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Rewatching ‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 6: Cry Me a Riverrun

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

But the women seizing power are rewriting the rules. Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes violently overthrow Dorne and take control, even though Ellaria wasn’t next in line. And there is — or was — no legal basis for the Queen Mother to take the throne following the death of the king’s last supposed heir. Then again, Cersei had already thumbed her nose at the line of succession by placing her kids born of twincest on the Iron Throne, where she could rule through them (or try to). And she’s willing to blow up anyone who challenges her. She kills not only the Faith Militant, the Tyrells and members of the Small Council, but hundreds of nobles present to attend the trial. Qyburn, in effect, becomes the second most powerful member of the court, replacing the Hand, the Small Council and the High Septon. Who’s left to ask the Citadel to check the royal family trees? Luckily, Bran’s got much of the archive in his head.

Near Death Experiences

The Many-Faced God does not like having lives stolen from him, but a lot of characters defy death anyway. The Three-Eyed Raven claims to have lived for a thousand years. Melisandre, it’s revealed, has also lived for a lot longer than previously thought, possibly for hundreds of years. Both Beric Dondarrion and Jon Snow have been resurrected from the dead — Beric a few more times than Jon, but both by followers of the Lord of Light. In a sense, Euron Greyjoy also died and was brought back to life at the hands of a priest, this time serving the Drowned God (his drowning at the Kingsmoot is both a baptism and a coronation). Benjen lives in an in-between state — mostly dead, but still less dead than the reanimated Mountain, who himself is less dead than the White Walkers’ wights.

Death is clearly not the last word in this world, which might be why Davos risks his life to request Jon’s resurrection in the first place. Although once it’s known that it can be done, why is it not done for others?

Certainly, that would have cut down on the many funerals always taking place. Cersei’s world seems to be defined by funerals. We first met her as Jon Arryn’s body was lying in state in the Sept of Baelor in Season 1, and she’s had a steady toll of dead piling up around her ever since. Almost every season features a funeral at the Sept of Baelor — no wonder she wants to blow the place to smithereens. How much grief can one person bear? And her hatred for Tyrion stems from that grief, as she believes him to be responsible for the deaths of her mother and her son.

Others grieve in different ways, of course. Trystane Martell prefers to paint little eyes on stones for Myrcella’s service, while Ramsay takes a moment to remember Myranda before feeding her to his precious dogs (a rite that will be repeated for him). And the Dothraki always expect their widows to grieve forever, locked away in the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, until Dany ends that practice. It’s because Dany can defy death that the Dothraki kneel down to her, as if she were a goddess. Jon’s people, at least, have no such illusions about their leader.

‘There’s no need for a battle.’

Sometimes it’s possible to avoid death in settling a conflict; sometimes, it’s not.


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