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Bran the Shipper

Game of Thrones, A Tragedy

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I've noticed a trend with this story for a while but it took this episode for me to cement it.  Now I could still be wrong, there are two episodes left after all.  But I'm fairly certain about one thing now, that bittersweet ending we were promised.  That was a lie.

Game of Thrones, and likely A Song of Ice and Fire, is a tragedy.  And as such it follows a tragic logic.  Think about all the death and suffering throughout this series.  They all were born, at least in part, by the tragic flaws of those who suffered them.  Ned died because his naive sense of honor and his love for his family blinded him.  Robb lost his life because he broke his vows and was too lenient at times and too harsh at other times.  Joffery was so insufferable that Olenna plotted to kill him to spare Margaery from marrying him.  The list goes on.

Now what does this mean and why did this episode convince me?  This past episode proved to me that, for the most part, our heroes haven't gotten stronger for what they have been through, they have been broken by it. 

Sansa hasn't become a savvy player of the game determined to use its rules to beat those who would abuse others, as I had originally expected her to do.  Instead she has become just like Littlefinger, grasping at power with every breath.  Always positioning herself to be invaluable to those she could use and undermining all those who stand in the way of more power.

Arya may not have become no one but she is still on the path to do so.  She rejects every chance at happiness that finds her.  She has doubled down on her list and decided that she has no place in Winterfell.  This will not make her happy, it will make her dead inside.  Arya in name only.

Bran has lost himself and he knows it.  He even admits to Tyrion that his life is not one to envy. 

Jon was already killed.  But he was brought back to fight against the army of the dead, but they're gone now.  Luckily he had found Dany who made him want to live again.  But now that is all falling apart around him.  And he is partly to blame.  Just like with Ygritte, he has drawn the bow that will fire the arrow which will kill the woman he loves (symbolically speaking of course).

Which brings me to Daenerys.  I am at the moment convinced that she is the true heroine of Game of Thrones, the Prince that was Promised, if you will.  And hers is an arc most tragic.  She could have been a force for good in this world, a light to shine against the darkness.  But the world fought her at every turn and the people who could have her back, die or betray her.  Whenever she tries to pursue a peaceful option it gets spat back into her face, but when she fights with fire and blood those around her believe her mad.  Ultimately she will be killed by the schemes that Jon helped to ignite by telling Sansa about his claim.  And while she will leave the world better than she found it, it will not be enough to truly save the people as she hoped.  The wheel she wanted to break will remain.

I think this is why this past episode has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouth.  It confirms that the show will not have a happy ending.  None of the characters remaining are likeable or they are likely to die or be miserable.  However, for my part at least, acknowledging that the show is a tragedy has made me appreciate it for what it is.  But then I do love a good tragedy and they are so rare to find. 

I hope by sharing my ramblings I can both spark discussion and allow others who were similarly disappointed in the direction the series has been going, find some enjoyment in it.

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I agree.
I can't see how GoT will have a "bittersweet ending akin to that of Lord of the Rings" after watching the latest episode.

The end of episode 3 is probably the zenith of happiness this season. 
Things looked promising for the future, plenty of characters survived and the (perceived) big bad was defeated. Time to rebuild. 

Cut to the end of episode 4, and the show has rapidly, completely out of the blue, gone from happy aftermath to spiraling towards a bitter tragedy.
We've been invested in these characters for years. We've followed their arcs, we're invested in them. We like them.

Too see them suddenly become increasingly unlikable, or make decisions that are completely at odds with how the characters behaved just moments earlier, makes absolutely no sense. It's sad and immersion breaking, and I bet I wasn't the only one who felt completely hollow after watching the episode yesterday. (I know for a fact. 2 out of the 3 people I watched the episode with basically went "We waited 2 years ...for this!?)

A poignant example of this sudden turn is how basically every "ship" was sunk last night:
Jonerys is no more.
Gendrya is no more. 
Bramie is no more.
Missanworm is no more.

I'm holding my fingers crossed for some twist next episode that will ultimately put the show back on track, but I can't see how.
No twist can explain or excuse some of the characters strange behaviour, nor the glaring plot holes.

 

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8 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

It confirms that the show will not have a happy ending

We knew that from the start.

Ramsay: If you believe this will have a happy ending, you didn't pay attention.

8 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

None of the characters remaining are likeable or they are likely to die or be miserable.

I am not that negative, yet.

8 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

However, for my part at least, acknowledging that the show is a tragedy has made me appreciate it for what it is.  But then I do love a good tragedy and they are so rare to find. 

Yes, somehow that is true. Game of Thrones is not a comedy or simple thriller with a happy ending.

8 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

that bittersweet ending we were promised.  That was a lie.

I still hope for it.

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11 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

We knew that from the start.

Ramsay: If you believe this will have a happy ending, you didn't pay attention.

This is just something Ramsay said though, which was entirely fitting his character when he said it to Theon.
Many fans speculate that this is a hidden nod to the ending of aSoIaF, but ultimately that's all it is: speculation.

We do however, have real statements from GRRM that he enjoyed the "bittersweet ending" of LotR and that he is (or at least was) planning on something similar for aSoIaF. Currently this seems very unlikely, but then the man could've simply lied...

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I agree, but then I  have thought for a long time that the author's idea of 'bittersweet' is most people's idea of tragedy and nihilism.

Yes, all our heroes are broken and damaged beyond repair.  Some of them will live through the story, but all their hopes and dreams are gone.

 

 

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I think it may still be bittersweet, but there is just a lot of bitter mixed in with the sweet.  

One example is Jaime.  I think he will die, even though he has just found real love and finally accepted someone who helps him to be better and to be the knight he grew up wanting to be, instead of encouraging his worst impulses.  So in a sense, it is very tragic, but in another sense, he has become the man he always wanted to be, and he has known the love of a wonderful woman.  That is the sweet in the bitter. 

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Just now, MinscS2 said:

We do however, have real statements from GRRM that he enjoyed the "bittersweet ending" of LotR and that he is (or at least was) planning on something similar for aSoIaF. Currently this seems very unlikely, but then the man could've simply lied...

I also remember something like this. And the books don t feel like a tragedy for his main pov characters… Asoiaf isn t exactly dark or depressing like the leaks for final seem to be.

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Just now, Red Dragon10 said:

I think it may still be bittersweet, but there is just a lot of bitter mixed in with the sweet.  

One example is Jaime.  I think he will die, even though he has just found real love and finally accepted someone who helps him to be better and to be the knight he grew up wanting to be, instead of encouraging his worst impulses.  So in a sense, it is very tragic, but in another sense, he has become the man he always wanted to be, and he has known the love of a wonderful woman.  That is the sweet in the bitter. 

Ok. But that doesn t sound depressing taking into acount jamie's arc. It feels like his journey ended...

For most of the younger (pov main) characters dying after all they have been through  without having a resolution to their story would be depressing.

 

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1 minute ago, divica said:

Ok. But that doesn t sound depressing taking into acount jamie's arc. It feels like his journey ended...

For most of the younger (pov main) characters dying after all they have been through  without having a resolution to their story would be depressing.

 

I'll wait and see what happens to characters like Arya in the end, to decide whether their arc is bittersweet or just bitter.  I don't think the ending will be entirely tragic. 

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Posted (edited)

What I see the show setting up is:

Sansa: QinN, turns out just like LF, an untrustworthy manipulator who cares about her own power.  That is a lot of bitter.

Arya:  So broken she won't return to WF and the family she's been trying to reform and find the whole story.  That is all bitter, except she's alive.

Jon: Goes North to reform the NW after Cersei is defeated.  Mostly bitter.

Bran:  No personality, lives in the past.  Very bitter.

Dany: Dead.  All bitter.

Dragons, so far 2 dead.  All bitter.

Wolves: 2/5 alive.  A lot of bitter, some sweet, if the remaining 2 stay alive.

Tyrion:  looks like he gets the happiest ending.

Jamie and Cersei: dead.  Sweet.

Brienne:  loses Jamie in the end, mostly bitter.

? So, to me this is a whole lot of bitter and tragedy and not much sweet. 

Edited by Cas Stark

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I'm fine with the show having a tragic/bittersweet ending. If I thought it would have some kind of fairy tale happy ending I wouldn't have watched it in the first place. I just don't like the episode because the writing seems lazy. 

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33 minutes ago, Euron III Greyjoy said:

If I thought it would have some kind of fairy tale happy ending

Nobody talks about a happy ending. We are talking about bittersweet. There is a big difference between tragedy and bittersweet ending. There was sadness at the ending of the Lord of the Rings. But also a lot of joy and light. Now the finale of the Song of Ice and Fire looks only sad and dark. I hope we are wrong, and the show will suddenly take a good turn. 

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Posted (edited)

This is not comparable to LotR, no main character died, Aragorn ended up with Arwen, Legolas was alive, the dwarves were all alive, all of the hobbits survived...The only thing not sweet about LoR ending was the fact that Frodo never got to live a normal life again. Even the younger brother of Boromir got to marry the pretty lady Eowyn... Game of Thrones is as realitylike as a show with white walkers and dragons can be. It portraits human nature in it's darkest, so no happy endings, as sure as the sun sets in the west and rises in the east. 

Edited by ananunes
Wrong name :/

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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed reading through the OP - thought-provoking and well-written.

Having said that, I'm not sure what everyone expected.  This is Game of Thrones we're all watching.  The book/show that brought you Ned's beheading, the Red Wedding, the list goes on.  As Ramsay pointed out (and someone else in the thread already) "if you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."

Bittersweet is still in the cards.  I think we just have to adjust our expectations of how much of it will be "bitter" and how much of it will be "sweet." Characters we care about may go mad based on the circumstances they face.  Characters we care about will die.  Characters we care about will be damaged, possibly beyond repair.  I can't talk to the "sweet" part since I don't know how it ends. 

Edited by A Time for Starks

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4 minutes ago, ananunes said:

This is not comparable to LotR, no main character died, Aragorn ended up with Arwen, Legolas was alive, the dwarves were all alive, all of the hobbits survived...The only thing not sweet about LoR ending was the fact that Bilbo never got to live a normal life again. Even the younger brother of Boromir got to marry the pretty lady Eowyn... Game of Thrones is as realitylike as a show with white walkers and dragons can be. It portraits human nature in it's darkest, so no happy endings, as sure as the sun sets in the west and rises in the east. 

It was a little more sad than that.  All the magic would fade from the world (the elves were leaving forever).  Frodo never got to enjoy his life but went into the west with the elves.  Sam had to live apart from Frodo.  The sadness of those lost in the war.  I think in LotR, the idea of the loss of magic and the elves was a pretty huge loss.  The bittersweet of Arwen remaining in Middle Earth.  But yes, LotR and ASOIAF are very different and in some ways opposite. 

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10 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

I've noticed a trend with this story for a while but it took this episode for me to cement it.  Now I could still be wrong, there are two episodes left after all.  But I'm fairly certain about one thing now, that bittersweet ending we were promised.  That was a lie.

Game of Thrones, and likely A Song of Ice and Fire, is a tragedy.  And as such it follows a tragic logic.  Think about all the death and suffering throughout this series.  They all were born, at least in part, by the tragic flaws of those who suffered them.  Ned died because his naive sense of honor and his love for his family blinded him.  Robb lost his life because he broke his vows and was too lenient at times and too harsh at other times.  Joffery was so insufferable that Olenna plotted to kill him to spare Margaery from marrying him.  The list goes on.

Now what does this mean and why did this episode convince me?  This past episode proved to me that, for the most part, our heroes haven't gotten stronger for what they have been through, they have been broken by it. 

Sansa hasn't become a savvy player of the game determined to use its rules to beat those who would abuse others, as I had originally expected her to do.  Instead she has become just like Littlefinger, grasping at power with every breath.  Always positioning herself to be invaluable to those she could use and undermining all those who stand in the way of more power.

Arya may not have become no one but she is still on the path to do so.  She rejects every chance at happiness that finds her.  She has doubled down on her list and decided that she has no place in Winterfell.  This will not make her happy, it will make her dead inside.  Arya in name only.

Bran has lost himself and he knows it.  He even admits to Tyrion that his life is not one to envy. 

Jon was already killed.  But he was brought back to fight against the army of the dead, but they're gone now.  Luckily he had found Dany who made him want to live again.  But now that is all falling apart around him.  And he is partly to blame.  Just like with Ygritte, he has drawn the bow that will fire the arrow which will kill the woman he loves (symbolically speaking of course).

Which brings me to Daenerys.  I am at the moment convinced that she is the true heroine of Game of Thrones, the Prince that was Promised, if you will.  And hers is an arc most tragic.  She could have been a force for good in this world, a light to shine against the darkness.  But the world fought her at every turn and the people who could have her back, die or betray her.  Whenever she tries to pursue a peaceful option it gets spat back into her face, but when she fights with fire and blood those around her believe her mad.  Ultimately she will be killed by the schemes that Jon helped to ignite by telling Sansa about his claim.  And while she will leave the world better than she found it, it will not be enough to truly save the people as she hoped.  The wheel she wanted to break will remain.

I think this is why this past episode has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouth.  It confirms that the show will not have a happy ending.  None of the characters remaining are likeable or they are likely to die or be miserable.  However, for my part at least, acknowledging that the show is a tragedy has made me appreciate it for what it is.  But then I do love a good tragedy and they are so rare to find. 

I hope by sharing my ramblings I can both spark discussion and allow others who were similarly disappointed in the direction the series has been going, find some enjoyment in it.

I could have not outvthis better..double standards prevail. I am so disappointed as I felt jon and dany would rise above the cess pit of political intrigue and build a better  more democratic fairer society. I just can't believe the way it is heading. There is no happiness or bitter sweet for any of the main characters. I really pissed off with it. You have put is so well.

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10 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

I've noticed a trend with this story for a while but it took this episode for me to cement it.  Now I could still be wrong, there are two episodes left after all.  But I'm fairly certain about one thing now, that bittersweet ending we were promised.  That was a lie.

Game of Thrones, and likely A Song of Ice and Fire, is a tragedy.  And as such it follows a tragic logic.  Think about all the death and suffering throughout this series.  They all were born, at least in part, by the tragic flaws of those who suffered them.  Ned died because his naive sense of honor and his love for his family blinded him.  Robb lost his life because he broke his vows and was too lenient at times and too harsh at other times.  Joffery was so insufferable that Olenna plotted to kill him to spare Margaery from marrying him.  The list goes on.

Now what does this mean and why did this episode convince me?  This past episode proved to me that, for the most part, our heroes haven't gotten stronger for what they have been through, they have been broken by it. 

Sansa hasn't become a savvy player of the game determined to use its rules to beat those who would abuse others, as I had originally expected her to do.  Instead she has become just like Littlefinger, grasping at power with every breath.  Always positioning herself to be invaluable to those she could use and undermining all those who stand in the way of more power.

Arya may not have become no one but she is still on the path to do so.  She rejects every chance at happiness that finds her.  She has doubled down on her list and decided that she has no place in Winterfell.  This will not make her happy, it will make her dead inside.  Arya in name only.

Bran has lost himself and he knows it.  He even admits to Tyrion that his life is not one to envy. 

Jon was already killed.  But he was brought back to fight against the army of the dead, but they're gone now.  Luckily he had found Dany who made him want to live again.  But now that is all falling apart around him.  And he is partly to blame.  Just like with Ygritte, he has drawn the bow that will fire the arrow which will kill the woman he loves (symbolically speaking of course).

Which brings me to Daenerys.  I am at the moment convinced that she is the true heroine of Game of Thrones, the Prince that was Promised, if you will.  And hers is an arc most tragic.  She could have been a force for good in this world, a light to shine against the darkness.  But the world fought her at every turn and the people who could have her back, die or betray her.  Whenever she tries to pursue a peaceful option it gets spat back into her face, but when she fights with fire and blood those around her believe her mad.  Ultimately she will be killed by the schemes that Jon helped to ignite by telling Sansa about his claim.  And while she will leave the world better than she found it, it will not be enough to truly save the people as she hoped.  The wheel she wanted to break will remain.

I think this is why this past episode has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouth.  It confirms that the show will not have a happy ending.  None of the characters remaining are likeable or they are likely to die or be miserable.  However, for my part at least, acknowledging that the show is a tragedy has made me appreciate it for what it is.  But then I do love a good tragedy and they are so rare to find. 

I hope by sharing my ramblings I can both spark discussion and allow others who were similarly disappointed in the direction the series has been going, find some enjoyment in it.

This has also helped me as I have been struggling to deal with the latest developments. Thank u so much 

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2 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

This is just something Ramsay said though, which was entirely fitting his character when he said it to Theon.

Of course, I just used it as quote and wanted to express my own opinion about "The Song of Ice and Fire". 

2 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

 Many fans speculate that this is a hidden nod to the ending of aSoIaF, but ultimately that's all it is: speculation.

Of course.

2 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

I agree, but then I  have thought for a long time that the author's idea of 'bittersweet' is most people's idea of tragedy and nihilism. Yes, all our heroes are broken and damaged beyond repair.  Some of them will live through the story, but all their hopes and dreams are gone.

Is it that bad, really? And is it so bad compared to what in a real medieval world would happen under such circumstances to such people as those involved?

Sansa and Arya, for example, lived through gross hardships and in our real world many children were broken after war time and many young soldiers return as traumatised veterans. What should we expect? What would you realistically prefer these girls to be like?

I believe the bittersweet ending is all about hope -- for a new generation, for Westeros as a whole continent with its many different people. The Long Night was avoided, the winter will end, spring will come, peaceful times might lie ahead. That is sweet. The bitter thing will be that our protagonists will have suffered a lot and some have died and overall they personally might not all be happy.

But there will be hope for the future, "for those after us, and those after them." (Jon Snow in E4).

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10 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

And he is partly to blame.  Just like with Ygritte, he has drawn the bow that will fire the arrow which will kill the woman he loves (symbolically speaking of course).

This! Daenerys knew the consequences and 5 min later it happened. Despite of her aid to the North, the Starks plotted against her ans her advisers are discussing treason. It's not paranoia and madness, it's reality.

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3 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

I agree.
I can't see how GoT will have a "bittersweet ending akin to that of Lord of the Rings" after watching the latest episode.

The end of episode 3 is probably the zenith of happiness this season. 
Things looked promising for the future, plenty of characters survived and the (perceived) big bad was defeated. Time to rebuild. 

Cut to the end of episode 4, and the show has rapidly, completely out of the blue, gone from happy aftermath to spiraling towards a bitter tragedy.
We've been invested in these characters for years. We've followed their arcs, we're invested in them. We like them.

Too see them suddenly become increasingly unlikable, or make decisions that are completely at odds with how the characters behaved just moments earlier, makes absolutely no sense. It's sad and immersion breaking, and I bet I wasn't the only one who felt completely hollow after watching the episode yesterday. (I know for a fact. 2 out of the 3 people I watched the episode with basically went "We waited 2 years ...for this!?)

A poignant example of this sudden turn is how basically every "ship" was sunk last night:
Jonerys is no more.
Gendrya is no more. 
Bramie is no more.
Missanworm is no more.

I'm holding my fingers crossed for some twist next episode that will ultimately put the show back on track, but I can't see how.
No twist can explain or excuse some of the characters strange behaviour, nor the glaring plot holes.

 

First, this story has never been about romance, so I have zero problem with the couples not working out. And second, I think most of the storytelling this season has been so rushed that we haven’t gotten enough details or emotional connection for it to properly make sense. I mean the entire intimate relationships of Gendrya and Bramie were two episodes long. I doubt Missanworm even happens in the books. But, Jonerys was definitely meant to be in both all its goodness and sorrow. 

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