Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7!
Game of Thrones, the biggest show of all time, is reaching its end.
That’s a sad sentence that I draw no pleasure in writing. But what comes along with the end of the show is the wrapping up of all the loose ends that are keeping us guessing.
If you’re reading this, then obviously you know the latest episode, The Queen’s Justice, had a couple of those loose ends tied up rather neatly.
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Perhaps the most brutal and psychologically disturbing of those deaths was the death of Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene.
And, though we didn’t see Ellaria Sand actually croak, Indira Varma, the woman who plays her, has said she definitely won’t be returning.
In the scene, Cersei went full psychopath and tied them up just out of reach of each other, gagged and helpless.
She then proceeded to wax lyrical about how Ellaria was the bitch who took Cersei’s daughter from her like Cersei hasn’t done her fair share of evil stuff.
She then kissed Tyene, sealing her fate with a poetic reflection of how her own daughter was killed.
We never actually see Ellaria die as she is left in the chamber to witness her daughter die and rot, so in theory she could come back.
But Varma told Entertainment Weekly:
Obviously there’s lots of trimming going on. It’s all coming to a head and you have to get rid of less important characters that the audience hasn’t had the chance to invest in as much. So I was expecting it. I wasn’t heartbroken.
And I was like, ‘As long as I die on screen…’ and they [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] were like ‘Yeah!’
But of course I don’t die on screen. I stay alive, I’m just not going to reappear. I think it’s really clever.
Varma said she was actually tied up for the episode, and ended up getting battered and bruised despite efforts to make the shackles more comfortable.
She also said she hopes people feel the morally ambiguous nature of the whole Cersei v Ellaria thing.
Ellaria hasn’t had quite the screen time so people are inevitably more invested in Cersei. But people were so in love with Oberyn and there’s a bit of that residue carrying on.
Obviously, nobody wants to see somebody’s child killed in front of them — that’s every parent’s worst nightmare, beyond worst nightmare.
Still, was this the best death of the episode? I’m not sure, potentially Olenna’s amazing final moments clinched it.
As Benioff and Weiss have said, Olenna Tyrell is the only character to ever win her own death scene in Game of Thrones history.
RIP Olenna. There’s probably no point saying that for Ellaria and Tyene because they definitely won’t.