Season 7 was awesome, but…
Good things do not last long enough. Our perception makes us believe that good and enjoyable times zoom by way faster than their not so enjoyable counterparts.
You know what? The headline contains the word but, and at the beginning of the season, we learned through Jon Snow what Ned Stark thought about said word, or, more precisely, sentences using it:
Everything before the word but is horseshit.
Sorry Ned, I have to use the word here. Also sorry for not thinking that you were always right, because if you were, you wouldn’t have lost your
And it seems, even his daughters do not always fully stick to Ned’s beliefs and principles, because while watching one of the key scenes in episode 7, another Ned-ism from the very first moments of the show came to mind:
The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword
Clearly, Sansa and Arya did it not the Ned Stark way by sealing Littlefinger’s fate with a perfect example of team work, violating one of their father’s core principles. But who cares, the scene was still good and both Arya and Sansa are not man anyway.
So, yeah, it’s over - for now
Game of Thrones Season 7 is over and to me it seems it just started last week, but in reality, it’s been 6 weeks ago. Despite all the problems that manifested themselves in this most recent season, caused by a way too fast moving and compressed plot, GoT is still a very enjoyable show. The acting is excellent in most cases, the costumes, set decorations and visuals are almost Hollywood A-movie level, the dialogues are fine, but the screenplay for season 7 was a bit disappointing. In my opinion, there was only one truly excellent episode and I’m talking about the fourth one. The third one brought us a couple of excellent dialogues and high quality acting, mainly from Cersei Jaime, Ellaria Sand and The Queen Of Thorns. Unfortunately, it also brought to us the end of one of the deepest and most interesting characters in the show, but otherwise, it wouldn’t be Game Of Thrones. The first, sixth and seventh were decent, but no real match for the last two episodes we’ve seen in season six and the remaining two were typical buildup episodes with no big events happening.
In season seven, the plot has been brought to its first climax, the war for the Iron Throne between the challenger from across the narrow sea, our well-known Targaryen princess and self-proclaimed Queen Cersei who still sits on the Iron Throne. Additionally, the ground work for the final conflict between the human race and the White Walkers with their army of the dead, now strengthened by some undead giants and an undead dragon has been laid.
The cliffhanger in the final episode of season 7 happened as expected and thus shared a common problem that became more and more apparent during the seventh season: The show has become predictable, significantly more than ever before. For the most part, this is understandable though, because the plot has already entered its grande finale stage and the number of pro- and antagonists is considerably lower than it was in the first seasons which limits the options for unforeseeable but still believable plot twists. With the departure of Littlefinger one more interesting character is now gone for good. Not that he didn’t deserve what he got, but I’ve seen him always as a worthy addition to the series with a lot of potential for surprising plot developments.
But not all hope is lost. The final episode of season 7 also opened room for new theories, speculations and possible plot twists in the eight and final season to come. How did Tyrion convince his sister to return to the green table and does he know about her sinister plans of betraying the entire population of Westeros? When Jaime learned about those plans, he left her in disgust, risking a gruesome death at the hands of the omnipresent Mountain that (no longer) rides.
What about Jon, who, by the way, still knows nothing, and Dany, who has now officially lost one of her many titles: She is no longer first of his name even though she has not yet learned of the new situation.
What about Cersei? Will she succeed? Unlikely, but what is going to happen to her, now that she lost the last member of her family who was still on her side? Will Tyrion betray the Dragon Queen and side with his estranged sister or will he make her suffer even more?
Cersei has indeed suffered a lot over the last 6 episodes. Effectively, she lost everything: Father, sons, her daughter, she will likely lose her unborn child and it now appears, she has also lost her beloved brother. On top of that, we still remember what happened to her during season five at the hands of the High Sparrow: She was humiliated like no other Queen before, but no other than Cersei would have taken it without losing a single nuance of her dignity, coming back stronger than ever, and we know, what kind of vengeance she had in store for those who treated her badly. She is our beloved antagonist, because she is evil and corrupted, but she is also believable. Everything she does makes sense and she acts like a corrupt regent would do in the real world in order to protect and preserve her position of power.
The fact that she paid a huge price works well to make her even more believable. If she would still enjoy everything she had at the beginning of the show, that character would certainly be less authentic and probably also less realistic: You can’t be an asshole of such dimensions without ever having to pay a price.
And season 8?
So, season 7 is over. Lots of things happened, we saw Dragons, fire, ice, quite a lot of blood, many dead and undead people and even an undead dragon, we saw lots of agony and some love - the usual ingredients that have always worked so well for Game Of Thrones. We also saw the plot moving at a quite unusual speed. Gone are the days when everything developed slowly, when things built up step by step and moves were carefully designed. Undoubtedly, some of the deceased main characters are missing and the holes they left were never filled. I’m talking about Tywin Lannister, Olenna Tyrell or Ramsay Bolton - truly remarkable personalities in all their evil- and corruptness. Personalities who fueled the show and were the masterminds behind the awesomeness of a red or purple wedding that made the show such a remarkable experience.
Season 8 will only consist of six episodes. So far, it’s not clear whether some of them will come at an overlength, yet I’m afraid, six episodes will require a fast moving plot, pretty much at the same speed as we saw it in season 7. Not really what I like, but so be it. There are still so many loose ends to collect, not only Cersei vs Dany, and everyone vs the Night King and his army. There are many smaller things that matter, what about Gendry, will he meet Arya again? Will the Hound finally get his revenge for the atrocities committed by his brother when they still were children? What about Tormund and Brienne, will they finally get the chance to make monster babies?
And, most importantly:
Who the hell will still be among the living at the end of the final episode?