A minor kerfuffle on race and representation was kicked up following last Sunday’s season finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Most noticeably, the barely restrained tilt towards Orientalism and the “great white emancipator” finally crossed the red line with the episode “Mhysa.” By week’s end, more than a few articles appeared in criticism, most noticeably comedian Aamer Rahman who pointed out why the Khaleesi’s entire storyline has been “messed up” from the jump. The reactions to this were typical: Denials. Charges of political correctness run amok. And of course, lots’ o’ geek-splainin’. But anyone barely acquainted with modern fantasy literature knows that from black-veiled Haradrim to the Ever Victorious Seanchan to the slavers of Yunkai, the genre has had a long love affair with exotic and dangerous “others.”
Another Sunday, and it’s the last episode of Game of Thrones for the season–wherein we see the aftermath of the Red Wedding, plots-a-plenty take place in Westeros, and in some far-off swarthy land, Daenerys does her “great white emancipator” thing.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that Lord of Castamere, But now the rains weep o’er his hall, with no one there to hear.–The Rains of Castamere
So last night, Game of Thrones happened… I know. I know. It’s hard to get up and deal with life this morning after that episode. People are gnashing their teeth. Walking around in a daze. Asking WTFu-Schnickens just happened!? You wanna know what just happened? George RR Martin just happened! That’s what! The old man giveth, and he taketh away! So c’mon, let’s talk about it already…before someone puts up one of those inappropriate “Hitler Reacts” memes. Oooh, too late.
All men must serve. So begins Sunday’s return to Westeros and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea in HBO’s grimdark fantasy epic, A Game of Thrones. This season is based on George RR Martin’s A Storm of Swords, book 3 in his A Song of Ice and Fireseries. Aptly named, the episode spends a great deal of time telling us the fate of would be kings, rulers and queens to come. As usual, spoilers and then some.
Another Sunday, and the last episode of Game of Thrones–for all seasons must end. After last week’s epic Battle of the Blackwater, it was time for the writers to wrap up all the loose plot lines and leave us with a bevy of brand new cliffhangers. Some of these were completed quite well–fantastically, chillingly well! Others…not so much. As usual, minor SPOILERS to follow.