Let’s face it, with book 6 deeply frozen in the mind and musings of George R. R. Martin, there is nothing to go on but J = L + R. The problem though is not that HBO had to bring Ice and Fire together, twice (Jon and Dany count as well), but you had to do it while keeping the whole world glued to the screen. Leaks and hacker attacks aside, you did your best to keep up the hype. For someone who has read the seed works that inspired the author, I think more could have been done to sustain the drama and maddening plot twists Mr Martin concocts so effortlessly.
Because of all the positioning for the crown of Westeros, Season 7 of Game of Thrones was hijacked by conversations about love, loyalty, allegiances and heirs. Even with big war scenes, dragon fire descending over Dany’s enemies, and the political moves and conspiracies, the episodes fell flat because of the build up to unveil Jon’s true lineage. If you were smart to begin with you already knew where this was going, and if you read romance novels, or watch soaps and telenovelas, you must have started to realize the King in the North was not going to be an illegitimate product of rape. Woopty freaking do!
Olena gets her revenge two-fold, as she poisons Jamie against his twin, forewarning the viewers and the Kingslayer, that love and loyalty will do us all in. This revelation shakes him up, and, with Cersei pregnant, his position as a new father and crippled warrior has finally eroded the power dynamic in their relationship. This new child and relationship complication forces him to grow a spine; to pursue a chance to redeem himself. For those expecting him to add Queenslayer to his conquests, based on the leaked episodes, think again. The door has been reopened for him to take down his sister and paramour later on.
Westeros is all that is wrong with society, and I founs it interesting that the writers focused so much on love to develop the story arcs. Westeros should serve as a critique of the times, judging how we let ourselves be ruled by people who do not have our bes interests at hand. Maybe this is a by-product of love, submissiveness and blindness to the big picture. With the decimation of the Martells and Tyrells, there are not many families left to marry off children and form alliances. None of the Stark children, except Jon, had found a future lover or partner, which opens them up to set up a new form of government, if need be.
Regardless of how love and bending the knee plays out for Dany, the citizens of this fantasy world are in for a rude awakening. The walkers are heading south of the wall, and whoever is left will have to fight for the new consolidated crown or go at it on their own. Yara, Theon and Euron have lots of open seas to cover, and can either be instrumental or detrimental in the narrative that is left to explore in Season 8. It will be interesting to learn how this all turns out in HBO’s eyes. Regardless of how the three planned alternate endings play out, the books and the series are already on parallel routes, generating diverging stories. I sincerely hope George R. R. Martin delivers, and perhaps builds up the love angle in a most robust manner.
We need more Fire and Blood, because Winter is here…