Like anyone else who has internet, I love Game of Thrones. I’ve watched the entire series at least three times. (Which is how long it takes to actually understand everything that happens.) I’ve even read all 3,000+ pages of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series that it’s based on, including those in the extended ASOIAF universe. And unlike some who have read the books, I genuinely enjoy the TV show and even prefer some of the storylines to those in the books. I’m not one of those fans who complains that they left out So-and-So or whines because everything isn’t exactly the same.
And although I’ve enjoyed Season 7 so far at surface level, there are a few things that have really annoyed me, to the point that the show may have lost its magic. In the off chance that there is someone out there who agrees with me, here they are.
(Also, obviously, SPOILERS, in case you are an idiot and chose to read this when you’re not caught up.)
- The creators are cramming way too much into the last two seasons in an attempt to hurry and wrap up the story. “Oh, remember the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead that we began the entire series with? They should probably be a thing now that the show is about to end.” The pace of the previous seasons were more or less what was required to carry the story and develop the characters, which is what the show does best. But beginning with Varys miraculously traveling from Meereen to Sunspear and back in the span of a single episode in the season six finale, the pace of this season has proceeded at an insane, breakneck speed where characters travel thousands of miles in an instant and their actions are summarized by seconds of narration. When they do actually spend time on dialogue, it doesn’t contribute much to the story and instead serves a reminder that “Hey, remember, these two guys don’t like each other.” I miss the times when, for example, we got to watch Brienne and Jaime lumbering through the woods on their way from Riverrun and enjoyed the viciously entertaining dialogue that accompanied it. Season seven feels like a completely different show. Why did they choose to do it this way? Why cut the last two seasons so short?
- It’s gone the way of most fantasy series and become gimmicky. Episode six–“Beyond the Wall”–really cemented this for me. “Ooooh, big battles with fire and dragons and mythical creatures! Oh no! The big hero is in trouble and is certainly doomed! Wait–it’s a random character everyone forgot about, conveniently riding in to rescue him! Hooray! The hero’s stupid plan succeeded and everything works out for the Good Guys. Oh, but let’s throw in a couple deaths like Thoros and one of the lesser-known dragons so there is somewhat of a dramatic arc.”
- It’s lost what made it special in the first place: the sentiment that nobody is safe from getting killed off, even main characters. Pretty much no one that we care about has died this season. The death roster includes (as far as I can remember, and correct me if I’m wrong):
- House Frey (they had it coming);
- Ellaria and the Sand Snakes (nobody cares);
- Olenna Tyrell (whom I worship but whose storyline was over and had possibly the most epic onscreen death ever so I’m okay with it);
- the Tarlys (nobody cares);
- Thoros (nobody cares);
- and Viserion (whom we only care about because he’s a dragon and maybe because we feel bad for Daenerys)
There are also plenty of instances where someone important SHOULD HAVE DIED. Jaime and Bronn should not have survived the battle in “Spoils of War,” and going back to point #2, there is also no way Jon or Tormund should have survived that showdown with the White Walkers in episode six. How awesome would it have been if Jon Snow got stabbed, died, was brought back to life in season six, and you assume he’s going to make it through the series and become the Prince that Was Promised but then the showrunners are like “nope” and kill him off the next season, only to be replaced with a way more interesting character like the Hound or Jaime or Ser Davos leading the fight against the Night King?! *Sigh*
However, we still have the finale. Maybe we’ll get some nice, juicy deaths then. Hopefully Cersei.
- I get it, Jon represents ice and Daenerys represents fire, and they’re gonna bang. I get it, they’re both hot so I should be rooting for them to get together. But for as much build up as there’s been to these two characters meeting, I don’t find their “love” story in the least bit compelling. In the inevitable sex scene that will soon occur between them, I will probably be like “Ugh, okay, let’s just get this over with” rather than the genuine investment I felt in, say, Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s love story or Jon and Ygritte’s love story. The creators actually took time to establish those storylines and made you feel connected to them. Jon and his Aunt Dany? Instead of actually exhibiting any chemistry on screen, they leave that to random secondary characters to make comments like, “Oh, I’ve seen you staring at her boobies, Jon.” Wait, what? When has that ever happened?! If it weren’t for Davos and Tyrion I wouldn’t have detected a whiff of attraction between them until they started holding hands on the boat out of nowhere.
Please remind me why I am supposed to care about Arya. She is belligerent, reactionary, violent, and macabre. The Braavos storyline has been my least favorite of both the books and movies due to its utter pointlessness, and unless she has some greater role to play than just being bitter and vengeful, I want to see her gone and her much more capable and fascinating sister Sansa calling the shots for the Stark family. #TeamSansa
- On a related note…SOMEBODY PLEASE KILL LITTLEFINGER ALREADY. If Arya does kill him then maybe it will make up for the stupid Faceless Men plot thread that just won’t die.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that I am mercilessly picking apart what is probably the greatest show ever made whilst having never accomplished anything remotely as great as what David Benioff and Dan Weiss have done in adapting this impossibly rich series. I’m gonna go back to picking off my nail polish and watching Netflix in my underwear now.