“The world we need is a world of mercy”
Masterpiece. Of all the epic moments in a show packed with them, “Game Of Thrones” succeeded in what I’ve been suspecting all season long - they ended it with a powerful statement about not about the realms of some fantastical world - but about the very world we live in today. A world of maniac rulers, a world of walls, and world of warring factions. Last week they told us that war is hell, this week they told to believe in a better world.
The episode opened with a glimpse at the opposite of a better world - a power hungry leader with fiery emotions speaking to her base and getting them fired up about how they’re going to make the realm/Westeros great again! This was the biggest political rally in the history of the show and one that felt very familiar. Sure maybe Dany’s descend into a mad ruler was a little quick, but even if you thought that (aka most of the people on Twitter) - the show served up a perfect counterpoint to that in Tyrion’s epic speech about how people will always do what they think is right, even if it’s wrong. Make no mistake this episode was full of the epic quotables that defined the early years of the show (Chaos is a ladder) and this one was no exception.
It was one line from this scene that stuck with me through the episode and it’s the line included above - “the world we need is a world of mercy.” What a statement from the showrunners to include something like this in the finale of one of the biggest pop culture franchises ever. What a message! Throughout the show we’ve seen endless amounts of killings of every sort. Killing for fun (Joffrey & Ramsey), killing for perceived moral superiority (Dany in seasons 1-6), killing for prophecy (Stannis), killing for laws (Jon Snow), and just loads and loads of killing on the battlefield - but now we see that all of that death didn’t mean anything. If this wasn’t clear to you - they literally melt the Throne, the object that was supposedly driving all of the bloodshed.
We go straight from the burning of the throne to an almost bizarre political scene that felt like it should have been out of VEEP! All of these leaders, some whom we’ve haven’t seen in a long time gather to decide the fate of the realm. They squabble and threaten murder, bumble through speeches, and generally laugh at Sam’s suggestion for democracy - and then pick the most unqualified person in the entire group. And why is that -because in Tyrion’s words “Nothing is more powerful than a good story.” Isn’t that what politics is all about - not how qualified you are - but who can move you the most, who can inspire you, and who can make you believe in a better world.
Quick note - My Mom was a professor of Special Education and she would have been thrilled that a disabled person got to be King!
But what struck me the most was the final image of the show - the wildlings returning back to their homes after being away for so long. And who’s with them - Jon Snow, the guy who always does the “right thing,” and a guy who literally DIED for his belief in helping the downtrodden! He leads these immigrant people into the world of which they fled after serving his time in the realm. And who’s he going with his - his best bud Tormund - a dude who used to be his sworn enemy. Can’t we all just get along?? It takes someone who is merciful, who’s been on top of the wall and on both sides of the wall to understand that walls are just structures for people to pass through (sometimes with a giant ice dragon) or through a gate - but in the end, we’re all just people looking for a safe place to call home in a scary world.