Saturday, May 25, 2019

Random Thoughts on HBO's Game of Thrones Finale (1)

I don't think that the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones ruined the entire series but I do think that the final episode tried and came close. If we assume that all of the events came from GRRM, which I doubt, GRRM will have some heavy lifting to do in his final books in order to make these plot points believable.
The idea that people who know nothing about Bran other than he is Ned Stark’s son, “fell” out of a window, and has a creepy personality would accept that he should be king, based on the word of a patricidal dwarf known continent wide as a drunk and whoremonger, makes no sense. This "best story" justification is crap. Everyone has stories.
That these same people would tolerate the North going independent boggles the mind. If Bran’s own sister won’t bend the knee to him, why would anyone else? Every region was independent before the Targaryen invasion, not just the North. The Iron Islands and Dorne are just as culturally, religiously and ethnically distinct as the North is. Having the entire continent be ruled by Starks AND the North be independent seems like too many bites at the apple, even for a Stark bannerman such as myself.
Grey Worm and the Dothraki likely outnumber other Westerosi forces in and around King’s Landing at the time of Daenerys’ murder. If not then it’s a close call. But Daenerys JUST gave a wildly popular speech promising permanent revolution and worldwide conquest to her soldiers, who LIVE for such things. Daenerys has also condemned Tyrion to die.

Given that Grey Worm is devoted to Daenerys and was ready to kill Jon Snow when Jon previously tried to interfere, there’s NO FREAKING WAY that Jon kills Daenerys and is not torn limb from limb by the Dothraki and Unsullied, with Grey Worm leading the way. Tyrion dies by Grey Worm’s hand. Why would Grey Worm recognize superior authority of people who he either just curbstomped or doesn't like anyway.
By right of conquest if nothing else, I think the Dothraki and Unsullied would stay around, claiming some lands and titles for themselves. Starting new Houses is not possible for the Unsullied but it certainly would be for the Dothraki. Having a non-entity like Gendry voting on who should be the next king in this environment seems silly. To the victors go the spoils.
Bran becoming ruler seems undeserved and more than a little ominous. For example in Tolkien's Lord of The Rings trilogy both the ancient elf queen Galadriel and the incarnate angel Gandalf refuse to take the One Ring, recognizing that wanting or seeking that kind of power over people is evil and in some sense blasphemous. Their rejection of that cements them as morally good. They know that although their initial intent would be good it wouldn’t stay that way. 

In GRRM's books it's pointed out repeatedly that warging into humans is a morally dubious if not outright evil thing to do. In the books Bran still isn't old enough to be considered 100% morally accountable. But he's well aware that warging into Hodor against his will is wrong. He justifies it by his desire.
Bran hides warging into Hodor from other people and ruthlessly suppresses Hodor's feeble attempts to regain control of his body. That sounds like a mini-dictator in training. Is it really a good thing to have a ruler who can spy on anyone at any time, look into someone’s past with perfect recall, possibly read minds and take over people’s bodies against their will?
That seems like WAY too much power for any ruler to have, no matter how “good” he styles himself. Bran craves the ability to walk again, to experience life. Will King Bran warg into his subjects and spy on them for their own good?
Sauron must be jealous of Bran’s press agent. Seriously.
I hope GRRM handles this differently but I’m not seeing why Bran ruling, particularly the smug know it all version that he became in the show, is a good thing. It only makes sense to me if Bran is evil and a manipulator far beyond what Littlefinger or Varys could have imagined. 
Bran spends the past two seasons telling everyone he's beyond petty concerns like ruling Winterfell only to snark that "Why do you think I came all this way? [to be King of Westeros]" That doesn't sound like some sort of philosopher king who only wants the best for the people of the realm. That sounds like someone who is very happy that he's in the Big Chair and is looking forward to enjoying all of the benefits and privileges of being king. And since he is the Three Eyed Raven and not strictly speaking Bran Stark any more his reign might be a bit longer than anyone anticipates.
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