Warning: There will be spoilers.
We’ve almost made it to the end of Game of Thrones. What a journey! I was exhausted, emotionally wrecked, and drenched in sweat after viewing the latest episode. While spending 90+ minutes completely immersed in the horrors of war, I forgot I was watching a TV show.
I was Arya Stark, chased through a city being systematically destroyed by dragon fire. I almost died a thousand times, but it was nothing compared to witnessing the horrific deaths of so many around me. I learned vengeance is indistinguishable from tyranny.
Sandor, thank you. -Arya Stark
I was Cersei Lannister, watching the world end to the beat of my unraveling denial. As my defenses crumbled around me, the fear overwhelmed me, making my heart shake. I died in the arms of the only person who truly understood me; loved me. Finally, free of the terror that’s owned me since my mother was taken from me.
Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls. -Cersei Lannister
I was Sandor Clegane, confronting what remained of the man who failed me as a brother. Blow after blow of hate-fueled rage, honed over a lifetime, against a mountain of evil. My only remaining purpose to remove this towering hunk of rotting flesh from the world. Convinced it’s all I ever wanted, I succeed and we both burn. Victory is mine.
Do it. Do it! Just do it! -Sandor Clegane/The Hound
I was Daenerys Targaryen, alone, distraught, and betrayed. I wept as I lay waste to King’s Landing. I felt everything and nothing at the same time. I burned away the disease so healthy life can grow and thrive in the future. If I can’t have their love, I’ll take their fear.
I am not your little princess. I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it. -Daenerys Targaryen
When the episode ended, I couldn’t move. I just sat there, stunned. (Then I laughed at myself for confusing SD winter with a cessation of hot flashes. Probably where most of the sweating came from.) I had to sleep on it, then think about it for a while before I could process what happened. I’m sure I’ll continue long after the series ends.
I’ve learned a great deal about human nature watching the series. We’re all in the story in some aspect or form. It has been fascinating to slowly gain enough information about each character until I could understand them well enough to see the world through their eyes (to a point.)
The emotional rollercoaster of triggers and disturbing scenes were a small price to pay for the many gifts of wisdom. We tend to behave in accordance with our perception of the world. Therein lies the value in understanding others’ viewpoints. Without it, people are indistinguishable from monsters.
Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash? – Lord Varys