Dear Game of Thrones,
You are a monster. Cold, merciless, and sadistic. Honestly, during our time apart, I was hoping, praying really, that I would find a way to get over you. I think that, for the past four seasons, I have taken your abuse on the chin. In Season One, when you killed off Ned Stark, I was like, “wow, what a bold move for a show to kill off a major character like this, I’m impressed.” Then, in Season Two, when you decided to go after Maester Luwin, I thought, “okay, this makes sense, I get it. You gotta do what you gotta do.” Then Season Three rolled around. I won’t even go into the Red Wedding. The memory is still too painful. All this, I withstood. But nothing could have prepared me for the bloodbath that was Season Four. I think a simple list would be the best way to demonstrate your brutality:
If I’m being totally honest, Pyp, Grenn, Jojen, Shae, Lysa, and Ygritt, I could stomach just fine. Any show would have killed them off at some point. But, of course, you had to take it a step farther. I know that many fans were thrilled at the death of the monstrous boy King, but to tell you the truth, Joffrey was such a huge shit-head for so long, that I kind of got attached to him. You could always count on him to be the meanest dude in the room. Tywin was turning into an even bigger power player and it was getting extremely cool to watch him basically sit on the Iron Throne by standing over it. The Hound, who was plenty nasty in his own right, was the perfect buddy-cop-style partner for Arya (I put an asterisk by The Hound’s name because I technically don’t “know” he’s dead and, honestly, the not-knowing is what’s hardest). And, of course, there was Prince Oberyn, who I guess was just a little too awesome for you to keep around. I understand that you’re this way because your father, George R.R. Martin didn’t give you enough love as a baby, but at the end of last season, I was ready to throw in the towel. “It’s time to stand up for myself,” I thought, “you can’t just let this show push you around like this!”
But, unsurprisingly, I came crawling back for more. I don’t know how you do it, but you have a sick hold over me. It’s unhealthy. My psyche can’t take much more. But somehow your boldness, your flagrant refusal to give a single, solitary fuck, only makes you more attractive to me. It was only during this most recent episode that I started to get the sense that, underneath your hard exterior, there is a sensitive, insecure show.
This season is a major turning point for you. The flashback you opened with could not be more appropriate. Up until this point, Cersi has been making decisions based on the prophecy she received in the woods. But now that the prophecy has been fulfilled, she is, for the first time in ages, facing a future that is unknown to her. Isn’t that just like you, Game of Thrones? Now that you’re catching up to the books, are you also doubtful and afraid of what might be in store for you? Cersi certainly is.
Maybe that explains why things feel so different. The elegiac tone first struck me when Tyrion was un-crated. Dressed in black and gold (funeral colors), he and Varys discuss the hell he’s been through (great reveal of the poop-holes, by the way). This recap of his hardship leads to a purge. Or rather, Tyrion projectile-vomiting all over some pretty beautiful rugs (I wonder how many servants in Westeros have had to clean up his puke).
This scene cuts right to the giant statue that used to sit atop The Great Pyramid of Meereen being torn to the ground. By the end of the episode, it was pretty clear that you were screaming one thing loud and clear: “out with the old!” I would normally follow that up with, “in with the new,” but right now, I’m not sure what “the new” is going to look like. I am equal parts excited and terrified.
You are still keeping Little Finger’s plans close to the chest. It’s obvious that you’re planning something big for him, I’m just not sure what it is yet. Maybe you don’t even know. If that’s the case, then this secrecy is really only timidity in disguise. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.
Jon Snow continues to be a pain in the ass of everyone on The Wall. When he shot that arrow into Mance, defying Stanis, it became pretty clear to me that he has know idea who he’s messing with. Again, I haven’t read the books, but I have a sneaking suspicious that this season, you are going to kill him off. If you do, I will be heartbroken. Jon has grown on me since his whiny first days on the wall. But I will also be glad that you haven’t changed.
I look forward to seeing what you have in store for my favorite badass little girl, Arya, as well as what the fallout is going to be from Prince Oberyn’s death. The royal family in Dorn will surely not take that blow lying down. I’m also nervously awaiting the reveal of what’s happened to The Mountain. I’m expecting Qyburn to turn him into something akin to Bane. Only The Mountain was kind of already like Bane, so I guess he would be like a Mega Bane. Yikes.
I know you’re afraid, Game of Thrones. I know you’re going to have to start relying on yourself more and more, especially if your father keeps taking his sweet-ass time writing. But go forward with confidence. As much as I hate being emotionally man-handled by you, the minute you start to soften up, or take my feelings into account, I won’t want you anymore.
All my best,