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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 The Long Night or Why the World Needs Fierce Girls and Strong Men









“Woman?” She chuckled. “Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.” Dany met his stare.

George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

"You can do one of two things; just shut up, which is something I don't find easy, or learn an awful lot very fast, which is what I tried to do."
—Jane Fonda

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."
—Janis Joplin



I've been asked about this latest episode of Game of Thrones a lot since it aired, and I've avoided a response until watching it a third time.

The Night King is coming we've been told, that zombie king made of ice, who steals babies and lives beyond the wall. This fabled wall that 'crow' Jon Snow, a man of the Night's Watch protects. It is a long story of 'fire and ice' proclaimed by original author G.R.R. Martin (Tolkien anyone?)

Yet, you're into it. In the same way as you might have been into Harry Potter, or TLOTR, or Star Wars. I was concerned about Daenerys Targaryen (The Dragon Queen) and her 2 remaining dragons; Drogon, her charge, and Rhaegal, Jon's. Jon is, in fact, Aegon Targaryen, the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, in case you never knew that R + L = J. Jon is Dany's nephew.

I totally digress. This episode is all about the battle, the white walkers versus the Dothraki, the Unsullied versus the white walkers, the heroes against the villains. It is Arya Stark who explodes out of the thin, non whistling blue air in the end to kill the Night King with her dagger made of Valyrian steel. Arya has trained for months or years, to become who she is. She has endured trials and tribulations, many disappointments. She has never stopped believing in herself, nor her family. She has defied convention and become a warrior, rather than the lady her family believed she should be. Contrary to the  norm of what a 'lady' should be, Arya's sister, Sansa, has become  a lady/woman of leadership, diplomacy and foresight.

Daeneyrs Targaryen is standing strongly too at this dark battle. Of all women surviving surely she deservers her Iron Throne. She who has been abused, raped and tested, Daeneyrs, worthy of all her names:

Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.

Lyanna Mormont stays her ground in the face of the dead and the ogres of childhood fairytale. The recently knighted Ser Brianne of Tarth is anther heroine.

Let us not forget Cersei, the antihero. What of Cersei? I think she is the subject of a blog of further inspection and introspection. Can any woman ever forget her 'Walk of Shame'? having witnessed it?

The loyal men in this episode are invaluable. Jon Snow, Ned Stark's bastard, the rightful heir of the Iron Throne, Aegon Targaryen, Jon who never gives up, Jon who is a man of honour. Greyworm and Jorah Mormont, and Theon Greyjoy, the faithful and redeemed men. The same could be said of Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane.

What fate now awaits the Lannister men, Jamie and Tyrion?