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Game of Thrones season 5 finale: After so many character deaths, is there anyone left to root for but the White Walkers?

Warning: there are spoilers throughout this article

By Oliver Griffin

Published 17/06/2015

Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 5
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 5
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones season 5
Tyrion Lannister in Games of Thrones season 5
Myrcella Baratheon in Game of Thrones season 5
Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones season five
Carice van Houten as Melisandre. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon and Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Dean-Charles Chapman as Tommen Baratheon and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand and Deobia Opaeri as Areo Hotah. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton, Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton and Elizabeth Webster as Walda Frey. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Conleth Hill as Varys and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

The latest season finale of Game of Thrones – ironically titled "Mother’s Mercy" (spoiler alert: there is no mercy) – has left me reeling.

Because in all seriousness, what’s the point now? Of course the story remains as gripping and thrilling as ever but, you know what? I simply cannot invest any more emotion in a show that so regularly destroys any attachment I form with it.

Characters are killed off with such routine efficiency, with such gleeful abandon, that forming attachments to them is mentally draining and pointless. This most recent season finale alone put the entire house Baratheon to bed. Gendry (AKA Chris from Skins) and other bastards notwithstanding, Stannis, Seylse and Shireen have now joined Renly and Robert in whatever afterlife they might believe in, wiping out the proud stags forever.

And they weren’t even my bloody favourites. Because as if killing off some infanticidal maniac and his evil witchy wife wasn’t enough, now I must fill a Jon Snow shaped hole in my life. This will be no small task. Because what about R + L = J? What about that, George? Care to fill in the details there?

Yes, yes, they’re just characters, I hear you say; they aren’t real. And while I agree – they certainly aren’t real – why is attachment to characters in GoT such a bad thing, given the monumental outpouring of grief for Fred Weasley, or Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series? Are all fictional characters not created equal?

And even worse, GoT hasn’t stopped at making me miss characters I love. Now, thanks to a traumatic public shaming and heroic moment, I can no longer vent my hatred on previously unforgivable characters like Cersei Lannister, or Reek (formerly Theon Greyjoy). The emotional turmoil that is the GoT franchise means I have to bestow them far more sympathy than I have previously considered, which does not sit well with me at all.

After he betrayed Robb Stark, I spent two happy seasons crowing with glee every time Reek experienced some horribleness. Schadenfreude, as they say, is a beautiful thing. Yet for reasons unknown, the GoT writers have taken even that away from me.

So while I fully intend to fanatically watch season six on its release next year, I am now firmly behind Team White Walker. Those undead denizens of the north know how to treat one another. There's no distant relatives around to secretly arrange a wedding massacre for those guys. Plus, if they do kill anyone else worth feeling sorry for (Samwell Tarly, I’m looking at you), there’s every chance they’ll get brought back to life.

That said, the deaths of two equally unpleasant characters – the paedophile Ser Meryn Trant and Miranda, Ramsay Bolton’s mistress – have given me some comfort. Enough, you could say, to make me wait another 12 months, partly just to see if this comforting, more karmic killing streak continues.

However, no matter how many bad people die, I do still wonder what the point is. With the current body count of loved ones, there doesn’t seem to be one. However, in the end, maybe that is the point: valar morghulis, as they say.

Source: Independent

Independent News Service

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