The Bells – Game of Thrones’ Ozymandias

The preview for the Game of Thrones series finale has zero words, but pounds on images of the aftermath and the end as Daenerys marches forth into a world forged in fire. I thought of the last lines of Shelley’s “Ozymandias”:

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Much has been made about prophecies as of late. Shelley’s famous sonnet details its own prophecy, that of a great ruler’s kingdom reduced to an arid wasteland, prideful boasts notwithstanding: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings/Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” As the dust settles on Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode of the series, much has been made about whether Daenerys’ trajectory was earned. But looking back on Daenerys’ downfall from agency to entitlement and finally towards her manifest destiny, there was no other trajectory for her that could’ve seen to this completion. Continue reading

Game of Thrones and the Limits of Prophecy

In “The Long Night’s” Game Revealed featurette, Kit Harington remarks of Arya being the one to kill the Night King: “I was pissed that it wasn’t me.”

It’s the easiest thing to imagine, isn’t it? Jon Snow coming back from the dead, becoming King of the North, turning out to be the heir to the Iron Throne then going on to defeat the Night King. So easy it’s almost too good to be true.

I think that’s the problem. Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ The Long Night – A Brutal Exercise in Survival Horror

Sunday’s “The Long Night” was BY FAR the most stressful 80-minutes of television I have ever experienced. I’m going to lead with that, because, whatever complaints people may have over certain prophecies “unfulfilled,” or improper flexes of the term “Mary Sue,” or overall body count; Game of Thrones’ latest is still a breathtaking exercise in medieval survival horror. So fine-tune those TV presets (turn OFF motion smoothing/auto-motion plus AND set your sharpness to 0; you’re welcome) and let us begin. Continue reading

Game of Thrones’ First & Last Ever Bottle Episode

Tyrion saying, “let’s stay a bit longer” is a mood – perhaps the bittersweet mood that permeates each Sunday. It’s the Final Season, with 4 episodes left, and it’s the eve of what’s promised to be the biggest battle, like, ever. Meaning everyone at Winterfell is about experience their version of the Thanos Snapture, where half of them are likely to fall fighting the Night King’s army. Somehow, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” turns this reflective doom and gloom into the show’s most compelling hour in what feels like has been a thousand leagues. 69 episodes in (ayyyy) it’s surprisingly easy to forgo the doomsday plot for a minute and cozy up to the fireplace alongside our favorite characters. I’m with Tyrion; I just wish it wasn’t time to go. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7

When Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen meet on Dragonstone – a game-changing meeting wherein Dany bids him to bend the knee while Jon presents the game-changing news of White Walkers and an army of the dead – the King in the North implores to the Dragon Queen, “There’s no time for any of this.” It speaks to the larger reason why Season 7 pales in comparison to the show’s previous seasons. Season 7 boasts Avengers-level gatherings, where characters we never thought would meet wind up joining forces. It makes for a tremendously crowd-pleasing experience, but, upon repeat viewings, it is also a frustrating one. Continue reading