Game of Thrones Season 7 Wrap Up

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Whew- can you believe we’re done with Game of Thrones for the year?? Crazy right!!

Well before I sign off on this subject, I’ve had a little time to mull over my thoughts for the season as a whole and to get in some predictions for season 8.

So first off: the White Walkers are gonna win. JK! I jest, I jest! That said, I know that things are going to get worse before they get better. I mean, we did just see a dead dragon blast through a wall of ice.

This year, I had mixed feelings about the show. While I enjoyed watching all the episodes (because who doesn’t like watching a dragon showing off its fiery wrath 😉 ), I did have problems with the continuity errors and time jumps. In terms of time jumps, I’m inclined to let them off the hook, simply because people complained so much about slow pacing in previous seasons- I feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. The storyline has, frankly, been all over the place. A friend of mine said they’ve obviously got George R R Martin’s end goal in mind and been working backwards- and this most obvious in the ridiculous suicide mission up north, which is clearly just a way to give the Night King a dragon. It’s not merely fanficy (although you can spot the fanfic vibes in a lot of the dialogue a mile off) it’s more that the books are unfinished and there’s a reason why it’s taking Martin so long to come up with coherent reasons for the same things happening in the books- the writers here are showing what happens when you go “well we’ve got to get from a to b, so wham bam thank you mam, let’s ignore logic”. This is less of an indictment of the show and more of a testament to Martin’s plotting skills– and, more than last season, this illustrates how different the book is gonna be.

Take Tyrion’s role this season, for instance. Either the showrunners have completely lost sight of his character or (and this is my personal opinion) or a lot of these decisions will actually be taken by Selmy, who is still alive in the books, and is more likely to make these kinds of blunders, since he already did during Robert’s rebellion. Personally, I this is more evidence (if ever we needed it) that they killed Selmy off prematurely and it’s creating continuity errors.

In terms of other book changes, I was dubious about the Jon/Dany pairing being present in the books. Yet with all the hints of pregnancy (they’re doing foreshadowing with a sledgehammer now) it seems likely that this will fit into the books somehow- with her my updated interpretation of her curse being she will die once she has a baby and be with Drogo again (I could be totally wrong about this, but I’ve thought Dany will die at the end for years now). I do wish that they could have built up this romance more convincingly, instead of relying so heavily on the fact that a lot of the audience already shipped it. It felt a little like they were softening towards each other and just fell into bed together. Talk about crazy attraction (emphasis on the *crazy*) That’s not to mention the fact that *dudes this is incest*- because here I am saying they should have built up an incestuous romance?! Honestly- watching the show this year has been very much a *be careful what you wish for* moment for me- cos you guys know I used to ship it (gah- I know- but I never expected it to happen- damn the writers for giving me what I wanted!). I’ve been so confused about it all season. But fortunately I’m not alone in this dilemma- this tweet was going round a lot:

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Moving on from the icky to the more tricky, I personally felt that we could have had more villainy. After all, this is what the show is known for! In previous seasons we’ve had a lot more character based scenes and grim interactions. I feel like they were hamming up Cersei as the mad queen and Euron as the next big bad, without making them do too many vicious things. I feel like, for villains in Game of Thrones, they were too willing to negotiate and didn’t do enough to warrant the title “dastardly” (and I so want to give that title to somebody with Ramsay and Joffrey out of the picture). A lot of this could be expanded upon.

For all that, I did appreciate the wonderful blockbuster moments and the spectacular cinematography. Unfortunately I agree with a lot of the critics that there used to be more to it than that (although a lot of this may come down to their lack of production capabilities when they started out). I will admit to missing the times when the characters made perfect sense *and* surprised us. But- to be as fair as possible- some of the things that were super predictable were such a long time coming, so can you really blame them? (I mean c’mon, Littlefinger had it coming since season 1)

I should probably say at this point that I still love it– but given how many posts I’ve done on this you guys must know that 😉 And speaking of which, here’s the full list for your perusal:

Episode 1: Eek Game of Thrones is Back!

Episode 2: Stormborn was a BLAST!

Episode 3: The Queen’s (In)justice

Episode 4: Spoils of War: This Series is Gaining Heat

Episode 5: Watch Out Eastwatch!

Episode 6: Ooh Err… Let’s Go Beyond the Wall

Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf- FINALLY!

A special thank you goes out to everyone that followed along for this- it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without all your wonderful comments:

Kat@LifeandOtherDisasters, Nel@ReactionaryTales, Ali@IWuvBooks, Ami@Luvtoread, Vicky@BooksandStrips, Lashaan&Trang@Bookidote, Nicole@ThoughtsonFantasy, Sophie@BlameChocolate, Dragons and ZombiesLolsysLibrary, Kristina Steiner, Drew@TheTattooedBookGeek, Pooja, Sarah Angelton, Literary Weaponry, Reading in the Wings, Poulami, Litcritpop, ReadbyChris, SpunkyReads, Fictionspawn and Bedwetter’s Last Dream

Check each other out!!

(I do hope I’ve not missed anyone out)

And that really is A WRAP! Now I’m gonna go cry that it’s all over for two years… Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments!

The Dragon and the Wolf- FINALLY!!

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Before we start let’s have a brief freakout that this is the final episode of the season…

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And a quick cry that we have to wait two years for the next season…

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Okay, so now we’ve got that out our system (mostly), let’s talk about how I WAS RIGHT!!! FINALLY!!! Things I and loads of other people have been saying for years came to fruition.

The biggest one for me was Littlefinger’s downfall. Even during this episode, I was thinking “it would be mad if Sansa kills Arya or Arya kills Sansa- it won’t happen”. I *knew* it was a ruse… and it was! They were playing Littlefinger all along. Obviously the showrunners took us for a bit of a ride there- but in the end *the pack survives*. Also this was hugely satisfying because I predicted that Sansa would kill Littlefinger before the end- all the characters have fatal flaws and his special was his creepy-ass love. Everyone succumbs to their weakness in this show- everyone. So yeah, I was right about this and MANY THINGS- what’s that Missandei?

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Okay- enough revelling in my small victory (but gosh darn it, I’ve got to take what I can get- I so rarely guess anything on this show). Moving onto the truce, I’ll admit to being a bit peeved about how the whole truce is playing out. I mean- let’s start with the obvious: WHAT IS THE POINT OF EURON GREYJOY? Ughh the whole Iron Island story, ever since they went off book, has really struggled. Without Euron’s weirdly mystical powers and magic horn (no euphemism guys, keep it clean 😉 ) this hasn’t seemed like it’s been going anywhere. I know, I know- he’s supposed to be off to get more troops (which destroys the whole “I’m a scary guy that’s been scared vibe we’re supposed to be getting) but arghhh I just don’t think he’s been a particularly exciting villain. Someone resurrect Ramsey… actually with the Night King on his way that might be a distinct possibility… I TAKE IT BACK!

Still, I have other problems with this whole “truce” storyline. It just seems a little too easy. I mean, I know Cersei’s backstabbing them (rather predictably) but considering the fact she blew up the Sept last season, it could have been a bit more spectacular. Sure, everyone can blame Jon for being honourable and telling the truth- but it doesn’t really matter since Cersei was intent on lying. And since it was so obvious that she wouldn’t in fact follow through with her promises and was just using the meeting to buy time- again I ask: WHAT WAS THE POINT? It was a dumb plan with a shitty outcome. One can only assume that Tyrion has some backstage plan (maybe promising her child will be heir to the Iron Throne? Which won’t work if Dany’s preggers…) to make this all worthwhile.

Scratch that- that won’t be worthwhile at all. The only good thing to come out of this is that she has *FINALLY* pushed Jaime to breaking point (with a little help from Brienne, acting as his conscience again). So that was a small consolation at least.

And speaking of characters getting some balls… Theon actually grew a pair (well in a manner of speaking  )! Although, ironically enough, it was his lack of balls that gave him the advantage in that fight…

And then the most ballsy person on the show got a turn to do a massive reveal… Oh no wait, Gilly was left off stage while we got Sam instead, which is almost as good (I wasn’t the only one who was pissed at him for taking credit for her work, the internet had a field day 😉 ) Joking aside, I absolutely loved Sam’s scene with Bran- his reaction to Bran being the three eyed raven was hilarious.

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I will say though that the all-knowing Bran not knowing that Rhaegar married Lyanna was a bit of a continuity error for the sake of some added drama. Yet I can forgive it, because like I said, the scene was so so good. Especially when it started splicing the past and present together.

Although admittedly, let’s think about the fact that Bran may have been watching that. Of course, there was more than one peeping tom here. Tyrion was creeping about the corridors and I don’t think it was just voyeurism. This seems like some major *foreshadowing* because he certainly looks like he thinks this will end badly (and also the main reason I think he’s made a deal with Cersei- although it’s a lot to base on a look).

Add to that the sheer weirdness of this scene, with the *this is incest guys* voiceover, making this simultaneously gross and romantic. I mean, I’ll admit to being really confused about this. You guys know I shipped Dany and Jon for years… but ewww. I feel sorry for Jon finding all this out (not Dany though- it’s kinda good news for her considering she thought she’d have to marry her brother one day)- I guess it’ll go something like this: “Good news: you’re not a bastard, you’re the rightful king of Westeros… Bad news: say hi to your aunt…”. Or if Bran’s the one delivering the news:

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Oh dear, I guess Jon really does know NOTHING

(I’m really trying to plug this Thrones! The Musical guys!)

Annnd just when we were revelling in all of that, the wall came tumbling down. Man! Where’s Trump when you need him? Someone send for him quick!

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(never thought I’d use that gif- I’m going to hell in a handcart 😉 )

Overall, this didn’t start out as the most spectacular finale we’ve ever had. However, with the slow build-up we did get some great one-on-one scenes, the likes of which have been fewer this season. We also had incredible reunions: Pod and Tyrion, Tyrion and Bronne and even that striking scene between Tyrion and Cersei- basically *all the Tyrion moments*. Then there was the Hound and Brienne bonding over Arya and Cersei coming face to face with the dead. And we’ve been promised Cleganebowl people!! Plus, to top it all off, there were some gorgeous wintery filmography and showstopping visuals like Dany arriving on dragon (that never gets old!). All in all- there was a lot going on this episode!

Alrighty then- thus ends another epic season- can you believe that episode? Can you believe that season? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

And for anyone who fears this will be the last of my posts on Game of Thrones till 2019, I will hopefully have a quick wrap up before too long and who knows… maybe Winds of Winter will come out in the meantime?! Here’s hoping!

 

Ooh Err… Let’s Go Beyond the Wall

Well hello there!! I’m back from beyond the wall… Aka beyond Hadrian’s Wall…

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Basil Brush Boom Boom

Okay that was a terrible joke… Anyhoo, while I don’t have any photos to prove it (I used to live there, so didn’t get that *omg I’m a tourist and must capture everything* urge) I had an awesome time on my trip to Edinburgh. Coincidentally while I was up there I went to see Thrones! The Musical on the Fringe – so if you are in the area, or can get to the festival, I *highly recommend* you going- it was THE BEST THING EVER!

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And if you want to know how good it is, check out this SPOILERS song, cos, well, now we’re getting to the spoilery part of my post.

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I did like the opening scene, even though it moved at a snail’s pace. We got quite a bit of character bonding, which I appreciate, since we haven’t had as many slower scenes this season. Aside from the humour, I particularly appreciated the moment between Jon and Jorah.

While we’re on the subject of developing relationships, there was of course mad-tension emerging between Arya and Sansa. I will say for the record that if it does come to a fight, I’m Team Arya (#sorrynotsorry she’s been my favourite character the longest). HOWEVER, as I’ve discussed before, I am inclined to believe this is a ruse for Littlefinger’s benefit. Especially after reading an article reminding us that the trailer this year about the “lone wolf” was a bit of clever misdirection, because that line originally came from the talk Ned gave to Arya about how the “pack survives” in winter when they work together- so this gives me hope that the Stark children are in fact working behind the scenes to bring Littlefinger down. Otherwise, I don’t rate their combined brains- because c’mon this guy has snake written all over him (just as clearly as Saville had creep written all over him- it makes you wonder how people miss this sort of thing…?)

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I sincerely hope this theory is correct- not just for the sake of all the characters I love, but for the sake of the show’s consistency (which has not been as good this season). We are supposed to believe that all of the Stark children have experienced some sort of growth: Bran magically knows everything, Arya’s a killer assassin and Sansa has possibly grown the most with her canny knowledge of court politics. After all of her scathing remarks about Littlefinger in particular, are we really supposed to believe she doesn’t know what she’s doing when she moves Brienne out of the picture?

But enough of that- this wasn’t the only relationship to take a hit in this episode. We saw more friction between Dany and Tyrion, as they discussed walking into the lion’s den. Fortunately there are no dimwits here, and they are well aware that Cersei is laying a trap. Plus, they got a great one liner from Dany:

dany stupid things

No truer words were ever spoken. And for all the mistakes he’s made this season, I do think that that Tyrion’s right here- they do need to discuss the laws of succession and Dany needs to stop being so darn difficult all the time. BUT her reappearance later in the episode had me practically yelling THIS IS WHY I LOVE HER!!! More on that in a second…

Because before the massive showdown, there was some stress inducing scenes with a zombie bear. I definitely appreciated the chilling and creepy scenes beyond the wall- because for all the ridiculousness of the plan, flaming swords are cool and I like a good battle where (mostly) randomers get eaten by walkers. This episode totally fulfilled my *yay action!* quota while also amping up my stress levels. Of course, time has gone out of the window in the show now, so the message that they’re sitting round like penguins surrounded by the dead gets to Dany quickly enough for her to save the day… but let’s skirt right over that, because ARGHHH THAT CONCLUSION WAS SO EPIC I CAN’T COMPLAIN!!!

Welllll…. I won’t be complaining per se… but WHO CAN BELIEVE WE’VE LOST A DRAGON?!? (incidentally I watched this with some friends- one of whom is a genius and guessed *every single part* of the episode INCLUDING THIS!!) And this is the same week yet another gripey Guardian post said the show’s lost its evil streak- what could be worse than losing a dragon dammit?! I legit can’t cope and am in mourning (yes, yes laugh away callous humans- my mum did when I told her). Fortunately there are some very sensitive articles online about this tragic event 😉

And speaking of things that made me unhappy, as I’ve discussed before, I didn’t want Jon to bend the knee. I knew it would happen eventually- especially with the discussion of pride and stubbornness at the beginning of the episode. I was glad it happened for a good reason- I mean she did do him a major solid- yet I didn’t see him as being foolish her and am not sure of the implications for the rest of the series and how this will impact the *big reveal* of Jon’s parentage. Either they will have to end up together or Dany will die as I’ve long predicted… but who knows?

Speaking of implications, I have been wondering a lot lately about the correlation of the show and the book, so I’ve been thinking a lot that I don’t expect this crazy jaunt to happen like this. Obviously we now know that one of the dragons will get turned into a wight- though I feel like this might not be the way it goes down. One of the things that indicated this to me was that we didn’t lose any major characters, making me think they’re all needed elsewhere and for the final battle. It also makes me think that Benjen possibly died earlier, sacrificing himself for Bran, as his appearance here was too convenient and he ended up getting overwhelmed anyway (likely dying permanently- though other miracles have happened). As mentioned by many other people, Jon’s plot armour has become impenetrable of late- which again makes me think this is not going to happen in the books (notorious for character’s lack of plot armour). We did however learn some important things from this episode: namely that if you kill the Night King all the Walkers will die and that there’s no way Dondarrion will be coming back from the dead. Plus, let’s be honest, it was a kickass episode.

Now if you don’t mind I’m gonna go in a corner and have a good cry (while I also do a crazy amount of blog hopping to catch up with you lovely people 😉 ) Have a great weekend!

Watch Out Eastwatch!

Wow, if you’re not a bundle of nerves right now, I salute you, cos this episode ratcheted up the tension.

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It started out fairly gently, where the last one left off, with Jaime coughing up half a river. While it was a great opening scene, I do have to say my first thought was HOW?! I was amazed Jaime wasn’t capture- it seemed like too close a call. That said, I didn’t concentrate on that too long, because five seconds later we find out what Dany would have done had she caught poor Jaime in her talons (I can’t tell you how grateful I am that didn’t happen!)

As for Dany’s treatment of POWs… well I was in the middle of writing “wow what a rousing speech from Dany…” and then it all went downhill. Because she had a nice little “burn them all!” moment. I have to admit, I’ve been struggling to root for Dany “bend the knee” Targaryen for a couple of seasons now. It’s bad enough that she’s getting increasingly dictatorial, but I don’t see how I can make allowances for all her brutal decisions- she got a pass for executing traitors however she wanted, I couldn’t bring myself to care for the slavers she killed, but C’MON you can’t just roast honourable soldiers who won’t break their vows!! It’s not good enough in my book that she keeps claiming to do this to “break the wheel”. If she’s a better person, she has to act like it *every single second* and has to be awake to her own potential for malevolence. Right now she is doing the most evil in her pursuit to rid the world of a greater evil- and she can’t even see it. I found it a tad ironic that she said “Sometimes strength is terrible” in her weakest moment. Maybe, just maybe her advisors can make her aware of this, as they seem alert to this moral conundrum in a way that she isn’t right now. Here’s hoping Dany can redeem herself.

While Dany loses it, Jon Snow is becoming more awesome. I’m pretty much hanging on his every word and my favourite moment of the week was when he stroked Drogon. That scene was just… WOW!! And of course the showrunners are delivering time and again with the easter eggs for him being a Targaryen (I have to admit to screaming at the screen for Sam not picking up on Gilly saying that Rhaegar got an annulment and married someone else- but at least we have official confirmation that Jon is *in no way* a bastard).

And the other part of this episode that made me massively happy was the reintroduction of Gendry.

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Yes, we all thought that! I have to admit I didn’t expect to see him again- but I’m so glad he’s back- and with a Robert Baratheon style Warhammer! I was super excited for him to meet Jon and to have some actual onscreen action- with any luck he’ll get a reunion with Arya. Although speaking of which, I have a ton of hopes (and dreads) for Arya’s storyline.

With Arya, we did have a glorious scene with her stalking her prey… and her prey stalking back. Quite clearly, Littlefinger was never going to be a straightforward target. What I would love to see is the Stark children working together to bring him down and I have even heard some people saying theories that her rivalry with Sansa is all for show. HOWEVER this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about. It’s not big on wish fulfilment. So as much as I’d like to see Jon and Arya hug it out, Littlefinger get stabbed with the dagger that started it all, and the Starks remain undivided- I just don’t think the writers are gonna be that kind to us poor long-abused viewers.

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Because as creepy and skilled as Arya gets, their foes are still formidable. And speaking of the horrible things we’ve witnessed on the show in the past, Cersei’s hint that she has another Red Wedding style betrayal in mind has me stressing out. She doesn’t seem especially moved by the fact she got it wrong with Tyrion (as predicted) and is only using the information that Olenna killed her son to be mad at Jaime… go figure. But really- let’s take a vote: who really thinks Cersei’s gonna go quietly?

And speaking of fear- as we move towards this series finale (*sob*- I don’t want it to be over!) we get more and more hints that terrible things are coming. That scene with Bran and the ravens, in particular, was chilling. And I swear every time they say “the wall has stood through it all” I get a shudder of fear running through me- because that’s writer code for “pahahaha we’re gonna bring that shit down”. And of course, no one will believe any of the doom mongers, so they’re all screwed.

Naturally, in case you weren’t terrified enough, they have come up with a really really bad plan in response. By now, I should be used to Game of Thrones setting up an intense conclusion, but this was a very strong episode in its own right. The pieces are on the board – we have only to wait and see how this turns out. All I can say is WATCH OUT EASTWATCH!!

So what did you think of this episode? Any predictions? Let me know in the comments!

Spoils of War: This Series is Gaining HEAT

(Anyone else think this is ironic that an episode with this title was spoiled for a lot of people? Either way, if you have somehow managed to avoid hearing about/watching this episode and don’t want it spoilt… look away now!)

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This episode was the definition of EPIC! I don’t even know how to coherently express myself anymore. I was tempted just to write !!!!!!!!! this week and leave it at that- cos that pretty much sums up my emotions right now. In fact a lot of my notes were just “arghhh!!” and “ahh” so it took a while to decipher.

So let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start 😉 ). That opening scene between Bran and Littlefinger (or as I like to call him “fuck off Littlefinger”) was quite excellent, because it really showed the huge development of Bran as a character. He is a million miles away from that cripple in the bed being defended by his mother- now he’s one creepy bugger. I just loved how Bran said back Littlefinger’s infamous line: “chaos is a ladder”. It gave me the shivers! But seriously, my takeaway from this scene was still someone needs to kill Littlefinger already *ahem* Arya *ahem*. (Speaking of which- was Bran giving her indirect permission by giving her the knife? Theories anyone?)

And now we come to the ahh-my-emotions part of the episode. Because although this episode packed punch after punch of *feels*- including Meera leaving- the real hiccupy tears started to rise from the moment Arya set eyes on Winterfell again. I think the reunion, as good as it was, was nothing compared to that moment. Although Sansa’s line made me laugh:

when he sees you his heart will stop

LOL! So yes, this episode definitely succeeded in making me as emotional as the last one. I do have to say that as nice as it is to see them all back at Winterfell, none of them are anything like the children that left it. That point when they talked about how everyone that knew their father is dead and Arya replies “we’re not” hit home even more in a way, because it made me wonder have any of them really survived?

So we’ve revisited some old relationships, let’s talk about the new ones building. I adored the scenes on Dragonstone- not just Dany and Jon admiring some wall paintings together, but also the Onion Knight paying lip service to that ship. I just love how they’re slowly softening towards each other coming together. It was especially inspiring to see Jon managing to talk a fiery Dany down from  just turning King’s Landing to ash- talk about a dream team! And you gotta love Davos’ priceless line:

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I also did like Brienne’s initial reaction to seeing them all together, however, as good as all this was, I did find the training scene between Arya and Brienne a bit strange, unnecessary and fanfic-y. I could be wrong, but I just can’t picture something like that happening in the books and it’s the more jarring scenes like this which make me wonder how it will go there- I guess now would be a good time to take bets 😉

We certainly got reunions all round in this episode. I honestly didn’t know how Jon would react to Theon and it looked like Jon didn’t know either. I have to say that was one of Kit Harrington’s best moments, because he packaged so much into that one moment- shock, uncertainty anger- it all made the scene feel utterly authentic. In the end, I was glad they didn’t just hug it out, cos (and I have to remind myself of this too since it was so long ago) Theon’s the reason Rob is dead.

Okay- now what we’re all really here for is that battle sequence 😉 And what a battle it was!!

First of all, the build-up was so so good!! I loved how they didn’t rush into it, starting with a rumble and whinny of horses. The tension snuck up steadily, with everyone waiting for pandemonium to hit. Jaime’s line just before they hit was perfect:

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No you really, really can’t. Because my, my, my- the dothraki brought the chaos. All due credit to the showrunners- they know how to shoot a battle. This is by far the best I’ve seen on television- in fact it would be more than worthy of a summer blockbuster. It was so brilliantly done, from the way it was shot to the CGI fluttering of Drogon’s wings as he crashed to the ground… but more on that in a bit.

Because this wasn’t just about the visuals. Someway, somehow, the writers managed to build characters in the thick of it. You got all the emotion on fear on their faces as they feared for themselves and others. You had little moments, like the Dothraki saying to Tyrion “your people can’t fight” or Tyrion saying “you fucking idiot” as he watched Jaime charge towards the dragon. There was even that perfect moment between Dany helping Drogon on the middle of the battlefield, where suddenly it was just a girl and her dragon.

Seriously, I was so scared for people on every side- and even as my heart was pumping for Dany to finally get on the scoreboard of this war, I was absolutely terrified about what that would mean for Jaime (who by the way, did amazingly for a guy with one hand). But I couldn’t even think this would be a breeze for Dany, what with them trying to shoot POOR DROGON out of the sky. Of course you don’t mess with a mother-effin dragon if you want to live…

And that crazy cliffhanger with Jaime nearly dying is where I will leave you. I am absolutely on tenterhooks for the next episode. But I am delighted to say this was one of the most hard hitting, emotional episodes I have ever seen… and that’s saying something! The showrunners are really delivering on everything now, from long awaited reunions, meetings, characterisation, wars, and even the occasional, lingering notes of Rains of Castamere in the middle of a battle. And once again they have proven WHY THIS IS THE BEST DARN SHOW EVER!!!

I can also say, from me to you, this is definitely worth rewatching 😉

So what did you think of this EPIC episode? Did it make you happy? Scared? Something in between? Let me know in the comments!

The Queen’s (In)Justice

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*As usual, there will be spoilers, proceed at your own peril if you’re not caught up*

Okay that title’s a tad misleading because not only did some of the characters have their just desserts, we as fans were served up more than our due! So so much of our patient waiting was paid off in this episode. Yet, for all the JUSTICE of this episode, this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about- and for every bit of satisfaction there was a nail-biting moment to set us on edge again!!

In the first five minutes we get a Tyrion/Jon reunion and one of my favourite scenes:

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cue dragons

(I also believe the red dragon is Rhaegal- so it was doubly poetic!)

And next we had a decent interaction between Melisandra and Varys (I love how they understand each other). I loved her last spooky throwaway line “I have to die in this strange country just like you”. Either way, tata Melisandra… at least for now.

Then we get something to really rant over. Okay… I have a confession- I’m one of those people that’s been shipping Jon and Dany since season 1. I really reallllly want it to happen and now it’s in touching distance and I can’t breath and arggghhhh. As you might be able to tell I’m losing my cool now- this show is killing me. To be honest, I have literally no idea if this will ever happen, but I did enjoy their scenes on their own merit regardless.

Firstly, I loved the character development here. I think the screenwriters have come a long way from the Tyrion/Dany meeting (that felt very fanfic-y to me) because both Dany and Jon were so true to form here. First of all, it was fun to watch how stubborn they were, both bringing up good points, even while they butted heads with each other. I also loved how Dany spoke for herself, whereas a more humble Jon had to have the Onion Knight stepping in for him. To be honest, this was done so well that even though I know and like Dany I never expected her to cave, but was glad she did.

Add to that a brilliant script this week and we had some real television magic. It was so nice to have a bit of humour injected this week (who noticed the Onion knight’s short: “This is Jon Snow- he’s king in the North” to the super long Dany introduction). I even liked how it seems like Tyrion’s light-hearted touch has rubbed off on Dany because she had some very witty lines too. But really it was Tyrion back to his old ways and stealing the show again cos he had some real zingers:

brooding tyrion

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dreary in the north tyrion

Now to talk a little about the Greyjoy situation. I might get a bit of stick for this, but I kind of started thinking about how Theon’s experiencing a bit of a character reversion right now (which to be honest brings back a lot of old anger I still have pent up for the character because if he hadn’t been such a shit at the start…) Either way, the one I feel sorry for is Yara, because she’s done everything right and doesn’t deserve this. Euron’s a total sleaze and I’ll admit, I’m beginning to dislike him, especially cos of how he’s treating poor old Jaime (still far from my fave villain though)

And speaking of villains… That Cersei scene was chilling. I was even moved by the sandsnakes’ plight- that’s how much I hate Cersei. (I can appreciate the rather biblical measure for measure justice she metes out though…) And I have to also say that her talk with the bankers made my skin crawl- I mean ewww to that “sometimes tragedies are necessary” line. Ultimately, Cersei is finally showing that she actually has a wicked clever brain- “a Lannister always pays their debts… Do dragons?”

But she’s not the only clever woman on the block now- she has a budding rival in the north. Let’s face it, Sansa is getting cleverer and cleverer with every episode- and I must say how much I appreciate this development for the character. I love her sarky tongue and how brilliant the dialogue was. And of course, one of the best things we had this week was her reunion with Bran!! (admittedly this did have a creepy tinge to it though I was relieved he doesn’t plan to take Winterfell off Jon).

Strangely enough for Game of Thrones, we got more than one sweet scene this week (I know- two in one week?!) I don’t usually get gushy over Jorah or Samwell moments- but *oh my goodness* this was done perfectly and got an “aww” out of me!

And then, just when we were all thinking this episode was going down without any action… We got *another* battle! I swear- the showrunners are not letting us down this season. What I liked about this was how it was shot differently, so we didn’t actually see as much bloodshed, but we did get the tactical narration in the background which was a change from the usual. It was nice to see Tyrion’s brain work with his super smart Trojan horse trick… for all of three seconds. Because damn it this is Game of Thrones and things never go to plan. It does not seem Tyrion is getting very far in this Lannister vs Lannister shenanigans.

But for all that, the theme this week was actually queens- and while we did get more than a little *woman power*, ultimately it was the Queen of Thorns who stole the show. As sad as it was to see the Tyrell’s wiped from the face of Westeros, Olenna’s swansong was EPIC! Because we got that final piece of justice, where Olenna confessed to killing Joffrey (although I predict this will still have no effect on Cersei’s view of Tyrion or Sansa- I do think her reaction could be something that pushes Jaime further away- but we will see…).

I can happily say that this was one of my favourite episodes to date- it was just done so well. Yet more players have been wiped from the board and there were many, many perfect moments. I can hardly wait for next week- so if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rewatch scenes from this week for the umpteenth time!

So what did you think of this week’s episode? Are you dying for more? Let me know in the comments!!

Stormborn was a BLAST!

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*Spoiler alert!*

Well this episode ended up surprising me more than the last. I wouldn’t have believed it, partly because of how thrilling last week’s opener was and also since the beginning of this episode was much more mellow.

Given that the first scene featured Varys- an always welcome- but more of a Machiavellian than a dramatic influence on the show- I did not think we would see fireworks. As enjoyable as it was to see them discussing their war council, I felt like this episode was going to set things up like a game of chess, and this hour would be devoted to getting everyone into position… how wrong I was.

There was some stellar character development before we got to any of the action though. I was especially delighted with Tyrion’s plan and coded message- it is *so long* since we’ve seen that brilliant brain work! That was more than welcome reminder of why he is one of my favourite characters!

Along with this, there were some lovely tender moments and some ughhh-what-are-you-doing-scenes (with Cersei- they’re always like that though). And in terms of Game of Thrones trademark gore, this episode starred some hardcore greyscale, and I have to say this was the grossest thing I have ever seen- on this or any show! I mean: ewwwww!!

The other notable moment, before we get to *that explosive conclusion*, was when Arya and Nymeria were reunited. Bittersweet and heartbreaking, it wasn’t the reunion we’d hoped for and raised so many questions for me. I know that the showrunners have talked about how it shows that Nymeria found her own life… but I wonder if it hints at a dark ending for the Stark assassin. For instance, I’ve always thought the execution of Sansa’s wolf is the symbolic moment when she becomes more Tully than Stark- so is this too symbolic of Arya’s estrangement from her wolf? Does it show that she will never be tamed? Does it suggest she will never make it home to her family?

And finally… THAT ENDING!! I wasn’t expecting that. Of course I should know by now it was never going to be straightforward, but I really didn’t think I would see a full scale battle in the second episode. Like the battles last year, it was beautifully shot. They only get more exquisite to look at: the ashes falling, the fire dancing, people dying everywhere… and yet it was oddly stunning to look at. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from this grotesque spectacle (one of those moments that will sift the GOT fans from the Guardian writers- I saw yet another article complaining about the violence in this show and wondered why are they still watching it 7 years on?!? Anyway, I digress…).  I can’t say I’m sorry to say goodbye to the sandsnakes- but what happened to Theon and Yana was *devastating*. I will say, this is the first time in a while that I’ve begun to wonder about what would/will happen in the book…. Only time will tell (or not). Either way, I can’t believe how much has already happened here- the showrunners are not letting us down this year. God only knows what will come next (okay, I have some inkling from the trailer and I might have screamed).

Anyhoo- hope my thoughts weren’t too all over the place this week- it was a very exciting episode and all my coherence went out the window after that final scene. Have you seen this yet? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments!

And sincere apologies for this coming so late- the old Mad Hatter (my computer) is acting up (well, more than usual…)

 

 

Eek Game of Thrones is back!!

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Hello all! Exciting news today: as I did last year, I will be reviewing all the Game of Thrones episodes now that it’s back! This will be full of spoilers because, dudes and dudettes, if you haven’t watched it three days after the premier, I don’t know what you’ve been doing!? Go away and come back when you’ve watched it!

Righty ho…

shall we begin

Let’s get straight onto what I loved about this episode, namely… THAT OPENING! Man, only in Game of Thrones do you get a payoff in season 7 for something that happened in season 3- but it was so worth the wait. That line “winter has come for house Fray” was literally killer. I mean, I knew from the fact that the recap alone gave me chills that I was in for a thunderstorm of emotions, but I didn’t expect for it to blow me away so quickly. Five minutes in and it was already the best TV I’d seen in a year.

There was of course that same old recap element to the first episode of the season. And even though it felt like I’d been grabbed by the throat by that beginning, the pressure did ease off a little as other characters were reintroduced.

That said, I enjoyed the initial character development you got in this episode. I do appreciate how dark Sansa has gotten- but, and I say this with the utmost respect for her character, her advice was shit. It almost reminded me of all the times I’d groaned at Catelyn Stark’s bad advice. I know I might get flak from her super fans, but Jon’s plan just seemed far more sensible- especially when you want to unite the north and don’t want lasting grudges to distract you from killing the Night King.

I did feel like there were probably more people crammed into this episode than was absolutely necessary- you had everything from a glimpse of Jorah Mormont’s arm to a cameo of Ed Sheeran (no joke!). And then there were a few story arcs that just slowed down the pace considerably. The middle lagged- especially when the Hound got his moment in the spotlight. I’m also struggling to get excited about Euron Greyjoy as this seasons’ big bad- unless he does something especially egregious (I mean worthy of Ramsey Snow egregious) I don’t think I’m going to buy that he’s so dastardly- only time will tell. Couple all that setup with a number of scenes of Samwell Tarley cleaning up bodily fluids and my attention started to wane.

Fortunately, the ending did perk me up again. With all the build up and talk of Dragonstone tying the episode together, I did have a hint this was where it was going- but there was always that worry that it would take weeks for Dany to cross the narrow sea. Luckily we didn’t have to wait that long! No- just wham bam thank you mam, she’s in Dragonstone.

And that’s where I’ll leave you too! All I will ask you today is how excited on a scale of 1-10 are you feeling about this show?! Let me know in the comments! (even if your answer is zero 😉 )