Game of Thrones finale

Our watch may be over when it comes to HBO’s Game of Thrones, but I have a feeling it’ll be a long time before we’re done talking about this show. In today’s quick round-up: a new poll might reframe the conversation around last Sunday’s series finale, actress Gwendoline Christie is “pathetically thrilled” that she correctly predicted the ending of the show two years ago, and author George R.R. Martin has set a deadline for himself to finish the next book in his A Song of Ice and Fire saga, The Winds of Winter.

Destruction of the Throne GOT

Game of Thrones Finale Reaction

The Hollywood Reporter teamed up with Morning Consult to create a poll asking people what they thought about the Game of Thrones finale. Of the 314 who watched it, over half (63%) said they liked the finale “some” or “a lot,” with just over one-third (34%) responding that they “didn’t really like it” or “didn’t really like it at all.” Those percentages may be surprising to some, considering the amplified negativity about the final season online over the past several weeks. Then again, it was a long episode, and the probability that any viewer would at least like “some” of what happened seems high to me. So maybe the lesson here is that we shouldn’t try to quantify reactions to art with statistics!

Gwendoline Christie

Two years ago, Gwendoline Christie (Ser Brienne of Tarth) accurately predicted who would sit on the Iron Throne – but she seems a bit embarrassed about getting it right. “I am slightly, pathetically thrilled that I got it right,” Christie said in a new interview with IndieWire. “When I read the script, I gasped and thought, ‘Oh, I was right’”:

“I thought it would be Bran because I thought it would be the least likely person. In my mind what ‘Game of Thrones’ has always done is subvert narrative. As viewers we’ve really not known what’s going to come to us and we’ve not known how to predict it. That’s what’s made it so intoxicating. It’s the idea of the final ruler being someone who isn’t interested in power, who isn’t ambitious and therefore is entirely unlikely to become corrupted by power. That’s what I thought that George R.R. Martin would go with.”

The whole interview is absolutely worth reading, and she talks about the conclusion of Brienne’s story arc, people’s reactions to her character, and much more. I have to share one more excerpt about whether or not Tormund Gianstbane has a shot with Brienne now that Jaime Lannister is out of the picture:

“Yeah, maybe he has a chance, but she would really make him work. I mean, you know, she’s landed her dream job. Also, the story about the giant’s milk might take a little bit of getting over. But maybe not.”

George RR Martin interview

George R.R. Martin

Earlier this week, the folks at Air New Zealand offered Martin a free flight to their country so he could finish The Winds of Winter, a book he’s been struggling to finish for years. Martin turned down their offer, saying he already has plans to visit again in summer 2020 for the World Science Fiction Convention. But he promised his book would be done by then:

As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce. But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.

I won’t be holding my breath that he’ll actually meet that deadline, but I wish him the best of luck anyway. I had the chance to speak briefly with Martin recently, and I’d encourage you to check out the interview if you haven’t yet.

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