Episode 6: To Catch a Wight
Episode 6: Exposition Winter March
Episode 6: Hardhome 2: Home Harder
This entire episode was stupid decisions and ridiculous plotting with a dose of dragons and speed. The long shots were gorgeous, and there were small moments that I truly enjoyed, but oh my word was this a hot stupid mess. Also why doesn’t anyone wear hats??? It is cold, ear frostbite is no joke, and you lose a lot of heat through your head I JUST HAVE QUESTIONS, OKAY?
Ernest Shackleton and the Breakfast Club, part one
We do not deserve Tormund. Except maybe Brienne. I was so pleased with his scare-the-hetero teasing of Gendry (yes I know he’s talking about bears, it was still funny), and his beard has somehow gotten more magnificent, and I realize that I am completely arbitrary in my “this minor character matters to me” moments, but holy God do I love Tormund. I also appreciate him repping for the Wildlings, who we’ve kiiiiind of forgotten about, despite their being most at risk to lose everything. And as much as I am on the SS Jaimienne, since the show has decided to torch his redemption arc, Brienne needs someone good to her. And then he talks to Sandor about her and Sandor talks about her kinda like he loves her too because EVERYONE LOVES BRIENNE. SHE IS PERFECT AND SO IS GWEN I’m so sorry she’s not perfect but I do love her I’m okay, I’m okay.
I started shrieking when Jon was like “here have Longclaw” because WHAT. WHAT ON EARTH. Just because you both have daddy issues out the wazoo does not mean you hand over the VALYRIAN STEEL SWORD GIVEN TO YOU BY A DEAD MAN to his WORTHLESS SLAVING SON. 100% certain Jeor Mormont woulda pulled a “I am from the North and shall swing the sword” on Jorah and executed him, Jeor don’t play, and you’re just going to hand over the sword that Jeor gave to *you* specifically because his son sucks? Jon. Jonny. Jon-boy. You stop that right now. That is stupid do-gooding at a level that even Ned Stark from beyond the grave is like “that’s a little much.”
The one part I did kind of like was Beric talking to Jon. This wasn’t even necessarily because the two of them have some kind of deep bond, it was solely because I was low-key captivated watching the only two people (we’re not doing the Stoneheart thing, guys) who have been brought back talk to each other. They’re both varying degrees of dead, and they both, in some ways, seem to long for death (Beric more overtly, but Jon somewhat through his actions, in a Ned Stark way), and while I really thought this was going to be the setup for Beric’s actual death, this was a hell of a scene. What is Beric’s purpose, what’s Jon’s? What are Jon’s physical restrictions after being brought back (Beric is limping, and not well, and scarred, and gah, can Jon have kids, even if he wanted to?) I don’t even know if the writing was super solid for this scene, since no lines really stand out, but I’m glad this atrocious plot let these two talk to each other.
Have any of y’all seen the Paul Walker and dogs vehicle Eight Below? (Stay with me.) It features Paul Walker’s face and huskies and malamutes, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t have seen it, but there is a part of the film where the doggos are looking for meat on this gross dead whale, and they’re looking at this hole in the gross dead whale, and out of nowhere A MOTHERFUCKING SEAL POPS ITS ADORABLE VICIOUS HEAD OUT AND I SCREAMED and that’s basically what I did with Zombie Polar Bear. No thank you. Also if your character doesn’t have a name or any lines don’t go after The Undead Yogi or you will die horribly.
Also somewhere there is a climate change denier who is like “see? polar bears are fine, they can just be kinda dead”
Arya and Sansa: The First Trashpile
As much as I hate “I am just going outside and may be some time: The Plot” (please someone get my dorktastic reference), I hate this plot exponentially more. Hatred to the stars and back. Like…I might hate this plot more than I hate Daario. I KNOW. But I really don’t think I’m exaggerating. I’m so mad, you guys, just SO FLIPPIN’ MAD.
Of course, I realize that Arya and Sansa were never close. Of course, they have both Seen Some Shit since they last spoke. Of course, this was not going to be a giant happy reunion. But why can we not have them talk to each other, possibly hash this out in some way, write some difficult dialogue, and move forward? We’ve reduced them to two-dimensional caricatures of pettiness, and their lines are directly from the mouths of the most aggressive, unnecessary stans. Like we’re really gonna have Arya talking about how Sansa was just chilling in a pretty dress while they cut Ned’s head off? That’s really the issue here? And as much as I like Sansa, I really didn’t need her to say that Arya couldn’t have survived what she went through. 1. I disagree, although Arya would’ve handled it differently she would have lived, probs and 2. SHE WOULDN’T SAY THAT, IT’S SO PETTY. She sat through marriage to Ramsay but Arya throws the gentle shade of a thin leaf on a cloudy day and suddenly Sansa is like NUH UH, I’M *SO* TOUGHER. This debate has been raging on message boards for years and I’m not here for it and I’m not here for fanfiction discussing it. And then to put the discarded Big Gulp container on top of this trashpile of a plot, Sansa goes to Baelish for advice. I have some questions, like, have you ever met a human being before? She hates him, we all hate him, why does he sound like he has half of a hardboiled egg in his mouth that he’s not allowed to chew *shrieking for days*
lol she called Kit short which he is I love it ugh he’s so cute and you could carry him around in your pocket
This scene with Dany and Tyrion was like, 30% cool, 70% annoying. I did enjoy Tyrion sassing Dany about Jon looking at her intensely because he desires a strong military alliance, which – bro, that is actually a very Jon thing to do, he absolutely *would* stare at her for that. However, as much as this was a fun line, are we really going to sit here and be like “tee hee do u like me check yes or no” God I miss Barristan. I reeeeeally miss Barristan.
Additionally, I don’t think this was the right episode to bring up Dany’s legacy, nor do I think it would have been this much of a problem for Dany, but I’m glad we had this conversation. Who the heck is gonna be your successor, boo? Like I get that the dragons are your children buuuuuut we will never be roooooyals so who is next, bud. That’s the 30% I liked.
The 70% I didn’t was because Dany is being stupid, and not like, in-character stupid, which she is, sometimes, but just plain stupid. We’re really still wondering about Tyrion’s allegiance, really? “This is your family, are you just conspiring against me” boo he hates them and you literally called up a witch to heal Jason Momoa so don’t talk to me about doing dumb stuff for family you hate. And also how you gonna get mad at him for asking this? It’s a legitimate question, especially since you insist on flying your dragons everywhere all the time and could definitely die and for you to be like “we will discuss this after I sit the Iron Throne” DOES NO ONE ON THIS SHOW MAKE CONTINGENCY PLANS I HATE THIS.
Ernest Shackleton and the Breakfast Club, part 2
Oh look there’s like 20 of them, just walkin’, where we already know there’s like tens of thousands of them, how lucky and not at all portentous for us, let’s wrap this one up and go hom-OH SHIT
Was there a single viewer who didn’t call this? Like this was inherently the worst idea in the world and then it became even dumber because they fell into the most obvious trap in the world WHAT IS THIS STUPID, STUPID PLOT. Why is Gendry best at running? He’s literally never seen snow but yeah sure let’s send him back. And then Thoros dies because… okay yeah he was injured but did no one wanna check on his status overnight or??? Like that is a Rose Dewitt-Bukater move and I will not stand for it. And then Sandor just launches a rock??? at the zombies???? WHY???? Sandor is a shit but he’s not stupid but now he’s stupid??? No it’s fine definitely test your Now Starting for the Brewers with an ERA of like 5,000.82 is THE HOUND fuck this plot fuck that rock he threw fuck this lake fuck this stupid stupid plot.
Gendry “Mo Farah” Waters (that is a track and field joke, kids, go look this guy up, I’m trying to use a name of a runner who runs the appropriate distance, you been told) gets back to the Wall and Davos has just been like, drinking cocoa and waiting for this to blow up in their faces and then Gendry gasps out A RAVEN which is… super helpful and then they find a Westerosi peregrine falcon or some shit who is the true hero of this plot and goes above and beyond his avian duty to help out the dumbest bunch of doofuses this landmass has ever seen and gets to Dragonstone and is like CAW CAW, BITCH, GET YOUR MITTENS ON and Dany comes out wearing what is objectively a fly af winter coat that I adore and hops on Drogon who obviously won’t be the sacrificial lamb today (can people who watch the show name the other dragons? Like this isn’t a bookwank question, I just feel like they never mention the other two) and flies all three dragons (why? we couldn’t leave one at home??? No by all means let’s risk a medieval Battle of Midway for no goddamn strategic reason other than Jon’s abs) up to the Northern Water Tribe to fuck shit up and die.
Then the show goes and stresses me out by making it look like Tormund is gonna bite it and like how dare u???? and then Dany shows up on Snoop Droggy-Drog and fucks up all of Lake-town and AGAIN, WHY ARE WE HERE??? There was no reason for this plot to exist; it is terrible, awful, garbage plotting and we killed a dragon just because we could. Was the CGI a hell of a shot? Yes. Was there any nuance at *all* to any of this? None. Zero. Dem Boyz started off this season with “what if we killed a dragon?” and built everything around that *sUPeR rAdIcAL* idea. I haaaaaate this. GRRM, bless his heart, knows how to write a slow burn. If anything, he can get *too* into the weeds on some things (Meereen and working through the Riverlands come to mind…mostly Meereen) and as frustrated as we get with him, we *want* this stuff. No, maybe we don’t need 80 characters’ names and their bannermen but we want some time and thought put into the plot. Jon has no reason to be up there, his merry band of ragtag idiots shouldn’t be up there, no one should have supported him, and no dragons should be there. This is just bad writing, and I’m not saying that the Others could never kill a dragon – they might! That might be a thing that happens! But let’s get there in a way that makes some sense in-world. This is a series that has shone most when it is saying “what if plot armor disappeared and good and evil are hazier” and this season has mostly thrown that out and I’m UH-NOYED.
I was pretty mad on Twitter about the script and a dude who doesn’t follow me got mad about *my* getting mad about the script and legit quote-tweeted me and said “well why don’t you write one” and sometimes, the internet is just great
He also thought I was a dude because my AVI is Jon gosh darn do I love the internet
And then, of course, we have “what if Ashton Eaton were in Frozen” as a plot device, we lose a dragon (who later gets dragged out of the water with chains WHERE DID THE CHAINS COME FROM), Dany is like *Kate Winslet voice* “Jon… Jon, there’s a boat” and Jon is like nnnnnnaahhhhh and STAYS ON THE GROUND TO KEEP FIGHTING THESE GUYS WHY like yes Jon has a consistent self-sacrifice-boner but this is stupid even for him and then WHOOOOSH goes the rescue dragon and CLANG goes the plot armor onto Mr. Snow and he falls in the lake but like the Right Proper Lad he is he comes back out and then BENJEN IS THERE BECAUSE????
*Niall Horan voice*
Cold, Coldhaaaands /
Like plot droppin’ off the edge of nonsense /
No, no chaaaaance /
That I’m leavin’ here on that same horsie
You do not make Joseph Mawle keep that beard for 7 years to treat him like this, you do NOT
This was so badddddd uugggghhh like guys I have seen several Sharknado movies and there was less deus ex machina in them
Okay that is an outright lie BUT IT IS GETTING CLOSE
Whatever the opposite of Mayweather v. Macgregor is
No one wants to see this fight you manipulative uncreative douchebags
Sophie and especially Maisie acting the hell out of this scene with its trash lines
I really do appreciate the cast of this show for all the work they do – even the actors that I think are towards the bottom of the list (Emilia – I’m so sorry boo but I don’t always love what you do) still are like, well above-average, and I am rarely mad at them – they don’t get to edit their scripts.
A million pardons to my long-suffering husband during this scene, because I was just basically chanting “buuuuuullshit, buuuuullllshit” like a drunk Packers fan throughout this whole scene, and I lost it when I thought Arya was gonna stab Sansa. WHY. WOULD. THAT. HAPPEN. Arya, go find Jon. Help Sansa. Kill Littlefinger. Spar with Brienne some more. Hide Bran’s weed. Do literally ANYTHING THAT MAKES SENSE.
The SS Jonaerys
Again, tiny moment I liked: Kit saying he’s sorry to Dany
As much as the past 3 seasons have been a bit of a mess for Jon’s plotting, they’ve resulted in some really nice moments for Kit, who I maintain and have maintained is a genuinely great actor who is trying his damnedest to bring this character to life. And Emilia actually did quite great here as well, in terms of conveying what the writers wanted her to convey. They’re reading their lines correctly, and we’re feeling sad and uplifted and weirdly pro-incest because they’re doing a heck of a job, but this is not what the lines should be. Dany is really just super psyched that she knows what she’s up against, Others-wise? I ain’t buying it. This girl lost her shit in Qarth when her dragons went missing and I am 0% buying it that she wants in Jon’s 28-inch inseam pants bad enough to be like “no biggie, sometimes you gotta lose dragons to make dragons, ya feel?” I DO NOT FEEL. I’m also not super involved with this ship, mostly because I think Jon is still too dead inside (like both from Ygritte and from, y’know, the dying thing) to love anyone else, and I think Dany would see Jon as an appealing ally but not her sun and stars. I’m just not having it, but I’m fully aware that everyone else wants them to bang like real bad and I’m aware that I’m just grumpy and ready to hate things quickly.
And now on Sunday we’re on the last episode, and some garbage is gonna happen, including, I’m guessing, Euron, and I am V V GRUMPY. THE GRUMPIEST.
The only thing I am hoping for is a heartstrings-tugging Brienne and Jaime moment. Just give me this, show. You owe me.
For a glimpse of how this could have all been so much better, I enjoyed this script rewrite by Timothy Burke: http://blogs.swarthmore.edu/burke/blog/2017/08/24/game-of-rewrites/ (I only read through episode 6 because I’m not sure if he read the script leaks before writing the episode 7 rewrite, and I didn’t want to get spoiled for the TV show. But episodes 1-6 are so substantially improved.)
Ohhhh, I like this lots and lots. Thank you for sharing!