The Game of Thrones finale. It wrapped the season that Benioff & Weiss wrote strictly by writing character names on slips of paper and pulling them from a drawstring bag like a raffle.
“The person to kill Dany will be….[crinkle, crinkle]…..Jon Snow!”
“Okay, next up, the person to sit the throne will be….[crinkle]…wow, it’s Bran!”
I think we can all agree that we, as fans, deserved a lot better than the stew of comic book battles and character pivots that comprised the last few seasons. Under the guidance of Benioff & Weiss, the”Song of Ice and Fire” became a very swift and shallow tune: Fire melts ice.
Fire melts kids and buildings. Fire melts Spiders and Hounds and Mountains. Fire wins. The insane and power hungry leverage the element for the brute force of it, sidestepping the dominions of cleverness and wisdom. Fire wins because fire destroys. And destruction is always far easier (and flashier) than creation. Once Benioff and Weiss left the source material, they had a rare opportunity to create a world and its rulers, schemes, traps, and games. Instead, they quite symbolically stuffed Tyrion in a crypt and burned it all down. All of it. That isn’t creativity. It’s a waste.
And if the “Song of Fire” was short and brutal, the Song of Ice was cut off before it ever finished. The North’s tale was far more complicated than that of King’s Landing, so it is understandable that superhero fanboys B&W had a hard time crafting a deep resolution to the issues of The Children, the White Walkers, and the Three-Eyed Raven. Once Hodor died and Cold Hands popped in for a quick “hello”, Bran’s story just stopped, as if Old Nan was called away for lunch.
So now I will pour out a little Dornish red for the plot threads, logic, and common sense that B&W scrapped in favor of CGI fire and dragon fights. Here are some of the biggest unanswered questions from Game of Thrones:
- Where is Hotpie?
- Why wasn’t Gendry a serious contender to take the throne after Dany’s demise?
- Is Ellaria Sand dead? Is anyone checking to see if she survived the castle crumbling? (Because she might be hungry and pissed)
- Why were the White Walkers (and the Night King) created by the Children?
- What was the Night King’s motive?
- Why did the White Walkers never hassle Bran and his slow, clumsy traveling party tromping north to the Three-Eyed raven?
- What happened to Cold Hands (Zombie Uncle Benjen)?
- What happened to the Children? Are they gone?
- Why is Bran the Three-Eyed Raven and not someone else? And what the hell is the Thraven?
- Who was the old Thraven?
- Why did Melisandre go to Volantis after being shunned from Winterfell? That was a long way just to escape the Onion Knight’s wrath. Was she supposed to have a purpose in Volantis?
- Why does there need to be a Nights Watch if the Free Folk and the Children aren’t the enemy and the White Walkers are gone?
- How is Bran the Broken going to justify giving away High Garden to Ser Bronn? Lady Olenna had other grandchildren (as part of the TV canon), and presumably there are many Tyrells left.
- What happened to the Warlocks of Qarth? Even after Dany freed her dragons, they sent an assassin after her. Why did they stop pursuing her?
- How is it that The Mountain died from a long fall into a pit of fire, but not from lots of stabbing? Will his charred corpse still emerge from the fire?
- How is it that Samwell can instantly become a maester when he never finished earning his chains at the Citadel and he stole a bunch of their books and ran away? How did he get robes so fast?
- What ever happened to Ser Ilyn Payne?
- The first time Samwell saw a White Walker, it saw him but ignored him. Why?
- What has happened to Cersei’s new loan from the Iron Bank? Will Bran & Co. have to assume the debt? How on earth can they afford to rebuild?
And of course…
- What on earth does Podrick do that makes him such a sex god?
This mystery, as in the others, will persist until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, until the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. Oh, Podrick.