode happened to air on Pride in New York. The impending doom and eeriness of Aerys' mad act of caches of an uncontrollable explosive substance sleeping under the city was lost in the show up until the last few episodes, so the impact and aftermath of such a sequence and traumatic event seemed off. Why did no one question this event? Why does Cersei have the full support of all the nobility and city to take a throne that she has no stake in? Another death also occurs simultaneously. Pycelle, after being found in bed with another prostitute to cover this week's nudity quota, winds up in the hands of Qyburn and his little birds. During what his highly appropriative book dialogue given by someone else, Qyburn explains to him why he must die, insisting the "old way" must be eradicated. This is of course incredibly different and rater non-contextual to the pertinent scene than Varys' version of this kill, paired with Kevan, in the books. There, the motivation was chaos. The realm was falling into a lull of piece and for a supporter of a Targaryen Queen and a Targaryen Prince making there way across the Narrow Sea, destroying that peace allows the common folk to seek solace in other forms of power. Here, it just seemed to be another check mark off of a check list of plot points that needed to be hit, where why or how the were hit weren't of much consequence. Qyburn's Little Birds kill Pycelle and we say farewell to him as well, an actor that has been with us from the very beginning.

With her plan fully executed, Cersei takes a sip of wine in enjoyment and proceeds to "reward" herself with the capture of Septa Unella whom had previously tortured her during her time in the cells of the Sept. She literally has Unella strapped down to a slab and beings waterboarding her with wine, proclaiming for all the world her crimes, including proudly "fing" her brother. She tells Unella that this will be a slow, painful death, ignoring any pleas or shouts for mercy. Franken-Gregor walks up to the slap, stands over the Septa, while Cersei walks out, pleased with herself, muttering "Shame! Shame! Shame!"Last week was a disconcerting to see Empowered™ Sansa become what is the default for female Empowerment™ on this show. However, this episode was confirmation that her scene where she fed Ramsay to dogs was not born out of her circumstance because every single female character has become one a one dimensional trope of strong™ women and female "empowerment," when in reality, having every woman on this show be the same and having each of these women rest in a place of gratuitous violence, is not actually empowering. Virtually every scene with a female character showcased them reciting lines in a deadpanned expression, devoid of emotion, only to have them then go on to devolve into a violence in which they revel. They all do the Smirk of Empowerment™ and that's that. That's how Thrones presents "women on top" and it's not only damaging; it's highly un-inclusive, unoriginal, and supports the violence in the world rather than combats it. Cersei has gone from the moral ambiguity that we so loved to a stone faced vessel of violence. Benioff and Weiss talk about her character and describe the complexity with which they painted Cersei, but proceed to call her a monster in the same sentence. There's no complexity to painting someone as a monster, but they want us to feel for her, and to be honest, before this moment, we did. This Cersei is beyond ruthless, which despite her much more grey character morality in the books, is out of character for show-Cersei. She tortures Unella yet it was the High Sparrow who was actually in charge of her torture and walk in the first place. Unella was simple a weapon of his choosing, so to choose her to torture, when the High Sparrow got a rather quick death, seemed of little sense. Again though, these situations alone, could perhaps be argued to be born out of character situation, plot, and circumstance, but the fact that this pattern is so present in the narrative and that it's quickly consuming every single female character on our screen proves that assumption false. Violence is not cool, violence is not empowering. Cersei sees the repercussions of her violence but that isn't the focus. Nothing came out of knowing Unella was tortured other than to push us away from empathizing with Cersei's situation. She already murdered hundreds with the Wildfire, so if they're attempting to paint her into the 'Mad Queen', it's working. We didn't need her to have someone tortured, with frankly incredibly disturbing rape implications, to get that. Cersei's violence may have pushed her own son, the one thing in this world she was trying to protect, albeit it badly considering she left him alone when she went to go do some torture, to his demise, but the overall narrative arch doesn't explore the complexity in that.

It all comes back to the theme of the futility of violence being absent from this show. If your story is set in a violent world, it can't be there for scene dressing. There has to be reason behind it and you have a job, as a creator, storyteller, and lens to say something with your narrative. Tome kills himself and Cersei isn't even given a proper scene to grieve. This was her last child. Her prophesy has come true. Show- Cersei's ultra redeeming quality has been her mothering, as Benioff and Weiss have stated, yet we don't give the proper time to see the effect of watching your last child die would do to someone whom partially lived for her children. Her selfishness doesn't even come into play. This is all just harboring the pure and obvious fact that despite their protestations other wise, Thrones falls into the trap that "strong" means in physicality and any other type of woman isn't valid. Emotions are not "strong." It's why they felt the need to put Sansa in the position she was put in in the first place. Sansa did not end up in Winterfell in the books. She's in the Vale and leads with her empathy and curtesy. It's who she is. Why is that woman not valid? Yes, some women can be violent. Some women can be physically strong and some women can be weak. Emotions are valid and the fervor with which they push back against that ideology, an ideology that is usually coded as feminine, the more they reveal the lack of complexity or understanding behind the word empowerment.

Jaime and Bronn are for some reason joining Walder Frey at the Twins, doing some serious backtracking, for a party. This scene is virtually pointless and the seeding of the next scene at the Twins didn't add to the impact of that moment at all. We literally did not need the Jaime and Bronn scene with more brotrip dialogue about women and Jaime calling Walder Frey out for being useless. We learned nothing new. Why was this scene necessary? We could have even just had Frey celebrations of taking Riverrun, a home of house they've been banner men under for years, minus Jaime and Bronn. Perhaps the show runners thought it risky to do scenes without any of their protagonists, but we had that earlier expositional scene with Walder Frey this season anyway.

Wasn't Jaime in such a hurry to get back to Cersei before anyway? Also apparently Edmure Tully is just sitting in a jail cell, despite the deal he made with Jaime, so not much came out of that situation. Edmure's virtually in the same place he was and we could have just acted as if the Frey's held Riverrun ever since the carnage and aftermath of the Red Wedding. It would have been a whole less convoluted. However, Jaime uses Little Finger's famous teleportation device and makes it back to Kings Landing, passed Riverrun once again, to find the Sept of Baelor, or what was the Sept of Baelor, smoking. He gets back to the Red Keep to se Cersei crowned the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms as she takes her seat on the Iron Throne. What even are the rules of inheritance in this situation? Why is no one questioning the horror that just happened at the Sept? Obviously all of our known nobility were killed in the explosion but there are surely still other council members, nobility, and families that would have a say in her taking the crown. Where did the sudden citizen support for the Sparrow movement go? Shouldn't they be up in arms to not only have the Sparrows, the people whom PREACH their faith, ceaselessly and horrifically murdered, but also to see their place of worship destroyed as well? Cersei and Jaime exchange a look that isn't quite decipherable, but in THE AFTER the episode, Benioff and Weiss spoke about how Jaime might feel a little apprehension seeing her sit on the Iron Throne, despite his love for her. That's all Jaime has become, his love for Cersei, so the fact that even this isn't effecting his feelings for her is unbelievable. She turned into the man whose death earned him the name Kingslayer.

Speaking of the Freys, we go back to the Twins later on in the episode, and find Walder Frey sitting alone in his Great Hall eating. he wonders where his sons are but the better question is why the Lord of a great house would be eating alone, without several servants, guards, and other men and women of his family and court. However, he just is. That serving girl we focused on for a moment in the Jaime and Bronn scene earlier comes over to him and we learn, to no one's shock and surprise, that somehow Arya made it all the way across the Narrow Sea, infiltrated the Twins, murdered Freys, and baked them into a pie to serve all off screen. Why did we not see any of this? Where was the planning, intrigue, and lead up? This felt rather anti-climatic to have Arya murder Walder Frey Sweeney Todd style, one of the names on her list, in this context. Why is she suddenly okay with killing innocents? Her whole arc in Braavos was built upon the fact that she doesn't have what it takes to be No One because death is not a careless task. She couldn't kill Lady Crane because of her innocence, yet she killed the Frey men, both of whom she wouldn't know what they directly did at the Red Wedding, and murdered and mutilated whomever the original owner of this face was. How does any of that line up? The Smirk of Empowerment™ is also back as Arya takes just as much joy in slitting Walder Frey's throat as Sansa did last week with Ramsay. Maybe the two Stark sisters are not so different after all? Then again, neither are any of the women on the show. Her list has become as tedious as the checklist the plot points seem to be attempting to hit without any discretions as to what happens in between, and because of that very reason, the sheer emotional impact of moment like this, even with the parallel to Cat's death, wasn't felt as hard as it should have been. This is where her mother, brother, and his pregnant wife were murdered in cold blood. The Frey's broke guest right, they took away her family, and here she finally is. Arya, as we learned, is a child, but she's a killer. That's tragic, but we also spent an entire season ensuring the audience that she has a conscience and her taking such joy at not just killing Walder Frey, but killing all the others that it took to get her to this position is so astounding. Where did her humanity that we had just two episodes ago go? Who is this girl who had to loose her life in the name of Arya's futile revenge?

Sam and Gilly have finally reached Oldtown and he's just carrying his family's Valyrian Steel ancestral sword wrapped in a similarly obvious shaped packaging that Harry's broom stick was wrapped in in Sorcerer's Stone. It's one will notice Sam. It's super subtle. They go on to the Citadel, but it's curious as to why Sam brings Gilly and her babe there when he knows for a fact women are not permitted to stay there. He should have just set her and Little Sam up somewhere comfortable in Oldtown, outside the Citadel, if he knew she wouldn't be welcome there. This scene with the maester equivalent of a receptionist and Sam brought us to the sitcom hour of Thrones as Same goes to hand him Jon's letter but he just sits there, with his hand out until Sam himself leans over enough to reach the maester's barely outstretched hand. Then the Maester receptionist tells us that as to their knowledge, the Citadel knows Jeor Mormont to be the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and Aemon to be the Maester. Sam tells him that there wasn't much time between Jon's election and Aemon's death, but we know for a fact that Tyrion heard of Jeor's death all the way in King's Landing, for he told Jorah of it just last season. If that's the case, how did the Maesters of the Citadel not know? Why didn't even Jon send a raven ahead of Sam to explain the situation if for some reason, they were leaving the Citadel so out of the loop? It would surely be a precautionary action anyway?

The Maester Receptionist lightens up a little with some Sam banter and declares that Sam will only have access to the library. The two walk into the impressively CGI created great library, leaving Gilly and Baby Sam in the hall. What are they going to do? John Bradley's acting is stunning in this sequence. When the material gives him room for depth, he excels and it was great to watch him stand there in awe of all of the books. Knowledge is Sam's power and to be in the HUB of knowledge, filled with it on every side, is dream he never thought he would see realized.

Back up North, Jon and Melisandre stand at the head of the Great Hall. Jon comments that while his father, brother, and sisters sat up at the head of THE ROOM at a feast, he was relegated to the back. Melisandre tells him to check his privilege, that at the very least he was at feasts, and Jon coincides until Davos breaks in, in an uproar that should have happened ten episodes ago. He chucks the carved stag he gave Shireen at Melisandre and accuses her of the murder of an innocent, asking Jon to sentence to death for her pure evils. Liam Cunningham and Carice van Houten deliver all star performances, the best of perhaps this whole season, and really make a scene that feels displaced so incredibly heartbreaking. The break in Davos' voice when he cries out for justice and the resigned sadness in Melisandre's was so moving. Melisandre tells Davos that wha she did, she only did in the name of the Lord of Light. He willed her to do so, and so did Shireen's mother and father, breaking Davos' heart. Jon just stands there for much of the scene, caught in the middle and very much a third wheel, until Davos demands justice. He decides that he will be merciful and spare her, letting her flee so long as she never returns to the North. Where did the brutality that Benioff and Weiss were talking about in last week's "Inside the Episode" as a result of Jon's resurrection go? Where's the just King of the North as he is so later crowned? We finally got a change in Jon from what he's went though, but it disappeared within moments.

Empowered™ Sansa and Jon finally have a heart to heart after the awkwardness of what transpired last week, when she withheld precious battle information, and she is forced to apologize to him once again, for a decision the writer's made her do without so much of an explanation as to why she did it. Jon just tells her it's okay and they have to stand by each other when they have so many enemies, giving her a kiss on the forehead. If we weren't even going to deal with the repercussions of her decision to not mention writing to Little Finger to Jon or explain why she even chose to do it, then why have that be a plot point at all other than to give the audience a reason to be frustrated with this new Empowered™ Sansa they're so apt on selling?

She has a moment in the godswood of Winterfell, perhaps one of her first moments to breathe again, and who comes up to her but the Petyr 'the peodophile who sold her to her rapist' Baelish to ruin everything. Sansa also declares that she no longer prays or believes in the Old Gods of the North who gave her such solace, who were apart of her identity as a Stark, furthering the show's narrative to condemn religion. She asks Petyr what he wants and he tells her about a dream he dreamed in time gone by. He wants to sit the Iron Throne with Sansa aka a replica of Catleyn by his side as Queen. He leans in for a kiss, but she stops him, telling him it's a "pretty picture," but virtually passing. The moment feels triumphant as she walks away, until he speaks once again, stopping her in her tracks with his words. He tells her that with Jon, she's never going to have her birthright. She will be tossed aside. He virtually wins, despite her refusing the kiss, because he plagues her mind.

In the next scene, Jon, Sansa, the wildlings, and northern men (including everyone's personal favorite Lyanna Mormont) are discussing the future. The men all declare that now that the fighting is done, they might as well retreat back to their keeps and holdfasts, to prepare for winter, as we saw (for a second time in this show?) a white raven from the Citadel arrive, announcing the arrival of winter. Jon tells them they have a greater force to face, but no one will listen. Not until little Lyanna Mormont puts them in their place, reminds them of their ALLEGIANCE to the Starks that they had forgotten, and re-recites the letter she wrote to Stannis declaring that Bear Island knows no king, but the King in the North whose name is Stark. She declares Jon should be King in the North and soon the northmen all follow suit, in a scene mirroring the one we got with Robb several seasons ago. Apparently she forgot that the only reason she even sided with Jon and Sansa was because Davos convinced her with the coming of ice zombies, and she directly dismissed Jon's birth and Sansa's name. Yet, it's clear who has the claim here. Clear to us at least, but not the narrative. Virtually every single person looked over Sansa, not even mentioning her, the one person in this room whom would actually have a claim to Winterfell and who is the natural born child of Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully. They all would rather declare for a man who almost cost them all of their lives by charging headfirst and solo into an oncoming calvary, abandoning his command for the rest of the battle. He literally didn't prove himself to be a worthwhile and capable ruler or commander whatsoever. Why would anyone declare him King in the North over Sansa, who despite the worrying transgression of not mentioning the forces in the first place, was still their saving grace as Jon himself points out? Speaking of Jon, he told Sansa earlier that she has the claim and saved their lives. Why did he stand idly by as everyone wrongfully declared him King in the North, as Sansa was completely ignored. Baelish stares at Sansa with a rather suggestive smirk, as if saying 'told ya so' and Benioff and Weiss confirm that he in fact did win in sowing the SEED of discourse between the Stark children. How Empowering™ is it that she is still proven wrong and will most likely go crawling back to the peophile who sold her to her rapist.

Speaking of Jon, Bran and Meera are just casually dropped off by Benjen Colhands near a random Weirwood tree. He peaces out because he can't pass through the Wall's magic, but he takes the horse with him. How is Bran, a young crippled boy and Meera, a young teenaged girl, supposed to make it to the wall without a horse? Is she meant to carry him all the way? We saw in the "Hold the Door" episode that she can't lift him very well. What are they supposed to do? We don't find out however, because they're taking a pit stop at the Weirwood for some casual vision time. Meera, rightfully, asks Bran if he can do this, because we haven't actually seen him conquer the tree warging power yet, as he only had a few lessons with the Three Eyed Raven, but Bran assures her that he has to be because he is the Three Eyed Raven.

Thus, we get the flashback that we all thought we would get episodes ago; the remainder of the Tower of Joy sequence. Young Ned walks up to the tower and sees his sister Lyanna laying in a bed covered in blood. Handmaidens are scurrying around the room...wasn't this moment a secret that only Howland Reed and Ned Stark knew the contents of? It's not clear what ethnicity Lyanna's actress is, as things were kind of darkly lit, but her accent is certainly not Northern Westerosi. It sounded, if anything, closer to the accents they attempt to do in Dorne. It was very strange and striking, considering these two people are meant to translate as siblings. Lyanna assures Ned she is dying, despite his protestations, and whispers something in his ear. We hear a line uttered along the lines of "if Robert found out, he would kill him," and then, Ned is shown a baby. Cut scene, in a not even close to subtle way, to Jon Snow. Thus, Benioff and Weiss' interpretation of the greatest and most accepted fan theory in Throne's history. In fact, it shouldn't even be called a theory, as most accept it as cannon because the seeds were planted in the very first book. However, what we lost here is what we lost in all of Bran's flashbacks; distinction, impact, thematic relevance, and stylization. The imagery of Lyanna bathed in a pool of blood, clutching blue winter roses, was gone. Instead we got a moment that felt rather lackluster. It was probably a shock to most show watchers considering the Lyanna and Rhaegar situation wasn't discussed until the last two seasons in preparation for this, and now that it was, it felt fast paced and heavy handed. There was also no closure to the situation itself. Is it just going to be left as common knowledge that Rhaegar raped and kidnapped Lyanna, a horror of which Jon is the product of? In the books, we get a lot of different accounts of Rhaegar and who he is. The discourse is what's interesting. There's a strong possibility that Lyanna actively chose and had agency this situation, judging by the situation with the Knight of the Laughing Tree and the fact that she was clutching the roses Rhaegar had left her when she died. However, in the show, that dialogue and that possibility seems to be lost. Is a Lyanna with agency, who chose to run away, who chose this love rather than the ARRANGED situation of Robert, evoking the true she-wold that she was, more interesting than the victim narrative they've painted as a source for Robert's manpain? This moment is one of the most discussed and theorized moments in A Song of Ice and Fire history, and it sadly seemed to fall short of nothing more than just shock value or heavy handed twists.

We also traveled back to Dorne, everyone's favorite location, and find Olenna Tyrell there, in mourning garb (news travels fast) seeking an alliance with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes to bring down Cersei. The costumes this episode were strange, but Obara wore an outfit resembling Oberyn's robes and it was a really nice parallel. Olenna sass-talks the Sand Snakes, dismissing them in an oh so "women on top" swift motion of catty misogyny and directs the conversation at Ellaria. Ellaria promises her vengeance and rings a little bell near her side, calling in Varys.

Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, Dany and her crew are getting ready to depart and she invites Daario into her chambers for a talk. She tells him she must leave him behind to regulate Meereen (cause having a foreign white person rule over an established race and culture of brown people had worked so well in the past) and that he would be a liability to her in Westeros. She says that she needs to marry someone of high birth to secure alliances but Daario is fine with it. He says he will be her mistress, yet she still dismisses him. There is literally no logic as to why she would have to leave Daario behind, as kings take mistresses all the time, and she's coming to conquer, but Tyrion told her to do it so she listened. This appointment doesn't make any sense. Daario leads the Second Sons, an army of sellswords. Why would they listen to her command to stay behind in a city they have no connection to if their ruler is across the sea? They have nothing to hold them there, nor any connection to the actual people.

She then has a scene with Tyrion where she tells him she felt nothing letting go of Daario, falling in line with the emotionless empowerment™ trope that dominates the narrative, and commends Tyrion for his service. She pulls out an exact replica of the Hand of the King pin she had made for him (Despite the fact that she nor anyone else in her service had set foot in Westeros to see this pin), naming him Hand of the Queen. The episode ends with what people have been urging Dany to do for years, as she and her forces sail to Westeros, with her three dragons flying overhead. Her fleet is massive, filled with Targaryen, Greyjoy, and Martell flags (Varys is there with some of the Dornish...I guess he teleported to them) bound for the Iron Throne.

This season of Thrones is over and we only have two more. A lot certainly happened this episode, we CHOPPED half of our cast in half, and Dany is finally making her way across the Narrow Sea to Westeros. Things are finally starting to come together as "efficiency is coming" and they only have two shortened seasons left to wrap up these major plotlines. Overall, this season was entertaining but didn't make a lot of sense most of the time and was filled with rather odd characterizations, plots, and lacked a thematic consistency that seasons of the past had. All of our main characters will be in Westeros next season though, so perhaps getting them on their final path in the war of ice and fire will add some urgency and interesting complexity between these personalities who have either never seen each other or have been distanced for so long that perhaps they will not be the same people when they reunite. This season has certainly been "women on top" if by that you mean women literally holding power positions and screen time, but the pattern of them all being emotionless killers who smirk and take joy in violence is worrying to say the least. Hopefully these personalties and talents that have had so few chances to clash before will bring out the best characters and actions for the narrative in all of our characters as we move into wrapping up one of the most successful shows on television of all time. David Benioff said an ironically true comment unaware on the "Inside the Episode", asking "What the hell is this plot?" Nothing really made much sense this season and it's more frustrating because they're so capable of delivering work of the highest quality and we've seen them do it before. All one can hope for is that despite the fact that efficiency is coming, this season will have allowed them to put character and story first in the final two seasons as we start to say goodbye!

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From This Author Jessica Naftaly

Jessica Naftaly, a NYC native, is currently a film major at the School of Visual Arts, with a focus in directing. She has a passion (read more...)