Novel readers have lived with this Game of Throne cliffhanger for four years. The rest of you can live with it ten months until Season 6.
SAN DIEGO, June 13, 2015 – Go easy on your family and friends who are fans of “Game of Thrones” Monday at work, or at the gym, or wherever you encounter them. They have a wicked Westeros hangover after the Season 5 finale Sunday night.
Fans immediately found each other around the cyber campfire on Twitter to share the experience. Many were shellshocked, others angry, in denial, frustrated; but others were exhilarated by the sheer audacity of this series.
Show producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff look back at the episode and the critical events taking place in multiple storylines.
Not many people are mourning the death of Stannis Baratheon, not after sacrificing his daughter Shireen and the subsequent suicide of his wife, Selsye. It seems fitting in the series, unlike in the novels, that Stannis meets his end at the hands of the one person whose moral compass has never wavered, Brienne of Tarth.
But it leaves the Boltons firmly in command of Winterfell. Our one consolation is that Sansa and Theon/Reek have managed to escape, thanks to a daring jump from the ramparts of the castle.
Her sister, Arya, finally gets her revenge on Meryn Trant, who killed her tutor Sylvio back at the beginning of the series. She successfully uses what she has learned at the House of Black and White to masquerade as one of Trant’s young whores, and then slits his throat as she reveals herself. But this is not the practice of the Faceless Men, to take life on their own initiative. Her punishment is being rendered blind by a portion given to her by Jaqen.
Danaerys Targaryen and Drogon have flown far to the north in Essos and we learn she has ended up back in the midst of the Dothraki Sea, the endless grasslands where her journey began five years ago. The Dothraki people surround her on their horses. Do they remember her? Daenerys knows the respect afforded to her as Khalessi was through her husband, Drogo. She must now survive through her own wits. She quickly drops her Meereen wedding ring to the ground. A bread crumb, a clue to follow for those who may follow her.
It’s up to Daario and Jorah Mormont, an odd couple. They leave Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missadei to be the regent caretakers in Meereen.
Jamie Lannister departs from Dorne with his daughter, err, his niece Myrcella… who shocks him by confessing she knows Jamie is her father. The moment is fleeting, as suddenly Myrcella begins to bleed from the mouth. We learn she was poisoned by Ellaria Sand, with poison from her lips as she kissed Myrcella goodbye. Finally, she has gotten her revenge for Prince Oberyn’s death.
Cersei Lannister Baratheon confesses her sins to the High Sparrow, and learns she will have a trial before the people. This doesn’t seem so bad compared to the jail cell. How wrong she is. Cersei suffers what for her is the ultimate punishment, utter humiliation as she is paraded through the streets of King’s Landing naked, her hair shorn off, as the people shout curses and throw garbage and chamber pots at her. For this once proud woman, there is no greater punishment, and the High Sparrow knows this. She is allowed to return to the Red Keep, where her man Qyburn is waiting for her. An enormous guard who Qyburn says will help her avenge her humiliation will carry her upstairs. This is the return of The Mountain, although this has yet to be revealed.
Then there is our last remaining hope, Jon Snow. He lets Samwell Tarly, Gilly and the baby go into Old Town so Sam can continue his studies as Maester. He has no one left who he really trusts at Castle Black.
And in the final scene, a scene that novel readers have agonized over many times, Olly the servant boy calls Jon Snow out on the pretense his uncle Benjen Stark has finally returned after years of begin missing. Jon emerges to find Ser Alliser Thorne and the angry men of Castle Black. One by one, they stab Jon with the words, “For the Watch.” Olly strikes the final blow.
The last thing viewers see is Jon Snow, killed by his own men.
But take heart, GOT fanboys and fangirls. We have seen people we believed to be dead brought back to life, most tellingly, Beric Dondarrion after he was run through with a sword by Sandor Cleghane. Thoros of Myr, the Red Priest, brings him back to life. How handy that Melisandre has returned without harm to Castle Black. She believes in Jon Snow. Perhaps we should believe, too.
Those who have read the novels (like me) have been living with ambiguity about much of what happened … and we’ve been living with it for four long years. You can all live with it for ten months until the series returns. Sullied and Unsullied alike, we will be in new territory without any of the novels to guide us.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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