So...is it me or are the Game of Thrones "Inside the Episodes" explainers just the showrunners patting themselves on the back for all the hard work they did in that week's episode? Not that the interviews are worthless -- Benioff and Weiss do sometimes provide a bit more character insight. But I feel like they're mostly just kinda jerking themselves off by raving about how awesome the episode's CGI and battle scenes were.
Back to my episode notes, more or less in order for once:
What do the Lannister troops need with barrels of oil? It's not like they are going to ship it off to the refinery in a VLCC and eventually power their electrical grid. Maybe they use it to light flames and heat homes, cook, or something that way.
At the meeting of the Triple Entente (House Targaryan and allies) and Triple Alliance/Axis (House Lannister and allies), I'm extremely confused by what the climate is at King's Landing. Entente folks (Jon Snow, Brienne) are wearing giant furs, ready and waiting for winter just as the audience has been since Season One. Meanwhile, others like Bronn and Euron are in Pirates of the Caribbean leather chaps and deep V-neck Ts. The Dothraki nearby, too, are donned in furs and sometimes half naked. No one sweats or shivers. Everyone seems perfectly comfortable in their respective stare-downs and spats, despite that they're all dressed for polar-ly different climates. Very confusing.
Don't get me started on Daenerys' late entrance. I'll just quote a New Yorker piece on Anthony Bourdain, for this speaks my mind:
Bourdain used the word “pathological” to describe his fixation with being on time. “I judge other people on it,” he admitted. “Today, you’re just late, but eventually you will betray me.”
Also after the dragon dropped Dany off for her big meeting (late af), there's no way in hell those wimpy sunshade canopies would have stayed up with the dragon's wings pounding and flapping around as they were for launch. The winds stirred would have easily been a Category 4 in that walled up arena.
I was quite impressed that Cersei barely flinched when the wight came at her. I suppose that's how she's survived though -- always ready for death. And when Qyburn picks up the amputated wight hand, you can tell he's totally turned on.
Brienne seems right for a second there. Everything would be a lot simpler. Everyone's panties in Westeros are all in a twist because everyone is trying to so honest and committed, but all this loyalty, the pledges, and bloodlines are all muddy and built on shaky houses of cards. Jon's foolish dedication to Dany is well-noted during the episode (even by Davos!), so I won't dwell. But I will point out that all the "Jon, you're so dumb, why didn't you just lie," comments are really misdirected. Sure, Jon is a little dumb for not knowing how to get things done (mostly I'm citing his ridiculous kidnapping scheme beyond the wall last week, not this week's Honest Abe-ness), but let's recall he's stuck in his loyalty only because Dany insisted repeatedly on it. So what could he do but be brainwashed eventually and publicly declare his knees bent? (As usual and until the end, I will continue to believe everything is Dany's fault.)
Can we please acknowledge that "Bend the Knee" makes no sense? "Bend at the knee"? Fine. Still dumb, but acceptable. I guess that phrase just doesn't flow as well given how frequently it's dropped.
Where did Bronn and Podrick go?
Cersei and Tyrion have a pretty good heart-to-heart. Way overdue. Her opening line to Tyrion about "foreign whore who didn't know her place" re: Shae and Daenerys -- you know she'd been sitting on quip that for, like, four seasons, and finally, this week she had a chance to let it loose. Also, the name "Myrcella" sounds like a disease, not a daughter.
Whatever sociopath/monster she is, Cersei is always ten steps ahead. She'd make a good chess master. Maester. Whatever. Tyrion, as it turns out...not so much.
Mark my words: in the last season, that Hand of the Queen brooch Tyrion's been wearing...he's going to stab someone's eyes with it.
Theon and Sansa step up in this episode, in their respective ways. Sansa kills the Littlefinger storyline for us, by having Arya literally kill him, and Theon vows to save Yara as she once saved him. I wish him luck because I admit I'm not sure he'll even last the boat ride over to find Euron. His mind and body seem so frail. Wouldn't last one week on Survivor. The Stark girls, in contrast, seem made of tougher stock. Glad to see them make up finally. Arya's still a total weirdo though.
How come Sansa is the only one who dresses appropriately for the weather, as the only one in sight who wears any kind of head-gear against the cold with her hood? Everyone else just talks up the long winter, while wearing upcycled Ikea rugs on their shoulders and hoping for the best. Not one hat in sight.
"I always knew you were the stupidest Lannister." --Cersei to Jaime
I mean...she's right. I do like that Jaime finally ditched Cersei, but I worry about this venturing off solo. Hopefully Bronn and Podrick will come out of some bushes nearby (and Ed Sheeran, for that matter) after sharing a blunt and accompany him to Winterfell.
So apparently Bran had to become the Three-Eyed Raven in order to explain things to the audience. This week he earns his keep by outing Littlefinger as a slimy, scheming creeper and narrating Jon's origin story over his own half-"brother"'s incest scene with Daenerys. Stranger things have happened on this show. If Jon and Dany don't marry, I could still see Daenerys getting pregnant here, with she and Cersei popping out their kids at the end of Season 8, leaving incestuous succession lines via halfwit kids with no thumbs and lotsa question marks at the series finale.
When the wall came tumbling down...my mind assumed it was made of ice, so I expected a flood to come over the land when melted, which would have then drowned half the wight army. I was wrong. So now I have my hopes pinned on Daenerys' two remaining dragons and Sam designing some IEDs composed of Dragonstone bits, so when they explode, they can take out a whole buncha wights at once. That'll be much more effective than Jon Snow's likely strategy of hand-to-hand combat and Honesty as the Best Policy.
...and that's it!
That's all I've got for now. Farewell, Season 7! You were short but great (just like Tyrion and Jon Snow!). And to think, it only took me the whole season to realize that the best battle map is not Aegon/Daenerys', but the one that's been right under my nose the whole time...the opening credits! Duh.
Thanks for tuning in. Until next season! May we never hear the phrase, "Bend the Knee," again.