My thoughts on the Game of Throne’s Finale — Mother’s Mercy
Season 5 Episode 10
“Mother’s Mercy” or
“In My Time of Dying”
All hail His Grace, Stannis of House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm. The King is Dead. Long Live the King.
Stannis was the rightful King, by the law of the land. Robert had no legitimate children to ascend to the throne after Cersei’s regicide plot saw him gored by a boar.
The crown was Stannis’ by right. Ned Stark believed it so and by all accounts, if Ned Stark sees it true then by the old gods and the new, it is.
That Stannis never warmed the Iron Throne with his stubborn backside should come as no surprise. He was a hard man, but fair. But he also fell in with his wife’s foreign god, the Lord of Light, and with his messenger, Melisandre. He believed her prophesies. He allowed her to use dark magic to kill his brother, allowed her to put to the stake his bannermen and his beloved daughter.
Stannis did these things because he believed he was the man to save the Seven Kingdoms from itself and from the White Walkers. He did these things because he believed he was Azor Ahai reborn.
He was wrong.
Book Stannis’ fate was more obscured than that of Series Stannis. Still, the pink letter was writ and I suppose last night’s Thrones Finale sealed the deal.
I was one of the few who respected Stannis, especially Book Stannis. But there’s an old saying. If you play with Fire, you’re gonna get burned. Sleep well, Stannis Baratheon. May a greyscaleless Shireen greet you with open arms in your afterlife and may you find there a peace in death that you never felt in life.
Oh, and speaking of death…
… we were also treated to the death of Cersei’s pride, the death of Cersei’s daughter, and the undeath of Cersei’s Frankenmountain — Robert Strong.
But wait, there’s more.
We were treated to the death of Theon’s fear, as he, in a bold move, killed the houndsman’s daughter and fled with Sansa, leaping from the walls of Winterfell as Ramsey returned from the rout of Stannis’ Army.
In what was a real highlight of the episode, Arya got to cross a name off her list, as she pulled a faceless man trick and brutally whacked Meryne Trant. Of course, that put her on Jaqen H’ghar’s naughty list for taking a life that was not hers to take. So, we got a life for a life, an awesome display of the many-faces of Jaqen-Not Jaqen-they’re probably all Jaqen, and then Arya went blind, because, well… Game of Thrones.
And then, Great Caesar’s Ghost, we have Jon. Dead Jon, more like. Again, more ambiguous in the books, but I always fell in with the Jon is dead crowd. I suspect he’ll get better. There was a reason Melisandre abandoned Stannis before the Battle of Winterfell. There was a reason she showed up at the Wall just before Thorne, Olly, and Company did their Ides of March reenactment.
So now it’s a mountain of cliffhangers and the long wait till next April when the show returns. I didn’t even mention Tyrion governing Mereen with Varys along for the ride, or Mormont and Daario heading off to find the Mother of Dragons, or the Mother herself being surrounded by Dothraki…
It will all have to keep until 2016, I fear. In a perfect world, we’d have the Winds of Winter coming along beforehand, but alas… chalk that up to one more death as Season 5 concludes — our hope for GRRM to have, at least, kept pace with the series.
I leave you now with this final image, which sums up the despair we book readers feel.
Stannis did all that was asked of him by his wife’s god… and in the end, the Lord of Light laughed.