Sep 27, 2017

[TV] Game of Thrones: Season 7 Review

We are in a very weird space now with this seventh season of Game of Thrones. I already talked about how we've gone beyond the part of the epic story that has been published. We had ended Season 6 with the hopes that things would get better in the next season and we'd answer some burning questions.

This seventh season is a really flashy one and it certainly feels like the shark is in the water and the jump could happen at any moment. It doesn't quite happen yet, but we're definitely in that territory. And that is rather troubling.

A lot has already been written about this particular season of the show. It's a season with a lot of great moments but a lot of weird stuff in-between. It's a season with a lot of spectacle but also a lot confusing character arcs that feel like they're no longer being consistent with how the characters were originally crafted to be in the books and even in the early seasons of the show.

So where is this show going?

Synopsis: Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama series created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The core concept of the show remains based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin.

This season is shorter than past ones by 3 episodes, and so a lot of stuff happens. We have the alliance of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clark), the forces of Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), Dorne , and House Tyrell finally established in Westeros. We have Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) now as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and allies herself with Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) and the other segment of House Greyjoy still under his command.

This season also represents the remnants of House Stark finally reuniting in the North. With Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) now King in the North. He's eventually joined at Winterfell by Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) after she finishes her business with the Freys and even by Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who is now fulling the role of the Three-Eyed Raven. And how they all come together is really what defines this season.

What I Liked: I did mention this season has a lot of spectacle and I really mean it. We finally get to see the dragons in battle against the armies of Westeros and then some beyond the occasional immolation in the prior seasons. We have massive armies of the dead flooding towards the Wall. We finally get to see Arya spar with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). And so many other fun moments.

And again, a lot of fan service moments that we've been waiting to see for so long. It was already great to have Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) working with Daenerys but for her to finally meet Jon Snow was really the business. So many fan theories have been written about the relationship between these two and we totally got that in this season.

What Could Have Been Better: There are two main pain points that hurt me the most in this season. First, the narrative has a lot of inconsistencies and when you can't maintain even the internal logic of your fantasy show, it really hurts things. Character practically teleport across Westeros way faster than any of their messenger ravens can fly. You have zombies that are sometimes super fast, sometimes only reasonably fast, and all the while carrying giant chains with them "just in case."

And the second point is that the writing feels greatly diminished in quality this season. We have dialog that doesn't have the same grandeur and gravitas as we experienced in the longer speeches lifted from the books as depicted in the early seasons. They make some stupid decisions in this season like Jon and company taking a small team North for the most insane of reasons. And so on and so forth. What is going on?

TL;DR: As we get closer to the end,Game of Thrones risks having a really bad ending unless the writing turns around or maybe George R.R. Martin gets more involved somehow. This season was a lot of fan service, a lot of action, but a lot of crap in-between. And thus it can only rate 3 odd moments (including unnecessary cameos) out of a possible 5.

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