Culture

The Corner

[SPOILERS!!!!!] Snow Before Winter — and Bloodhounds [SPOILERS!!!!!!!]

In response to Kerry & Bush “Dirty Work”

Stephen Miller has an excellent piece on how [SPOILER DELETED] in last night’s Game of Thrones is problematic. I think he’s wrong.

Okay, I’m done with the spoiler warnings. If you keep reading and didn’t see last night’s episode it’s all your own fault.

 Miller writes:

Snow’s resurrection now opens the show to more cliché plot devices. Why not bring every character or every Stark back to life? We might as well have an entire army of undead Starks (Lady Stoneheart, anyone?) vs. undead Whitewalkers

By leaving Snow in the snow permanently, the show could have reset the board, which is what it’s best at, and focused more on the plights of Sansa (still lost in the woods), master assassin-in-training Arya, and Bran, who has always been the key to the family. Now a coming Stark renascence seems to be on the horizon before winter ever arrives, and Jon’s revival will be the focus of the rest of the season.

John Podhoretz offered similar complaints on Twitter. 

I get why bringing people back from the dead strikes many as a major cop-out or pandering to the audience. But I just don’t see it that way in this case (This is Middle Earth equivalent of Star Trek III: The Quest for Spock). First of all, as Steve stresses, the show has been relentless in hammering the viewer with the fact that good guys can — and usually do — die. The honorable path leads straight to the grave very often. On these grounds alone, I think the producers have earned the right not to go that way if they don’t want to. Indeed, it was getting a little tedious the way they killed off beloved characters. Worse, it became predictable. For instance, you knew the second the lovely Wildling woman told her kids she’s be following on the next boat off Hardhome, that she’d be toast. In other words, actually bringing a beloved character back to life runs against the clichés of the show. 

Second, the writers laid the groundwork for this a long time ago. The Red Woman (aka Melisandre aka the Woman Who Should Never Remove Her Choker) was shocked to discover that Thoros could bring Dondarrion back to life. Again, I get the misgivings about this plot device, but it was clearly established well in advance to avoid the charge of being a Hail Mary writing gimmick (now, if Jon Snow taps her as his running mate before the battle of Indiana, that’s something different entirely).  I was much more annoyed with how rushed last night’s episode was in clearing the decks of Lord Bolton and Balon Greyjoy.

Also, concerns that the Red Woman will now go around reviving dead people willy-nilly strike me as overblown. She clearly didn’t think she could do it and my hunch is that the God of Light agreed to this one special request because of unique circumstances — namely that Jon Snow is necessary for badassery to come.

We also needed Jon Snow to live because there was no way to get the Wildlings to help take Winterfell without him. We also need him because I want to see Ramsey Bolton’s dogs run like frightened kittens from a direwolf.

Oh, and that reminds me. The most ridiculous thing this season so far has nothing to do with re-animated corpses, dragons, giants, zombies or dire wolves. In the season opener, Ramsay says he’s got his “best hounds” tracking Sansa Stark. Until this season, his hounds have always been vicious pitbully beasts. But the hounds tracking Sansa and Theon were bloodhounds. That’s fine. Bloodhounds are the best trackers in the doggy world. But, they are not vicious, and yet they tried to make it seem like they wanted to kill Sansa. I’ve seen stuff like this in numerous movies and it always drives me nuts. If a bloodhound caught an escaped convict, he’d slobber him to death. “Attack bloodhound” is a contradiction in terms.

It’s little things like this that make the rest of it so unbelievable.

Update: My apologies. I had missed David French’s clearly more thoughtful reply to Miller here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More