The finale of Game of Thrones is coming, and it is again a bittersweet moment, because we all expect resolutions and seeing how everything plays out, but also now we have to wait for another year to get more of it. And, apparently there will be only 7 episodes next season. This show is obviously coming to an end, with the ultimate finale, but the audience spent so much time with great characters and great stories, so it will be hard to let go of that.
With episode 10 just about to premiere, I have to look back at episode 9, which contained some of the best battle sequences that have been put to screen. It perfectly showed the chaos of it all, the frenzy, the fear, and struggle for survival. If only movies could do this. So, from a directing perspective, this episode was flawless. On the other hand, the writing in this episode, and the one before was not so great. There has been an issue that was kind of only slowly burning over the course of a few episodes, until it finally culminated in episode 9. I am talking about Sansa and her decision not to tell Jon about her contacts with Baelish and possible aid she might get from him. The feedback on her decision to remain silent about it, even the night before the battle, was negative and her decisions seemed to upset many people. But, I think that Sansa not telling Jon was more of a personal significance than of an objective one.
Firstly, perhaps she did not even know whether Baelish was coming at all. We never see her receiving a raven from him, so maybe she did not want to give Jon false hope and make him rely on the force that might not even show up. She did constantly ask him to wait just a little longer, probably to make sure that she had secured the support of the Vale.
Secondly, Sansa telling Jon would change nothing. Even if the Knights of the Vale came to Snow’s camp the night before the battle, everything would play out the same way it did. Why? Because Jon would make the same mistake and because Baelish commands the Knights, he orders them when to charge and when not to. It is in his interest that Ramsey and Jon’s armies decimate each other as much as possible, maybe one of them, or even both of them, dying in that process. Jon could have known about the Knights and hide them in the woods that we see behind his army, but they would not have acted until Baelish told them so. The Knights would still jump in when they jumped in the battle anyway, in other words, when it suited for Baelish to react. Sansa had little input on the timing of the events.
When she did not reveal to Jon the possibility of the Vale intervention, it only had a subjective impact, obviously showing that she does not trust him as much as she should, or she would want to. It is now inevitable that Jon will find out about Baelish and his involvement, but I do not think there will be any problem in resolution of that. However, it is evident that Sansa is changing, and that she is less Stark than she used to be. This is apparent from her reaction to finding out that Ramsey really has Rickon. While Snow was ready to give it all just to save his brother, Sansa had already mourned Rickon, aware that he was lost to Ramsey and she was prepared to move on with her plan, whatever that plan was.
So, that is why I think people should be a little less harsh on Sansa. She, and Arya in some instances, felt the like a Stark the least. But, whereas Arya is not a Stark just by being determined and realizing the world isn’t a safe place and that it isn’t friendly, while still being righteous, Sansa showed leaning towards more cunning, even deceptive side. So, she never truly behaved as a Stark, and has hardly been seen as one. Her current manner should not be that surprising.
However, while I can still find some justification for her actions, it is evident that writing of her character has not been up to the challenge lately. In fact, a lot of the recent writing in general has not been as good as before. With Daenerys the one with the dragons, Margaery playing her game, and Sansa now having a distrust in men, I have to agree with Comic Book Girl 19, that this seems like a man’s point of view of what feminism and female empowerment mean. Some of the characters also have not been acting like themselves this season, especially Arya. There’s no doubt, I want this show to keep up the good work, but it made some strange decisions now that it has moved on from books. Honestly, I want it to finish on a great note, and maybe the war of five queens will be what closes the game, as the war of the five kings opened it. It’s just that, sometimes I miss the subtlety of previous seasons, especially the first three. So, these are my thoughts, I am eager to see episode 10, and maybe have a few comments on that as well.