Talking Movies: Winter has come
The new season of Game of Thrones is here and we take a look at what is in store
Those beautiful places, the theatres, are now open again, and it comes as a flood of great relief to know that promising films like War for the Planet of the Apes are getting released. On any other week, I would be waxing lyrical over this development, over the cathartic knowledge that long-pending films like the Disney-funded Ranbir Kapoor-starrer, Jagga Jasoos, are seeing the light of day. And yet, this is no ordinary week, for, Winter. Has. Come. In other words, Game of Thrones is back this weekend.
The show of blood and sex returns after an agonising wait that has lasted a year and 10 days, and yes, if you cared enough, you would keep count too. Will Cersei feel forced to enter into a problematic alliance with Euron Greyjoy? Will Daenerys finally reclaim the Iron Throne? Can Jon Snow protect the North? And while there’s as much in-fighting among men, will the Whitewalkers be able to take advantage and freely run riot? What about Baelish and Varys; how long can they survive all the tumult? Who lives and who dies? And most importantly, who’s the big villain around which the season will develop?
Despite the evident complexity of the countless storylines in the Game of Thrones universe, each season has generally been mounted on one star villain. For a while, it was the insufferable Joffrey. And then, with Tyrion’s survival at stake, that privilege moved on to Tywin Lannister. And then, came Ramsay Bolton, who made every other character seem like dream-catching angels. And then, of course, there was the High Sparrow, who seemed convinced that God had anointed him to purge Westeros of its sins. Very satisfyingly, all of them have since met their much-deserved sticky ends.
So, who’s the star villain of Season 7? Let’s ignore the minions: the creepy Qyburn, the ambitious Euron Greyjoy, the zombie-in-his-own-way Mountain, and well, I suppose even that religious nut, Melisandre, and no, I will not forgive her for the death of Shireen Baratheon, despite the resurrection of Jon Snow. We have got two titular contenders. The first, of course, is The Night King, who has forever been waiting for House Stark’s words, Winter is Coming, to come true. Frankly though, I’m not particularly thrilled about the idea of a painstakingly created political universe descending into a zombie scrap. So, yes, I’ll put my neck out there, and say that the big one, at the moment, is the ruler of Westeros, and among the best characters of the series: Cersei Lannister. The queen has now nothing to lose, which makes her more dangerous than she’s ever been. The prophecy about her children’s death has come true, and with much of Lannister family killed, it leaves only her and Jaime to stand up and be counted. While on Cersei Lannister and her predilection for chaos, a line from The Dark Knight comes to mind: “Some people just want to see the world burn, Master Wayne.” And there’s poetic significance here too, considering Cersei’s fascination for the wildfire.
For those of you who don’t follow Game of Thrones, and for who the above paragraph must have read like Greek and Latin, now would be an excellent time to go on that long-pending vacation. For a few months from the next week, conversations will be about dissecting every minute detail of each Game of Thrones episode. New twists will be discussed, and new story angles, imagined or otherwise, will be analysed. And some of us, who have forever awaited the fruition of the R+L=J theory, can tell you that time is never a constraint when you descend into discussions over the GRR Martin world. And while on unrealised storylines, what about the prophecy that predicts that Cersei will be killed by her younger brother? No, not Tyrion; the other one. Do you think it’s on the cards? Leave a comment, if you’re up for a never-ending discussion that will likely consume all off time and space.
(The writer is the entertainment editor of The New Indian Express)