Emotional Chess: GAME OF THRONES

Five hours before the series finale, I’ve just learned the significance of Hodor’s name and I’m crying. Two hours later, Ian McShane makes a random cameo while revealing the Hound is still alive! I nearly dislocated a rib in wild exclamation. Dammit, GAME OF THRONES, DAMMIT you’re not doing any wonders for my fragile immune system, I’m too emotionally involved now as you’re mostly likely about to dropkick your audience to hell. I am tortured beyond measure. Argle Bargle!

Okay, so I didn’t immediately hop on the Throne bandwagon when the series burst onto the scene of premium entertainment back in 2011. In fact I was heavily involved watching Breaking Bad, Dexter, Mad Men and of course the WALKING DEAD. It was a ton of entertainment to ingest at that period in my life and even though I was slightly able to devout myself to the first two seasons a year or so later, it was still a deep overload of characters and narratives to retain and keep straight. I made a choice and secretly refrained myself from the show, vowing to watch the series when it’s final year became known. Well, I waited two weeks into the final season, great timing Marissa, great timing.

Now as I savagely binge watch GAME OF THRONES hours away from the series finale, I’ve become highly emerged in a world of fantasy even as I Google various plot lines of seasons 6 and 7. I need all the damn help I can get at this point because I’ll barely be scratching the surface of season 7 by the time the finale airs tonight and at this point let’s be honest, I really don’t give a shit about spoilers.

I guess if I had to surmise the show thus far, paying particular close attention to Daenerys Targaryen’s story line, obviously power percolates ever so strongly in this slit throat series while learning about what went down in King’s Landing in the latest episode, where nearly a million people rallied to petition for a rewrite of season 8. I apologize for sounding snarky here but, dudes and dudettes, can we partially agree it’s all part of the grieving process of a beloved show’s ending? It’s only natural you cast aside your rationale for complete irrational madness. No pun intended. Perhaps it was lazy writing, perhaps not. It’ll be the biggest debate in showrunner history. Yada, yada.

What’s done is done. Or shall I say, “ What is dead may never die.”

GAME OF THRONES is obviously built upon a world of blood thirst and power set in a medieval like fantasy world where the end of every season almost always ends in some massive battle. It’s a series that has zero shame in killing off prominent characters and given the context of war, violence and rape are at the forefront of your TV screens. This is what sells entertainment and passes for the highest ratings in the history of premium TV because why? Humanity is brutal not just in fantasy but also in real life. We read it in history books, we see it on our social media feeds. Fiction or nonfiction, humanity has as a deep affection for itself mirrored in various forms of entertainment that connects us in strange masochist-like ways even when it’s callously savage. But really I think everyone just wants to know who takes the throne.

Grant it, I know I’m not a hardcore devoted fan like the lot of you and being a last minute newbie, I see it all as an elaborate chess match prolonged with game pieces of set purposes and hand sewn narratives that take years to reveal their hardships and triumphs. My biggest question is why is everyone fighting everyone and the side line characters aiding them in it? Glory? Or perhaps audiences treasure these lovely characters because they push the story forward. Like Hodor and the Hound. Again back to my analogy of chess, these characters are the pawns, the rooks, the knights, and the bishops all circulating around the edge of complete and utter domination all transfused by nothing other than total annihilation of each other.

Which brings me back to Daenerys Targaryen. In jotting down particular episodes to which she elicits and exerts her mighty prowess to make others submit to her will, let’s begin, season 3, episode 4, in Astapor, Daenerys trades one of her dragons to Kraznys for an 8,000 strong Unsullied army. Once the trade was final, what does Daenerys do? She commands her new army to rid Astapor of all its slavers while simultaneously her dragon burns Kraznys alive. Once the battle settles, Daenerys allows the Unsullied to reclaim their lives as free men to which they’re allowed to leave or remain as part of her army. This was considered a prominent episode with a major turning point. Now fast forward to season 6, episode 4, Daenerys Targaryen after being captured by a Dothraki horde, Daenerys kills the leaders of the khalasar, by burning them alive and emerging naked from the ashes, very much how season 1, episode 10 ended but also included the reveal of her dragons. And in episode 9, her dragons scorch that hell out of Slaver’s Bay keeping her power restored in Meereen. Yay, dragons.

I can’t vouch what occurs in season 7 because I’m not there yet but if I were to venture an obvious guess, it’s no surprise Daenerys’ only goal throughout her storyline is to rule the seven kingdoms. Also when you throw in the Lord of Light mythology that’s speculated by not one but two priestesses, “honest servants of the lord” who infiltrate their blood magic and adamant sacrifices insinuate who the true heir of the iron throne shall be makes one ponder deeply about the dragons. They’re the ones kicking ass and are a fierce force of nature to be reckoned with. I’m sure everyone else has pointed that out by now, again I’m just late to the game but also want to partake in the ceremonious ritual of connecting the dots at Monday mornings shop talk in the break room. I enjoy the social commentary and the antsy-ness of the mega fans scouring the internet. Until then, the queen always protects the king and when there is no king, well she is the most powerful piece in the game of chess. Happy Game of Throning everyone?

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