The best way I can describe this season is to compare Benioff and Weiss to living with terrible roommates. At first, things are great because they were really happy to have a place to stay; they’re respectful, they do the dishes and help out with the chores. Then things start to get a little rocky, there are some disagreements on the placement of furniture or how to decorate. But the person who invited them in then forgives them and they come to a compromise. This is, though, the beginning of the end. Now the roommates aren’t pulling their weight. They’re leaving laundry all over, not doing chores, constantly short on the rent. They get a new place to live, but before they go they trash everything. They break windows, destroy precious family heirlooms and steal all the copper wiring from the walls. After all, it was never their home, and it served its purpose so now they’re simply going to take everything they can from it and move on. Now it’s up to their landlord to repair what was once a beautiful, multi-storied home where it might not always be perfect but things were always interesting, the fires were always burning and the dinner parties were to die for.
This is, without a doubt, the worst direction this series could have possibly gone. I’m so angry and so upset with how the showrunners decided to treat so much of what had been built up. However, I am going to try to focus on the positive stuff, the stuff that I actually did enjoy, however short that list might be.
THE STUFF I LIKED, THE STUFF THAT WORKED
The long-awaited “Clegane Bowl” finally happened. Sandor and Gregor battled each other to the death. I thought the way it ended was fitting; I really liked the way that they both died together, although we’ve seen the Hound demonstrate incredible fighting skills, it was like the undead Mountain gained superpowers and there was no way to kill him. He put up a better fight than the Night King! I’m still not convinced he’s dead.
I did enjoy the Euron/Jaime fight as well. I did predict that would happen. Generally, when you get stabbed twice in the side, you die, but Jaime was more intent on living than Euron, apparently. Jaime did manage to struggle his way to Cersei, so I suppose that’s a moral victory.
My favorite scene, the one that I have zero issues with, was between Jaime and Tyrion when Tyrion freed him and they had their tearful goodbye. The two of them had always been close, and they had always been there for one another. Theirs was maybe the truest, best and most loving relationship of any we got to see throughout the entirety of the series. Peter Dinklage is a treasure, one of the greatest living actors we have today.
I did also really enjoy the way the scenes kept shifting between Arya trying to escape the city and Clegane Bowl. It was a masterstroke by Miguel Sapochnik to continuously juxtapose these two connected characters into vastly different but visually similar positions in their respective fights for survival.
THE STUFF I HATED, THE STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK
Ugh, where do I begin? I’ve stated a few times in my articles that some of the characters that we’ve seen have suddenly stopped acting like themselves for the sake of speeding the story along or providing fan service. This was especially true about Cersei, although I will be spending much more time on the resolution of her character later.
Varys’ execution was not altogether unexpected and I suppose under the circumstances, it was done as well as it could have been. But if Daenerys really feels like Jon betrayed her then perhaps she should have confronted him about it instead of executing Varys for doing the stuff that Varys has always done. And Varys only found out because Tyrion told him, although I suppose snitching on Varys got Tyrion a reprieve.
In line with how things have gone this season, we’ve repeatedly been told that Daenerys is upset with Tyrion and how he’s been advising her. Yet, for whatever reason, she keeps giving him chance after chance after chance, and he repays her by betraying her at every opportunity, and not exactly secretly either. Varys only betrayed Dany because Tyrion gave him the ability to do so; Varys’ death is on Tyrion.
I hated how despite the fact that they were easily able to chase Drogon and Daenerys off in the previous episode by firing volley after volley of ballista arrows at them after killing Rhaegal (with far fewer ships I might add) the entire Iron Fleet somehow was unable to take them down in this episode. There were ONE HUNDRED ships in the wide shot of Drogon dive-bombing them (I paused it and counted) yet only Euron even made an attempt to fire. Seriously. One hundred ships, but only two shots fired. How could that possibly happen? That infuriated me.