Looking Forward, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4: Are You Not Entertained?

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“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

Do you know what it takes to get our trusty Editor-In-Chief to let me put a non-GoT related picture at the top of a post? A lot. And she’s not done with me yet. Such a request carries with it a debt, and the debt must be repaid with fire and blood, but not necessarily in a logical time continuum.

Intelligent ladies and gents, this IS in-season Looking Forward, where the Unsullied, unspoiled public reflect briefly on the past and look to the future.

Join me. I don’t pretend to be a man of the people. But I do try to be a man for the people. Let’s talk about time, realistically, as it relates to GoT…

Highgarden Siege 7x03 (2)

Let’s Talk Time; Time for a Talk

The past week has been riddled with complaints and comparisons and justifications and explanations of an issue that seems to be driving some people completely bonkers… the lack of continuity of time in Game of Thrones, especially as it relates to this season.

Before we begin, let’s preface: during my tenured obsession with HBO’s Sunday spectacular world of wolves that commenced in 2011, I have been labeled a great many things; the most notable of those being “fanboy.”

Now, I’m not even sure I know what that means. But if I had to venture a guess, it would be that regardless of the mistakes and missteps the show makes, some think that I will always sing its praises and parade in the neighborhood exposing my stag horn to my innocent neighbors as an expression of love following every episode (to be honest, I am guilty of doing this, just not on Sunday nights. You know, it’s the Lord’s day).

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In other words, their opinion is that my stance is that the show can do no wrong, even if the showrunners had decided to devote an entire 55-minute episode solely to the Sand Snakes (which, I still would have watched). This episode, were it real, would be entitled, “A Storm of Snakes.” Or perhaps, “Cripples, Bastards and Bad Pussy.”

Maybe I am a fanboy. I have been critical of the show at times, but more often than not, I am admittedly forgiving over its few blunders. Maybe it’s because I’m not a book reader (yet) and I don’t hold it to as high of a standard. Or perhaps it is the fact that beyond the snafus and oversights, I still find it to be the highest quality programming on television today. By far.

Euron Fleet Casterly Rock 703 Season 7 A Queen's Justice

So how do I defend the time continuity issue? I don’t. My knowledge is somewhat limited by lack of book knowledge, but I CAN read a map. I can’t explain how Euron’s fleet gets from the south of France around to the Norwegian shore in the course of one episode. I can’t explain how Jon and Davos can make it from the Sea of Okhotsk to Taiwan from the end of an episode to the beginning of the next. I sure as hell can’t explain how Littlefinger has been doing this shit for six years.

Cersei throne

Ozzette’s biggest complaint in this whole ordeal is that Cersei’s hair hasn’t grown out (which BTW, I think is very reasonably explained by Joanna Robinson here).

But let’s be clear: there is no logical explanation for how the show is currently hop-scotching around. And to be honest… I really don’t give a shit.

My primary concern is that we get an ending that is worthy of the epic storytelling that we have witnessed for the better part of six seasons. I don’t want them to rush. I would be completely fine with this horse running for ten seasons.

But I also wouldn’t want the show to extend itself with pointless filler while we wait a month in real time for Jon to leave Winterfell, travel to White Harbor and sail to Dragonstone to meet Dany. Would it make more sense for it to take 3 episodes for that excursion to happen? Yes. Are there plot points needed during that wait that are crucial in deciding the end game? Probably not.

I can’t speak to the motives of the showrunners and HBO in terms of the abbreviated seasons and the multitude of reasons surrounding that decision. But man, they’ve got to be tired. To put on this show, D and D to the B and BC have gone through an incredible number of barriers that at times have had to have seemed insurmountable.

Westeros Essos map

Forget the pains of adaptation and attempting to conclude an epic tale of which the end has yet to be written by its creator. That by itself would be enough.  But the top-secret nature of the filming, and scripts, and code names, the ridiculous amount of cast members, attempting to keep the fate of one of the biggest names in the series under wraps, the endless obsession of the fans and the media, the heartless scrutinization, and the sheer size of the whole production would be enough to kill some people.

And through all of the careful planning and implementation, they still have to deal with leaks and hacks. At a minimum, I wouldn’t have any hair left.

28 Night King

So, before we go throwing people under a dragon for rushing to the end, let’s be fair in the assessment. If there’s no other backstory to tell, then I say don’t tell it. And if that means the Night King suddenly shows up on Cersei’s doorstep in KL with a frozen hard-on versus the big cock of Euron Greyjoy, then so be it. This is entertainment conceived in a world full of white walkers and shadow babies and tits and dragons. It doesn’t always make perfect sense.

We won’t fully know if the end of the story will suffer because of the time issue until the end is more in sight, and we’ve still got quite a way to go. But this is entertainment.

Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Forward ON

Just a reminder to those who may think the first three episodes of season 7 may have been somewhat underwhelming: they can’t all be Hardhome. Season 5 had pulled us into a sand snake pit before HBO unexpectedly bent us over the table with the army of the dead.

I don’t do leaks or spoilers or hacks, but my guess is that we’ve got one more episode of plotting and scheming before the proverbial shit starts hitting the fan in 5, 6 and 7.

And I understand that Ep. 4 is already out there so if you’ve chosen to watch it early, here is your opportunity to see how wrong I am. Personally, I’m waiting to watch it in HD on the big screen. But, to each his own.

Daenerys Jon Varys Missandei Tyrion Spoils of War

Jon is mining dragonglass and is probably about to catch the Winterfell Express. If Dany gets word of the events at Casterly Rock and Highgarden before Jon leaves, she may feel obligated to change her position and plead for his help. I’m also guessing that Jon gets back to reunite with Bran who emphasizes the importance of the Night King not getting beyond the Wall, leading Jon and company to head to Eastwatch to cut them off at the pass. Who knows if the Three-Eyed Eccentric will actually tell Jon about his parents before he runs off again. But we’ll see.

A shift to the North would be welcome as it is the only place where we are going to get more of the Hound and Beric Dondarrion.  And I don’t want the scene below to be the next we see, as it could very well be his final, flaming lightsaber or not.

Beric Dondarrion

I also wouldn’t mind hearing more than two lines of dialogue from Brienne. She has been very quiet this season, mostly listening intently in the Northern meetings and secretly whispering “sweet nothings” in the ears of Tormund.

Podrick Brienne Spoils of War

Of course, the other variable in the North is “Dirtball.”

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He is sitting back taking it all in, calculating and maneuvering. I know that many fans are completely over his ass, but until he becomes more involved and vocal, he will be lurking in the shadows. And that won’t get him killed.

Tycho Cersei Spoils of War

Finally, will Jaime contemplate the words of Olenna and start to see Cersei for who she truly is? The seeds have been planted for this flip to begin and I wonder if this upcoming scene with Iron Bank debt collector Tycho Nestoris will emphasize the importance of making sure that Euron stays on her side. If Cersei feels like she has to marry the Big Cock soon in order to keep Euron honest, it could be enough to push Jaime over the edge considering how much lip-service has gone back and forth between the two.

Jaime Bronn Spoils of War

What else are you guys and gals Looking Forward to? Let’s pass the time together. I’m personally waiting until Sunday night to watch and I invite you to do the same.

No judgment if you have decided to partake early, but don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

Until Monday morning, a man wishes all of you well. Enjoy every moment. It’s almost halftime already! Embrace it. Share it. Invite someone to the Wall. And may there always be peace in your realm.

-Oz

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SPOILER NOTE: The Management of this fine site would like to remind you that spoilers (book or leak) are not allowed in Unsullied posts.  This includes spoilers covered by code or otherwise.  Personally, I appreciate feedback from Sullied and Unsullied alike, so long as they do not include any type of hinting or conversation related to the written verse.  However, spoiler-coded comments do tend to lead to further Sullied conversation and for that reason, we ask that you please refrain from posting any SPOILERY content whatsoever in Unsullied posts. Thanks!

 -Oz

83 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Hold the door!

      Edit: Omg. Haven’t been first in years! Now I’ll go read your always-entertaining post, Oz. 🙂

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    2. Characters moving quickly isn’t to the detriment of the show in my opinion.

      In the very first episode of the show, Robert came all the way from King’s Landing to Winterfell in like 10-15 minutes. It simply wasn’t necessary to show the things that happened in between.

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    3. Hello, Oz and thank you for all of the entertainment you have provided thus far.

      I kind of look at moving through the end of this television series like one reads a novel. We start out reading slowly, trying to make sure we understand all of the nuances of the plot before we go on. As we get to the center of the book, our reading pace picks up as we become confident in our understanding of the plot and subplots, and comfortable with the characters.
      However, as we near the end of the book, we start to speed up the pace quite a bit as we rush toward the end. We stay up longer, read more of the book at one sitting than we had been, and brush by the stuff we believe are just obstacles in our path to the end.
      BUT, the payoff had better be worth it when we get there.

      This is true for me and maybe for others as well.

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    4. freypies:
      Characters moving quickly isn’t to the detriment of the show in my opinion.

      In the very first episode of the show, Robert came all the way from King’s Landing to Winterfell in like 10-15 minutes. It simply wasn’t necessary to show the things that happened in between.

      Agreed. I couldn’t care less about the travel times and am getting pretty tired of people complaining about it. This isn’t 24. Events aren’t supposed to be taking place in real time. Why can’t people just get that time passes between scenes? How much time passes you want to know? Enough time for the characters to travel where they need to be to move the story along. That’s how much.

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    5. First off – love the Gladiator reference and pix! YES, we are entertained!

      Winterfell is what I am anxious to see with the convergence of Sansa, Bran, and Arya with LF lurking in the background with his hands on that catspaw blade. I worry LF will go after Bran. I think the revelation of LF’s role in Ned’s capture and death will be a huge turning point (not that we’ll get that this episode…). What will Arya’s homecoming be like? What will Bran say to her about her past or future? Will she stay if she finds out Jon is in Dragonstone? Also, have Tormund and freefolk left already for Eastwatch? What will become of Tarthbane?

      I hope Royce ends up being more loyal to Sansa in the near future. I think he appreciates she is trying to mange things and they have connections outside of LF so that a bond and loyalty could form directly between them. I think if push came to shove, Royce would back Sansa over LF in a heartbeat, even if she did lie about the events surrounding Lady Lysa’s (sp?) death.

      Just from the HBO photos, this has the potential to be a BIG episode with a lot to look forward to even if it is short. The past 6 seasons have built up a great foundation for this massive story and, while there are still some unanswered questions, its time to head toward and down the road to that bittersweet conclusion. So, I imagine there will be more time jumps and unexplained details so that the focus and money can go toward pulling all (most) of the pieces together in the remaining episodes. That’s my 2 cents and way of saying the time jumps don’t bother me and I will just have to live with the unexplained details because I AM ENTERTAINED!

      Great post Oz!

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    6. Great article, man. As long as I can figure out what’s happening more or less when (one thing to ignore is what is happening in an unrelated scene before or after… if it’s not happening in the same place, it’s likely happening some other time) in relation to other scenes, I’m happy.

      For example, Theon being fished out of the water would have to happen the morning after the sea battle, and therefore days before Dany got the news. But it was dramatically correct for the show to hold off that scene until Dany could ask about survivors.

      It’s all good. It’s all good.

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    7. Life is boring enough…..get up…..go to work…..come home….repeat. I want entertaining from my favourite programme and boy am I. So guess I’m guilty as charged I’m a fangirl and I don’t care 😆

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    8. As always, I am thoroughly entertained by your Looking Forwards, Oz!! I loved Gladiator, top 5 fav movies!❤️ I completely agree with you on the time travel-speeding up thing….it has never really made sense sometimes in GoT, so why should it now? We all know what D&D have said about season 7 and 8…things are really speeding up to the end. So why are people surprised that it’s happening? Sure, I don’t want GoT to end so I would love for it take 3 episodes for these voyages to happen! But if you think that’s going to happen, you haven’t been paying attention! I would love for the end of GoT to take more than 2 shortened seasons, but I have to accept that is not the case.😥 I am curious to how Jon will finally get to leave to back to the North? Will he leave on good terms with Dany? I have only seen the trailers, so I know he gets back there. Will he promise to come back to fight with Dany? Thanks Oz! Stay unsullied….which is hard to do these days!😬

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    9. We’ve had 6 whole seasons of deliberately paced, beautiful world building.
      We don’t need it as much anymore.

      The final war is happening right now. This is the home stretch, and the pacing needs to reflect that.

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    10. Well, I tend to enjoy the scheming scenes more than the hacking scenes, so I expect that the remaining episodes will mostly seem overly rushed to me. No leisure left for a delicious sequence like the one in S2 where Tyrion finesses Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger with his contradictory raven messages, alas. I just hope they have some genuinely clever lines left for him.

      As for Baelish’s ultimate comeuppance, I’m hoping that northbound Sandor will have some role to play in it – despite the fact that Bran’s omniscience seems to be making almost everyone else’s little piece of the informational puzzle redundant.

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    11. I don’t have a problem with characters popping up here there and everywhere, what I have a problem with is events not feeling earned.
      We’ve had plenty of big moments in the show this season, but non of them have carried any weight because they’ve been rushed in without any build up. The Battle of Blackwater bay wasn’t a particularly well staged battle as far as cinematic battles go, but it felt epic because of the preceding 45 minutes ramping up the tension, compare that to this seasons action set pieces like the attack on the Greyjoy’s fleet, or the taking of Casterly Rock, big events with no impact what-so-ever. Spectacle doesn’t replace investment, if the stakes haven’t been raise no amount of fireworks are going to make me care.
      Also the abbreviated resolution to some plots just feel like the ticking of boxes, Jorah’s greyscale cured in less time than it takes to boil the kettle for a lemsip.

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    12. Amen! I am a book reader and I cannot understand why people are so hung up on this notion of time traveling across the realm! In the name of the seven, get over it. D & D have a story to tell and limited time and money to tell it. If the time issue bothers you so much, stop watching and complaining and wait for Martin to finish writing. I’m sure he will be done sometime this century.

      For now, sit back, relax and enjoy one of the best shows on tv.

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    13. Salutations, Oh GAPO!
      I am entertained, and looking forward to beautifully designed weapons of Dragonglass, and to whatever it is that’s got Jamie and Bronn so worried.
      Also, nuff respect to D&D, who look quite the worse for wear in current photos.

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    14. I remember that point in my youth (and somewhat beyond) when I used my critical thinking skills to pick apart everything I read or watched. How clever I was, detecting and pointing out discrepancies or logistical conundrums. I believe the movie “The Shining” was the first major attack of discontent I received, because the ending was a departure from the book. I was 13 at the time, and it was years before I forgave “them”, the moviemakers. How much enjoyment did I deprive myself of by getting hung up on production decisions and story details because I was severely ill informed about the whole process of Entertainment? Somewhere between then and now, I started letting those things go, and gave myself permission to enjoy whatever was presented to me, whether it be an adaptation or something wholly new. I’ve read A Song Of Ice And Fire several times, and I love Game Of Thrones for itself. I don’t find it hard to separate the two. I also don’t find myself struggling if someone shows up hundreds of miles away in the next episode, because I want the story to move forward, not take precious screen time to prove the person has been in transit for X amount of time. George R.R. Martin is the first to declare that timelines aren’t in sync as his story unfolds. If he can do it, and not be given grief about it by fans, so should the show be allowed this same pass.

      I’m looking forward to Jon and Dany forging a stronger alliance. I’m anticipating Dany’s first battle using Drogon and the Dothraki in Westeros. Arya’s arrival in Winterfell is something else I’m looking forward to, especially since she tried so hard to rejoin her family in earlier seasons. I was done with Littlefinger when he added Sansa to his desires, so I’ve been ready for him to go for several seasons. I hope it’s this episode. I’d also like to see more contributions from Brienne in Winterfell. No matter what happens in the next episode, I’ll enjoy every second of it.

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    15. I am certainly no expert on fanboys. As a 40 year old, A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones is really the first thing outside of sports I really cared enough about to get involved in the fandom. I know there are things like Marvel vs DC fanboys, xbox v playstation fanboys, Star Wars vs Star Trek fanboys, etc. but I never really got involved with those. In my experience those are very small subsets of an entire fandom but they wield a mighty stick (squeaky wheel gets the grease type thing). Anyway, fwiw I don’t think you are a fanboy. I know this relates to Marvel vs DC but John Campea has some great thoughts on the fanboy culture here that can very well be applied to GoT fanboy vs GoT hater culture:

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    16. It’s interesting some find the season underwhelming. Am I the only one that thinks this is one of the stronger starts to any GoT season? First season had a great first episode, but kinda put a pause in the plot until the end of episode 4. I’d argue most of the first half of S2 was pretty weak (“What is Dead May Never Die” being the exception). S3 & S5 also started okay, not amazing.

      So far this season we’ve had Arya killing the Freys, the Hound doing some gravedigging, Sam’s awesome bedpan sequence, Arya meeting Nymeria, the Greyjoy attack, Theon’s heartbreaking PTSD episode, Jon interacting with Tyrion and Dany, the dark but magnificent final scene with Ellaria and Tyene, and a great farewell to Olenna, one of the most entertaining characters on the show. Besides Season 4 and maybe Season 6, I can’t think of another season that has had that many moments that were that strong. The fact that the most frequent criticisms are the same tired ones about jetpacks and condensed time is kinda evidence of how strong the season has been so far, imo.

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    17. The time jumps don’t bother me at all. Having intentional dialogue mention how long they’ve been traveling will get redundant and feel forced. As for what I’m looking forward to: just making an educated, completely non-spoiled guess, the preview for episode four has matching scenes to Jaimie’s in the season 7 second trailer. I will be very excited if that is the case!

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    18. BobbyAtomic,

      Maybe because those aren’t actual big moments, but part of the buildup of this season… None of those battle sequences have involved a single character we are highly invested in, besides high garden (Jaime), which was a forgone conclusion.

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    19. After 7 seasons I think people should know what can expect from this show.

      D&D have a clear style, you can like it or not, this is their show and as they said they are writing the show they would watch. If you like it, watch the show, if you don’t stop watching. That’s it. There is no need for negativity.

      I am a boy and I am a fan, so I am a fanboy. And that’s great feeling. It’s just the show after all.

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    20. Hodor Targaryen: It’s interesting some find the season underwhelming. Am I the only one that thinks this is one of the stronger starts to any GoT season?

      I think that may be more of a casual fan perspective. I can see how people that are just following the show on the surface level could find this season to be underwhelming so far (I think there are still quite a few who don’t realize Jon is a Targ). It’s a little harder for me to believe that most of the “avid” watchers who have a deeper understand of the importance of everything going on in almost every scene can find it underwhelming although I completely understand there are some that for various reasons who may. Personally I don’t really compare episode to episode or season to season. I tend to look at it from an overall perspective and I can say I am completely content with how the season is playing out so far.

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    21. On the issue the issues of time continuity I think most of it can be rationalized if you accept that just because the show doesn’t show the lapse of time. An example, I saw lots of complaints about varys traveling all over the place at the end of last season, but just because they didn’t show everyone sitting around waiting for him to return doesn’t mean the time didnt pass. Varys left from Mereen in s6e8 and in s6e10 he was in dorne and then back in Mereen. But there’s no reason to think that the appropriate amount time couldn’t have passed in between his trips that we didn’t see off camera.

      Also the different scenes don’t all have to be linear. So when arya is leaving in Bravos in s6e8 and ends up at the twins in s6e10, that doesn’t mean the battle of the bastards had to happen at the same time Arya is on a boat back from Bravos. She could have been being chased around by the wafe while John Snow is still dead.

      If you really want to over think this you can point out that little Sam hasn’t aged much at all while Dickon went from a teenager to full grown man Billy Bones. Which at that point i think you just have to take the authors original point. It’s an extremely entertaining show perhaps the best ever. Don’t look so hard to find the minor inconsistencies and instead just enjoy it for what it is, an extremely entertaining show.

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    22. I would’ve liked a bit more exposition and character focus. When D&D said they only had 13 hours of story left to tell, I think they were wrong.

      After every episode so far I’ve found myself having to say, “well, maybe they’ll mention it / explain it in the next episode” on a few things.

      The fact that Brienne has had only two lines in the first three episodes and we’ve seen no development of her relationship with Sansa is the sort of thing that leaves you wanting. Maybe we’ll see it next episode. 😉

      I get the feeling Meera Reed could be the next casualty in this regard. Will we see any further development or resolution of hers and Bran’s relationship? Will she and Sansa have any sort of interaction, to express all that she and Bran went through, what happened to Hodor, and provide a bit of context to Bran’s situation? I hope so. But I’m not holding my breath.

      The sort of scenes that the show used to do so well and which really enriched the characters and their relationships so much, such as Brienne and Podrick’s heart to heart, Catelyn’s story about Jon Snow, Tyrion trying to comfort Sansa after the Red Wedding, The Hound’s moment of vulnerability as he tells Arya how he got his scars etc, seem to be missing from this season so far.

      We had that nice bonding moment with The Hound and Thoros when they buried the farmer and his daughter in Episode 1. But apart from that there hasn’t really been anything to write home about in terms of real character and relationship focused scenes.

      But I’ve reluctantly accepted that the practicalities of making the show have taken their toll on the level of detail they can cram into an episode / season. The fact that they had to reduce the season to 7 episodes demonstrates the pressure the production was under.

      They’ve had to trim the fat and sadly that leaves the viewer wanting for all the rich characterisation and detail of previous seasons. But I suspect we’re going to see some pretty spectacular set-pieces in the remaining episodes to make it all better.

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    23. As long as the scenes/plots aren’t sped up or cut short I’m okay with the time hopping. In S1 it wasn’t much different. I think we all just got used to the Starks all wandering aimlessly for years.

      That said, some of the iconic scenes need time to breathe, to feel the power and complexity of the relationships, especially with so many intertwining characters and relevant back stories. Useless dialogue is just that, useless. I thought 701 and 702 had far too much of it, with 703 being a pretty big improvement.

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    24. One other point it doesnt have to be Euron attacking the unsullied ships at casterly rock, it could be other ships from the iron islands. It stands to reason all of the of Iron Island ships wouldn’t be at kings landing, and the iron islands are much closer to casterly rock

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    25. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      The thing is… We’ve had 6 seasons of this. Each season is not its own separate piece of work… We don’t reset all the work and character development thats been done just because the episode was released in a different year.
      The stakes of the story are at a fever pitch, and I can understand the decision to move faster.
      We’ve only seen 3 episodes… 3 episodes with far more dialogue and character moments than spectacle. Casual viewer friends of mine still think the show is slow.

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    26. Not showing the journey to a far off location hasn’t bugged me. It actually added to my surprise last episode, because I was as fooled as Tyrion was. If I would have seen the journey, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.

      As wilshade said

      as we near the end of the book, we start to speed up the pace quite a bit as we rush toward the end

      Perhaps there were adventures on some of these journeys we didn’t get to see that could be explored in future fan fiction.

      The “time” element on GOT that really does amaze me is watching the real life actors age and how their aging has worked so well with the story. I feel like I’ve watched Arya really grow up. Other actors also have changed their appearance over the years with natural aging. Jaime’s appearance is striking to me. Do you remember how he used to look like the perfect Golden boy in his youth of season 1? I don’t think his gray is makeup is it? His face has aged and his expressions show how his character has developed. It makes me want to see him fill up some pages in his book with some heroic deeds before his time is done. I could go on, but I can feel the pace really accelerating to the end.

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    27. Tron79,

      The “time” element on GOT that really does amaze me is watching the real life actors age and how their aging has worked so well with the story.

      This. Ive said it many times before, but Nina Gold was brilliant or lucky in getting the cast she did, who not only were excellent actors but were indeed able to age as their character did. I also have given up worrying too much about the time, coz it does drive one crazy. I think of it as picking up someone’s scrap book of their life, and figuring out how it all comes together even tho it might be out of sequence. It all works

      I do agree that i miss some of those quiet moments – but we got one with Jaime and Olenna, Arya and Hot Pie, Tyrion and Jon. There will be more.

      Oh and Oz, great article as ususal!

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    28. The time jumping isn’t bothersome at all. I wish the season was the usual number of episodes though. We could have gotten more BWB and more Brienne etc. They didn’t have to make it shorter. This season feels more rushed and the pacing feels off. People are confused when they watch it. I get it.

      Unlike with LOTR I am taking this in as a wholly different thing than the books. GRRM wont have to alter the end of his opus. It’s my opinion that the show isn’t breathing like it used to. it’s still totally high quality but the change in pace is damaging it’s usual feel and impact in my opinion.

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    29. ManderlyPieCompany,

      It actually took them LONGER to film this season than any other previous season, so your statement about it not having to be 7 episodes is wrong.
      You’d have to wait months more to get 10.

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    30. I think that the show is so detailed and nuanced that some people will complain about a certain episode after just seeing it only once. I find that certain things make more sense and have more weight and heft to them upon a second and even third viewing sometimes. Just before this season started I binge watched season 6 and I realized how everything flowed so well together, I noticed some of the finer details. Frankly I think it’s amazing that the show has been able to maintain this kind of consistency with dialogue, character motives and interactions for 7 years, I can’t think of another show that has done that.

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    31. I am entertained…by this show and by this spectacular “Looking Forward” post. And I am not bothered by the time continuity issues.

      I am one of those fans that is completely over “Dirtball” and want him gone as soon as possible. (And I don’t want him taking anyone else with him.) His time is up and I am looking forward to it. I will even throw a party to celebrate. Its been a long time coming.

      Finally, will Jaime contemplate the words of Olenna and start to see Cersei for who she truly is? The seeds have been planted for this flip to begin…

      I like to say that I am looking forward to Jaime realizing the truth about Cersei but I’m not so sure that it is going to happen…at least not until it is too late for both of them. I hope that we see him tell her about Olenna’s confession. Cersei won’t believe him or won’t care. Then what will he do? I’m hoping its not business as usual.

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    32. the “time” complaints have always baffled me… character is a point A…. then is at point B.. OBVIOUSLY he/she traveled for how ever long to get there…if the journey is not shown it means NOTHING happened that affected the story or plot so we dont need to see it or know how long it took.
      As long as the scenes in a certain story line (winterfell,KL, ect..) make sense chronologically then time isnt an issue

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    33. Everyone was saying the show was gonna be rushed, and they sure as hell are sticking to their guns now! Of course, there’s not a chance that they were gonna change their minds, always gotta be right on the internet. It seems to me that the pace isn’t too far off previous seasons for the most part. Minor engagements at the beginning of the season, the rest all being planning and characters clashing. And in the context of this season and the whole show, taking Casterly Rock and Highgarden are absolutely minor engagements.

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    34. BobbyAtomic,

      I mean, you don’t see the problem with comparing Casterly Rock and Highgarden to Blackwater? Blackwater, which had the entirety of Westeros at stake and something like 20 named characters? They KNEW it wouldnt have the same impact. That’s exactly why they’re such relatively short scenes. Casterly Rock was a mere diversion, it was intended not to have major impact! You’re comparing relatively minor scenes to major scenes and it’s just incomprehensible.

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    35. Manny K,

      I hear you!

      Let me just add that even after two or three rewatches, I’m surprised how much I “miss.” It’s not until I actually read the dialog written out that I realize all of the important details that have been conveyed but kind of got obscured in the excitement. I scribble out dialog from closed captioning but there are some sites that contain episode transcripts. I can’t vouch for their accuracy, but I’d recommend reading transcripts – especially for those who (baselessly) whine about “lazy writing” without explaining why.

      I’m constantly surprised by how what I overlooked as a “throwaway line” several seasons ago was really a foreshadowing of what we’ve seen in S6 and are seeing now in S7.

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    36. mariamb,

      “I am one of those fans that is completely over “Dirtball” and want him gone as soon as possible. (And I don’t want him taking anyone else with him.) His time is up and I am looking forward to it. I will even throw a party to celebrate. Its been a long time coming.”
      ——————-
      ——————–
      Have you ever reached into the back of a refrigerator for a container of milk, opened it, to be overcome by a noxious, spoiled smell, and realized the “Sell By” date expired months earlier? That’s how I feel about DouchebagFinger.
      All kidding aside, his character is static. No evolution, change or growth. The only thing that differs from episode to episode is his accent. Unlike Sandor Clegane, Jon Snow, or Hot Pie, there’s been no metamorphosis in LF’s character. It’s amazing he still has all of his teeth, let alone his head: one would think he would’ve been punched in the face at least twenty times by now.
      He’s told so many lies to so many people about the same actions and events that it’s a wonder none of them have caught up to him by now. How much longer can such luck hold out?

      (* Prays: “Oh Lord of Light, cast your light upon us. Give strength to your Warrior of Light Sandor Clegane to lop off Littlefinger’s head in mid-smirk. For the night is dark and full of terrors.”*)

      – Anti-LF diatribe over –

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    37. onefromaway: I think if push came to shove, Royce would back Sansa over LF in a heartbeat, even if she did lie about the events surrounding Lady Lysa’s (sp?) death.

      I agree. I like old Royce; I believe in his loyalty and ability, even if he does seem to be a bit short of patience with Robin’s abilities (by the way, where the heck IS Robin? Oh, dear Oz, I guess that’s one of the issues we have to let go, huh?) When Royce queried LF regarding how the heck Sansa ended up at Winterfell with Ramsay, when LF had told Royce they were going elsewhere, LF lied straight to his face and said they had been attacked. If Royce and Sansa ever get together and discuss the truth of the matter, I see Royce being wildly angry. He never liked LF anyway, and, I believe, hates the fact that he’s Lord of the Vale. He’d back Sansa completely

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    38. I can forgive the LARGE majority of time jumps for the sake of travel and putting people places. But there is an edge of detail that needs to be seen to for me to keep that suspension of disbelief, and unfortunately, GoT falters on it in many places. On the whole, I try not to nitpick it, because I LOVE this show, but since it’s the topic of conversation…

      Gilly’s baby. Basically from season 1 to season 5, this child didn’t age. We’re told years pass (at the very least, a character or two mention their own age progression, such as Sansa). Perhaps the Wall storyline was going slower than the others, but it really doesn’t seem that way at this point. There are a few smaller edges of detail similar to this, but I think this is the biggest. People “teleporting” doesn’t bother me, but this does.

      As for pacing and the need to jump around more in the newer seasons, it’s of my personal opinion that something shifted around/between season 4 and 5. We lost a subtlety the show held to progress each storyline at a reasonable pace (but let me say, I’m still nitpicking here–I continue to adore this show like no other). I can’t say what decision/problem/whatever came about to make D&D change, whether it was being overworked for so long, troubles with contracts or money or actors, or something else, but they seemed to say, “We’re doing 8 seasons no matter what” and that was that.

      The Dorne plot got fumbled. It moved too quickly, it got the wrong characters involved which then sidelined other plotlines (the siege of Riverrun and Jaime). I can’t say I would’ve done better, even with unlimited time and money, but it just felt off, even up until they did do the siege. Then they seemed to axe the Dorne plot next season. And all I felt was if they had 9 seasons, even if 7/8/9 were all shorter seasons, and the Dorne plot was better situated and played out properly, and Jaime went straight to Riverrun instead of getting involved, that things could’ve played out better and felt more full. Unfortunately, the issue I’m trying to convey wasn’t just in Dorne.

      They slowed some plots and sped up others seemingly at random sometimes. I remember watching certain episodes just thinking, “Why are we still on ‘this’ when ‘that’ was so loosely touched upon?”

      It’s as if they’d had a plan, call it Plan A, but then realized it wasn’t feasible (money/time/other problems), so they switched to Plan B, but Plan B didn’t play out how they wanted, so they scrambled to Plan C. We’re still on Plan C. It’s getting better now that they’ve had time to patch what got lost within switching from A to B to C, but the faults are still there and some impossible to hide. So they rush certain things, cut others, and just have some happen without the proper GoT build up we were used to in seasons 1-4. It’s a magnificent show, but thinking about this makes me wonder what we lost. It’s like getting a double-decker cake and then finding out it could’ve been a triple-decker cake. You can’t complain, it’s amazing, but deep down you wonder how much better it could’ve been.

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    39. I have no problems about the quick travel times. Why waste valuable show time with nothing but meaningless filler? We know the characters and their backstories by now, so we don’t need to spend time on exposition scenes.

      Complaining about Casterly Rock not being a proper battle totally misses the whole point of that sequence. It wasn’t supposed to be a big showstopping battle: the purpose of the sequence, and the immediate cutaway from Greyworm looking horrified, to Jaime and the Lannister army approaching Highgarden was to emphasise how Tyrion with all his wonderful plans has been comprehensively out-thought by his brother. IIRC, when Tyrion first met Dany, didn’t he try to sell himself to her by saying how well he knew Jaime, including how he knew what Jaime’s battle tactics were likely to be? So in two episodes we have had all that wonderful planning come to nothing, first with Euron’s fleet and the capture of Yara, Ellaria and Tyene, and then with Jaime and his army being where they weren’t expected. Put those with Olenna’s advice to Dany to stop listening to wise men and be a dragon, and you get a perfect set-up for future actions by Dany herself, regardless of what her advisers say. Great writing D&D!

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    40. Great post Oz and yes I am entertained!

      I never had a problem with the time jumps, because as Luka and Petra said in their post days, weeks and maybe months pass between scenes. And it has been this way since the very first episode.

      Maybe chronologically they should have switched some scenes around. Like Theon arriving back at Dragonstone and Euron arriving in KL before Jon arrives in DS. But I understand why they didn’t, because the Jon and Dany meeting is too big of a chunk to place in the middle of an episode like that. It would’ve messed with the flow of the episode. Which is more important then whether or not it makes sense time wise. Not to mention that the episode was already 63 minutes long.

      The pace has definitely quickened, but I disagree with anyone who says that it is all rushed now. Jon and Daenerys meeting took a solid 20 minutes where in previous seasons this would probably be 10 min. tops with Jon simply showing up in the throne room. But now we have him arriving on the beach and making small talk with Tyrion and walking up the stairs. We even get some small talk between Davos and Missandei! We are spending more time in particular places and with the characters now that the storylines are converging and I love it!

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    41. Looper,

      Gilly’s baby. Basically from season 1 to season 5, this child didn’t age. We’re told years pass (at the very least, a character or two mention their own age progression, such as Sansa).

      This. I get that having a growing child might have been difficult for filming since they tend to be rather mobile, but that just got to be ridiculous. Even the little boy they have now isn’t up and walking. Like you, Im not complaining, and it certainly isn’t affecting the story line, just shaking my head at something that just doesn’t make biological sense.

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    42. Thanks for this article Oz – exactly what I think!

      Time was never an issue for me and storytellers throughout history never bothered about that.
      So, the question is why anyone would bother with real time in a show which is telling a story, and it MUST have the freedom of the storyteller to tell it as it wishes! And no one ever determined the time scale that is supposed to pass between episodes – or books for that matter. It could be a day for one plot, and months or years for another. This is storytelling!
      That said, since the plots are now meeting each other and minor plots are cleared out, it is logical that the time scales change, and there is the fluency for them to move faster, while MORE time for the characters to interact with each other instead spending it on useless travelling for the travelling sake which wouldn’t add anything to the story. Which is GREAT!

      To my view, everything is given beautifully, with just enough time for every plot and interaction between characters. I loved that they did not rush the Jon/Dany relationship (and other relationships) and they let it unfold in a more natural pace, according to their personalities and of course the events which push people make decisions, alliances and review goals and directions.

      I definitely enjoy this season so far, and I’m totally hyped for the next episode! 😀

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    43. I don’t understand the complaint that character moments have been let go for plot developments this season?

      The Hound at the house from Season 4, Arya and Nymeria, Olenna and Jaime, Arya and the Lannister soldiers, etc are all exactly those kinds of character moments.

      Also for those complaining about no schemings this season compared to earlier seasons, I still think that the bait and switch by the Lannisters was exactly that kind of scene. The hub of scheming was always King’s Landing, but everyone prominent there has been wiped out or relocated.

      I for one have been impressed by how many character-focused scenes they have been able to do this season despite us approaching endgame.

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    44. mau,

      Indeed. Baffling criticisms. The first three episodes, teleporter or no, have been positively overflowing with character scenes. Everything in Winterfell was a great blend of plot and character, last episode spent over 20 minutes on nothing but juicy interactions on Dragonstone (Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys, Melisandre…), Arya with Lannister soldiers, Hot Pie, and Nymeria, Hound the Gravedigger, Jaime-Olenna, some very solid work with Sam and Broadbent’s archmaester at the Citadel, Theon’s PTSD, Ellaria’s last scene, some great character/plot moments in the throne room with Euron, Randyll…

      We are only three episodes in and it feels like every one is an embarrassment of riches, a great mix of quieter character-driven moments as well as furiously-paced and engaging plot. Personally, I think many people are put off by the overt change in episode structure this season and they are having a hard time reconciling this new approach with how things used to work in seasons past. Once they grow accustomed to it (say, on a complete Season 7 rewatch), I think the tune will change.

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    45. BobbyAtomic,

      I think that Casterly Rock and Highgarden WERE the stakes raising incidents. We’re used to battles being the payoff, but in this case, battle was the set up. It’s a mark of just how high the stakes are of the show in general.

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    46. Here’s the thing about these plot lines. The story always serves character. The Dorne plot line was orchestrated (we see now it’s finished) to further the character development of Jaime and Cersei. It started as a way to make Tyrion’s trial dramatic, then to give a father bonding moment to Jamie, then to push Cersei further over the edge into darkness and finally to demonstrate how wicked she could be in vengeance.

      What’s happening now that I find interesting is we’ve gotten to a place in the story where previously supporting characters are serving as extras in certain scenes, but because we know everyone, every scene is more layered with meaning. As every story winds up, we’ll understand why certain things happen in the past and the whole show will make more sense and be more satisfying.

      as for babies, babies on TV are never right. There are too many restrictions on filming babies to be picky about that.

      the thing I’m most frustrated with is the “Cersei’s hair hasn’t grown” complaint. The woman can’t get a haircut? She obviously has decided to own the style. To me that’s the point of showing the maid rocking her haircut in the last episode. To show that this is no longer something that was done to Cersei, but something she is choosing.

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    47. elizabethe: the thing I’m most frustrated with is the “Cersei’s hair hasn’t grown” complaint. The woman can’t get a haircut? She obviously has decided to own the style. To me that’s the point of showing the maid rocking her haircut in the last episode. To show that this is no longer something that was done to Cersei, but something she is choosing.

      As Tyrion said to Jon back in the very first episode: Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.

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    48. Oz,

      I hope these time haters never read any of the plays of ole Bill Shakespeare, time jumps galore, what an idiot that guy must have been!

      Seriously, a lot of the hard core book reading fan base is just overcome with bitterness that the show is passing the books, and are lashing out in every direction. I say that as a book reader. Anyway, love your recaps.

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    49. Thronetender,

      The whole Vale thing needs to be addressed. Are they now vassals to the King in the North? Are they just allies? Are they making Robin a new Falcon King?

      Is the entire Vale army staying the winter in Winterfell? If so, who’s defending the Vale from Team Cersei and the infinite Lannister armies?

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    50. Cerseis hair doesn’t grow because she wants it short… so she keeps it short? What’s not hard to understand about that? Lol

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    51. Just an observation: I see at least 10 to 20 times more verbiage devoted to complaints about the people who complain about time discrepancies than I see people actually complaining about the time discrepancies. The number of viewers here (including books-first folks) who get bent out of shape over temporal plausibility seems to be quite small. So why belabor the subject so much when there are way more interesting matters to discuss?

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    52. Firannion:
      Just an observation: I see at least 10 to 20 times more verbiage devoted to complaints about the people who complain about time discrepancies than I see people actually complaining about the time discrepancies. The number of viewers here (including books-first folks) who get bent out of shape over temporal plausibility seems to be quite small. So why belabor the subject so much when there are way more interesting matters to discuss?

      You’re not paying attention then. It’s been an ongoing complaint in the episode thread comment sections here as well as on Twitter, in written reviews, and in video reviews.

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    53. Mr Fixit: We are only three episodes in and it feels like every one is an embarrassment of riches, a great mix of quieter character-driven moments as well as furiously-paced and engaging plot. Personally, I think many people are put off by the overt change in episode structure this season and they are having a hard time reconciling this new approach with how things used to work in seasons past. Once they grow accustomed to it (say, on a complete Season 7 rewatch), I think the tune will change.

      I like character driven moments. It’s odd how , not necessarily here, vocal the heavy artillery comic book fans can be. My unscientific survey of the GoT fans I know is that none are arrested adolescents and they appreciate a good tale well put. In fact the feed back we get from them is legal viewing of the show which has expanded every year.

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    54. WallyFrench:
      Thronetender,

      The whole Vale thing needs to be addressed.Are they now vassals to the King in the North?Are they just allies?Are they making Robin a new Falcon King?

      Is the entire Vale army staying the winter in Winterfell?If so, who’s defending the Vale from Team Cersei and the infinite Lannister armies?

      Well D&D never concern themselves with logistics. I get the impression that the Vale is protected like Switzerland , that is politically. Actually their military force seem formidable , not sure what that means for the story.
      Cersei is aware of events in the North , but as far as I remember has little comment on them.
      Why hasn’t red clergy come to court at KL and expounded their hopes and fears about ‘Winter’ , even if they know it would do little good?

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    55. The show is easily among the best things on television right now, if not the best thing. Personally, I think it, like the books, is an ongoing masterpiece in its medium. Of course, its not absolutely perfect, because there is not an infinite amount of money and time to produce it, but at this point I take the nitpickers with about the same level of seriousness I do regular guys who nitpick the features of supermodels as if they wouldn’t slice off a finger to be intimate with them.

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    56. Looper,

      “Gilly’s baby. Basically from season 1 to season 5, this child didn’t age.”

      Not to nitpick your nitpick but baby Sam was born in S3. I know this still does not account for his lack of age progression.

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    57. Lord of Coffee,

      It’s clear from the opening scenes of episode 1, that time was being jumped to accelerate things.

      Euron got a fleet of ships from King Landing to Lannisport in about 30 minutes while at the same time, other characters’ scenes were taking place in real time.

      Now, unless Dragonstone, KL and WF are all very close to supermassive black holes, that doesn’t make any sense.

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    58. mau,

      Why is asking for continuity unreasonable? They’ve now started aging the baby. Why not have done it earlier with the other passing of time? And yeah, I was wrong about season 1. For some reason I was thinking that was the season she was pregnant, but that was season 2.

      Also, I’m not really complaining, as I said in my original post. This is a discussion about how GoT handles time progression in certain plots, and Gilly’s baby is definitely something to bring up.

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    59. The Wolves of Winter:
      Lord of Coffee,

      No not really. Is it that terrible?

      No, I didn’t mean that. Just that he sometimes addresses GoT issues and complaints in a humorless, tongue-in-cheek manner. I think that’s what Cogman was doing when he tweeted last week that ‘queens can choose to style their hair short’ in response to someone saying they were using the length of Cersei’s hair as a gauge to how much time had passed.

      Cogman’s Twitter feed is also full of left wing political views so fair-warning if you do check it out! A lot of people try to avoid politics these days and you really can’t on his Twitter.

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    60. Violator:
      Lord of Coffee,

      It’s clear from the opening scenes of episode 1, that time was being jumped to accelerate things.

      Euron got a fleet of ships from King Landing to Lannisport in about 30 minutes while at the same time, other characters’ scenes were taking place in real time.

      Now, unless Dragonstone, KL and WF are all very close to supermassive black holes, that doesn’t make any sense.

      Only if you think the scenes are being shown in a linear manner which the show-runners have said is not the case.

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    61. Lord of Coffee: No, I didn’t mean that.Just that he sometimes addresses GoT issues and complaints in a humorless, tongue-in-cheek manner.

      And by ‘humorless’ I obviously meant humorous! Freaking auto-correct!

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    62. As to the Time Lord complaints about continuity issues–get over it–this is television time, not the real world.

      I was hoping for a bit more commentary about the show that will air tonight, particularly the scenes exposed of Jon, et. al. exploring the dragon stone mine.

      My theory is that he has discovered a cache of dragon eggs in the mine, which had been rumored in the books and could be a game changer in terms of increasing Daenerys Targaryen’s firepower in the war against the Whitewalkers, the only war that matters.

      Also, turning Sam into a Xerox machine will pay big dividends, unless he and his little family get run out of Old Town by Euron Greyjoy’s black fleet, also featured in the books. Wonder if Sam will get to use the family sword in defense of Gilly and Sam Jr.

      All atwitter waiting for showtime tonight, as this condensed season is so packed with both action and meaning.

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    63. I don’t mind the time jumps too much as long as there is a payoff. However the two “battles” last week (and Naval Battle the week before) were not worth the jet packing around.

      I hope there is a huge improvement this week with the action. Can’t have the entire season 7 be all dialog and season 1 battle level suckiness.

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    64. Time jump – does not bother me.
      Episodes feeling rushed – we are done with character building, all the players are in place. It is going down now.

      I am hoping Jorah will show up at Dragonstone in this episode. Will Arya really go home? I know, we saw her looking at WF. Until she sets foot in it I am not convinced.
      I am hoping for a win for team Dany for a change.

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    65. Fantastic article Oz 🙂

      I am soooo pumped for EP4 today!!!

      I have to say GoT seems to be somewhat returning to it’s roots while still evolving better and bettera (Please excuse the wonky english).

      D&D and HBO I now do officially forgive you for the mishmash of S6.

      Cheers

        Quote  Reply

    66. Pheeew! Time to breathe a sigh of relief since Friday’s news of the leaked episode resulted in a total social media celibacy for me!! I hope all of you fellow unsullied managed to stay spoilerfree as well. One more hour…Everyone excited??

      There’s sooo much I’m hoping to see, but above all I reeally reeeeeally want to see if LF’s smug, complacent smile fades away, as our little assasin rides through the gates of WF! 🙂 Maybe even get an indication whether or not LF actually recognized her at Harrenhal back in S2. (Please D&D – I’ve been wondering for five freaking years!!)

      Well guys, it’s waaay past midnight in Europe. Time for a short nap…and THEN: “Spoils of War”!!! 🙂 Let me hear whatever GOT snack-setup you’re preparing 🙂

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    67. Boojam,

      If by “red clergy” you mean the priests and priestesses of Rhollor, I’d think they’d be crazy to go to King’s Landing under the Lannisters when Melisandre was a key advisor to Stannis and Thoros turned outlaw in the Riverlands.

      It’s just a big plot hole to me imo, that there’s no mention of the Vale forces in relation to the greater story. In the first episode, a couple of bent knees and like five lines of dialogue would have done the job in a few seconds.

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    68. And btw – great article, Oz! Going to share with us, what it takes to get your Editor-In-Chief to let that Russell-picture into the top of the article?? 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    69. Great article and enjoyable read. Whilst I do have some minor gripes with S7 it’s been great overall so far and I cannot fathom why people are getting so wound up about travel times, because as you say if it were real time it wouldn’t work!

        Quote  Reply

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