Season 7 Review- The North Remembers, And So Do The Writers

game_of_thrones_season_7
Nothing says “male bonding” like hunting for bears.  Zombie bears.
THE GOOD
There were so many stories to follow throughout the series, and it was nice to see them merge together fairly smoothly.  It was satisfying to see everything come together after spending all this amount of time binge watching the show for over a month, trying to keep up with all the characters and storylines.  I could only imagine how much MORE satisfying it would have been for the people who’d been watching this show as the episodes came out new, spending YEARS wondering about how all this would play out.
Daenerys’s integration into the mainland and main story made her character much more compelling and interesting.  I stand by my feelings about her first six seasons- more than 75% of the show’s total existence- and how stretched out the whole thing felt.  Emilia Clarke’s charisma shined through all of Daenerys’s smug, self-righteous, one dimensional nature.  Now that Daenerys is part of the full GOT world, finally facing the adversity and even some horror that the other major characters have been exposed to throughout the series, it’s nice to Clarke’s additional acting skills, as well.  She also looks pretty badass riding a dragon.
Speaking of dragons…the fact that the White Walkers got one of them was an unexpected twist.  The whole series we were led to believe that ONLY Daenerys could control them, leaving us to wonder what could possibly stop her.  Now we finally know.
I also liked Uncle Greyjoy, who reminded me of cross between Liev Schreiber, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, and Eric Savin from Iron Man 3.  I initially rolled my eyes at his contrived, shoehorned introduction into the Iron Born storyline, one of the more pointless storylines (IMO), right up there with Dorne.  It was just nice to finally see a villain- or ANY character, for that matter- actually look like they were having FUN in this sick, demented world.  (Bronn sort of does, but he’s usually pretty low key about it.)  Kidnapping his niece, Blossom, wasn’t very nice, but so what?  Other than Sam Tarly and his girlfriend, who gets rewarded for being nice aroun here?  And the one nice thing I can say about the Dorne characters is that the innovative way Cersei was torturing them really was terrifying, even if they pretty much deserved it.  Hats off to the actresses.
What else, what else…oh, the scene where the boys were all went camping north of the wall.  Seeing those guys, most of whom didn’t really know each other, bonding together and facing serious odds felt like a refreshing, conventional, good ol’ fashioned action movie.  I liked that, as well as the Lannister vs Tyrell fight, even though they want back to the somewhat lazy “…and then the dragons killed everybody” Super Mario Brothers star to finish it all.
The season finale meeting between the parties was entertaining, with all the friends, enemies, and show history on display for everyone to see.  The tension felt palpable and real.  Also impressive was how the writers integrating the smallest details from the beginning of the series, like Arya meeting up with her old pet wolf.  Some of the references were so obscure I needed the writers to explain it after the episode.
(I wish I could say how mindblowing Jon Snow’s true identity was, but I accidentally found out on Google, several episodes earlier.  The fact that he’s now romantically involved with his aunt would be pretty jaw dropping, but given everything else we’ve seen in this show, I’m numb to it.)
THE BAD
Setting up Littlefinger was a surprise, but in the wrong direction.  It seemed like a battle of Arya versus Sansa was brewing, and that was really going to be something fun.  Instead, it turned out to be a conspiracy against a known bad guy.  *shrug*  If this was the end of a movie, then great.  But we’re heading towards the final season, and I want to see some twists and turns.  Yeah, yeah, yeah- so the white walkers tore down The Wall and headed straight for the heart of the GOT world.  So what??  We pretty much knew that was coming, literally since the beginning of the series, before we were even introduced to the main characters.
For a show that doesn’t let a storyline go to waste, why is everyone pretending that Jamie Lannister didn’t try to kill Bran in the first episode?  That never gets mentioned in any context anymore.  We’re just kind of supposed to go along with the idea that Jamie’s basically a good guy trapped in a bad situation.  That’s not the guy we met at the beginning of the series!  His acting is good, and he’s definitely one of the more colorful characters.  But it just stretches credibility, even in THIS universe, when he was so instrumental to so much of the deceit and violence early on.

And speaking of Bran, what’s with the emo act?  “I’m not Bran.  I’m the Three Eyed Raven.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to some Morrissey.”  (I don’t know if Morrissey is emo, he just always struck me a svery intentionally miserable.)

Grandma Tyrell revealing that she was Joffrey’s murderer happened waaaaaaaaaaay too early in the series.  The audience should have found out when Jamie found out.  Revealing it shortly after it happened was, in hindsight, pointless.  In fact, the whole Tyrell storyline, which actually once seemed so promising, didn’t deliver as much to the arc of the show as I would have hoped.  It was almost the opposite of the Daenerys storyline- whereas hers was simple and drawn out but very critical to the overall plot, the Tyrells were complex, intriguing, but barely worth thinking about once they were out of the picture.
And now, finally, WINTER IS HERE…
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