Terry Dossey of Austin, TX writes:
I think Jon Snow will win. I think that because several years ago Game of Thrones changed from a spellbinding, nuanced, masterfully written story of human conflict to a predictable, feel good, simplified morality fable like nearly everything else on TV. This of course happened when the books ran out and the competent but uninspired show writers had to take on writing plot and dialog. Despite that, GOT has changed TV forever. It’s proved that people all over the world will watch something fresh, realistic, and unpredictable - something that speaks to the core of human nature and the human condition.
For me, it’s rekindled my hope that people want something more than disposable, comic book quality art / writing despite the success of mindless big screen productions like “The Avengers.” Art is important, not just entertainment! The mythical world of Westeros is not so different from the real life “Game of Thrones” being played out in our headlines today.
Holding up a mirror to humanity is always a good thing. Millions of people all over the world just looked. Well done, George RR Martin. And well done HBO for taking such a huge, expensive chance.
Brian Johnson of Brodheadsville, PA writes:
I’ve read all the books and seen all the episodes. It’s a great story about human conditions especially given its historical roots in the War of the Roses. The undead posed a great threat and I think it’s an allegory for the human condition. Instead of facing an existential threat like an army of undead things (climate change?) we cling to division and ruthlessness and see these existential issues as one to bludgeon our political opponents with.
That being said, I believe Jon Snow will win and then abdicate the throne to Sansa. Sansa has shown herself to be a thoughtful and capable leader. She is also the opposite of the fantasy trope of women with power being insane or crazy.
Judith T. of New York City writes:
The physical resemblance of Sansa Stark to the young Elizabeth Tudor has been cultivated in stages, and has become more striking, indeed irresistible, in the course of this season. Just as Elizabeth’s character was shaped by her experience of violence (including a beheaded parent), court intrigue, endless war, and the vicious internecine struggles for succession in the sixteenth century, particularly with a female rival–Mary Queen of Scots–so has Sansa’s been. Elizabeth’s ruthless but expedient decision to dispatch Mary may prefigure Sansa’s dispatch of Dany, although it seems likely that Arya will do the deed. They are not called House Stark for nothing. The reality of power is, and has always been, stark.
Jon will, with profound regret, sanction Dany’s elimination, probably not without a struggle, internal and otherwise, and some effort to spare her, which will be thwarted by some unambiguously cruel act of Dany’s, perhaps the execution of Tyrion. (Brienne may save Sansa from Dany, and die doing so.) His horror at the genocide in Kings Landing has planted that seed.
But my prediction is that he will abdicate to Sansa, and go North. They will certainly not marry. Sansa will marry no one. GoT, for that matter, will not end romantically for anyone.
She can hardly claim to be a virgin Queen, but she will be a celibate and childless Queen, because, as Elizabeth knew, motherhood, and submission to a male consort, who has the droit du seigneur over her body, would weaken her mythos, and her power, and her primary maternal connection: to her people.
I have always felt that the series is moving towards the end of – a shutting of the gates to –a fantastical mythical world mediated by magic forces, good and evil ones, toward a modern world devoid of them, and superficially, at least, governed by rationality. (And, of course, the deep irrationality of human nature.) The old gods must die; the dragon, of course, must die; sorcery, face-changing, resurrections–all that will become the stuff of folklore–or scripture. Bran, I predict, takes root as a sacred tree – the last vestige of nature worship.
GoT has been a great distraction from the actual violence, genocide, ecocide, murderous intrigue, superstition, fanaticism, barbarism, partisanship, factionalism, raw hatreds, testosterone poisoning, and, not to put too fine a point to it, horror, playing out in the news. Martin is a wonderful storyteller, the show runners are gifted and epic filmmakers, but for “human complexity,” one should read Homer. What one takes away from Homer, and from GoT, is the same “bittersweet” understanding concisely expressed in the old French proverb: all that changes is the same.