So… That was the controversial episode nine that HBO’s Game Of Thrones has consistently strived for. Yes, that was certainly extremely controversial, in a season already wracked with controversy.
We can sit around and discuss, much like we did earlier this season with Sansa, whether it was okay for the show to take the direction it did this episode. Sure, we can argue the finer points of the fact that Stannis has almost always been an asshole (one could argue he is a passive one: he had a shadow murder his own brother, was willing to let the Red Lady murder Gendry, and allowed countless people to be burned at the stake). (I do believe they have built him up way more in the show to be a fan favorite – to the point that I even forgot that I hated him in the books and don’t recall anyone rooting for him). One could also argue that Shireen’s fate has been foreshadowed from the very beginning. And, for argument’s sake, we could compare this against the other atrocities committed in the name of “historical fiction.”
But seriously, I don’t want to. Fact is, I hated that they went there, specifically in that fashion. That total emotional manipulation – for what? I can maybe understand building a bond between Shireen and Davos – but those cuddly father-daughter moments? The last second hasty “I take it back!” from her mother? If a little girl had to die, did she have to die in that way? Did we have to see her, humbly and lovingly offering to help her father in any way she could – and then in the next scene burning to death at the hands of her father, who so recently boasted with love and pride that he did all he could to save her from gray scale (a father who at best was totally distant to her in the books)?
Yeah. Another part that could have been developed differently, in my humble opinion. And makes me feel bad for trying to justify the show earlier this season. Or ever, maybe.
Couple that with random inclusions of pedophilia and I’m pretty disgusted today.
Life is complicated and full of good and bad people. I understand that to portray humans “accurately,” as GRRM has claimed he tries to do, one has to include all shades of morality – not just good guys and bad guys. It’s one of the reasons I found ASIOF compelling, as I’ve stated in the past. Yet, I suppose it’s one thing to read about it as opposed to seeing it, as well as another matter entirely to sit here and discuss if we’ve crossed the line from morally complex characters to manipulation for ratings and shock value. Or to determine if I’m overreacting versus GRRM and David Beniof and DB Weiss are just trying to push the envelope or include things for the sake of including them. It just kind of makes me feel shitty for trying to rationalize this stuff, sometimes.
Anyway. That was awful. Just awful.
I guess some other stuff happened in this episode:
In Meereen, surprising some, or possibly no one, Hizdahr is apparently not the leader of the Sons of the Harpy (unless that was a ploy and he’s going to miraculously recover from that stab wound). We got a small token of joy in an otherwise awful episode, seeing Jorah saving Daenerys– yep, there’s the redemption I wanted. I wonder if he will be allowed to sit on the council again? Pretty awesome to see the scene with Drogon carry out the way I had imagined it – minus the spines on his back. How does she sit with those there? Ow. Also: Unsullied are apparently the Storm Troopers of Game of Thrones. Unlimited supply of terrible fighting skills.
In Dorne, Doran Martel is a wise and generous ruler – can we nominate him to the Iron Throne? That was some seriously diplomatic shit. Elia Martel… Well, that was some stupid switch-flipping shit, seeing her scorn guests one second, and beg for mercy another. Also, it does seem as though that stupid boobs scene was actually entirely just stupid and not setting Bronn up to join the Sand Snakes or take Arys Oakheart’s role. (And excuse me, were they playing fucking hot hands? BRB, I think my eyes got stuck from rolling too hard).
In Braavos, hopefully we don’t have to see Arya pimp herself out as a child prostitute in order to get close to Meryn Trant. Def seemed like he recognized her so that doesn’t seem like it would work. Also: what the fuck. Guys, we have already established that Meryn Trant is an asshole. Arya has had him in her sights since season one. Was that entirely necessary to add pedophilia to the show? Ugh. UGH. At any rate, I am guessing Meryn is going to die here right quick, and his death will be a major setback toward Arya’s many-faced god servitude.
And elsewhere, on the Wall… How come no one is talking about the massive fucking attack they just experienced and the extremely dire circumstances we have just witnessed? Nope, we are preoccupied with Olly not smiling and other long, foreboding stares.
I hate everyone, I hate Game of Thrones. The end.
Also, see you next week.