hbo Game of Thrones, The Final Season

Myficals

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Visually, this was amazing. But the writing is what may deny this episode the Emmy.
Credit where credit's due, the show has been consistently beautiful and this episode was no exception. The cinematography, art and music direction, even the actual direction have all been top notch. That final scene of Arya and the horse was almost painterly, and the way Cleganebowl was shot, intercutting with Arya on the street was effectively done. The great tragedy and shame of the later seasons of the show has been the writing, and this episode was the nadir (so far).

Considering how it all began, it's a true shame that it's going to end like a wet fart.
 

Grandma Bates

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Credit where credit's due, the show has been consistently beautiful and this episode was no exception. The cinematography, art and music direction, even the actual direction have all been top notch. That final scene of Arya and the horse was almost painterly, and the way Cleganebowl was shot, intercutting with Arya on the street was effectively done. The great tragedy and shame of the later seasons of the show has been the writing, and this episode was the nadir (so far).

Considering how it all began, it's a true shame that it's going to end like a wet fart.

While agree with you on the aspect of its cinematography, I think you all are a bit harsh with respect to the writing:

 

Zaida Gearbox

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And I'm pissed about Clegane Bowl - it only would have been a win for the Hound - if he'd lived - even if just barely. So, IMHO - he basically lost.
 
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Beebo Brink

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At this point I'm wondering if the North storylines were "wrapped up" in Episode 4. I wouldn't put it past the showrunners -- based on the lackluster narrative plotting so far -- to never bring us back to Sansa, Brienne, Sam and Bran.

In terms of overall story arc, we have one episode left in which to resolve a major conflict with a main character. The timing is going to run short for an epilogue in which we get a sense of closure across the breadth of Westeros. Tolkien nailed that so well -- after the epic battle of the ages, he followed the characters as they made their way home, as they dealt with the aftermath of drama and faced their future. My sense is that the GoT series will end two seconds after their version of climax, with no time to savor the release.
 

OrinB

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Says it all really!

It doesn't matter how much beauty and spectacle you see on the screen visually. If the script doesn't stand up to scrutiny, then it's all turd polish!

I'm so disappointed that the intrigue and thought in the original character arcs has been so beligerantly culled in this series and most of the last. I feel cheated. And paying to see these episodes? I'd like my money back please.
 

Eunoli

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We always knew that Dany was going to end up doing something like this. I personally thought she was going to end up roasting Starks in their armor like dear ole dad, but something horrific. I'm ok with her being the mad queen, though I suspect it will be more subtle and horrible all at once if Martin ever gets around to it.

What bugs me is the utter lack of fulfilling all the prophecy from earlier books. I can't see how the Lord of Light needed to save Beric or Jon Snow to do what they did. Melisandre could have tutored someone else to get Arya to that point, if that was the only reason he brought them back to life. Another is the Maggie the Frog prophecy that was so central to the motivations behind so much of the series - it appears (at least so far) to have been totally discarded. Last - the dragon has three heads - I know a lot of people were guessing that Tyrion was the last one. I suppose there's still a slight chance he turns out to be, but it sure looks like he's just going to end up a pile of ashes next to Varys right now.

As things stand, I can only see two outcomes that are even remotely logical. Neither one ends well - and again, that's very Martinesque - but I don't think its his story.
 

Arilynn

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I think it was a mistake to try to wrap up this epic, with all its plot lines, in one season. I understand that they probably were stuck, as I assume that existing contracts stated that it would end now and renegotiating everyone and everything would be a PITA. And they’ve tried to have some moments that did more than just gallop the plot along. But this season has seemed so rushed.

For example, I assumed that the Night King and his army were in thrall to something larger, such an eternal balance to R’llhor, and thus the threat could never be completely eradicated. So when Arya killed him, I cheered. But I expect to learn that new signs north of the Wall indicate future problems, even if they take centuries to develop. Maybe this will happen, but I doubt it.

I thought they had Dany burn so much of King’s Landing as a warning to the rest of the 7 kingdoms that they needed to accept her rule. She believed she needed fear to rule, and indiscriminately torching civilians definitely accomplished that as well as expressing her rage over Missandei’s and her dragon’s deaths. They have presented her as a bit off from the start, IMO. But I wish they had her address the fact that she did much of what her crazed father attempted to do. She knows as well as (or even better than) anyone the dark side of her family and the damage it can do. Skipping over that diminishes her as a character, in my mind.

I guess the show is the balance to Martin in the way the force behind the Others and Night King should have been against something: He has been slow in wrapping up the series, so the show has to be quick to do so or the armillary sphere-thing in the opening credits will topple over and chaos will reign for a thousand years, etc. etc.
 
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Ariane

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The only decent ending I can think of for next week:


- Daario Naharis shows up and asks Danerys to return to Mereen.
- Jon, now sick of war, heads north and reunites with Ghost.
- Arya, also sick of war, and with no one on her list, changes her mind on Gendry's offer.
- The Iron Bank shows up and drags Tyrion to Bravos, since he is the last Lannister left alive, he promises them the smuldering ashes of King's Landing as repayment of Cersei's debt, then retires to Casterly Rock.
- The banker guy now sits on the Iron throne.

Cut to a black void. Bran and the Night King are talking:
NK: So that's what's going to happen if I cross the wall?
Bran: I'm afraid so.
NK: Wow, that's so awful. How can we avoid it?
Bran: Don't cross the wall. If you stay on your side, you are not a threat, and no one acts stupid. Jon never goes to Dragonstone, Danerys has a bigger army to take Kings Landing much more peacefully.
NK: What's to stop the living from invading us again?
Bran: We will need a bigger wall.
 

Beebo Brink

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At it's core, Game of Thrones has always been about two competing paradigms of leadership: Absolute autocratic ruler out for power (everyone who has held the throne, the Night King) vs. Benevolent ruler who safe-guards the interests of the people (Varys and Tyrion's idealistic vision). Can the cycle be broken or is it a fool's errand to even try? I don't see any sign (so far) that the showrunners grasp that it is this question, above all others, that the series should answer.

With Varys gone, Tyrion is the only remaining character who clearly saw the pattern and believed that someone could/should break it. Ultimately, it's through his eyes that we should see whether hope remains in some form (I guess that would be Jon, if you're really gullible) or whether the game continues ever onward, unchanged except for the players. As a viewer, I want that judgment rendered, if only through the disappointment and disillusion in Tyrion's eyes.

But continuity and subtext have largely been stripped from the narrative this season, so although I'm sure someone will "win" and the story will get a big THE END stamped on it, I doubt we'll get any authorial perspective on what it's all been about.
 

Zaida Gearbox

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I think part of the point of the prophecies not coming true is that prophecies are basically bullshit and only have power because people insist on believing in them.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Assuming someone kills Daenerys, that means the only two people with a real claim to the Iron Throne (assuming there is one still, and it didn't get crushed, melted or both) are presumably Jon and Tyrion, by virtue of the fact he's closest living relative of the late queen. Assuming Tyrion survives when Dany finds out he freed his brother, that is.

Not sure where this takes us but it sets us up for an interesting final episode.
 

Innula Zenovka

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An interesting theory I've seen in the comments to The Guardian's review of the episode: the business at the beginning between Varys and the little girl who worked in the kitchens was about him trying to poison Dany.

Not sure what I make of it. I'd never have thought of it had I not read the comment, but now I think it makes some sense, though I'm not sure I believe it.
 

Beebo Brink

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An interesting theory I've seen in the comments to The Guardian's review of the episode: the business at the beginning between Varys and the little girl who worked in the kitchens was about him trying to poison Dany.

Not sure what I make of it. I'd never have thought of it had I not read the comment, but now I think it makes some sense, though I'm not sure I believe it.
Okay, I assumed exactly that -- he was trying to assassinate Dany thru poison. I didn't realize it was considered speculation. (Just checked with the wife, and she also interpreted that scene as thwarted poisoning plans.)

The question I have about Varys is who was getting all the notes he wrote?
 
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