This piece is too precious and politically incorrect to sully by my taking anything out of context. I will make an exception for this sentence: Youth, contrary to the common misconception, is not a time of idealism, at least in the Western world, but of the utmost and uncompromising egotism. This egotism has two poles, so to speak, like magnetic north and magnetic south: libertinism and priggery. They are both self-indulgent, but in slightly different ways, the libertines and the prigs. Neither pole is very attractive, but perhaps priggery (to which I regret to say that I was inclined when young, and still have to control a natural tendency to censoriousness) is the worse. Rather Falstaff than Malvolio.
I resisted watching Game of Thrones for years. Finally, after 7 seasons came and went, I gave in. But since I am not a binge watcher…. Okay, I did make one exception, Homeland. As I was about to say, I limited myself to no more than 3 episodes a night. At first I felt just a small fascination, though somewhat put off by the oftentimes gratuitous (denotes something that does not contribute to my enjoyment or appreciation) sex and nudity. I wondered, “what is the big deal here, why are so many people talking about it? It was even mentioned in movies that seemed to be promoting it.” But at some point, I was hooked. Seriously, what more horrifying way for life to end, and what more heroic way to die, than war between the living and the dead?
Themes of redemption of the hopeless, unrepentant evil, sacrificial honor, fidelity to duty in the face of bowel-watering fear, legions of zombies owing their animation to the lord of death, ridiculously realistic battles, an elaborate world created….I would take less sex and nudity, but the drama, and especially the characters, are transcendent. I started writing about some characters that were most memorable to me, but realized there are so many, that I will list them as if I am writing about an awards show.
Prize category PersonalRedemption. Candidates: Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, Sansa Stark. Winner: For the longest time, I thought both Sansa and Theon were faking their sniveling, simpering alter egos, because I believed the real person inside was courageous. Jaime’s transformation was less dramatic, but I’m glad he’s still alive. The reason I am giving this prize to Theon Greyjoy is that going from Reek to a better Theon, was a bigger transition than Sansa the doormat to Sansa the leader.
Prize category Unrepentant evil. Candidates: Sersei Lannister, Ramsey Bolton, Joffrey Baratheon. Definitely hard to refine this list to three. Winner: Well, Sersei still lives as of season 8, episode 3, and blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor alone produced a bigger body count than Ramsey and Joffrey combined, so Sersei Lannister must take the prize. If I may make a bold prediction, Sersei will die by having something she did to others turned on her. If that were a category, Ramsey would certainly win.
Prize category Commitment to honor and truth. Candidates: Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Brienne of Tarth. Winners: all of them. The category itself is a winner.
Prize category Dreaming big. Candidates: Daeneryes Targaryen, Arya Stark, Petyr Baelish. Winner: Arya, good try, but no one dreams big like Daeneryes Targaryen.
Prize category Undying loyalty. Candidates: Jorah Mormont, Sandor “the hound” Clegane, “the mountain” Clegane. Winner: despite placing two candidates from their family, the Cleganes were loyal to evil, nor does their sacrifice come close to the winner, Jorah Mormont.
Prize category Big courage, small stature. Candidates: Tyrion Lannister, Lyonna Mormont, Rickon Stark. Winner: Lyonna Mormont! Who would not be proud of such a daughter?
Prize category Destroy your family. Candidates: Walder Frey, Craster, Ellaria Sand. Winner: Walder Frey. Arya didn’t win Dream Big, but if there were a category for big revenge, she would be a shoo-in! Go Arya! By the way, your humble blogger knew that Arya was impersonating Walder as soon as I saw his whole family convened.
Prize category Taunting penalty. Candidates: Oberyn Martell, the Waif, the Night King. Winner: This one was hard. Oberyn’s penalty was certainly dramatic, but the NK‘s penalty fell on a dragon and 100,000 zombies, as well as him, and saved the world. Obviously, Night King.
Prize category Most effective fighting force. Candidates: the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the Second Sons. Winner: Whew, I wouldn’t want to get into a scrap with any of them, but the Dothraki have to be the winners because they were leading the way in battle against the army of the dead, who didn’t make the list, because all they had was numbers, resurrection of those killed added to their army, mindless ferocity, lack of fear or exhaustion, and an immortal zombie animator to lead them…That’s a lot, isn’t it? Okay, I left them out because they are all ugly, as are their horses!
Prize category Worst priest/religion/god. Candidates: Jaqen H’gar serving the many faced god, High sparrow serving the faith of the seven, Melisandre serving the lord of light. Winner: This is a real booby prize, who wants to be the worst priest(ess) serving the worst god? Based on body count outside the religion and gruesome practices (stealing faces–do they really peel off), Jaqen H’gar wins. Based on body count done to the religion, the High Sparrow would win due to Sersei blowing everyone up.