[I wrote this note on Facebook after the Season 1 finale of Game of Thrones, and in ramping up for the Season 2 premier episode coming soon, thought it would be cool to re-post this here! — Bennie]
I wanted to respond to the season finale of Game of Thrones in something a bit more than a status update, so doing a note seemed wiser.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
I LOVED the entire season of Thrones and like most fans I’m totally crushed we’ve got to wait 10 months to find out what happens next. That said, I was mildly disappointed in the season finale, which mostly felt like the denouement from last week’s climax of Ned’s execution, with the exception of Dani’s dragons.
Like, last night’s episode felt more like a bridge to the next episode rather than a FINALE. I think the finale might have been better if they had taken what was played out in the past two episodes and instead combined them into a 2-hour final episode, with Ned’s execution and Dani’s dragons being the double-climax of the finale, and then show some of the aftermath stuff to set the stage for next season. I couldn’t help but feel Dani’s awesome story got a little diminished in the emotional aftermath of Ned’s dying due to the timing of everything.
But again– I’m thrilled with Thrones overall and I’m stoked to know that there will be another season! And I can’t wait to speculate with everyone as to what happens next. I’ve decided that I’m not going to read any of the books until the TV series has run its course so I can enjoy the show and the books as their own creations. I know the books are going to be awesome and much more in-depth, so I figure they can wait. Gonna be tough to resist though.
Based on my study of the writer’s craft and assuming Martin is a writer for whom scenes and characters exist for reasons to advance the story and to pay off later, there are things I expect to happen eventually, if not necessarily next season.
1st—an alliance or sorts between Tyrion and Bran Stark. Tyrion has been all over the map of Westeros and is now headed for King’s Landing to rule through Joffrey, and while the Lannisters and Starks are now at each other’s throats, I do not think it was an accident of plot that Tyrion came through Winterfell and helped Bran find hope again despite his crippling injury with the riding device idea. Now that Catelyn knows that it was Jamie who tried to kill Bran, there exists an opening for her to consider the possibility that Tyrion wasn’t necessarily in on it. I’m not sure that Catelyn will come around to that, but I’m pretty sure that eventually Tyrion and Bran will be allies or friends of some sort. Of course, given their physical locations, this might be something that won’t come about this season or even the following season, but I feel confident that Martin set this up to pay off later.
2nd—Arya will be the one to kill Joffrey. The most obvious turn of events they’re setting up is for Sansa to take down Joffrey now that reality has smacked the poor girl in the face and she realizes how stupid she’s been. She’s going to bide her time, plot, and set things up to eventually strike a revenge blow against Joffrey… that will fail. She’ll probably get killed. The Hound will probably be involved some way. And the audience is going to be even angrier at Joffrey and shocked at poor Sansa’s death. But remember in episode 2 when the Starks were traveling with the Lannisters to King’s Landing and there was that skirmish between Arya and Joffrey, and Arya basically kicked his ass and throws his sword in the river even before she began training in swordplay? This strikes me as a pay-off scene in addition to setting up just how cruel Joffrey can be. Unfortunately it probably means that Joffrey will sit on the throne for an unbearably long time while Arya grows up into a badass and can exact Stark revenge.
3rd—Robb Stark King of the North is going get killed by the Lannisters, and it will probably have something to do with sparing Jaime Lannister’s life. In Martin’s world there are often terrible consequences for showing mercy, so I expect in some way that Jaime ends up killing Robb, probably in some one-on-one fight that was suggested when Jaime was first captured. This will also pay off Catelyn showing mercy of sorts when she did not give in to Jaime’s taunting trying to get her to kill him. Finally, by the end of Season 1 as the audience we’re all pumped up and invested in Robb as the hero set to vanquish the villainous Lannisters, so naturally Martin’s going to crush our hopes and dreams by having Jaime kill off Robb, and maybe Catelyn too.
4th—Jon Snow will eventually get it on with Daenarys Targaryen. Jon and Dani embody some primal opposites in the show: North and South, ice and fire, male and female, duty and destiny. They are physically further apart than any other major characters in the show, and yet both are beginning to be exposed by the magic of this world that has so long been lost or hidden. I think the BIG arc of Martin’s story here will conclude with Jon and Dani coming together somehow… probably in order to save the 7 Kingdoms from the supernatural threat north of the wall. They’ve set up that those freaky snow zombies can only be killed by fire… well, Dani’s got dragons that presumably breathe fire. So somehow Jon’s going to get Dani and her dragons to battle the menace, the two will fall in love, become King & Queen… unless that pesky Vow of the Black gets in the way in the end. Man, that would be pisser for Jon. Dani is a babe!
So what do you think? If you’ve read the books don’t tell me how wrong or right I am, but if you’re in the same boat as me and don’t know what’s coming, what do you think we’re in store for?