So, I think last night was the first time I watched a new episode of Game of Thrones while sober and healthy, and the result was that I could not sleep last night. Really could not sleep. May have lost consciousness for an hour and a half, but that’s a generous estimate. I’m now working, still in the middle of my first cup of coffee, and I may not be entirely coherent.
First off: everything that happened at Winterfell was fabulous.
I am a bit annoyed that we didn’t get any Brienne. When I watched the opening credits and saw Indira Varma’s name but not Gwendoline Christie’s, I knew the episode would bug me, and it did. I think they could have cut that part where Cersei is torturing Septa Unella and instead filmed something to let us know where Brienne is headed.
That said! I have some ideas of where she’s headed. We’re going to get a year of people passing around memes that compare Brienne to Gendry, and it’s going to be tedious, but I can think of some things she may be doing next season. Either way, she and Pod are still alive. That is important.
For example? She’s still due for another encounter with Arya and Sandor, and now? Melisandre’s headed south. Melisandre is also due for another encounter with Arya. This could get very colorful.
I am most annoyed about Jaime going back to King’s Landing, though I don’t know whether my annoyance is with D&D or with GRRM. That’s the fun part of getting past the extant five books! I’m all out of text to use for comparison. I was hoping to get the show equivalent of Jaime’s “put this in the fire” moment, and that didn’t happen, and now he’s back in King’s Landing with Cersei being more destructive than ever, and a thought occurred to me in the wee hours of the morning while I couldn’t sleep: “You know who else is headed to that area? Tyrion. Next season, we get the Jaime/Tyrion reunion!”
I can say this much: the circumstances of Jaime’s return to King’s Landing on the show don’t give us a sign of how Jaime would return to King’s Landing in the books. There’s a major difference in what TV!Jaime knew about Cersei going back, and what Book!Jaime knows now while he’s riding off with Brienne. Also: Brienne is still alive. Don’t forget.
I need to rewatch the episode once I’m calm and rested, which means first I need a full night’s sleep.