How ‘Game of Thrones’ should end
Winter is on us, and I thought I’d give my predictions for Game of Thrones season 8, which will be with us by the end of the year or early 2019:
Jon, Daenerys and Jaime are joining forces to destroy the White Walkers. After an epic battle between dragons, Jaime will give his life to kill the Night King, causing the White Walkers he turned to all shatter, and their Wights to drop dead. Using Jaime’s face, Arya Stark assassinates Cersei Lannister.
House Stark and House Targaryen join together in marriage, using Essos’s resources to prevent famine. Only Bran Stark, Samwell Tarly and a few others are quietly aware that the truth about Jon and Daenerys — that they are aunt and nephew — can only signal the return of another mad, in-bred king, and that the cycle of civil war will continue.
Or something like that. It would, as author George R. R. Martin hinted, be a bittersweet ending reminscent of Martin’s hero J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings conclude with good triumphing over evil, the latter on an apocalyptic note where Christ, sorry, Aragorn ascends to the throne, but also has Bilbo’s Dwarvish friends falling victim to their own greed, and the memory of war forever tainting Frodo Baggins. I suspect Game of Thrones shall remind us again of the dangers of romanticising Medieval life and feudal monarchies.
Yet, I feel it’s still an escapist diversion from the true horrors of backstabbing politics. Some background: I work as a verger at my church during baptism services. During the summer, at the height of the heatwave in June, a boy fainted during the service held during midday. He was fine, apparently just suffering from jetlag, but nevertheless it was a disturbing reminder of a terrifying article New York magazine published earlier that week, which if you haven’t read, please do so:
When Will the Planet Be Too Hot for Humans? Much, Much Sooner Than You Imagine.
To read an annotated version of this article, complete with interviews with scientists and links to further reading…
Chilling, isn’t it? We were welcoming a cherubic child into the Church, fully aware that greedy malevolent forces were conspiring to send them directly to Heaven. I work with children regularly and fear more and more the future we’re leaving them will resemble Mad Max, not Star Trek. So Game of Thrones should end with the Night King sweeping through Westeros like an avalanche, as disease and starvation swell the numbers of the Dead while the surviving nobles flee across the Narrow Sea, or hole themselves up in castles full of food.
But while logical, it’s not smart to have some many audiences feel they’ve wasted their time. They’ll get it and still be vexed Ned, Robb et al. died in vain and that this fable took too long to make its point. There’s only so much realism we can stomach in our fantasy. Martin created A Song of Ice and Fire so he could write about the War of the Roses without being historically accurate, not to create an allegory for climate change, which only illustrates how tiny and petty human history is next to the forces of nature. There are no alien White Walkers for us to unite against: only our frailty as a species.
For a more politically-inclined approach to this viewpoint, I recommend the Los Angeles Review of Books’ analysis of “The Dragon and the Wolf.”