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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Game of Thrones Season 3 Finale: White Walkers vs. Dragons

The Game of Thrones Season 3 finale ended with a gradual build-up to the ultimate confrontation which has not happened yet even in the books: the white walkers beyond the wall versus the dragons beyond the sea off the island completely.  Or, if Game of Thrones were situated in our world, an ultimate battle royale between the living dead north of Hadrian's Wall in Britain versus the dragons in Europe.

All the battles on the island itself pale in comparison, including Robb and Catelyn Stark's terrible deaths last week.   The fire woman realizes this, and advises her King to take the ultimate battle seriously.   Everyone south of the wall has been warned by the Maester at the Wall - Maester Aemon - who sent messages to the south to everyone who matters on the island.

But who will take his call to action seriously?  Not very likely Tywin Lannister, who's understandably aglow with his victory over the Starks - seven people slaughtered at a dinner is well worth thousands killed in battle - aglow, that is, for Tywin.   But with Jaime finally back in the fold, the collective, contentious Lannister intelligence might yet awaken to the truest danger.

What's not clear is whether Daenerys will get the message, and this raises the question of who will win the ultimate confrontation.  Not the humans, who have no supernatural powers, but either the white walkers or the dragons, who abundantly do.   Daenerys wants back her thone, and she's spent all this season handily raising armies sufficient to win it back - from humans.   But the last thing she would want would be power in her hands only to be taken away by the white walkers.

Indeed, the fact that Maester Aemon is himself a Targaryen like Daenerys suggests that his defense of the Wall and the south against the white walkers is ultimately not so much an act to defend the people now on the island but Daenerys and her claim to the island from over the sea.

We've already seen that a white walker can be killed, and the dragons are not invulnerable either.   This should make the ultimate battle interesting indeed.  But, first, we have the continuing human affairs to sort out, the preludes to preludes of the ultimate confrontation with a tableau full of colorful, intriguing characters that I look forward to seeing more of next season.


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