There’s nothing quite like reviewing a show that’s been out for a few weeks…you know… after nobody cares what you think about it. But I thought why not? I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones; the political intrigue and constant shifting games of deception between characters are terrific fun to watch, with fire spewing dragons as icing on the cake.
To start off, I should say my favorite season was most likely season 2, I think we got the best character plots for my favorite characters; Arya, Tyrion, and Stannis alongside Davos. Arya in Harrenhall was classic Game of Thrones; a mixture of grotesque violence, intrigue and a world of mystery with the introduction of the faceless men, and great character interactions between her and Tywin. We are introduced to Stannis and Davos, one of my favorite pairs of characters to see interact with one another. Tyrion is given some great moments in this season as well; tricking Grandmaester Pycelle into revealing he was feeding information to Cersei, banishing Janoy Slynt to the wall, and his defense of King’s Landing. Everything about this season, the downfalls and the victories, felt deserved, which I will get into is my major gripe with season 7.
Let me clarify, I still enjoyed season 7, though I feel it was somewhere close to the quality of season 5; a little lost in what its goal exactly was. I think this is largely in part due to the fact that the show is no longer based on the books by George R.R. Martin. Though D&D have proved themselves competent showrunners, I fear their talent may only lay in their ability to translate from book to screen. For example, that zombie polar bear. Why? Just why? It supposedly cost 2 million dollars to put on screen…was it worth it? Does anyone think to themselves after watching that episode, ‘gosh those firebreathing dragons and the death of Viseron were neat but geez that polar bear that lasts less than two minutes was something!” That time could have been used letting the characters interact with one another in interesting ways, rather than them just walking and talking, never to interact the rest of the episode again.
This point leads to my main issue with the season; everything feels rushed. Sure, seven episodes can really make it a tightly woven story, cutting out some of the unnecessary fat the show previously suffered from, but now we’re left with less story and character than we are used to. This is the most evident with the Winterfell plotline; it isn’t the least bit interesting when you decide to not show half the plot. We didn’t know about the cat and mouse game between Arya, Sansa, and Littlefinger, instead, we got a strange set of scenes between Sansa and Arya that make very little sense. Arya accuses Sansa of not doing anything while their father died, even though by rewatching you can see her kicking and screaming violently, begging Joffrey to stop. I can’t tell if Arya actually means this at some point or was always tricking Littlefinger, which makes the whole thing rather muddled.
I eagerly await the release of season 8, and hope that the focus returns to the meaningful interactions between characters. I have high hopes for the ending of the show, since G.R.R. has secretly told D&D the ending; perhaps this season they were a bit more in the dark on what to do, and that they’ll have a clearer picture with the final season. Again I must say, even though this season was a bit weaker, its one of the better seasons of any television show to date.