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"Simplicity is the key to Brilliance"

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 was f*cking amazing! Here's why.

Listen here you peasants! Ok ok, let me chill. Let’s get on with it. Look, I don’t know what everyone is tripping about, but Game of Thrones’ 5th episode of season 8 was absolutely amazing (I ran out of descriptive words). As the now “infamous” blockbuster show comes to an end, I think it has gotten even better in various aspects.

The Epic Clegane brothers fight

The fight between The Hound and his brother Sir Gregor Clegane was long coming, and boy, it delivered! The show is notorious for sending key characters to their deaths without any warnings. This is precisely what made this confrontation so different and absolutely enjoyable. For one, the setting couldn’t have been any better suited. Set on crumbling staircases to nowhere overlooking King’s Landing’s burning rubles, and the well-timed low flight pass of Daenerys’ last standing dragon, DROGON, I could not help but feel nervous as well as excited.

This clash between titans (…pause) revealed something I did not expect: the Hound’s strength. Compared to his brother’s monstrous strength, I, as well as many I suppose, felt actual fear. I was thoroughly surprised to see the Hound hold his own against this decomposing walking wall of muscles and God knows what else. In the end, the Hound’s death was rather fitting, somewhat romantic, especially for the character’s storyline as it was pretty clear that the only way Sir Gregor would be defeated would be by the one thing his little brother feared most: fire.

Images Courtesy of HBO

The amazing cinematography

We have been so spoiled with 4k HD screens and extreme CGI effects that we, mere mortals, fail to notice the efforts put in a well-shot scene, a well framed and color graded image. These technics, often poorly executed by other shows, carry a mountain of information conveying emotions and symbolism not able to be transmitted through just the monologues and actions. LEt’s look at some examples:

  • DROGON’s surging from the dark to burn Varys. We all suspected two things: die by the way of the Starks by getting beheaded or barbecued by Dany’s dragon. DROGON’S surging from the dark conveyed well the fear that Varys undoubtedly felt at the moment of his execution.
  • Tyrion looking into the devasted town through the opening left by DROGON. From defending this town in the past seasons to watching it succumb to destruction despite his efforts, really unravels how the smartest man on the show must have felt. We all felt it, the dismay, the absolute feeling of powerlessness, the feeling of failing thousands of innocent people.
  • The town’s destruction shot through Arya perspective. No one cares about random extras dying or burning to a crisp, but put a known character we have come to love (especially after her heroic defeating of the Night King) in the thick of the destruction, you suddenly find yourself gripped by the heart, failing to notice that you’re sitting at the edge of your Ikea couch remembering every second of it. That because of good filming you idiot!
  • Arya’s encounter with the horse amidst fiery rubles and scorched corpses symbolizing a flash view into the gruesome side of revenge and her salvation from it (which can be debated by the way). Revenge only ends in death and it’s never pretty. Arya had been consumed by the notion of revenge the entire season. In fact, her character developed well based exactly on that. Arya brushes past death multiple times but when she wakes up, everyone in the city is dead, including the boy and his sister who tried to save her. Again, the moment, which did not carry a single line from the actress was only made this good by good fucking filming and framing! (I’m clearly getting worked up by the viewers complaining about how bad this episode was but … let me chill)

I could go on but I’m sure you get it. If not, go watch the episode over and this time, pause, take time to assimilate it.

Images Courtesy of HBO

The sheer amount of destruction

This is as real as it gets. We have been rooting for Cersei’s death, for Daenerys’ victory for over 6 seasons. The truth is, these “victories” come at a cost. It’s war in ancient dragon and magic time we are talking about here. But if you can’t stomach this fact, then look into our current time and google “war in Afghanistan” or “war in Syria” or “blood diamonds”. I’ll wait. Now that I have your attention, and you are probably full of angry entitled millennial comments and slick comebacks, chill, let’s get back to the show and focus on the point I’m trying to make here.

The vast amount of destruction gives a true sense of what it really meant to fight a dragon mounted by a crusader emotionally charged with anger and despair. A single dragon laid to waste an entire city, imagine 3. That is also another reason why the episode was so good: the reality of war. Let’s be clear: we saw this coming. We have seen this level of massive destruction before during all 8 seasons, but somehow this one is the one that no one could stomach?

Images Courtesy of HBO

The symbolic death of Cersei and Jaime

We have come to despise Cersei and bounce between loving and hating Jaime Lannister. So it’s only normal that their death was nothing short of a grim celebration (though simple at first glance). I’m sure in a Game of Thrones tradition, we expected something rather brutal at the hands of Daenerys, bit honestly, even that in itself would be to simple. Them dying in each other’s arms buried in rubles of the Red Keep’s cellars where skulls of the Targaryen Dragons defeated by past kings were kept was actually a proper symbol of revenge.

Aside from all that, I appreciated their death also being a celebration of their love.

Images Courtesy of HBO

Anything close to reality makes people uncomfortable. The Disney fairytale ending still looms in every human’s expectation. We hate something that reflects our human nature. We want everything to be good, we want the heroes to win and “get the girl”. We wanted Daenerys to win, but we forgot where she came from, her agenda and that she is riding a f*cking dragon! Hell, we even forgot that this has been a show based on pure fiction, spiced by touches of established core human traits and behaviors. If we had dragons and lived in such times, I do not think we’d be any different. In fact, I think we would be worse. This is why this show is so good. It makes no excuses, it taps into senses and emotions.

Marc-Anthony

Hello,

I am a Haitian Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Photographer based in Miami Florida.

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