At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Aaron Bady turns in another of his excellent “Game of Thrones” reviews. Watching the high fantasy finale as Houston disappears underwater, he wonders: Is Game of Thrones really a fable about climate change? If it is, it’s got one key flaw; the Night’s King is an external threat can actually be defeated, but we’ll be the engine of our own destruction at the hands of climate change.
If Arya or Jaime kills Cersei and Jon kills the Night’s King, then the monsters will be vanquished and the good Kings and Queens will be able to build a democracy in peace, forever. If we can just kill the bad guys then there will be no more winter, you see; we’re all just building a better world. It’s as dumb as it sounds, when you put it like that, which is why Game of Thrones doesn’t put it like that. Instead, we get a ragtag band of brothers who, together, will cancel the apocalypse. We get the wish-fulfillment fantasy of a monster that can be slain, and isn’t us; we get the high fantasy dream that we’re all queens and knights and related to each other, and that no one else exists. But it’s still raining in Houston.
Fair warning: there are spoilers. And don’t miss the accompanying review by Sarah Mesle, whose season-long dissatisfaction at the Arya/Sansa relationship is not mollified by Sunday night’s Shocking Twist and the viewer manipulation leading up to it.