“Everything you did brought you where you are now. Where you belong. Home.”
Hello! I still intend on doing these episode recaps for the final season of Game of Thrones but I wanted to wait until my guest appearance on Stark Contrast was up for your listening pleasure. Then I waited a couple more days to get back in on that SEO hype (bloggers gotta do what bloggers gotta do). I’ve been pals with Esther Rosenfield and Søren Hough for a few years now, so I was honored to join them on what I’d consider to be one of the (if not single) best Thrones podcasts around. They don’t sugar coat the genuine issues the series had in the writing and fully understand the truth of Miguel Sapochnik being one of the best directors working in television. You can listen down below to our full thoughts on the episode or head over to MovieFail.com to listen there. I encourage you to listen to their previous episodes as we head into the Thrones endgame.
Below are some bullet points to highlight a few things about the episode that may or may not have been discussed in the podcast, but I’d like to take this time to recount where I’m at with Game of Thrones at this point.
I think I’ve come to terms with this series not living up to its full potential anymore. The back of the show is simply filled with too many narrative and thematic issues, digressions of character that lead nowhere, and unearned crowd appeal that are unjustified. But I’m glad for the time I’ve spent with the series. It’s given me countless great characters, often impeccable production design, wonderful performers whose careers will surely blossom for the foreseeable future and so many more wonderful things. There are even several seasons and standalone episodes that I’d consider to be among the best television has had to offer in its colorful history. The remaining episodes could completely butcher everything from top to bottom, fall flat on their face, step in shit, etc., and none of it would matter. Because I loved these last two episodes, and they’ve left me on a high few art productions have ever given me.
Some more thoughts #SavedBySapochnik:
- Simply impeccable direction from Sapochnik. The images of literal light fighting against the darkness made this arguably the best directed episode of the series. Certainly one of the best I’ve had the privilege of experiencing on any television program.
- The blocking, the action staging left me floored. The constant upping of the stakes in the action had me glued to the screen.
- Sansa and Tyrion needed more to do.
- Jamie and Brienne fighting side by side to protect Winterfell… gotta stan.
- Ed 😦
- No fucking shit going into the CRYPTS during a battle with THE UNDEAD was a bad idea. They gave these showrunners a Star Wars trilogy, jfc.
- WOW is the writing still not what it used to be. Momentary flourishes of brilliance and empathy really drive home what drew people to this series in the first place, like that Bran quote I posted at the top of this post.
- LMAO @ Sapochnik clearly getting that Jon and Dany are impulsive idiots.
- Jon should have died when he was running after the Night King. Imagine? Just go full OG Game of Thrones and kill off our traditional male fantasy hero? Don’t get me wrong, I love Jon. I love most of these characters. But I think that’s the energy the series had been missing for a good while.
- Furthermore, I think there’s almost an idea drawn here
- RIP Theon, the rest of the Mormont bloodline, and Dolorous Edd. They didn’t contribute much to the show lately but I’m sad to see them go. Especially Theon. Once someone I loved to hate, his struggle of acceptance and misguided loyalties was fascinating to watch. Alfie Allen has a bright future ahead of him.
- NO, Arya is not a Mary Sue. Because that word doesn’t mean anything and it’s mostly just about men being made uncomfortable with the idea that women are more competent than them. She’s got a Masters in murder after eight seasons of television. It tracks completely. The issue at hand is that, after an entire series of buildup about the *real* threat being the White Walkers… it’s just ridiculous to defeat them in a single episode. Utterly unfathomable decision making from the showrunners to make testaments about the war and politics being petty, only for them to spend the final three episodes on… petty politics. It’s another reason why I think Jon should have died, the survivors escape to the South, a place where they would not be welcomed, and explore the conflict from that angle.
- YES, it is dark. YES, that was a creative decision. NO, it is not the viewer’s fault. Television manufacturers do not send out their products with standards fit for presentations that utilize actual cinematic techniques. They’re designed for news, sports and anything that can simply transfer from point A to point B. It’s a “first world problem” so to speak, but still something that we need to talk about. Furthermore, it’s on HBO to stream their series better. Airing on HBO showed the images fine, but streaming compression crushes deep blacks and shadows, transforming what *should* be meticulous art direction and depth of field into molds of digital noise and waves of pixels. This is going to look absolutely stunning on blu-ray.
- Some images from a twitter pal