Disclaimer: major, major spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7. Do not read if you do not wish to have your world come crashing down.
I have not been able to go online without seeing an exorbitant amount of GoT content; it is more a cultural event than a TV show. This season in particular seemed to blow up the Internet on a level that I had never seen before. It could be that it is barreling toward the finish line, with this season being a meager 7-episode run as opposed to the typical 10. It could be because two characters who were the “heroes” of our story finally met, and also had incestual aunt-nephew sex… you know, as one does (more notes on this later). Who’s to say.
Well, I have some thoughts on the latest season of Dragons and Nudity and Particularly Complicated Hairstyles That Never Cease to Baffle Me. I figured since everyone else won’t shut up about this thing that ended a week or so ago, neither will I. Let’s fire them out now, shall we.
First, let us begin with the magnum opus of my opinons: the writing this season was trash. And I say that with the utmost respect, should my dreams one day be realized and I actually get to work as a television writer/producer/Ellen Pompeo’s water bottle holder on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. The entire “Arya-Sansa fighting, which was semi-orchestrated by Littlefinger, but then at some point the plan turned against Littlefinger to kill him, but that was off-screen so we were all just supposed to assume an entire side-narrative like we are all FDR-wheelchair Bran/Three-eyed Ravens” was the single most poorly plotted thing I have ever seen on a television show. We were meant to believe they were really fighting? Or playing him the whole time, which would seem absolutely insane and unbelievable (she says so smugly about the show with zombies and dragons)?
It was an entirely unsatisfying ending for one of my favourites, Littlefinger. The Internet rejoiced in his undoing. I am in a very minute minority in enjoying this character, but Aiden Gillen side-eye is the best thing in the entire world and don’t you dare forget it.
Regardless of one’s thoughts on the character, his ending made no sense. He did very little scheming this season, and should have been killed off at the very beginning. Sansa never trusted him. Jon never trusted him. There was absolutely zero reason to keep him around other than for Aiden to keep cashing his HBO checks. To tease out this entire thing proved to me that the showrunners have zero clue how to properly create dramatic narrative without the assistance of George Martin’s existing material (which really instills me with confidence that they will take a nuanced, thoughtful approach to a show about modern-day slavery *eye-roll*).
On that same note, the lack of character deaths this season, accompanied by more close calls than I can count, is deeply troubling. I am not saying I want anyone to die (except Dany, like, I genuinely would rejoice), however, the minimal body count of characters people actually like tells me that next season is going to be a blood bath and we won’t even have time to mourn. The second one of our faves dies, another one will die the next scene.
Another huge issue with the writing was the lack of regard for time. We were meant to believe that things that should realistically take months and months are happening in a second. This is not a problem in the close-up, but take a look at the span of the entire show when we had extended travel sequences. It would take seasons for people to get from one kingdom to the next, and now they all have the Westeros version of the DeLorean and are moving at the speed of light. The entire Magnificent 7 crew going out to capture a white walker was a stupid as hell plan to begin with. Overall, it was such a weak episode, and that is in large part due to the fact that Gendry somehow ran all the way to the Wall, sent a raven to Dany, and then, she just happens to swoop in and save the day at the exact right moment. What a joke.
It is this season that many are realizing, though something I understood for many years now, that Game of Thrones parades itself as prestige television, yet functions as a soap opera. This is not a slight, simply a fact and observation on the way the plot is the only thing that propels the story forward. Character development jumped out the window the way that Theon jumped off that boat. That it is to say, GoT is no Mad Men. Jon Snow is no Jon Hamm. (Obligatory Jon Hamm reference. © 2017 Gabrielle Lee Gabauer)
Now, what would GoT be without a few spectacles? This season had more than most, yet they left me feeling slighted compared to the stunning sequences we had from Miguel Sapochnik at the close of season 6.
The Loot Train Battle, which left the Internet in shambles, failed to impress me. Everyone was like, “Oh! The dragon burning people!” As I sat there watching the dragon blow Lannisters into ash I thought, “Well, okay, but it is not like we have never seen the dragons do this before?” I really did not understand what all the fuss was about. The ending of the episode was damn infuriating as well. Recall: Jaime is running at Dany who is trying to pull out the spear that Bronn got lodged in her dragon, the dragon blows fire, and Bronn saves him by throwing him into the water. The water magically appeared there. It makes no logistical sense that that water was there. Also, he survived and the start of the next episode he was miles away and alive, despite having 100-pounds of army and a freaking hand made of solid gold? Okay. Sure. Fine.
If you want to watch a truly stunning, impressive battle sequence and see your Loot Train Battle and raise you a Battle of the Bastards. I will just leave this here:
The other thing that upset me was the way that everyone reacted to the death/resurrection as a white walker of a CGI fictional animal. Of course, I am referring to the true queen of this story, the Night King, javelin-ing one of Dany’s dragons then dragging it out of the ice with chains (that, I assume, came from Home Depot?) before turning it into a magical, undead frozen dragon. Why was anybody upset by this? Emilia, who, God love her, cannot act her way out of a paper bag, barely even reacted as her dragon fell to its death. As my best friend put it, “The dragons don’t even have a personality.” Amen. Give me a Direwolf or give me death.
In regards to the undead ice dragon, the season closed with the Night King leading his army to the Wall, as the dragon blew magical blue flames and the Wall fell. To this development I say: sure, fine. Howevuh, now that the white walkers are an immediate threat to everyone, all the small fights and machinations of the politics of Westeros we spent years of our life caring about mean absolutely nothing. Littlefinger’s death seems even more pointless now that they are all moments away from being incinerated by the undead army. We shall see.
I did not hate the entire season, though! The things I enjoyed were mainly costume related. Dany’s coat, though I loathe her character entirely and now cringe any time I hear the words “bend” or “knee,” was truly fabulous. I was not aware that Olivier Rousteing moved Balmain from Paris to Dragonstone, yet here we are.
Also, Cersei’s dress at the dragon pit meeting gave me chills. As she strolled in with her crew, and a variation on Ramin Djwadi’s incredible piece “The Light of the Seven” played through, I was snapping and “Yas queen”-ing up a storm. Lena Headey is a goddess and she deserves all the Emmy’s in the world. There is a part in this scene with some of the most impressive wrist-acting I have ever seen. That is how good she is; she can act with her phalanges. (On the note of costumes: there is an incredible piece by Tom and Lorenzo breaking down costumes from this season that is worth a read.)
To wrap up, let’s discuss the aunt-nephew sex, a sentence I never imagined I would be typing. So, the editing of this scene was disturbing with a capital “d” (pause for double entendre). So FDR Bran was chilling in his wheelchair telling Sam how he has to tell Jon that he is actually a Targaryen, thus that Dany is his aunt. This scene was cut with Jon having really awkward, chemistry-less sex with Dany. Kit has absolutely nothing with Emilia and it shows. His chemistry with Rose Leslie (Ygritte) was so electric because they were/are seeing one another in real life; bananas to me that as an actor he can’t fake it. It was horrific, give or take some tasteful male nudity. There are two stages of my life: before and after I saw Kit Harrington’s butt in this scene.
- This season was awash with too much Greyjoy business. Euron parading as some sort of fabulous, eye-linered glitter pirate was a fun treat, though.
- Jaime leaving Cersei at the end of the season was, while predictable, overdue? The wildfire wasn’t enough to make him leave her? Her lying about helping with her army was the last straw for him?
- Kit Harrington is genuinely a very weak actor, made very obvious by his “heroic” dragon pit speech. *runs and hides*
- The scene between Cersei and Tyrion in the finale was the best scene of the entire season. The two strongest actors on the show, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage, getting to go at each other was delicious and much needed.
- RIP Dickon Tarly, you were very hot (pun intended).
- RIP Olenna Tyrell, a savage queen too good for this world.
I look forward to sharing more of my rambling thoughts on TV as the school year continues.
Happy watching! xx
Images: credit: HBO. Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4ahEdCMSpo, http://tomandlorenzo.com/2…