What seems like a buffer episode between two battles — the Great War and the Last War — the show creators have once again fallen short of providing their fans with a well-written episode, worthy of this series.
The episode opens up with a recap of who died in the previous one (goodbye Ser Jorah, Lord of Friendzone; goodbye Theon, who got a clichéd honorable end). Then, we fast-forward to the post-battle feast, which is more of a reminder who’s in love with whom and who gave snide looks to whom in previous episodes.
Everybody moved on from the white walkers and the Night King. A monumental threat to humanity which was supposed to show us how futile the throne game actually was. Sadly, they ended up being more of a nuisance. No major character died, and we’ve received no revelations. Who were they? Why were they against humanity, except for ‘just because?’ Should we just forget about all the hints in previous seasons that Jon Snow was Azor Ahai, the legendary killer of the Night King? What happens with the Wall now? So many questions left unanswered, as the final season as a whole just seems rushed and leaves you wanting more.
Going Down South
After all, it turns out Cersei Lannister is the final boss. But before they travel to King’s Landing, there’s a feast to be had. Daenerys (who’s now called Dany for some weird reason) makes Gendry a lord, which buys her his loyalty. Following that, he goes on to propose to Arya. Show creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, showcase their remarkable originality by making Arya, the major hero, skip the feast and practice her archery in solitude instead. She says no to Gendry, as she’s no lady (in her own words). Tormund (with other wildlings) and Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, leave for beyond the Wall in an anticlimactic end to a loveable character. It’s safe to say we won’t see them again.
Khaleesi and what’s left of her huge army leave for King’s Landing. They arrive in boats, where Varys and Tyrion (her two right-hand men) debate whether Daenerys is the right leader. They suggest Jon Snow should be the king, realizing that that’s what people want. But what makes a bastard a suitable king? Well, you know that secret that Ned Stark carefully protected for decades? It took Sansa, the new Lady Winterfell, about five minutes to go guns ablazing with the information. She told Tyrion that Jon was actually a Targaryen, giving him the strongest claim to the throne (as Varys says, a penis is crucial in the game of thrones).
Cersei Shows Up
Jamie Lannister suddenly remembers that Cersei is the love of his life and that his place is by her side. After all, in his own words, he’s as hateful as she is. The problem for Brienne is, Jamie realized this just after they had sex (a man of his looks and experience, it’s laughable that Jamie used the “it’s hot in here” line, something 16-year-olds say). Brienne’s left in tears as Jamie rides to join Cersei.
As boats with the Unsullied peacefully travel towards King’s Landing and Daenerys rides one of her dragons, there’s trouble behind the hill. All of a sudden, with nobody expecting this, Euron Greyjoy shows up with his boats and anti-aircraft missiles. He kills Rhaegal, one of Khaleesi’s dragons and capsizes her boats.
All main characters survive (again), with Missandei captured by Cersei. This opens this season’s first major scene for Cersei — our final villain. Tyrion tries to get in touch with her human side once again and fails miserably… AGAIN. She orders Missandei’s death (her final word was ‘Dracarys’), leaving us with a sad Grey Worm and a very angry Daenerys. Jon Snow, Arya, the Hound, Jamie — they are all still on their way over.
In a scene unrelated to the main story, Bronn shows up in Winterfell (he didn’t take as long as Jon Snow in the other direction) to tell Jamie and Tyrion of his agreement with Cersei. They offer him to be the Lord of Highgarden instead. Nothing major happened with this, except for setting up another happy end in the final episode.
What to Expect Next
Next, penultimate episode will be the Last War — Daenerys and Jon Snow against Cersei and Euron Greyjoy. If the first four episodes are anything to go by, it will also be disappointing. Generally, the writing dropped off in the last couple of seasons, as the show creators ran out of book material. Seven years of character building and hints dropping are sadly coming to an unworthy end. Game of Thrones’ major appeal was its unpredictability — it never shied away from killing off major characters and rebuilding the story from ash. However, everything points to a clichéd, happy ending, where Jon Snow sits on a throne and everybody lives happily ever after.
We won’t go into to next episode, but it’s safe to assume that angry Daenerys will show her true Targaryen colors (after all, she’s a descendant of the Mad King) and go berserk, making the viewers have no problem with Jon taking over the throne.
The issue with the series as a whole started when Benioff and Weiss took over the story. For those surprised with how much the value of writing dropped off, they should check out X-Men Origins, in which Benioff was in charge of writing. Deadpool is a superhero whose whole point was to trash talk and be entertaining. Benioff made him a mute. So, you know… It could have been worse.