Looking at Game of Thrones (Season Six)

After the clusterfuck of the season five finale, I was honestly done with this show, but my wife wasn’t, and when she started watching the season six premier, I didn’t stomp off to the office and sulk because I’m half a century old, and stomping hurts my brittle feet.  Anyway, having recovered from the series of questionable choices that was the last season, I present, with 100% love, and a heartfelt #spoiler warning, my Game of Thrones season six wrap up:

Stabbity Jane is hanging out in Ninjatown, blind, because…honestly, I defy you to care or remember why.  So the ninjas are an organization of two: Male Model Assassin guy, and Angry Ninja Girl.  Stabbity is begging on the streets because she’s blind now, and the Ninjatown bureaucracy doesn’t believe in a social safety net.  Her begging is interrupted when Angry Ninja Girl shows up to beat the shit out of her with a stick.  This goes on for a few days and then Male Model Assassin guy shows up and takes her back to their HQ, the Facebook Candle Shrine, which is exactly as creepy as it sounds.  Stabbity is given her eyesight back, and she’s told she has to kill a nice lady actor, and not to fuck it up.  It turns out that if you go to Ninjatown to learn how to become a ninja, you might be asked to kill someone who doesn’t suck.  Stabbity has a real problem with this, because she’s more of a revenge-driven murderer, and less of an assassin.  She fucks it up and Male Model Assassin guy tells Angry Ninja Girl to kill her but also to not let her suffer, which is a lot more polite than you’d expect from the leader of the Facebook murder cult.  Angry Ninja Girl beats the shit out of Stabbity, but Stabbity winds up killing her in a pitch black room (Angry Ninja Girl never spent any time without her vision apparently).  Stabbity cuts off her face, registers her for Facebook, and tells Male Model Assassin guy she’s leaving, and he’s like, “k.” She sails back across the ocean, finds Sir Filch, who killed her older brother, the idiot king of the snow, and she murders his sons, bakes them into a meat pie, and feeds them to Sir Filch before slitting his throat (and for about two seconds, you kinda want Gordon Ramsey to come in yelling at her about this not being how kitchens are run, because that’d be the last episode of Hell’s Kitchen ever filmed, but anyway).  See, poisoning a nice actor lady would be wrong, but tricking an old man into eating his own children, that’s totally fine because he was mean once.  #RevengeMakesItCool.

MEANWHILE, there’s really no one left in Kingtown we give a shit about, but we’re gonna talk about Kingtown anyway.  Oh, yes we are.  The cult of religious fanatics that were bankrolled and legitimized by Queenmom have successfully infiltrated the government because they’ve converted the king to their cause.  This is because the king is twelve, and children are shit at detecting manipulation.  Queenmom still has a trial coming up, for having #icky sex with her cousin, and her brother, Uncle Dad.  At first she’s not so worried about it, because she’s gonna invoke her right to trial by combat, and have Frankenmountain fight on her behalf.  Her son, the king, is manipulated into outlawing trial by combat, which leaves her with one viable option to maintain her freedom.  On the day of the trial, everyone gathers in the church of the sacred d–holes, except for her and her son, the king.  She has Frankenmountain block the king from leaving his room, in the castle.  She also stays in her room, and some adorable street urchins set fire to the metric ton of wildfire that’s been stockpiled under the church.  Wildfire is basically if napalm and guacamole had a baby.  The entire church, and everyone inside blows up in a massive green explosion.  The queen was also inside, and when the king sees the explosion, he takes off his crown, and jumps off his balcony to his death.  If Queenmom had also died, the show honestly could’ve ended there, and everyone (me) would’ve been satisfied, because everyone in Kingtown is human garbage (NOTE:  MONTHS LATER, I NOW REALIZE THESE WORDS WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT ME IN TERRIBLE WAYS #MoreForeshadowing).

MEANWHILE, Raven Bran has been living in a tree, learning how to use his magic powers to travel across time and space.  He travels mentally, not physically, which means what he’s really doing is napping a lot, which isn’t very entertaining for any of the people hanging with him.  In one of his trips, he sees Ice King, but worse, Ice King sees him and touches him, which means Raven Bran can’t live in the tree anymore (#BadTouch).  Instead of everyone running immediately, Treeman takes Raven Bran back to the past, but then the ice zombies show up, and everyone has to escape while carrying him, because he can’t walk.  Raven Bran is mentally back in the past, and sees young Hodor.  In the present, old Hodor is being screamed at to hold the door.  Raven Bran hears this, and unintentionally broadcasts it to Hodor back in the past.  Young Hodor is momentarily linked psychically to older Hodor, and he sees himself torn apart by ice zombies via the psychic link.  This traumatizes young Hodor, and permanently breaks his ability to say anything other than, “Hodor.”  #HodorKnew he was going to die, and he sticks around with Raven Bran anyway because HODOR IS THE SINGLE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD.  Anyway, Raven Bran and Red Shirt Sister escape, thanks to Hodor, but ice zombies never get tired, and they catch up to the two of them pretty quickly, but they’re saved by Uncle Ben, who’s not really dead, but also not what you’d call healthy.  Uncle Ben gets them to safety, and Raven Bran celebrates by time napping back to when his father was young.  He sees his father talking to his aunt, who gives him a baby, who turns out to be John Fuckin’ Snow.  Turns out John isn’t Bran’s bastard half-brother, he’s Bran’s cousin.  That seems like a weird revelation to end Raven Bran’s story on for the season, but his is the more talky part of the show.

MEANWHILE, his older sister, Sansa, survives her fall into the snow, which is surprising to no one, and she gets up to the wall where the crow people live.  Let’s put a pin in that.

John Fuckin’ Snow is still dead.  His four most loyal friends, and his wolf, are locked in a room with his corpse.  The d-holes who killed John are threatening to break the door down and kill them all, when the wildy people show up, kick everyone’s ass, and save John’s friends.  One of John’s friends asks the witch who sets little girls on fire to please bring John back from the dead and she’s like, “I suck,” and he’s like, “Totally, but do it anyway,” and she’s like, “k.” And then she brings him back to life by cutting his hair and giving him a man bun.  He goes outside, and everyone’s like, “Holy shit, you’re alive,” and he’s like, “Bummer,” and they’re like, “Well, you’re not eating anyone, so whatever, you’re still our boss.  What should we do now?” and he’s like, “I quit,” and they’re like, “Dude what?” and he’s like, “You fuckers killed me,” and they’re like, “…k.” Then they hang the dicks who did the actual killing.  Also, John’s vow to be one of the #horngry crow people was a vow for life, but having died already, he’s probably thinking there’s a better way to live, with occasional trips to #Bonetown.

ANYWAY, Sansa gets to the wall, and she and John are reunited, and then they have to decide what to do about Sansa’s d–hole husband.  They decide to go to war with him, and given Sansa’s terrible wedding night, it’s not an overreaction.  John gets a few people to fight for him, most of them wildy people, and they go war.  The night before the battle, Davos is talking to Tormund, and at one point he says, “Maybe our mistake was putting our faith in kings,” and you’re like, “YES!  YES, YES, YES, YES, MAYBE THAT’S A HUGE MISTAKE, MAYBE EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF, MAYBE THE WHOLE IDEA OF KINGS IS FUNDAMENTALLY FUCKED IN THE HEAD.  BUT I’M INTERRUPTING, SORRY, KEEP PREACHING,” but he doesn’t because life is unfair.  Anyway, the battle almost doesn’t work out very well, but Sansa secretly asks her uncle, Lord Cheesedick, for help, and he shows up with a massive cavalry, and they wind up stomping the shit out of her husband’s army.

I have to step away from the summary for a moment to acknowledge the Battle of the Bastards, which is the title of the episode, and presumably, the name given to the battle by the kind of idiots who romanticize war.  When Return of the King came out in 2003, the battle in the second act, outside Minas Tirith, was the craziest shit I’d ever seen, and I was positive that sword and sorcery, as a film genre, had seen its absolute best, and that while technology might improve, there’s no way anyone could ever improve on that battle sequence.  What never occurred to me was the possibility that anyone might make a television show in that same genre that was anything other than the cheap–ass Hercules and Xena bullshit we had to settle for (or just ignore) in the past.  Battle of the Bastards is episode nine of season six, which means we’ve had six years of investing ourselves in these characters.  Characters who didn’t start out as super badasses, or even competent.  Characters who weren’t even necessarily likable, apart from not being the hideously redneck–y dicks that so many other characters were.  Six years.  And we’ve had three years to build up full–on, justifiable hatred for Ramsey (Sansa’s d–hole husband).  Even if you’re binge watching the show, as I am this second time through, the Battle of the Bastards is the 59th episode of the series.  59 hours of your life have been invested into this show.  The emotional stakes at the start of this battle are higher than any movie, of any length, could possibly attain.  If John and Sansa win, they still have to fight a massive army of dead people.  If Ramsey wins, Sansa is going to be raped and tortured until she gives him a son, and then she’ll be murdered.  And John just came back from the dead, there’s no way they’d kill him off again in the same season, except his family used to be twice as large, so…maybe they would?  What I’m saying, is this battle surpasses anything even remotely like it.  It’s so good that I’m not even bothering to talk about all the crazy shit that happens in it, no summary would do it justice.  I’m not mentioning Ramsey’s final insult of killing Rickon, or John’s rebirth after almost being smothered, or any of the rest of it.  The Battle of the Pelennor Fields will always be great, but it will also always be surpassed by the Battle of the Bastards.

ANYWAY, Lord Cheesedick’s cavalry saves the day, and John Fuckin’ Snow chases Sansa’s d–hole husband back into the courtyard of Snowtown, and proceeds to beat the absolute shit out him, so hard, for so long, and you’re screaming in joy, so loud, and this show really has a way of revealing things about yourself.  John stops when he sees Sansa, because he realizes what they do with her husband is really her choice.  And she chooses to have him eaten by his own dogs, and they start by eating his face, and it’s great, and she walks away as he’s screaming, and she smiles a little, and you smile a lot, because #PartOfYouIsGross.  After everything settles down, it’s discovered that the witch who sets children on fire set Lord Grumpypants’ daughter on fire, and John Fuckin’ Snow tells her to fuck off south and never come back.  Everyone in the north gets together, and after a bunch of talk, they all declare John the new king of the snow, which is cool but then you remember how that worked out for his brother.

One of the nicer surprises of this season is learning that Dogman Sandy is still alive.  He’s hanging out with a group of good, hardworking religious folks who are building a church so, automatically you just kinda know they’re all dead.  Dogman has a couple great conversations with the leader of the group, whose name you just know you aren’t going to need to remember.  He goes out to chop some wood, and when he comes back, everyone’s dead, because they were good, hardworking people of faith in a world full of shit heels, monsters, and high–born nobility who commodify everyone who isn’t them.

MEANWHILE, across the ocean, Tyrion the dwarf is busy running the city while Sir Lusty Pants and Dario are off looking for Magic Dragon Jesus Lady.  Tyrion tries to compromise with the slave masters by asking them to slowly phase out slavery and they agree, but then turn around and attack the city.  At the same time, Magic Dragon Jesus Lady is hanging out with a massive tribe of the rapey, stabby hill people she married into back in season one.  After her husband died, she was supposed to go to the capital and live in a massive hut with all the other widows, but she blew that off because founding a cult is way more entertaining.  So now the rapey, stabby hill people are pissed but she deals with them by setting everything on fire.  When she emerges from the burning building naked and unburnt, all the rapey stabby hill people drop to their knees, and immediately join her cult.  Then, just to be on the safe side, she goes and gets her dragon, and they get on their knees again.  When she gets back to the city, she’s pissed, and she has her dragons burn the slavers and their navy, and it’s awesome, because none of them are children.  Magic Dragon Jesus Lady is done dicking around with slavers, and she tells Dario that he needs to stay behind and rule in her place.  He’s bummed, but he knows if he argues she can just set the building on fire and walk out, the only one alive.

The season ends with Magic Dragon Jesus Lady, Tyrion, Spymaster Baldy, her army of mercenaries, and her army of rapey, stabby hill people, and their horses, all on a shit ton of ships, heading across the ocean to set fire to Kingtown, and take the throne away from Queenmom.

Takeaways from this season: Once membership is large enough, a cult stops being a cult, and becomes a movement.  A movement with a large enough army is really just a walled city away from being a kingdom / nation.  Makes you think.  Civilization is still a lie, the ruling class is still the worst, honor is still dangerous, the world is still indifferent.  Leaders are invaluable.  Kings are useless.

#GoT #BattleOfTheBastards #MeatPie #FuckKings #HodorKnew #NinjasLikeToKill #Alpo