The Game of Thrones committee came to an abrupt and tragic end on Sunday morning. After passing a series of resolutions and presiding over a trial by combat for Janos Slynt, the majority of the Small Council was killed in a massive explosion that consumed the Red Keep.
The blast was orchestrated by Maester Qyburn, who planted cases of highly explosive wildfire underneath the Red Keep of King’s Landing, where the meeting of the Council was taking place. Qyburn was assisted by two other members of the Council, the Red Priestess Lady Melisandre and Lady Lysa Arryn, although the conspirators’ motives remain unclear. The three collaborators survived by leaving the Council chamber early. The rest of the Small Council was killed in the explosion.
The Council had just resolved several important matters when they were killed in the wildfire blast. Members passed a series of resolutions to prepare the kingdom of Westeros to face the threat of an invasion by the white walkers in the North, and then presided over the trial of Janos Slynt, commander of the City Watch. Slynt stood accused of the kidnapping of the Tyrell family. Slynt’s legal counsel, Petyr Baelish, opted for a trial by combat to decide Slynt’s fate. In an intense group melee on the Council floor, Slynt’s champion Melisandre defeated a series of opponents, including Oberyn Martell and Elaria Sand, to secure Slynt’s innocence. However, the victory was short lived, as shortly after the duel Qyburn’s wildfire plot obliterated the majority of the Council members.
The decimation of the Small Council leaves the kingdom of Westeros facing an uncertain future. Many heads of the Great Houses and other leading figures died in the blast, which will likely result in succession crises throughout the realms. The newly-crowned Queen of Westeros, Danaerys Targaryen, is left to rule the kingdom without a council, and her rule may be challenged now that many of the prominent allies that supported her claim to the Iron Throne are dead. Without the Council to follow through on its resolutions concerning the Wall, the war against the white walkers is now without leadership. Queen Daenerys faces many serious and unexpected challenges as a result of the murder of the Small Council, how she attempts to address the fallout of this horrific act will have grave consequences for the future of the Seven Kingdoms.