Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” Written Recap/Review Round-Up

Jorah Jon Longclaw

You’re having your typical Monday, your typical beginning-of-the-week slog, your typical afternoon solar eclipse – wait what? Assuming your eyes are not burned out from the eclipse that took over everyone’s Facebook and Twitter for the greater part of today, then you are still capable of reading what the Internet’s many critics have to say about last night’s ‘Beyond the Wall.’ So let’s get to it!

With your read-through of Sue’s Sullied recap complete, and your Sullied chuckling over the Unsullied nature of Oz’s review in the past, the only thing left to do is get cornea replacement surgery read more reviews of ‘Beyond the Wall.’

Alan Sepinwall, UPROXX – In which he cheers the action spectacle, but thinks it suffers heavily from silly plotting and the lack of a commitment to the “Anyone can die” mantra to which GOT once held itself.

Alex Mullane, Digital Spy – In which he thinks the ‘contracting of Westeros’ is actively working against the show.

Alicia Lutes, Nerdist – In which she presupposes the possibility of ‘WightGhost,’ now that anything is possible, wight-wise.

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post – In which she highlights the ways in which characters reinterpret the past accurately or inaccurately and when and how they employ this information.

Andrew Snell, Mirror – In which he reimagines Sansa’s and Arya’s dialogue if it occurred between two people who said what they were actually thinking instead of (water)dancing around each other.

Bennett Madison, Vanity Fair – In which he says GOT is sacrificing what made it so special in the first place.

Dave Gonzales, Thrillist – In which he has probably the most positive response to the episode of all the critics.

David Crow, Den of Geek –In which he remembers an impressive callback to A Clash of Kings (book 2 of ASOIAF) and how it relates to this episode – something I’d forgotten about – Unsullied proceed at your own risk.

David Malitz, The Washington Post – In which he suggests the Arya/Sansa plot has been a season’s worth of story that has been extraordinarily condensed.

David Rosenblatt, SquintyOverAnalyzesThings – In which I (yes, me of me fame) went into detail on the alliances forged and broken in this episode…but also think that too many characters are surviving on pure MCS these days (main character syndrome).

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – In which he rates the dreary Winterfell fewer than three stars on TripAdvisor.

Jen Chaney, Vulture – In which she writes two articles – one on parallels to episode 109 ‘Baelor’ and one on whether we should take Arya or Sansa’s side.

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair – In which she makes the case for GOT needing to kill its main characters again.

Josh Wigler, Hollywood Reporter – In which he theorizes that Bran’s time is come, and will warg into not an alive dragon, but the undead Viserion.

Kaitlin Thomas, TV Guide – In which she predicts the implications of Jon’s and Daenerys’ inability to have children.

Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Verge – In which she gets down ‘n dirty into the serious handholding action in which Jon and Daenerys partook.

Kim Renfro – Business Insider – In which she explores the budding sexual tension between Jon and Daenerys.

Laura Hudson, WIRED – In which she says that for this episode to work everyone on the show had to be an incompetent idiot.

Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which no one on the Internet reacts to dragons the way she does.

Lauren Sarner, Inverse – In which she analyzes the true meaning of Thoros’ death (RIP).

Melanie McFarland, Salon – In which she argues that the theme of the episode is heroes competing to do the stupidest, bravest things.

Mike Bloom, Parade – In which Westeros World News (™) is unable to write an obituary for Viserion due to a missing body.

Myles McNutt, The A.V. Club – In which he reserved judgement last week on the ‘kidnap a wight’ ploy, but this week goes to town.

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects – In which he explores Daenerys’ fatal lesson.

Nina Shen Rastogi, Vulture – In which she believes “there is no plot point too absurd for this supersize episode.”

Rob Bricken, io9 – In which he makes the case for why GOT is firing on all cylinders but frequently coming up empty.

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which he thinks that amidst the grandeur and chaos, something was missing, and it starts with the redshirts.

TK, Pajiba – In which he thinks that Winterfell has gone from A to C without stopping at B and it’s not working.

Luke Holland, The Guardian – In which he cannot get around the leaps in logic and suspensions of disbelief required by this episode.

Other than mine, which you’ve already posted on your Facebook, Tweeted on your Twitter, and Tumbled on your Tumblr, whose reviews did you love/hate, with all due respect of course, and as always?

132 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. This is definitely the weakest of the ep. 9’s in GOT. Sure, they can still do wonderful action show pieces but it’s how they get there that’s disappointing.

      The whole plot for the season has been silly and illogical. From robot Bran, to this manufactured arya/ sansa conflict, to Jamie’s continued character destruction, to this idiotic plan to bring a wight to Cersei. To Cersei?!

      D&D’s love for Lena has kept Cersei on this show more than needed. It’s way past time for Cersei to go.

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    2. I really love Myles McNutt, Red Shirts, har!, indeed!
      Myles always notices the logic lapses , nice one about about the capture of wight.
      Hang in there Myles!

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    3. Kind of sick of the “anyone can die” complaints. Most of the big action episodes in the show had no main characters die.

      If Blackwater were in this season, everyone would be complaining that nobody important died and Davos only survived because of “plot armour”

      Battle of the Bastards? (I know, not GRRM writing but a generally well regarded battle/episode), everyone involved in the battle lived other than Wun Wun (who was about as significant as Thoros)

      Hardhome? Karsi was about it and she was a one episode character. Jon survived that one because of “plot armor” too I guess?

      I understand (albeit don’t agree with) a lot of the criticisms of D&D and season 7 (or seasons 5-7 if you’re really anti-D&D writing). I really don’t get the “afraid to kill off” thing which is circulating the GOT fandom. GRRM never really killed off many major characters, what he did was a bait and switch making you think Ned (especially), Cat/Robb (a little less so) and Oberyn would be primary end-game characters but then killed them off. Of the “major major” players, there aren’t too many characters who are disposable to the final “Song” endgame. Jaime/Cersei are probably about it (I’d say Sansa too but clearly the showrunners see her as a critical end game piece even though in the books she is seemingly less crucial). We know Varys has to fulfill whatever Melisandre was talking about and will likely die. Tormund is the last important Wildling and Grey Worm the only Unsullied we know. They might both go but getting rid of them now hurts the viewer’s connection to those armies.

      Bronn and Beric could both go but they’re not really any more important than Olenna or some of the characters killed of last year (Margaery, High Sparrow, Hodor, maybe even Walder who was very important albeit in limited screen time).

      It’s weird to me to see fans complain that D&D are going “too Hollywood” but also protecting their main characters. If D&D were really writing for views/create buzz, it seems like they’d kill off characters left and right. The fact that they have left the cast mostly intact this year tells me a lot of deaths will occur this year and this season is a (Very fast/rushed) transition to next year’s endgame and most everyone left has a role to play. Those who don’t have been killed off (Benjen, Thoros, Sand Snakes, Ellaria) or written out (Nymeria, Meera).

      Season 2 – mostly GRRM’s work, although some obvious changes/adaptations – killed off very few major players. Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Doreah, Jory, Pyatt Pree, Qhorin, Lommy, Tickler, Amory Lorch etc. The only “big name” I can think of was Renly who was never important as some might have thought he would be at the beginning of the story.

      Just seems to me that there have always been “unkillable” characters on the show. But in the early seasons, you didn’t know who they were because the end game was less clear. Now we know (kind of) how the end game will play out, or at least have it narrowed down to a few scenarios, we “know” that some of the big names can’t die.

      I think D&D are getting too much blame for something which would have happened one way or another as the resolution to the story comes into focus. Now that we know Dany and Jon are the “song of ice and fire”, we know they are unlikely to die until the very end (if at all). We know Sam is more than the fat, amusing sidekick. He’s a key player. The Hound clearly has some Lord of Light destiny to fulfill (Vary and Melisandre too). Bran seems like the most important end game piece because his story arc has been so weird and unnecessary if the greenseeing/time travel doesn’t have a critical role to play at the end. And on and on. Jorah, Theon, Jaime and a few others clearly still have a few things to do before dying (if they die). You don’t invest 6 seasons in Jaime, Theon or Jorah to have them go down without a significant-to-the-plot death. And the plot hasn’t developed in a way where killing those guys off makes sense yet. It might still come, or it might not. But I’d rather characters not die, than die in a rushed/pointless manner just for shock value or to show that “anyone can die”.

      If we’re still sitting here after episode 4 of season 8 with all of these characters alive, then I’ll change my tune. But there’s still a lot of story to tell (albeit in a very short period of time)

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    4. BobDole:
      This is definitely the weakest of the ep. 9’s in GOT. Sure, theycan still do wonderful action show pieces but it’s how they get there that’s disappointing.

      The whole plot for the season has been silly and illogical.From robot Bran, to this manufactured arya/ sansa conflict, to Jamie’s continued character destruction, to this idiotic plan to bring a wight to Cersei. To Cersei?!

      D&D’s love for Lena has kept Cersei on this show more than needed. It’s way past time for Cersei to go.

      I understand why some people are tired of Cersei but some of the best (most loved, most highly regarded etc) scenes the past two seasons have been with her (killing Ellaria, blowing up the Sept, getting revenge on Septa Unella). Having no turmoil in Kings Landing this season and having so much Winterfell has hurt her character more than anything. Less Sansa/Arya strife and more scenes with Cersei and Euron/Iron Bank/Jaime etc would have been better.

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    5. I’ll say it: I miss the old Thrones. Yes, the show is still entertaining, but it’s little more than a better-than-average fantasy action spectacle now when it used to be a painstakingly detailed, intricately plotted puzzle box. A large part of the blame for this has to go to George for not providing the writers new material with which to work, but, for the first time, I am starting to think that the D&D skeptics’ criticism about them unnecessarily rushing to the finish line has some validity.

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    6. It seems that critics are really dissatisfied with this episode. Do you think this will affect S8’s writing?

      I don’t know, but it seems this season will be even more controversal than S5. I remember that some people thought that D&D are not hyping this season as much as S6 and that they had similar attitude with S5. I never thought that was a bad sign, but it seems it was.

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    7. RBloodworth,

      Well the story if high fantasy now, this direction was inevitable. The only solution was to cut dragons and the WW from the story and have just political drama.

      I think that they did that transition the best that they’ve could.

      I mean it is really hard to keep the “spirit” of the story when changing the spirit of the story is the point.

      And I mean no offence, but the story is now focused on Dany and Jon, and they are just not that interesting characters. They are almost typical fantasy heroes. Especially Jon.

      This story killed Ned and Robb, but they can’t kill Jon and Dany because this is story about them.

      I mean this is just another creative knot that GRRM created and he is not able to resolve this.

      This story is just typical fantasy in its core and everything else was just a red herring, GRRM just selled this story for something this story never was.

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    8. JonSnowsForeskin: I understand why some people are tired of Cersei but some of the best (most loved, most highly regarded etc) scenes the past two seasons have been with her (killing Ellaria, blowing up the Sept, getting revenge on Septa Unella). Having no turmoil in Kings Landing this season and having so much Winterfell has hurt her character more than anything. Less Sansa/Arya strife and more scenes with Cersei and Euron/Iron Bank/Jaime etc would have been better.

      Don’t get me wrong, Cersei has been superb up to the start of this season. She is one of my favourite POV’s in the book. I like the change the show has made, making Cersei a much better ruler than in the books.

      However, as this season has gone by, they are dumbing down characters (Varys, Tyrion), just to prop up Cersei. It just doesn’t seem natural for Tyrion to trust Cersei at all.

      You can say, he is trusting in Jaime but ultimately, it’s Cersei that makes the final decision. He should know better to risk so many lives on the weird hope that Cersei agrees to help them fight the WW. I don’t really get this plot arc at all.

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    9. RBloodworth,

      The problem with GOT, as with any really rich/complex story, is that this is still a narrative with a definitive end point (the Song referenced in the title of the series). It’s not a video game like the Sims, nor is it a living/breathing universe.

      Seems that some fans want to live in the world GRRM created and experience its near infinite story line and character possibilities. The world, as rich and detailed as it is, serves as a setting for the story we are getting. And at some point that story has to end. It’s impossible to end a story without resolving/merging story lines and driving towards some sort of singular main story arc. Perhaps that’s why GRRM can’t finish the books – he is too busy living in his world, “exploring” it so to say and not focused enough on telling the story which the world built for.

      I loved the complex, multi-layered part of GOT but it couldn’t last forever. Regardless of what one thinks of D&D as writers (and seemingly everyone here hates them or at best grudgingly accepts them), any writer would be in the same spot. If you want to tell the story, and give it a proper ending, you need to simplify the world. And to be honest, anyone who read the early books or paid attention early on in the show should have known it was always going to drive towards a “Us vs Them” type ending. The prologue sets this up clearly by introducing the supernatural element. It’s the living vs. the dead. The quarrels and politics of the 7 kingdoms were all destined to become irrelevant once “The Others” started making their move. And the writer (whether GRRM, D&D or someone else) eventually had to get that ball in motion. Otherwise, you’d end up with Dany in Mereen for 3 more seasons, have Jon and the Northern lords plan and quarrel for years on end and watching Arya traverse Westeros for 2 more seasons killing random people.

      Could the end game have been handled better and given a bit more depth? Yes, I can see how many (most?) people would say that. But whether the story gets condensed and simplified now, or in 3 seasons from now (had the show kept going) – it was still going to happen. It has to happen.

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    10. BobDole:

      However, as this season has gone by, they are dumbing down characters (Varys, Tyrion), just to prop up Cersei. It just doesn’t seem natural for Tyrion to trust Cersei at all.

      The problem is writing for E5. They just didn’t set up this well. Tyrion isn’t trusting her, but Jaime. And this proof is not only for her, but for the South. But that scene was too short, like an outline, so you can’t blame anyone for having wrong interpretation.

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    11. JonSnowsForeskin,

      No, I think this was the best solution for them. Since there is no source material, the best option is to create two seasons full of big moments. Look at the reception this season has on IMDB. Almost every episode is 9+. I don’t think any season had better reception from GA.

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    12. mau:
      RBloodworth,

      Well the story if high fantasy now, this direction was inevitable. The only solution was to cut dragons and the WW from the story and have just political drama.

      I think that they did that transition the best that they’ve could.

      I mean it is really hard to keep the “spirit” of the story when changing the spirit of the story is the point.

      And I mean no offence, but the story is now focused on Dany and Jon, and they are just not that interesting characters. They are almost typical fantasy heroes. Especially Jon.

      This story killed Ned and Robb, but they can’t kill Jon and Dany because this is story about them.

      I mean this is just another creative knot that GRRM created and he is not able to resolve this.

      This story is just typical fantasy in its core and everything else was just a red herring, GRRM just selled this story for something this story never was.

      I think what you said is one of the reasons book fans hate what the show has become so much. To many (not all) book fans, ASOIAF is a low-fantasy political drama where the logistics of minutia of the world GRRM created are the big selling point. To this section of the fanbase, the world (Planetos) is almost like a quasi-historical location with endless locations, cultures, populations etc. The fact that that the story has always (IMO) been set up to end up as a high fantasy “us vs them” magical showdown between the dead and the dragons has either been lost on this fanbase or they’re in denial of it.

      The dragons and The Others (in the show, Night King and his army) have been setup from the onset as the end game. At some point, the political maneuvering had to cede to the magic stuff even as much as GRRM thinks of himself as a subverter of tropes. Unless his next book throws us a curverball and kills of the magic of the world and leaves the politics as the end game?

      Nothing wrong with loving “old” GOT. The denial that it had to end up closer to traditional high fantasy than it seemed like it would at the onset is a bit frustrating though. If this were meant to be a political medieval drama, the most magical characters in the show (Dany and Jon, possibly even Bran since he’s a main book character) wouldn’t be the primary characters.

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    13. mau,

      The S8 scripts are already written and have likely been finalized for at least a few months already. They’re in pre-production now, as you’ve likely heard, with shooting starting in October.

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    14. I just read the sullied and unsullied recaps and I think that’s it for me. Will not read any more of the reviews as I heard enough complaining (about this episode) at work already. 😀 Looking forward to the season finale!

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    15. JonSnowsForeskin,

      I understand (albeit don’t agree with) a lot of the criticisms of D&D and season 7 (or seasons 5-7 if you’re really anti-D&D writing). I really don’t get the “afraid to kill off” thing which is circulating the GOT fandom.

      I definitely don’t think they need to kill of lots of major characters, but there is at least one who is still alive against all logic. They could have probably avoided almost everything that happened on the wight hunt if Dany had used her dragons immediately upon arrival to take out Cersei in the Red Keep, or if she and Tyrion had had a better plan for their invasion. I still don’t understand why they thought taking Casterly Rock would be worth anything beyond a symbolic victory. They should have begun surrounding and blockading Kings Landing with forces and ships from The Reach and Dorne ahead of Dany’s arrival at Dragonstone. It really beggars belief that they are still trying to appeal to her non-existent logic (or empathy for her people? or what? I’m not even sure). If she had been taken out early, the only person Jon would have needed to convince would have been Dany, and she could have probably done a flyover with just 1 dragon to check out the situation. She might still have lost a dragon doing that, but at least it would have been for an actual good reason, not just, we need to convince our sworn blood-feud enemy that she should stop being psychotic and join forces with us. And I am 100% sure Cersei will stab them in the back somehow, anyway.

      Maybe last night they figured the death of Viserion would be emotional enough and therefore we didn’t need to see any other major losses. The dragon’s death was extremely heart-wrenching and difficult. But then we never really saw Dany have a major reaction to it. She seemed more interested in holding hands with Jon than the fact that one of her “children” died. Not that she needed to be wailing or beating her chest or whatever, but I mean, some scene where she reflected on her loss would have helped.

      I don’t think the show would have suffered much from killing off Tormund, either. I love the character, but to put him in such peril only to pull him out again gives fuel to the critics’ fire about illogical outcomes. Same with having Jon go down into the icy depths of the lake and then still manage to survive. I get they wanted some nail-biting moments, but you can do those without throwing all logic to the winds.

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    16. Well, damn… I don’t remember any episode of Thrones being so bad received by the critics, other than the infamous “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”.

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    17. JonSnowsForeskin,

      But I wouldn’t blame the fans. GRRM wrote 5 books like low-fantasy political drama. In his version of the story the WW and dragons are useless, people don’t care that much about them, but D&D have to put them in the spotlight, becaus ethat’s the endgame, so the show becomes much simpler for that.

      But it is frustrating that the books will never be finished by GRRM, so we don’t know how would he resolve this storytelling problem.

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    18. Alicia,

      But killing Cersei in S7 creates even bigger storytelling problem for the show. With Cersei and Euron in S8, the show still could have some human drama, but without them, it’s just humans vs monsters.

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    19. mau:
      JonSnowsForeskin,

      But I wouldn’t blame the fans. GRRM wrote 5 books like low-fantasy political drama.In his version of the story the WW and dragons are useless, people don’t care that much about them, but D&D have to put them in the spotlight, becaus ethat’s the endgame, so the show becomes much simpler for that.

      But it is frustrating that the books will never be finished by GRRM, so we don’t know how would he resolve this storytelling problem.

      Unless D&D are really misinterpreting the Song of Ice and Fire (the concept of what that Song is), I cant see how the dragons/WW aren’t GRRM’s end game. Same with the Lord of Light who has to come into play more in the books.

      I could be wrong, and maybe the book series (if it ever ends) will maintain itself as low-fantasy. I just think that’s unlikely given what we’re being shown is the “Song” after which the series is titled.

      If the endgame in the books involves Dany and Jon, it, by necessity, has to end up more high fantasy than political drama. And if it’s “Us vs Them” “Living vs Dead” then it definitely has to end up with the politics being cast aside so humanity can fight for its future.

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    20. mau:
      Alicia,

      But killing Cersei in S7 creates even bigger storytelling problem for the show. With Cersei and Euron in S8, the show still could have some human drama, but without them, it’s just humans vs monsters.

      Pretty much this. Once Cersei is out of the picture, the story goes entirely into high fantasy Elves vs Orcs, good vs evil territory barring some insane twist like the Others are just a misunderstood peaceful tribe.

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    21. mau,

      If no one major dies in the next episode, then I think the big criticism of this season will be “no one dies anymore, it’s weakening the show’s central appeal.” And I think, yes, it will be up there with Season 5 as one of the most criticized and controversial seasons.

      I still maintain that the first half of this season was excellent, maybe the strongest first half of any season. But I worry that if the season ends with virtually nothing different from the end of last season (including the number of main characters on the board) that this will feel like a “setup” season that isn’t satisfying enough on its own. That’s been a problem with previous seasons, especially Seasons 2 & 5, but those were (arguably) the weakest seasons.

      I remember when there was discussion about whether there should be two or one more season, I was hoping for one, partly because I was anxious to see the end of the story, but also because I didn’t see how far it could go once Daenerys and the White Walkers came. I thought it was necessary to have a human conflict throughout the show, but I didn’t see how they could extend the Cersei/Dany conflict longer than two seasons and still end Season 7 in a satisfying way.

      Maybe they will have a spectacular finale that feels truly conclusive while still leaving enough interesting material for the last season. But I dunno, at this point something conclusive may feel abrupt! Or maybe, like many penultimate seasons, it will be stronger when seen in connection with the final season.

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    22. RBloodworth,

      I have to admit, compared to earlier seasons it does seem rushed.

      I for one was looking forward to a meaningful conversation between Jorah and Dany, in which he explained at least in abridged form how he was cured of greyscale, and then some scenes with Jorah giving her sound military advice (instead of Tyrion’s crappy “clever plans”).

      After all, the show spent so much time over six seasons developing their relationship.

      Yet, as soon as Jorah made his way back to be by her side — he was inexplicably on a boat heading north to be a part of Tyrion’s latest crappy clever plan.

      PS. Was there/is there any purpose for introducing grayscale? If the entire story is Jorah contracted grayscale and then he got better…. Why bother? I thought it might be discovered that grayscale was part of the COTF’s experimental biological warfare program or something.

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    23. JonSnowsForeskin,

      You didn’t understand what I said. I mean it is clear that dragons and the WW are the endgame in the books, but I wouldn’t blame fans for expecting low-fantasy political drama until the end, because GRRM wasn’t able to bring dragon and the WW to do something important in the books. This is teh reason he can’t finish the story in only 2 books.

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    24. mau,

      Sorry, I did misread you. I think we’re saying mostly the same thing. I’ll be interested to see what the low-fantasy fans make of GRRM’s ending (if we ever get there). I have a feeling a lot of people will be disappointed or will convince themselves to like it, even if it ends up a bit cliche (good vs evil)

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    25. JonSnowsForeskin: Pretty much this. Once Cersei is out of the picture, the story goes entirely into high fantasy Elves vs Orcs, good vs evil territory barring some insane twist like the Others are just amisunderstood peaceful tribe.

      But why are you complaining that some fans liking the “low fantasy”- politics game too much and now complain that they can’t kill off Cersei because it then turns GOT into a high fantasy of good v. evil?

      Having Cersei defenseless all season and none of her enemies do. any. thing. at. all. to her is completely illogical. I don’t care if it’s high or low fantasy, I just don’t want to roll my eyes every 5 minutes when it comes to Cersei.

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    26. Ten Bears:
      RBloodworth,

      I have to admit, compared to earlier seasons it does seem rushed.

      I for one was looking forward to a meaningful conversation between Jorah and Dany, in which he explained at least in abridged form how he was cured of greyscale, and then some scenes with Jorah giving her sound military advice (instead of Tyrion’s crappy “clever plans”).

      After all, the show spent so much time over six seasons developing their relationship.

      Yet, as soon as Jorah made his way back to be by her side — he was inexplicably on a boat heading north to be a part of Tyrion’slatest crappy clever plan.

      PS. Was there/is there any purpose for introducing grayscale? If the entire story is Jorah contracted grayscale and then he got better…. Why bother? I thought it might be discovered that grayscale was part of the COTF’s experimental biological warfare program or something.

      The grayscale will likely play out totally different in the books, but in the show, I thought the “rapid healing” of Jorah was to show us that the Maesters have knowledge but aren’t willing to risk themselves to help others. Like they don’t believe Sam (or believe but don’t care?) about the impending WW threat. They knew there was a “simple” cure to grayscale (simple in terms of how to cure it) but refused to let anyone try it because it was deemed too dangerous.

      I think Sam’s “I read the book and followed the instructions” was supposed to show us that the Maesters like to have knowledge, but they horde it, rather than use it to improve/help/save the world around them.

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    27. Alicia: I don’t think the show would have suffered much from killing off Tormund, either. I love the character, but to put him in such peril only to pull him out again gives fuel to the critics’ fire about illogical outcomes.

      Although I’m finding more and more things about the episode that I didn’t like after my rewatch and reading these reviews, I did like what Sandor did for Tormund. Thoros saved Sandor’s fire-petrified ass and got killed for it. That had to gnaw on Sandor immensely. After his convo with Tormund regarding Brienne, I believe he gained much mutual respect for him. Sandor saving him from certain death was possibly done (over-dramatically, of course) because Tormund reminded him of his own brush with death. Heck, he may have saved him out of respect for Brienne! 🙂

      Besides the great Beric words of the episode (the episode should have been named “Death is the Enemy“), my favorite conversation was between the wounded Thoros and Jorah, reminiscing their great battle with the ironborn. With all the respect that Jorah had for Thoros during the battle, Thoros himself couldn’t remember a damn thing…(too drunk). That statement rings well with me…another subtle comment on the mentality of war.

      Of course, the rationale behind the wight mission itself is just…ugh. I hope it has a decent payoff…but…ugh…

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    28. BobDole,

      I’m not complaining about Cersei at all, nor about the fans who like the early “low fantasy” seasons/books.

      Cersei has a role to play. In the show, it’s to keep the human vs human conflict in the story as long as possible. I enjoy her scenes.. even if they’ve been a bit one note and repetitive.

      As for having her “defenseless” all season….with Jaime still on her side, Euron wanting to please her and the Mountain literally watching over her, she’s not defenseless at all.

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    29. I quite enjoyed the reviews from Alyssa Rosenberg, David Crow, and Dave Gonzales this week – all of which were thoughtful, substantive, and positive (Rosenberg delved into a theme that I hadn’t considered, Crow declared it majestic and gave it 5/5 stars, and Gonzales called it one of the best episodes of the show). I think those will tide me over for now.

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    30. mau,

      But killing Cersei in S7 creates even bigger storytelling problem for the show. With Cersei and Euron in S8, the show still could have some human drama, but without them, it’s just humans vs monsters.

      Well, I think after seeing what they’ve just seen that by now Dany should be ready to kill Cersei at whatever cost in order to save the kingdom.

      But you’re right, they needed an interesting war to play out over the course of the season. There are many ways to write an interesting, logical war story if you don’t want to bring your dragons into it right away. Maybe Euron’s fleet could have met Dany’s fleet when she was still on her way to Westeros and done some damage. Or Dornish / Reach forces or Unsullied / Dothraki could have skirmished with Lannister forces or had major battles at Highgarden (instead of having it be so easily taken) or in Dorne. Maybe we could have found out who took over in the Riverlands after all the Freys got killed off and seen who that person would have backed? Maybe we could have found out who, if anyone, is in charge in the Stormlands and how that could have shifted some power balance.

      There are lots of interesting ways to keep Cersei in play throughout the season without dumbing down Tyrion and Dany and making them look like bad strategists. D&D didn’t do any of them, though. They did Euron’s fleet popping up wherever needed. They wasted the Unsullied trying to take Casterly Rock for no good reason. They sent ships sailing around without a dragon flying recon or apparently, even having one ship keep an eye out for any trouble on the seas. They had Dany burn a bunch of food that she IN THE SAME EPISODE said she needed to feed her troops.

      I just feel like a lot of characterization and logic went out the window this year in service of Wow-moments. As I said, I don’t think it was necessarily about killing off a bunch of major characters, but at least provide sound reasons for the ones that should be dead to still be alive.

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    31. What’s also weird is this season has made me not look forward to scenes involving my favourite POVs in the books: Bran, Tyrion, Cersei, and Jaime.

      Why is the show doing this to me? *cries*

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    32. Hodors Bastard,

      Although I’m finding more and more things about the episode that I didn’t like after my rewatch and reading these reviews, I did like what Sandor did for Tormund. Thoros saved Sandor’s fire-petrified ass and got killed for it. That had to gnaw on Sandor immensely. After his convo with Tormund regarding Brienne, I believe he gained much mutual respect for him. Sandor saving him from certain death was possibly done (over-dramatically, of course) because Tormund reminded him of his own brush with death. Heck, he may have saved him out of respect for Brienne! 🙂

      Totally! I love both characters and I’m glad they both survived. And I’m glad the Hound stepped up for Tormund when he wasn’t able to do so for Thoros when the bear was attacking. I just have read some of the reviews and it’s another thing for the critics to nit-pick, which is unfortunate.

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    33. mau,

      Right, but that doesn’t make for a great season! The best seasons leave romm for future Drama but make the season feel satisfying (maybe conclusive was the wrong word). Worried this one won’t.

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    34. Alicia,

      And what is your solution? 15 battles were Dany doesn’t use dragons for some reason? What problems do bigger battles at Highgarden/Dorne solve? And there is no money for 4-5 battles per season.

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    35. Alicia,

      You seem to ignore two big storytelling problems that D&D inherited from GRRM. Dragons are too powerful for the Lannisters. The WW are too boring as the only enemy in the last season.

      And there is no way to solve this problem perfectly. That’s why he GRRM stoped writing the books.

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    36. Last night, right after the show I wrote up a scathing review/post/comment on open chat. My reaction was so negative I thought maybe I got a bee in my bonnet early on about something small and it ruined the entire episode for me.

      After sleeping on it, nope, it was bad. Soup to nuts. Like someone wrote fan fiction while drunk. “Dude, wouldn’t it be rad if Arya showed Sansa her faces?” “Yeah, that’d be freaky bro!”

      I can overlook one bad episode, especially since a bad GoT episode is still better than anything else on TV, but I’ve since realized there’s one thing that really sticks in my craw:

      We have an ice dragon! We have an actual ice dragon! The coolest, most epic thing ever in Game of Thrones and it happened for the dumbest reason! In the dumbest episode!

      Sigh.

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    37. It is somewhat ironic things seem so rushed to many of us now, given how slow people often said Season 5 was and the early episodes of certain seasons were. I also recall people complaining in prior seasons that the magical elements were too backburnered or altogether ignored in favor of political machinations…

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    38. mau,

      Not just D&D. Very few of the actors who are active on social media are hyping the show. Nikolaj talked up “Spoils of War” but that’s pretty much it, as far as I know. Even Cogman has essentially disappeared from Twitter the past two weeks.

      I don’t hate the season. So far, it has two great episodes (3, 4), two good ones (1, 6), and two weak ones (2, 5). But I do get people who are saying they haven’t laid the emotional groundwork for much of their pay offs, so they’re coming up a bit flat. I enjoyed last night’s episodes (lapses in logic and all), but I didn’t feel exhilarated by it (still, better than ‘Watchers on the Wall’ and “Dances of Dragons” for penultimate eps).

      I don’t know where the problem starts. Benioff said they sat down with George and went through each character beat by beat, so unless they discarded a bunch of stuff, I would guess much of what we see is similar to what the final game plan is. But I’ll wager George is going to spend hundreds of pages laying the groundwork. I get what D&D are saying that people aren’t going to be interested in this if it goes on 10+ years, which is what it would probably need to do everything properly. That said, this season could have easily filled 10 eps, so it isn’t a lack of story. My best guess is its a lack of time. They took longer to make this season,and it looks sloppier. Maybe the scope of the production has gotten to the point that they don’t have the time to run the scripts through one more rewrite. The bigger problem is that the ratings are still big, and that might just encourage them not to make changes.

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    39. mau:
      Alicia,

      You seem to ignore two big storytelling problems that D&D inherited from GRRM. Dragons are too powerful for the Lannisters. The WW are too boring as the only enemy in the last season.

      And there is no way to solve this problem perfectly. That’s why he GRRM stoped writing the books.

      The WW are too boring as the only enemy in the last season.
      1. Walking dead has already proven a show can be super successful with this premise.

      2. GRRM stopped writing ASioF simply because he lost interest; it’s pretty simple. He’s lost interest and forgets many of his characters now, needing fans to remind him who is who when writing the story. You can tell that. His next book is not Winds of Winter.

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    40. I’ve had it with the whinging about main characters not dying frequently enough. Don’t worry complainers, as soon as season eight gets here main characters will no doubt start dropping like flies. But of course many of the same people will just complain about that too.

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    41. BobDole,

      1. Walking dead has already proven a show can be super successful with this premise.

      Thank you, I was going to make the same point! There is plenty of room for drama in humans versus monsters.

      Mau,
      Regarding what would I have them do, I gave some suggestions for things that, to me, could possibly have made the war more intriguing or possibly not sacrificed Dany’s and Tyrion’s intelligence. We may have to agree to disagree on how that would have played out. I thought they did a great job with the war in Seasons 2 and 3, and actually most of the battles in that war were off screen, yet I still was drawn in by the human conflicts even amongst people on the same side, and the viewer saw the toll the war took on the common people, lots of stuff in those seasons was great and I re-watch them often. I get they are moving at a faster pace now, but I’m not entirely sure why. Budget reasons? I feel like HBO wouldn’t nickel and dime this show, of all its shows. If they’re going to do a story where they’re keeping a character like Cersei alive to keep creating conflict, then please, lay the groundwork for it to make sense. That’s all I ask! 🙂

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    42. Alicia,

      Its not the budget. Its time. They don’t have enough time. The 10 minute sequence in Spoils of War took 3+ weeks alone. The set pieces are too big, and they have to finish scripts in a certain amount of time to get them into pre-production.

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    43. I miss being able to talk about my enjoyment of a Thrones episode without basically being told I’m dumb for still liking it. Then a thread of negativity follows about “Jetpacks,” “Why isn’t everyone dying?,” “The show sucks.” Etc… I still love the show and it sucks that most seem to be turning on it. Anyway, thanks letting me say my piece.

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    44. Ravyn,

      This season had alot of unsatisfying actions scenes that took lots of production time. There wasn’t much talk about how great the season was, not from the producers or the actors. Everyone just seemed to be going thru the motions and it showed.

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    45. JonSnowsForeskin: Kind of sick of the “anyone can die” complaints.

      Same here. Blood thirsty sons o’ bitches.

      The story, book and show, has never been “anyone can die,” it’s been “lots of people die” and early on they were occasionally characters people didn’t expect. It’s not a case of the show ‘saving’ people either as George has said they’ve killed people he hasn’t. In a book he’s able to have as many people as he wants as well. His newer problem has been creating too many, not killing too many.

      They’ve killed Olenna, Thorus, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes (effectively), Randyll, Dickon, and a f’n dragon this season, not to mention the shocking start of wiping out all of the Freys. Oh, not big enough names for people I guess. Well, there comes a point when there aren’t enough left to keep killing them this early, with story to tell and the climax not reached. This is still a sprawling epic and they need characters for the finish (to kill and live).

      By my count they are down to just around two dozen characters that people care about staying alive or dying. There are only a handful of others that even have names.

      So apparently people wanted a couple more to die in the episode. I’ll give them Beric, but that wouldn’t be shocking. Tormund? Yeah, but they have a lot of fighting ahead… The more main fighters they kill the fewer there are for the war to come. So, Thorus got to die when viewers cared more about Viserion. Bad luck for him.

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    46. This episode has not been well received. IGN never rated an episode lower then an 8 and they gave thisa 6.9. Yikes.

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    47. Clob: Same here.Blood thirsty sons o’ bitches.

      The story, book and show, has never been “anyone can die,” it’s been “lots of people die” and early on they were occasionally characters people didn’t expect.It’s not a case of the show ‘saving’ people either as George has said they’ve killed people he hasn’t.In a book he’s able to have as many people as he wants as well.His newer problem has been creating too many, not killing too many.

      They’ve killed Olenna, Thorus, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes (effectively), Randyll, Dickon, and a f’n dragon this season, not to mention the shocking start of wiping out all of the Freys.Oh, not big enough names for people I guess.Well, there comes a point when there aren’t enough left to keep killing them this early, with story to tell and the climax not reached.This is still a sprawling epic and they need characters for the finish (to kill and live).

      By my count they are down to just around two dozen characters that people care about staying alive or dying.There only a handful of others that even have names.

      So apparently people wanted a couple more to die in the episode.I’ll give them Beric, but that wouldn’t be shocking.Tormund? Yeah, but they have a lot of fighting ahead… The more main fighters they kill the fewer there are for the war to come.So, Thorus got to die when viewers cared more about Viserion. Bad luck for him.

      LF and Grey Worm are expendable. One of the Greyjoys as well. They still need to thin out a lot of the cast. Missandei and Varys and Podrick are just dead weight now too.

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    48. mau:
      RBloodworth,

      Well the story if high fantasy now, this direction was inevitable. The only solution was to cut dragons and the WW from the story and have just political drama.

      I think that they did that transition the best that they’ve could.

      I mean it is really hard to keep the “spirit” of the story when changing the spirit of the story is the point.

      And I mean no offence, but the story is now focused on Dany and Jon, and they are just not that interesting characters. They are almost typical fantasy heroes. Especially Jon.

      This story killed Ned and Robb, but they can’t kill Jon and Dany because this is story about them.

      I mean this is just another creative knot that GRRM created and he is not able to resolve this.

      This story is just typical fantasy in its core and everything else was just a red herring, GRRM just selled this story for something this story never was.

      The most vocal criticisms for this season have not been about the show turning into high fantasy or the lack of interesting characters (Jon and Dany, for all the criticism some fans give them for being the most boring characters, have actually been the most loved characters for a long time now), the biggest criticism this season has faced is the lack of logic applied in a lot of plot developments and all the characters (including clever ones like Tyrion, Varys and Littlefinger) coming up with one stupid, failed plan after another, to service the plot.

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    49. mau,

      There is no genre “transition” occurring and it most certainly isn’t turning into pure high fantasy, even if it does have (and has always had) some elements of it that have become more prominent over time. The human and political drama is too integral to the story to simply disappear. Some people are genuinely hoping and believing that the show turns into The Walking Dead On Ice for the last six episodes. That isn’t happening. GoT has its own identity.

      Jon and Dany are indeed pretty archetypal heroes, but they absolutely can die now that there is only one season left, and I think it’s all but guaranteed that at least one if not both of them will. Jon in particular has had a considerable amount of foreshadowing for a second, permanent death, especially since the fact that he was even resurrected in the first place is still a plot point that the show is very much keeping in the audience’s mind.

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    50. BobDole:

      From robot Bran, to this manufactured arya/ sansa conflict, to Jamie’s continued character destruction, to this idiotic plan to bring a wight to Cersei. To Cersei?!

      Robot Bran? Yea you’re not supposed to like where many characters are headed but it’s been under your nose the whole time.
      “I know it’s tempting, but if you’re trapped in summer for too long you’ll forget what it was to be you”-Jojen
      “It is beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long you’ll drown” 3ER
      “I’ve told you many times, stay too long where you don’t belong, and you will never return” 3ER

      You see, the showrunners didn’t purposely make Bran a robot. He’s losing himself every time he goes on these visions for too long. Stay mad about it but that’s what it is.

      Jamie destruction? Like how? Oh just because he burned Cersei’s letter in the books it does not mean shit. He was still in Riverun being the same Jamie I see on tv. Hell, the way I see it not dealing with Cersei Is the only delay. Otherwise same Jamie.

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    51. here is how i see the central issue: many of us who love fantasy saw this as a series we could sell to our friends to prove that we really are not the nerds and outcasts that the mainstream perceive us to be. this why we hang on every review to validate our investment in the genre. like most humans, we want people to like what we like because it helps us feel connected to the world and to each other.

      i get it. i feel it too. i have always wanted my friends who didn’t understand sci-fi fantasy to get it the way i do, to love it the way i do. i find myself reading the reviews to see that my feelings are validated and i get annoyed when people disagree with me. in the end, the great deceit that peope have mentioned here and that we all should have seen coming and which so many people have commented on in the past (why doesn’t anyone care enough about the white walkers, the real threat), is what this was always going to be. and if we are truthful, we were hoping the politics would draw our friends in and they would get suckered into liking the fantasy elements. you’re lying to yourself if there isn’t some part of you that has told people, “there is some fantasy, but you’ll really like it because there isn’t that much fantasy and a lot of medieval political intrigue.” i have said these exact words.

      really, though, the best fantasy has always been a reflection of and commentary on life, politics and real human experience. tolkien wrote crucial essays on this. and this is not something we should ever be ashamed of.

      in re: to some of the criticisms levelled at the show, i agree that many of them would be pertinent for the books as well if they ever get there. some of the criticisms are very valid. some of them are just us being annoyed that our favorite show is not conforming to our vision of what it should do. i believe as a fanbase we are being a more than little bit hypocritical and hard to please. we are the same fanbase who complained the story was too bleak, now it’s too hollywood. the killing off of characters has been explained here way better than i could put it, but it is a great example that we have developed ourselves into one of the hardest fan bases to please.

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    52. I roll my eyes and absolutely hate it when people use the “fan fiction” nonsense. But this is one time I don’t think I’d roll my eyes at you. This really did feel like fan fiction. This entire episode was done for two main reasons. To give the White Walkers a dragon and to have Jon bend the knee to Dany. Other than that it was a waste.

      And what surprised me the most was the action sequences and editing sucked. This is one thing Game of Thrones has always been so fantastic at. But this was a failure too and not even close to being on par with what they did earlier this season let alone previous seasons. In fact, for my money, this was the worst action sequence in all 7 seasons. It just didn’t work. And Alan Taylor knows what he’s doing, making it all the more odd. I don’t know what happened here, but it was a flop.

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    53. Whatever, I am slightly annoyed by the lack of exposition (every character should bloody talk more rather than leaving dim viewers to guess what’s going on) and the speed of movement around Westeros is jarring, and I will agree said Wight Hunt was the dumbest idea ever, but I have never felt so many feels in a GOT episode than I did for episode 6. It was the first episode I actually cried, and I’m a massive, fangirl nerd. The reviewers can go f**k themselves.

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    54. After seeing the reactions to this latest episode of Game of Thrones, George Martin sat down and wrote a new prologue for the next book. It’s from Bran’s point-of-view and is a wild trip through the weirnet where he watches the White Walkers die of dysentery just before they reach the wall, the remaining dragons unexpectedly kill each other in a sibling spat, Dany succumbs to grief and takes her own life, and Jon dies in a freak boating accident while fishing off the coast of White Harbor. The whirlwind vision quest proves too much and leaves Bran a vegetable for the rest of the series.

      In a stroke of luck, all of this has no impact on any of the other chapters he’s written for Winds of Winter.

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    55. Hodor Targaryen:
      mau,

      If no one major dies in the next episode, then I think the big criticism of this season will be “no one dies anymore, it’s weakening the show’s central appeal.” And I think, yes, it will be up there with Season 5 as one of the most criticized and controversial seasons.

      I still maintain that the first half of this season was excellent, maybe the strongest first half of any season. But I worry that if the season ends with virtually nothing different from the end of last season (including the number of main characters on the board) that this will feel like a “setup” season that isn’t satisfying enough on its own. That’s been a problem with previous seasons, especially Seasons 2 & 5, but those were (arguably) the weakest seasons.

      I remember when there was discussion about whether there should be two or one more season, I was hoping for one, partly because I was anxious to see the end of the story, but also because I didn’t see how far it could go once Daenerys and the White Walkers came. I thought it was necessary to have a human conflict throughout the show, but I didn’t see how they could extend the Cersei/Dany conflict longer than two seasons and still end Season 7 in a satisfying way.

      Maybe they will have a spectacular finale that feels truly conclusive while still leaving enough interesting material for the last season. But I dunno, at this point something conclusive may feel abrupt! Or maybe, like many penultimate seasons, it will be stronger when seen in connection with the final season.

      I saw some people saying that they are finding this season to fast, which is feeling this way, but in the show weeks, almos months have passed. I’m not talking bout the time on episode 6, of course. Others wanted to see mroe deaths in this episode and that the plan to catch a WW was stupid. In this i agree. I think the entire mission was too far dangerous, only a few man against a entire arm of WW and Night King..i mean, come on. But this was another “brilliant” tyrion’s idea this season. And then, giving that the mission was too dangerous, no one was really hurt, well, in the human aspect. I have to say, i liked this episode, i love the photography and i loved Dany and Jon scene at the end..but the winterfell plot was really wtf the entire time!!! Arya deserved a better plot than to be stuck with sansa arguing the entire time. So, i think that people comparing season 7 with season 5 don’t know what they are talking about..season 5 was a mess the entire time! Season 7 is having lot’s of iconic moments, and plus, several big things happening all the time. I agree that the winterfell plot is the new dorne, but only this. Season 5 remains the biggest mess of GoT.

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    56. Come on you guys. This is not House of Cards. It has dragons and zombies in it. Can’t you just enjoy it for what it is?
      I thought the wight snatching plan was weird too, but how would they proceed without taking Cersei out, burn KL and have a complete season of the Jon and Dany show? Which, by the way, is where we’re heading at next season and it HAS BEEN EVIDENT RIGHT FROM SEASON 1, even to non readers such as myself.
      I bet Tyrion counts more on Jaime than Cersei, but we shall just have to see.
      And I really don’t get this blood lust some of you have. We only have like 10 main characters at this point and one more season to go, so I guess anyone who still has a purpose to fulfill needs to stick around. In the long run, it may just proove that Sandor Clegane or Beric Dondarrion were more important to the real story here (that is, the war for life) than Ned Stark or Oberyn Martell.

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    57. mau,
      And I mean no offence, but the story is now focused on Dany and Jon, and they are just not that interesting characters.

      I pretty much agree at this point. The writing for especially Jon seems to have taken a hit and for the moment at least it has done the trick of making my favorite character uninspiring and a bit dull.

      I long for the snarky Jon who told Janos he must not have been good at his job 🙂

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    58. Personally, I like to think Tyrion came up with that cockamamie “snatch a wight” scheme as another (last ditch?) effort to keep Dany from just burning down King’s Landing (and his family, well, Jaime mainly, with it). Varys is on board with the stupidity (even though he knows full well it’ll have no effect on Cersei) because he doesn’t want that mass carnage either. Everybody else either doesn’t know Cersei very well and/or just wants to go North anyway. The stupid genius of Tyrion’s plot goes awry when Jon is like, “Dope plan!”

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    59. Those articles that are all complaining about the fact that the show isn’t killing major characters as it was before..come on. We are on Season 7. You can’t really compare the the number of key characters in S1 to now. Jon and Dany won’t die and they can’t die. They are the central history. Tyrion won’t die either. Cersei is also not going anywhere (at least this season), Jaime still has something to do with his story. Same as Bran, Arya, etc. I mean..Sansa could’ve died a few seasons ago. She really hasn’t big importance on the story.The thing is that even if you hate Cersei you know she is still there to show the conflict of humans against humans. So, the thing is..what would be a shocking death by this point..but one thing is sure: they need to stop to put jon in almost death situations, because we know this story since BoTB…

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    60. Ravyn:
      mau,

      Not just D&D. Very few of the actors who are active on social media are hyping the show. Nikolaj talked up “Spoils of War” but that’s pretty much it, as far as I know. Even Cogman has essentially disappeared from Twitter the past two weeks.

      I don’t hate the season. So far, it has two great episodes (3, 4), two good ones (1, 6), and two weak ones (2, 5). But I do get people who are saying they haven’t laid the emotional groundwork for much of their pay offs, so they’re coming up a bit flat. I enjoyed last night’s episodes (lapses in logic and all), but I didn’t feel exhilarated by it (still, better than ‘Watchers on the Wall’ and “Dances of Dragons” for penultimate eps).

      I don’t know where the problem starts. Benioff said they sat down with George and went through each character beat by beat, so unless they discarded a bunch of stuff, I would guess much of what we see is similar to what the final game plan is. But I’ll wager George is going to spend hundreds of pages laying the groundwork. I get what D&D are saying that people aren’t going to be interested in this if it goes on 10+ years, which is what it would probably need to do everything properly. That said, this season could have easily filled 10 eps, so it isn’t a lack of story. My best guess is its a lack of time. They took longer to make this season,and it looks sloppier. Maybe the scope of the production has gotten to the point that they don’t have the time to run the scripts through one more rewrite. The bigger problem is that the ratings are still big, and that might just encourage them not to make changes.

      Cogman has left twitter

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    61. Thi Targaryen,

      That reads more like the typical list of fan favorite/major characters than anything. It’s quite presumptuous to declare that anyone in the show absolutely “can’t die” when there’s only one season left. This late in the story, all bets are off.

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    62. mau,

      Tyrion makes mistakes because he is not a military leader but the person you really need to govern the realm on a day to day business. Different skill sets.

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    63. mau:
      Sou,

      No. This show was and always will be better than House of Cards.

      Yep. No argument there. I just meant that people should be willing to allow for some fantasy in a fantasy show, dammit!

      Sou:
      The Guardian review was written by a guy named Luke Holland, not Tom Hiddleston.

      And of course I meant Tom Huddleston, not Loki. Although that could be fun too.

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    64. mau: two big storytelling problems that D&D inherited from GRRM. Dragons are too powerful for the Lannisters. The WW are too boring as the only enemy in the last season.

      And there is no way to solve this problem perfectly. That’s why he GRRM stoped writing the books.

      It should be noted that in the books in all likelihood it won’t be Daenerys vs Lannisters as that would represent a rather one-sided affair (especially seeing as how book Lannisters are militarily weaker than show Lannisters). We’ll probably have a total multi-sided chaos with the Crown on one side (not sure how Lannister-Tyrell thing will get resolved), (f)Aegon supported by the Dornish and certain Tyrell bannermen (Tarlys?) on the other, Daenerys on the third, and Euron with his Lovecraftian metaphysical horror/fantasy plot on the fourth.

      It will be significantly different to the show where all supporting players are essentially in one of the two camps: Dany or Cersei.

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    65. I think the criticism of nobody dying is a bit weird,major characters didn’t die for the sake of dying, some events happened that ultimately led to their dead. and frankly I think all the criticism about this episode is not just about this episode, it’s about the whole season and people were letting things go expecting a grand episode 6, and it wasn’t as grand as everyone expected (the production team and director did an incredible job though,I hope they win an Emmy)

      My problem with this season is not tha pacing,it’s that many characters are off, I mean it’s still the same actor, but it’s like they’re a whole new character! Varys is basically doing nothing, Tyrion is failing despite saying some smart lines but he’s not the same intelligent witty cunning person anymore. Cersei who used to make every stupid move is suddenly the master strategist and outsmarting everyone else and so many more rich complex characters that are wasted.

      This isn’t a Hollywood type action blockbuster. Last season D&D didn’t have source material as well, but it was so much better, it’s like they don’t care anymore and just want to end it so they can go on to their next project.

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    66. Stoneheart: This isn’t a Hollywood type action blockbuster. Last season D&D didn’t have source material as well, but it was so much better, it’s like they don’t care anymore and just want to end it so they can go on to their next project.

      Without getting into the whole “D&D are bad” thing, it might be worth remembering that they *did* have source material last season. It wasn’t published, true, but George has been writing TWoW since 2012 and it’s safe to conclude that a BIG part of that book is more or less finished. Morover, D&D most likely have access to this material, either directly or indirectly. So I’d say that Season 6 was still based on existing source material, with ever-increasing adaptation differences of course.

      Season 7 is the first one I think is truly off the books: nothing written, nothing even detailed beyond a broad outline (which George is prone to changing all the time anyway).

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    67. JonSnowsForeskin:
      Kind of sick of the “anyone can die” complaints. Most of the big action episodes in the show had no main characters die.

      If Blackwater were in this season, everyone would be complaining that nobody important died and Davos only survived because of “plot armour”

      Battle of the Bastards? (I know, not GRRM writing but a generally well regarded battle/episode), everyone involved in the battle lived other than Wun Wun (who was about as significant as Thoros)

      Hardhome? Karsi was about it and she was a one episode character. Jon survived that one because of “plot armor” too I guess?

      I understand (albeit don’t agree with) a lot of the criticisms of D&D and season 7 (or seasons 5-7 if you’re really anti-D&D writing). I really don’t get the “afraid to kill off” thing which is circulating the GOT fandom. GRRM never really killed off many major characters, what he did was a bait and switch making you think Ned (especially), Cat/Robb (a little less so) and Oberyn would be primary end-game characters but then killed them off. Of the “major major” players, there aren’t too many characters who are disposable to the final “Song” endgame. Jaime/Cersei are probably about it (I’d say Sansa too but clearly the showrunners see her as a critical end game piece even though in the books she is seemingly less crucial). We know Varys has to fulfill whatever Melisandre was talking about and will likely die. Tormund is the last important Wildling and Grey Worm the only Unsullied we know. They might both go but getting rid of them now hurts the viewer’s connection to those armies.

      Bronn and Beric could both go but they’re not really any more important than Olenna or some of the characters killed of last year (Margaery, High Sparrow, Hodor, maybe even Walder who was very important albeit in limited screen time).

      It’s weird to me to see fans complain that D&D are going “too Hollywood” but also protecting their main characters. If D&D were really writing for views/create buzz, it seems like they’d kill off characters left and right. The fact that they have left the cast mostly intact this year tells me a lot of deaths will occur this year and this season is a (Very fast/rushed) transition to next year’s endgame and most everyone left has a role to play. Those who don’t have been killed off (Benjen, Thoros, Sand Snakes, Ellaria) or written out (Nymeria, Meera).

      Season 2 – mostly GRRM’s work, although some obvious changes/adaptations – killed off very few major players. Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Doreah, Jory, Pyatt Pree, Qhorin, Lommy, Tickler, Amory Lorch etc. The only “big name” I can think of was Renly who was never important as some might have thought he would be at the beginning of the story.

      Just seems to me that there have always been “unkillable” characters on the show. But in the early seasons, you didn’t know who they were because the end game was less clear. Now we know (kind of) how the end game will play out, or at least have it narrowed down to a few scenarios, we “know” that some of the big names can’t die.

      I think D&D are getting too much blame for something which would have happened one way or another as the resolution to the story comes into focus. Now that we know Dany and Jon are the “song of ice and fire”, we know they are unlikely to die until the very end (if at all). We know Sam is more than the fat, amusing sidekick. He’s a key player. The Hound clearly has some Lord of Light destiny to fulfill (Vary and Melisandre too). Bran seems like the most important end game piece because his story arc has been so weird and unnecessary if the greenseeing/time travel doesn’t have a critical role to play at the end. And on and on. Jorah, Theon, Jaime and a few others clearly still have a few things to do before dying (if they die). You don’t invest 6 seasons in Jaime, Theon or Jorah to have them go down without a significant-to-the-plot death.And the plot hasn’t developed in a way where killing those guys off makes sense yet. It might still come, or it might not. But I’d rather characters not die, than die in a rushed/pointless manner just for shock value or to show that “anyone can die”.

      If we’re still sitting here after episode 4 of season 8 with all of these characters alive, then I’ll change my tune. But there’s still a lot of story to tell (albeit in a very short period of time)

      THAT!! THANK YOU! Well said! 🙂

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    68. FWIW, a Major character did die, Viserion. There are only 3 dragons in existence it should be a really big deal.

      The only problem is the show has not provided enough character building to show us the bond between Dany and her dragons for the audience to really care. Same with Rickon and sadly the direwolves.

      Hodor death is what this should have been.

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    69. Redx: FWIW, a Major character did die, Viserion. There are only 3 dragons in existence it should be a really big deal.

      By the by Viserion is never said out loud in that sequence, which thought would be a Dany word of dialog. If one watches with closed captions ‘Visriron’ explicitly occurs. As a descriptor not dialog.

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    70. I am already so sick of the criticism this episode has received, and there’s no doubt we’ll have to listen to it for the next 12 months.

      I don’t think I’ve ever been on the edge of my seat as much or been as emotional during a GoT episode. It was epic.

      Some of the criticism is almost comical, like “where did the chains come from?!” Is it really that implausible that the WWs have chains? Where did they get their ice spears from, or their armour?

      I love this show and its characters as much as anyone, but I honestly think a lot of people need to get a life and just enjoy the story while they still can. Why do people spend so much of their lives obsessing over it if they’re just going to whinge and moan about the story and blame GRRM/D&D for ruining it?! They created this epic saga that you have spent so much of your lives obsessing over, get a grip!

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    71. Sorry for the dumb question but it’s niggling at me. Jorah and Beric both suggested to Jon that they try and take out the NK. Jon is reluctant. He tells Beric “You don’t understand.” Do you think Jon knows how the NK has to be taken out? If so, how does he just know this?

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    72. I’ve never heard this word the Hound said “whinging.” I have of course always heard the word “whining.” When did the latter turn into the former?

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    73. Characters have to die for a reason, not to satisfy the audience.
      The show is much more simpler now and they have to balance fantasy and politics, and to do that they are trying to make the most out of the main players.
      Some characters have being doing nothing for years in George’s books but you cant kill them and neither stretch the story: so everything happens quicker and yes sometimes feels rushed.
      But general fans are okay with coming to the end and I think overall D&D are doing it well.

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    74. The most unrealistic part of this stupid episode is that Dany didn’t pack snacks for the flight north.

      Since the flight obviously took, what? Like 1-2 weeks?

      *sarcasm

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    75. There was a fanfic rewrite of the “Catch a falling wight and stick to a dragon” plot which claimed to make it work better, it’s TL;DR for here but basically involves using Bran as a relay station and the rock outcrop being made of dragonglass to repel the WWs, and the NK aiming at the grounded Drogon with Viserion sacrificing himself by interposing and taking the hit instead.

      And here is a critique stating a very good reason not to have done that:

      Quite, for all that rewrite reads marginally better, it’s still full of problems that stem from earlier series or would fudge up the final eight episodes. Bran’s basically the key to the whole thing, and to do the big reveal in this episode would hamstring everything else since all the critics would simply ask “why didn’t Bran tell them” every time a character gets into trouble. Plus, getting the message to Dany from Bran (who she has no idea about, don’t forget) and convincing her in a way that is even halfway believable is a massive ask if it’s not to look like a DEM and also to fudge up the likely resolution to the Sansa-Arya-Littlefinger plotline. The Viserion throwing himself in front of the javelin would also have caused absolute outrage amongst the fanbois because it’s such a massive clicheand, the dragonglass island would be regarded as a massive DEM – “oh, what are the odds, a massive block of dragonglass slap bang where you need it to be, that’s convenient, lazy B&W ruining GRRM’s, um, still unwritten meisterwerk”.

      So, that doesn’t mean that the plot was not ill conceived to start with but whatever is written is likely to have flaws if you pick at it hard enough. Just maybe we would have seen more watertight storytelling and scripting if GRRM had much closer involvement in the latter seasons but he’s “far too busy” so what we get is what we get, and you know, at least we are getting something to see the story completed.

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    76. Also,since I’ve stated my criticism, I’d like to add that the winterfell plot doesn’t seem out of character for Arya or Sansa, It could go this way in the books as well.who knows

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    77. Mr Fixit,

      True for some of the arches, but some of the storylines are changed so much that they’re never going to happen in the books that way, still I liked those in the past season(s).

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    78. TargaryenBlood:
      I am already so sick of the criticism this episode has received, and there’s no doubt we’ll have to listen to it for the next 12 months.

      I don’t think I’ve ever been on the edge of my seat as much or been as emotional during a GoT episode. It was epic.

      Some of the criticism is almost comical, like “where did the chains come from?!” Is it really that implausible that the WWs have chains? Where did they get their ice spears from, or their armour?

      I love this show and its characters as much as anyone, but I honestly think a lot of people need to get a life and just enjoy the story while they still can. Why do people spend so much of their lives obsessing over it if they’re just going to whinge and moan about the story and blame GRRM/D&D for ruining it?! They created this epic saga that you have spent so much of your lives obsessing over, get a grip!

      I wholeheartedly agree!
      And its started to get so annoying that I feel compelled to rant for the first and last time! I can’t find a reasonable explanation, because the critisism is not logical. Maybe they are HBO competitors – I can’t find another logical answer to why anyone would critisize about crazy things and nitpick the sh.. out of it!
      ‘how much time did it take for Dany to fly over to Eastwatch’ A) It’s an epic FANTASY show! B) it took less time than flying on a plane, because there’s no check-in or customs! It took her only a few hours!! Dragonstone is near to Eastwatch, especially if you can fly over like Dany!
      ‘How long was Gendry running’ ‘A) It’s a an epic FANTASY show! B) less than a day, because he was running- and the entire point was that NK IS now SO close to the Eastwatch castle!
      ‘Where did the NK find the chains?’ A) It’s an epic FANTASY show! B)Remember Hardhome? And all those other villages where wildlings lived and obviously used chains and lots and lots of other stuff?
      ‘How fast did that raven fly?’ A) It’s an epic FANTASY show! B) About the same time it took Dany to fly back I suspect, that is a few hours! They fly!!

      I hope the next question will be how is it possible for Superman to reach space in just a few seconds. And why Harry Potter came back to life, instead of staying dead after he killed Voldermot or why Frodo and Sam and the rest of the main characters on LotR were rescued because, you know, you HAVE to kill your main characters all the time. (NOT!)

      Really, we need to just relax and enjoy the show while it lasts; there won’t be anything even remotely close to this show’s epicness again, because it was the first to do this and as such it created an entire new context about TV. I treasure every episode I get, as we approach to the end of an amazing journey. Only 1 ep left for this season and only 6 in the next. Now, that is something to complain about! 😀

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    79. The show is basically expensive fan fiction now and I intend to enjoy it as such.

      I just want to push back on one thing that reviewers are saying in their misguided efforts to diagnose what’s changed about the show and that’s that main characters never died randomly. What GRRM did so well IMO was trick the audience about who were the main characters. Guarantee if there were a bunch of people killed off for no reason it would feel just as cheap.

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    80. This season made me realise that Lord Glover is one of the most annoying side characters in the whole show.
      In less than 10 episodes he managed to:

      – Refuse his oath to two Stark heirs, humiliating their family name in front of them.
      – Beg for forgiveness after they got Winterfell back.
      – Attempt to betray the king he just helped crown.

      And he did all this with a bitch face.

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    81. Stoneheart,

      I agree with this. I think I was really affected by that scene where Sansa confronts Arya about the faces. I wish she had asked who they were. it. Arya is a dark person now. I still hope they are playing LF, though.

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    82. It was a lot of nonsense, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

      In fact, if I hadn’t exposed myself to the backlash, I’d have been quite happy with that outcome personally.

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    83. Violator:
      It was a lot of nonsense, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

      In fact, if I hadn’t exposed myself to the backlash, I’d have been quite happy with that outcome personally.

      Interesting. What do you mean by that?

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    84. They are hitting GRRM major plot points.. one of those is WW get a dragon. They have to fill in the blanks now. Why would Dany go North.. etc.

      This episode fulfilled that requirement in a satisfying buddy style adventure that ended in tragedy, but also convinced the most major player of the true threat. I thought it was a fantastic way of accomplishing this. I don’t even think it felt rushed to be honest.

      The scene where Dany sees Jon’s scars was highly emotional as was the entire end segment.

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    85. Just a small thing I would have added to the battle would be a dragon attacking the NK with fire and it having no affect on him…..would start to build up the S8 narrative on how do you kill and defeat the NK?

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    86. Forgot: Thank you for the list of reviews David. One of the few blogs that have an easy access list and I for one appreciate the summary.

      mau:
      RBloodworth,

      This story is just typical fantasy in its core and everything else was just a red herring, GRRM just selled this story for something this story never was.

      I really thought it was something of a hybrid. He started with fantasy setup, he moved into political drama, on to tragic psychological trauma for what different characters went through, he touched on some hot topics on the way, weather he realized it or not, and all the while kept the action moving while keeping a balance with the internal logic of the story. And all was fluid and natural for me. A complete story.

      I don’t know if Winds or Dreams will strip everything else favoring plot action movement at breakneck speed with a dash of romance erotica between his two heroes and move everything to the conclusion but if it does, then yes, he’s as guilty as you say he is. He did “sell” his story as something else. Or maybe he is just tired and reverted to the pure fantasy he used to criticize.

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    87. I like how the people are on Dany side and hate Cersei when there is clearly a parallelle between them.
      1. The love for their children
      2. Thirst for power no matter the price.
      3. Inceste.
      Everyone is aboard for Jon Dany, but all hated Cersei and Jamie .
      Everyone is aboard for distroyng all the ancient city and famillies in Essos by Dany, but everyone jugde Cersie for blowing off the Sept and killing of Tyrells.
      Cersei doing everything for her children it’s sick, but Dany protecting her ”childrens” it’s ok .
      The thirst for power on the side of Cersei, it’s a bad thing, but Dany wish for the throne it’s ok ( Clearly the both has no claim for the thrones, Dany even less, the throne was taken from her family).
      Ok the reason why Dany is fighting it’s more noble she do it for the ”people”(I was born to rule the seven Kingdoms) but how she doing it it’s not different then Cersei

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    88. Thi Targaryen,

      but one thing is sure: they need to stop putting Jon in almost death situations, because we know this story since BoTB…

      Especially, NOT drowning in a MORE preposterous way than the previous episode’s NOT drowning. It’s a problem George created (so many characters survive drowning in asoiaf) that the show could simply ignore. Rather, they have created what appear to be new and different cases of characters not drowning.

      I don’t really mind the deus ex machina this ep. Especially, not Benjen because there’s the simple answer of Bran. Why the show chose NOT to incorporate Bran explicitly in the CH arrival OR in watching the team with ravens to signal for help if needed, I do not know. I didn’t hate Gendry running but it raises questions about why Bran is absent this episode. I see two possibilities.

      1) Bran is too powerful that his “wings” are clipped and he simply disappears from an episode.

      2) ….okay I only see the one possibility

      Daenerys and Jon trust Bran’s scouting, why then is he not part of the planning, scouting and execution of the mission?

      PS also had questions about Jon’s “you don’t understand” comment. That felt intentionally vague. Especially in an episode without Bran. Did Jon mean that they were too far too kill the NK with too many wights to cut through? Why wouldn’t Beric understand that?

      book theory spec about 13th LC of NW

      I subscribe to the theory that our Bran is Bran the Builder. And what better way to build a wall of ice than with an ice dragon? Still, I don’t think Bran is NK in the show because the creation story doesn’t have Nan’s “Stark” comment and we saw that the CotF created NK from a guy who obviously wasn’t Bran.

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    89. Chuck,

      I’m still enjoying the show, Chuck. I’ve never claimed to be a genius but I don’t think I suffer from totally deficient grey matter. I think the show (as I believe somebody already pointed out) could have done with at least one extra episode to help the pacing of the show. Still, if people genuinely find they like the show less this season they are entitled to do so as long as they are courteous to people who still like it.

      There was an article at one time about the leading actors’ pay allegedly being increased to a million dollars per episode. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/04/25/game-thrones-stars-reportedly-sign-biggest-pay-per-episode-deal/ I don’t know how much hefty pack packets like that would take away from the rest of the budget for the show.

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    90. Mr Fixit: Season 7 is the first one I think is truly off the books: nothing written, nothing even detailed beyond a broad outline (which George is prone to changing all the time anyway).

      Would you say that GoT is now an ‘alternate universe’ version of the alternate universe …A Song of Ice and Fire?

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    91. Vincent Stark,

      LOL…SO true!! He’s been such a cry baby weathervane (to use Sansa’s choice of word) all along, so feel free to go and finish him off, if you can. Mr. Stark 😉

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    92. ygritte:
      I’ve never heard this word the Hound said “whinging.” I have of course always heard the word “whining.” When did the latter turn into the former?

      It’s quite a common word in Britain, Ygritte – and has a different source word to ‘whine’ – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whinge Because whinge and whine have a similar beginning sound you sometimes hear it said of a persistent complainer “He/she is always whinging and whining”. Hope that helps.

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    93. Lady B:
      I like how the people are on Dany side and hate Cersei when there is clearly a parallelle between them.
      1. The love for their children
      2. Thirst for power no matter the price.
      3. Inceste.
      Everyone isaboard for Jon Dany, but all hated Cersei and Jamie .
      Everyone is aboard for distroyng all the ancient city and famillies in Essos by Dany, but everyone jugde Cersie for blowing off the Sept and killing of Tyrells.
      Cersei doing everything for her children it’s sick, but Dany protecting her ”childrens” it’s ok .
      The thirst for power on the side of Cersei, it’s a bad thing, but Dany wish for the throne it’s ok ( Clearly the both has no claim for the thrones, Dany even less, the throne was taken from her family).
      Ok the reason why Dany is fighting it’s more noble she do it for the ”people”(I was born to rule the seven Kingdoms) but how she doing it it’s not different then Cersei

      Sorry, I beg to disagree.

      Thirst for power no matter the price — if this is so, Dany would have attacked KL the moment she arrived in Westeros. She didn’t mainly because she believed the price (thousands of innocent people dying) would be too steep. If it’s the other way around, I’m pretty sure Cersei would have attacked already and not care about the collateral damage at all.

      Incest — this complaint is my new pet peeve now. Please understand that marrying or having a relationship with first cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces is not considered incest in Westeros. It is incest when the sexual relationship is between siblings or parent-child. This story is not set in the modern times (i.e., today) so we cannot apply to these characters the same rules as ours. Remember: Tyrion’s parents were first cousins, while Ned’s parents were nephew/aunt and these marriages were not regarded as taboo.

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    94. Boojam: Would you say that GoT is now an ‘alternate universe’version of the alternate universe …A Song of Ice and Fire?

      It’s always been a kind of alternate universe, diverging more and more from its source.

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    95. Sou,

      Updated – thank you. Tom (not Hiddleston) had done them the previous 5 weeks. I missed the name change. Thanks again.

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    96. Sam: Sorry, I beg to disagree.

      Thirst for power no matter the price — if this is so, Dany would have attacked KL the moment she arrived in Westeros. She didn’t mainly because she believed the price (thousands of innocent people dying) would be too steep. If it’s the other way around, I’m pretty sure Cersei would have attacked already and not care about the collateral damage at all.

      Incest — this complaint is my new pet peeve now. Please understand that marrying or having a relationship with first cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces is not considered incest in Westeros. It is incest when the sexual relationship is between siblings or parent-child. This story is not set in the modern times (i.e., today) so we cannot apply to these characters the same rules as ours. Remember: Tyrion’s parents were first cousins, while Ned’s parents were nephew/aunt and these marriages were not regarded as taboo.

      I’m curious what will happend if Cersei kills one of the dragon, if she (Dany) will be calm and use strategie to get King’s landing. She left Essos in chaos when she had enought fleets and solders to get what she always wanted, rule the seven kingdoms. I’m not defending Cersei, i just think their real motivations and the resultats of their acts are almost the same, at least in the series.

      About the incest i don’t speak in point of view of the caracters in Westeros, it’s just remark that people can be one dimensional and don’t approve for one caracter who is presented to us as evil and approve for the other caracter which is presented to us as good… Because Cersei and Jamie was definitivly criticized , but suddently where there is potentially Dany, Jon romance all came up with answers like yours(no offence) ….Ohhh it’s tradition in Westeros.

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    97. i liked the episode, very exciting.

      for those of you slagging off ep for the chain, you can clearly see in this shot (top of thread) some chain around a bit of ruined dock or pier in the foreground, or possibly a wreck… so i guess it was scavenged from there. people should look harder before being disappointed! talk about lazy critique sheesh!

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    98. JonSnowsForeskin: Kind of sick of the “anyone can die” complaints. Most of the big action episodes in the show had no main characters die.

      Something that gets forgotten is that stories necessarily create survivorship bias. That is, you can only tell a story through characters that are present at the beginning, middle and end: after all, how they adapt and evolve is what makes the story. Basically, once you know that a character is a protagonist, then you know that he/she is there until the climax. Whether they survive the climax is another issue, but they have to be there. (And, no, Ned Stark does not disprove this: Ned is a classic faux protagonist.)

      That stated, B&W could have killed off a few more tertiary characters than they did this week. Yes, we like Beric and Tormund: but one or both of them should have died.

      I think that the biggest problem with this last episode was that they were consciously trying to top the prior penultimate episodes. And it just got too over-the-top. I realize that they have limited time and that they do not have luxury of doing what many films do, where they can schedule rounds of “pickup” shots after looking at the first draft and seeing where they can consolidate, where things stretch credulity, etc. For example, just watching, I would have immediately thought: “huh: let’s have them meet Benjen while looking for the wight” and editted in a couple of scenes doing that. Regardless, it seemed like they were consciously trying to throw in as many visually dramatic tropes as possible.

      But the other big problem was the amount of fan-servicing. We simply did not need those dialog scenes between the wight-hunters, save for two parts: 1) Tormund telling Jon that Mance’s refusal to bend the knee wound up costing many more lives than just Mance’s; and, 2) Beric and Jon discussing why R’hllor had brought them back to life(s). All the rest of it was statement of the obvious: “I hate you for selling me to a red witch” “sorry, kid, but war is hell.”

      That stated, I don’t think that this is going to cause lasting harm to the show. Clearly they were planning to have Viserion become a wight. Clearly they were planning to have Jon & Daenerys become a pair. Thoros & Benjen are minor characters, as are the other survivors. So, even if they had constructed this episode better, then we’d be at the same place in the story and the plot.

      Still, this is sort of like that album well-written-but-overproduced songs: I can see the merits of what they were trying to do, but they sort of drowned out the songs with the excess symphonics.

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    99. Boojam,

      Yes, they had dragonglass weapons. The redshirts had DG tipped spears. Jorah is seen with a dragonglass dagger and machete (note how black the blade is). Tormund starts off with a clearly metal axe but switches to an axe/mace with chunks of DG bound to it – like a macuahuitl, The Hound uses Gendry’s hammer until he realizes it’s not working and switches to DG daggers or hatchet too, I believe. Thoros and Beric don’t need DG as their swords are lit with fire. Jon doesn’t need DG as he has Longclaw which is Valyrian steel.

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    100. This episode was the first real jump the shark moment of the series for me (at least by the standards it has set for itself).
      I’m always on the front lines to defend the show, but the more I think about this episode, the more I dislike it.

      And i’m not particularly hyped for episode 7 or season 8.

      This episode featured so many game changing moments, and they were so contrived and hackneyed, and whenever I see that dragon wight, i’m always going to remember the stupid way the writers made it happen in the first place.

      The plus point of this episode was the actual dialogue (not the plot) was very well written, and featured some beautiful acting.

      I will be voting for Emilia Clarke as the best actress of this season.

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    101. Can we all agree I picked a fantastic name two years ago!! Sick about the dragon being killed … thought it would be a dragon under Castle Black that would be brought back to life……

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    102. The show’s not becoming good vs. evil. It’s simply becoming a coalition of good, decent, and unsavory people forming to defeat an existential threat that transcends their differences. As does climate change in our world. This is an interesting, timely and highly relevant concept in a 21st century of increasing existential risks. And yet most miss it because for some reason, symbolism and metaphor have become dead languages.

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    103. I mentioned this on another thread, but re-watch the final scene when the Night King drags Viserion’s body out of the lake. In the extreme foreground is part of a smashed up wooden structure with chains on, then as the shot pans out you can see it to the left of shot.

      I am convinced this is part of the dock from Hardhome! He had the Giant Wights rips it out and brought it with him.. He’s a crazy Greenseer and knows all this is going to happen.. that’s why he saunters about cool, calm and collected!! C’mon Bran pull your finger out and start helping!!!!! 🙂

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