‘Game of Thrones’: The Pack Survives

“We are a group of people who do not like one another.” Ya think? Tyrion’s assessment may be too on the nose, but he’s not wrong. Everyone on this show has a bone to pick with someone. Two interactions that happen early on in the episode involve threats to kill the other, and the meeting hasn’t even begun. By all rights, none of these characters should be within proximity. Then again, Game of Thrones loves playing things close to the chest. This far into the show and that much closer to the end, everyone is well aware of what the other is capable of – who’s aligned with who, what’s motivating them – leaving little to no tricks up anyone’s sleeve, their hands shown for all to see. Or perhaps there’s one final move left to play.  Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’: A Critique of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones’ most astonishing accomplishment this season is streamlining its dense plot, one that is consistently marked and marred by tangents that either have nothing to do with the overarching story, or everything. What began as a political drama is now clearing away the chessboard for a world-ending scenario, forcing our heroes to set aside their lust for power and unite against a common enemy. And yet, this narrowed focus is what has made Season 7 a fascinating viewing experience as much as it has been a frustrating one.  Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ and Time Travel

“Nothing fucks you harder than time,” Davos says to Gendry, characters who met all the way back in Season 3. A lot has happened since then. There’s plenty of plot to be explained to a character who has essentially been sidelined for 4 seasons, which the show is more than aware of (“Thought you might still be rowing”). But just before Davos can nurture the details, Gendry shoulders a bag already conveniently packed, saying without hesitation, “I’m ready, let’s go.” This scene from “Eastwatch” encapsulates the pacing of Season 7, a season marked by a breakneck pace and a readiness to dive into the grand scheme of things.  Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’: Reign of Fire

Game of Thrones is all about the long game. Supporting characters later emerge as major players, schemes are conjured long before they come to fruition, while plots intersect and unravel over the course of many seasons. The show has had quite a few things up its sleeve, but the one it has withheld the longest is the very thing fans have been pleading for more of: dragons. The dragons were introduced at the end of season one, and, in “The Spoils of War,” we finally bore witness to their wrath. If you introduce a gun in act one, you’d better damn well fire it. It was a long time coming, but the payoff was tremendously satisfying.  Continue reading