So episodes 2 and 3, how about that? Season 7 continues to be mixed. Some moments ring of season 1 and even of the books but in other areas it resonates with the groan moments of the past two years. So inconsistent to say the least. I couldn’t find the mojo to write up the episode 2 review last week so here’s 2 and 3 rolled into one.
Where episode 1 was quite philosophical, episodes 2 and 3 have moved the action along but as a cost of some of the larger themes of the story. The scene with Arya and Nymeria could have been one of the best scenes this season if it weren’t for the final moment and the show runners from over explaining a moment that is more powerful unexplained. The shoehorned in reference “that’s not you” to a season 1 conversation between Arya and Eddard, is not only clunky in the scene but leaved my friends, who I watched the episode with, perplexed. Something I’ve noticed with this show in the past few years, the best scenes are often the ones without dialogue. If they left this shoehorned line out the scene would have been far better. Arya’s story is not one that people should be rooting for, her moral compass is clearly compromised, people shouldn’t be cheering when she murders two people and bakes them into a pie, they should be shocked at her brutality. If this scene between her and Nymeria ended a few seconds earlier with the brokenhearted look on Arya’s face, the scene would have been perfect. The wolf not recognising her because she’s become a morally corrupt individual. Of course we know the practical reason, they want to spend more CGI money on dragons not direwolves. Still, this scene could have been far better.
Oldtown thus far, has been a disappointment, and I’m forced to ask, why the f**k was Greyscale even included in the show? This apparent Checkov’s Gun was introduced back in season 3, and this is where it leads? A simple surgery and you’ve cured Greyscale, the deadliest disease in this fictional universe. And can we please recognise the ridiculousness of Jorah being healed enough the next day that he can just leave the Citadel a free man? Yes, the next day, the Archmaester says he had one more day and would then be shipped off to Valyria. He came back the next day and he was all healed. Now, I’m not sure if the show runners realise this but, generally speaking when you have a highly contagious disease that has no cure, even if you do survive they don’t let you just walk out the door the next day simply because you no longer show symptoms. Now sure, they need to move the narrative along, but why the hell did they even include this in the story at all? Did they know where they were going with this? They had the foresight to cut Lady Stoneheart, Young Griff/Aegon, Jon Connington, Victarion Greyjoy and other artefacts like the Horn of Winter, why? I guess they figured they weren’t necessary to the story. Now, people can agree or disagree with their call on that, but if that’s the case that these characters and plot threads were dropped because they weren’t viewed as necessary, then why wasn’t Greyscale dropped, at least after Shireen. There was practically no point to this plot thread other than not killing Jorah off. I browsed the internet to see what people were saying about this and it looks like there are many annoyed, some people on Reddit are suggesting that Sam is going to get the disease now and cause a plague, or that the disease will play a role in the end of the story with the White Walkers/Others. Now, while that would be interesting, I’ve given up hope on this plot. I hope I’m wrong, but there you go. So what did the previous maester do to stuff up this procedure and give himself Greyscale? I bet he didn’t wear gloves.
Euron Greyjoy continues to be an overly crude cartoon character, but you know what, I’ve embraced this incarnation, I’ve accepted it. Sure, he’s not sublte… at all for a matter of fact, like he is in the book. Overall I don’t mind what they’ve done with the character, but the one thing they haven’t succeeded at with this character is make me fear him. He acts like a madman, which is entertaining sure, but book Euron is much, much more creepy.
I’ve never been one to dislike Daenerys, but these episodes did it, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s entitlement. Having said that, the final scene with Dany and Jon in episode 3 was pretty good, their chemistry is believable. All in all, not much to comment on. The scenes at Dragonstone haven’t really moved me in anyway.
I’m finding myself routing for Cersei in these last two episodes. In the books Cersei really isn’t very smart, though she thinks she is. A Feast for Crows is essentially Cersei failing at everything and quickly going insane. While this is a weird departure from where the books at currently, I like it. She’s winning, 3-0 Cersei. That’s probably not going to last long, I know, given the preview for next week, but it’s still good to see politics back in this show, and done well. And Lena Heady always brings her A-game. It doesn’t matter whether script isn’t great, she can make it great because she’s simply that good. Highlights include her scene in the dungeon with Ellaria Sand and the one remaining Sand Snake.
I am juggling the idea, as others have, that Tyrion is, either consciously or subconsciously, sabotaging Dany. These plans are awful. I understand the whole “let’s not burn King’s Landing” thing, but does anyone on Dany’s small council realise that besieging the city isn’t going to be any more endearing than taking the city by force, either way people die, the only difference between a siege and taking the city by force is the whether the death is fast or slow. And who will be the first to die? So instead of taking the city and winning the war in one battle with her superior forces and three dragons, Tyrion suggests splitting their strength in two, sailing one half to Dorne and back (despite the fact we saw the Dornish army sailing with Dany in the finale last year), and the other half all the way around to the opposite side of the Kingdom to take Casterly Rock. Why not just sail right down the Blackwater rush and take the city? Did Tyrion forget that he was in the Battle of Blackwater, that Stannis almost took the city with significantly less forces, no dragons, and were disadvantaged by wildfire? Taking Kings Landing would win them the war instantly, from there each castle would yield one by one. War won. Make me hand of the king, coach, I’m ready. So either Tyrion is really dumb or subconsciously sabotaging Dany’s invasion. Ehh… I need to move onto the positives before I get bogged down in this.
I’ll end on the highest note of the last two episodes, the final scene of episode 3. Jaime and Olenna Redwyne, two fantastic characters played by two fantastic actors. Now, sure the show has taken a huge departure with Jaime’s character, but he’s still enjoyable. Add in Diana Rigg and you’ve got the makings of a great scene, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite being beaten the Queen of Thorns lived up to her name and still got the last word. That takes the cake for me this season thus far.
I’m hoping this season becomes less mixed in a good way. I know I didn’t really touch on Winterfell but all in all, not much has happened since episode 1. Sure, Bran showed up but it’s not like anything significant has happened. The situation with Lewin’s letters and Littlefinger will obviously play a role going forward, but when a character like this has been reduced to this, that usually means he isn’t long for this world, and will be dead by season end.
Episode 2 in a word: “explosive”.
Episode 3 in a word: “thug-life”.