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Just a quick Daario update before we get to the meat of this update: Ed Skrein (the OG Daario and my personal fave because at least they gave him interesting hair) just accepted and then turned down a role in the Hellboy reboot because the character is not white. I’m not familiar with the series or the character, but I do want to link you to his response, which is just A++++. Some points knocked off for his not doing the research beforehand to know that the character has a Japanese heritage, but yo, my boy, you did so good. This is what we need. Ed, you were always my favorite Daario. Back to Thrones.
I didn’t hate this episode, mostly because I genuinely liked the scene in the dragon pit and several of the others, but this episode and this season are like, Vin Diesel-movie subtle. And I *like* Vin Diesel. I see his films. But if I go in expecting Pride and Prejudice and what I get is the Return of Xander Cage, I’m gonna be a bit miffed.
Specifics on the miffed, below
The Centralizing of the Plot – Minor
Okay I’m like, a little dumb, but I honestly was not sure if we were at Highgarden or King’s Landing for the first few minutes because I’m dumb and confused and was like “yeah, maybe we gave Highgarden to Bronn because *shrug*”. And of course, we couldn’t be telling human stories in a fantasy world if we didn’t say “cock” like 80 times an episode. Props to Ramin Djawadi for the intro music; not as intense as season 6’s finale, but boy howdy I was appropriately nervous and he’s just consistently been phenomenal across the board.
I’m not totally sold on Sandor suddenly being The Dude Who Pokes the Wights. Don’t throw rocks, don’t knock on box, good boy.
And then we had the most depressing college reunion ever where the theme was “Holy Shit You’re Still Alive? No Way”
Again, some of this dialogue reads like fanfiction one-shots, but these I at least didn’t hate: they were fanfiction in that these people shouldn’t meet, but they were kinda good in that yeah, that’s how we’d talk. Pod and Tyrion was not huge for me, but it was cute – like, you know when the ringbearer at a wedding kinda gets distracted halfway down the aisle and then rallies? That level of cute. I love Pod.
And another thing I didn’t know I needed? Brienne and Sandor chattin’ about how good their little murderpuppy is doing. I don’t know why I liked this so much but boy howdy are they both enormous cuties in this despite trying to punch each other to death the last time they met.
And ANOTHER THING we almost got Cleganebowl but that will have to wait I suppose but at least they are like, clearly heading in the direction of Cleganebowl and I will follow this with the intensity of a 35-year-old American dude named Tony Gallagher following the Mayweather-McGregor fight.
As much as I was giggling over Dany showing up 15 minutes late with Starbucks and a dragon, I have to be honest – if I had dragons, I would show up to like, brunch, riding a dragon. I feel this aesthetic. Like I’m not sure it was the best move if you’re going in to a discussion to ask for help or an alliance (like beyond bringing a gun to a knife fight, you brought a gun to like, a UN summit about nuclear weapons) but let she who is without stupid aesthetic decisions in her past cast the first Dragonstone.
The Centralization of the Plot – Major
So you don’t have to sit here and read this trying to figure out if I liked this scene – I actually liked this scene. I really did. Once I accepted that this stupid plot, which I still say is stupid (it lost you a dragon, you idiots), I decided to see how they’d handle this consolidation of storylines, and as far as the big scene in the pit went, it was great.
We obviously have to give Jacked-Up Sparrow, the Octopus Fuckface a line (BUT DO WE, GUYS, REALLY?) about how he’s still got Yara and I still hate him with the fire of a thousand on-fire ships that he shouldn’t have but watching everyone look at him like “the fuck u on, m8” was pretty A+. He’s a dude who wasn’t even invited to the meeting and then starts running it and we have to get him for another season whyyyy. I truly hope he dies in a nightclub in Essos because he looked at the girlfriend of some tracksuit-wearing low-level mob muscle.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG
Hope was bubbling when Tyrion took this meeting over, because as much as Cersei hates his face, he was the best person to run this conference call and he was doing his damnedest and just, excellent Tyrion-ing.
I was genuinely nervous about the wight being DEAD-dead and then Sandor flipped over the crate and it was like EEEEE and holy shit, guys, I was legitimately scared, that was a creepy af scene nicely done, show. I was also obviously pleased because I thought Euron was gone but then reality came crashing back in.
Jon then went on to do the most Jon thing ever in the world and instead of lying or just shutting his goddamn mouth after Cersei says “I will help you and literally leave the North alone” he’s gotta be like “sorry I pledged my life and penis to Daenerys already” and you can just see everyone around him being like “GODDAMN IT JON, WHEN WE SAID ‘YOU COULDN’T BE MORE NED-LIKE IF YOU TRIED’ IT WASN’T A CHALLENGE YOU ADORABLE POUTING IDIOT.” He has already survived an actual death from being too noble, Sansa has begged him to not be like their dad, he literally should be dead if there were no plot armor because aaaaaaare you kidding me with the Benjen stuff and then he goes and does the absolute most. I get that he had to do this, but I really preferred when he was subtly Ned-like, not like, move-to-Sheffield-join-the-Fellowship Ned-like. Same general complaint as the rest of the show this season and last – we’ve lost all subtlety.
Well, okay, perhaps not all. I quite enjoyed Brienne and Jaime yelling at each other. Part of this is because oh holy God do I love them both and the show was arguably at its best for both their characters back in Season 3 but to hear Brienne yell “fuck loyalty” was a hhhhhell of a thing. This is a woman who still feels guilt over her promise to a dead woman about her two children who are alive and okay and is actively holding a sword named Oathkeeper and she *still* yells “fuck loyalty.” And Jaime reacts confusedly, of course! I may have read more layers into this than I should have, but I pictured Brienne needing to yell and swear at Jaime, both for appearances, and because she seems him walking away to his death, if he doesn’t listen. And Jaime’s change in facial expressions to have every emotion, and UGH I just really love Nikolaj and Gwen and GAHHHH THIS STUPID, PROBABLY THROWAWAY SCENE TOUCHED MY HEART.
The Centralization of the Plot – Minor
And then it got…not great, here, guys. I’ll delve into this in a second but raise your hand if you would just straight-up pee your pants if Gregor Clegane was anywhere near you YEP okay that’s what I thought literally every hand in the world
I’ve seen several reviews that praise Lena and Peter for this scene, and maybe I’m the only one who hated it, buuuuut I kinda did. It felt like every other conversation that Cersei has had or Tyrion has had to another person but now they’re just yelling at each other and Cersei does the trademarked pet-the-belly move of a pregnant woman. I’m not buying that Cersei thinks Tywin was holding everything together, especially since she thinks so highly of herself, and girl, I own dental floss thicker than the connecting threads of your “you killed Dad so my kids are dead” theory. Your kids are dead due to a combination of people overreacting and the fucking canon so hard it can’t walk straight. Tyrion did love Myrcella and Tommen but oh my God, some things are legitimately not Tyrion’s fault. This scene was like Bluth Family Russian Roulette and I am just so sick of hearing the same arguments yelled at different people.
Yes, I’ve seen people argue that she is playing Tyrion with every line, but 1. I don’t think she’s that good at playing 2. like, objectively, some of those things are things she really believes, and 3. I’m right you’re wrong this is my blog. Kidding. Sort of. I’m happy to hear other thoughts but bleh. Also her hem was a mess. Ours is the Pettiness.
And then to zoom back to The Most Conveniently Placed Tiny Dragon Skull Ever (really, girl, that was just *laying* on the *ground*)
We spent so much time early on in the season explaining how Tyrion and Varys are gonna Tell It Like It Is and They’re the Realtalk Guys and neither of them wanted to be like “okay just for argument’s sake let’s say the witch who murdered your husband and unborn child is not the best OB/GYN and we should maybe get a second opinion.” Like, it took Jon Snow indirectly asking if he needed to wear a condom for someone to ask her if she’s sure on the fertility thing? Also I feel like Dany might be mad if she legit can have kids because “my dragons are the only children I’ll ever have” has been her Brand for so long I don’t know what she’ll do with it now.
The Worst Thing This Season Did
Oh, thank God, Baelish is dead and I don’t have to watch this fucking disaster of a plot anymore. While yes, watching him become TakenAbackWhiteGuyBlinking.gif was delicious, and watching Petyr die like Catelyn was A Thing, and Sansa’s “I’m a slow learner, but I learn” was just absolute *chef kissing noises* SOPHIE YOU VICIOUS UNICORN, and Arya swinging the blade that Baelish used to start this whole thing was delightful, STILL, if you look beyond the delish Stark retribution, this plot falls apart like consistency in Stark kids’ accents.
We learned nothing new from Arya Pink-Panthering around the set and vaguely threatening Sansa. We learned nothing from Baelish during all those conversations Sansa had with him pretending she didn’t know what to do. None of this season with these two girls changed anything, and I’m not pleased with B&W smugly pulling a 5-episode long bait-and-switch just to show how tricksy they can be. And how did they find this stuff out? Did Bran tell them? Did Arya sneak and find out anything? Did Sansa get Baelish to confess? How is it treason to start a war with a dead king from a throne you no longer acknowledge? I just… sigh. He needed to die, he needed to die like 3 seasons ago, and this season was a goddamn waste of Stark women. This scene was fan service that the fans only asked for out of desperation because you starved us with trash for half a season.
God, and there’s been dragons swooping and fleets sailing and kingdoms changing hands and we wasted half a season on this hairy hardboiled egg motherfucker with his Dwight Schrute lines of “I play a little game” oh my GOD, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CARE ABOUT THIS TRASHHEAP OF A CHARACTER AND YOU MADE SOPHIE AND MAISIE REVOLVE AROUND HIM FOR NO REASON
Just because you serve me creme brulée for dessert, it doesn’t mean that I’ll forget you’ve served me spaghetti made from gardening hoses for dinner for 4 weeks in a row
Tying up the Loose Ends
It took wayyyyy too long for Jaime to get to his “She protec she attac she stab me in the bac” reasoning for Cersei, but had it been pulled up and transported to a different, better season, I would have truly enjoyed it. Lena and Nikolaj are in top form here, with Cersei throwing all her weight into “fuck literally everyone else” and just, unf. And while this scene didn’t go full Valonqar on us yet, it set up the option. I bought what they were selling – that Jaime legitimately can’t deal with Cersei straight-up abandoning everyone, including potentially Jaime, herself, and their baby, to the dead. And oooh, I actually got legitimately nervous when Gregor unsheathed the sword. Nikolaj acted the helllllll out of this scene, and while I think he’s gonna get Emmy snubbed, I really wish he got something for his acting in this mediocre season. “I don’t believe you” was a goddamn beautiful thing to witness, and just…thank you, show. You did good.
Theon was… I don’t know. Again, can we just leave him alone? Bro weighs like 90 pounds, he’s missing fingers, and he has more repressed trauma than the rest of this show’s characters combined, and you’re wasting several minutes of a shortened season on his identity crisis and a fight he should objectively lose. Also, for all those in the audience with a penis – even if you *don’t* have one, you know what still hurts? Getting kneed between your legs. This is strike two for urogenital care in this episode and there are Republican state senators with a better understanding of how that area works. The Greyjoys have a way of just shutting that whole thing down, and I guess we’re off to Essos to save Yara who is, if this show is even close to correct, absolutely dead. But as always we insist on wasting screen time on trash and Gendry is hard at work smelting your faves’ plot armor so by all means, continue.
Y’all Jonerys shippers (editorial note: gross) got what you wanted, and the rest of us got what we wanted, which was Jon Snow’s butt. Is the Valyrian gender-neutral enough that it could be prince, princess, or ass that was promised? Just wondering. Also with this show’s ice pick sense of subtlety, Dany is def pregnant. And why is Tyrion sad? Did they sexile him?
Cool so Sam traveled literally the farthest it is possible to travel in a minute to talk to Bran??? about some stuff??? They’re the only two people in the kingdom who know everything and yes, I get that we’d have to resolve this somehow but in a 7 episode season, there’s no way this was gonna feel anything but rushed. Also we missed out on what could have been a great scene with Sam and Gilly where Sam turns to her like “wait who what now about an annulment” and she reads it to him and then he properly gives her credit when talking to Bran. As Samwell Tarly would do, because he is good and pure and I love John Bradley so much. I was wrong about Rhaegar and Lyanna, as I was pretty sure he did force her away with him a bit, so my bad. And yes, I know Rhaegar was super into prophecy/superstition but you really gonna call your one baby Aegon and then your sidebaby…also Aegon? Pete and Pete barely worked as a kids’ show, don’t do that, guys. And again, this scene could have worked better, probably, if we were allowed any kind of buildup, which they did! In Season 6! With Bran! Quite well! The scenes building up Lyanna and Ned and Dayne and the Tower of Joy and “promise me” were very, very good, and we smashed that all together for a shortened season and Medieval Siri voice-over. Bleh.
Viserion: It’s Very *ICE* to See You
I’m assuming here that Tormund and Beric are alive and they had better be because this show owes me Tormund, it *OWES ME*
This was hella gorgeous, and zero percent surprising. I wouldn’t even have been mad about a wight dragon in the long run, especially since I think that’s actually maybe one of the ways the Wall would come down, but we lost the dragon in a non-event that I’m still mad about. Also how quick do dragon wings deteriorate because like bro you got holes in there and it’s been like 3 days. You need those to fly.
Anyway. Visually stunning but not surprising, and *shrugs*. *Shrugs* is probably my best summary of this season. It should have been 10 episodes; things got rushed. I have emotions.
It’s been real, kids, and again, if you have enjoyed this and have an extra dollar or two floating around, I will gladly accept.