Monday, August 28, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 7, “The Dragon and the Wolf”

After all of the problems with story logic and character behavior in last week’s episode, “The Dragon and the Wolf” is for the most part a pleasant return to form: a series of satisfying narrative turns and excellent scenes, many of which are in competition for the strongest of the episode. It doesn’t completely justify all of the nonsense parts of “Beyond the Wall,” but it reveals the problems of that episode to be mere hiccups rather than fatal flaws. Add to that the resolution of one prominent plotline, and the laying out of a clear path for the final six episodes, and “The Dragon and the Wolf” is largely an excellent season finale.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6, “Beyond the Wall”

There’s a lot to enjoy about “Beyond the Wall,” including another fight involving dragons, suspenseful action, some nice character interactions, and more terrifying developments with the Night King. However, as fun as these things are there’s also a lot to bemoan about this episode, which suffers from some plot developments that reveal the machinations of previous episodes to be mere delaying tactics, as well as really clunky and poorly motivated interactions between characters in Winterfell.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5, "Eastwatch"

After last week’s thrills, this week features another piece-moving episode. Unsurprisingly, Jaime survives his plunge into the lake, but I was disappointed to find him escaping capture by the Dothraki, as I thought it would deprive us of the Lannister reunion I had hoped for. Thankfully, we still get that reunion later in the episode, just under different circumstances. And considering what Daenerys decides to do with her prisoners, it’s ultimately a good thing.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4, “The Spoils of War”

Well, what a marvelous twenty minutes of television the end of this episode is! After three episodes of Daenerys and company twiddling their thumbs at Dragonstone, slowly bleeding allies and resources in a failed war of attrition, Daenerys finally takes to heart Olenna’s parting advice about being a dragon, and strikes at Cersei’s forces in a thrilling and fulfilling twenty-minute battle. This scene is extraordinary, featuring everything I want out of a large-scale confrontation involving dragons and important characters on both sides of the conflict. Its combination of epic scope and riveting character moments is Game of Thrones at its absolute best, offering up grandeur, majesty, suspense, and surprise unparalleled elsewhere on television.