GoT S07E05 Thoughts
This might have been my least favourite episode to date and we had Gendry!!! Okay, in all fairness, it wasn’t a bad episode. There was just one particular conflict that I am not looking forward to seeing continue.
And no, it’s not Jon3rys. I couldn’t give two shits about that right now.
But let’s begin, shall we?
For anyone who still believes Dany to be a good person, I honestly suggest going to an optometrist or retaking high school English because how much more obvious can this show get? I didn’t get to write down her full speech, but following this:
“I’m not here to murder…”
“Bend the knee and join me or refuse and die”
You’re kind of a hypocrite and a really obvious one at that. War is horrible, I get it, and good people do atrocious things in war, but that’s why we, as modern somewhat enlightened (although questionable) human beings, have war trials. People may die in war, as that is inevitable, but there are certain acts that no decent human should perform even in the midst of war.
I know I’m quoting Wikipedia here, but whatever:
Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, perfidy, rape, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and serious violations of the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations.
Do you think a man as concerned with portraying war as a clusterfuck of morally grey characters would place an entitled figure with weapons of mass destruction which she uses indiscriminately, who commits war crimes, as the main protagonist? Do you think that is a good conclusion? And this is simply going by this episode and not the mess Dany made in previous seasons.
She had Randyll and Dickon Tarly as her prisoners. There was no need to execute them, or at least no need to execute both of them. If she wanted to make an example, she could do so with Randyll, but fine, let’s concede the fact it had to be done. She burned them. A slow, horrible, agonising death. She could have beheaded them, as was customary in Westeros, but no, she chose to burn them because you know why? She likes it. She’s done it before. Burning her enemies gives her great satisfaction of her power, but also it spreads fear into the hearts of everyone there because she knows it’s the only way to get them to submit.
If she allowed them the third option of becoming a prisoner of war, she knows they’d choose that over her. She even says so to Tyrion, because guess what? The people of Westeros doesn’t like or want Dany as their queen. Cersei may be a Grade A Bitch, but she’s the bitch they know. She doesn’t have dragons to burn those who defy her at her will. Yes, she’s powerful and could still easily execute people at a moment’s notice, but they’ve seen her humiliated and frightfully human when she was made to walk naked in shame through the streets of King’s Landing. She is human and she can fall. To them, Dany wields her power like a god and not the kind they worship out of love but out of fear. What kind of ruler is that?
And let’s talk about execution in general here. We’ve seen a lot of it over the seasons, and what we always come back to as a code of honour and true morality in this grey world is this quote from Mr Honour himself, Ned Stark:
“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”
Mr Honour Jr aka Jon Snow lives by this rule like a life motto. If he must sentence a man to die, he will swing the sword himself, and throughout the show, we’ve seen Jon do this and we’ve seen how this weighs upon him, though the culprits may be deserving. Yes, people die in war and Jon has killed on the battlefield for survival, but executing someone is a deliberate act. It’s taking the life of a human while they are powerless to stop you. Jon doesn’t take any pleasure in it.
But Dany… She’s executed people left, right and center. Burning them in the most unnecessarily cruel way because she can and because it instills fear. Feeding them to her dragons which is even worse. That’s not at her hand. That’s cowardly and sadistic.
You know who else rules through fear?
“The only way to keep your people loyal is to make certain they fear you more than they do the enemy.”
Cersei bloody Lannister.
Yeah, let that sink in. And let’s move on.
Jon meeting Drogon. I hated this scene, although I see how it’s important in establishing Jon as a Targaryen. I didn’t like it mostly because I was still reeling Drogon burning the Tarly’s alive, and yet right after, they have Jon bonding with Drogon like some special moment. But do you think Jon would even touch that dragon if he knew the horrors Dany had made Drogon do? Or the fact that she just executed Jon’s best friend’s family in the worst way possible? Yeah, Sam hated his father, but he didn’t hate his brother. And no matter what animosity there was between them, Sam is a good person and he would still be devastated by this. Not to mention we weren’t given all those Dickon scenes where the man acted with honour, kindness and bravery, just to dismiss him as another faceless enemy of Dany’s. He was Sam’s brother and so much like Sam in a way. I think that’s what made his death in spite only knowing him for 2 episodes so heartbreaking. Also, why this meeting between Jon and Drogon made me angry and disgusted.
Of course, it also establishes some Jon3rys bonding, although more so on Dany’s side. Let’s face it, the Dragon Queen wants familial Dragon D. Her heart eyes for Jon throughout this episode was at least 100x more convincing than previous episodes between them. Jon, on the other hand, has moments where he does seem to think Dany is alright, but I still don’t see the same level of affection on his end at all. As always, he has a one-track mind and that’s the war up North.
And I’m sorry but Dany’s attraction towards Jon seems to predicate on her notion that he’s as heroic and powerful as her. I get that he is and that’s a wonderful reason to fall in love with him, but it’s still falling in love with the idea of him and not who he is, because who Jon is, isn’t that person. He doesn’t want to be a hero or to be powerful. I know Show Jon doesn’t go into this, but Book Jon wants a family, to settle in Winterfell and live peacefully and honourably like his pseudo father. But Dany will never know that about him because she doesn’t know him. Take her asking Jon about whether he got a knife to the heart, the wonder and awe in her eyes as she asks him. She wants him to be just like her (or her delusional perception of herself as some kind of prophesised princess that was promised). Jon is who she thinks she is and she’s attracted to that, which is basically some Game of Thrones version of Narcissus. When she realises he’s a Targaryen, she’ll feel threatened more than relieved she’s not alone, because if she thinks he’s her then she’ll think he wants the Iron Throne and he’s a threat to her ambitions.
There’s a reason why after all that Gilly discovers the Rhaegar and Elia annulment (which btw is such bullshit but whatever). Jon has more right to the Iron Throne than she does.
What’s funny about this episode that even Dany’s Second Biggest Fan struggles to support her. Yes, he still will, but that entire conversation he has with Varys just sounds a lot like he’s trying to convince himself that ‘yes, all rulers burn their prisoners like a sadistic pyroqueen, and yes, Dany is so not like her father’. And the fact that her own loyal subjects are questioning her? Yeah, tell me again how she’s a hero.
Now onto the main reason why I hate this episode: StarkBowl. But oh ho, not Jon and Sansa StarkBowl but Sansa and Arya.
I’ve always loved Arya. She was my favourite character for so many seasons, until I fell madly in love with Sansa, although Arya remains in my Number 2 spot. But this episode, I felt such a burning anger towards her. After all they’ve been through, everything Sansa’s endured, Arya would still hold her accountable for the beliefs Sansa held as a young child. She’s changed and grown so much on account of her experiences yet she will not lend her own sister the same courtesy. It pisses me off because what Arya is doing (judging and accusing Sansa of things she didn’t do or for who she was when she was a child) is exactly what Anti-Sansa’s have been doing for years. And her own short-sighted, ignorant inability to grasp that this woman before her is not the same Sansa she once knew has now led her to being manipulated and conned by Littlefinger.
What I can only hope is that Sansa is smarter than Littlefinger. Bran wouldn’t give Arya the dagger if he foresaw Arya using it on Sansa. And I feel like it is so uncharacteristic of Arya, who has longed for so long to be reunited with her pack, to suddenly break down by childish prejudice at the first miscommunication. Sansa is far more cunning than anyone gives her credit for and I feel that this could all be a long orchestrated con on Littlefinger himself. Arya’s not that stupid. I refuse to believe she’s stupid enough to underestimate LF that way and let herself be manipulated so easily. I feel like perhaps that fight between Sansa and Arya was for LF’s benefit because it felt so contrived, so out of nowhere. I know this speculation is also heavily biased by my refusal to believe that the Starks would fight amongst themselves after all they went through, but I do believe that LF will die this season. It won’t be at Sansa’s hand but it will be because of Sansa’s machinations.
Now, onto Gendry!!!!!
The happiest part about this hell episode because fuck, he’s so hot still. That cropped hair, those muscles, that smile… Yeah, swoon. He’s also hilariously bullheaded (very like a Baratheon) when he ignores Davos, hits those soldiers with his hammer and immediately tells Jon who he is.
In fact, there was this instant spark of chemistry between Gendry and Jon in their first meeting.
“You’re a lot leaner.”
“You’re a lot shorter.”
The gentle ribbing of two strangers is adorable, but it also reminds me of Ned and Robert’s first scene together:
"You’ve got fat.”
Now the parallels of Jon as Ned is nothing we haven’t seen before. Gendry as Robert is newer, and Jon and Gendry together as Ned and Robert is so satisfying to watch. It also makes me, a trash shipper, so happy because you know if Jon is being paralleled as Ned in this episode, you know who is being paralleled as Cat?
Yes, that’s right. Strong, confident Sansa, who was called only Lady Stark in the Great Hall meeting.
I know I’m crazy but I’m still not worried about Jonsa. That scene in the Great Hall just kept making me think of Sansa as Penelope. She’s there holding onto Winterfell for Jon’s return as he gallivants off on his many missions and overcomes his many trials. She’s there, always loyal and true to him, and maintains his kingdom for him.
Boatbang may happen (likely), but Odysseus also slept with Calypso, before ultimately returning to his lady love. I believe the same will happen for Jonsa.
Also, who thinks Cersei’s not actually pregnant? I think she’s beginning to question Jaime’s loyalty and needs to firmly hold him in place. And I think when he finds out she’s not after all he’s done for, all the sinful things he did, it might make him plunge that sword into her heart prophecy-style. Or not a sword. I don’t know.
But that’s it for me. My head hurts. My heart hurts. And I maintain that I hate this episode because fuck StarkBowl. And fuck disrespecting Sansa like that.