It’s been an action packed yet flawed Game of Thrones season so far…
With only seven episodes this season, it’s a bit awkward trying to find the right spot to do a mid-season review. Considering this week’s episode was the shortest one yet and ended with quite the cliff-hanger, this felt like the right time for it.
Next week’s episode will be right back up to 59 minutes, followed by 71 and 81 minutes to finish off. So there’s still plenty to come even though there’s only three episodes before that damn long wait starts all over again!
In case you missed it, you can check out my predictions for this season right here. Most of these still need more time to run their course but I’m not doing too badly!
The first half of this season has been more packed than any half season before it so let’s start to unpack what’s happened and look at what some of the major changes have been and what’s worked well and not so well this season.
The pacing of Season 7 is completely bonkers!
As you would expect with a shorter season, there’s a whole lot more that seems to be happening in each episode. Whilst this has meant that every episode is jam-packed and highly entertaining, we’re missing out on the great build-ups that made Game of Thrones such a good show.
As great as the big battles are, the best parts of Game of Thrones (IMO) are the witty dialogue scenes between friends and adversaries. With so much going on, there hasn’t been that much time for characters to ponder, reflect and scheme.
Even the battles have been somewhat rushed over. In other seasons, the battles at Casterly Rock and Highgarden would have been major events that could have spanned multiple episodes but instead they’re jam-packed into about 15 minutes of screen time.
Even the jaw-dropping dragon battle at the end of episode four went for just over 10 minutes. I loved every minute of it, but considering the significance of it – the first real battle with a dragon, the showdown of Jaime vs Daenerys – it’s really not that long at all, especially when you compare it to some of the epic episode nine battles.
The main thing that’s bothering me though, is the unexplainable travelling abilities of some of the characters and their armies. Euron seems to be able to magically go from the capital to attacking the other Greyjoy’s fleet, back to the capital and over to Casterly Rock in no time at all.
I could understand Drogon and Daenerys making their way so quickly to attack the Lannisters, but how the hell did all the Dothraki and her advisers make it there so quickly? I know it was a great surprise and all, but come on!
George R. R. Martin really took his time carefully planning how characters moved around the world in a logical sense, but that all seems to have been thrown out the window this season.
All of our main characters are finally coming together
Reunions and first meetings have been a major theme in Season 7 and these scenes have probably been the highlights of the season so far. Jon and Daenerys’ first meeting was the most anticipated and significant of the lot and has thus far been handled fantastically by the show.
Both of them have stood their ground where appropriate and yet managed to find a compromise that has brought them together as allies, as well as the beginning of potentially something more (as awkwardly pointed out by Ser Davos).
We’ve had plenty of Stark reunions as first Bran and then Arya made their way back to Winterfell. It’s been kinda bittersweet as Sansa comes to terms with the fact that her younger siblings are very much changed since they were all together back in Season 1. Now, all we need is Jon to make his way back home.
Speaking of which, Jon Snow had his first face to face with Theon since way back when and he made it pretty clear that he wasn’t overly thrilled to see him. Theon better get his act together if he ever wants to save the one person who actually cares about him.
We also had our very first Targaryen/Lannister showdown, with Jaime making an almost suicidal attempt to take down the mother of dragons after she obliterated his troops. Good thing the one seemingly competent soldier (gotta love Bronn!) was on hand to save his bacon.
There’s bound to be plenty more reunions and meetings as Daenerys continues her attempts to take the Iron Throne and Tyrion comes closer to confronting his incestuous siblings. The two reunions we’d love to see are Littlefinger and Varys sparring with their witty words, and, of course, the Mountain and the Hound in one more glorious showdown.
We’re getting ready for the final battle
Everyone who watches Game of Thrones knows that the Whitewalkers are the real bad guys on the show and the Night King is the number one villain. This threat has been building since the very first episode of the show and it can’t be too long until they finally arrive in Westeros. (They sure have taken their sweet ass time. Maybe they got lost on the way?).
Whether that happens this season or next, we can’t be sure, but we do know that the last season is going to be all about defeating them and that everything that’s happened so far has been about setting up this final conflict.
Jon Snow is King of the North and is preparing his forces for their arrival. He was tipped off by Sam about all the Dragonglass at Dragonhome and is busily going about mining as much of it as he can. He also seems to have convinced Daenerys that the threat is real and somewhat gotten her support for this war. He just needs her to wrap up her war with Cersei and of course, to bend his knee in service to her.
There’s every chance that the Whitewalkers will arrive before she’s claimed the Iron Throne, and there’s some possibility of everyone teaming up and putting aside their issues to tackle the real threat at hand. Probably not a very good chance but it’s still a possibility.
Meanwhile, the Hound and the Brotherhood are on their way to perhaps join the wildlings in being the first line of defence against the army of the dead. It would be nice if Bran would do something with all the power he’s gained but he just seems to be sitting around on his ass pondering things for the moment.
The Night’s Watch will probably have some role to play, especially if the Wall comes down at any point.
Chances are, more characters are going to die (well duh), especially the periphery ones. No one would’ve been to sad to see the Sand Snakes go, but we mourn the death of Lady Olena, the sassiest, wittiest badass of a grandmother ever seen on television. I wouldn’t expect Euron to survive the season but it’s been one hell of a ride so far!
These are all things to keep in mind as we get ready for this epic show to come to an end. Remember, there are only nine episodes left in total now! We haven’t had any major twists this season and things seem to be getting better and better for our favourite characters.
Game of Thrones has always been about subverting expectations, so let’s hope there’s still some major and shocking things to look forward to. We’ve had an entertaining but erratic start to Game of Thrones Season 7 and chances are we’re in for more of the same in the final three episodes. Let’s hope the payoff is worth it!