Pop Culture Advent Calendar, Day 20: The View From The Red Keep
Once a day, until Dec. 25, we'll be highlighting a specific small, good thing that happened in popular culture this year. And we do mean small: a moment or image from a film or TV show, a panel from a comic, a brief exchange from a podcast, or a passage from a book.
The disparate plot threads of HBO's sprawling Game of Thrones finally began to tighten in the series' sixth season. Characters long separated were reunited, while other characters who'd never encountered one another before met in person for the first time.
And in the tenth and final episode of the season, "The Winds of Winter," two members of the show's ruling family, Young King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) and his mother, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) watched from their respective tower windows as an elaborate trap set by Cersei was finally, violently sprung.
Cersei watched this series of events unfold in her usual way: with a self-satisfied, thin-lipped smile, gripping a goblet of wine.
King Tommen, however, who'd spent his short, doomed life an easily manipulated pawn in the game of the show's title, reacted with horror.
In an episode as filled with action and reversals and various forms of comeuppance as this one, what Tommen did next almost didn't register. But it was a signal example of the show's New Normal, as its overarching plot picks up speed toward an inexorable final conflict, burning entire narrative threads and long-established characters for fuel.
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