You guys, I did not like this week’s episode. Now, don’t get me wrong. It was a brilliant episode. But, I didn’t like it. Mainly, I’m really just mad for the emotional turmoil of what happened and who died. And no, unlike a large majority of you, I’m not mad that Jon didn’t pet Ghost. Cause I know that decision had nothing to do with Jon and everything to do with the extra money that would have cost for them to film. Annoying as it is, the show runners had other priorities and I know Jon would have given Ghost the biggest hug goodbye if he could have. But, don’t worry. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m not here to give any spoilers save one about Arya and Gendry. Which kind of rolls into two, because it includes Gendry’s political gift from Daenerys.
So, within the first ten or so minutes of the show, Daenerys makes the powerful political move of legitimizing Gendry, giving him Storm’s End and a lordship all at the power of her word. It’s pretty brilliant, really. And of course, Gendry is over the moon about it. One thing to understand about Gendry Baratheon here is the fact that he’s spent his whole life “knowing” there are things he cannot have and boundaries he cannot cross because he was born a bastard. This is what has always, based on his own mental understanding and view of the world, held him back from various things. And, for the most part he has been okay with it. He accepted who he is.
Here’s the kicker, though; this is also what has always prevented him from his closeness with Arya. In his mind, Arya is highborn, above him, and out of his reach. Forever. I’m fairly certain that the only reason he really gave in to his and her desires before the battle was because he felt certain they might both die. Sure, he’s loved her for a long while, but he’s always had this moral idea that they cannot be together simply because he is a bastard. He’s always held her to a higher esteem and always held himself to a lower one. The funny part about this is the fact that Arya has never once given a damn about any of that.
Which is ultimately why it is so hilariously cringey when the first then Gendry does upon receiving this lordship is to go and propose to Arya. In his mind, where he was never worthy of her before that moment, suddenly he is. Ironically, he may have been more worthy of her as a bastard than he ever was as a lord because this one act showed just how little he truly understands this girl that he is in love with. And you’d think that, after all they’d been through, he would know better. So, that was a little disappointing. But the truth is that Gendry, as a bastard, never would have asked Arya to be a lady. He probably wouldn’t have proposed, either, for his belief in her status above him.
Gendry sees the world rigidly, set within the expectations of society. And despite all he knows of Arya and the fact that a lordship is not worth anything to him without her, Gendry does not have the wherewithal to recognize that Arya is outside the boundaries of the world’s expectations. They probably could have been happy together if he hadn’t been “lorded,” but now he represents everything she never wanted to be. And he fell into the trap of societal expectations hook, line, and sinker.
It kind of breaks my heart.