Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Things I don’t get about the Game of Thrones Season 7 Finale

This blogpost contains spoilers

So for background: I picked up Game of Thrones when it was around its second season. Once I’d back-watched it, I read all the books and I’ve watched ever since. And I’m one of those annoying fans who thinks the show has gone downhill since the show passed the end of the books. I don’t know – it just seems so safe nowadays; you never really feel concerned for the wellbeing of the good or ‘popular’ characters. I’m also quite troubled by the fact that the makers of the show are apparently about to wrap everything up in a neat little bow in one more season, because George RR Martin’s books are sprawling and untidy and it just doesn’t feel like we’re even approaching the end yet. I wonder if the books will be different, or maybe never even be written now, which will be sad.

Anyway, ignoring all my misgivings, I’ve been able to enjoy season 7, despite a few plot holes and the weirdly fast pace. But this week’s finale left me speechless for all the wrong reasons and I just had to write about it because I have questions, so without further ado, here are all the things I just don’t understand about season 7 of Game of Thrones.

Who is still interested in Theon Greyjoy?
Nothing about this baffling scene made any sense to me. It’s conceivable that, having had his forgiveness from Jon, Theon suddenly felt compelled to go on a mission to save his sister from his uncle. Fine. Although there’s really no explanation for why Theon was brought with everybody else to King’s Landing in the first place – he’s not exactly a help, is he? But okay, let’s brush over that, and skip to the fight scene with Harrag. In the old, George R R Martin days, this would have been the end of Theon, and the lesson would have been that there is no catharsis and life is cruel. But now, in the days where good seemingly always triumphs over evil, it turns out that being a eunuch and being hit in the balls gives you magic powers and you can knock someone out in one punch. Okay, fine, so far, so stupid. But even if we accept this unlikely outcome, why does Harrag’s death mean all the other Ironborn agree to follow Theon on his stupid journey?  They were all laughing at him a second ago, so they clearly don’t particularly care about Yara - why the sudden loyalty, as if Harrag was holding them hostage? Why don’t they all just attack him (he’s clearly weakened) instead? And even more importantly, why does the viewer care? I was actually hoping Theon would die – it would’ve been a brave decision by the writers to kill off a relatively well-liked character, and also, what’s the point of his plotline? Surely the outcome of Game of Thrones is not going to be that Theon and Yara live because the White Walkers can’t swim. I really refuse to believe that George RR Martin wrote a 7 book epic to lecture us on the importance of swimming lessons.

When did Arya and Sansa plot the death of Littlefinger?
I kind of don’t want to complain about this, because it was such a great moment seeing Littlefinger get his comeuppance, and probably my favourite scene in the whole finale. But it bothered me that we didn’t get any further explanation. Could we not even get any flashbacks to explain how this collusion between Arya, Sansa, and – seemingly – Bran – occurred? I understand that Arya realised the note Littlefinger put in Sansa’s room was planted there for her to find. But was Littlefinger, then, supposedly watching them the entire time? That whole scene that happened in last week’s episode where Arya threatened to kill Sansa and steal her face – was that staged? When did Bran get involved? If Littlefinger is so sneaky then where was he when all this was happening? It was a great twist, but – dare I say it – a bit farfetched.

What’s up with Bran’s patchy powers?
And speaking of Bran – I don’t fully understand his three-eyed-raven powers. So he can remember things that happened in the past, and what’s happening now – but how does he channel that, exactly? He’d realised Jon wasn’t a Snow, but thought he was a Sand instead – why? Why hadn’t he looked back and seen Rhaegar and Lyanna’s marriage before, if he could? Does he need to be ‘triggered’ into seeing things (i.e. by Sam bringing it up?) If he can see everything that’s happening then surely he could see, for example, Cersei being a traitor, and could warn the others, but this never seems to happen. I feel like we really need more explanation here.

Why did Sam steal Gilly’s news?
This is just a small and petty point, but was the actress who played Gilly just not available when they filmed the finale or something? The scene in which Gilly read to Sam from the book about Rhagear and Lyanna made it really clear that Sam wasn’t paying any attention and yet suddenly he can recite it word-for-word to Bran. Even if somehow it had seeped into  his brain, he could’ve given her a bit of credit. Rude. (Although I did love his comedy response to Bran being the three-eyed raven, showing GoT still knows how to have a bit of fun with itself).

Is Cersei going soft?
Firstly, old Cersei would’ve killed Tyrion. She’s basically wanted him dead since birth, and then he killed her Dad and she blames him for the death of her children. Both Tyrion and Jamie think she’s going to kill him. The only explanation for Cersei not killing Tyrion is that seeing the wight terrified her, that she realises she can’t win against a.) dead people or b.) Dany-and-her-dragons, and some maternal instinct has made her want to get a bit of protection for herself and her unborn baby. In other words, letting Tyrion live kind of made sense if Cersei really had been planning to march her armies north.
But, of course, she wasn’t and it was all a plot. Which again, I don’t really buy. When she did speak to Euron? He stormed off in the middle of the meeting and I thought the implication was that he was leaving immediately, so did he like, stop to say goodbye or something? Or was this planned? And why does Cersei even think having a tonne of gold is going to help? Is she just absolutely batshit crazy at this point?
Killing Tyrion would’ve been an absolutely classic George RR Martin move; getting rid of a beloved character trying to do the right thing, outraging the audience. But this show just doesn’t seem brave enough to do that anymore and I never got the sense he was in any real danger. Same with Jamie – again, it would’ve been a truly shocking moment if she’d had him killed, but you just knew she wouldn’t. The whole plot seems contrived to keep all the characters alive, just like Jamie being pushed into a convenient river when Dany’s dragons were about to kill him. None of it is in character with Cersei’s previous behaviour at all.

Do you buy Dany and Jon’s sudden love?
Right – is it only me who thinks there just wasn’t enough build up to this relationship? A couple of meaningful looks when Jon was nearly killed, a bit of unfortunate honesty on Jon’s part and suddenly they’re in bed together? It’s almost as if the audience expected it, and so it happened. I could’ve really shipped this couple, but their getting together felt almost anti-climatic. Let’s just ignore the incest aspect, because that was actually quite cleverly done – I just mean, I didn’t really feel the chemistry. They were two quite nice looking people and suddenly they got together, despite Jon only recently losing Ygritte and Dany losing Dario. I don’t entirely buy it. Also, what was the point of Tyrion lurking outside looking worried? I thought it was meant to signify that he fancied Dany, which is a bit of a curveball. My husband thought it was just Tyrion wondering about what this means for the future, or something. I hope they explain it in the next season because it really wasn’t clear at this point.

Ooh did they die? Probably not..
And finally, with their one chance to be brave and kill off Tormund or Dondarrion or indeed both, the show wimped out yet again and left it on a cliff hanger which seems to undoubtedly imply that both characters have miraculously survived (as you saw other, unknown members of the Nightwatch dying, but the fates of both T and D not shown). Let’s not stop to wonder how two men on a wall that was literally being blown up by a dragon could survive, but just assume that somehow they did, because that’s what GoT does these days. Sigh.

Anyway, apart from that, it was great.

What did you think of the Season 7 finale?  


  1. You have summed up all the questions and confusion I had after watching the finale really well! It was quite predictable (I called the Cersei betrayal!), however Jamie & Tyrion pulling through did surprise me. And agreed, the Littlefinger scene was the highlight! x

  2. Amen to that! The show makers really gave the audience 'what it wants' this season. We basically got all the reunions and plot lines we hoped for.
    On Tyrion: I assumed your husband's theory. On Jon and Dany: totally agree with you. Though I was happy that they were finally brave enough to show naked bodies! The dirty-scene ratio really plummeted lately, which used to be part of the show's ID.

    Anyway, still love the show. Hah!


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