Game of Thrones Season 5 is a wrap and as always, it’s the worst time being a GoT fan, because right now is the longest amount of time to wait until the next season. Well, I guess the worst time being a GoT fan is once the whole thing is over and done, and the only thing that’s left is an emptiness. I had that problem when Breaking Bad finished. Or when I got done reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Anyway. Season 5 has been the most difficult season to date to judge. It’s been a week and I’m starting to digest things a lot better. I’ll be getting into specifics for every plot thread and grade it and then share some overall thoughts on the whole thing big picture wise.
A complete no-show this season, but that was to be expected. Bran will have some very significant role to play towards the end of the story I’m sure, but for now, he’s chilling in a tree, apprenticing with the three-eyed raven. I wonder if he’ll be back next season though. His powers sure can be a great device. He’ll be able to look into the past, present and future. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have an entire episode dedicated to Bran seeing into the past of his father, from the time he returned to Winterfell with Jon? Just a thought. I do like flashbacks with relevant exposition. Grade: NA
Jon has had one of the most interesting, well crafted storylines of the main characters this season. He starts off dealing with Stannis and the Wildlings at Castle Black, getting elected as the Lord Commander and much like Ned Stark, he has to make some big calls and true to his upbringing generally acts out of honor. Thormund Giantsbane convinces him to go to Hardhome, a wildling settlement on the east coast beyond the wall in order to save as many wildlings as possible. The logic is that once the white walkers come south, they’ll need as many men as they can get. Of course, any wildling that’s south of the wall is one less the Others can resurrect to fight for them. The half-hour sequence of him going to Hardhome, negotiating with the wildling leaders and the subsequent massacre by the Others was really well done. Especially for a TV show, this was very impressive, and it’s something that the show has an advantage with over the books. For me though, this episode wasn’t quite the highlight that the majority of viewers thought it was. I still prefer dialog-heavy scenes, but to each their own.
In the end though Jon’s struggle this season has been not against the white walkers, but the tough task of convincing his brothers to lay down their hatred against the wildlings in order to focus on the real threat. I find this was good, meaty subject matter to tackle and they did it quite well. To me this whole thing is quite similar to what we have in the modern world with global warming for example. Everybody knows it’s coming, and we can be quite sure there’ll be hugely damaging consequences if we don’t tackle the problem together, but our short sightedness gets in the way. Jon is faced with a very difficult task, one that he eventually finds out is beyond him. Jon gets murdered by a group of his own brothers, who aren’t willing to follow their leader. They stab him to death, each muttering “For the Watch”. It’s tragic that Jon would see his demise at the hands of his own men, but it was a plausible end nonetheless. Like many though, I’m not buying that this is the last we see of Jon Snow. I’m sure GRRM has more in store for him. Grade: B+
One of the big surprises this season has been Stannis. He was an unlikable hard-ass in prior seasons who’d burn people on stakes in order to get what he wanted, he had sex with a creepy red priestess so that she can give birth to a demon baby that would go on to slice his little brother’s throat. At the end of last season, he’d gained some popularity for helping out the Night’s Watch. This season he had a heart-warming scene with his little daughter Shireen, and it was one of those rare scenes that humanized him. What I liked most about him was that he was acutely aware of the threat of the Others and he seemed determined to try to stop them. Of all the big players in Westeros, he seemed like the only one who had the will to face the real danger and the competency. First though he had business to the south, marching against the hated Boltons. He looked like a champion to support this season. Of course all that goes to shit once he decides to sacrifice his child in order to save his army, which gets decimated from attrition (winter is coming) and Ramsey Bolton’s little strike force. The Lord of Light granted him a warm weather front for the life of his only child, yay! Also, his wife killed herself and his sellsword army deserted him anyway. Not least because he’s a terrible kinslayer. Melisandre runs back to the wall before the shit hits the fan, which was suprising. All this time she always looked super sure of her cause, but here we see her full of self-doubt and act in real cowardice. Stannis is then (presumably) offed by Brienne of Tarth who happened to be in the area. What a coincidence.
Stannis is a somewhat tragic character. He’s the guy who keeps on fighting even though everybody else got the memo that the war was over. He gives everything and loses it all, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s always all-in. I think it’s fitting that he died in this manner (though NOT that he ran into Brienne in the end). My only regret is Shireen, but that’s just Game of Thrones for you. Terrible, pointless, cruel things do happen in this world. Grade: C
Here we start to get into some of the really bad things of this season. Sansa ended the last season finally shedding her victim persona and assuming a more active role in her life. No longer will she be pushed around! No longer will she be lied to and hurt! NO! Now SHE’s going to do the lying and the hurting, all with the tutelage of Littlefinger. I was excited to see her progression. But D&D said “fuck you” to all those who thought the same. Maybe it’s to define Littlefinger as a more evil guy than we already thought him to be. After all, her suffering this season, the disappointment and frustration at her regression back to Sansa 1.0 the victim, that’s all caused by the politicking of Littlefinger. But it doesn’t feel like this to me. It feels very pointlessly cruel to a character that we watched suffer for 4 seasons already. Give her a break, I say.
Sansa gets married off to Ramsay Bolton, so that Littlefinger can secure an alliance with the Boltons. If Stannis was to take Winterfell, Sansa would have been planted there by him, so that he could have an alliance with Stannis. So he’s covering his bases. I can’t believe though that Littlefinger doesn’t know about how cruel Ramsay Bolton is. I mean, Littlefinger’s area of expertise is information. It stretches disbelief to think that he would marry Sansa Stark off to a guy that he knows nothing about. So if that’s not the case, if he does know about Ramsay’s reputation, then he deliberately caused pain and suffering to Sansa.
I think that’s the point that the showrunners ultimately aimed to tell us. That Littlefinger is the real villain here. I can dig that, but it doesn’t mean that any of Sansa’s story this season was entertaining or even all that interesting to watch. It’s a madding flip-flopping with her the whole season. First she seems content to learn from Littlefinger as much as she can. She even rejects Brienne at the beginning. Then she cracks when Littlefinger tells her he’s marrying her off. Once in Winterfell, she seems to collect herself again, even going so far as to stand up against Ramsay’s mistress Miranda who was trying to frighten her once. But then…she gets raped. In one of the most sickening scenes in GoT to date, she gets raped on her wedding night, her virginity violently taken by one of the most outright evil characters in the show, and all the while Theon/Reek is being forced to watch her. Sansa decides to seek help from what she believes are loyalists in Winterfell (she doesn’t know that it’s Brienne behind that little plan) but gets caught by Ramsay, because Theon rats on her (in some backwards logic, Theon thinks that that’s best for her). She gets raped some more. Then she actually is shown picking up a little weapon. Finally we’ll see her defend herself against Ramsay! Nope, none of that either. When Ramsay leads the Bolton forces to clean up what’s left of Stannis’ “army”, she randomly runs into Miranda, who gets nastier than ever. Theon finally kills her off, and they both decide to jump off the walls of Winterfell, either to death of escape. It depends on how fluffy the snow is.
Sansa is constantly getting abused, then she’d do something that raises your hope that she’ll fight back for once, only for that to go nowhere at all. The whole candle in the highest window plot was cute at first, but when they had Brienne go off to seek out Stannis RIGHT BEFORE Sansa lights the candle herself, it was just too much. That’s lame TV writing right there and it feels jarringly out of place in Game of Thrones. Grade: D
Cersei’s plot was a very interesting one this season. She’s assumed the rule of Kings Landing and the realm for herself after the death of Tywin, what with Jaime being the kingsguard commander and Tyrion obviously on the run. Kevan Lannister was the only guy who’d challenge her authority, and he promptly removed himself from the small council. She finally was in power, after all these years of scheming and being looked down upon for being a woman. The problem though is that she’s not as fit for rule as she thinks. She’s surely not as dumb as say, Mace Tyrell, but she’s also nowhere nears as smart as her late father. She’s good at scheming, but actual rule demands other qualities that she lacks. To secure the alliance with the Tyrells she grudgingly allows Tommen to marry Margaery. Afterwards she’s trying to separate them again, but it’s too late. Margaery has already ensured that Tommen is madly in love with her (we all know how). So Cersei thinks of the most idiotic way to get back at her. She learns of a religious fanatic group that Lancel Lannister (who she had an affair with in an earlier season. They are also cousins.) is part of. The Faith Militant are lead by the High Sparrow and pull no punches. They ruthlessly fight against anything that violates the laws of the Faith. Cersei in her wisdom realizes that they wouldn’t even stop from moving against the homosexual Loras Tyrell – Margaery’s brother – and that way she could drag down the whole Tyrell family. She promptly grants arms to the Faith Militant and they do exactly as she predicted. They even manage to find a charge against Margaery, and the siblings are imprisoned. Tommen is furious but is too scared to act on his own. When he confronts his mother, she shrugs and says that this is out of her control (oh how right she is).
The best part about this entire plot is the chaos factor of the High Sparrow. He’s a great and unusual character because of one quality – integrity. Neither Cersei nor even the Queen of Thorns who comes to the rescue of her grand children are able to manipulate or outright buy his allegiance. The High Sparrow is an old man in rags who practices what he preaches. He feeds the poor and is ruthless against the oppressors. He has a point and it’s no surprise that, once armed, the Faith Militant are a force to be reckoned with in King’s Landing. Cersei is so oblivious of the nature of the man that she seriously believes she is safe from the religious persecution just because she helped them along in the first place. She even seemed to have forgotten that Lancel is one of them. Stupid Cersei. So she gets what was coming to her, and is imprison just like Margaery. Rotting in rangs and filth in a dank cell, she endures psychological torture until she admits to having the affair with Lancel. She gets released then to await her trial, and is sent on a walk of shame through the streets of King’s Landing to the Red Keep. Naked and her hair cut short, she’s abused by the populace. Dirt and feces are thrown at her and she breaks down crying, but arrives at the Red Keep in the end.
Cersei’s story was really engaging to watch. It starts off with the first ever GoT flashback where we see her listen to a prophecy (though the most important part is not shown!). Then we see her self-confidently make foolish decisions until she’s forced to lie in the bed she’s made herself. It’s outrageously idiotic of her the way she dealt with the High Sparrow, and there’s some satisfaction to see a bad character getting some comeuppance. But like it happens of often in this show, the nastiness goes overboard and I was feeling really bad for her on her walk of shame. It was fascinating to see her break down and being shorn of the things that defined her all this time (her clothes, her prideful demeanor, the power she has as a Lannister), kind of like we saw back in season 3 with Jaime. It’s going to be interesting to see how things move on from here and how she changes after such a traumatic experience. Grade: B
Jaime and the Sand Snakes
Ugh. Just ugh. Grade: F
No seriously. This has been the lowest point for this show by far, this whole contrived sub plot is just such a disappointment. Jaime and Bronn go an adventure to a new and exciting land, on a mission to save a princess! YAY!
Only that’s not at all what happens. First off, the whole “Myrcella is in danger, we need to rescue her” starts off reasonable enough, though I felt the scene with the snake and the necklace was ridiculous. Okay, so Jaime needs to get his daughter back, and he takes Bronn with him. I can deal with that so far. What really indicated how bad this story line would be though was the introduction of the Sand Snakes. They are the three badass daughters of Oberyn Martell who was awesome last season. The showrunners really tried too hard to make them seem as badass as their daddy, and when one of them (I can’t even be arsed to know them by name) starts vomiting exposition about her origin and her cause I had my face firmly planted in my palms. I expect such writing in some low-budget 90’s adventure TV show like Sinbad or Xena or something, but not in Game of Thrones. Anyway, Jaime and Bronn make their way to the Watergardens where Myrcella is kept, and the Sand Snakes aim to kidnap her, possibly murder her to get back at the Lannisters because Oberyn was killed fair and square in a trial by combat (making the Sand Snakes look extremely petty and childish).
That whole thing right there is such obvious TV show plot structuring. It’s clear that this is supposed to be a race between the two, and sure enough when they clash in the Watergardens it feels like a bad video game plot, and on top of all that the actual fighting scene is boringly choreographed. Also, nothing of import happens until that point anyway, so it all feels extremely pointless. All of them get caught and put into cells. Jaime treats with Doran Martell who is a man of reason and the only character who comes out of this whole thing with his head held high. I wish we’d gotten more of him. Jaime, Myrcella and Bronn then are sent back to King’s Landing. Hooray! And in a scene kind of like Stannis had with his daughter, Jaime gets to get closer with his own. Myrcella reveals that she knew of him and Cersei and she even says she’s happy! Hooray!! Oh, but she promptly dies of poisoning (oooh sneaky Sand Snakes!). It’s so lame and lazy writing that I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
One of the stories I got most excited to see was Arya’s. She joins the Faceless Men to become a badass assassin who can change their face at will. Only, it isn’t that simple. Right off, we get to see a new place in the world of GoT, and the House of Black and White was pretty much as I imagined it to be. I’d have liked it more though if it really was in the middle of a lot of other houses like it’s described in the book. That would’ve underlined that the Faceless Men are really an accepted part of Braavos and not some underground organisation. Anyway, Arya after some initial rejection gets accepted into the House of Black and White as a servant to the Many Faced God. She cleans the temple and tends to the dead. It turns out that people go to the Faceless Men in order to get administered a fatal poison. Death is looked upon in a very different way in Braavos it seems. Rather than something to be feared and delayed, it’s seen as part of life itself and something to be welcomed if the earthly existence becomes unbearable. Then, the Faceless Men would properly tend to the remains, and collect the faces of the dead. It’s a quite exotic and interesting to think about.
Arya’s under the tutelage of Jaqen H’gar (or a priest with his face), and some of the best scenes in her story come when he challenges her to dismiss her identity. She eventually throws away all her belongings, but can’t bring herself to get rid of Needle, so she hides it in a safe place outside the temple. At some point she is tasked with assuming another persona and going among the people of Braavos to learn more about people and the city. Then she’s tasked with her first killing, a gambler/insurer for sailors of some kind who’s been exploiting his clientele. Only when she goes around there one day, she discovers Meryn Trant escorting Mace Tyrell. Trant is one of the knights who presumably murdered Syrio Forel. Syrio, if you forgot was Arya’s “dancing” instructor back in season 1. Trant’s been on Arya’s list ever since.
She tracks his movements and learns that he visits a brothel where he likes to physically abuse under-age girls for his pleasure. She’s so fixated on killing him, she steals a face from the temple and in one of her most vicious killings yet (I think it was her most vicious one, though the one with the coin after the Red Wedding was pretty violent too) she manages to kill him. She then returns to the temple to place back the face she used, but is quickly caught by Jaqen H’gar. He condemns her actions, killing a man she had no right to kill, and then proceeds taking a poison to kill himself. But does he really? Behind Arya, another servant suddenly turns out to be Jaqen H’gar, and the man on the floor is someone else. Or is he? Arya, scared to death, pulls away face after face from the body and loses her sight. Apparently she wasn’t ready to wear another’s face since she hadn’t truly cast away her own self. Questions remain: who’s the real Jaqen H’Gar. Is there even one at all? Are all Faceless Men the same person, namely “no one”? Does this mean that Arya actually must lose not only her identity but her own face as well?
Before the season started I was quite excited for Arya’s story because Arya is such a great character and her going to a badass group of assassins to learn to be a proper killer in a foreign country? It just sounded so exciting on paper. Ultimately it was much slower paced than a lot of people wished though. We spend episode after episode following her not doing all that much. If you think about it though, this is the plausible way to do it. You don’t just walk into such a place and join such a group and quickly become that badass. GoT is defined by its realistic approach to fantasy. This season was about introducing who the Faceless Men are and making clear what it would mean for Arya to make that commitment. You don’t get to just become some kind of overpowered agent of revenge like a lot of lesser books or shows would have cast her as. I feel it’s especially important to show what the sacrifice would be. For Arya, she’s in a real conundrum here. Yes, she’s blinded now, but that’s not the worst of it. She’ll eventually have to let go of her past, her emotional ties to her family and her foes. That hitlist? Cast it aside. Needle? Destroy it or throw it into the sea. She cannot become driven by revenge. She would truly become no-one, like the other servant and the priest, doing the Many Faced God’s bidding. If that should by chance mean she gets tasked with killing Cersei or Walder Frey, for example, then that’s just convenient. I really like that the show (and the book) have laid out such a journey for Arya and it’ll be truly interesting what she will decide. She can still get out, and she’s good enough to be a dangerous player in the seasons/books to come without that training. Grade: B+
Daenerys and Tyrion
Finally Tyrion met up with Daenerys! In the trailers for the season, we got to see a conversation between Varys and Tyrion discussing the possibility of a just ruler. Tyrion is in a bad state (after becoming a kinslayer and going across the narrow sea in a wooden crate) but the idea of meeting the last Targaryen gave him something new to think about and look forward to. Shenanigans commence when he gets captured by Jorah the Twice Exiled of House Friendzone. We get the great scene when the two of them pass by the ruins of Old Valyria and there was even a short zombie flick scene when they get attacked by some Stonemen. Jorah picks up a case of greyscale which is bad news for him, and in true zombie movie fashion, keeps it secret. Eventually they meet up with Daenerys though.
Daenerys starts the season as the master of Meereen, and having freed the slaves in such swift fashion last season, has a lot of support from the common people. All is well. Or is it? The old slave masters have formed a terrorist group called the “Sons of the Harpy” (after the original symbol of Meereen) and started a kind of guerrilla war. Daenerys had never been a ruler of a city before, and much less of one plagued by terrorists. A lot of political dilemmas arise from that core problem. Hizdahr, and ex-slaver turned adviser tries to convince her to re-open the fighting pits, a kind of colosseum where slavers would organize fights to the death between slaves for entertainment. It’s a part of Meereenese tradition, you see, and it would give the people something that they wish for. Yeah right. Then, her Unsullied start getting offed one by one in the streets while trying to keep the city under military control. They might be great warriors in battle, but they are not as good as a police force it seems. When one of the terrorists is caught and put into prison to await his trial, one of her ex-slave advisers takes it upon himself to murder him. This is a clear violation of the law under Daenerys’ rule so she has her advisor publicly executed. Well done! Her people don’t get the message as you’d expect and start rioting a bit, but not against her, but against the ex-slavers who are present and in chains. Daenerys showed just how inexperienced and heavy handed she is when dealing with such matters. This scene really showed how much she needed a good adviser…somebody like Tyrion maybe?
The terrorist attacks all come to a head when Ser Barristan Selmy and Greyworm and some of his men are involved in a back alley fight against a horde of knife-wielding Sons of the Harpy. Barristan gets killed and Greyworm heavily injured. This prompts Daenerys to take action, but what should she do? She decides that instead of all out war in the streets or complete resignation, she should marry Hizdahr and make peace with the ex-slavers that way. I can’t really think of how that would make things better. She even allows the fighting pits to re-open, but this time only for free men who fight of their own free will. This way she finally meets up with Tyrion and Jorah.
The next episode she demands to know why she should trust a Lannister (after all, Tyrion’s brother was the one who murdered her father). Tyrion demands to know why he should serve yet another pretender to the throne. It’s such an interesting dynamic, those two. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time and I wasn’t disappointed. The dynamism is so good because both of them are characters I’ve been rooting for and I can see what a great team they’d make. She has the name, the charisma, the audacity to become a real leader. Her self-confidence and integrity is what endeared her to a lot of people, but she’s not the real deal yet. And Tyrion is a guy who’s exceedingly smart, one of the few people in this world who can look at things analytically and see through the bullshit. But with his condition, he’s been misunderstood and abused all his life. Very few people truly have shown him respect in his life, or even appreciated his qualities. With Daenerys, he can finally assume a place where he can do what he does best for something that’s worth fighting for. They really are a great match. Or are they?
In their only real conversation (oh how I wished to see more of their back and forth!) he challenges her about her endgame. What will she do once she gets to Westeros? Is she really able to bring much needed change? Nobody ever dared to ask her such questions (probably nobody ever even thought of them) before. What would she do with all the houses for example, their constant bickering and plotting powergrabs? Westeros is in its current abysmal state because of all that. Would she really be able to bring change, or would she just be yet another ruler? Daenerys’ answer is as bold as it is ambiguous. She’ll destroy the current order as it is right now and presumably then rebuild it entirely.
But how will she rebuild Westeros? In history, this is a lot like what happened in France. Feudalism, which is effectively what we have in Westeros is a system that’s failed and in its stead, power could only move in two directions. Absolutism, as seen with Louis XIV of France meant that all power, executive, legislative and judicial would be concentrated in one person at the top. That system does have its advantages, because it’s very clear whose tune the music must play in. Daenerys seems to be that kind of ruler, to have that kind of philosophy. After all, she is the Mother of Dragons, the last Targaryen, the Stormborn. This is her destiny and she’s been bringing positive change in Essos already.
I think though that in the eyes of Tyrion, power should go the other way. He has an unusual amount of empathy for the plight of common people, mainly because he’s experienced oppression (emotional, not in terms of wealth) himself. Sure, he might not have much love for all the people who’ve ridiculed him, but in general he’s shown that he gets how shitty it is being a commoner. Hell, he even fell in love with and married a commoner himself. And he surely has no love for the nobility. I would think that he would be more in favor of a system where people can rise in ranks by their ability alone, not by their blood and name. A system of equality of rights, something more like a republic or a democracy.
Going forward, I expect that this be a source of friction between the two.
A lot of people have grown frustrated with Daenerys decision to stay in Essos. They want her to go to Westeros already and kick ass with her dragons, go to war against the Others. But GoT, once again, isn’t that simple. She decides to try her hand at ruling and immediately finds herself out of her depth. I think that this was a wise decision because this experience will be valuable for her going forward. Can she really bring about permanent change? Maybe, but very unlikely. Meereen is steeped in its bloody traditions and history, and even if the slaves are now free by law, the mentality of people doesn’t change over night. It will take generations for things to become markedly different. Daenerys is just a human, her time is limited and at some point she must make her way. But conquering Westeros, establishing her rule, all these things she’s destined for – she has only one shot at that. She must do it the right way or fail terribly.
The end of the her season’s story left me cold. The Sons of the Harpy attack her openly in the fighting pits, but Drogon shows up to save her and she rides away on his back. She rides her dragon for the first time, and it’s great to see her bonding with at least one of them once again. Only now she’s taken deep into the Dothraki grasslands, without food or shelter. Drogon is wounded and needs to recover, and as she wanders about alone, she encountered a whole Khalasar, and her story cuts off here. Is she in danger, or will the Dothraki remember her, maybe even respect her? Or is she going to be in serious trouble?
The best parts of her season were the political dilemmas she finds herself in. It’s meaty material for discussion and that’s always been GoT’s strength. Her blundering was understandable but also frustrating to watch at times. The inability of her advisers to give good counsel was also annoying to watch. I really didn’t enjoy how she compromised her stance and gave the OK to opening the fighting pits, and when the fighters clearly were slaves, it was weird to see her stand by just watching slaves murder each other. But a big payoff was to be had with Tyrion meeting her at last. I really liked how the showrunners handled their scenes, but I wished to have more of it. That’s as good a compliment as I can give to that. That she leaves at the end is irritating and I fear that her campaign loses all momentum because of it, but we’ll see next season. Grade: A-
There are a lot of notable things I couldn’t go into deeper here, so I’ll mention them quickly. I loved the scene when Jorah learns of his father’s death. Iain Glen really got to act that time. It was great. Also, Bronn had a great line “Dolphins maybe” which cracked me up, as well as Jaime finally finding real use of his new hand. Brienne’s sword Oathkeeper outright breaking a normal blade in two was badass. Sam got laid! Horray! (even though it was just out of pity…). Jon finally offing the hell out of Janos Slynt and his pitiful begging for mercy was great. I cheered him on. Damn you for refusing Melisandre though! Because of you, she had to resort to Shireen. Melisandre saying “You know nothing, Jon Snow” was creepy and something to keep in mind for later on. The creepy children in Hardhome were powerful imagery and the whole build up to the massacre was masterfully done. Aemon dies (goodbye…) and his last words were “Egg! Eeeegg! I dreamed I was old.”. That line gave me goosebumps. Remember Stannis’ brief stint as the internet’s favorite grammar nazi? Good times. Davos saying goodbye to Shireen? Oh the feels. Her subsequent death was the most shocking thing since Oberyn’s death. It was stomach churning, but people didn’t seem to give as much of a shit as when Sansa got raped. Lancel becoming a buff religious extremist, what the fuck? Cersei acting like she was outraged at the imprisonment of the Tyrell siblings was great fun to watch, as well as the Queen of Thorns futile attempt to buy them back was great as well. Also, Tommen being a complete pussy was fun. Kudos to Lena Headey’s acting in the walk of shame. That was tough to see, as much as I despise Cersei. Tyrion’s O_O face at Drogon flying in the sky was noteworthy. And lastly, I haven’t talked about Littlefinger much, but I enjoyed how he offered Cersei more war and suffering. That guy is the real villain and it’s important to keep an eye on him. He’s quietly going about his business.
Some more general thoughts on GoT the show and my final verdict I will share in a later article.