“Love is the death of duty.” “Sometimes duty is the death of love.”
So. After 8 years and 73 episodes, the biggest TV show of the last decade has finally come to a conclusion. It’s fair to say that, even with the last couple of years admittedly reducing and simplifying the show’s multifarious convoluted plotlines, tying up every loose end satisfactorily was always going to be a tall order. Expectations for a series finale have rarely been higher – and harder to meet.
“I’m here to free the world from tyrants. That is my destiny. And I will serve it no matter the cost.”
After all the storming excitement of last week’s episode, I
think Game of Thrones showrunners
Benioff and Weiss thought we needed a bit of a breather before moving on to the
remaining battles for Westeros. So this week we got The Last of the Starks, a satisfying but curiously schizoid episode
which came across as nothing so much as two individual eps glued together.
“The Night King is coming.” “The dead are already here.”
Been waiting for a battle? Well, this week’s Game of Thrones should have satisfied, delivering the show’s longest ever ep, and it was pretty much all battle, all the time, from beginning to end. Exciting though that sounds, it does run the risk of being pretty one note; even carnage gets dull after an hour or so.
“Do you want me to apologise? I won’t. We were at war. Everything I did, I did for my house and my family. I’d do it all again.”
If you’re chafing for the first of this last season’s Big Battles, you may well have been disappointed this week. For the second week in a row, we were stuck at Winterfell as yet more characters came together in readiness for the Impending Doom of the White Walkers attack.
“We don’t have time for all this. The Night King has your dragon. He’s one of them now.. The Wall has fallen. The dead move south.”
So, I’ve been quiet on the blog of late, I know. The CELTA course was so intensive that I spent all my time writing lessons and assignments, teaching and planning. As I’ve moved into the real world of doing this for money, I’m still spending all my creativity putting lessons together, rather than writing here.
But more about my life in Barcelona will follow! For now, though, Game of Thrones is back for its very last season. I’ve been blogging every episode since season two, so teaching work aside, I’m going to see it through to the end 🙂
“This isn’t about living in harmony. It’s just about living.”
This truncated season of Game of Thrones has often seemed to move at a breakneck pace, sacrificing the nuance and complexity of earlier seasons in favour of tying up the multiplicity of plotlines as fast as possible. This has led to a lot of tick-box exercises in plotting, as with last week; it’s also led to a lot of artistic licence to keep things rattling along, particularly in terms of distances. Many people have been pondering how, last week, Gendry ran all the way back to Winterfell, a raven was dispatched to Dragonstone, reached it, and Dany’s rescue party arrived in what could only have been a few hours. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 7 – The Dragon and the Wolf”
“They fought together, despite their differences. Together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive. Because the enemy’s real. It’s always been real.”
As Game of Thrones moves ever-closer to its conclusion, the narrative pace seems to be massively accelerating in this shorter, penultimate season. Gone are the days when you could reasonably predict a season’s structure; that there’d be an impressive battle by episode four or so, then much political machination leading to events of great magnitude in episode nine, followed by one ep of picking up the pieces. We’ve only just got through four episodes, and we’ve had an epic naval battle, followed by the seizing of both Casterly Rock and Highgarden, and now the devastating first deployment of a dragon just outside King’s Landing.
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”
“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?”
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.