Friday, 1 July 2016

The Game of Thrones Fantasy League – 6.10 – The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones – 6.10 – The Winds of Winter

Holy shit.

What an outstanding season. This show continues to top itself each year, this was perhaps the best finale they’ve done: spectacle, suspense, surprise, revelation, gore, murder and a total overpowering of the patriarchy. This episode contained a number of extraordinary and satisfying moments and managed to make us hunger for season seven without having to leave us dangling off any cliff-hangers like last year. This was a finale that served as a perfect closing chapter to a brilliant season and I can’t wait for the next one.

The soundtrack surpassed itself, the opening sonata in King’s Landing is just absolutely phenomenal and has been heavily rotating at my home since the episode. They definitely need to get Miguel Sapochnik directing for every season. That entire sequence was brilliantly tense and a dynamite way to open a finale. It is up there with Hold the Door as my favourite moment of the season. In one fell swoop, so many characters just got eliminated from Season 7! Tommen’s suicide was beautiful and artful. Pycelle’s version of “For The Watch” seemed a little unnecessary. I appreciated that it was a nod to the book but I don’t know why he was not made to blow up in the Sept with everyone else: the Grand Maester didn’t appear to do anything particularly reprehensible to Cersei to warrant this separate punishment so I’m not sure why that’s there really other than to reference a moment from the books (that actually happens to one of the characters IN the explosion). God knows what’s happening to Septa Unella but I think I don’t need to add her to next year’s league. I’m so pleased that this year I got to bust out the points behemoth “is officially declared ruler of Westeros”, I wasn’t expecting any character to gain it, but I’m pleased to bestow it on Cersei. Long may she reign.

Arya said she was going to Winterfell, but has instead stopped at the Twins to exact revenge on Walder Frey. I am glad that she was the one to kill him as he deprived her (and us) of reuniting with her mother and brother but I REALLY hope she finds out that Jon and Sansa are at Winterfell and gets her arse back there instead of being consumed by revenge. If she is heading north, it’s possible that she might cross paths with the Brotherhood Without Banners and have a reunion with the Hound.

I also think that the Brotherhood may run into Melisandre now that she has been banished south. With nowhere else to go, it makes sense that she would look to finding another priest of R’hllor. Melisandre did say back in season 3 that she and Arya will meet again - and The Red Woman was on Arya’s list. Perhaps all three will clash at the same time and Arya will kill Melisandre for abducting Gendry.

Jon’s exile of Melisandre was a good call, honourable and decent: what you want in a leader. I am hoping that Sansa can be as humble as Theon to stand aside and let the right person be in charge but it doesn’t look like it. Littlefinger has sowed seeds of dissent and her jealousy at not being given credit for rallying the Knights of the Vale could break up this once happy pairing. And, er, you know, you’d probably get more credit for getting the Vale Knights to turn up if you’d, you know, actually told someone that they were coming, but whatever, Sansa.

And yet this whole power struggle for Lord/Lady of Winterfell might just be moot as Bran has now made it to the Wall and is heading south. He is the rightful heir of Winterfell so hopefully in season seven he will claim his title and keep us in visions! There IS a weirwood tree in the castle grounds, as we were reminded this episode, so hopefully that will come into play next year. I thought the transition from Lyanna’s baby to Kit Harington’s dark brown eyes was an exceptionally beautiful moment, although predictable for most of us. While we know now for certain who his mother is, what was missing from this revelation was the impact it has on Bran. I’m not sure why the sound is muted when Lyanna is telling Ned what to call her baby, whether it was to keep the identity a secret until the visual cut to Jon or that his name might not actually be Jon. I hope the former as the latter’s stupid. What will happen with this revelation next year? Perhaps Bran returns to Winterfell and tells Jon about his mother, leading him on a quest to find out who his father was, if not Ned...though at this point a large percentage of the audience has already figured this out!

There is a theory that if the magic that stopped the wights and White Walkers from entering the Three Eyed Raven’s cave is the same as what prevents them from passing the Wall, Bran’s mark from The Night King may result in those enchantments not working. However, we’ve already seen those enchantments fail when Jon, Ghost and Jeor Mormont had a wight fight in season one at Castle Black. For safety’s sake, Bran should probably just have gone by boat around Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. In fact, I’m not sure why no one has suggested this before: Bran’s arms work, it’s not like he can’t row!

Filming restrictions at the Alcazar of Seville means that Dorne scenes are always hurried with little time for pause. The new alliance between the Martells and the Tyrells (well, Tyrell) should mean that the Sands will be travelling out of Sunspear, allowing for some fleshed out scenes in the future.

The scene between Daenerys and Tyrion was emotionally resonant and one of the finest in the series. They make terrific scene partners, Clarke and Dinklage are at their best when they are together and I’m encouraged at their alliance, crossing the Narrow Sea into Westeros with a massive fleet, an army of Unsullied and Dothraki and three bigass dragons.

I can’t wait to see Cersei’s face when Tyrion turns up in King’s Landing with the posse. Ha!

But presumably, the Targaryen fleet will get into an over water battle with Euron Greyjoy and his war machine before that moment, with perhaps one of the dragons getting quite badly injured or dying, so that the eventual fight against Cersei’s forces won’t be too one-sided.

So, onto the scores for the finale: Despite EIGHT fantasy league characters dying in this episode, this was the second highest scoring episode of the season, behind The Door. You will learn who the Season Six champion is after some final points on how some debatable scores were permitted.

Possible points of contention:
Arya should have received Witnesses Magic points for the Waif’s facial transformation back in episode seven. That has been amended to her score for that episode.

Grand Maester Pycelle and Ser Loras both get points for having the first line. Loras makes the first noise, Pycelle is the first fantasy league character to speak a line of dialogue.

Kevan and Lancel gain points for encountering each other for the first time this season, as do Mace Tyrell and Ser Loras.

Arya gets haircut points for her transformation before killing Walder Frey. She only gets minus points for killing Frey, not his sons, as that occurs off screen.

There is sufficient walking and plotting in the Winterfell gardens for Littlefinger to gain points for walking around a garden plotting. However Sansa does no plotting so she does not get points.

There is no walking in the Water Gardens of Dorne so none of the Sandsnakes or Olenna can gain plotting points.

Sansa, Jon, Tormund and Davos gain points for eating but not for drinking wine as its unclear what drink they have in front of them.

Varys gets points for crossing the Narrow Sea twice as he arrives in Dorne from Meereen then inexplicably is back in Meereen in time for the end of the episode.

Grey Worm, Missandei and Tyrion get points for encountering only Viserion and Rhaegal as they have recently had a scene with Drogon. Varys, Yara and Theon get points for encountering all three dragons.

The last spoken dialogue from a fantasy league character is Qyburn crowning Cersei, but the last noise is from one of the dragons and it is difficult to identify which. As such, Qyburn and all three dragons gain points for having the last line of the episode.

Everyone in the final scene gets points for being the last on screen as the final shot is a giant wide of the entire area, so all arguably were the last on screen.

Character Scores
Here is a full list of the characters and their awarded points. If one of your characters does not appear in the following lists, this is due to their absence from the episode, for which you shall be deducted five points per character:

Group A – Main Characters
Arya Stark – 65 points: appears (+5), crosses the Narrow sea (+50), has a haircut (+20), kills someone (-10)
Bran Stark – 145 points: appears (+5), rides horse (+10), has vision (+40), 3 X reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30)
Cersei Lannister – 153 points: appears (+5), first on screen (+15), drinks wine (+8), inflicts harm (-5), is officially declared ruler of Westeros (+100), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30)
Daenerys Targaryen – 58 points: appears (+5), drinks wine (+8), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30)
Jaime Lannister – 60 points: appears (+5), rides horse (+10), visits King’s Landing (+15), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30)
Sansa Stark – 27 points: appears (+5), has kiss (+15), eats (+7)
Tyrion Lannister – 98 points: appears (+5), drinks wine (+8), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30) 2 X encounters dragon (+20)

Group B – Supporting Mains
Margaery Tyrell – -25 points: appears (+5), dies (-30)
Melisandre – 15 points: appears (+5), rides horse (+10)
Petyr Baelish – 35 points: appears (+5), walks around a garden plotting (+15), mentions Iron Throne (+15)
Samwell Tarly – 5 points: appears (+5)
Ser Davos Seaworth – 23 points: appears (+5), unsheafs sword (+10), eats (+7)
Theon Greyjoy – 110 points: appears (+5), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30), 3 X encounters dragon (+20)
Varys – 210 points: appears (+5), 2 X crosses the Narrow Sea (+50) travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30), 3 X encounters dragon (+20)

Group C – Rest of the Mains
Daario Naharis – 13 points: appears (+5), drinks wine (+8)
Ellaria Sand – 13 points: appears (+5), drinks wine (+8)
Gilly – 5 points: appears (+5)
Missandei – 90 points: appears (+5), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30) 2 X encounters dragon (+20)
Ser Bronn – 55 points: appears (+5), drinks wine (+8), eats (+7), says C word (+10), rides horse (+10), visits King’s Landing (+15)
Tommen Baratheon – -25 points: appears (+5), dies (-30)
Tormund Giantsbane – 12 points: appears (+5), eats (+7)

Group D – Side Characters
Grand Maester Pycelle – -15 points: appears (+5), first line (+10), dies (-30)
Grey Worm – 90 points: appears (+5), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30) 2 X encounters dragon (+20)
High Sparrow – -25 points: appears (+5), dies (-30)
Meera Reed – 35 points: appears (+5), witnesses magic (+30)
Obara Sand – 5 points: appears (+5)
Olenna Tyrell – 5 points: appears (+5)
Tyene Sand – 5 points: appears (+5)

Group E – Side Characters to the Side Characters
Kevan Lannister – 5 points: appears (+5), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30), dies (-30)
Lancel Lannister – 0 points: appears (+5), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30), gets injured (-5), dies (-30)
Mace Tyrell – 5 points: appears (+5), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30), dies (-30)
Nymeria Sand – 5 points: appears (+5)
Ser Loras Tyrell – 10 points: appears (+5), first line (+10), reunites with previously lost blood relative (+30), gets injured (-5), dies (-30)

Group F – Weirdos
Qyburn – 25 points: appears (+5), last line (+20)
Ser Robert Strong – 5 points: appears (+5)

Group G – Animals
Drogon – 55 points: appears (+5), last line (+20), last on screen (+30)
Rhaegal – 55 points: appears (+5), last line (+20), last on screen (+30)
Viserion – 55 points: appears (+5), last line (+20), last on screen (+30)

Group H – Definitely Dead?
Benjen Stark – 15 points: appears (+5), rides horse (+10)
Jon Snow – 67 points: appears (+5), has kiss (+15), appears in vision (+40), eats (+7)

Group I – Where are these fuckers?
Yara Greyjoy – 110 points: appears (+5), travels by boat (+15), last on screen (+30), 3 X encounters dragon (+20)

The Leaderboard            
Players can see their scores by consulting their initials in the table below. This week’s points champion is AA who managed to claw her way into the top five with this episode’s highest score of 493!

I would also like to give praise to RCB, HC, DT, AA, SR, YD, MS, LH, AB and NA for managing to avoid getting a negative score for any episode this season!

This year’s wooden spoon goes to JM whose poor team made him score negative points for all but three episodes, leaving him stranded on minus points until finally the finale which brought him to an overall total of 99 points.

…and the winner of the Game of Thrones Fantasy League Season Six is…CH! After blazing ahead with gaining nearly 900 points for episode five, it remained all but impossible to catch up with her for the rest of the season. This was an outstanding achievement, considering that she was one of the few players to have not picked Jon Snow for her team. Had she done so, she would have had even more of an unbeatable lead. Absolutely well done, CH, I will be in touch about your prizes very soon!

In the following few weeks you can expect some tips on how to win the league next time and I’ll rearrange the groupings for season 7 to include new characters and switch up some of the placements!

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