Game of Thrones Finale Predictions

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Image from HBO

It’s been a brutal five weeks. In a few days HBO will air the final episode of “Game of Thrones” and while everybody is tossing their two cents, here’s mine.

The song of ice and fire begins. Jon and Dany will be at war at each other. From here on out, anything could happen.

– Northmen will face off against the remaining Dothraki horde and the Unsullied. Grey Worm appears to have some beef with Jon Snow, after showing hesitation from storming King’s Landing.

– That scorpion in the Red Keep might still come in handy.

– If the battle somehow spreads, Gendry, being indebted to Dany, might come fight against Jon.

– Jon will die.

– Gendry, being one of the causes of Jon’s death, will end up being a target for Arya. Doesn’t Gendry have green eyes? Hard to tell.

– Somewhere in the depths of the internet, Kit Harington said he was disappointed at the ending. (Then made a pathetic attempt to backtrack). To me, this translates as: With King’s Landing burned to the ground, Dany immediately orders for Jon Snow’s execution. There may be a battle, there may not be one—and Jon is just burned to a charred crisp. Hey, we either might see or not see that he’s immune to fire as well, which can turn the tide. Probably. Or Kit is just acting out to lower expectations.

– Dany is going to win that battle no matter what. Drogon will die, though.

– Sansa never came up until at this very point in writing. So, maybe, with Dany on the throne, Winterfell will soon be a target to prevent Sansa from rallying people and instigate a rebellion. So, Sansa with Brienne and Bran, will head off to the North, and join the free folk. Maybe Ghost will find love and affection through Sansa.

– The last scene will be Dany sitting on the Iron Throne, feeling empty like a husk. There’s this big “Was it worth it?” question.

– Alternatively, there might be a scene where Dany sets sail back to Meereen, where a waiting Daario will be there to welcome her back. (Yeah right, but anything can happen at this point.)

– Dany sits on the Iron Throne, feeling empty like a husk. Yes, there’s also a big question in there if everything was worth it. Then a giant dragon killing scorpion bolt pins Dany to the Iron Throne and then she dies. That’s right, no one walks away.

– Would had been amazing to see some swords, possibly from our protagonists, melted into the Iron Throne.

– Bronn kills Tyrion. Sure, Dany won and all, but it is doubtful if Tyrion manages to convince her to give Bronn High Garden.

– Alternatively, if Gendry keeps a low profile, he’ll be visited by Arya.

That’s all I got.

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The Bell

UPDATE: I realized the formatting was crap. I don’t know how that happened, I’m sorry for that. Must have been a nightmare to see. I wrote this all through the mobile app, so, probably that had something to do with it? Anyway, proper formatting posted below.

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Epic spoilers for Episode 5, Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Don’t tell me none of you saw it.

I didn’t. I was expecting a big battle. Some bloodshed. I was thinking there were stashes of wildfire everywhere in the city, ready to detonate and destroy a large chunk of the united forces of the Unsullied, Dothraki, and the North.

After bringing down hellfire to the Iron Fleet and incinerating about 20,000 mercenaries, destroying the city’s scorpion defenses, and tearing down the walls, the bell finally rang, signifying their surrender. Soldiers of King’s Landing had had already thrown down their swords, yielding. But then we get a shot of Daenerys. She’s pissed. She’s really pissed. “Do you think it’s that easy?” She probably thinks and flies off, to what I assumed would be burning down the Red Keep.

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That look says it all. (Dany is so frightening at times, and when you look at Emilia Clarke, she’s so… opposite.)
Instead, she burns down the entire fucking city, killing soldiers and innocent civilians alike. Drogon kept shooting fire and it seemed Daenerys didn’t care if her own troops get hit in collateral.

Yes, she’s making an example. She’s always done things her way, since the first season. Every single enemy she has ever faced, she’s burned down to the ground. So it wasn’t unexpected that she would burn down King’s Landing as well. This scenario is strengthened when Missandei was killed, when Jorah was killed. Two of her closest friends, dead. She lost half her army fighting for complete strangers. She feels isolated and the people of the North makes it clear they don’t like her. She’s used to being surrounded by people who would die for her, worshipped her. She’s had her own journey

The thing is, I’ve always felt that Daenerys was more of a “villain’s journey,” instead one of the hero. The only reason so many people rooted so hard for her was because we followed her journey. We knew her story. Also, she did a lot of badass things backed up by the “Game of Thrones” badass theme music.

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Erase everything we knew about Daenerys. We meet her the same time she met Jon Snow. Things would be a little different. We have no idea who she is, and we might even regard her the same suspicious way as the people of Westeros. It would’ve been too easy to paint her as the series’ big bad.

“Game of Thrones” and the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books it was based on, introduces us to a wide range of characters in a world where morality is in the gray area. When the first book kicked off, we’re allowed to believe that Jaime and Cersei Lannister were the villains, but as we saw their characterizations, we at least could understand their actions. The same goes for Daenerys. Just because she’s a badass character, doesn’t mean she wasn’t the big bad all along.

Well, the Cleganebowl had finally happened. It was violent, not any less or more violent than anything shown in the past. But it is the most violent bout of the season, thus far. For sure, I was screaming my pants out, actually afraid of Ser Sandor Clegane’s ultimate fate. I was hoping he’d at least bring down the Mountain. But for a moment there, just a glimpse, it seemed like Ser Robert Strong – Zombie Gregor Clegane – might actually win this one out. Despite hating that possibility, I was willing to embrace that result. Somehow that direction would had more meaning to it, more tragic than a mere “Oh, it’s a stalemate.”

We’ve never seen Gregor, really not seen him. We only know he’s a dick. And ever since his big fight with Oberyn Martell, we saw even less of him. Unlike Sandor, we’ve spent some good years with him. He’s a dick, but he ended up being a likeable dick. Personally, there was no emotional investment. Sandor kills Gregor, yay. That’s it for the Cleganebowl. But if Gregor ended up killing Sandor, instead? There’s a lot of hurt going to reverberate in the coming weeks.

The same goes with Jaime Lannister. Something in me expected that both Jaime and Cersei will die together. It’s scattered in the books as tiny breadcrumbs. I expected Daenerys storming into the Red Keep. Cersei has Qyburn, or someone, use the scorpion they have in there against Drogon. Just for a little OMG moment. Then it fails and as Cersei escapes, she encounters Jaime, who sees the inevitability of dragon fire. “The things I do for love,” Jaime probably would had said, stabs Cersei, watches her die as the flames consume them.

But instead, for spectacle, from somewhere in the middle of King’s Landing, near the gates of the Red Keep, Jaime had teleported somewhere outside city walls and comes face-to-face with Euron. I thought I could deal with this. Jaime getting killed by Euron and the twins never having to say their farewells seemed more powerful and painfully tragic. Maybe it cheapens things. I don’t know. But if Jaime had died there on that beach, somehow to me it would had felt so much more satisfying.

In the end, I felt that author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” George RR Martin had intentionally allowed the delay of his books, telling David Benioff and D.B. Weiss key events, allowing them to use and test it out on screen, to see fan reaction. If it’s bad, at least GRRM knows what to avoid. It’s actually brilliant.

The Long Night: Battle of Winterfell

The night is dark and full of spoilers.

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After waiting for two years and then another two hours in two weeks, we have reached the culmination of 20-something years of anticipation. And you thought “Avengers: Endgame” was the biggest thing happening.

For “Game of Throne” fans, and most especially, fans of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, this is the very thing we’ve been waiting for since the prologues of both the book and the show. I realize I’m repeating myself. That’s fine. Let’s try a no-filter, no-edit post.

In any case, it was a difficult watch for me, being stuck in work, fearing the boss will call out my name and I’d have to pause and scoot from my cramped space. The people from downstairs have TVs on and watched it together, but, joining them didn’t feel right. Not because I’m an anti-social turd (I am) but because I felt it needed some sort of cinematic experience.

And the Lord of Light be praised. The boss had left the premises. Bought some snacks, and switched off the lights.

First thought was, damn, Ghost is back. Dragons and horse riders have been stomping that we forget all about direwolves. He later disappears again. He is called “Ghost” after all. Though I wonder what role he’ll have in the actual book. As I recall, he never really left Jon’s side. Last time that happened, Jon was turned into a pin cushion for knives.

Bran wanders off to do his thing. And this bit I enjoyed because it gives us a hint that in book format, this entire battle sequence might also take place in Bran’s perspective as “The Three-Eyed Raven.” It would be amazing and epic in so many ways. Normally, all these big battles in books are told in a limited POV or were dictated as glorious stories to POV characters who weren’t present in the battle itself. But when Bran wargs into the ravens, for the first time in the books, we will have almost all POV characters in a single chapter.

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As many of you are surprised, the death toll was significantly lower. Well, as far as main POV characters are concerned. I think the real bloodbath will happen later, during the battle with Cersei and Euron Greyjoy. The opening sequence foreshadows that giant-ass crossbow, and I keep wondering who’d be the receiving end of it.

The death of Dolorous Edd was full of disks. Not only is it such a cliché but it’s so boring. Edd deserved a more epic last stand than that. Defending his friendship Samwell Tarley is a good cause, I guess. But it could had been handled better. Like, facing a swarm of wights and getting overrun like a river, would had been awesome and sad to watch.

Lyanna Mormont is dead. Squashed, literally, by the hand of an undead giant. But “Game of Thrones” loves putting little girls in harm’s way and let them do something badass. Lyanna takes him down. Nothing like an obsidian knife plunged straight to the eye. Since making her appearance in the show, she’s been nothing but a badass. She will be missed.

Now that she’s gone though, I suppose, when all of this is over, Jorah Mormont would find his place back in… oh wait. Yeah. Never mind. I’m going to need a minute to let that part sink in. I don’t drink beer. Do you guys drink beer? I might as well have one.

As my friend put it: “At least Sam gets his sword back.”

Low blow “Mark,” low blow.

That tiny bit between Jaime and Brienne fighting hordes of undead side-by-side was too epic. As someone from Twitter pointed out, they are each using Valyrian-steel swords forged from Ned Stark’s own “Ice.” In a way, you can put it that past Warden of the North is still protecting Winterfell in some form. In that regard, we actually get little from them, save for a few shouting, desperate screaming, and fighting a hopeless battle. Since HBO is doing a more straightforward narrative, I figured these two are safe at least until the next big battle – possibly at King’s Landing.

Between Jaime and Brienne scenes, we see glimpses of Podrick and Gendry here and there. I’ve nothing to fear about them dying. HBO’s narrative dictates those two will serve a few more important purposes. Specifically, Podrick has watched Tyrion’s back once in a while, like the Battle of the Blackwater, and Ser Bronn—a good ole favorite—is out on a mission to take out the Lannister brothers. It’s an interesting thing to look forward to.

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Everyone in the show was expecting the crypts to be the safest place to be. Everyone watching the show, knows that those hiding might as well be on the frontlines of war. Arya passing an obsidian dagger to Sansa is the biggest giveaway. But things went smoothly. A few people are dead and we didn’t really spend too much time there. All things worked out, for better or for worse. I was expecting some dead Starks to rise up and somehow be Winterfell’s much needed backup, “The North remembers” after all. But still, it’s a moment between Tyrion and Sansa, and it was beautiful to watch. “You were the best of them all,” Sansa said, about Tyrion being the best of her three husbands.

Ser Davos Seaworth is alive and kicking. We don’t see much of him doing any killing. As stated again and again, he’s survived two big battles with zero combat experience. Let’s see if that luck holds out until the end of the series.

Theon’s redemption arc ended with his last stand against the Night King. I was wondering if it were possible that he survived and at least, do some sort of damage, even a minor one just to distract the Night King from whoever defeats him. Turns out nah. The Night King is the embodiment of death, after all, and he’s killed a dragon with a giant Popsicle, so of course this guy knows how to OHK.

Of course we all wanted more of an epic showdown. We wanted for Jon Snow to fight the Night King. We wanted him to lose a little, just enough time probably for other Valyrian-steel sword wielders come as backup.

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No, none of that happened. Instead, Arya soars into the air and manages to OHK the Night King, in a single fell swoop. Was it anticlimactic? Yes. Was it disappointing? Not really, not much.

I love how Tor.com puts it that, “no one” can defeat the Night King, and “Well, a girl is no one, after all.” Well put guys.

I was satisfied for the most part. Even when the episode itself was dark, I felt it was really meant to be that way. For starters, it gives sense to the term “The night is dark and full of terrors.” The enemy is in the dark and we are unprepared for it. Can’t comprehend what’s happening? That’s war. It’s vicious and it’s random. Also, it’s dark so they could mask the not-too-awesome graphics. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are a treat, but coming off from “Avengers: Endgame” people will notice visual differences. I’ve got some people comparing the Battle of Winterfell with The Battle of Helms Deep, which doesn’t compute. Clearly the bloodbath in Winterfell was better.

I suppose I’m just a little weary from hive-mind bosses. Where, defeat the leader and everything goes to normal. I’ve felt it was something cheesy and a cheap way for the protagonists to get out of trouble. We’ve seen such things multiple times, like the first “Avengers” film.

Still, the next three episodes are looking really good and exciting. Can’t wait for next week.

The Spoils of War

Spoilers for the seventh season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Quick update: Noticed I’ve been spelling “Valyrian” as “Valerian.” Damn the Thousand Planets!

Holy shit.

That was one damn good episode.

With only seven episodes left, things are wrapping up really fast. We are being pushed in breakneck speed from one scene to another, giving us just enough screen time to let us know what’s up with this character and the next. In the previous episode, Samwell Tarly has, apparently, cured Jorah Mormont of his greyscale disease. I believe this will be the last we will be seeing them until a much later time, maybe even in the season finale, or as far back as the final season next year. There just doesn’t seem anything for them to do anymore at this point. Unless Sam discovers something important and Jorah reaches Dragonstone, where Dany and her army is currently residing.

The lowest point of “The Spoils of War” is the interaction between Cersei and the Iron Bank. Sure, we now know all about the debt being paid in singe installment, and that, the Iron Bank may back out last minute when things go awry.

At Dragonstone, Jon showed Dany the cavern of dragonglass, and we get to see drawings on obsidian, of the First Men and the Children of the Forest, working together to face the Night’s King and his Army of the Dead. At this point I can’t tell if Dany is convinced of the threat far up north, but instead uses this to tell Jon that he should bend the knee. Of course, Jon reasons why he cannot, and to this, Dany points out that isn’t survival more important than pride? Something if I remember right, was something Jon said to Mance Rayder and we all know how he ended up. Whether Dany believes Jon or not remains to be seen yet. Though, at this point I’m incline to believe that Jon has secretly bent the knee, acknowledging Dany as Queen. Why? Because he needs to damn it and he’ll need to smooth things out later with his compatriots waiting for him at Winterfell. In a lightly humored scene where Davos tried to give Jon a proper title, “King Snow” or “King Jon” and the young dragon-wolf hybrid only says, “It doesn’t matter.” Why doesn’t it? Because he’s already pledged to Daenerys Stormborn! I could be totally overthinking this.

Speaking of Winterfell, Arya is finally back home, with a warm enough welcome from Sansa and an odd enough greetings with Bran. I found it impossible not to grin and laugh out loud at to see three Starks in one scene. Littlefinger handed Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that was meant to split his throat in season one, which he passed onto Arya. Sansa tells Bran that Littlefinger wants something out of this. Bran, being the emotionless bastard he is now, says to her that it doesn’t matter. It’s chewy in way. I like to this of this as, “Whatever Littlefinger wants doesn’t matter because he will die soon.” Arya being in the same castle with Littlefinger makes things interesting. Another name to cross off the list? Maybe not yet. I don’t see it happening soon unless some real shit happens.

Talking about Arya a lot, I bet everyone is eager to see more of her in action. She did open this season by unrolling a carpet of blood. So we see her spar with Brienne of Tarth, and we get one of the show’s top fight scenes. It’s also a point that having a secondary weapon is a huge game changer in how Arya will engage in melee combat. Also, I’m certain Bran handed her this Valyrian steel weapon for a reason far more than what she might have expected: Something to fight the Wights with.

There are a lot of reunions in this episode. Theon Greyjoy spots Jon Snow as he reaches shore with the rest of the survivors of Euron’s surprise attack on Yara’s (Asha) fleet on route to Dorne. Some of us might have expected the worst, considering it was because of Theon that Winterfell collapsed into the hands of Ramsay Bolton, and where a series of unprecedented shit took place one after another. But all seems well, in a way, since Theon did help Sansa escape, and Jon, apparently, knows about it after all. When Theon said that he intends to get Dany’s help to rescue Yara, Jon replies that, to me, sounds like they’re in pretty “okay” terms, that she isn’t around.

Where is she? Theon asked. In an earlier engagement, Dany learns that Casterly Rock has been taken, however, news about what really happened just pissed off the Mother of Dragons. This incident, plus the loss of Dorne and the Greyjoy as allies, drives Dany to consider desperate measures. She intends to take the dragons and burn the Red Keep. Tyrio warns her about this. And Dany, turned to Jon Snow, about what she should do, obviously looking for someone to take her side. Jon, says something about melting cities with the dragons will only make Dany look like the tyrant everyone has seen and feared. And now, we set our sights at Highgarden, and the Lannister army preparing to take their leave. Jaime and Bronn, riding off in a sunny afternoon, engaging in puny banters and all the stuff that happens after a big battle, when their battle instincts kicked in.

We learn that Dany’s response to all of her misfortunes, was a big flip of the table, screaming “Fuck this shit!” The Dothraki horde charges toward the Lannisters as they get into formation. Then fire rains down above them, creating a blackened streak on earth filled nothing but ashes.

The intensity of this episode was grand and filled with dreadful moments. You don’t know who to root for. You know that these Lannister people are just doing what their lord (or Queen) commands, who has families of their own – as made evident by Dickon Tarley, Sam’s brother. Not to mention that Jaime and Bronn are at the heart of chaos. Two characters we’ve been following since the first season are put into the most dire situation yet. I honestly believed this was it for Bronn, as much as I didn’t want it to. He fumbled around the battlefield but still did an admirable job at navigating through all this mess of burning bodies while being hounded by a Dothraki.

When Bronn manages to get into Qyburn’s invention, which is the medieval equivalent of an armor-piercing heavy sniper rifle, I was howling in my thoughts that Drogon – one of Dany’s dragons – could be in danger. And I wasn’t far off there. While Drogon survived the attack, the damage was dealt, but without them destroying the weapon, and Bronn making a swift exit. How hurt Drogon is remains to be seen, but as Dany tried to pull off that massive spear of an arrow, Jaime finally gets to see the daughter, whose father he was sworn to protect, in the flesh. He charged his stead forward, picking up a random. He knew what he was doing. As soon as he impaled Dany, that dragon will fucking tear him apart. But he charged anyway. No doubt he was thinking about Cersei and if he died, so did that secret of who really killed Joffrey. A last minute save from, Bronn, I think, tackling Jaime down to a river as the credits began to roll.

I’m glad Jaime and Bronn are alive, in the meantime. It would also be terrible for Tyrion, who was watching the entire battle from afar, to witness his brother’s death. Though I imagine Jaime to stick a little longer. Maybe he’ll die a romantic death, turning Queenslayer to protect Cersei, or maybe Cersei would kill him behind his back, to spare him of witnessing her own demise. It’s all speculation at this point. But if Jaime and Bronn haven’t been swept by the river, they’ll be taken as hostages at most.

Only three more episodes before the season ends and we’ll have another agonizing wait for an entire year to see how things unfold.