By Darwyn Carson — A very enigmatic trailer, this.
Forgive the projection, but are producer/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss attempting to 1) let us down easy by forecasting a Stark child death? At this point any Stark death is fodder for fan rebellion. By implying that one of the remaining Stark clan might not survive, would they be attempting to dissuade us from going to the ‘Dark Side’ should that event come to pass, by giving us time to acclimate to the idea of it?
Or are those intrepid show creators 2) throwing in a switchback: A hint of “one wolf dying,” could actually mean one of the two wolves still living—
(Those would be Jon’s wolf, Ghost and Arya’s missing wolf, Nymeria) might pass over to the other side.
Nymeria—who, you may recall, barely escaped execution by way of Arya’s quick thinking—tried to take a chunk out of Joffrey’s hand, to halt the, then, Prince, from his vicious attack of the Butcher’s Boy.
Nymeria’s remaining hours on earth were severely shortened by this action, forcing Arya to shoo her away; eventually heaving a stone before the beast fled off into the forest.
(Note: There are indicators in the Martin tomb that suggest Nymeria is now the leader of a direwolf pack, which opens all sorts of possibilities—given the wolves bond to the Starks—for their reemergence and how it could assist either Jon’s fight with the Lannister’s or the unified Seven Kingdoms end-game battle with the White Walkers.)
And then again, all of this Game of Thrones speculation is nothing, if not an indication of the rabidness (no wolf pun intended) of GOT fans. The series is a trans-world phenom and the viewers are chomping at the bit for more. The announcement of the Season 7 premiere brought with it a lot to mourn: it would not only be the final season, but it would be shorter than the normal 10-episode package that’s already a short season, but one we’ve grown used to.. Is it a wonder that fan-sites, viewers, gamesters and Martin-tomb loyalists would comb every trailer, press release and rumor as to hidden meanings, with the hope of further uncovering past-archived clues and plot points?
Makes perfect sense to me.
In a previous post, The TVolution ventured to ask: Who’s favored to win in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms?
And to that end, there’s growing conjecture about Sansa.
Will she remain true to the Stark principles held by her father and mother or is she susceptible to the murky whisperings of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) . She’s been through so much at the hands of evil men bent on demoralizing and brutalizing this young “flower” for nothing more than sadistic pleasure. Talk about cursed luck for her that this was the way of both King Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton. Her brief respite with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) , in between the two, went unappreciated. It was either too short, she was too young or she was still too shell-shocked to realize she had landed in a safe place, at that point.
Let us remember however, Sansa was, from the beginning, portrayed as a rather shallow personality; seeming to honor only those items and beings that held the shininess of beauty or handsomeness, the glimmer of fine satins or sparkle of finery. She was not one to seek out the true measure of a man to discern good from ill, altruism from malice. It was only after events had progressed past-critical did she appear to “wake up.”
Here’s a bit of what Sophie Turner had to say, in a Vulture interview, on Sansa’s character arc at the end of Season 6:
“At the end of the season, Sansa gets a taste of power — and it’s the first time that she’s had that ever, really. She feels like it’s deserved because she did so much for Jon and the North, so when she saves the day and doesn’t get any recognition for it, it was like she had that first taste of power and then was immediately stripped of it. She was stripped of the respect that she really feels she deserves… So she was looking to Littlefinger like, ‘Oh, you’re right. Maybe that pretty picture you painted of me on the throne and you by my side isn’t such a bad one.'”
Hmn… This doesn’t bode well for her alliance with her half-brother/cousin, does it now?
So, what will be her overriding motivation in moving forward this final season? Will she allow this sly game player to—with his quick ability to slip in and out of dangerous situations—affect her actions now that she’s gained an awareness of her own power?
Sophie spoke a little to that as well:
“She holds a power over him. (Littlefinger) And after she confronted him about selling her to the Boltons, he owes her big time. He knows he has to be loyal to her now, and he has to serve her well, because she holds so much over him. It would destroy his reputation if she revealed any of the stuff that she knows about him. It’s tricky. She has power, but it’s a question of whether people listen to her or not. You’ll see more of that in this upcoming season.”
(for the complete interview: Vulture.com)
So a third Stark death conjecture: Is it possible that the words uttered by Sansa as we gaze at ring of beings from above is Sansa overlooking and thus foretelling of her own demise?
Hmn… And what of Arya…?
A best guess would be that she eventually ends up with Team Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) forces rather than all the partnerships that make up Team Stormborn.
The Little One is a definite entity to be inserted into the core of the conflict—at a moment of optimum dramatic impact, no doubt. But to what purpose? Given their history of mutual fondness, it’s not a stretch to think of her aligned with Jon. And she has had a push me-pull you relationship with her sister. Remember, her last sighting of Sansa was on the platform where Ned Stark, moments later, lost his head. Dressed in finery, Sansa was surrounded by Lannister’s. Did Arya even hear Sansa’s screams of terror and despair or did she go deaf with overwhelming shock and grief in the moment? The name of her sister has never, out loud, made it to Arya’s nightly prayers, but there’s a lot to be reconciled there.
“And then revenge is very good eaten cold…”
Marie Joseph Eugene Sue
(The Orphan; Or Memoirs of Matilda as translated by Hon. D. G, Osborne)
Arya (Maisie Williams) has been doing everything but chillin’ for most of the ensuing years since last she’s laid eyes on a Stark family member. And her purposeful journey has never been about who should, succeed, out of multiple contender list, as the main Overlord of Westeros and its Seven Kingdoms. It’s always been about retaliation: first, for the death of her beloved father and second, for the insult and injury bestowed upon the surviving Stark family members.
Her mantra’d death list is infamous. Arya has been resourceful and when circumstance has placed a person from that list in her path, neither nerves nor second thoughts have stayed her hand. The challenge to that rule is the Hound, who was at times cruel, but could on the turn of a drink exhibit an act of kindness: a trait which was of benefit to each of the Stark girls during their singular interactions with him.
Thus, it only seems fitting that when given the chance to finish him off, Arya leaves him to die on his own; mirroring those same evil/good characteristics right back to him.
It wasn’t until her sojourn in Braavos with her patron and mentor of a killing-kind Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), that Arya transformed into the colder-than-ice, Valyrian-steel-spined assassin we know her to be.
Question: Will Arya be instrumental in restoring the damaged honor of the Stark name, as she continues her path of ruthless vengeance? By doing so, with violence and steel, will her heart be warmed? Or will seeking vengeance rather than justice turn out to be the ruin of her and the Stark legacy?
“A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal”
(Francis Bacon (Essays – 1625)
Just don’t know if she’s going to stumble onto the Snow led team first or the encroaching dragon trio’d group.
Until now, Arya’s bravado and tenacity added to a variety of learned skills have made her seem near nigh on invincible. Could it be that once she’s taken care of all on her “Kill List,” her purpose will be complete and the creators will fine a just end to the girl?
Or will the remaining principals forget their differences (also suggested in the trailer) and come together to fight the true enemy descending on them from beyond the wall, cuz with the White Walkers approaching, our side needs all the help they can gather.
Well, if wishes would come true I know where I’d place my bet.
♦ ♦ ♦
Game of Thrones – The Final Season – Returns to HBO: Sunday, July 16, 2017 — 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT
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