The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones! I know, I know, the writing has devolved into self-parody, the character beats are no longer earned, and the show can’t escape the feeling that everything is rushed. Thinkpiece after thinkpiece after bloody thinkpiece online has been written about all of that. Clickbait all. Speaking of clickbait – Power Rankings!
1. House Targaryen (Last Week, #3)
The show didn’t execute Daenerys’ heel turn with enough nuance to be fully effective, but I don’t think anyone should be that surprised. She’s been threatening to lay waste to cities since season one, she is a hardcore Dothraki fan girl (and a fan of all the murderous pillaging that goes along with it), and she has brutalized her perceived enemies regardless of their guilt or innocence. Most of her empathetic qualities were brought out by the likes of Jorah, Barristan, Missandei, Irri, or Daario, who are no longer by her side. The “genetic madness” thing doesn’t really compute, but Daenerys has already proven that she can be barbarously vicious. Forget burning, remember that time she left two people to suffocate to death in an empty vault? I can imagine that Daenerys concluded that if she burnt King’s Landing to the ground, no one would dare oppose her again. “If I look back now, I am lost,” she often thinks to herself in the books. Guess what? She’s lost.
2. House Stark (Last Week, #2)
The Starks are still alive, which is not nothing this late in the story. Arya’s storyline this week fully redeemed the clunkiness in Daenerys’. The Starks can go one of two ways. They could plot to kill Daenerys (and hope Bran can warg a dragon – fat chance – the show-version of Bran is useless). In the alternative, they could just deal with her being queen, and hope she stays the hell away from the North.
3. The Hound (Last Week, Not Ranked)
Hooray for Clegane-Bowl! I think that was about as exciting and interesting as we were going to get with those two meatheads wailing on each other. At least the Hound got to go out in a blaze of glory.
4. The Dothraki (Last Week, NR)
People complain about “plot armor” on the internet vis-a-vis the main characters of Game of Thrones, but what about these guys? Like, well, everyone, I thought they were all dead after the Battle of Winterfell. Now there’s enough of them to sack King’s Landing? C’mon.
5. House Greyjoy (Last Week, #4)
Yara wins offscreen! Now about that promise Daenerys made to make the Iron Islands independent….
6. House Lannister (Last Week, #1)
I brought back Tyrion’s personal “House Lannister in Exile” sigil this week. For now the rains weep over their halls with no one there to hear….
Also receiving votes: House Baratheon, House Tully, House Martell, House Arryn, the amazing and fireproof Ser Pounce, budget Shadowfax, and hope that George R.R. Martin can finish writing the books to fix some of this clunky nonsense.
(c) 2019 D.G. McCabe