Welcome to Just a Game of Thrones, the column singing backup vocals on the Song of Ice and Fire.

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They Can’t All Be Zingers

The house words of Some Songs Considered, Random Nerds’ music column, is “a column that recognizes they can’t all be zingers and truly appreciates the ones that are.”

Now, I bring this up because while Just a Game of Thrones rarely touches on the critical merit of individual episodes – choosing instead to celebrate the more philosophical and poetic aspects of the show – I feel compelled to address the cache of wildfire in the room:

Namely, that “No One,” wasn’t actually very good…

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The Arya storyline was such a logical mess that tinfoil theories crept up along the way to try to explain away her sudden onset of stupidity and nigh-invincibility; the Night at the Improv scene in Meereen that was supposed to remind us there’s a world worth fighting for just made everyone wish they knew how to scream for help in 19 different languages; and The Blackfish, for all the screentime he took up as of late, proved to be somewhat of a red herring.

Not to mention, the usually deft series painted its major thematic strokes for this episode – “Family. Duty. Honor.,” borrowed from the words of House Tully – with an uncharacteristically shallow bluntness.

The Kingslayer even spells it out for those not great with picking up subtlety:

“Not everyone wants to die for someone else’s home.”

Honestly, the only thing more blatant than this episode’s struggles with the Tully’s thematic trident was the Godfather orange reference during Arya’s Bourne Identity homage…

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Whether it was Jaime freely admitting to Edmure his personal quest is all about his devoted love for Cersei, or Arya admitting that she could never be no one to a surprisingly-understanding Jaqen, or King Tommen condemning his mother by forbidding the “barbaric” practice of Trial by Combat, or Lady Brienne questioning the honor in honor itself, we the audience were stabbed in the apparently-very-durable gut multiple times with the various ways traditions and beliefs that once propped up this world are crumbling under the weight of more personal and existential motives.

Ya know, as if we were unaware of all this…

Plus, “No One” didn’t just shoot down two fan-favorite theories – the previously-hyped Cleganebowl and a spoilerific one popularly abbreviated as LSH – in one 54-minute episode, it outright pissed all over them:

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Really, after this episode, the only person who’s allowed to be more disappointed than the Cleganebowl truthers is Cersei – who is inching closer and closer to a popular fan theory of her own:

The “Mad Queen” Theory.
 

Break The Wheel of Hot Takes

So the Mad Queen Theory…

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Remember when Qyburn assuages a distraught Cersei with this tantalizing tease: “That old rumor you told me about. My little birds investigated…”

“Is it just a rumor, or something more?” she asks him in return.

His reply…

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Well, as most people have already properly guessed by now, they are most likely referring to the caches of wildfire the Mad King hid around the city and planned to ignite before being stopped by the sword of his Kingsguard Jaime Lannister.

The caches of wildfire someone might want to release if they were about to, say, be condemned by the Faith Militant…

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There’s already a precedent for this in the books, but any show-watcher can also see how this kind of “burn them all” attitude would be the only natural recourse for a woman who has, in the span of only a few seasons, been imprisoned, psychologically tortured, paraded naked in front of an entire city, and had all three of her children taken from her in some way or another.

But wait, there’s more.

If you remember your Maggy The Frog prophecy well, you’ll remember that Cersei is prophesied to die at the hands of “the valonqar” (High Valyrian for little brother). Some people believe that to mean Tyrion, while Cleganebowl truthers thought it would be The Hound. But if the Mad Queen Theory is right, then history will repeat itself all over again and her slightly-younger twin, Jaime, will be the one to strike her down.

Brienne did just remind him it’s never too late to be a hero – even if it’s got to be a tragic one.

 

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Waif?

A primer on The Godfather and oranges…

 

A Dwarf Walks into a Brothel with a Honeycomb and a Jackass…

(best guesses at possible endings to this joke)

  • he says to the madame, “How about a little ass, honey?
  • the madame says, “Last time I played hee-haw with a half-man, I was the one with the sticky hands!”
  • he says, “I’ll have an Imp’s Delight…and maybe something to drink after I’m done.”
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    Like I said, they can’t all be zingers.

     

    The HoF of GoT GIFs

    Westerosi Kissing

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    I Choose Violence

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    Everyone Wants to Hit a Fookin’ Squire

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    It’s Yours…

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    …It Will Always Be Yours

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    Payless Shoes

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    It Will All Be Over Soon

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    Sword to my Throat, I’d Bet _____ Wins the Game of Thrones

    (this is subject to, and will most likely, change each week)

    Bran.

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    Villains may get far in this story, but they’ve always seen their due comeuppance, so I’d be hard-pressed to explain how Dany is both the secret big-bad and the ultimate victor, which means someone’s got to fill that power vacuum.

    Most people might not choose to give it to the crippled kid whose currently relying on a teenage girl and zombie uncle to help escape a nigh-invincible ice demon, but stranger things have happened in this story.

    Like, ya know, a crippled kid using the tree-internet to go back in time and possessing a person in the present while still in the past…

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    DO IT FOR HODOR, BRAN!