*Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6, and speculation on Season 7*
There's no question Game of Thrones is a dark show, inundated with grotesque, grisly deaths and a myriad of characters who are consumed by an unquenchable lust for power. In some ways, enjoying events as they play out on screen renders us fans suckers for punishment, remaining resolutely onboard with a series that has broken our hearts time and time again.
Bizarrely, in what is perhaps a sign of how incredibly desensitized we've become, there were murmurs of a move toward "fan service" during the most recent season. You know, the kind of fan service where Ramsay Bolton gets beaten to a pulp before becoming pedigree chum for a ravenous pack of dogs. Or the kind of fan service where Arya Stark finally heads back to Westeros to embark on the blood-thirsty killing spree of all killing sprees.
Check out Arya's most brutal moments below:
Jon Snow came back from the dead and reunited with Sansa, Arya had her vision restored, the High Septon finally met his comeuppance... It's been too easy for viewers well versed in anguish. However, it's time to rejoice, because in the paradigm of Game of Thrones, although Season 6 was full of sugar and spice and all things nice, Kit Harington himself has promised a return to dark form.
Game Of Thrones To Become Even Darker?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 29-year-old — who has been nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Jon Snow — had a sobering message to us fans who have had it a little too sweet. He said:
"It's important to stress at this point that I haven't had any scripts, so this is all guess work for me. I think it's going to get very bleak before if there is a happy ending. If there's any sort of win or heroic moment for Jon and everyone else. I think it's going to get very dark before it gets better."
For every little triumph, or every scene that provides a sense of karma being enacted, it looks like the yin to that yang is going to swing fully back into action. The source of such potential turmoil, according to Harington, comes from North of the Wall. He added:
"I think what we might see this season is those White Walkers and that Army of the Dead really come into force. So that's going to be exciting to see. I don't know what it means. I think with the whole 'winter is finally here' business, it means everyone is going to have a really bad time."
Although it's guess work from the actor, he's definitely onto something. Author George R.R. Martin is renowned for being ruthlessly uncompromising when it comes to the fate of even much loved characters (Red Wedding anyone?) and although the TV show has now outrun the novel series, G.R.R.M is consulting. In a nutshell, it'd be naive to assume he'd deliberately lighten the mood, because, well, leopards don't change their spots.
Was this the calm before the storm? Could it be a deliberate tease of a better future to make impending doom even more traumatic? The answer in all likelihood is yes. As Harington points out, winter is finally here, and with that comes great turmoil. So much so, the entire Game of Thrones itself, and the battle for the Iron Throne, could be rendered insignificant in the bigger picture.
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Will Jon Snow Save The Day?
On one hand, we have the increasingly fraught battle to become leader of the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow himself is involved in that battle, having become King of the North. He's joined by Daenerys Targaryen, Petyr Baelish and, of course, the recently crowned Cersei Lannister. That in itself throws up potential heartbreak, with the prospect of Sansa betraying Jon and joining forces with Baelish (see our post on whether HBO have accidentally leaked this storyline).
On the other hand, the dawn of winter will see the threat of White Walkers reach critical levels, also causing the kind of chaos and bleakness that Harington refers to. Interestingly, dissecting his comments could also imply the actor believes that there is a possibility that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai.
To refresh, Azor Ahai — also known as the Prince that was Promised — is a mythical figure who saved the Known World from the previous long, dark winter. It has been frequently prophesized that once the winter arrives, Azor Ahai will return again to save the day, and speculation points strongly at Jon Snow being the saviour.
Ultimately, G.R.R.M promised a bittersweet ending, so we can't expect everything to go the way we like. In the way only Game of Thrones knows how, maybe Season 6 was as close as we'll get to fan service in the show. Now is the time to brace ourselves for an upcoming bleak season. Winter is coming, after all.
So, what could possibly go wrong in Season 7 of Game of Thrones?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter