LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS …
NOT with a whimper, but with a royal bang and a handy big zombie dragon, the penultimate season of Game Of Thrones wibbled to its formidable cliffhanger – well, wall-crumbler – conclusion.
Not being a diehard Song Of Ice And Fire fanatic, it was possibly a mistake to put off watching the last three episodes of this patchy latest series for one long, rumbling late-night binge session. It was past midnight when King Of The North Jon Snow and Mother Of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen finally fulfilled their destiny as the two most boring characters in the entire saga by falling into the sack together, and by that time I’d consumed significant quantities of Ritz and cheese.
As a result, the revelation of their hidden kinship got a little blurry, particularly as the Who Do You Think You Are-style family tree was being narrated by Bran Stark, AKA The Three-Eyed Raven, who hasn’t featured enough for me to (A) understand what he’s on about half the time, (B) even know what he even is, or, (C) care much. Whenever Bran starts talking my mind follows the example of his mysterious eyeballs, and glazes over.
Far as I could tell, though, unbeknownst to them as they set to quantifying each other’s regal booty, Jon and Daenerys are actually both Targaryens. But there were so many names and flashbacks being tossed around I’m still unclear as to their precise relationship. Brother and sister seemed too obvious, and cousins seemed too boring even for them, so … aunt and nephew? Or maybe they’re the same person? Further speculation was derailed by the genuinely surprising sequence featuring Nerys Hughes and Jan Ravens taunting each other with daggers, although, on rewinding to check, it seems I’d nodded off again, and that was a dream.
Thankfully, there was a big zombie dragon busy knocking down the Wall with its undead halitosis ray to wake things up. The dragon’s ability to destroy the 8,000-year-old, famously impregnable Wall with a single blue burp was a welcome development as, to judge by the pace of Thrones past, it would otherwise have taken the army of the dead another 20 years to get through, and the writers would have solved it in the end by having them discover a wee secret door nobody knew about.
Details of geography and landscape have grown fuzzy recently. Where, in previous years, travelling from one city to another required epic and perilous journeys that might last months – indeed, it sometimes felt like it took characters 400 years just to cross a room – this season they’ve all been whipping about from place to place in five minutes. At this rate, the Night King will be sunning himself in Winterfell in no time. But we mortals must wait. The news is that it might be another 16 months before the feverishly anticipated final season arrives. Or, in Game Of Thrones time, later this afternoon.