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Sidney’s Game Guide: The Winds of Winter


I want to be up front, I write these articles right after the episode. I don’t always have time to digest them with a day or two, and that’s cause I want be part of the developing conversation, and I love it.

This episode of television that we had tonight will require days and weeks of time to process because it’s incredibly rich, it’s incredibly moving, and if you are a fan of the show, it’s a payoff for everyone who has stuck with the show to this point.

Everything here was awesome so I want to take everything beat by beat, starting with:

The Score
In the film Manhattan, Woody Allen worked in the Gershwin music as not just music for the scene, but it became a character that guided the viewer through the film. Tonight, the score of the episode was the MVP. It was the through line that made everything come together. It created the atmosphere, it set the tone, and it pushed the story line. It was as important a character as Daenerys or Cersei. Ramin Djawaid deservers all of the gold for this. It was musical perfection.

King’s Landing
Wow, the first twenty minutes of this episode were astonishing. It built and built and as layers seemed added, they were peeled back. This sequence was damn near Hitchcockian in it’s execution from start to finish. The visuals were amazing, the VFX devastating, and you literally were able to feel every last emotion of everyone. I know some will be most torn up about losing Margery, but honestly, when you look at the choices she made to earn power, she played the game all wrong and it brought her here. The loss of Tommen was the truly bitter cherry on top. This sequence took the brutality of the show to a new level,

Well the Starks have their home back, and what’s great is that in the scene with Jon and Sansa is that you feel happy for them, but there’s a looming prescens of darkness. That darkness that looms is both for the great cost it took them both to get their home back and for the fights that are to come. Yes they have their home, but how long will they get to rejoice? I loved that so many people are for House Stark, even greater, we got more Lady Mormont, but my one qualm was that Jon was hailed King of the North. I wanted it to be Sansa that claimed that title, I felt she earned it. I look forward to what direction she goes from here. I truly do love her and the journey she’s come through.

Davos got to confront Melisandre and call her right on out, saying everything we’ve wanted to say. Do I feel this is the last we’ve seen of Melisandre? No. I don’t. Jon showed mercy, but, unless she’s been written out, she’ll not listen to the warning.

Well, she’s back and deadlier than ever. Is killer Arya a good thing? I truly wonder if she knows her limit, even if the kills are just, is she truly still Arya?

Nothing happened but that library shot was gorgeous.

Fire and Blood
Well the Queen of Thorns has been backed in to a corner, but it’s great to see the new ally she’s made in the Queen across the sea. It was a clever way to bring Dorne back into the fold, despite the show truly dropping the ball with them. The Queen of the Thorns reading the Sand Snakes for filth was a highlight.

If I were handing out awards for this season, Dany gets Most Improved. She’s no longer circling the creative maelstrom and finally heading forward. She had to lose Daario, which I’m ok with and makes so much sense, now she’s learned she must leave behind someone to keep the peace. Plus opens the door for new romances *glares at the newly minted King of the North*…which could be slightly weird (more on that next) but Dany has her hand by her side, and she’s ready to go claim what she believes is hers. Question though, did she leave a note for Jorah on where to find her?

If you’ve seen that before but didn’t wanna know what it meant let me spell it out for you: Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark=Jon Snow. Yes Jon is Ned’s Nephew, not his son. Remember, Ned was a symbol of honor, he died because of his sense of honor. He would never dishonor his vows to Catlyn but at the same time wouldn’t dishonor his vow to his dying sister to reveal that truth. This is going to lead to some incredible storytelling. I cannot wait.

Lastly, I want to talk about the shining star of tonight:


This episode featured the conclusion of a lot of seasons long stories. It gave closure while starting new stories to push us forward. One of those is that all of Cersei’s children, as prophesied, are now gone. Considering everything that happened, this was Cersei’s episode. As a character, Cersei did everything she did for her kids, they were always her one thing that kept her grounded. So she could always justify her actions as “I must set an example for my children.”

She no longer has that tether to humanity. It is gone and now all she’s left with is immense power. Cersei is more deadly than ever. Watching her dress we see she was preparing for a war. Dany might have dragons but Cersei no humanity left. I want it noted that Lena Heady needs serious awards for this. She’s only gotten better as this show has gone on. It’s time to give her gold for it. Oh and also, we all took pleasure is watching Sister Shame get tortured.

The Winds of Winter, in Summation

“It was perfect. You need to rewatch it.”

When TV first started out and programming came to light, no one probably expected the quality of a single episode of TV to be anything like what we saw tonight. Hell, an hour before the episode I couldn’t have predicted the quality, but dear Lord, we saw something special tonight. Dany once said “I’m going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.” Tonight Game of Thrones broke the wheel of television and going forward, there should be no excuses for bad television to be fed to viewers by any network or any showrunner.

This is Game of Throne’s best season and what’s scary, winter is no longer coming, it came, and we all need to get our coats. It feels like it will only get better from here.

Thanks for reading this season, y’all. It’s been great.

Till next time.

Keep geek.


Written By

Sidney Stokes lives in an loft apt in the gayborhood of New Nerd City on the Planet Pop, but outside of his head…he lives in Los Angeles where his interests are as vast as and spread out as LALA Land.

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