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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x07: The Dragon and the Wolf



Opening Credits Map

King's Landing -> Dragonstone -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Eastwatch -> Old Town

King's Landing
Well, if your dream was to see nearly all the main characters assemble in one area then your wish has been granted. We get banter between Tyrion and Bronn and the Hound and Brienne. Also, Podrick the Pink Taco Pounder talked with Bronn. Bronn mentioned the Casanova's “magic cock.” There it was. Five or so seasons of setup have finally paid off.

Daenerys and her allies meet with Cersei and her allies. The Hound makes sure the Mountain and everybody watching knows that they will have a showdown. There's more banter back and forth with Cersei thinking the talk of an invading White Walker army being some sort of ploy by Daenerys. That's when the Hound releases the captured zombie and Cersei is suitably scared and shows more emotion than I thought she'd allow herself to.

Euron wants no part of this and declares that he's sailing back to the Iron Islands where the White Walkers can't get him. Cersei agrees to a truce with Daenerys provided that Jon Snow vows to completely withdraw from this war and never aid Daenerys. Jon Snow, of course, says he can't do that because Daenerys is now his queen. Being too honest and letting love get in the way of your politicking? That's two Stark mistakes for the price of one!

So, Cersei is pissed and storms off and Daenerys is screwed. Either she continues to battle Cersei and let the White Walker destroy Westeros or she fights the White Walkers and have Cersei regain all the land she lost. Tyrion gently suggests that Jon Snow learn to lie every once in a while, but Jon Snow counters that lying when politically convenient is how we ended with Trump. So, the only hope is Tyrion talking sense into Cersei...which seems like an ill-advised plan. Although, that's kind of Tyrion's MO at this point.

Tyrion first talks with Jaime, who failed in convincing Cersei to help fight the White Walkers himself. They both admit they're fools. Tyrion says goodbye to Jaime as he possibly walks to his death.

Tyrion doesn't die of course. But Cersei talks about how White Walkers could overrun Westeros and she'd be fine with that as long as her family was safe, as if the only point to life is living. But I digress. They banter back and forth until Cersei tips Tyrion off that she's pregnant.

Tyrion returns to Daenerys and company and Cersei is close behind. Cersei not only agrees to the truce but is willing to provide troops in the fight against the White Walkers. I'd really like to have seen the rest of that Tyrion/Cersei conversation! Anyway, everyone leaves happy.

Later, Jaime is forming a battle plan for the fight against the White Walkers. Cersei interrupts him so as to inform him that she doesn't have any intention of helping in the fight against the White Walkers because of course she doesn't. The whole “Euron fleeing” thing was cover for Euron to go to Essos and get the Golden Company mercenary group. With the new army, they will then take back all the lands Daenerys has taken from Cersei.

Jaime is all, “da fuck you talking about?” But Cersei is insistent. So, Jaime says that obviously the White Walkers are the most important thing to deal with and they promised to help so he is damn well going to help.

Cersei is displeased. She seems to be about to give the order to the Mountain to kill Jaime and I'm thinking this is going to be the end of him. But, she doesn't do it and lets Jaime go riding off to meet up with the light side.

Dragonstone
Daenerys and company discuss traveling to Winterfell. Jorah would like Daenerys to fly their since some northerners may try to kill her. However, Daenerys and Jon Snow would prefer to arrive by boat, together, with their hands in the back pocket of each other's jeans. So that's the plan they go with.

Later, Theon talks with Jon Snow about how shitty he is. Theon apologizes and Jon Snow is all, “Eh, it's cool. No worries. I wanted you dead a few episodes ago but I've cooled off.” Theon is happy but still feels bad about abandoning Yara. If that's the case, Jon Snow wants to know why the hell Theon is even still in Dragonstone.

So, Theon catches up with the leftover Yara seamen before they sail off. He says they should all go save Yara. They say Theon is a stupid coward. This leads to a fight where Theon gets his butt kicked but the tide turns when the dude attempts to knee Theon in his no-crotch. Since Theon is apparently immune to such attacks now, he gains the upper hand. Theon's ability to  continually get back up after taking a beating endears him to the crew and they prepare to sail off and get Yara back.

Winterfell
Sansa is still asking for advice from Littlefinger. Will Sansa ever learn? (Yes...but we'll get to that.) Sansa is worried about Arya so Littlefinger says that she should think of what Arya's worst intentions could be. Sansa appears determined to eliminate Arya as a threat in whatever way she can.

Thus, Arya is summoned to the hall where Sansa and Wun Wun are sitting, prepared to judge her along with many Winterfell and Vale guards as well as Littlefinger. Sansa speaks of treason and murder and Arya looks like she's screwed. But Sansa is actually accusing Littlfefinger of this!

For, like, the first time in this entire series Littlefinger is caught off guard. I'm not sure why, Sansa had made it pretty clear that she never trusted him. He pleads his case to anyone who will listen but Sansa says that she's thinking of what Littlefinger's worst intentions could be. Wun Wun spills the beans on Littlefinger being behind the assassination attempt on Bran's life. (Technically, second assassination attempt, as the first was clearly committed by Jaime.)

Littlefinger tries to plead some more but Arya soon gets bored. She walks up to him and slits his throat. Thus, we say goodbye to Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.

Later, Sam arrives in town. He meets with Wun Wun and Wun Wun is all “I've kept this interesting information about Jon Snow from Sansa and Arya but, what the hell, I'll tell you.” Wun Wun tells Sam that Jon Snow is actually Jon Sand, being a bastard of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. However, Sam tells Wun Wun that he just heard that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. Wun Wun decides to check this out, goes to the past and, sure enough, they were married. Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen. He is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne!

On the Sea
Daenerys and Jon Snow have some sweet, sweet, cousin sex!

Eastwatch
Beric and Tormund are bro-ing it up on top of Eastwatch. Then they see the White Walker army marching toward the Wall. They're about to prepare for a siege but then the Night's King comes flying in on his brand-new zombie non-ice dragon. The zombie non-ice dragon uses it's super-fire breath to melt down the wall.

The White Walker army then continue their march south.

Other Thoughts
OK, I originally thought the zombie non-ice dragon WAS an ice dragon and the blue flame was actually frost. But that's been proven wrong. I even had a long discussion on how it would make sense for it to be frost breath since everything the Night's King does involves cold and ice so making a dragon's breath HOTTER didn't logically fit. Also, I made a case for the zombie non-ice dragon being an ice dragon of Westeros lore since creature designed doesn't have to transfer exactly from book to screen. But, alas, that was all for not. The zombie non-ice dragon breaths super hot flames...which you'd think the Night's King would hate but...whatever...

I just noticed this episode that King's Landing still has a stag as it's symbol on the opening map. Shouldn't it be a lion now?

Now that Greyworm and his army left Casterly Rock, who is in charge there? (Not to mention all the talk of how taking out the Unsullied's navy meant that they had to march on land across all of Westeros and would starve and get attacked and such and we saw none of that nor why it didn't happen.)

Jaime was giving shit to Tyrion for siding with Daenerys but it's not like he was given a choice...right?

I think Daenerys should've only brought one dragon to King's Landing. I was fine with her bringing all three originally but after losing Visereon, she could get away with only bringing Drogon and Cersei would be none the wiser. Bringing only two is suspicious enough to make Cersei suspect Daenerys lost one.

Euron loves to chew scenery, doesn't he?

At first, I thought the zombie was going to "Michigan J. Frog" the Hound.

You just knew Qyburn was going to be so excited at seeing that zombie.

Jon Snow mentioned dragon glass and fire as the White Walkers' weaknesses. I thought Valyrian steel was a weakness too?

So...is Cersei pregnant? I thought we got confirmation that she was when she talked to Tyrion. But now that we know her truce was all a ruse maybe she used a fake pregnancy to trick Tyrion?

I didn't think Arya was going to die, but I was starting to think Sansa would do something to screw Arya over and cause her to flee Winterfell.

Why are we still talking about who the rightful heir to the Iron Throne is? Technically, it's not Jon Snow anyway because the throne was usurped by Robert Baratheon. You can call that illegitimate but couldn't the first Targaryen ruler be considered a usurper? I thought we've gone beyond heirs anyway, so Jon Snow being the rightful heir shouldn't mean anything thematically or plot-wise.

Maybe Jon Snow should check in on his kingdom every once in a while..

I am curious on the timeline on when Sansa and Arya got on the same page.

Sam DID listen to Gilly!

So, we've come to the end of the season. Despite things feeling fast paced (two castles fell, Jon Snow was EVERYWHERE, all our heroes came together) when I think about it, not a whole lot happened. I figured that by the end of this season either Cersei or the Night's King would be taken care of but Cersei is still in charge and planning to take down Daenerys and Jon Snow is still trying to fight the Night's King. The only real difference is Daenerys has a weaker army, except she has dragons, and she's allied with Jon Snow.

What's also interesting is how relatively few main characters died. I thought this would've been a fine time for Jaime to be offed. It would've been sad but narratively satisfying. I guess what we're finding out is that no matter how much Game of Thrones was about surprising deaths, nihilism, and subverting narrative tropes, the longer its story goes the more it can't help but fall into the familiar. Suddenly, killing off a character unceremoniously is really hard to do when they've been around for THIS long. I bet more characters will die next season but those deaths will be grand and meaningful.

Beyond the lack of deaths, all the fan favorites are banding together to fight the big bad. Suddenly, Game of Thrones is feeling formulaic.

In the end, I don't think the stumbling Game of Thrones is experiencing is because they outpaced the books. I think the real problem is they decided to end the show with only two shortened seasons when that wasn't nearly enough time to wrap up this sprawling of a story.

Daenerys: I can't have children.
Jon Snow: Who told you that?
Daenerys: The witch who murdered my husband.
Jon Snow: Has it occurred to you she might not have been a reliable source of information?

Bran Stark: I became the Three-Eyed Raven.
Samwell Tarly: Oh...I do not know that that means.

Season 5 Totals
Boob Count: 3
Full Frontal Count: 1
Butt Count: 5
Coitus Count: 3
Main Character Death Count: 7 (Littlefinger, you were a shark, but your character stagnated and you know what happens when shark stops moving...)

7 comments:

  1. Actually it's aunt/nephew sweet sex.
    The best part of Littlefinger's death is when he commands the Chief Knight to bring him home safe. "Hum, nope"

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  2. "Formulaic" is a good word to describe some of this stuff. It was nice to see all these characters share a scene together for the first time, but it also felt a little forced somehow, like they felt they had to do it after all these years. Add to that stuff like Tyrion and Bronn admitting they missed each other, which felt wildly out of character, and the Hound just walking up to the Mountain and talking to him right in front of everyone, and some of this stuff seemed like they wanted force warm nostalgia onto the viewers, which is never a great approach. Let it come naturally!

    I was surprised more characters didn't die this season, too, though I loved Littlefinger's final scene. I watched it a second time after the episode was over. I thought it was all very well done and quite satisfying. I'm glad Sansa and Arya are on the same side after all.

    I also liked that Jaime did the right thing, though it was kind of funny to see him ride of utterly alone. You'd think he might have some loyalists he could've gotten to come along. But in any case, I appreciate that he gave his word and he intends to keep it, no matter what even Cersei thinks. He must realize one extra man can't make a difference in this war, but he's going for it anyway. Of all the characters, I think I've enjoyed Jaime's evolution the most over the years. From a guy would cripple a child and a murder his cousin to, dare I say it, almost a hero at this point.

    I haven't read the books, as I've said before, but at this point I've got half a mind to do so, only to eventually read the final few and see how far from the show Martin diverges.

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  3. I have seen people crazy about Game of Thrones, discussing their previous episodes and their characters and waiting for new episodes desperately as there is nothing else to wait for on TV. Since I haven't seen even a single episode of it, so can't talk much about it. But as per peoples views and the characters in it, it seems like an interesting story.

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  4. Bronn mentioned the Casanova's “magic cock.” There it was. Five or so seasons of setup have finally paid off.

    I don't think anything in the finale made me happier than imagining your reaction to the show acknowledging this plot point. :)

    Theon catches up with the leftover Yara seamen before they sail off

    Giggity?

    Theon's ability to continually get back up after taking a beating endears him to the crew and they prepare to sail off and get Yara back.

    I feel like that - his ability absorb crushing amounts of pains - moreso than his eunuch-ness, should have been more emphasized as the "super power" that enabled him to prevail. Like, sure, that guy was wailing on him, but Theon's been tortured by Ramsey Bolton, and that guy is no Ramsey Bolton...

    I'm not sure why, Sansa had made it pretty clear that she never trusted him.

    I think we're meant to see Sansa as his one blindspot. If his ultimate goal was "rule Westeros", it would be one thing, but his ultimate goal is "rule Westeros, with Sansa at his side". That extra bit was always something of a liability, and in the end, it's what cost him his life (and made him lose the game).

    Wun Wun spills the beans on Littlefinger being behind the assassination attempt on Bran's life.

    Which doesn't really work, since Littlefinger wasn't in Winterfell with the king's entourage at the start of the show (unless he planned all along to have someone kill a Stark with that dagger to forment Stark/Lannister tensions, and Jamie just selected the target in crippling Bran), but tevs.

    I just noticed this episode that King's Landing still has a stag as it's symbol on the opening map. Shouldn't it be a lion now?

    Short answer, yes. Longer in-show answer: whatever tenuous legal claim Cersei has to the throne (beyond a more basic "might makes right" claim) is through her relationship to Robert Baratheon (as his queen) and their officially legitimate Baratheon children (as the Queen Mother to two separate kings), so the stag is meant to represent that.

    Longer out-of-universe answer: apparently it's a pain in the butt to modify the credits (for some reason), and presumably they decided it wasn't worth the time/expense to change that detail of the King's Landing model.

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  5. Not to mention all the talk of how taking out the Unsullied's navy meant that they had to march on land across all of Westeros and would starve and get attacked and such and we saw none of that nor why it didn't happen.

    Presumably, the army that would have attacked them as they marched across the continent was the one Dany, Drogon and the Dothraki took out. So then it just becomes a question of time (and they did disappear for several episodes, presumably whilst marching) and food (which the show has never been terribly concerned with discussing the logistics of, though it's worth noting they would have been marching in the more fertile south, rather than the north, so presumably there was good to confiscate, though I'm sure that pissed off a fair number of small folk along the way, something that maybe would have concerned Dany or Tyrion if they weren't also trying to save said small folk from becoming ice zombies).

    Jaime was giving shit to Tyrion for siding with Daenerys but it's not like he was given a choice...right?

    Yeah, I mean, he joins up with Dany, he comes home and gets executed either for a crime he didn't commit (killing Joffrey) or one he did (killing Tywin), or he...what, drifts through Essos for the rest of his life?

    You just knew Qyburn was going to be so excited at seeing that zombie.

    I loved his science boner for that Wight. He was all "whoa, that zombie is *way* better than my zombie!"

    Jon Snow mentioned dragon glass and fire as the White Walkers' weaknesses. I thought Valyrian steel was a weakness too?

    I believe he was listing the weaknesses of the wights aka the ice zombies aka the reanimated dead, as opposed to the White Walkers aka Others aka the Night's King's posse. Fire doesn't affect them (they're too cold) but Valryian steel does (it's unclear how they react to dragon glass, at least on the show), while to the zombies, Valryian steel is still just a sword (at least, it doesn't dramatically shatter them like it does the White Walkers).

    So...is Cersei pregnant?

    Like you, I still think it remains up in the air on the show, but behind-the-scenes stuff seems to suggest she is legit preggers as far as the creators are concerned.

    I'm still 100% sure that baby is not going to make it to term/live, though.

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  6. I thought we've gone beyond heirs anyway, so Jon Snow being the rightful heir shouldn't mean anything thematically or plot-wise.

    Plot-wise, no, not really. On top of everything else you mentioned, Cersei ascending to the throne shifted things into a kind of "might makes right" scenario (since her claim is even more tenuous than Jon or Dany's). That said, a claim can help legitmize a victory, such that is Dany succeeded in overthrowing Cersei, her claim based on her relation to the previous usurped king might help cement her control over people in a way that some random person overthrowing Cersei couldn't (one of the things the show hasn't really established is that while Robert did overthrow the rightful king and take the throne for himself, the Baratheon family is an offshot of the Targaryens, and Robert had some Targaryen blood - he was a distant cousin to Aegon or something like that - which, however tenuously and clearly-self-servingly, helped solidfy his rule after the rebellion. It's also one of the reasons why Robert, and not Ned or Jon Arryn or even Tywin was crowned king after Aerys died. And if that seems farfetched, it pretty closely mimics how Henry Tudor came to be King of England).

    All that said, it's probably going to be a huge deal on a character/thematic level, simply because, however legally-enforceable it is, a big chunk of Dany's identity has been tied up for years in the idea that she's the rightful ruler of Westeros, whereas this reveal changes all that, all within the terms she's been using to define "rightful". Legal scholars and/or the small folk may not give two shits about Dany's claim to the throne at this point, but *she* does, and this changes that.

    Meanwhile, if there's two things we know about Jon, and which Jon loves reminding us, it's that he's A. Ned's son and B. a bastard, and now it turns out the twin bedrocks of his identity are both lies. I'd hope that would have some kind of impact on him.

    Which is to say nothing of how it might affect their burgeoning aunt/nephew romantic relationship, but I care significantly less about that.

    Maybe Jon Snow should check in on his kingdom every once in a while...

    I'm really starting to think Jon doesn't give two shits about his kingdom. Which I suppose makes sense, since he's always kind of viewed it as a means to an end, ie a way to help him fight off the Night King and his army.

    I am curious on the timeline on when Sansa and Arya got on the same page.

    Me too. At first, I thought they'd been in on it more or less since the beginning, but I think the idea is supposed to be that Sansa was buying what Littlefinger was selling up until their "worst motivations" conversation, at which point Sansa applied that logic to Littlefinger, rightfully got suspicious of him, and went to her human CCTV of a brother for confirmation. Apparently, they filmed a scene of her going to Bran that was cut, which is a shame.

    Sam DID listen to Gilly!

    Sort of. It sounds like the book Gilly was reading from had been transcribed by Sam, so even though he wasn't listening to her then, he had come across that information himself. Still, it would have been nice if Gilly had been in that scene to share the info herself.

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  7. Beyond the lack of deaths, all the fan favorites are banding together to fight the big bad. Suddenly, Game of Thrones is feeling formulaic.

    Yeah. And I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing. I mean, I'll take "formulaic but satisfying ending" over "convention-defying nonsensical bonkers ending".

    I don't think the stumbling Game of Thrones is experiencing is because they outpaced the books. I think the real problem is they decided to end the show with only two shortened seasons when that wasn't nearly enough time to wrap up this sprawling of a story.

    Ditto. Heck, at this point, the show has arced back around to where they're close enough to the endgame, the showrunners have some more Martin-provided plot points to work with (even if he hasn't fully fleshed them all out in published print yet). But Benioff & Weiss cutting things short because they're bored (or whatever) is a shame. Not because I just want more GoT (though I do), but because the shortened seasons are harming the story.

    I thought this would've been a fine time for Jaime to be offed. It would've been sad but narratively satisfying.

    Agreed. Him dying on the Fields of Fire earlier in the season, not so much. Him dying here, after finally breaking with Cersei and openly defying her in the name of his honor, refusing to break an oath for the good of the realm (the reverse of how he broke an oath for the good of the realm in killing Aerys), that would have given him enough of an arc and character closure to kill him in a way that was satisfying but still surprising.

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