Monday, April 22, 2019

Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Last week I found the season premiere, “Winterfell,” underwhelming. Consisting almost entirely of reunions and introductions between characters that have spent a long time apart, the only substantial plot development involved Sam telling Jon about his true parentage. Other critics described it glowingly as an episode about the calm before the storm, but on the whole, I thought the episode seemed like an extended bout of fan service. So why, then, is “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” which also has its fair share of reunions and introductions, and which also features very few plot developments, a much more substantive and satisfying episode?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1, “Winterfell”

For all the hype leading up to this final, abbreviated season of Game of Thrones, “Winterfell” is largely a subdued, piece-moving episode, consisting almost entirely of reunions and introductions between characters as they gather at Winterfell in preparation for the Night King’s invasion. These reunions and introductions are like an extension of the armistice summit from last season’s finale, extended to the characters who were absent from it, namely Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Sam. Now that all almost all of the major and minor characters are concentrated in Winterfell (aside from the handful remaining in King’s Landing), such reunions and introductions were inevitable, and it seems like showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss just decided to get almost all of them out of the way in "Winterfell" to pave the way for what will hopefully be more propulsive subsequent episodes.