Y’ALL READY FOR THIS? (Because I’m not.)
Friends, can I be honest with you? I was reluctant to recap Game of Thrones this season. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with tallying the nudity on one of the most beloved and hyped shows currently on television and frankly, I've been worried about whether or not I'm up to the task. The freedom to make my own mistakes is all I ever wanted—I think I heard that somewhere—and this is not a safe place to make mistakes. In the game of Game of Thrones recapping, you win or you have a million nerds telling you what you did wrong. Am I strong enough to do that again? Am I good enough to do that again? The answer, of course, is yes. But like the characters on Game of Thrones, I’ve been fighting my destiny.
But no more. Here we are, Sisters of the Spitewatch. It's time to talk GoT and count some naked bodies.
"The Wars to Come"— the season five premiere—was overwhelmingly about characters reforming their identities. Some are making the transition easily (Cersei's cousin/former lover Lansel has joined the Hare Krishna and seems very happy), others are forcing the change (Brienne of Tarth, who's never wanted anything except to serve a noble lord, is angrily giving up—or trying to give up—her dream), some are facing it with reluctance (neither Tyrion nor Dany—whose storylines may soon converge—are prepared or fully willing to take on positions as leaders) and then there are those who refuse their new roles entirely.
Too bad that in this world, refusing to change is a shortcut to a painful and humiliating death, as Mance Rayder—the King Beyond the Wall—was quick to find out after refusing to swear allegiance and fight for Stannis Baratheon. Honor and strong principles are great and all, but the longer Game of Thrones goes on, the more outdated and impractical they seem as concepts. "The freedom to make my own mistakes is all I ever wanted," Mance says (oh, right—he said that) as he sentences himself to death by fire—or so he thinks. Jon Snow, in an act of mercy, takes him out with an arrow before he can fully burn.
What even is freedom in the Seven Kingdoms? Are Littlefinger or Varys—two free agents who would as easily make a deal with Stannis as they would stab him in the back—less free than Mance, the leader of thousands who dies to make a point? Daenerys thought she understood freedom (she freed several slave populations, after all), but struggles with it in practice. "I'm not a politician," she tells Daario. "I'm a queen." The difference, of course, is that queens get to command things and politicians have to negotiate. The latter is more in line with the modern notion of freedom, but it's a hell of a lot more complicated. Jon Snow, who always seems so terribly burdened by vows and heritage, is surprisingly quick to shirk orders or break oaths when it comes to his own moral compass or the opportunity to eat out a pretty redhead in a cave. Does that mean he's free? (Does that mean he should call me?)
Maybe there is no freedom when your destiny is fixed. As a witch tells young Cersei in a flashback, "Everyone wants to know their future 'til they know their future." Tyrion later expresses a similarly bleak sentiment: "The future is shit, just like the past." Freedom implies that you have control over your own life and the path you take, but the GoT Powers That Be (and my editors at Jezebel) seem to know otherwise.
Now onto another thing we have no control over: HBO's devotion to naked boobs. Here's this week in nudity.
Boobs (counted individually, not as a set): 5, all belonging to the prostitutes of Meereen.
Butts: 2, both male (hey, Daario, heyyyyyyy).
Vaginas: 1, a flash of pubic mound as a murderous prostitute begins to remove her skirt.
Dongs: 0 (THANKS for all the well placed shadows, HB(hell n)O.
And added to Game of Boners this season, A DEATH COUNT.
- (1) Death by Throat Slitting
- (1) Death by Arrow
See you next week! (***Madeleine is struck by arrow, slumps over, the ghost of a smile on her face***)
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via HBO.