The many plots twists of Game of Thrones eighth and final season left audiences, well, filled with emotions.
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Many fans of the show, book lovers or not, were angry with how their favorite characters went and how they ended up. It turns out that not a whole lot of the actors were happy either, and the list has been ever-growing since the show’s conclusion.
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From a crafty man with all the answers, Tyrion seems to have suffered some sort of off-screen head injury. What’s my proof? Well, look at what Peter Dinklage has to say about eighteen minutes into this video…
We’re in a crypt. Nobody thought of that. [The Night is] bringing all the dead people back to life and they’ve put the women and the children in crypt with all the dead people so…Tyrion is smart, but I guess not that smart”
While he hasn’t come out against his decision against what happened to his character, this quote is a hint of how he truly feels. That, and we have this from 2018 before the final season had aired.
“You’re being held hostage and wont be released until you record yourself supporting us as writers”
Varys went from The Spider who conspired in the darkness to a man who spoke openly on a crowded beach side about how he was conspiring against the Queen, a a decision left actor Conleth Hill telling The Independent that:
That’s been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more. That’s fine. It’s the nature of a multi-character show…It was kind of frustrating. As a whole it’s been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren’t my favourite. It just felt like after season six, I kind of dropped off the edge.
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Queen Daenerys did a complete 180 from wanting to break the chains of the slaves to burning civilians alive because, the bells reminded her about her past…?
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Emilia Clarke describing the season is, well, telling.
Plus, we have this fun compilation:
But here at Bookstr we’ve been stuck in a quandary: Ever since Jaime Lannister abandoned Brienne of Tarah so he can return to his sister/lover Cersei because, well, we’re not entirely ‘why’ but he ‘does’ but either way…what do the actors think of this ‘choice’?
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It fell upon Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to not only read this scene, but also to portray it. Nikolaj told Vanity Fairhis rationalization for this scene with this:
Most people have moments in their life where you go, ‘Can I really, fundamentally change?’ . . . The core of him has always been Cersei. . . . When that’s taken away, what are you then? What’s left? Is there anything left? When he leaves [King’s Landing at the end of Season 7], obviously he has no idea. He doesn’t know the answer to that question
Okay. Well, what does Gwendoline Christie think of this scene?
Gwendoline Christie told Deadlinethat after reading the scene:
…I realized I had moved into that space where I feel deeply, deeply protective of this character
So can we add Gwendoline Christie to the list of actors disappointed by the way Game of Thrones ended? Not quite. Christie is an actor first and foremost, and thus instead of fuming at the direction of plot, focused on her character and how, as an actor, “it meant getting to use some real acting muscles”.
Disregarding the plot, Christie does have a point when it comes discussing her character:
I did feel angry for the character in that moment, but what was brilliant is that she goes straight back to work, and ultimately, she supersedes her ambition
When viewed as a whole, Brienne of Tarth not only makes it out of the Game of Thrones, but she actually ends up being one of the characters better off. After all, Brienne is more than her relationship to Jamie. Her story is about a woman disrespected and hated by her peers who, through her own sheer will and ambition, becomes something more than anyone could ever dream of.
She wanted to be a member of Renly’s Kingsguard, and in the end she becomes Lord Commander of Bran’s Kingsguard. She’s in charge…It’s all about her skill as a knight. Her abilities, her intelligence. I felt, by the end, like she’d stepped into her own power.
With this in mind, it’s a no-brainier that when HBO didn’t submit Christie for an Emmy nomination, Christie took a Que from her character and submitted herself for an Emmy nomination as a “testament” to Brienne.
If this a case of reality reflecting art, or art reflecting reality? Either way, we hope she gets the nomination and, down the line, the win.
Game of Thrones set a record last Tuesday when it received a record thirty-two Emmy nominations, breaking the record for the most nominations by a single program. In addition to writing and directing, several actors also got nominated for their work. One of the actors recently shared the story of how they got nominated.
First reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. But her submission wasn’t made by HBO, but was submitted by the actress herself. The premium channel confirmed that they only submitted Lena Heady, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner for consideration in the supporting actress category (all of whom got nominated). After realizing this, Christie decided to submit by herself.
Is is not uncommon for actors to submit themselves for consideration for major awards, but usually they are not considered unless submitted by a network.
Christie wasn’t the only one to submit themselves. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) and Carice van Houten (Melisandre) both submitted themselves for Emmy consideration and got nominated as well.
Guess HBO should thank them for contributing to their massive nomination hall.
Gwendoline Christie is known for her amazing acting, her glamorous red carpet looks… and now, she’ll be known for her incredible foresight in calling who would win the Game Of Thrones.
Many fans are not happy with the finale to Game Of Thrones. Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been accused of rushing the script and, as a result, closing arcs in a way that doesn’t make any sense. In addition to fans’ frustration with how they ended Jon Snow’s story arc, everyone is mostly upset and downright confused with Bran becoming the King of the now 6 Kingdoms.
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Between all the hints and buildup for the endings of just about every other main character (of course, this is up for debate) and the disappointment with Bran throughout the final season, the decision to put Bran the Broken on the Iron Throne definitely felt a bit random. I don’t think anyone predicted that would happen, except Gwendoline Christie, who played the iconic role of Brienne of Tarth.
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Back in 2017, Christie was interviewed by entertainment journalist Mario Lopez, to whom she revealed her prediction for the end of the series. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who acted as Jaimie Lannister, was interviewed alongside Gwendoline Christie. His reaction to the Bran becoming King prediction is very similar to how just about every fan is feeling right now… though possibly with less screaming.
The two share a really interesting debate that does bring up a lot of points that fans are talking about right now, both in person and online. Audiences have wondered what Bran’s omniscience means for the moral universe of the series—did he simply allow these deaths to occur for the greater good? For his own personal gain? Since he isn’t Bran, does he HAVE personal gain? It’s all very complex. What Christie and Coster-Waldau say at the very end supports a theory that Bran may be the evil mastermind in the end, controlling certain players at the right moments to ensure that he would rise to power. With the series already over, that theory is simply just a theory.
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Westerosi conspiracies aside, it seems that Gwendoline Christie guessed it right—Bran Stark is King.
And then there’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and the rest of us still arguing how that doesn’t make any sense.
Jaime has come a long way from his early days on Game of Thrones. He began as a villain on the show, so devoted to an incestuous relationship with his sister, Cersei Lannister that he did terrible things, such as pushing Bran Stark out a window, thus crippling the boy for life. But as the series progressed, he began to move down a path of redemption, growing as a person through his interactions with Brienne of Tarth and being further humbled through the loss of his hand. Jaime proved himself as a person capable of change, of growth, while Cersei doubled down on her own inner flaws and became a fully fledged tyrant. Both siblings began to drift apart, clearly showing Jaime as a fundamentally better person than Cersei (though that is not hard.) All signs pointed towards Jaime becoming a hero and this seemed to be confirmed in his last scene with Cersei in Season 7. Cersei had just been shown absolute proof that the White Walkers were real and coming to kill everyone in Westeros. She seemed to ally with Jon Snow and Daenerys to fight the oncoming threat but later revealed to Jaime that she was lying, hoping to weaken her enemies and claim the Iron Throne unopposed.
Jaime was horrified by this plan, so much so that he rode away from King’s Landing and joined with the forces of Winterfell this season. His arc seemed to be reaching a happy conclusion, especially with him and Brienne consummating their mutual attraction to each other.
Until, well, all that character development suddenly did a swan dive off a cliff.
Jamie and Cersei’s relationship had clearly fractured, broken by the paths their mutual character development had taken them down. Jaime’s path had evolved naturally to make him a better person, which is why it was sudden and jarring when he appeared to do a 180. After bedding Brienne, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, Jaime left her in the middle of the night, told her how ‘hateful’ he was while claiming his devotion to Cersei, and rode off to be with her in King’s Landing. This could have been seen as perhaps a lie, a trick, or setting up for Jamie to even kill Cersei as had longed been hinted at but nope! In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, The Bells, Jamie dies in the arms of Cersei while claiming his love to her before they’re both buried in the collapse of the Red Keep.
This felt wrong. Jamie should not have returned to Cersei. Their relationship had naturally broken over the course of the series and for them to embrace each other as if nothing had ever happened between them, as if their mutual paths meant nothing, just feels like honestly a slap in the face. Jaime deserved so much better than what he got in the past few episodes, where he seemingly forgot all that he had learned, endured, and seen in favor of dying with the woman he had grown to hate. Perhaps this could have worked if more time had been devoted to showing why Jamie still loved Cersei, why he was willing to abandon his friends to go back to her, but thanks to the rather rushed pace of this season, it comes out of the blue and seems to ignore the character’s internal logic.
Jamie’s arc had naturally pointed to him rising above his twisted beginnings and becoming a good man. And he almost did! But at the last minute, he just reversed back to his origins in Season 1. A lot of the characterizations in Season 8 have been rather wonky but Jamie’s especially stings, as it feels like the writers just chose to ignore his redemption arc for no real reason. Jamie keeps claiming he loves Cersei, even though we’ve seen that clearly isn’t the case anymore. But instead, he dies a rather pathetic death, buried under a pile of rocks with the woman who mere episodes ago he was disgusted by. It was an insulting end to one of the show’s best characters, especially one who had evolved so far and shown so much more depth than what he appeared to be at first glance.
What were your thoughts on Jamie’s characterization this season? Tell us in the comments!
The latest episode of Game of Thrones was hyped beyond belief. “The Battle for Winterfell” was possibly the most anticipated episode of the season, showcasing the war between the united characters of Westeros (sans Cersei) vs. the White Walkers in what was thought to be a bloodbath of epic proportions, on par with the Red Wedding. But when the episode came roaring onto screens last night, it had some noticeable issues that, in this author’s opinion, prevented it from reaching the heights of true greatness. We’ll delve more deeply into SPOILERS in this review of “The Long Night” but before we do, here’s your chance to turn back now in case you haven’t seen the episode.
So, turn back now! Last warning?
Alright, still here. Then let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t in last night’s epic battle.
The opening moments of the battle start off grinding out the tension. The defenders of Winterfell stand assembled. Grey Worm stands before the gates, standing stalwart with his fellow Unsullied. Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Tormund Giantsbane, Samwell Tarly, Sandor Clegane, Beric Dondarrion, Jorah Mormont, Davos Seaworth, Ghost, and Lyanna Mormont stand among their ranks. Arya and Sansa Stark stand tall on the walls. Tyrion Lannister and Gilly hide underneath Winterfell in the crypts with the common citizens. The dragons circle overhead. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen finally stand side by side on the highest point of the keep, staring ahead into the darkness beyond. Its so quiet you can hear a pin drop as the tension is ratcheted up beyond belief, as the characters stare off from the sanctuary of Winterfell, unable to see into the darkness beyond, waiting…waiting…for something to happen.
Melisandre arrives presently (nice to see you again!) and although Davos doesn’t trust her, he allows her inside. Melisandre gifts the soldiers of Winterfell with the blessing of the Lord of Light, making their swords alight with flame similar to Beric’s own. The army then charges off to meet the army of the dead and flaming cannonballs are fired off. They strike something ahead, engulfing the battlefield with pockets of light…showcasing a HUGE tide of wights coming out of the darkness. What follows next is one of the episode’s brilliant moments, as the POV switches back to Winterfell, with the sea of torches visible in the distance. One by one, with no sound, the torches go out. The terror at this situation is boldly felt and captures the horror of the White Walkers without them even being seen. A great artistic choice, well done!
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But that’s when the episode takes a sharp left turn towards incomprehensibility. As the wights swarm Winterfell en masse, the defenders rush out to meet them. What should be a great/terrifying action scene is unfortunately marred by one fact: you can’t see what’s happening! Between the very dark lighting, the fast paced editing, and the chaotic style of the melee itself, the action is downright incomprehensible. You can’t see what’s happening onscreen, which is problematic to follow the characters who are in real mortal peril fighting for their lives against the surge of the undead. This is a problem that pervades throughout the entire episode and unfortunately, one that brings it down considerably. Its almost impossible to tell what’s happening onscreen throughout the battle through much of its runtime and considering the sheer scale of the battle itself, this is a huge problem. We want to see what’s happening! We want to see who lives and dies! But whether through design or error, you simply can’t throughout ‘The Long Night’.
Some of these moments were obviously intentional, such as when the Night King arrives and his Walkers conjure an enormous blizzard to blind the dragons as Jon and Daenerys pursue him. This scene captures the frantic pursuit very well, being very hard to see as the dragons race around desperately through the blizzard, getting attacked at points by the Night King atop his zombie dragon and only providing brief moments of relief as the two exit the blizzard. But at other points, you simply can’t tell what’s going on, such as when Grey Worm and the Unsullied defend the gate, Jamie and Brienne fighting desperately on the walls against the endless tide, or when Arya is sneaking around inside Winterfell, trying to avoid lurking wights. The episode is unfortunately undercut by the fact that we can’t see any of it.
You could argue it is a stylistic choice in order to capture the chaotic pace of medieval warfare. However, previous episodes such as “Battle of the Bastards” embrace this as well and they weren’t nearly as visually hard to follow. You can blend the chaotic style of medieval warfare with comprehensible cinematography without an issue, as previously shown, but this episode just couldn’t do it for whatever reason.
Still, this episode was full of cool moments when we could see them. Lyanna Mormont’s death scene was a tearjerking highlight, as she faces down an undead giant that smashes its way through the gates. The monster begins butchering soldiers and slaps the little girl aside. But Lyanna gets right back up and with a scream of a warrior, charges back in towards the towering monster. The giant grabs her and begins crushing her but Lyanna, with her last breath, stabs the beast with a dragon glass dagger, killing the giant at the cost of her own life. RIP, Lyanna, you went out like a boss!
Other great moments included Sansa and Tyrion’s heart-to-heart scenes in the crypts as the battle raged overhead, bringing their relationship closer as they spoke of how they were nearly married, the dragon fight as Jon Snow took on the Night King’s undead mount in a midair duel to the death, and Jon Snow attempting to kill the Night King himself only to be stopped by a wall of zombies that the Night King raises from the corpses of the battlefield. The last stand of Theon Greyjoy was also a great moment of the character, as Theon faced down dozens of wights to defend Bran, getting a solemn thank you from Bran as his former brother told him he was a good man. Theon then ran at the Night King himself, only to be gutted and died. A great ending of the character and another badass exit.
Still, despite what viewers thought would be a bloodbath of an episode, there really weren’t that many ‘big’ deaths. Theon Greyjoy, of course, has been a pivotal part of the show but his importance has waned with time and he was much more of a side character in the lead up to his demise. Lyanna Mormont’s death of course was heartbreaking, but she was never a main cast member, just a member of the supporting cast to whom viewers grew attached (for good reason). Beric Dondarrion also perished but his status as a cast member is quite similar to Lyanna. Melisandre walked her last at the episode’s end but she too had been dwindling in importance and the fact that was the first time she showed up in a long while undermined her death scene, as it appeared she appeared out of the blue simply to die. Arguably the ‘biggest’ death was Jorah Mormont, who died defending Daenerys from endless waves of zombies, but even he wasn’t a main cast member either. Everyone who was on the A-list came away relatively scott-free, without even any serious injuries to show for it. Even characters who arguably should have died— i.e: Sansa and Tyrion trapped in the crypts with the undead, Samwell buried in an avalanche of wights, and Jamie and Brienne overrun by wights— survived. Honestly, it’s a little disappointing that not a single main cast member perished, especially considering Game of Thrones’s reputation of killing anyone, everyone, no matter who they are. Perhaps we overhyped ourselves but still…its disappointing nonetheless.
Of course, the most controversial moment will be the death of the Night King himself. The big guy perished at the hands of Arya, who shanks him with her dagger, causing the Night King to quite suddenly explode, with his entire army of zombies falling apart with his death. It is a sudden, jarring moment, perhaps somewhat anti-climatic, but one that feels more in line with the show’s desire to subvert audience expectations. One hopes we’ll learn a bit more about the White Walkers now that they’re gone, as the Night King and his troops never showed their motivations nor any real personality traits. They were just evil and while that certainly made them threatening, it would be a disappointment if they didn’t have much else going for them.
It seems now Cersei will become the threat for the reminder of the season. We’ll have to wait to see what happens but it be a bit sour to have the supposedly main threat offed and a smaller, more petty threat take his place. Still, we’re sure the showrunners have something up their sleeves.
The Battle for Winterfell proved to be a rather mixed bag. With the lighting issues, lack of character deaths, and the death of the Night King sorted in with a truly epic scale and great moments this one isn’t bad but perhaps fell short of true greatness. We can only hope Cersei proves herself to be just as a threat as the Night King’s forces but we’ll have to see.