It’s shocking to say that the first two episodes of the final season of the HBO series Game of Thrones (GoT) has been like the hood in the dead of winter… noticeably peaceful. GoT is known for random acts of violence, brute force, and a whole lot of blood, but fans have been delighted by the recent kumbaya storyline and patiently content with the overwhelming lack of violence in these last two episodes. Almost as content as inner-city residents in January and February – when it may be cold but at least it’s safe.
These first two episodes must be the calm before the storm. Apropos for the series given the House Stark motto – winter is coming, has evolved into the overall premise of the series leading up to this season. Winter is coming refers to a long period of deep freeze that will befall the lands of Westeros, bringing with it an endless night of terror. It is said the long night will bring the dead – White Walkers – to roam Westeros and to devour the living, setting the stage for an epic battle between the living and the dead in this final season.
But thus far this season, no battles and only one death. Instead of the extreme situations staged so viewers can watch people die, fans have witnessed the grandeur of Westeros in the north at the home of House Stark in Winterfell, where typically all manners of spectacle happen south of the kingdom in Kings Landing. There was the arrival of Queen Daenerys Targaryen and – is he still the – King Jon Snow to Winterfell, accompanied by the greatest army the world has ever seen and two full grown dragons. Sir Brienne of Tarth has become the first woman knighted in the history of the seven kingdoms by Jamie Lannister who deserted his sister(slash)baby mama in Kings Landing and now offers to fight under Brienne’s command. Arya Stark lost her virginity to Gendry. And Theon Greyjoy, who stole Winterfell from the Starks and was later castrated for it, has returned to fight with the Starks to protect Winterfell during the long night. This season has been a lot more I Need Love, LL Cool J, and a lot less I Fucked Yo Bitch, Tupac.
It’s basically the opposite of rivalries, a symbolic display of truce between long time sworn enemies coming together united against a common enemy, the Night King and his army of the dead, yet they still need to decide who will rule the iron throne. A process that undoubtedly disrupt any truce. A truce not dissimilar to LA rival gangs, Crips and Bloods, coming together a few weeks ago to honor the life LA rapper Nipsey Hussle who was randomly slain in his home town. Truces that have halted a few random acts of violence, at least for a time.
And although truce is great for sunny LA where there is no winter to curb some of the senseless violence that plagues inner-city communities, no one can predict how long a truce will last, and other inner-city communities, like mine, know nothing of such truce. So, whether in Westeros as GoT faces winter during the final four episodes of the series or in the hood as temperatures rise and April Showers bring May flowers, there is no denying random acts of violence will continue.
Game of Thrones will see an end to the violence, brute force, and blood with the airing of the final episode on May 19th. But as much as good people in the hood try to combat senseless violence, we will continue living our lives in communities with failing schools, limited job opportunities, eradicated summer youth programs, and unlimited access to illegal guns, effectively creating unsafe conditions in our neighborhoods, until as many people tuning in to witness what happens to the cast in the final episode of GoT, start caring about people they don’t know in real life. Because for us…
Summer is coming.
Lead image modified from original art work for DJ Jazzy Jeff + Mick Boogie: Summertime, The Mixtape