Welcome back, mine fellow legions of Game of Thrones fans. Hopefully everyone survived the long week between episodes; it was hard, but we made it! From a plot standpoint, ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’ was about as uneventful an episode of GOT as you can imagine, but from a character standpoint it may have been the most eventful of all time. So which way did the critics tilt?
Every week, I’ll be deconstructing the multitude of reviews out there, boiling them down to one short summary sentence that will perfectly encapsulate what the original author was saying, no questions asked…and by that I mean that I will deconstruct whole essays down to one sentence apiece. What I will do is attempt to summarize the original review as best I can, and if my tease whets your appetite for their style of review, you are encouraged to head over to their site and let them know…after of course letting us know your thoughts in the comments below. All squared? Jolly good, let’s dive in.
Here at Watchers on the Wall, we encourage you to ‘Always Support the Bottom.’ This naturally extends to your support of our editor-in-chief Sue the Fury, and her ‘Sullied recap‘ of the episode, in which her background knowledge of the books informs her perspective on the episode. Once you’ve done that, you would do well to support our peerless Oz of Thrones‘s ‘Unsullied recap,’ in which his fearless determination to avoid reading the books has outlasted all others, continuing on for 8 full seasons. After this, you can check out what these Internet critics thought of ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’:
Akhil Arora, Gadgets 360 – In which he notes that the sweet moments are likely to be followed by brutal, heart-wrenching ones.
Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone – In which he does a deep dive into the knighting of Ser Brienne of Tarth, first of her name.
Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club – In which he claims Bran Stark is the ‘avatar’ for everyone at Winterfell, and the forward momentum of what past memory does for the future.
Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post – In which she believes Dany is most human when her brittleness and rigidity are in full bloom.
Caroline Framke, Variety – In which she revels in the satisfaction of spending the night with so many characters we’ve come to hold dear, as they drink and reminisce.
Dave Gonzales, Thrillist – In which he believes that with all of Theon’s arcs tied up, he will die in the next episode.
David Malitz, The Washington Post – In which he thinks it’s nice that the show finally acknowledges that Tyrion has become something of an idiot lately.
David Rosenblatt, Squinty Overanalyzes Things – In which David – Hey wait, that’s me! I wrote this review. No free peeks. Go check it out!
Hillary Kelly, Vulture – In which she says the episode was nostalgic, heartwarming, and contains the sexiest sex scene in GOT history.
Ian Thomas Malone, Personal Blog – In which she thinks that fan service, while sometimes a little forced, is not a bad way to spend an episode.
James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – In which he parallels the Stark/Baratheon bond that was once to be Sansa/Joffrey and how it has been replaced with Arya/Gendry.
Jeremy Egner, New York Times – In which he liked Bran’s reference to “The things I do for love,” suggesting it was an excellent callback and fun way to mess with a guy.
Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair – In which she dives into the subtext of the Davos/Gilly interaction.
Josh Wigler, Hollywood Reporter – In which he recaps from a mostly objective standpoint, neglecting to delve into the subjective.
Julia Alexander, The Verge – In which she likens the reunion-based episode to pre-snap Thanos.
Kaitlin Thomas, TV Guide – In which she calls out Brienne as the epitome of goodness.
Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture – In which she defends the right of Arya Stark to be a teenager.
Kelly Lawler, USA Today – In which she thinks everything came full-circle, and played like a greatest hits album.
Kim Renfro – Business Insider – In which she goes into detail on details you caught and details you missed.
Laura Hudson, WIRED – In which she can oddly see Tyrion becoming a Littlefinger of sorts.
Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which LAURA. LOVES. LOYAL. BITCHES.
Lauren Sarner, New York Post – In which she concludes who will survive the impending battle with the undead, based largely on moments from episode 2.
Lindsey Romain, Nerdist – In which she discusses why Brienne of Tarth is the MVP of the episode.
Mark Perigard, Boston Herald – In which Arya and Gendry’s intimate moment may have been the hardest moment for him to watch.
Michael Rogeau, Gamespot – In which he thought it was just another episode filled with build-up and anticipation, with the promise of something monumental waiting just over the horizon.
Melanie McFarland, Salon – In which she braces boldly for the aches that will come following Podrick’s inevitable demise.
Mike Bloom, Parade – In which the latest news around Westeros is reported.
Natalie Mokry, Film School Rejects – In which she deduces that Dany’s origin storyline as the ultimate GOT villain kicks off with the gut punch that is the Aegon reveal.
Neela Debnath, Express – In which she believes the episode was jam-packed with wonderful character scenes.
Olivia St. James, That Shelf – In which she thinks Ramin Djawadi’s score during the Sansa/Dany discussion was spot on.
Rob Bricken, io9 – In which he thinks the thoughtful character moments the premiere lacked were in this episode instead.
Ron Hogan, Den of Geek –In which he praises the entire company of actors, among whom he finds zero slouches.
Sarah Hughes, The Guardian – In which she finds Theon pledging to defend Bran to the death among the episode’s most heartbreaking moments.
Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which he calls out writer Bryan Cogman and director David Nutter for digging into the rich library of character relationships, finding the heartwrenching stuff at the center.
Soumya Srivastava, Hindustan Times – In which she loves that the episode reassures us of the humanity, kindness, loyalty, and friendship capable of the characters in GOT, and why they are the ones to root for.
Todd VanDerWerff, Vox – In which he looks at the eight winners and four losers of the episode.
Tori Preston, Pajiba – In which she portends that some of the most memorable moments from this amazing, infuriating, and confounding show will be contained in this episode.
Verne Gay, Newsday – In which he thinks the most crucial scene was Dany’s and Sansa’s Mexican standoff.
Thanks for joining this week. Whose reviews did you love/hate, with all due respect of course, and as always?