Jon Snow is no more. When we all tuned in to that grisly finale episode, we thought it could be the end of sadistic Ramsay Bolton and that something may finally go right for poor Jon. Well… no. While Ramsay continues to roam around Winterfell, albeit without troubled Sansa Stark and tortured Theon Greyjoy (or Reek as Ramsay named him), our favourite bastard is dead.
If I can take one drop of comfort from the bloodbath that is episode 10 of season 5, it’s that Brienne of Tarth finished off Stannis Baratheon. I admit I was wary of old Stannis, but I didn’t mind him. As much as Melisandre and his terrible wife offended me, I didn’t know what a f-… fool, he was. But once, on the advice of Melisandre to offer a sacrifice to the gods, he burnt his young daughter alive(!!!), I developed a deep and passionate hate for him. After he saw that his other half had hung herself, he was killed, and I was happy. Little did I know what was still lurking round the corner of the slippery, treacherous Game of Thrones slope.
When young Olly, whose parents and entire village were slaughtered by White Walkers and Wildlings, comes to tell Jon Snow there is news of his uncle’s whereabouts, my heart sank. There was less than a minute left of the episode, and I knew this was not going to be a conversation about an uncle. But critically, I thought it was going to be a conversation, or at worst a few hard punches. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. As if Game of Thrones, undoubtedly the most brutal, unpredictable and heart-wrenching series I have ever watched, would finish a shocking series on a scrap at the Knight’s Watch.
Not only this, but Olly hated Jon Snow. He must’ve done to, along with others, stab him in the torso ‘for the Watch’. Snow teamed together with the Wildlings to try and defeat the White Walkers after the battle that saw the end of his romance with Wildling Ygritte, after Olly unknowingly shot an arrow through her heart. Plus, as expected, Olly’s hatred for the Wildlings was strong after they orphaned him, so Snow’s alliance with them rather enraged him.
We shouldn’t forget that Ned Stark, Robb Stark and his pregnant wife, and Catelyn Stark were all killed off in horrific fashion. Ned by Joffrey (don’t get me started, I’m just glad he’s gone), and the other Starks by angry Walder Frey at the wedding of his own daughter, to someone who was not Robb, but who Robb had initially agreed to marry. One of the most frustrating moments in the series was Arya Stark’s arrival at the wedding to be reunited with her family just after the murders had been committed. Argh.
However, while I was genuinely gutted about the departure of my, and the majority of fans’, favourite character, the show is amazing. It is categorically the best series of any other, including Breaking Bad and one of my favourites Orange is the New Black, that I’ve ever seen. I was warned that the vast number of characters introduced throughout would baffle me – and this is true. But never, ever, has a series ignited such emotion as this one. I never, ever, expected to feel sympathy towards Theon, but as soon as his manhood was forcibly removed, I cared. I hated Cersai Lannister and wanted her written out of the script, but when she walked naked through the streets towards King’s Landing, with food, spit and insults thrown at her, I felt sympathetic.
There is so much more to Game of Thrones than the characters and narrative. The setting and special effects have been phenomenal, although Daenerys’s flight upon Drogon appeared slightly questionable. It has been rewarding in places, irritating in others, but isn’t that what makes a show so excellent? The fact that it makes it’s audience feel something, whether happiness or rage. I will be waiting for the next season with apprehension about what life in Westeros will be like without beloved Jon Snow, but also excitement, because I know it will continue to be fantastic.