Heavy spoilers for GOT.
If you liked the show there is nothing wrong with it. I’m happy that you liked it. I really wished I would have like it too, but I just could not.
If you didn’t watch the show stop now, watch it and come back later.
This season was a mess. From the third episode onwards it was clear that without the book to guide them the show writers decided to ignore the motivation behind the characters actions in favor of the plot.
They decided on how the plot was going to be and made the characters act to move the plot in that direction. The problem is that GRRM does the opposite, the plot gets created by the actions of the characters. The characters and their believes/motivations are the focus of the books (and up to season 5/6 the show as well) and everything revolves around that.
The plot per se was not bad, but you can’t have the plot marching forwards and ignoring everything else. It probably would have been fine if it had 2 more seasons to flash things out and make the plot more believable. GRRM himself said that he would have liked to have 10 seasons of the show and even HBO gave unlimited money and time to the production of the show so I only blame D & D for how these final seasons turned out.
I’m not going to comment on everything, because a lot of things are not a big deal. There are way more problems than what I’m going to list here, but these are what I think are the major ones.
Winterfell Battle And The White Walkers
We have been obsessed and reminded constantly of the threat of the army of the dead for the whole 7 seasons. Winter is coming. All of this just to have everything resolved with the main enemy exposing himself inside the enemy stronghold just to get killed by Arya in a 5/10 seconds scene. Talk about ruined expectations. This moment has been hyped up for 7 seasons, give some good resolution not rush through it because you only have little time. That said they did a great job with Theon’s redemption.1
After the battle is over Jaime leaves to go back to the King’s Landing to save Cersei turning his back to everything that he stood for since he left her. I can see him doing that, but not totally negating what he stood for these past few seasons. What was the point of it all if it was for nothing?
In the next episode, the dragons that until now have always been portrayed as these almost invincible creatures were killed by a few rounds of artillery shoot by ballistas mounted on ships from miles away. A few lucky shots and the dragon is dead.
Daenerys flies into engage and even though Drogon was flying on a straight path and way closer than they were before magically is not hit.
Not to talk about the fact that the ships were not seen by the dragons from high in the sky on a clear day. If you listen to Inside The Episode D&D say that it is because Daenerys forgot about the ships. How can you forget about the biggest threat you need to face?
This feels like it was just done to make the sudden change of Daenerys turning into the mad queen more believable later on. She lost everything because of Cersei so she’s so mad.
She lost everything, even way more than what she lost now multiple times already. The first time because of Khal Drogo, later on, because of the Son of the Harpy and she didn’t go insane quite the opposite. Her whole character arc was to break the wheel for the good of the people and everything she has ever done was for the people. You might argue (as Tyrion does later) that she was cruel, and she was, but it was always justified and for a higher goal.
Tyrion and Varys
Tyrion across the whole season acts so dumbly that the character is unrecognizable. Believing in the word of Cersei!? Walking to the gates of the King’s Landing believing that Cersei would be merciful!?
Still, Varys takes the cake. Varys would NEVER go out in the open on a beach to directly tell Jon that he should betray Danearys. He’s the kind of person that lives in covert ops and subterfuge. He would never expose himself like that.
I understand that D&D did that for the plot so that Daenerys would feel isolated and would believe that she couldn’t trust any of her advisors. For the plot taken in a vacuum would be fine, but it is not fine for the character.
Attack on King’s Landing
The one dragon left that have been described in the previous episode as totally useless and easily killed by artillery at the range now do a complete 180 and are immortal destroying the whole fleet and the whole city defenses by himself. On a clear day. Especially impressive since the whole city has been outfitted with ballistas like the one that killed Viserion.
Daenerys after hearing the bells marking the unconditional surrender of the city just go insane and instead of calling the battle over, or even just going to burn down the red keep with Cersei to kill her, ignores it all to go and kill every single civilian in the city. This is the same Daenerys that refused to go to Westeros some seasons ago just to fix the situation in Mereen for the people.
Jon, when everyone started attacking, would have right away called his men to leave the city instead of waiting for ages before doing it.
Arya does absolutely nothing. The whole character arc was based on killing Cersei and we’re told to believe that she’s going to say no to that because the hound told her so? No way. Not only that, but she spends the whole episode running away like the scared Arya she was in season 1.
Jaime is totally useless as well. He just needed to be there to die with Cersei. And also to fight Euron that magically washes out in the exact same spot and same moment as Jaime.
Tyrion rightfully (and a bit late) renounces to his hand of the queen title and gets imprisoned. Now Jon needs to be convinced by Tyrion that Daenerys is evil and that killing babies and innocents is wrong?! I can’t even… And what Jon does when he finally decided to kill her? He stabs her in the heart while tricking her into a hug? He would never act so cowardly, he would have faced her head on. He’s Jon Snow!
The dragon has seen that Daenerys is dead totally ignores the murderer of her mother !? and instead burns down the throne ?! just because. He then takes Daenerys and goes nobody knows where.
We now cut to some time in the future. No mourning for Daenerys, everyone seems to have just moved on for some reason.
We have a meeting with all the powerful houses of the 7 kingdoms to decide who’s going to sit on the throne. No idea why Brienne or Samwell Tarly are here since they’re not members of any powerful houses, but fine no big deal.
What’s totally crazy is that the unsullied and Dothraki haven’t killed Jon and Tyrion yet, you would imagine that as soon as they realized that Jon betrayed them and killed their queen they would have killed them on the spot.
They would never allow either Jon or Tyrion to go alive. Especially the bloodriders, it is their duty to avenge their Khal/Khaleesi. If they were not all killed in Winterfell they would have killed Jon themselves (it seems that Jhogo and Rakharo are out of the picture, but Aggo may be still alive?). Grey Worm is one of the most loyal characters and surely would have avenged Daenerys himself.
Also framing Tyrion as being the Hand as a punishment for him is just so ridiculous.
There is also no reason why they would take part in this meeting, they don’t care about the 7 kingdoms and even in the show, they leave as soon as everything is over.
Of everyone that could have taken the throne, they give it to Bran which is detached from this world, constantly living in the past through his visions. He had never wanted the throne (and repeated his stance just a few episodes ago), but suddenly he has a change of heart and accepts because of reasons. On top of the fact that everyone agrees on a Stark on the throne without conditions.
Unsurprisingly Sansa declares the North independence to which neither Dorne nor the Iron Isles have any complaints towards. The Iron Isles were even promised independence had they supported Daenerys. Totally unbelievable. If The North declared independence both Dorne and the Iron Isles would have done the same thing.
We cut back to an almost completely reconstructed red keep !? where we probably assist to the best scene of the episode with Tyrion fixing the chairs of the small council as they were when his father was the hand just to see them put back into the mess they were in before moments later.
We end with another gem, Bran saying that he would look for the dragon and it cuts.. so what? If you’re not going to elaborate on the point at all why even add it at all?
The place we ended up with at the end would have been fine if the journey to get there was consistent and true to the franchise and the characters, but it wasn’t. It is one of the few shows that I honestly had to skip at times (in the last 3 episode) because I was so bewildered.
It was probably the worst season of a show I’m heavily invested in that I’ve seen.
I’m not going to talk about the tactics for the battle, because I understand that cinematography > tactics. At least putting the siege weapons at the back and not in the front or building defenses in front of your army and not in the back to cut their own retreat would be a given, but as I said not a big deal. ↩