1. Ok we at the penultimate episode! Traditionally it's the best one in a season of GoT so here we go!
2. Just said a lil prayer
3. father. smith. warrior. mother. maiden. crone. stranger.
4. Who is Varys writing this letter to?
5. Well if Dany doesn’t like it could just pull a Season 1 Cersei & rip the thing up.
6. Varys is playing with fire ~literally~ sending all this information around. What a petty mess.
7. Oh, HEY Jon Snow is the only one capable of giving us a timeline of when they’ll be at King’s Landing! Two days, he says! I love a man with an itinerary.
8. Varys immediately cornering Jon to try and get him to accept his right to the throne is why he was called “The Spider” for so long.
9. Varys, fifteen minutes ago, to Dany: I know people have no better choice than you.
Varys, right now, to Jon: I still don’t know how *her* coin has landed, but I’m quite certain about yours.
10. Wow, looks like Tyrion's ratting The Spider out.
11. OH! Underrated moment but it’s significant in light of this scene. Melisandre in Season 7 was AT DRAGONSTONE with Varys and said “I have to die in this strange country, same as you.” And ominous music kicked in. Now he’s being executed on the shores of the VERY place where she told him that.
12. Not surprised Varys died, but it’s interesting. He’s being executed because Tyrion told Dany about what how he spread word about Jon Snow, but he saved Tyrion’s life way back in Season 5 and connected him with Daenerys. And having worked for the Mad King, it's fitting his daughter was the one to kill him.
13. Saying “goodbye old friend” right before you’re about to get torched to death by a dragon because your pal ratted you out is quintessential Westerosi culture. I would never fit in there.
14. Dany is getting more and more relaxed with those Dracarysis.
15. Poor Jon Snow. “You’ll always be my queen.” Poor Dany.
16. I’ve always been pretty annoyed at Tyrion’s insistence to save King’s Landing because it’s like, okay. Seems necessary if Dany wants to take the throne, like what's a few more bodies... But he’s basically saying to a foreign invader of the United States like, “Please Mrs. President don’t burn New York City to the ground, the people won't be inclined to follow you.” So it makes more sense.
19. Troops are ready outside King’s Landing. I wonder if it’s awkward to just peep out your window and see the other army.
20. Dang Tyrion smuggling Jaime out like he did for him in Season 4. That will probably get him killed.
21. *bouncer at King’s Landing’s hottest nightclub* Can I see a second form of ID?
*Arya, holding a fake she got from Sansa* I’m Arya Stark. I’m going to kill Queen Cersei.
*bouncer steps aside*
22. “I want to eat the Skull Keeper* How does Tyrion not know the Unsullied speak the Common Tongue by this point?
23. “As Hand of the Queen I outrank whomever gave your order probably by quite a lot” Dang this man just got a formal warning about his job performance & is STILL bossing lower management around like everything’s fine.
24. Aww this scene is making me so sad. I love Jaime and Tyrion’s relationship.
25. I'm Tyrion up a little over here lol.
26. Eww I even hate Euron’s little leather star battle getup. Hope he dies.
27. Ooooh, there’s Arya & The Hound making their way through the city!
28. Last time Arya was here was when Ned Stark was beheaded.
29. Watching a hooded Jaime Lannister also make his way through King’s Landing is really making me think of how all these characters have totally shed their identities & become almost completely different people over the course of this show.
30. I wonder how the Northmen are processing the armies at King’s Landing after the wight situation. They probably think it's NBD.
31. And Dany makes easy work of the Iron Fleet with Drogon glad they FINALLY developed a strategy.
32. Ring the bell wow surrender came quick.
33. Ok, what?
34. I mean that not in a good what. Like why is Dany just leveling King’s Landing after they surrendered….
38. So you’re telling me The Breaker of Chains got so consumed with grief that she’s now just slaughtering innocent people when a defining trait of her character is mercy for the masses even when that comes at great expense to herself? Mmmmk.
39. Ok you know what’s annoying? Remember that little recap at the beginning of the show where you hear the voices of Varys, Tyrion and even Viserys talk about the madness of Targaryen blood and they pan over Dany’s face? Let's get more of that before she just starts randomly destroying people. Why couldn’t we get an episode reiterating how alone Dany is in the world and reestablishing why she wants the Iron Throne so badly?
40. Hold on lemme grab my pamplemousse LaCroix and go full English major for a second:
So. In analyzing and watching shows - ESPECIALLY GAME OF THRONES which is so pervasive in our culture that this is easy to do - I try to not consider authorial intent when consuming any form of media or analyzing what characters in a show do. Authorial intent is basically where like, you’re considering what a writer wants to happen while you’re reading or watching a show. Authorial intentionalism kind of wrecks the party for me - and a lot of other people who are so much smarter than me - because it should kind of be irrelevant in considering a body of ~werk~ such as we have here with Game of Thrones. You see this a lot with the GoT fandom, where people are constantly dissecting DB Weiss and David Benioff's intentions in a way that brings you out of the world of Westeros for a while.
BUT. It’s so painfully obvious that they knew their endgame was Dany going Mad Queen & they were lazy in setting that up.
41. Oh, and while I’m on this English lesson kick you could argue that Euron’s entire character functions as a sassy pirate deus-et-machina but I DIGRESS.
42. Wow my LaCroix is already gone.
43. Cue death & destruction etc.
44. Guess Dany is really honoring Missandei’s last words...
45. I mean, the episode looks cool though I’ll give them that.
46. SEE? Do you see how Euron just conveniently shows up as Jaime’s about to get into the Red Keep as a way to further the plot along? That’s some deus-et-machina magic folks.
47. END HIM JAIME, END HIM!
48. Eww I hate that Euron gets the courtesy of maybe killing Jaime.
49. Oh, looks like we’ll finally get our Clegane Bowl.
50. Wow Qyburn gets taken out & it’s so fitting. Destroyed by the very monster he created.
51. Guess Jaime is recovered from that stab in his side and reunites with Cersei.
52. Thrilled to see seven seasons of his character development go down the drain with this final dedication to her…..
53. Aryaaaa get outta there babe.
54. Someone’s boutta die here pretty soon.
55. The Hound finally gets his revenge, and goes out with his monster of a brother.
56. Psh please don't zoom in on Arya's bloody, dusty face like that she's not dead & I’m not surprised.
57. Jaime and Cersei trapped in the dungeons where the skeletons of Targaryen dragons still reside.
58. I’m sorry, am I supposed to feel bad for Cersei here? All of a sudden? In one episode? When I haven’t seen her basically all season? In a season that’s half as long as nearly every other GoT season? Like, are they out here asking me to do that?
59. And to reduce her character to just clutching her brother and saying I don’t like this I don’t like this don’t let me die is just annoying to me. As a villain she's more than that.
60. And they get crushed by rocks. That’s it. That’s the end of the whole Jaime and Cersei saga whose incestuous relationship was the catalyst for this entire series. They're why Bran got pushed out the window. Why Ned Stark got his head chopped off. Why the War of Five Kings even started and basically the whole Stark family got slaughtered. That's how this show chooses to take this couple out. Death by rock.
61. I’m enraged. They literally only humanized Cersei to further vilify Dany and it's the sloppiest thing I've ever seen in my life.
62. Maybe I’ll go Mad Queen. I have a cat who spent some time on the streets we could take 'em.
63. Arya makes it out. Unsure of the significance of the white horse though? Like is that her same horse? I don’t even care at this point I’m livid.
64. Fin. The end. I’m so done.
As someone who has loved this show passionately for a NUMBER of years, I really just refuse to accept that Cersei and Jaime Lannister die by rocks. I’m sorry. He spent years trying to become an honorable man and dying by Cersei’s side undoes literally years of profound character development. Crushing him to death with Cersei hardly mirrored the Oathbreaker to Oathkeeper character trajectory he was on for the past couple of seasons. I don’t care if they die together, that’s not a satisfying way to end their story. Even in the off chance it comes back next week that they somehow survived (?) that’s not good enough.
If I’m being just super candid: none of this season has been good enough.
Am I also supposed to accept that Daenerys Targaryen, who consistently would prevent the slaughter of innocent people if she could, would just suddenly raze King’s Landing? Why did she not just fly into the Red Keep and take out Cersei herself? Like, THIS is my Breaker of Chains? This is Mhysa? Dany’s never been a killer of innocents. She's been their champion as long as she's been on this show. To make her go full Mad Queen like they seemingly have done was not developed in the proper way if that’s the direction they wanted to take this show.
Cersei Lannister was absolutely one of the most prolific villains in television history and she deserved to go out in a better way. There were other ways to end her. Having Cersei poison herself would have made more sense even. It mirrors the deaths of all her kids: Joffrey and Marcella died by poison, and while Tommen ended his own life *SHE* nearly poisoned him at the Battle of Blackwater Bay. But no. She gets crushed to death.
Everyone in this episode deserved significantly better than they got. In just one episode, the creators of this show have taken the essence of who these characters were and - much like our newly found Mad Queen did with King’s Landing - burnt them to the ground.