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    1. On a more intelligent note: I’ve been listening to the back catalogue of GOO. I’m next starting S5, bookwise I’ve only finished The Clash of Kings podcasts but have reread the last two books in your suggested Feast of Dragons order.

      Thank you for a fun, intelligent, informative podcast. If I ever went to iTunes (I never do), I’d be sure to give you a 5-star review because nothing less is acceptable.

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    2. Thanks again for a great conversation — I have really enjoyed your guests this season and how the community is ever more interconnected.

      And thanks to Zach for turning the podcast towards the positives of season 7. I personally loved it and while I wouldn’t put it in the top tier (3 and 4 for me), I would put it in the middle tier (2, 6 and 7). I think there were some really important things that happened, both in the terms of terms of character arc (think Danerys turning from a “conqueror with a heart” to a hero who is willing to take risks for the greater good, or Jon accepting his resurrection), as well as plot development/key events.

      And thanks to Jeff for raising the challenges that D&D face without the scaffolding of the books. I agree with Hannah that I think parts of season 6 and much of season 7 would have been written and would have felt differently if the showrunners had GRRM’s source material. It is hard enough to adapt a show of this kind with the actual material (which I think the showrunners have done masterfully); I think it would be an order of magnitude more difficult to do it with only an outline (and whatever they may have gotten since 2013 in answer to questions I am sure they have asked). I think this explains much of why the show feels more like TV and less like TV, although D&D continue to do some amazing work.

      I think if you look at the main overall complaints of season 7 they can be categorized in three ways:

      1. Operational and mechanical challenges of the storytelling that were jarring for many viewers.

      2. The weakness of the Winterfell plot.

      3. The lack of believability of the mission beyond the wall (and for some as part of a more general grumbling about how Tyrion seemed to have moved from a sophistocated player of the game to an inept war advisor).

      Personally, I could work my mind around the operational challenges in (1), and just enjoy the show for what it is. I also agree with Jeff that WoW and DoS are likely to move towards a high/epic fantasy character, which makes me fear that viewers will have a hard time with season 8.

      On (2), I personally felt satisfied with how the WF story ended up and was less bothered by it as a whole, although I do think that the plot could have been built out to make it more plausible and enjoyable. There could have been interesting interactions with Bran and Lords Royce and Glover, for example, that could have added to the story (although D&D clearly went for more dramatic tension around who was Sansa’s target in episode 7), and I can see how for Arya followers, the psycho elements of her character were overly emphasized, again in my mind for dramatic effect. I think the lack of source material, and a desire not to get overextended into a static story line explains some of these choices.

      On (3), I found the spectacle and character and plot development that came out of this story to be enough for it to overcome its weaknesses, but like many others I did find it jarring that knowing what the viewer knows, Tyrion or anyone else would have believed that Cersei would have altered her approach so dramatically in response to a wight. I suppose a viewer could stretch their minds around this by believing that even Tyrion does not know what a monster Cersei has become, or that he has plans within plans that will be revealed in season 8 (eg, that the plan was another way to delay Danerys from taking Kings Landing in order to find a peaceful solution or that Tyrion’s real goal was to engage with Jaime and start to convince him to leave Cersei), but the first seems implausible and the second seems like a long way off and I think is unlikely. Again, even if this storyline is followed in the books, I think that it will be richer, and the show suffered from not having more GRRM in it.

      Thanks again and now I have to back to your podcasts on rewatching the show, since I am going to do the same during the Long Night!

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    3. David A,
      Re: Tyrion’s decline – Most likely, the lifetime of wine, wine, and more wine has caught up with him at last. The last brain cell died during his final meeting with his evil sister at King’s Landing.

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    4. I like the Lord Varys turning on Daenerys discussion for season eight. It makes a lot of sense considering that whole scene they have in Aegon’s map room (7×2) and his wariness with her wanting to burn people.

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    5. Fantastic episode! A friend of mine have also discussed a lot of these same problems we had with this season. For us we landed on D&D are fantastic adapters and good writers. I love the show but it was at its best when it had the books to guide the writing. It’s still the best thing on television but I agree with Jeff it could’ve been better in spots.

      Nick Hartley does not sow!

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    6. Four weeks after the finale, Season 7 is my third favorite season of Game of Thrones. I love every single episode of this show, but I particularly cherished every episode of Season 7. I found them all rich, thrilling, and rewarding, and some of the story developments that I had been waiting years to see (such as Jon and Dany … especially Jon and Dany) not only met my expectations, they exceeded them.

      On a per episode basis, Season 7 has more of my favorite moments than any other, and some of my favorite moments in the entire show happened this year. Furthermore, most of the commonly cited “issues” that people had with the season were not issues for me at all. I loved the faster pace, both plotwise and with the skipping of pointless travel. I thought the writing was great, both overall and on a scene-by-scene basis (especially the latter). And I didn’t mind the relative lack of death – there will be plenty of that next season. So, in short, I absolutely loved it!

      Around the time of “The Spoils of War”, I thought that if Season 7 continued on its current outstanding trajectory, it could wind up being my favorite season of the entire show, despite having three less episodes. I loved “Eastwatch” more than many seemed to, I fucking adore “Beyond the Wall” (polarizing though it may be, I will champion that episode forever), and “The Dragon and the Wolf” is not only my favorite episode of the season but a Top 5 GOT episode overall. But in the end, it couldn’t quite reach the top, and it was mostly because of the 7 episode thing. Great as they were, these seven episodes weren’t quite above and beyond enough to exceed the level of the very best 10 episode seasons, though they did blow by several others.

      In many ways, I feel like Season 7 was Part One of the final season. If I were to consider Season 7 in conjunction with an 8th season of similar quality, I think that would likely reach the top of my personal list.

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    7. Thanks for another great season, GOO! And thanks to Jeff, who was a very good guest (shout out to Kim Renfro and Sean from History of Westeros as well. And Brizzy – she was great). I didn’t always agree, but the discussions were thoughtful, honest, good-spirited, and engaging every week. I enjoyed listening to them all. And the Owns were on point, as always!

      I don’t know how closely I’ll be following along during the offseason read-through. As my Game of Thrones obsession has gradually consumed all the free time in my life, I’ve been quite derelict with my reading list, and I’ve got a very long list of books I’d like to catch up on or revisit that aren’t ASOIAF. But I’ll check in when I can.

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