Quick and Dirty Plot:
In the season one finale, we start off where episode nine ended: Ned’s (Sean Bean) head being chopped off in front of all of King’s Landing, including his sweet precious daughter Sansa (Sophie Turner), who is now basically a prisoner of war. Arya (Maisie Williams), who was in the crowd, was shielded by Yoren (Francis Magee). Yoren then takes Arya, disguises her as a boy, and begins a journey to the Wall. In her company is Gendry (Joe Dempsie), the bastard son of the dearly (dearly?) departed King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy).
Sansa remains in King’s Landing with Cersei (Lena Headey) and King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) — it pains me to call him “King.” Joffrey straight up tries to threaten Sansa by showing her her dad’s head on a pike — like she didn’t just witness him die just hours ago. Sansa sasses Joffrey by saying she hopes her brother Robb (Richard Madden) brings her Joffrey’s head. #FEMINISM
Robb, meanwhile, has Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as a prisoner of war, which he deserves because pretty much ALL of the Lannisters SUCK. As the war between the Lannisters and the Starks carries on, Robb is declared King of the North, which is dope as hell. Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) confronts Jaime, who admits to pushing Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) out of the window in episode one. The Lannisters plan to get Jaime back. Tywin (Charles Dance) asks Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to return to KIng’s Landing and act as the Hand of the King on his behalf as he looks for Prince Charming.
At the Wall, Jon (Kit Harington) has resigned himself to remaining with the Night’s Watch as the commander (James Cosmo) tells him that, clearly, there is shit happening beyond the Wall. Jon, along with his BFF Sam (John Bradley), goes beyond the Wall. I’m prepping for some White Walkers in season two!
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) wakes up from where we saw her last episode and learns that her child has died. Heartbroken, she asks about her ill husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), who has been revived by that stupid witch (Mia Soteriou) who really made him a shell of a human. The witch explains to Daenerys that she wanted to make her life miserable because the Dothraki are animals, they rape and pillage like they’re Christopher Columbus, and the last thing she wanted was for Khal Drogo’s kid to live and grow up to be a brute. Daenerys ends up spending time with a “Weekend at Bernie’s” version of Khal Drogo and smothers him, putting him, and herself, out of their misery.
Daenerys decides to have a Viking funeral for Khal Drogo, putting him on a pyre. She also ties the witch to one of the corners of the pyre because screw that lady. Against Jorah’s (Iain Glen) stoic man pleas, Daenerys decides she is to walk into the fire with her husband and the dragon eggs she’s been lugging around. The next morning, Daenerys (the unburnt! I get it!) is found with THREE, count them, THREE dragons.
While I think the last episode had a bit more of a punch, at least we got two things: more Sansa and more Daenerys.
I cannot help but feel HORRIBLE for Sansa. I mean, Arya was also in the crowd when Ned was beheaded but Sansa saw the whole thing. That’ll scar ya. And now Sansa is stuck in King’s Landing with those bonkers blonds. Like, how is she going to deal? When and how does she escape? What other horrible things will happen before she leaves? I also loved when Joffrey is trying to threaten her, Sansa is all, “Hope my brother kills you, you jerk.” I love a good metaphorical middle finger.
Let’s talk about the Starks. Do we really like them? I mean, do we *really* like them? I find I only like Sansa. Catelyn? Too rash and impulsive and name drops her dad like she’s Meghan McCain. Robb? A bit of a wuss and asks for advice but rarely takes it. Arya? Also way too impulsive and really needs to take a chill pill. Bran? Not much to him right now. The other kid? Literally don’t know his name so that goes to show you his importance. Ned? I mean, RIP, but the dude wanted his cake and to eat it too.
I hate the Lannisters, but I’m also not super impressed with the Starks. The Starks are, overall, extremely arrogant. I mean, Ned didn’t help his family by playing Nancy Drew, but it was Catelyn who really, unnecessarily, created issues with the Lannisters by kidnapping Tyrion. With the Starks and Lannisters now at war, I’m not 100% sure I want anyone to win. The Lannisters are horrible people. I mean, twincest. Then there’s the way they treat Tyrion. Joffrey is an absolute madman. But the Starks don’t help themselves or their cause by their own family pride and impulsiveness. Part of me also wishes the Starks would kill Jaime — just because I hate him — but I know they’re keeping him as a prisoner to use for a swap for Sansa and Arya. Might be the smartest thing they’ve done all season.
Now, for Daenerys. Y’ALL. She is like a sweet, young, somewhat innocent woman who gets her world rocked in all of the worst ways possible. I mean, her son dies. Tragic. What a horrible thing to happen to a person. Then her husband is turned into a breathing corpse. I was hoping someone would push that witch off that cliff, but Daenerys full on burned her alive. That felt like poetic justice. Seeing Daenerys in this episode really disheartens me about the Daenerys in the final two episodes of the series. This woman, who was exiled after the murder of her family, who was abused by her brother, sold to a husband, learned to love said husband, then lost her child and husband. After all of this, she still frees the slaves in her company and vows to care for the people who remain. Is she perfect? No. But she is trying to lead more with compassion. Lead with her heart. That is not to say that she isn’t ruthless or understands how to play the game. Her husband killed her brother and her reaction was, “Burned to death? Guess he wasn’t a dragon.” She also burns a woman alive for killing her son and husband.
I get it. The Machiavellian approach of “like a lion and like a fox.” In his book “The Prince,” Niccolo Machiavelli said that good leaders embody both the traits of lions and foxes: like a lion by showing force and strength: like a fox by demonstrating intelligence and being cunning. Some historical leaders who were able to embody both lion and fox traits are King Henry IV of France and Elizabeth I of England. Henry IV won the crown by destroying his enemies in war and then talking to the citizens of Paris who were blockading the city. During the French Revolution, the statue of Henry IV was untouched by the revolutionists as they still respected him. Elizabeth I was the same. Wildly intelligent. She translated the Bible from Latin to English as a gift to her father when she was a teenager. She also appreciated the arts and allowed for religious freedom. But, Elizabeth I also destroyed the Spanish Armada and beheaded her cousin. Daenerys’s leading style matches that of Henry IV and Elizabeth I. And seeing her with her dragons, knowing how her story will end, made me very sad.
Now that I have finished season one, I feel differently about the show from when I first started. Some of my early criticisms remain true. The way women are portrayed and treated is awful. I have never seen so much unnecessary and gratuitous nudity in my life. I am surprised they got away with that much nudity. I cannot imagine what the work environment was like… However, I have really enjoyed the story. I find it very interesting. It feels like a reality TV show. It is bonkers and somewhat melodramatic. Yet, there are some characters and storylines that are truly gripping. I am starting to see how this became a phenomenon.
That Witch Lady — cue “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps
As the song says, “Burn, baby, burn.” You were a terrible person. You did not need to destroy that poor girl’s life. See ya!
Khal Drogo — cue “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
I never actually understood what you were saying because I don’t speak Dothraki and would sometimes check my phone while watching
- OMG, his head!
- Joffrey is freaking insane. When does he die?!
- Now this psycho blond boy is forcing Sansa to look at her father’s head.
- Is Cersei sleeping with her cousin too??
- Aw Jorah. He is the best.
- This witch can be thrown off this cliff.
- Littlefinger *insert horribly drawn angry face*
- Dragons! Finally!
“Game of Thrones” is available to watch on HBO and HBO Max.
Featured image credit: HBO
Morgan Roberts (she/her) was by films and television. She spent many nights watching “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or whatever the family rented from Blockbluster. Morgan is particularly interested in cinematography, supporting female filmmakers and “Fleabag.” Outside of a deep love of film, Morgan is passionate about mental health advocacy, gender equality and true crime podcasts. Morgan also contributes to In Their Own League.