There have been a lot of complaints this season about the unrealistic timelines on Game Of Thrones. How voyages that once took months if not years are now happening in five minutes, sometimes less. It didn’t really bother me until last night. They’re cramming so much into these last two shortened seasons that there’s no time to breathe and to process. Most insultingly though, they’re trying to make so many things happen that they’re introducing some crazy ass schemes in order to get there.
Now we know, for example, why they had to go north of the Wall – ostensibly to capture a zombie to show Cersei so that she might calm her bloodlust and join their crusade (as IF and what everyone, but EVERYONE, already called the dumbest plot ever last week) but, really, to ….
…..sacrifice a dragon, thereby reducing Daenerys’s firepower by 30%. And increase the dead army’s threat by a lot more than 30%. It was just a really bullsh-t way to go about it, you know?
But more than that, for me anyway, the reason this episode doesn’t work is because the Night King doesn’t work. Nothing that happens in Zombie North is ever as interesting as what happens at Winterfell and at King’s Landing. The threat that these siblings pose to each other will always be more compelling than the threat that the Night King poses to literally everyone. Because we know them. We have watched them grow and suffer and claw their way back. We understand their motivations, their manipulations. What is the Night King’s motivation? Does he have motivations? Presumably, hopefully, yes. There must be some history there about his origins, who he used to be, why he’s so determined to get past the Wall. And if that’s the case, eventually they’ll tell us. But with only 7 episodes remaining in total before the end of the series altogether, is that enough nuance? We’ve had over 70 hours to know all the players who remain on the board, to care about each and every one of them. And right now their time is being shared with a dude who is, supposedly, just pure evil, the primary villain whose primary identifying characteristic is that he’s “the bad guy”. Well, right now, “the bad guy” is boring. When your “bad guy” is boring, you start to resent that he’s taking away what’s left of what we get from the people who aren’t boring. Like Sansa and Arya Stark, the Krystal Carrington and Alexis Colby of Winterfell.
Couldn’t you have used about 10 more minutes of Sansa and Arya circling and snapping at each other? Sibling rivalry will never go out of style in storytelling – it’s been with us from the beginning, from Cain and Abel, to the now, in Liam and Noel Gallagher. This is why, after so many decades, we remain so fascinated by the bitter feud between Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine. And it’s also why there’s been so much intrigue in the dynamic between Jacqueline Kennedy and Lee Radziwill. Who gives a sh-t about f-cking zombies when Sansa’s snarling at Arya and Arya’s telling her sister to watch her back while Littlefinger’s twirling his moustache over in the corner? I mean I have a hard time believing that after everything she learned in Braavos, Arya would be played so easily by Baelish but even this is amazing because while there is no greater girl sh-t than sister girl sh-t, there’s also no greater partnership than sister partnership. And I feel like this might reveal itself to be the con of a lifetime, the ultimate plot devised by Sansa and Arya together to bring down one of Westeros’s most cunning minds. That is, of course, if Sansa can avoid the fate of her stupid asshole mother and see through Baelish for what he is. So far, obviously, it’s not looking good. But I quite like the parallel here between Sansa and Daenerys. Both are actively ignoring the counsel of their trusted advisors, Brienne and Tyrion. What will the consequences be?
How much did you love that little slumber party conversation between Daenerys and Tyrion though? He likes you and you like him. No I don’t! Ok but does he really? OMG how can you tell? Yes, Daenerys likes Jon Snow and Jon Snow likes Daenerys and he bent the knee for her but in bed while holding her hand and she just told him that they don’t have to use condoms ….so when are they going to f-ck? Game Of Thrones is setting us up to want Daenerys and Jon to fall in love. This is clearly where they’re leading us. But… if that’s what we WANT, what actually do we NEED? We probably don’t need an aunt f-cking her nephew being that incest on this show has led to mayhem and Joffrey. What we need then is what’s being foretold. That guy who’s come back to life 6 times told Jon that the two of them have to keep dying until they get to their final death. And this seems to be Jon’s final mission: he’s resigned himself to give up his life for the life of others – which could include the life of the woman he can’t love. It’s not like he hasn’t done it before. He walked away from the girl I call Gidget to get back to the Wall. And he f-cking LOVED Gidget. If he was willing to let go of her, well before he fully appreciated the scope of the Night King’s powers, he’d probably be willing to let go of Daenerys to save mankind. Maybe that’s enough to save her soul in the end. And she can end up with Jorah, who will have to spend the rest of his life knowing that he’s second place, FOREVER. Because if they’re determined to save him (WHYYYYYY do we have to lose a dragon but he gets a hand up onto Drogon? Jesus Christ, DROP HIM!) then I would prefer that he survives loving a woman whose heart will never, ever, ever be his. Creeper.
Next week: the King’s Landing Battle Royale to finish Season 7. Have you seen the trailer yet? It looks like it’s blazing sun at King’s Landing. And there’s Jon Snow wearing all his furs. Can we please get him a summer wardrobe? (Also, MY GOD Daenerys’s silver winter cape, MY GOD.) Speaking of wardrobe, at first I thought Cersei was wearing pants and striding up to face her adversaries with her hands in her pockets which would have been SO badass. Upon subsequent viewings, she’s just hitching up her skirt so that it doesn’t drag. Still, it’s a great outfit.