Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6 – The Iron Throne

“Love is the death of duty.”
“Sometimes duty is the death of love.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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.

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Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 4 – The Last of the Starks

“I’m here to free the world from tyrants. That is my destiny. And I will serve it no matter the cost.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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.

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Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 7 – The Dragon and the Wolf

“This isn’t about living in harmony. It’s just about living.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 6 – Beyond the Wall

“We’re soldiers. We have to know what we’re fighting for. I’m not fighting so some man or woman I barely know can sit on a throne of swords.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

Obviously this season’s tightly focused showpiece, this week’s Game of Thrones took us into classic war movie territory as we followed the Men on a Mission in their suicidal quest beyond the wall to capture a wight. The Dirty Dozen, perhaps, or more likely Snow’s Seven. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 6 – Beyond the Wall”

Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 4 – The Spoils of War

“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.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

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.

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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 5 – The Door

“Everyone is what they are, and where they are, for a reason.”

(SPOILER WARNING!)

The run of superb episodes continues in the sixth season of Game of Thrones; it’s almost as if running out of the books has given the show a new spark. For the fifth week in a row we had revelations aplenty, plot twists, pithy humour and some high octane action. We also had some jawdroppingly emotional moments, particularly in the scenes that bookended the ep. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: Season 6, episode 5 – The Door”