Even the most machiavellian of viewers cheered last week when Game of Throne's most infamous villain finally met his end in the nerve-wrackingly tense penultimate episode. But what if Ramsay's death was more symbolic than it at first appeared? Yes as we whooped and gushed at Ramsay's face being ironically ripped of by his 'loyal hounds', the metaphorically changes it represented in the general tone and direction of the show as a whole were also being felt.
As the shows ascends further and further into the realm of the supernatural, the ways of old are slowly disintegrating and the new world order that is replacing it doesn't have room for the selfish or manipulative. Following the time-old rituals of realpolitik where selfish plotting and scheming took precedence over, well, actually governing the people, has finally become unsustainable. All that time knights, clergymen and politicians were wasting manipulating and cohering one another into gaining greater power for themselves, the real enemy has been growing, expanding, approaching and conquering. Often at the expense of the common folk. With winter well and truly now knocking on Westero's door, along with a fair few Wildling's and a fair many more White Walkers, the days of looking after number one are limited, and Ramsay's fate proves that.
The Bad Bastard
Ramsay and Jon Snow had a lot in common. They were both bastards. Neither ever really felt like they belonged to anywhere or anything, both had resided in Winterfell at some point in their life, and both had been given the opportunity to lead a people into a better future. However, whereas Jon Snow rose to the challenge in spite of his tragic past, Ramsay didn't. Instead he used the chip on his shoulder to justify the most inhumane acts he could quite literally imagine to bestow onto his victims. Whereas someone this devious and despicable would have thrived in the times of old, it is this exact trait that sealed Ramsay's fate. Plotting and scheming and playing games made him perfect for, well the game of thrones but with the white-walkers on the horizon no one really has the time or patience for such selfish, narcissistic behaviour anymore.
The End of A Game of Thrones
As a result Ramsay's death symbolises the end of the 'old way' and therefore the end of a game of thrones. As such now George R.R. Martin's real story can begin; A Song of Ice and Fire. This is a totally different story and plot altogether. It turns the advantages of the past into the disadvantages of the present and visa versa. In a time where the only way survival can be assured is through joining together and uniting, the selfish and the greedy can no longer survive. In a game of thrones such selfless characteristics would deem an individual, 'weak', 'idealistic' or prone usurping, but in this brave new world it is these exact traits that can guarantee your survival. Jon Snow showed this by banding together with the Northerner's and Dany joining the slave class and elite class together.
What Could This Mean For the Fate of Cersei?
It means that regardless of what happens, or what Cersei does, the chances are her days are numbered. Much like Ramsay, Cersei symbolises the ways of the old. She's selfish, manipulative and devious. In other words a perfect player for the game of thrones. It also means she's ill-fitted for the new order where collaboration is key. As I said in my previous article there can be much speculation as to the damage she might commit before dying - she may even go so far as destroying all of Westeros, but it is very unlikely that she survive herself regardless of what she does. What may have saved her in the past is the very thing that will guarantee her plight now.
Circumstance dictate everything. Whether you're moral or immoral, survive or don't survive, thrive or fall is largely determined by external forces and the world you live in. But the external world is constantly changing and transforming. As such the things that may have put you at the top of the pyramid in the past, could now guarantee your demise. In the times of old for example, the game of thrones ensured that only the greedy and manipulative could survive.
As such it immediately means that those who can't adapt, will die. Therefore a change in the pattern of deaths will most likely occur in the closing seasons of GOT. Whereas it was all your favourite characters that died in previous seasons; Eddark Stark, Robert Stark, Oberyn Martell, in future seasons it will most likely be the stereotypically 'bad guys' that die instead. This is because the exact characteristics that made you like your favourite characters or seasons gone by; honour, kindness, and compassion for example, no longer get them killed, but have now become a strength. With us ourselves facing our own supernatural problems in the form of global warming, perhaps there are some lessons to be learned here in realm of the real as well. If we don't learn to unite, and tackle these problems together, we may face the same fate as some of our not so beloved Game of Thrones characters. Winter may have arrived in The Seven Kingdoms, but something equally as unpleasant is waiting around the corner for us.