Season 8 Episode 4 is in the books (well, not literally) and even though the Night King has been vanquished, gender and class still play a role in Game of Thrones. GoT has always been about class struggle and if prolific author Charles Dickens, whose works almost always centered around class, was born when Star Trek was on television, he would have been George R.R. Martin.
And all of the books would have been finished in five years or less.
The most recent episode (The Last of the Starks) solidly cements this theory. For example, Daenerys Targeryen, a contender with a legitimate claim who has spent the previous seven seasons fighting for the rights of the poor and enslaved, had to watch her beloved confidant and handmaiden Missandei, who happened to be a former slave, executed on the orders of an Queen. Royalty executed a former slave, while the former slave was wearing chains. The struggle is real.
Also, it can’t be easy to be a leader AND a woman in Westeros. Take for example the victory dinner in Sunday’s episode. Sure, Tormund led a toast to The Dragon Queen, but he and all of the other soldiers will follow Jon Snow into battle before Daenerys. Their allegiance lies with (to their knowledge) a man with no legitimate claim to the throne, who is prone to making bad decisions, can’t keep secrets and whose sense of morality and indignation waffle on self righteous arrogance. No matter what Daenerys does, including legitimizing Gendry (a very nice moment and smart gesture), it will never be enough to compete with a charismatic man.
If Daenerys was named Daniel, allegiance wouldn’t be an issue. At his base, Jon is a skilled fighter who gives mediocre speeches and who happens to be handsome. Sure, he unites tribes (Wildings and The Night’s Watch), but from a strategic standpoint, he continuously makes bad decisions:
- Why make Castle Black your hill to die on? Travel further south and try to get more men to fight.
- AND…maybe give the Dorthraki some Dragon Glass to put on their machetes and scythes.
- Believing Cersai when Cersai vowed to fight alongside her enemies AFTER not lying to her about his allegiances. Sansa wouldn’t fall for that shit.
- Promising his loyalty to his aunt and her VERY GOOD plan of keeping their mouths shut. Bran and Sam are vaults and wouldn’t have said anything. The only thing that letting the dragon out of the bag accomplishes is a dissension in the ranks.
- Yelling at a Zombie Dragon
- Not petting Ghost goodbye. Monster.
Let’s face it, if Jon looked like Sam or was a woman, he would have been killed long ago. Hey, actually he was.
THE LAST OF THE STARKS
After ‘The Gossip in the North’ betrays his aunt (and her VERY good plan) and spills the beans, Sansa became the last living and capable Stark child willing to fight for the throne. Bran took WAY too much acid in college and Arya does not want to lead…she just wants Cersai’s head.
YOUR TURN TO DRINK
It’s. About. Time.
Veteran baller move complaining about the heat and faking not being able to get undressed.
SEE YOU AT THE CROSSROADS
- Missandei – see above rant.
- Rhaegal – Gendry was the only character who was shot down harder.
To address my rankings to my nearly dozen loyal readers, I didn’t include
Arya anyone who doesn’t want to sit in the throne or anyone who won’t feel a moral obligation to rule (Jon Snow).
#5) Daenerys Targaryen – IS Danny on the edge of blowing a three dragon lead? It sure looks that way. DT tumbles three spots as she has significantly smaller versions of her combined armies, one less Dragon, and one less friend/confidant/adviser. Also, Vaerys and Tyrion know what is best for the realm and had a conversation about it.
#4) Sansa Stark – Littlefinger’s intern didn’t let that secret slip on accident. Either she wants the throne or doesn’t want Daenery’s to have it. Probably both. Regardless, it’s not good news for the Dragon Queen.
#3) Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen – What is it with being raised a Stark that makes you (except for Ned) incapable of keeping secrets? The North will follow him, whether he wants it or not.
#2) Euron Greyjoy – The Captain of the Good Ship Speed Freak is brash, but he isn’t stupid. He doesn’t care whose baby is in Cersai’s belly, he will murder both of them if necessary. Euron also jumps a spot for slaying a dragon.
#1) Cersai Lannister – Thus far, it seems as if Cersai is the smartest contestant on game show row. She is also the most ruthless (the class issue of using thousands of peasants as collateral), the most wealthy and the most calculating.
ODDS & ENDS
- As much grief as I give to Jon Snow, his goodbyes to Sam and Tormund were pretty great.
- Shoot your shot, Tyrion! America is ready for ‘Tansa’.
- I am not sure if I would rather see Grey Worm or The Hound kill The Mountain. Right now, I am leaning Grey Worm.
- I also gave Theon a lot of shit. It was touching to see Lady Stark pin a Stark Badge (right term?) on Theon and for Theon to be buried a Stark. Then again, being buried a Stark is better than living as a Greyjoy.