Hello 3.5 Readers,
Does this mean by Jon Snow action figure goes up in value?
Quite a surprise ending for Season 5, wasn’t it?
I’ve finally processed my grief and am now able to talk about it but first, let’s talk about real life.
That’s right. I’m talking about the life outside of Game of Thrones, the one without the dragons, or the Khaleesi, or the epic battles or a functionally alcoholic dwarf who manages to save the day despite his ennui.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
That’s an old cliche, isn’t it? It holds up though. So many of us work our little butts off. We toil away, we make goals, figure out the steps we need to take to work towards them and do what we can to achieve them.
Sometimes things work out for us. Other times, and usually more often than not, we fall flat on our faces.
3.5 readers, who among you has locked up your emotions with a significant other you trusted not to screw you over? Surely, at least one of you convinced yourself your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, partner, whatever was “the one” and you built your life around said individual.
Maybe you were planning to get married or hell, maybe you DID get married. God, maybe you even brought kids into the world with this person. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you just walked around telling your friends and family what a reliable, dependable person this guy or gal was.
Then one day…boom! Gone.
POSSIBLE BREAK-UP LINES USED ON YOU:
- It’s not you, it’s me.
- It was you all along.
- I hate your face.
- Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.
- TEXT MESSAGE: U IZ DUMPD
- TWEET: #UIZDUMPD
- FACEBOOK: You’re dumped. Here’s a funny cat video I hope will help you get through it.
Forget relationships. Maybe you’re career aspirations did not go how you planned them. You went to college, selected a major, gained useful experience and boom! You’re riding the pine on the ‘rents’ couch because the economy stinks worse than a wookie during mating season on Kashyyyk.
Maybe everything did go right. Maybe you did find that awesome job and that awesome significant other.
Maybe one day you’re walking across the street, you’re thinking, “Wow, everything sure did work out for me and OH NO! A damn Mac Truck just ran over my face.”
Life. Whether it’s romance or careers or dreams, there’s just no guarantee of success and everything can go turn to crap in an instant.
Now, add in the dragons, and the sword fights, and the Khaleesi and you have Game of Thrones, a fantasy show that is as close as a program can get to real life and still feature a red headed witch with the ability to push smokey ghost assassins out of her cooter.
Attorney Donnelly preemptively apologizes to anyone offended by my use of the word “cooter.” Also, please read Pop Culture Mysteries. I’m pretty proud of that one.
In real life, there’s what you wanted to happen AND what did happen.
I, your illustrious blog host Bookshelf Q. Battler, will now analyze the past season/final episode with through those two points of view.
SPOILER WARNING!!!! DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED!
GAME OF THRONES – HBO – SEASON 5 TRAILER – THE WHEEL
THE BIG SURPRISE – JON SNOW
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN – Jon Snow to continue into the next season as the man standing between Westeros and the White Walkers.
WHAT DID HAPPEN – The Night’s Watch turned on their leader in a big way.
Jon Snow was named Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch this season. His men grumbled about his decisions but they also gave every indication of, “Well, this is a military organization so we have to follow orders even when they piss us off.”
Jon grew so much this season, moving from dopey pretty boy to battle hardened leader. He made a tough call with the Wildlings.
The Night’s Watch Brothers are understandably unhappy with the decision to save the Wildlings. These are people who have killed several brothers as well as innocent bystanders – men, women and children. Sure, the Wildlings’ reasoning is, “Hey! You put up a big ass wall and locked us out of the Kingdom!” but the justification is, “Of course we did! You guys are a bunch of aholes and are basically snow covered Dothraki!”
SIDE NOTE: The genius of the books/series is that nothing is ever black and white. George RR provides reasoning and justification for why every characters acts the way that they do, even the worst ones. Their actions aren’t necessarily right, but you’re left with an understanding of the events that led to a person becoming an evil jerkface.
I get that no character is safe but so much was built up around Jon snow:
You know nothing – Am I the only one who thought all of those, “You know nothing, Jon Snows” would eventually lead to a big reveal where Jon Snow would learn something, whatever it was that he was supposed to know?
Jon Snow’s Mother – (Possible Big Spoiler) – In the first season, we learn that Ned brought baby Jon Snow back to Winterfell, a bastard he had with some allegedly random hussy because while he loved Cat and all, he thought he was going to die during Robert’s Rebellion so he might as well get a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side and woops! We won the war! Guess Ned has some ‘splaining to do.
Ned tells Jon he’ll fill him in on his mother one day. Will we ever find out who Jon’s mother is now? Will it matter if/when we do?
There’s been a long bandied about theory (POSSIBLE BIG SPOILER!) that Jon was not actually Ned’s kid but rather, was the love child of Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister betrothed to Robert Baratheon) and Rhaegar Targaryen, that Lyanna wasn’t actually kidnapped but in fact, she ran away willingly with Rhaegar and as a Targaryen, Jon had the closest link to the throne and Ned felt the need to protect his nephew from Robert by claiming him as a bastard, even if that meant enduring Cat’s constant, “Waah waah Ned cheated on me while he was at war” complaints.
Is that theory possible? Who knows now but here’s a question – was noble Ned really the cheating type?
This is what George RR does and does best. He builds up our hopes and dreams. Like Lucy from Peanuts, he holds that damn football. Like the gullible Charlie Brown, the dumb audience comes running up to kick that football and then bam, George, like Lucy, pulls that football away. He does it every time and we keep watching because in many ways, those big shockers make for thrilling television.
GRRM did it with Rob Stark, when the Young Wolf won battle after battle against the Lannisters only to be gutted at the Red Wedding. He did it with Prince Oberyn when we were led to believe that the Viper had bested the Mountain only to gloat just a little too early. And now he’s done it with Jon Snow.
Sure, Jon’s untimely demise made for a big “HOLY CRAP” moment but whether or not it pans out as a good decision for the series remains to be seen. After all, we invested a lot in Jon Snow. Aside from the Khaleesi and Tyrion, he was pretty much the last good guy worth rooting for.
Sam’s a fun character but will it be as invigorating to watch him stand between Westeros and the White Walkers? Will we cheer on the Night’s Watch when they betrayed their Lord Commander? Seriously, other than Dany, who’s left to like now?
SIDE NOTE: In keeping with the GOT = Real Life argument, keep in mind at this point, the more likely outcome is not that Dany swoops into Westeros and saves the day but rather, that the Whitewalkers just take over the entire fantasy world and have a great undead time into all eternity. I can honestly see GRRM taking that approach, can’t you?
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Cersei refuses to confess. Tommen grows a pair and sends the army to retrieve his wife, mother and brother-in-law.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: Tommen reverts to being an indecisive wuss. Cersei confesses, goes on the worst walk of shame ever and still has to undergo a trial anyway.
Cersei’s the character fans love to hate. The running pattern in the show is that she concocts these schemes, thinks she’s so clever and then her plans backfire royally. That happened again this season. By giving the High Sparrow the power of a religious army, she thought she’d developed her own personal hit squad to take out her enemies, namely the Tyrells.
It all backfired when the High Sparrow turned on her and locked her up.
Cersei’s done a lot of bad things to good people (most notably Ned) but on the other hand, that whole “walk of shame” scene was sad to watch and surely it would be a painful experience for anyone to go through.
Hat’s off to Lena Headey. I’m sure walking around in the buff whilst surrounded by throngs of fantasy peasant extras spitting on you, throwing garbage and uh, other substances at you and hurling insults was no easy feet.
SIDENOTE: Remember how Lady Stoneheart was axed from the series, that the idea was a little farfetched? But uh, Frankenmountain isn’t? Clyburn introducing his “creation” kind of blew the end of that very powerful walk of shame scene. The emotion was raw and real and then it went basically went to a Frankenstein monster to defend Cersei’s honor.
JAIME/MYRCELLA – I’m going to rush through this one. I wanted Myrcella to live because, hey, she’s just a kid. Why punish her when she didn’t do anything? Alas, Jaime gets that briefest of father/daughter moments before seeing his offspring die due to Ellaria’s treachery. Prince Doran won’t be happy.
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Stannis ousts the Boltons, frees Sansa. Sansa finally gets to have somewhat of a normal existence where she isn’t a captive or a torture victim.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: As often happens in real life, the bad guys aka the Boltons, won.
Perhaps GRRM’s intent in having Stannis sacrifice Shireen was to turn him from good to bad guy, thus leaving the audience pleased at his defeat.
Stannis started out in the series as the ruthless “win at all costs” warrior, too blindly devoted to the Red Woman, willing to even kill his own brother (through the above mentioned cooter delivered smoke ghost assassin) to get what he wants.
But then Stannis scored points and his stock rose. He was the only one to respond to the Night’s Watch calls for help, bringing his men to save the day during the Wildling attack. He told Shireen that she was a princess and that he had always seen to it that she’d be treated accordingly despite her ailment.
GRRM convinced us. Go Stannis. Kick out the dastardly Boltons. Punish them for their betrayal of the Starks. Save Sansa.
Alas, then there was what happened to Shireen and well, the battle became a conflict between two aholes (Bolton vs. Baratheon) and as often happens in life, you were left tepidly rooting for the lesser of two aholes.
What about Lady Melisandre? Some powerful acting there. She presents herself as the consummate, unshaken true believer in the Lord of Light yet when the audience learns half of Stannis men have fled with the horses, you can see the look of defeat in her eyes.
Here’s a question – would you keep fighting for a guy who cooked his daughter alive? Could that have been a big reason why his troops skeedaddled?
SIDENOTE: Will the Red Woman resurrect Jon Snow? Tough call.
1) We’re not sure if she can. Sometimes it is implied that she’s full of shit. She might have no magic power and all she does is pull creepy sayings out of her ass, throw a few powders into the fire, put on a little show and then she has the patronage and support of a rich royal family. She all but said that in a prior episode.
2) But she might be able do. I mean, hell, the woman did push a smokey ghost assassin out of her cooter, so bringing a dead man back to life should be a piece of cake.
3) Kit Harington, the actor who played Jon Snow, has already said in interviews that Jon isn’t coming back. I mean, that still doesn’t mean it’s impossible but it’s something to keep in mind. (Would an actor say, “Oh yeah! Don’t worry! The Red Woman will bring me back!” if that was going to happen?)
Still, I kind of doubt that’s going to happen.
SANSA AND REEK – Hey um, I’m surprised I’m the only one asking this, but are they dead? They’re pretty much dead, aren’t they?
The show runners were made a point to show the viewer just how tall that damn wall was, that there weren’t any beds of feathers or wagons full of pillows waiting at the bottom, and we even saw a person fall to her death from the inner side so…Sansa and Reek jumped just after Sansa declared she’d rather die than be tortured any more so uh….I don’t know. I fail to see how they’d of survived that fall but we didn’t see any bodies so I guess we wait until next season.
I have to say if Sansa dies it will be yet another, “God damn it. Another character I rooted for taken from me.”
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Arya continues her training
WHAT DID HAPPEN: Arya goes blind. I don’t know why. The Faceless Men have rules and she broke them.
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: I wanted a damn explanation as to how the Khaleesi’s buddies survived the Sons of the Harpy attack after being abandoned by their Queen when she went on a dragon joyride. Also, I wanted her to return and continue to lead her army into Westeros, since now, without Jon Snow, she’s pretty much that continent’s only hope.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: The Khaleesi is captured by the Dothraki and this time does not have Khal Drogo to protect her. Hopefully, Mormont and Daario will find her in time.
But keep in mind, we’re onto your tricks, GRRM. We won’t be surprised if you have the Khaleesi get burned up by one of her dragons or killed by the Dothraki or something.
Hell, just give the Iron Throne to Sam Tarly or Hodor and be done with it.
Real life? You never get what you want and that’s why you never get what you want on this show either.