Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2 – Stormborn

“You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any King or Queen, but with the people. The people who suffer under despots and prosper under just rule. The people whose hearts you aim to win.”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Perhaps it’s a result of this year’s shorter than usual season run, but this week’s second episode of Game of Thrones seemed to really ramp up the pace after last week’s relatively sedate scene-setter. The show’s always been unpredictable in giving us eps packed with intrigue, thrills and spectacle fairly early in the run; but never so early, as I recall, as the very second episode. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2 – Stormborn”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 1 – Dragonstone

“Shall we begin?”

(SPOILER ALERT!)

In these ratings-hungry times, most genre shows tend to open their new seasons with slam-bang episodes full of action. There’ll be lots of explosions, or a giant space battle, or hordes of marauding zombies. Game of Thrones, secure in its audience, doesn’t need to do that (well, maybe the zombies), and its season openers tend to be more sedate. With its multitude of major characters and intersecting, complex plotlines, showrunners Benioff and Weiss usually choose to catch us up on where they all are, what they’re doing, and what they’re planning to do next. It’s like the opening gambits in a game of chess. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 1 – Dragonstone”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 10 – The Winds of Winter

“A raven came from the Citadel. A White raven. Winter is here.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s been a tumultuous year in Westeros, as Benioff and Weiss, freed of the constraints of actual books to adapt, have yanked the plot bodily forwards. As if acknowledging their free hand, this season finale was named The Winds of Winter, after the next volume in the series, which, let’s face it, is unlikely to show up until after the TV version is finished. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 10 – The Winds of Winter”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 9 – Battle of the Bastards

“Let’s end this the old way. You against me.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Wow. Have you been missing those epic battle sequences Game of Thrones does so well of late? Yes, there’s been some awesome political manoeuvring, backstabbing and the general nastiness the show is so good at. But perhaps you hanker for those slightly more formulaic days of the early seasons, when episode 9 was guaranteed to centre around a stonking, rip-roaring epic battle. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 9 – Battle of the Bastards”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8 – No One

“All of us have to believe we’re decent, don’t we, to get to sleep at night? Tell me, how do you believe you’re decent, after everything you’ve done?”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Blimey, it’s fair rushed by, this season of Game of Thrones, hasn’t it? So much going on, so quickly, it’s hard to believe there’s only two more episodes left of this season. Yet again, there was loads going on this week, but what struck me most about this ep was the character work. Momentous decisions were made, dramatic plots redirected – and all because of who these people are. Benioff and Weiss, back on scripting duties this week, gave us an ep that plumbed the depths of all the characters, even those we didn’t actually see – and those characters may decide the fate not just of the Seven Kingdoms, but of all of humanity.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 8 – No One”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 7 – The Broken Man

“The real war isn’t between squabbling Houses. It’s between the living and the dead.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

With Bryan Cogman on scripting duties again, this week’s ep of Game of Thrones had an apt but ambiguous title. Broken men of all stripes were here in spades – Theon Greyjoy, Edmure Tully, even Jaime Lannister. But to which of them was the title referring? Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 7 – The Broken Man”

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 6 – Blood of My Blood

“The Crown and the Faith are the twin pillars that hold up the world. Together, we shall make the Seven Kingdoms great again.”

 (SPOILER WARNING!)

After all the recent sturm und drang, this week’s Game of Thrones felt like it was taking a hit of a breather. In actual fact, it wasn’t – once again, there was lots going on. It’s just that after the emotional punch of last week’s climax, it couldn’t hope to top that.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 6 – Blood of My Blood”