GOT S8E5: The Bells

I gave this episode a 50 out of 100. This episode for me was a hot mess. Now, I understand Martin has pointed out these are grey characters with different sides of their persona’s coming out based on the circumstances at hand, which is what gives them their richness and complexity. Part of this I feel resides in knowing or having an understanding of how the characters are feeling up to that point where their change in behavior unfolds.

That being said I don’t feel I have been shown enough things that could cause Dany halfway through the episode to snap and suddenly decide to go out on a blood thirsty rampage of innocents while making her way towards Cersei.

Fine, she feels alone because Missendei is dead or because Jon broke off his romantic involvements to her. He did reswear his oath of loyalty to her. What is the logic behind destroying everyone in King’s Landing? People will fear her now. Who is going to believe she’s the breaker of chains? Who will believe this is the same person who liberated all the Slaves in Slavers Bay? Or nail 163 Slave masters to crosses as they had done to child slaves? Or more recently named a bastard to be the Lord of Storm’s End?

Drogon won this weeks Game of Thrones.

Good:
Cleghane Bowl finally realized; two brothers who’s mutual hatred for one another was created and ended by fire.

Sort of Good:
Cersei and Jaime die in each other’s arms.

Bad:
Jaime’s redemption arc has proven to be a sharp change in direction for me. It wasn’t like Cersei was losing at the time he decided to go back to her and defend her. She was winning; having just killed Rhaegal and decimating Dany’s fleet. Was it love for his unborn child too? Unclear…

Dany’s destroying everyone in King’s Landing; including innocent men, women and children. Unexplainable, shocking and horrific. That left me feeling empty. I didn’t feel anything; like yeah they got what they deserved or that she’s a righteous bad ass.
I felt confused and lost by her choice half through the episode. I feel the need to clarify something that has happened again and again with this show and that is the lack of seeing *reactions* of Commoners to Nobility making decisions on their behalf in Westeros. This was done really well in Essos; not Westeros.

Before the battle in S8E5, Tyrion and Dany walk through her plan of leveling King’s Landing. Since at that point Varys has been executed, we are left with Tyrion representing the common man:

‘The people who live there, they’re not your enemies. They’re innocents, like the ones you liberated in Meereen…They’re afraid. Anyone who resists Cersei will see his family butchered. You can’t expect them to be heroes. They’re hostages. They are…In a tyrant’s grip. Whose fault is that? Mine? What does it matter whose fault it is? Thousands of children will die if the city burns. Thousands of children will die if the city burns.’

We did get reactions of commoners in Essos:

* The liberated slaves showed their adoration to Dany for freeing them from the Slave Masters; ‘Nissa Nissa!’
* Missendei was a slave who made it a point to mention she serves Dany because she was the ‘Breaker of Chains’.

We didn’t really get reactions of commoners in Westeros:

All we have really is the spokeperson for the Commoners, Varys. We never actually see the commoners reactions to any of the Nobility’s reactions except:

* The Northern nobility cheering Dany and Arya for defeating the Night King and Armies of the Undead. The toasted Dany before anyone.

* Joffrey nearly dying and pelted by manure as he walked the streets of King’s Landing in S2E6 and the commoners attacked calling him illegitimate.

Did we ever see the commoners reactions to (?):

* Cersei burning the High Sparrow and Queen Margaery in the Sept of Balor?

* Cersei taking over after Tommen committed suicide? (All we hear is that the people despise her all the way in Season 8.

I needed to be shown some commoners and their reactions to all these plot points to truly show what the people of King’s Landing felt.

All I saw was the destruction of innocents which left me feeling this is horrible and the loss left me feeling empty. I didn’t feel Dany’s actions were justified, whereas most of Dany’s war actions put the people she liberated standing behind her. I don’t think eliminating them entirely is the same thing. Dany more than anything has stated she wants to liberate people from Tyranny and all she has done is create more of this and Jon warned her about this ‘more of the same’.

Seeing commoner reactions throughout all 8 seasons would also reinforce the statement about manipulating the common man by Nobility and how they are in most cases victims of their decisions.

The victimization of commoners has always been there (Hardhomme, attacks by Wildlings, attack of the Riverlands and the North after the Red Wedding), however their voice and reactions have not.
Victimization is an action being done upon them; hearing their reactions to it matters to the story because that puts the main characters actions into better perspective.

Knowing the common people truly hated Dany and they wanted her gone for Westeros would do a better job of isolating Dany than Her just stating she feels alone. That just isn’t enough for me.

I felt they rushed to get to that beat in the story without anything that led me through her thought process so I know if she is truly mad or is being tactical with severity because she can’t see any other way.

There was nothing satisfying for me about Euron’s death at the hands of Jaime. He didn’t have enough substance to care about him.

Unknown:

* Will Tyrion be discovered as the freer of Jaime Lannister? Will he then be executed for betraying Dany?

* Will Jon take out Dany? I hope so given the fact they have baked in Dany’s madness resulting in the death of thousands of innocents. If he doesn’t then his whole character arc revolving around protected the realm from evil doesn’t play out.

* Will Arya take out Dany? I suppose if someone is willing to put up a large enough bounty more than one Faceless person will show up to do the job.

S8E4: The Last of the Starks

Overall: I give this an 88 out of 100.
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Great character development, dialog and a lot of consistency with arc trajectories for
Arya, Gendry, The Hound and Brienne. Wildcards for me are: Jaime, Tyrion, Varys, Dany, Sansa, Jon and Cersei. Some of interactions are a bit merky
considering how close we are to the end of the whole show I think they could have been clearer, although that was probably done to keep people guessing.

I think Missendei’s arc reached the end I thought it would reach; tragic.

I can definitely feel Dany unraveling because effectively she has no confidentes anymore.
Her people from Essos may love her, but it doesn’t appear like anyone in Westeros does. She was literally begging Jon to keep his lineage a
secret and now she’s down to one Dragon; limited troops to mobilize coming off a huge battle with the Undead; in love with a man who has
more legitimacy to the throne she does and she doesn’t trust anyone now. Tyrion is incompetent, Missendei is gone. She appears desperate and may employ drastic violent measures to keep her in power.
She told Tyrion and Varys that the reason for her existence and destiny is to free world of tyrants, but I think she has gradually become a tyrant herself in some ways.
I don’t think she is mad like her father though. She has employed some thoughtful strategy when dealing with Cersei (including bouncing this off of Tyrion and Varys).
She knows Cersei will use the sacrificing of commoners in the Red Keep inner walls to try and sway the realm against her and doesn’t lose focus
of going after Cersei. I think Tyrion begging for Cersei to surrender shows a lot of thoughtfulness for Dany’s side to justify the impending carnage.
Then again any warmth a commonor acquires after that from Dany will be quickly replaced soon enough with Dragon fire. Sansa and Dany squaring off about setting off with their troops not fully recuperated was telling. Jon kept the piece however it’s clear Dany and Sansa don’t get along.
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Best Line: ‘Here’s to Climbing Mountains’.
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As far as the title goes for the episode, it’s not looking good for the Starks from a line of succession point of view:

*Jon could never truly be the Lord of Winterfell since he’s really a Targaryen;
*Arya will never be a Lady and probably not have children;
*Bran isn’t really Bran, but the Title of Lord would technically go to him. He will never marry so the Stark House line effectively ends.
*Sansa is Lady of Winterfell and as soon as she marries, she technically would turn that over to whomever becomes Lord of Winterfell
and her House line ends.

The breakups for Jaime and Arya are interesting:
In both cases, Arya and Jaime referenced who they think they truly are while saying their goodbyes.
Arya: Never intended to be with Gendry other than wanting to experience sex at least once in her life. I think part of her cares about Gendry, however she is no one. She would be throwing away the faceless aspect of her training and development if she went
in the Ladyship direction.
Jaime: Doesn’t think he is good enough for Brienne because of what he’s done and how that’s shaped him and made him who he is.

I think Cersei won this week’s Game of Thrones.
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Good:
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*Brienne and Jaime get it on! I was actually very surprised pleasantly by this. Almost all of Brienne’s dreams have come true!

*Broken hearts are everywhere: Tormund, Brienne, Jaime (breaking his own heart) and Gendry are the casualties in that department. I believe all that is permanent tragically.
I felt Tormund and Brienne’s heart break more than anyone else. The tragedy of affections lost on each of them was well done.
My heart was ripped apart in that scene with Jaime and Brienne; something so right between two people so evenly matched and meant for each other
it appears wasn’t meant to be. Jaime your an idiot!!

*Before Arya even opened her mouth I knew she was going to turn Gendry down. She’s a fighter and always has been one.
A ladyship would tie her down too much and she’s had an agenda for a while and we know Cersei’s on top of her list.
I am glad that went the way I expected. It follows the story arc that has been set up for her from jump 8 years ago.

*Great (Little Finger-Like) maneuvering by Sansa with Jon and Tyrion. She read into Tyrion being afraid of Dany. I think she knew that fear
and telling Tyrion about Jon’s true Lineage would get to Varys and ultimately the commoners to help legitimize Jon’s claim.

*I liked that Varys and Tyrion batted around throne ascendancy and ruling options based on Jon’s secret lineage; especially the mention about co-ruling.
Tyrion’s thoughts on putting an embargo on King’s Landing are the most sound suggestion I have heard because it takes the feelings of the realm
into consideration.

*LOL! Podrick not only went to bed with the woman who smiled at him but also the woman the Hound turned down!

*Tyrion’s speech to Cersei was touching, however the outcome was predictable.

* Gendry’s Lordship announcement I saw back from the beginning as happening. Why else would they keep him alive all this time? It definitely
does make Dany more progressive in her plans to break the wheel.

*I loved seeing the Hound back on the round with Arya!!! I could listen those two for season and would even watch a spin off show about them.
That being said, the Hound definitely is going to King’s Landing to take down his brother and I personally don’t think he will survive.
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Bad:
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*Chunks of Dany’s ships were being knocked out by the cross bow bolts from Huron’s ships. That’s a bit much from my perspective; I know that’s a bit of nitpick.

*Jaime changes his mind and goes back to Cersei? Huh? (Also this was kind of tropic.) Jaime already said he was done with Cersei, so why desert Brienne? I suppose he still loves Cersei and his heart was broken by her and he can never love again, even though
it would be with someone who truly loves him and in a lot of ways is his equal in valor, fighting skills and honor (Brienne.)

Unknown and Predictions:

*Tormund is leaving with the other Wildlings and heading back North. Why? This leaves Dany with less troops. Will he help with the big battle to come?

*Is Samwell’s arc truly done at this point? I don’t think Jon will survive, so for me it appears this is it.

*How was Huron able to capture Missendei?

*Did Jaime sleep with Brienne because he loves Brienne or because he wanted her to not have to deal with being a virgin anymore?

*Did Jaime break his own heart when he deserted Brienne for Cersei?

*Is Jaime on a suicide mission to kill Cersei and his unborn child by himself or to fight for Cersei?

*Will Brienne show up on the battlefield with Dany? Possibly

*Is Dany jealous of Jon’s popularity with the commoners and Lords of Westorosi houses? I think it runs deeper than that. I think she is starting
to feel like he is in her way.

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Predictions: It’s time!!
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What is everyone’s thoughts on the final two episodes? What do you think will happen?

A couple things that I beared in mind:
* The Woods Witch told Cersei in time she would be cast down by another, younger and more beautiful queen, who would take all she held dear.
* What the realm thinks; matters…So lineage is important to the people; even after a White Walker ultimate battle.

This basically says to me it’s either Sansa or Dany who ends up on the Throne.

So here’s two versions that I think could happen over the final two episodes: (Cersei dies in both scenarios by Arya; Cleghane Bowl in both)

#1: Dany wins. Pointers: A Song of Ice and Fire. If Varys got the word out about Jon’s Lineage, then Jon would have to die for this to happen by the lineage rules of the realm.
This could be either by Dany herself or someone from Cersei’s army.
#2: Sansa wins. Jaime kills Dany, Jon kills Jaime but dies also in the process. The realm wants Sansa as Queen and Tyrion as King.

What are your picks?

I look forward to seeing everyone’s comments.

SE8E3: The Long Night

Overall:
95 out of 100

This episode blew me away with the goals it took on. Elaborate, gritty, heroic medieval epic war action; meets quiet dialog at times under duress; tempered with revolving check in on characters helped balance things out. I was visually exhausted in two places where I literally had to pause my video stream feed; once at 40 minutes and then a little past an hour. I was confused at times due to how darkly lit most of the episode was as well as some cameras being out of focus on occasion made also for difficult viewing. I suppose all that was intentional. BTW: I would hate to be custodian on clean up at Winterfell right now. There’s not enough Medieval Febreeze available to deal with the smell. If there was ever a medieval equivalent to Burning Man; it will be at Winterfell now…Literally… 🙂

Arya Stark wins this weeks Game of Thrones for me by killing the Night King and saving everyone who was still alive.

Good:

*YES!!!! Arya slays the Night King! Mel teased this in her conversation with Arya, however when it happened I was cheering and yelling at the screen.

*I did feel like I was in the battle. It was per amidst winter conditions. If all that was intentional then that was really well done.

*Ser Jorah meets his end defending his love; very romantic and chivalrous; every bit the way I thought it would play out.

*Lyanna Mormont dies taking down a giant Wight! A lady who’s actions lived up to her strong words. That was the most spectacular death of the episode (aside from the Night King). My honor and respects are with you my Lady! The Mormonts fought and died harder than anyone!

Bad:

*Some of the impact of the war tactics was underwhelming because there was never any specific talk about how to use the Dragons in the battle, which
is a point commenters made last episode. They couldn’t get the dragons to light the trenches because the Night King obscured the sky with winter weather and it took me a few seconds to understand the plan that was being referenced that I never knew about to begin with.

* I have a setup issue here. After the ferocity and numbers of attackers; somehow almost all the major characters survived. This is understandable for those who have already battled the undead which actually is all of them but Arya, Brienne, Grey Worm and Jaime. Jaime also has one hand. I know at one point he was arguably the best sword in all of Westeros, however given the volume of opponents my suspension of disbelief was hard to maintain. Jaime was arguably at one time the best swords man in the land; not anymore though.  I had problems suspending my disbelief with his survival during the episode. However, if he dies I suppose that’s believable. Grey Worm was raised to be a fighter. Brienne was arguably the best Knight in the land also prior to the battle (just not in title.) Arya’s entire training was done fighting Death in different forms. I have to assume one handed Jaime survives because of Brienne and his abilities. All of them should be able to take anything that Cersei dishes out from a fighting perspective and still survive. If they don’t then to me that’s a little strange.

*At a certain point there is so much going on it gets too overwhelming to process.
I honestly think they could have kept the intensity and spread the action over a couple of episodes. This one is hard to watch multiple times.

*I think the sudden removal of the Night King and the Army of the Undead from the story arc at this point in the season is acting like a giant wildcard and is going to change the dynamics (or calls into question) about what is most important to different characters; in some cases this may run contrary to established canon.

Jon: Now the Night King has been dealt with; and Jon now knows he is Aegon; and his lack of acknowledging to Dany that the throne doesn’t matter to him in Episode 2, is Jon still of that mindset or has that changed for him and wants the Throne now?
Samwell: Defying considerable odds he has finally has provided the proof that he is a Tarly and a fighter. Does he fight with Dany as Lord Tarley or Maester Samwell? One could say he always was a Maester (never a fighter) and that fighting just proves he’s a Tarly. It’s not his true calling.
*At one point Jon is very close to the Night King and stops. Why?? This gave the Night King time to resurrect the dead fighters Jon used to have. Why are they attacking him a few at a time? Wouldn’t the Night King just order all of them to swarm him?

Unknown:
Bran seemed to know Theon was going to die and the way he looked at the Night King made it look like he knew Arya was going to kill the Night King.
Does Bran know the future? I think so and that he has limited influence on present day characters towards the visions he sees.

*Does a major character have to die in battle of this scale to show the devastational impact to the overall story? I think you probably would get a 50/50 consensus on that. I know I was surprised at how few of them died and that did have an impact for me. I suppose from a Benioff and Weiss story line perspective; keeping most of the major character alive for episode 4; offers enough possible deceptive resolution points to twist around the audience for the next three episodes. That being said, the major underlying tension of an existential threat that has existed for years to us is no more; putting an increasingly sharp focus on the Game for Throne and putting more relevance back into that game. What’s the overall message there? Is it people will still play games regardless of the looming threat of death? Not sure…

This leads to the following questions:
*Did Cersei just get lucky with her ignorance of participating in the Long Night battle or was that a brilliant well plotted move on her part looking to the witches prophecy for guidance about the beautiful woman that would succeed her?
*Will Jaime and Brienne die heroically in a battle against Cersei? Will they end up together?
*Will Tormund end up with Brienne?
*Will Sansa end up with Tyrion (if the Dany issue is resolved)?
*Will Arya kill Cersei? Perhaps using Euron or Qyburn’s face?
*Who ends up on the Throne? (Now that matters again).
*Is Dany pregnant?
*Clegane bowl? It’s looking more and more like this will happen.
*How does Bran function now in the rest of the story? Will he fade into the background like Lord Varys has the past four episodes?
*What troops does Dany’s forces have now to fight Cersei? Dornish? Troops in the Reach? Are there any troops left from the Vale?
Deepwood Mott had bowed out of participating in the Long Night, are there any inhibitants left who could lend a hand?
Have we seen the last of Meera Reed? What about her father can he help out Dany with troops?
*What was Bran’s warging session accomplishing? Was it just positions on the Night King or was he getting the lay of the land for the final battles with Cersei for King’s Landing?

Tin Foil theory wise:
*Did Qyburn figure out how to mass produce versions of the Mountain for Cersei?

SE8E2: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Overall: 87 out of 100

I think the great thing about this episode is the rich back history and relationships each of these characters have  up to this point. You could feel those dynamics shifting around as the dialog is going and the episode plays out; especially through the character’s eyes. Overall it’s setup with the last 20 minutes having a slight stalling affect, however
the interactions balance that out for the most part.

Lots of different ways characters who either haven’t met before (or having reunions) are interacting and building rapport while dealing with their situation waiting for the Army of the Undead to attack. I think overall the dialog was very well done, as well as the long awaited hookups and some characters become fully realized, however there was a couple of things for me where D&D chose shock value instead of Canon that didn’t sit well. I elect Ser Brienne of Tarth as the winner of this week’s Game of Thrones.
She has fully realized her life’s dream, saved Ser Jaime’s life and she will get to fight along side him to the death.

The Good:

Arya has always been my favorite character. Arya and Gendry finally get it on! She looked pretty surprised Gendry’s Baratheon bastard reveal and description of the undead army.  Her new staff reminded me of her with her teacher in the first season.
Then again her whole faceless training was done fighting death (waif) except there’s no face to gain from a victory. Her battle scenes could be intense if she intends on using that dagger too.

Ser Brianne of Tarth! Finally realized! That had to be a life goal. You could see it in her eyes. Although in my mind she reached that long ago. I guess titles still mean something to some of these characters regardless of the looming existential threat.

Great dialog and acting defending Jaime’s honor.

Great dynamics over who is ruling (between Sansa and Dany) with the arrival of Theon and Sansa hearing Brienne’s pleas for saving Jaime and Sansa asking Dany about the North after the Battle.

Lyanna and Ser Jorah arguing over her going to the crypts. I was hoping for some type of interaction from the two of them the first episode. I loved the dynamics and respect they had for each other regarding battle preparations.

Three Eyed Raven and Jaime had a few things going on there for me. It was pretty clear that Brandon wasn’t really there anymore. I loved Jaime’s eyes with the remark ‘How do you know there is an afterwards?’

Sansa and Dany: beautifully progressive natural flowing dialog. They postured as rulers and lapsed quickly into relatives. A great way to relay to us how both Jon and Dany are in love.

Confirmation Cersei is pregnant. Makes you wonder about her saying ‘Good’ about the Army of the Undead breaching the wall. Tywin did say she thought she was a lot smarter than she is. Is Cersei not thinking about how anyone who is defeated by the Army of the Undead becomes a member of the Army of the Undead.

Tormund tackle of Jon and asking for Brienne. I loved how he was trying very hard to woo Brienne and she doesn’t know how to react to it.

I loved the promise Grey Worm made to Missandei, however I would be surprised if either of them survive the war.
The Bad:

The Men of the Nights Watch and the Wildlings somehow manage to go from being in back of the Army of the Undead to arrive at Winterfell before the Army of the Undead by a day. If the Night King really is after Bran (because he is the memory of the entire world) wouldn’t he be making a bee line from Bran right after breaking down the wall?

John unveiling his lineage to Dany and not reiterating to her that it doesn’t matter to him. Dany seemed to feel her rule was being tested by both Sansa and Jon this episode. He should have picked up on that and quickly told her (as the horn was blowing)
‘I have told you in the past titles don’t matter to me; conquering the Night King and the Army of the Undead are all that matter to me.’ Instead, nothing is said creating a little bit of tension, which quickly dissipated a little bit as the enemy is advanced to the gates of Winterfell.

The Unknown:

Did Cersei listen to Jon and rework her weapons with Dragon glass? If she did, where did she get it? I hope Qyburn equipped that giant cross bow with dragon glass pointed bolts. How else could the Blue Dragon or the Night King be defeated?

Does Dragonfire have any effect on White Walkers?. We already know regular fire doesn’t (Hardhomme and the Hold The Door). Does the Night King get more powerful with the more undead he has? His Army certainly but does he himself gain more dark magic?

Now that Brienne has been knighted, will she die on the field with honor with Jaime or survive? What will her life goals be now if she does? I actually see her ending up with Tormund. How about you guys?

What can we make of Jon not addressing Dany? Was it just a stupid oversight by not giving Dany assurances he doesn’t want to be king or does he want to rule?

Does Jaime love Brienne besides respect her?

What did Tyrion and Bran discuss?

My prediction is the battle will take place over at least two episodes with a cliff hanger connecting the two. What do you both think?

What effect is Green sight having on this situation if any?

GOT: S8E1: Winterfell

Overall, I gave the episode 80 out of 100. The whole ‘Disney like’ dragon flying excursion with Dany and Jon was a bit much for me and caused most of the point deduction.   This episode provided mostly setup of the endgame for me.  I think they balanced that well though with arguably the best character reunions.  I enjoyed those more than anything else. This episode had me truly excited to see what the characters would say to each other and how they would emotionally react after long periods of absence from one another. For me, Jon/ Bran and Jon/ Arya reunions where the big ones.  Also character reactions to the dragons; particularly Arya’s was noteworthy.  Her now faceless emotionless exterior showed a wonderful mix of emotions seeing the Dragons in action; including awe, terror and a look of ‘Cool, dragons!!’.  The big drop for me was how Jon going to react to Sam about being the true king. It’s what I expected and well done.

Good:

  • The new credit intro is the most elaborate I have seen. The Hearth right outside of the wall breach made me laugh.  I was already saying to myself, here’s the first ‘Casualty of War. ‘
  • The intro with the child was very ‘Bran like’ from the first episode.
  • Mashups and character’s story arcs meeting Galore!
  • Jon/Arya/Needle: a wonderful mixture of brother and sister reuniting and two warriors checking out weapons and talking about battles past.
  • Jon/Bran: Bran’s words to Dany about her Dragon and the wall breach by the undead did the trick about how Bran has changed.
  • Tyrion/Sansa: best dialog ‘Last time we spoke was at Joffrey’s wedding. Sorry I had to leave like that.’ ‘I had a hard time explaining why my wife fled after the King’s murder.’ –Hilarious!!
  • What do Dragons eat?…Whatever they want’ Hilarious!
  • Jon/Sam: Wow!!!!! I loved Jon’s reaction to Sam telling him he was the King of the 7 Kingdoms.
  • Sansa/Dany: this was an interesting one, however Sansa’s reaction is expected. I love how Sansa read into Jon with Dany and realized he was in love with her.
  • Hound/Arya: Played out like I thought it would. Arya has a mixture of confidence and coldness and the Hound has a warriors respect for her.
  • Gendry/Arya: I always thought they would end up together. It was more like two warriors talking shop.
  • Tormund/Beric/Dolorous Ed: Absolutely hilarious the comment about always having blue eyes!
  • Sam/Dany/Ser Jorah: When Dany was offering him his pardons, I totally forgot about how he lost his family until Dany recalled she put the Tarly’s to death. I have to say this was one of the hardest scenes I have had to get through on this show and very well acted by John Bradley. I truly felt his mixture of sadness and horror about losing his father and brother to Dany’s execution orders. It appears he truly loved his brother Dickon.
  • Jon/Samwell: A jaw dropper.Jon learns about his true lineage, Aegon the VI, King of the Seven Kingdoms! Bam!
  • Jaime/Bran: How will that turn out? Will Jaime be outted by Bran or will he make himself known on his own or will Bran be quite and let Jaime stay incognito? What will Dany do to Jaime?

Bad:

  • I did not like the extended Dany/Jon dragon flying excursion.  Drogon smiling at Jon was also too much.  I felt like I was watching a Lassie movie or one of those movies where a kid meets a giant or some creature that wants to be friends with him.
  • How did Theon get passed Euron’s ships and a bunch of Golden Company ships to rescue Yara onboard the Flagship?

Unknown:

  • Bran spotting Jaime at Winterfell. Will Bran demand justice for Jaime’s wrongdoing to him in the first episode or does the Three Eyed Raven have to remain impartial and uninvolved in anything going on around him? What will Dany do to Jaime?
  • Who’s side is the Lannister army on? Jaime or Cersei’s side?
  • When Bran looks at Tyrion, what does he see?
  • What is Jaime’s fate? Will Bronn side with Cersei or Tyrion? Martin does say the ending is bittersweet. There seems to be a setup where Jaime might protect Tyrion and possibly take the fall in doing so. What are your thoughts on this?
  • Is Cersei pregnant? Before or after her affair with Euron?
  • What is Arya having Gendry make for her?
  • Why did House Umber decide to stay in their castle instead of seek protection at Winterfell?
  • Cersei seemed disappointed that the Golden Company didn’t have elephants. Did she think that would have been adequate to fight all of Dany’s and Jon’s forces? What about with the army of the dead?
  • What is Cersei’s strategy? She thought it was good the army of the dead had breached the wall with a dragon. Does she think Dany and Jon’s forces will take care of enough of the army of the dead to then be able to win against them later on?
  • Where the heck did Arya run off to?
  • Will Jon tell anyone he is technically the King of the Seven Kingdoms?

I personally think no.  He needs Dany’s armies for the Great War.  If he told Sansa she definitely would tell Dany she isn’t Queen.  Also, who is going to argue about who is Queen or King with a lady who has the biggest army in Westeros and two Dragons? What’s the benefit to the current situation by telling anyone he is the rightful king? It doesn’t matter anyway to him since the Great War is coming to Winterfell.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 7: The Dragon and The Wolf

I think House Stark one this week’s Game of Thrones. This one is hard to judge for a winner because of three things that took seven years to happen all happened at the time:

1. House Stark has reunited and finally defeated Baelish who started everything.
2. The Wall comes down (although it’s been up far longer than seven years.)
3. Jon Snow is Aegon Targaryen

Overall I didn’t like the first 50 minutes of the show. If you compare how fast the last show went in terms of actions and locations to this one; it’s like going from one extreme to another. I felt like I spent 45 minutes waiting for Cersei to pay Dany lip service and lay out her true intentions to Jaime. All of that I knew was coming deep down in my thoughts a few episodes ago.

The execution and final comeuppance for Lord Baelish is 7 years in the making and it was a great book ending of the main story. The pack is split up by a common enemy; comes together; survives and avenges the death of it’s parents and punishes the separator.

I honestly thought a better way for Baelish to meet his end was him playing off the rift between Jon and Sansa; not Arya and Sansa. They could have done the same scene with Jon in Arya’s place next season. Since Dany would be up at Winterfell with Jon; and with Bran and Sam revealing Jon is really a Targaryen; I think the rift between Jon and Sansa would have been way more dramatic. The thing that could bring them together is Bran revealing Jon was raised by Ned and that he is a much a Stark as a Targaryen; playing into what Jon said to Theon about him being a Stark as much a Greyjoy and granting him foregiveness. Bran could also verify everything Sansa said Little Finger did. If anyone in the North questions his Greensight abilities, Bran could offer to each them knowledge no one else would know in the form of a whisper in their ears. All of this would have had more drama and emotion I think then the emotionless set of situations we were given this episode.

The huge nuclear bomb for me was Sam and Bran’s scene with the montage of Rhaegar/Lyanna and Jon/Dany. We finally get to see Rhaegar and the reveal that Jon is Aegon Targaryen was wonderful! I would have appreciated 5-10 more minutes of that then the 50 minutes of Cersei persuasion.

I was expecting more of a fight against the White Walkers then what was delivered. It was more of an assault and fast destruction of the Wall and series of reactions by Tormund and Beric then anything else.

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Summary:

* Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Ser Davos, Euron, Cersei, Jaime, Qyburn, Theon, Brienne, Bronn, Podrick and the Mountain all meet at a Dragon Theater in King’s Landing and show the Wight to Cersei and demonstrate how to kill it.

* Cersei agrees that is the imminent threat to the Kingdom and agrees to an armistice, however wants Jon to stay neutral until the Night King is defeated. Jon tells Cersei he has given fealty to Dany (everyone later on tells him he should have lied.) Cersei says the deal is off and leaves.

* Tyrion goes by himself to persuade Cersei back to the table. They all wait while he makes his case and he figures out Cersei is pregnant. My guess is he used that to persuade her back to the table.

* It is later revealed to Jaime that he is only saying she will supply troops, however she’s planning on doing nothing.

* Little Finger is executed for his crimes against Lord Arryn, Lysa Arryn, and Ned Stark.

* Theon is partially foregiven by Jon and he sets off to rescue Yara (not sure where she is though: See the bad.)

* Sam arrives in Winterfell and meets with Bran. He learns Bran is the three eyed Raven. Bran reveals that Jon is Lyanna’s son and not Neds and that Jon is really Jon Sand. Sam corrects him by revealing that Rhaegar had his marriage annulled to marry Lyanna Stark and asks Bran to warg into the past to confirm the marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna and finds out that that Jon Snow is really Aegon Targaryen. Jon and Dany have a tryst while this is happening and Tyrion knows about it.

* The Night King riding Viserion takes down the wall at Eastwatch and marches through the wall with an army of thousands on the North.

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Best lines:

The Hound: “That’s not how it ends for you, brother…You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.”

Sansa to Arya: “You’re still very strange and annoying.”

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Good:

* Finally the Stark redemption arc is completed. It took seven years, however from Dead Dire Wolf with lost pups in the first episode to the Stark pack avenging their dead parents by executing the man who started off this whole story, Lord Baelish’s end was satisfying.

* For me the most exciting and best part of the show was Samwell with Bran: Aegon Targaryen has now been revealed! and we got to see Rhaegar marrying Lyanna.

* It took seven years, however the wall comes down! The Night King scenes bringing down the wall were good! I thought they could have been done better. I loved the blue fire!

* The beginning of Cleghane Bowl! They had the stadium and we have seen the coin toss. When is the kick off?

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Bad:

* Great, Theon is off to rescue Yara. How the heck does he know where she is? Jon, Dany and Tyrion heard Euron say he was going back to the Iron Isles upon seeing the Wight. If what Cersei is saying is true (in strict confidence to Jaime) about Euron sailing to Essos to pickup mercenary soldiers, how does Theon know to go there?
Wouldn’t he be setting sail for the Iron Isles?

* Arya and Sansa scenes here were well played, however I feel like everything was done for my sake (the audience) instead of for the story’s sake.

1. How did they both go from distrusting each other last episode; and Arya threatening to expose Sansa to the North men over the Raven note to Winterfell asking Rob to bend the knee to Cersei to both of them coming together and putting one over on Lord Baelish?
2. There’s something missing there for me which would have shown Starks unifying as a pack to overcome their adversaries by overcoming their differences. Where is that the scene?
3. Arya never told Sansa where she got the Raven note after Sansa asked here. The dialog we heard last episode only works as a ruse (for sake of the story) if someone is there with them in the room to hear the ruse and there were no cup-bearers in the room for the conversations between Arya and Sansa; just us watchers of the show. So in one sense they were just trying to throw viewers off (instead of throwing off Baelish in the story) so they can surprise us with his execution.
4. What was it that brought Arya around to trusting Sansa and what was it that Sansa saw in Arya that brought them together? Since that is missing, the only thing that brings Baelish ruse around to this point plot-wise that makes sense to me is Sansa playing Little Finger in her conversations with him last episode.

* Tyrion goes to see Cersei all alone. Why? What did it actually accomplish? Why didn’t she just behead him?

* Cersei gave the Mountain the order to execute Jaime, yet he only drew his sword? She didn’t given any sort of signal to stop midway. It was just Jaime saying ‘Do it’. Does the Mountain also listen to Jaime or is questioning Cersei’s orders? Huh??

* Why didn’t anyone fire bolts from the Wall at Wight Viserion?

* What’s occurring to me right now is I had to sit through an unintended/intended incest sex scene between Dany and Jon (An aunt and her nephew). Yuck!

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Unknown:

* Is Yara on the Iron Isle or with Euron heading to Essos? Does Theon even know where she is? How could he?

* Is Jaime heading to Winterfell? Will Cersei call back all the bannerman and give them new orders to assemble in King’s Landing and go after Casterly Rock, Dorne and Dragonstone while Dany is up North fighting the Night King?

* What kind of impact will Jon’s legitimacy have on his relationship with Dany?

* Does the Mountain know the Hound is his brother still? I am going to guess he didn’t die all the way and Qyburn managed to revive him up to a point where he recognizes the Hound is brother.

* Will Dany and Jon’s meeting lead them to having a child?

* What did Ned tell Robert about Lyanna? Did he say he found her dead? Did Robert just find out on his own she was dead? That part of the story isn’t clear to me. Was Ned originally sent by Robert to find Lyanna or did he seek out Lyanna on his own?

* Tyrion knows Jon and Dany had sex. As this whole story started with crimes committed to conceal an incident of incest (Bran being pushed out a window by Jaime), will something bad happen to Tyrion to conceal Jon and Dany’s tryst?

* Did Tormund and Beric die in the Wall collapse?

* Will Cersei make a play for Dragonstone while Dany and Jon are up North since it is on an island and safe from the White Walkers and undead armies?

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 6: Beyond The Wall

I thought the Night King won this week’s Game of Thrones.

The overall energy of this episode I felt was very uneven.

I gave this a 65 out of 100.  I didn’t like chunks of dialogue.

The Lake Wight battle scene was incredible and kept my score from going down further.  The special effects were absolutely stunning.

I thought again, most of the scenes were set up. The dialogue felt like filler dialog to get us to the battle of the Dragons and White Walkers. The last two scenes I thought encompassed the best emotional scene and worst plot wise elements scene of the show. (SEE: The Good and The Bad.)

What I was given left me with a ton of questions and also sets several pieces of the story off in certain directions or trajectories (SEE: The Unknown)

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Summary:

* The table in Dany’s war chambers foreshadows the dragon fire north of the Wall later in the episode.

* The Magnificent 7 head deep North of the Wall.

* John tries to give Longclaw to Ser Jorah and he refuses. That was touching.

* Arya talks to Sansa about shooting arrows and being supported by Ser Rodrick and how he was killed with her help. She shows Sansa the note Cersei forced her to write and accuses her conspiring withe Lannisters. Arya mentions how she watched Sansa watch their father be assassinated by Joffrey. Arya stating she guess she will never know what Sansa suffered may imply a direction for Arya. She says she will go with anger. (See: The Unknown)

* Back at the North, Tormund and the Hound have a discussion about his childhood and Brienne; very funny!

* Jon talks to Beric about their mutual resurrections. They have to know what they are fighting for; not why they were brought back. The shields that guard the realms of men. He said Jon doesn’t look like his father (right about that eh?)

* The Hound sees the mountain from his visions.

* Tyrion talks to Dany. She likes that he’s not a hero because those tend to die of stupid things whilst trying to out do each other. He tests her impulsiveness and if she is reactionary and how smitten she is with Jon. He tells her that she has to take her enemies side to know how they think. She listens. He wants to know who sits on the Iron Throne after she is dead. She criticizes his thoughts and asks he focus on the present.

* Back at the North the seven run into a Wight Polar bear kills a few red shirts and mortally wounds Thoros of Myr in the belly. Beric cauterizes his wounds and they move onward towards the arrowhead mountain.

* Baelish finds out Sansa doesn’t know where the note Arya has came from him (See: The Unknown). She confides to Baelish she’s worried the North will turn on her and she doesn’t know Arya anymore and he tries to turn Sansa on Arya using Brienne take out Arya.

* In the North, Ser Jorah asks Thoros how drunk Thoros was at Pyke with his flaming sword and thought he was brave back then and Thoros confides he was just drunk.

* Tormund finds a row of wights marching behind a White Walker and they bait the row with a fire. A fight ensues. The White Walker gets killed by Jon and most of the Wights die except one.  They capture this one and the Hound slings it over his back. In the distance they see a flood of Wights coming. Jon sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Dany for help. The group runs to a frozen lake for cover and spot a rock island in the middle and they make a break for it. The Wights try to pursue, however the ice breaks and stops them from coming.

* Gendry keeps running for Eastwatch.

* The group slowly freezes to death on the island surrounded by the Wights.

* Gendry collapses in front of the tunnel door and Ser Jorah brings him in and sends word to Dany through Raven.

* Thoros succumbs to his wounds and they have to burn his body.

* Ser Jorah reasons they go for the Walkers for them to stand a chance. Beric reasons the Night King’s death will kill them all.

* Sansa gets a raven that provides an invitation to King’s Landing which Sansa burns and sends Brienne.

* Dany sets off for the North and Tyrion tries to stop her by telling her if she dies they all are lost.

* Back up North the Wights cross the lake one at a time and attack the island. The group shrinks down to Jon, Ser Jorah, Tormund, the Hound and Beric.

* Dany arrives with the Dragons and scorched earth policy is initiated.

* The Night King hurdles an ice spear at Viserion and it falls dead under the ice into the lake.

* Dany flies out with Ser Jorah, Beric, the Hound and Tormund. The hound saves Ser Jorah from falling off.

* Jon stays to fight the Night king and falls into the water and pulls himself out.

* Benjen reunites with Jon and gives him his horse to escape.

* The Hound drops off the wight at Eastwatch.

* Dany waits for Jon to return and he does barely alive.

* Sansa goes to Arya’s quarters to find the raven message and finds the faces of Walder Frey and one other.  Arya gets dark with wanting to kill Sansa and then walks off. Kind of creepy.

* Jon wakes up to Dany. I think they are truly in love. She pulls back on her feelings once he bends the knee to her.

* Chains drawn by white walkers bring up Viserion and the Knight King creates a Wight Dragon!!

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Best lines:

Tormund: ‘I want to make great big babies with her. Think of them; great big monsters they’d conquer the world’. The Hound: ‘How did a mad F^&*&^ like you survive in the world for this long?’

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Good:

* Nice sweeping long shots of the men walking.

* Great banter (Tormund messing with Gendry); between the Hound and Tormund and Beric and Jon; especially about Death being the enemy and defending those who cannot defend themselves.

* I loved the music at the Wight Lake battle and the scene where the Night King hurdles the ice spear at one of the dragons was fantastic.  I loved all the special effects and visual effects.

* The final scene between Jon and Dany where he bends the knee did have a lot of emotion and I really thought the actors did a terrific job of capturing empathy for the loss of the Dragon and a mutual deep determination to eliminate the Night King.

* A Wight Dragon is a fantastic idea.  I just don’t like how it was originated. (SEE: The Bad and the Unknown).

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Bad:

* A lot of walking and banter while walking; reminding me of the Lord of Rings in that capacity.

* Does Dany really believe deceit and Mass Murder win wars?

* Beric made more sense on strategy then Jon to defeat the Night King. How are they going to get out of there opting for capturing one wight over slaying the Night King totally surrounded by thousands of the dead powered by the Night King?

* Little Finger thanked the Maester for bringing Sansa the note she requested. Sansa asked her where Arya got that note. Why didn’t Arya pick up on that Sansa asked her where she got the note?  If Sansa was responsible she would know where that note came from right?

* Since when do the Wights exhibit such intelligence? They watch a rock slide across the ice and then conclude that the water is just frozen enough to support the weight
of each of them attacking one at a time?

* There is some bad continuity with how close the Wights were surrounding Jon and company at the lake. At first they were fairly close and as Jon’s party slowly freezes they
appeared to be further off.

* I really had a lot of issues with the four very long iron (or ice) linked chains the White Walkers were using and hauling the dragon out of water with them.  How were those chains crafted? Let’s suppose the White Walkers have the skill and number of foundries necessary to forge the iron (or ice) chain links required to make those chains quickly.
It’s been shown fairly consistently at Hardhomme and in this very episode that Wights and White Walkers do not fair well in water so how did either of them get the chains wrapped around the dragon’s neck? We literally see Wights sink into the water once they fall in.  If Wights or White Walkers can swim, why don’t they just swim around the end of the wall in the Narrow Sea?  All they had to do was have Viserion’s body skid across the frozen lake to the shore and then have the Night King resurrect his body later.  I guess they wanted to surprise us with what they were pulling up from the bottom of the water.  Story sense works more for me than surprise; especially in this case.

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Unknown:

* Why didn’t Arya tell Sansa she got the note from Little Finger when Sansa asked her where she got it? If she did, Sansa would know not to trust Little Finger.

* Will Arya leave Winterfell to finish Cersei off herself or will she try and eliminate Sansa? What was the point in menacing Sansa?

* Did Cersei really send the raven for Sansa to go to King’s Landing or was it Littlefinger?

* How does Beric always light his sword? His blood? What doesn’t Beric understand about killing the Night King?

* How do the wights know that a stone skittering across the ice makes the ice worth walking on?

* Can a Wight Dragon be used to break down the wall? Does it breath ice instead of fire?

* Where is the Hound off to now?  Technically although he helped get the Wight he hasn’t bent the knee to anyone.  If he helps bring the Wight to King’s Landing he will see his brother with Cersei.  Is Cleghane bowl still possible?

* What’s stopping the Night King from just getting on Wight Viserion and flying over the Wall with several white walkers on it’s back?  He could literally just pick up and drop them off a few at a time.  They can start killing Westerosi and converting them to an army.

* Will Jon bending the knee with Dany send the Northerners over to side with Sansa over Jon because they won’t side with a Targaryen and Arya will be forced to flee Winterfell looking for on? The only thing that would keep them inline would be the reveal that Jon is a true Targaryen right?  Possibly through combination of Gilly’s annulment notes about Rhaegar’s marriage and marriage to Leanna in Dorne and Bran’s Green sight?

* What will Dany think once she sees the Wight form of Viserion? Will she have trouble killing it? Kind of like in the Walking Dead how at first the characters in the Walking Dead had a hard time killing the zombified remains of their friends and loved ones?

Can Bran warg into Wight Viserion to gain control of him?  Doubtful. If he could, then he or the three eyed Raven could have stopped the Wight army from invading the three eyed Raven’s lair.

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Game of Thrones Threads at the TV Critic:
http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/180
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