Game of Thrones (Season 6): Resurrected, Now What?

by Stephen

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Kit Harrington in “Game of Thrones.” HBO

Resurrection has always been a fickle bitch. Just look at our resident experts, Lazarus, Voldemort, John Locke and now Jon Snow, and what they’ve gone through to achieve full resuscitation. While we’re now at the tail end of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, we’ve yet to see any of the fanboy theories surrounding Jon’s resurrection come close to pass. No reincarnated Lord of the Light, no R + L (yet), no new Bolton chew toy for Ghost, and most importantly, no bastard dragon riding sessions (but I’ll be honest, this is more a personal fantasy of mine).

And yet the viewers don’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Jon’s resurrection hasn’t mattered much to the show this season. The writers, led by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff seem content with taking their time with this northern narrative. So while Jon mopes about from the Wall to the Wildling’s to the Mormonts and the Glovers, the rest of Westeros and Essos has taken up the mantle and captivated its viewers with storylines that have moved faster than the breezing air off of Drogon’s scaly underwings.

In the past seven episodes, we’ve turned our eyes to the Dothraki smokehouse and a triumphantly nude Daenaerys, who seems to average at least 2 WTF moments per season. Then we watched as Hodor broke the hearts of the entire show’s viewership just by uttering his namesake for the very last time. Most importantly, we’ve finally revisited Bran “Neo” Stark, who has and is downloading the Westerosi edition of the Matrix while being chased by swarms of ice zombies. When looking at these storylines, Season 6 has been a step forward from the stubborn lethargy of Season 5. The writers’ notion of pacing has allowed some storylines to depressurize while others ramp up; all done in a precise, orchestral manner for the sixth season’s final three episodes.

Back in Season 3, Baelish Littlefinger delivered the central thesis of this television series  in his infamous “chaos is a ladder” speech. But now, three seasons later, in the midst of all that violent chaos, season six has instead chosen to play itself out differently, more akin to that of a Bobby Fischer chess match. Pieces moving about as calculated moves are made with skin flaying precision. One turn and Dorne undergoes a girl power coup. A counter move and now Daenarys commands an army nearly equal to the number of titles she holds. Then another turn as Arya finally pulls the “k thx bai” on the Faceless Men. In Game of Thrones, the board has been flattened and many pieces have fallen to the wayside. We are now past the middle game and the end is within sight.

By the fifth season finale, there were already talks of just three or four more seasons left to cap off the series. Clearly, the show’s creators and the executives at HBO were thinking about how (1) the show that would eventually eclipse George R.R. Martin’s books and (2) a means by which to reach a series conclusion without having said books as guidance. And reasonably so, much of that end game talk manifest itself around the character of Jon Snow. But when Jon was skewered by his brothers in black, the collective audience refused to accept any of it. Ravens encircled the internet, swapping theories upon theories concerning the inevitability of Jon Snow’s return.

And then HBO released the photo above as their first promo image for the sixth season. You could hear the jubilant cries of all the resurrection truthers ring out all at once. And as we patiently waited for the moment Jon would gasp back into the hell he and everyone else were living in, we were sure that he’d begin to seize upon his destiny with an accelerated sense of vengeance. Not so the case as mentioned previously. 

So while we patiently wait for Jon’s storyline to unfold, we’re still perfectly content with watching other pieces to zip to and fro across this Westerosi board. Will the Greyjoy siblings move on their twisted therapy drinking sessions and ferry the Mother of Dragons across the Narrow Sea? Will Samwell find enough time between extra servings of bread to deliver the dragonglass back up north? Will Sandor Clegane ever stop killing people and finally kill his franken-brother in a trial by combat (AKA Cleganebowl)? And most importantly, will Thorin and Brienne express their undying love for one another within the next eighteen hours? With only two shortened seasons of seven episodes each left to cap off this entire series, every single move counts.

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Team #Thorenne forever.