In Game of Thrones season 6, King Tommen Baratheon met a tragic end that left viewers stunned. His suicide was a culmination of various factors, including family manipulation, personal loss, and the destructive actions of those around him. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind Tommen’s heartbreaking decision and the impact it had on the series.
A Vulnerable Ruler Manipulated by All
Tommen Baratheon, portrayed by Dean-Charles Chapman, initially appeared as a more compassionate and malleable ruler compared to his ruthless brother, Joffrey. However, his youth and inexperience made him susceptible to manipulation by both family members and influential figures in Westeros. Throughout his reign, he became a pawn in the political machinations of those around him.
Notably, his mother Cersei and his grandfather Tywin Lannister sought to control and use him for their own gain. Margaery Tyrell, too, saw an opportunity to wield influence through her marriage to Tommen. As Tommen’s reign progressed, he also fell under the sway of the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant, further eroding his ability to make independent decisions.
The Weight of Loss and Betrayal
Tommen’s tragic fate was not solely a result of external manipulation but was also influenced by profound personal losses. He had already lost his only siblings, and his father’s death had occurred shortly before his ascent to the throne. These losses left him emotionally vulnerable, and he lacked the guidance needed to navigate the treacherous waters of King’s Landing.
The death of his beloved wife, Margaery, in the explosion orchestrated by his mother Cersei, proved to be the breaking point. Tommen was devastated by this loss and was unable to comprehend the extent of his mother’s ruthless actions. His newfound faith in the High Sparrow and the Faith of the Seven crumbled, leaving him feeling utterly alone and betrayed.
With no one left to turn to and the weight of grief and despair bearing down on him, Tommen believed that taking his own life was the only option left. His decision to step out of his bedroom window marked a harrowing end to a character who had been manipulated and betrayed at every turn.
A Haunting Cinematic Moment
The scene depicting Tommen’s suicide in Game of Thrones season 6, episode 10, “The Winds of Winter,” was a masterful piece of cinematography. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik, known for his work on several iconic Game of Thrones episodes, the scene was a stark contrast to the explosive destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor that had just unfolded.
As Tommen sits in his quarters, gazing at the aftermath of the explosion and learning of Margaery’s death, the camera remains fixed on his back. The silence in the room is palpable as he removes his crown and, without uttering a word, calmly steps out of the window. This quiet, emotionally charged moment is in stark contrast to the chaos that had unfolded moments earlier. Sapochnik’s direction created an unforgettable and haunting scene that left a lasting impact on viewers.
Dean-Charles Chapman’s Perspective
Actor Dean-Charles Chapman, who portrayed Tommen Baratheon, reflected on the filming of his character’s death scene. He revealed that multiple takes were required, some of which involved rather uncomfortable falls. Chapman humorously noted his surprise at Cersei’s reaction to Tommen’s death, as she appeared to be uncaring about the loss of her last remaining child. This indifference hinted at Cersei’s transformation into a more ruthless character.
Chapman also expressed concern for Ser Pounce, Tommen’s pet cat, whose fate remains unknown after Tommen’s death. While the cat’s fate was not explored in the series, Chapman hoped that Ser Pounce found happiness in the Red Keep or escaped King’s Landing before the tumultuous events of Game of Thrones season 8.
A Trend of Short Reigns in Westeros
Tommen Baratheon’s brief reign as king was not an anomaly in the world of Westeros. Throughout the series, rulers often met untimely ends, and sitting on the Iron Throne did not guarantee a long life. His brother, Joffrey, had a similarly short-lived reign, and the War of the Five Kings claimed the lives of all five claimants to the throne.
Even Daenerys Targaryen’s ascent to power was fleeting, as she was assassinated shortly after her conquest of King’s Landing. In contrast, Bran Stark, named king at the end of Game of Thrones, seemed poised to rule during a more stable period, potentially ensuring a longer reign. However, the history of Westeros is filled with rulers who met tragic ends, making Tommen’s fate part of a broader trend in the realm.
In conclusion, King Tommen Baratheon’s suicide in Game of Thrones was a complex and heartbreaking culmination of manipulation, personal loss, and the ruthless actions of those around him. The scene of his death, directed by Miguel Sapochnik, left a lasting impact on viewers, and actor Dean-Charles Chapman’s reflections provided insight into the filming process. Tommen’s brief reign echoed the trend of short-lived rulers in Westeros, highlighting the perilous nature of the Iron Throne.