Game of Thrones: All Men Must Serve – The Atlantic

8 months ago Comments Off on Game of Thrones: All Men Must Serve – The Atlantic

The most tantalizing plotline is Sansa and Jon’s efforts to unite the North to take Winterfell, which promises the kind of politicking the show excels at and the good ole’ good-vs.-evil conflict it rarely offers. In other words… be very, very worried. The last storyline like this was Robb marching against the Lannisters. The North and everyone else remembers what happened next.

It shouldn’t go unmentioned that the battle at the great tree felled a number of strong and frequently silent servants in addition to Hodor: Summer the Direwolf, Leaf the Child, and Max von Sydow’s unnamed character, who was dispatched in much the same slashing motion as his unnamed character in The Force Awakens was. Lenika, Chris, let me know whether you thought these characters got proper sendoffs—and whether you felt sparks from this bona fide ice-and-fire event.

Lenika Cruz: These aren’t tears—all this wetness around my eyes is from my recent Iron Islands baptism! “What is dead may never die!” Except, as you point outed, Spencer, there was quite a lot of no-backsies dying at the very end of “The Door,” one of the show’s more beautifully directed episodes. The silent cut-to-black, used to punctuate harrowing final moments of the Red Wedding and the Hardhome battle, imparted proper solemnity to Hodor’s death, and to those of the Raven, Leaf, and Summer. These losses may have been inevitable in some sense, but they were accelerated by Bran’s unwillingness to follow very clear instructions. (Isn’t that how he ended up paralyzed in the first place? Because he didn’t listen to his mother’s instructions, “No climbing!”)

Spencer, I love that you brought up the themes of the past catching up to the present and of servitude. (Valar dohaeris, after all.) On the first note: I gasped during the opening scene, which showed Sansa at work with her sewing needle. It was a sweet throwback to the first time we saw her in the pilot—smiling as Old Nan praised her stitching, while Arya fidgeted nearby, distracted by the sounds of arrow-shooting outside. For the first time since leaving Winterfell as a girl, Sansa’s enjoying something akin to freedom. (Her long-overdue, brutally candid confrontation with Littlefinger was one of Sophie Turner’s best performances. Never before had he seemed so, well, little.)

Game of Thrones: All Men Must Serve – The Atlantic