Kris Vieira: Here we are at the end of a thrilling, though somewhat disappointing, season. I thought this was a great episode in many ways, but I'm going to pick it apart anyway. Won't you join me?
This was an especially long episode (I think the longest so far) and they used a lot of that time building up to the meeting at the dragon pit. They spent some time reminding us of the connections between characters, which was useful. The exchange between the Hound and Brienne was probably my favorite. I do hope Arya and The Hound meet again. I also loved his threat to The Mountain, who looks more and more disturbing every time I see that purple face peeking out from his visor. How did you feel about the anticipation for this scene? Did it feel like stalling or did it work?
Elizabeth Hargreaves: No, I loved it. Any scene with the Hound is a success in my book. The Mountain is just -- almost comical at this point, but still terrifying. I don’t know how they’ve managed to toe that line. Can his face get more purple? Are there more shades of “dead”?
Whitney Stockman: I also loved it. It’s nice to see our band of weirdos back together again and some meeting for the first time. All of those random connections from seasons past are starting to make more sense and I appreciated the review. I also liked that the anticipation to the meeting was so built up, yet it was just people in a room trying to intimidate one another.
Sarah Webster: I liked the scene as well. It was important to build the tension. They needed to take their time because this is the first scene that all our main characters share and they have a such a complicated history with one another. I think it feels like a stall in comparison to the rest of the season. If they'd taken their time with some of the other key scenes this season it would've served them well.
KV: Daenerys makes a kick ass entrance, bien sûr, and hot damn Lena Headey needs an Emmy for this performance. Her face speaks volumes. The reveal of the captured wight was amazing. Brilliant move to have The Hound approach fearfully and then give the box a quick kick. I pulled back in my seat along with Cersei as that thing came flying out, screeching. I also loved that Qyburn was INTO it!
EH: Hahaha, yeah, Qyburn was ready to do some weird ass experiments on that thing. I think that’s where his creativity really sings.
WS: Daenerys did make a kick ass entrance! I loved that her dragon walked down the side of their amphitheater like it was no thang. I thought they did the scene with the wight very well. At first, it didn’t look like Cersei was going to be phased by the creature and then she was terrified. I, honestly, wasn’t sure if the Lannister side would care about the zombie or not.
SW: They handled the reveal of the wight perfectly. I loved that it rushed Cercei! It was a nice payoff considering how much was lost in its capture.
KV: What followed was a bit confusing. Euron (still the most disappointing villain this series has produced) walks away a coward. It seems unbelievable, and it turns out that it is. I have a hard time swallowing that Cersei was that many moves ahead of the game, but fine. Then Jon Snow makes a classic Stark move and chooses honor and loyalty over winning (you know nothing, Jon Snow, but we love you). Cersei storms off and somehow it makes sense for Tyrion to try to talk sense into her? I don't know, I have to shrug off the failures of logic in this season, I suppose. Part of me thinks they just wanted an excuse for a two hander between Dinklage and Headey, and one must admit that those two can crush a scene.
EH: Euron walking away was a bit confusing at first, but like you say, it was explained later. I wasn’t really missing him though. His character feels kind of unnecessary. It’s like, we get it, he’s evil….he’s a wild card!! What crazy evil thing will he do next? Turns out, not much. Maybe he’ll surprise us next season and do something that will actually make us care.
WS: Why were either of the Greyjoy men there? Neither of them are very much a part of this disagreement. And Euron. Like, we’ve seen Ramsey Bolton, we don’t give a shit about this dude. Once he cuts someone’s balls off he can get back to us. If this show were anything but GOT, I’d roast these logic leaps on Twitter. When writers don’t connect the logic, it takes the viewer out of the magic of the show. There were so many. Seriously, unacceptable.
SW: I'll admit that Cercei has become a much more capable adversary but I don't buy this. She didn't know they were bringing the wight, so how was she planning to justify Euron abandoning his alliance? This is bad writing. They wanted to have a twist and didn't care if it made sense.
KV: When Cersei came back out and announced that she would fight alongside Jon and Dany, I was shocked but I loved the idea. A truly surprising decision that made me think this show still had a few tricks up its sleeve. Sadly, she was bluffing, but this provided the push Jaime needed to cut ties and finally be the knight he's always wanted to be. I will admit that I definitely thought Cersei might kill him in that moment. I was starting to lose faith that GoT could successfully fake me out. Well done.
EH: Oh yes, that was good. Poor Jaime. Now all he’s got is a fancy gold hand and a broken heart. I’m relieved he’s finally moving on, although we all know those two aren’t done yet. Kris, I’m feeling like your prediction of those two destroying each other is becoming more and more inevitable.
WS: This entire season keeps putting Jaime’s life in danger! He’s one of my favorite characters on the show; it’s very stressful for me. I don’t believe he is a bad person, he’s in a co-dependent relationship with an abusive gas-lighter. I hope this is the push he needs to get out, but I’m not sure it’ll stick. If he goes to the other side and is just, “I’m here, let’s kick Cersei’s ass!” imma have to call BS. I need to see some emotional turmoil over the decision. Whatever Cersei is planning is hard for me to take seriously. Between being totally unhinged and bad writing, she has become the least interesting character on the show.
SW: I'm interested to see where Jaime's story goes. I was happy to see him finally stand up to Cersei. Things are not over between them. I loved seeing Cersei have these private conversations with each of her brothers. She and Tyrion killed their scene together! Sadly, it ruined the suspense in her next scene with Jaime. If she didn't call for Tyrion's head, I knew Jaime would be safe.
KV: Good point. Speaking of bad fake outs, this whole Arya and Sansa story-line that seemed so unconvincing, of course turns out to be untrue. I don't think they earned the moment- especially after that scene between Littlefinger and Sansa, where it was clear (at least to me) that she was lying. I'm still really disappointed that such a compelling, powerful character ended his tenure with a wasted season. However, Aiden Gillen’s performance in that final scene was outstanding. Seriously, it's worth watching again just to see his face register what's happening. He pulls out every manipulation in the book as the walls close in around him. A plus to Sophie Turner as well, who really shows some Stark for once. She is truly Sansa Fierce!
EH: That scene was so good! I loved it. Definitely worth re-watching. While Littlefinger seemed to have nothing more than a “creepy uncle” vibe while he lurked and smirked around Winterfell this season, in past seasons he was a compelling character to me. He was so effective! And conniving! But seeing him get cut by Arya (and so efficiently) was very satisfying.
WS: It did feel completely anticlimactic how quickly and without trial Littlefinger was executed. He deserved better. I liked how he was killed efficiently by Arya, but I don’t think people would’ve stood by and allowed him to be cut down. Totally agree, Kris. Gillen’s performance was amazing. I’m glad to see Sansa listening to herself rather than those around her. Unless she was just listening to Arya.
SW: This whole story line is preposterous. It's just another instance where the twist was more important than the story. None of their actions felt motivated. The scene where Arya threatens Sansa makes even less sense now. They wanted to shock us, and they did. But at what cost. I'm happy with the outcome but I've mostly stopped caring about this entire storyline.
KV: We finally, finally, finally get the full reveal of Jon’s parentage. (Are we really gonna start calling him Aegon? I just can't.) I don't get why Bran didn't see the wedding before Sam tells him (isn't he always saying he remembers “everything”?) but whatever. I got a little fan-girly at seeing Rhaegar. Also loved Sam’s reaction to Bran’s weirdo vibes. You speak for us all, Samwell.
WS: I’m so excited to know that Jon came from love or whatever. He’s gone his whole life feeling like a mistake that needed to be covered up and he’s actually a precious treasure who needed protecting. Bran’s super powers only seem to work when they are conducive to the story-line. I get it, but help us out here, writers! Make it make sense!
SW: I know Bran’s power must be very difficult to handle as a writer. But they can do better than this. I do love how Sam reacted to him and it was nice seeing Rhaegar and Lyanna in the flashback. But they already revealed this a few episodes ago, so it wasn't that exciting. It felt more like a gimmick given that it came right as Jon and Dany were solidifying their alliance :)
KV: It was a very creepy gimmick! What else...I could mention that Theon learns about honesty and being a good person or whatever, but I kind of don't care. Anybody care?
EH: I kind of care. I guess. I mean, good for him! You go do you Theon! I really think he has to die though, trying to save his sister. I don’t see any other way for his story to end. He can’t save his sister and then just live happily ever after. But I guess he’s got a second career in ultimate fighting if nothing else -- his crotchless advantage might be a money-maker for him.
WS: I feel for Theon. Who hasn’t made mistakes in his young life? Agreed, his mistakes are way more intense. Most people haven’t pretended to burn their brothers alive, but we’ve all done things. I didn’t feel that he learned about being a good person in episode 7. He’s been learning it since he was rescued from Bolton, but he finally found the courage to speak up and save his sister.
SW: I care about Theon in the books. He's one of the characters who's truly paid for his mistakes. The show doesn't do him justice.
KV: You guys have a lot more empathy than I do! Finally, we get to see a zombie dragon in action and...well...yeah. That was pretty f’ing incredible. I have two questions though: one, hey Lord of Light, think you could have included that little detail in your visions?? Two, at the rate the undead army has been walking, will they even get to Winterfell by the end of the series?
WS: While the zombie dragon was flying, I was thinking, “Oh shit!” and covering my mouth with my hand. And many thoughts on how excited I am to discuss this episode with you, ladies.
SW: I loved the effect of the zombie dragon taking down the wall. This is a really big deal, you guys. That wall has been standing for thousands of years. It has such a huge significance. I'm sad that we only got a few minutes of it, but I suspect there's much more to come next season.
KV: Final thoughts?
EH: I have a question, what the heck happened to Greyworm? Is he still standing scowling outside of HighGarden? Did I miss something? Are those 500 barrels of boiling oil still going to be boiling by next season?
SW: Ha! That's a good question. If a raven can fly thousands of miles in just a few minutes then it only makes sense for oil to boil for a year and a half :)
WS: I watched the opening sequence at least three times and am still not sure what was going on. Also, did Tormund die? He’s my second favorite after Jamie.
KV: Agree on that opening sequence. I could not for the life of me figure out where they were. It felt like Kings Landing looked really different that I remembered.
SW: Ever since The Usual Suspects Hollywood is obsessed with the twist ending. But they only work if they're done well. This season had plenty of twists, but they all came at the expense of the characters. They have completely underestimated their fan base. I hope they read the reviews this season and make some adjustments for the final season.
KV: I just hope they read The Featurettes. :) Thank you for all of your input this season, ladies!