Game of Thrones Season 7 is officially over! We’ve cheered, we’ve screamed, we’ve wanted to throw things at the TV, and now we’re stuck waiting at least two years(?) before how we see all of this wraps up. In this shorter season, the battles got crazier, the stakes raised higher, and characters are starting to come together in the final days before the Great Wars begins. We gave you a recap in Part One of our review, now here are our thoughts on how the season went:
Guy: I started watching this season at a viewing event at one of my local bars. It brings a different dynamic to the viewing experience, as you hear everyone going wild over the show’s events, and realize that you’re really not some crazy old person that yells at the TV just yet.
I was bummed by seeing only seven episodes this season, but they packed a LOT of action in each episode, and are starting to wrap up all the loose story threads. We lost a lot of the “travel” elements, which started making Westeros feel like it had waypoints like Skyrim or Breath of the Wild. I do get it, though. With so many plot elements going on and fewer episodes to do so, there’s a need to focus more on getting everyone together to get ready for this next season that I expect will be one giant, non-stop battle.
Special effects were intense this season. All of the dragon battles were spectacular, and showed off the raw fury of the beasts. The table turning of the 6th episode showed that, while these creatures are incredibly powerful, things could turn sour very easily if Daenerys ever lost control of one of her dragons, and we are only seeing hints of how horrible this is going to be for the living armies.
Pairing and reuniting certain characters was a fan highlight. Brienne’s reuniting with both Jamie and the Hound, the Hound and Tormund’s meeting and banter. Daenerys reuniting with Jorah was a sweet moment, and shows that no matter what, Jorah will always remain loyal. Tyrion’s reunion with Jon, Bronn, Jamie, and Podrick. And of course, Cersei is the height of madness and stupid arrogance. Game of Thrones relishes in punishing the horrible characters, and if they do make Cersei’s time come, it will likely be horrible and justified. Littlefinger certainly got his, the scheming creep. I was glad to see the surviving Stark siblings reunite and finally take him down.
Season 7 is primarily wrapping up loose plot threads and setting the pieces in place for the Great War. Seeing all the characters come together to discuss a fight between the living and the dead was immensely satisfying from a fan perspective. I was happy to see the majority of my favorite characters “survive” this past season, but I think all bets are off when we get into the heart of this next season’s big war. If they ever kill off Tyrion….
All in all, I was happy to finally get some answers, see some things wrap up, and get some great battles out of this round. I’ll miss cheering each episode with the bar crowd, but hopefully, we’ll all be back in 2019(?) when the Iron Throne is finally claimed.
Danny: As crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to watch this season on a weekly basis OR if I was going to wait until all the episodes were out and then binge it all over one weekend. I thought about the pros and cons, the pros being that I would be able to focus that time on other projects…and that’s was pretty much the only “pro” I could come up with. The cons were that I would have to stay off social media for a few months (not possible with being 1/4th of Total Geek Live, & that part of my real job is social media related), I would also have to keep telling my friends and family to be “spoiler free” in their conversations with me. That’s no bueno.
So I dived in along with the millions of other GoT fans and rode the wild wave that was Season 7. This season felt the most “un-George R. R. Martin-like” since the show passed by his books and the showrunners started going down their own path. There was no longer the sense that Westeros or the land beyond the Wall, are so large and vast that it actually takes quite a while to travel, whether it be by dragon, or horseback, or on foot. It also seems that the ravens used to deliver messages have gone from USPS First-Class to FedEx Next Day Delivery.
Then there was the fact that the sense of danger for our main characters had gone the way of the First Men. No longer are we given the twists and turns and unpredictable deaths that made Game of Thrones the only show on TV that had people talking about how “no one is safe”. Instead, the showrunners have taken the danger and tension away and replaced it with a bunch of fan service.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the show and I’m ok with a little fan service. However, Season 7 was chock full of fan service, so much so that it felt as if I was watching a Game of Thrones season that was written by a bunch of fan-fiction writers instead of George R. R. Martin.
To see what I’m talking about, check out this quote in Newsweek from Alan Taylor, who directed Episode 6: “You’ve got a (dragon) that’s bigger than a (Boeing) 747 (plane) with seven people riding on its back, and you’re worried about the speed of a raven being believable.”
I have issue with that quote because the fantasy genre isn’t excused from the rules that govern fiction storytelling. When you offer solutions that seem too convenient, the story starts to fall apart underneath. What’s interesting about a group of characters that fix everything quickly/instantly? The good stories come about when problems are presented for the heroes and they are solved not by magic or technology but by the humans themselves that are at the core of the storytelling. Didn’t you like the journey that Luke had to make in learning how to use the Force, rather than him being so gifted that he instantly had all the Force powers at his disposal?
Sadly, the good storytelling is in the past, the Seasons 1-5 of Game of Thrones. Mark my words, those seasons will be the most cherished by GoT fans. Seasons 6-8, I believe, will be known in the future as the Fast & Furious Game of Thrones, because they needed to arrive at the destination of the war with the White Walkers as soon as possible, and be damned with smart characterization or the journey.
I did enjoy watching this season and I look forward to Season 8, although I do NOT look forward to waiting until 2019 to see it. I wish they would have planned to film these last two seasons back-to-back, much like some feature film sequels had been filmed. It would have been fitting for Game of Thrones, as it is a TV series that has raised the bar so high.