The good people over at “Game of Thrones” just produced what might be the single greatest episode in the history of television.
Let that sink in for a second.
Seriously, if I’ve seen something definitively better than what I saw Sunday night, it must be slipping my mind.
Now I know we like to drop hyperbolic, emotionally-charged, lava takes online (as is tradition). That’s why I took a night to sleep on this notion, but I woke up and still feel the same way. Hell, I could probably hibernate and it still wouldn’t change how I feel because what I witnessed Sunday night, ladies and gentlemen, was greatness.
And we were all witnesses.
I’m not talking about an episode of television where you text your friend something like, “Hey bro, what’d you think of that?” I’m talking about an episode of television where you text your friends who don’t even watch the show the following message:
“&#*&#*#*(&#(alsdjflakjtoqt94qj YOOOOOOOOOO I JUST WATCHED SOMETHING THAT IS THE NEW STANDARD FOR TV DRAMA GO BINGE WATCH THE PREVIOUS 59 EPISODES YESTERDAY SO WE CAN DISCUSS HOW IT’S EVEN GOING TO BE POSSIBLE TO SURVIVE THE NEXT 10 MONTHS WITHOUT A NEW EPISODE SERIOUSLY HERE IS MY HBO INFO GO WATCH IT AND WE AREN’T FRIENDS UNTIL YOU DO.”
The Winds of Winter gave us an absolutely perfect opening in King’s Landing.
Most of our characters (Tommen, Margaery, the High Sparrow, Loras, Cersei, etc.) are prepping for perhaps the biggest trial of all time. If this was sports related, ESPN would be doing an 11-part 30 for 30 (eat your heart out, OJ).
I already knew Cersei was up to something, but as Ramin Djawadi’s magnificent score started to take up a larger portion of real estate in my head, I realized this was turning into something I shouldn’t even consider checking my phone while viewing.
When everybody arrived at the Great Sept of Baelor, one prominent face, Cersei’s, was noticeably missing, and those haunting piano notes playing in the background seemed to get about 10 decibels louder.
As a child led Lancel Lannister away from the sept and into the bowels of King’s Landing to stab him/troll him, my jaw dropped.
“OH MY GOSH SHE’S ACTUALLY GOING TO BLOW EVERYBODY TO HELL WITH WILDFIRE,” I internally screamed.
As the candles on top of the spilled wildfire slowly burned with Lancel desperately crawling across the floor to try to put them out, I was so far on the edge of my seat that I nearly fell forward onto my face.
They built the tension perfectly. It was palpable by the time Big Bang 2.0 was seconds from happening. When those beautiful green flames ripped through the underworld of King’s Landing and up through the sept, my already dropped jaw came dangerously close to falling all the way to the floor.
I’m not sure, but it might have been the first breath I took since the Main Title played.
As if the sweet, sweet carnage wasn’t enough, we got a wonderful shot of Cersei watching the chaos from the distance.
Cool guys don’t look at explosions, but you better believe that a badass, scorned, vindictive woman is going to watch (and enjoy) while sipping her wine as the massive fireball engulfs all the people who wronged her.
And to top it all off in the capital, we saw Tommen take a leaf out of Denholm Reynholm’s book by deciding “I’ve had enough. I’m just going to jump out of this window real quick.”
Although the 25(ish) minute opening in King’s Landing was the highlight of this entire season (and perhaps the entire show), IT WASN’T EVEN HALF OF THE EPISODE.
We saw Lyanna Mormont continue to be awesome (LYANNA FOR THE IRON THRONE) by declaring Jon Snow her “king from this day until his last day.” We watched a girl slit Argus Filch’s throat to get sweet, sweet revenge. Oh, and she did this after murdering his two sons and baking them into a pie she served him. WHAAAAAAAT!?!?!?
Oh, and The Mother of Dragons and Co. are on wooden horses sailing across The Black Salt Sea.
Samwell Tarly even got to see a down-on-his-luck Jamie Vardy!
Hey, not even the brief detour to Dorne could derail this brilliant installment!
I don’t know what’s coming next, but if it gets better than what we just saw, we are in for the biggest treat imaginable. Winds of Winter is easily the Ozymandias, the Who Goes There or the Pilot of “Lost” in the “Game of Thrones” Universe. It’s a reminder of why we love this show and why we love shows in general.
I’ve watched 60 episodes of “Game of Thrones” in the last month, and The Winds of Winter made rushing through the other 59 episodes well worth my time.
Can Season 7 start tomorrow?