There has been so much sexual assault on this show. I was so happy that Arya had a positive sexual experience on her own terms with a good man who cares for her as much as she cares for him. That is so much more that others have gotten for their first time. It’s fascinating that so many people had an easier time watching Arya slit people’s throats than watching her have a love scene. She’s old enough to kill but not to have sex?
I was surprised that Jon revealed the truth before the battle. I’d assumed he’s wait until after to avoid distractions until the Night King has been dealt with. Jon has been consistently ruthlessly pragmatic about the war with the Night King. He really has no personal ambitions and has been totally focused on fighting for the living. I don’t think he’s given any thought at all to what he would want if he survived, and they won the war against the dead. When it comes to the threat from the Night King Jon is the best big picture practical strategist. When it comes to other threats and what happens if they manage to win, it’s Sansa and Dany who are better suited to that bigger picture. The most peaceful solution to Jon and Dany’s claim to the throne is for them to marry and act as co-rulers. I don’t think the writers will make it that easy though so I worry about what’s to come.
Sansa has suffered and been under other people’s power for so long. She has no desire to risk being subjugated again by anyone. Her determination for Northern independence is a natural outgrowth of her personal desire for independence. Trust is something that will never come easily for her ever again.
The thing is Dany was also powerless and subjugated to the whims of others that lead to her own suffering. Sansa and Dany really do have so much in common. Both want power and independence after horrible experiences of powerlessness.
Dany has shown she can adapt and win others over. She managed that with the Dothraki. She can do it again, but she’s got to get better at seeing the Northern point of view. In the past, she was setting people free as part of her conquering. Westeros is different in that people see her as a foreign conquerer and not a savior. She is setting no one free this time and is in the position of being viewed as an oppressor. She says she wants to break the wheel but in so many ways she’s part of the same system of conquering and subjugation. The only true way to break the wheel would be to let the people pick their leader. I feel like this show is a big advertisement for why choosing a ruler through birthright or through domination leads to so much instability and suffering.
I adored Brienne getting her well deserved knighting. I loved Sansa’s total faith in her. There is some amusement to Brienne and her two suiters, but I can’t take Tormund seriously. At first, I was charmed by his crush on her, but he doesn’t seem capable of talking her . He mostly leers at her, talks about her as if they’re a couple to other people, and makes awkward comments. I don’t think he ever asks her questions about herself to get to know her. He seems to fixate on her as a sexual prize to win and not a person. He hero worships her without bothering to get to know her. I have issues with Jaime, but I have no doubt he knows Brienne and cares for her. He adores her for who she is. He hero worships her too but sees the human being underneath the heroics.
Jaime’s conversation with Bran was really interesting. The person you are now is built on the actions for good or bad you have done. The good in Jaime now would not be there without the bad that came before is an interesting point of view. I appreciated Tyrion not letting Jaime get away with claiming Cersei fooled him. Jaime knew Cersei and loved her knowing she could be a monster. He shouldn’t get to pretend he didn’t see what she was. Still when push came to shove Jaime chose the living and abandoned Cersei. I go back and forth on Jaime. At times I admire him and at others am disgusted. That’s why I find him interesting.
Sansa’s reunion with Theon was beautiful. It’s hard to remember how much I hated his character years ago. His redemption has been well done. Sansa and Theon both understand the trauma of Ramsey and as a result there is a trust between them that needs no words.