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  • The Mandalorian S2E05

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  • 806 - The Iron Throne

    What in the actual fuck was that??! That has to be one of the most anti-climactic season finales I’ve ever seen! Everything was going great up until the point Drogon flew off. Everything else was like a wet fart. Everyone knows Jon is the rightful heir and the reason why the 7 kingdoms are not all ice zombies. And they send him to the knights watch??!?! The biggest contribution Bran did was warg into some birds while everyone else was dying. What a bunch of horse shit!! There are 1,000 different ways this could have been a much more satisfying series finale. I’m absolutely baffled by the double D’s choices!

    Love Bald Move. Smartest and most listen-able commentary out there.

    But, guys, the reaction in the instant-take was... sensational, at best. It certainly didn't sound like the good-faith response from someone who actually committed to 'fan-bankruptcy.'  For all the bombastic rhetoric shelled at the D&Ds, it seems like the linchpin is the "earned-ness" of the moment Dany decided to lay waste to King's Landing.

    After watching a second time, I'm inclined to argue that, the turn was not just earned, but sharply-constructed. This feels too long-winded for paragraph form, so here's my scorecard for the show not the books:

    Throughout the series:
    - since Visery's golden crown and Kahl Drogo's death (and maybe before): Dany has founded her identity around being the 'rightful' heir to the Iron Throne.
    - her claim was only made possible by the death of Viserys. - she has shown little-to-no hesitation or remorse for absolute and fiery violence against anyone who would stand in her way to that goal. For all her apparent growth, this was demonstrated well through Season 7, most notably burning the Tarleys, justified or not.
    - She develops as a leader and ruler, with many positive moments of growth and understanding, but every 'breaking of chains' or liberating of persecuted people could be considered a consequence of an effort to consolidate power.
    - she builds her story of entitlement to others, and to herself
    - she grows to distrust Tyrion.
    - loses a 'child'
    - critically, she falls in love with Jon.

    This season:
    - Revelation of R + L = J confronts and negates her claim to the throne.
    - Jon would abdicate, but she witnesses, repeatedly, that in Westeros, the people are drawn to Jon, and would choose and follow him, given the choice. There is no shortage of scenes or dialogue between Varys and Tyrion to reinforce this. 
    - impetuous decision-making during the Long Night
    - loses majority of her military assets
    - She loses most of her most loyal confidants
    - Arya kills the Night King, confirming that Dany is not Azor Ahai (if she was ever aware of that)
    - Dany continues to grow extremely insecure
    - begs, begs Jon to not tell anyone that he is heir to the throne. The most vulnerable—pitiful, even—we've seen her on the show.
    - loses her fleet
    - lost another child/dragon
    - Her best friend's head gets chopped off right in front of her by the person who represents everything that was taken from her. I can't be sure what the psychological effect of this would be on a person, but it seems... profoundly significant, despite our desensitization to violent deaths as show watchers. 

    This episode:
    - learns of betrayal by Jon, his family, Tyrion, and Varys.
    - Varys, critically, sends out ravens with the news that Jon is the true heir to the throne. For the realm. 
    - Varys stands by his commitment—and fear—to have done it for the realm, and is immediately torched by Dany for it.
    - Dany makes a final plea for Jon's love, and is denied. Jon cannot.

    Ok, so?
    At this point, it's already over for Dany. She cannot and will not become the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. The instant Jon denies her, accepting that they will never marry—her last path to the throne—and knowing his stronger, true claim to the throne is already out, thanks to Varys, she knows he will be the King the people demand. The rightful ruler. If he were Viserys, or some similar kind of asshole, she could rationalize killing him. But he is not. He is a great leader, and she knows it, and critically, she loves him. 

    The thing she's constructed her fundamental life's purpose around, this entire journey, is over. Not up on the ramparts. In this room. Her identity as a person is unraveled and destroyed.

    As viewers, we might've looked at the castle as if it's the reward at the end of this journey, but in this moment—with The Bells ringing to signify that the people do have the power to choose their leader (the idea that Tyrion has basically embodied his entire tenure with her)—she already knows she will not have it. The people that betrayed her will. The man she can't be with will. And these people will be the ones that ensure it.

    As far as the story being told, Jon's secret lineage is less about Jon: it's about putting Dany in the utterly tragic position that she can't burn the very last thing in her way.

    We all knew that the revelation of R + L = J had to lead to an impossible outcome for someone. And this is what that looks like. 

    We knew it. Were we hoping it would magically resolve some other way? 

    I've never read the books, but I assume Spring really is just a dream.

    So for me, the show put everything on screen they needed to destroy a person. And they did. 

    [Also, calling bullshit on the notion that Jamie somehow 'went back' on his character development. His final humane act of compassion in a long journey of development was to be with the person he loved that needed him as the world she created finally crashed down on her. He fought for the living. He helped an outsider become fully actualized, and then he went to be with the person he loved most in the world when she was going to die, monstrous as she was. Selfless streak uninterrupted, IMO]

    Could not agree more @HartParkridge! I felt Daenery's break was very earned considering everything she's been through. I mean, people have gone postal over losing a job. How does anyone stay in their right mind after everything she's been through? I was part of a 6-person viewing party during the 1st-watch and we all really enjoyed this episode! I was actually kind of shocked to hear how divisive this episode is for people. To that, I think Ramsey said it best, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As for me, I will be roasting S'mores this Sunday in celebration of more Targaryen carnage!
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  • The Romanoffs

    The latest episode ‘Panorama’ is flat out unwatchable! The acting and editing are horrendous. Overall, the season has been average AT BEST. If I'm completely honest with myself, the only thing good about this show is the Tom Petty intro. Did the Weiner get lucky with Mad Men? Am I the only one who thinks he just consumed a bunch of hallucinogenics when writing this show?! I feel like he was jazzed about the idea of a show regarding the Romanoffs, ate a bunch of edibles and then got to jamming away on his laptop. But then the drugs kicked in after the first few episodes and he just jumped straight off a cliff with psychedelic wings. Now we’re driving blindfolded on the rainbow road with random-ass stories that are a complete mess! This show is supposed to be about the Romanoffs, right?! As a viewer, I am extremely frustrated. Meanwhile, the Weiner is crushing a bag of Tostitos while he melts into the couch. Fuck this show! The next time a Matt Weiner project rolls around, I’ll be sure to rip the bong first. Maybe then it will be watchable.