(Spoilers for all of Game of Thrones are below. Even if you’ve never watched the show, don’t read this, because we know that someday you will.)
One of the things that I have always liked about Game of Thrones, among many, is that you always had someone to root for to take power over the Seven Kingdoms. It wasn’t always necessarily the same potential monarch that your friend wanted, either. Whether you’ve been on Team Daenerys since day one and your friend had a brief stint on Team Stannis (before he committed the most despicable act of the series and burned his daughter alive), or if you and your friend have both always been about the Starks, the point is that you’ve pretty much spent the last seven years hoping that your chosen one would usurp whichever ass was sitting on the Iron Throne.
Although the list of hopeful leaders has essentially dwindled down to just Dany, it’s still easy to get behind her because Cersei is the one currently occupying that uncomfortable chair, and as Jon Snow so succinctly puts it, “At the very least, you’re better than Cersei.” That makes things pretty cut and dry and we would all be rocking House Targaryen apparel, if the rules hadn’t changed.
But of course, season 7 didn’t just change the rules of the game. It changed the game entirely. And much like the friend who is left playing Halo while everyone else moves on to Call of Duty, Cersei now presides over a city that almost every notable character has abandoned and holds a seat of power that everyone but her has stopped trying to obtain. I suppose when you finally master the game you’ve been playing for so long, you’re not about to let it go that easily (especially when you’re a cold-hearted bitch with just a slight drinking problem).
Whether you watch Game of Thrones or not, by now you’ve heard about what’s become known as “The Red Wedding.” It’s received a significant amount of national media attention; author George R.R. Martin and several prominent cast members have appeared on a variety of talk shows and I’ve lost count of the people who have said that it was the most shocking or violent scene that they’ve ever witnessed on television. As I predicted, the fallout from last week’s episode has been enormous and it altered nearly every perception about where Thrones is heading in future seasons. It may have had an even bigger effect on the last edition of our weekly (minus a few) Thrones power rankings. I know there’s still the season finale this Sunday, but next week I’ll be doing something a little different. Stay tuned.
There comes a point in every fantasy story when we encounter the following scene – our beloved protagonist comes face-to-face with a seemingly insurmountable circumstance while in pursuit of their goal, and enemies are closing in all around them. With no solution or escape in sight, we the audience fear that the hero is about to meet their premature demise, only to watch as they are miraculously saved by an outside force or an extremely fortunate development. No matter what kind of devilry the villains can concoct, the good guys always prevail in the end. Ho hum.