By Jonita Davis
Game of Thrones finally gave fans the reunions that we have all been waiting for. However, not everyone is happy with how these meetings went down. People have even memed the oddness that came out of the Stark sibling reunion. We all wish that Jon would have laid Theon out, and the speculation swirling around the Lannister sibling meetup shows how unsatisfied fans truly are. In our anticipation of the reunions, it seems that we all forgot just how our beloved GOT storyworld works. It gives us what we want, but only how and where those wants benefits the needs of the story — no more, no less. GOT is not like some of these other shows that cater to the fans’ every whim, no matter how disastrous it may be for the future of the series. (Looking at you Charmed fans, who pushed hard for the Phoebe/Cole marriage, but then complained about the natural course of such a story —of course the good witch gets tainted if she marries the DEVIL.) No, the reunions our show offered on in Sunday’s episode were exactly the reunions we NEEDED to see as fans. Here’s why.
ONE: Jon and Theon
The show had some loose ends to tie up, and those needed to be done delicately in order to preserve the characters in their current roles. For example, when Jon and Theon last met, Jon was just the bastard and Theon was the legitimate son of a kid adopted by the Starks. In the hierarchy, Theon was above Jon. Now, they could not have gone back to that sort of relationship, and not just because of the deaths of the young farmer’s boys and Theon’s takeover of Winterfell after Rob died.
Although Theon’s acts were reason enough for the animosity between the two, the characters also had roles to preserve. Theon was now Reek the coward, incapable of saving his own sister. There is no way that such a man would walk up and try joking around with The King in the North, no matter who he was before the title. Reek would walk up just as he did, head low, side grin, no overt movements. Jon’s role as King also keeps him from giving Theon the ass-whooping that the fans were raging for as we anticipated this meeting. Theon definitely deserved it, but Jon is on a mission and losing himself over the likes of Theon would have jeopardized that mission as well as Jon’s reputation of being fair and compassionate. Dany also would have dismissed him at the shore if she found him to be another hot-headed man. She’s had enough of those chasing her already.
Essentially, Jon decking Theon may have ruined the Jon+Dany ship we are all looking to come in on a later episode. So you see, fan satisfaction could derail character’s current the roles and storylines.
TWO: Jaime and Tyrion
There was some major stuff boiling under the surface of those relationships that will need to come to a head later. Take Jaime and Tyrion. The last time the two brothers were together, one of them (Tyrion) had killed their tyrant father. Jaime helped him escape and they never saw one another again until Tyrion and Jaime met eyes under Drogon’s hellfire Sunday night. Jaime is obviously Team Cersei and we ALL know how much Cersei hates the younger Tyrion. She blames him for the death of their mother, which happened after Tyrion’s birth. Cersei has been trying to kill her littlest brother since he was a baby! But, we were reminded that Jaime does not share Cersei’s hatred for the youngest Lannister. In fact, who do you think saved the guy’s life from Cersei’s childhood murder attempts?
When Tyrion saw his brother on the opposite side of the battlefield, his heart bled. You can see it on his face. He wanted so badly to save his brother, even half-calling out at Jaime to stop his attempt on Dany while her back was turned. However, there was nothing the younger brother could do. Fortunately, their brotherly bond is stronger than war, and if Jaime is alive next week, I’ll bet it will be the love of his little brother that saves him from Dany’s wrath — DON’T mess with her dragons. Fans needed to be reminded that the calculating Tyrion and tactically genius Jaime are one another’s weakness. Tyrion may later have to save his big brother despite their political convictions. It may also factor in somehow when Cersei and Dany finally stand off.
THREE: Arya and Sansa
We needed to be reminded that these characters didn’t like each other as much as we remember, and that complexity is necessary for the story. The biggest reunion is that of the daughters of Winterfell, Arya and Sansa. Everyone wanted the Stark family to unite in this grand scene of hugs and happiness. But, we were forgetting something very important: the Stark sisters didn’t have a good relationship when they were together before! Now, Arya the stone cold assassin and Sansa the Queen Bee are supposed to hug it out in a cloud of tears? Never.
The sisters hadn’t seen one another since Season 1 before their father was beheaded. The scene has lots of Easter eggs from Season 1, including Arya’s return to Winterfell this week which mirrors her entrance as a girl returning from playing outside the castle walls. Similar interchange, but with a more dangerous girl. Even their conversation about Sansa’s title hails back to the days when she told Arya that she would wed Joffrey and become his queen. The meeting by the burial monuments and even the fight in the yard are all aged mirrors of the girls’ last days in Season 1. We are given these clues to remember how very different the sisters were as girls and how much they did not like one another.
Their awkward, almost cold reunion was thus on par for the relationship, as was Sansa’s storming out once she realizes that Arya is back and besting her in front of everyone once again. I think this animosity kicks off that Sansa-Cersei transformation that the character has been playing around with since the season started.
When the reunion scenes, we’ll get back to fighting Wights and battling for Westeros. We need these characters to be in position after their meetup with the past and have their storylines intact. That’s why we as fans could not have our way. There is still a story to be told. Let’s just be thankful that the showrunners were able to throw us a bone as big as this reunion show without screwing up the rest of the story.
Jonita Davis loves, reads, studies, and writes about comics, books, TV, culture, and more. You can usually find her in a corner somewhere, dragging a pen across paper in an effort to make sense of the world.