I find it somewhat ironic that the first post on my sex positive blog is about my favourite TV Show of all time and not about nipple clamps. As my partner, Loki would say, ‘It is what it is’.
Unless you have been living under a rock these past few weeks, you will know 1 – That GoT has ended and 2 – How it ended and even if you don’t know anything about anything, 3 – you do know that people were pissed that in the end, the seemingly gormless Bran took ‘the reigns of power’.
Some question who made this writing decision, GRR Martin or the infamous Showrunners, D&D. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Bran was always the intended one and that it was Martin’s decision. Then that makes even little sense either considering that the expectation either Danny, Jon or even Tyrion and/or Sansa must take it. That seems to make make sense from the narrative that good always trumps evil or it all turns out nice in the end. After all, what HAS Bran ever done apart from being pulled around on a sledge?
Bran is indeed problematic but not because he is a balm pot at times, it is because of the monumental task of writing the books themselves fell far behind roughly half way through all of the seasons.
No – it’s safe to assume that GRR Martin always intended Bran to be king and in itself the creator of Westeros’s first quasi-democracy. I would find it unbelievable that an author of such more detail simply did not know where it ended. Indeed; it begins right at the beginning of the novel Game of Thrones. The very first scene we are introduced to the White Walkers thus setting the tone that it’s these guys who are the ultimate protagonist. A few scenes later we are treated to Bran falling from the window.
Everything and I mean everything else is almost window dressing to these two events; it’s just that we simply through much obfuscation only really glimpsed where it might REALLY end up after Seasons 8, episode 3.
And we did not like it, one bit. Apart from an authors prerogative to know how the story should pan out, is there any other evidence that Martin intended this?
There is and it’s based in ancient Celtic mythology and particular the Mabinogion; a collection of Welsh tales of kings, dragons, imps and such like. Plus cauldrons. Lots and lots of cauldrons. And giants.
If we accept that GRRM based Westeros on the geography of Britain then it naturally falls that Kings Landing = Our London. If we go further then where we are presented with the ‘red’ keep, we have the ‘white’ tower’. Why is this important? Well because there are some very strange myths associated with the Tower of London. Notwithstanding the ravens that must have their wings clipped lest ‘they fly off and the British monarchy should fall’. Let us also note that ‘neither’ have fallen until the Red Keep obviously did at then end of S8 E7.
The second concerns a mysterious ‘head’ which myth dictates is buried under the hill that the Tower itself stands upon. The ‘head’ myth is found in the Mabinogion. It is the head of Brân the Blessed. Yes.
To cut a long story short, Bran, Our Bran, was a giant who through long and convoluted stories (a-hem!) manages to get his head cut off and buried in Tower Hill itself. The ‘head’ issues strange prophecies.
Let us stretch this out a bit further. The Tower was since Plantagenet times the seat of power in England and Wales (sometimes Scotland and Ireland depending on which way the wind was blowing.) England and certainly the land around the City itself has given birth to the Mother of Democracies which began, funnily enough with Henry I – a very early Plantagenet King and the son of William the Conqueror.
Now, who do we know who has a
- Affinity for ravens?
- Is really just portrayed as a ‘talking head’ through his disability?
- Speaks of ‘Things to come?’
- Called Bran?
This is the saddest part because it is clear that really the whole ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ novels are really about environmentalism and how often the petty squabbles of men getting in the way of the real picture.
You can see regularly in the earlier seasons of GoT the mystery and the magic; the concepts of ‘Dragon Glass’ and ‘Valerian Steel’. Old Nan’s stories of the North and of the Children of the Forest; the increasing threat of the Wildlings and finally, the Night Walkers themselves, their glyphs, symbols, magic and purpose? (Yes – why are they doing all of this in the first place? Nothing has ever been explained. But before the books and the show got of sync, this is where it was heading and Martin had been patiently sowing the seeds for decades, waiting for the right time that the flower might bloom.
Martin’s view of GoT and D&D view of D&D clashed considerably. It is clear now that D&D were more motivated by the lure of the silver screen than of a richly literature, dense, profound series of literature itself.
This is the sadness. There is a great message within a SOIAF. There is far more that unites us than divides us. If only we can see it.
The petty meanderings of nations are nothing compared to what we have to live on. Talking about Nero fiddling as Rome burns. It’s tale of dragons and of love, of noble deeds and villainy. But it is tale that in the end, if we don’t recognise a true democracy then we are all doomed to fail.