“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.
“Men decide where power resides, whether they want to or not.”
Dracarys indeed. Lots of it. If Missandei’s final word was
an instruction, this week saw it obeyed to the letter, and gave Game of Thrones fans the spectacle they’d
always wanted from the final battle for King’s Landing.
“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”
“So we fight and die, or we submit and die? I know my choice.”
For a wonder, we got through this week’s Game of Thrones without a single epic battle. To be fair, it looked like everyone was still pretty shellshocked from last week’s dragon holocaust! Jaime Lannister, in particular, looked like the crestfallen Nazi generals in Downfall, who’ve realised there’s no way to win but can’t seem to communicate this to the oblivious Fuhrer (ie Cersei). Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 5 – Eastwatch”
“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.
“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.”
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”
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”