Where do I even begin?
I have a lot of feelings about the GoT season 7 finale, and most of them are not good. Most of them, in fact, are of the WTF variety. Let’s have a quick recap, shall we?
WTF#1 The stupidity of the capture-a-wight-to-convince-Cersei-to-play-nice plot reached its zenith. Cersei was never going to play nice, zombie or no zombie. Her feign to the contrary was … pointless. The whole 30 minutes was just a cat-and-mouse game with the viewers, with a few moments of straight-out pandering to the fandom. The latter felt like the writers were checking off boxes in terms of reunions/face-offs that the fans have been clamouring to see (Bronn-Tyrion; Pod-Tyrion; Hound-Brienne; Hound-Mountain, Cersei-Tyrion, etc.). Thing is, I usually enjoy being pandered to; in this case, after a season that started feeling “off” mid-way through, the pandering isn’t really working for me.
WTF#2 Cersei has the opportunity to kill Tyrion – whom she has been trying to kill for 3 seasons now – and doesn’t do it? Please.
WTF#3 Why would Cersei promise to actually help Dany & Jon face off against the White Walkers? As far as I could understand from the messy plot, all they were asking for was a truce. She has been an astute strategist; making a promise of active help, when she had no intention of following through would be pointless both for her stated goal – to ensure that the other side would feel indebted to her after the zombie war – and for needlessly testing Jamie’s oath. Speaking of…
WTF#4 Why would Cersei verbally humiliate Jamie, then give him an ultimatum, and THEN do nothing once he called her bluff? Seriously, what was the point of all that? Not even Bueller knows.
WTF#5 I am as happy as anyone to see the bloody end of glorious bastard Petyr Baelish, but that scene only served to highlight how poorly the build-up to it had been written and/or directed. I get that the Stark sisters wanted to lull Littlefinger into a false sense of security, but why do so in private conversations shown only to the viewers? Unless Littlefinger had the ability to listen through stone walls, the previous episode’s exchange between Arya and Sansa was just … really weird. It’s like the show wanted pull a “psych, you really thought Sansa was going to kill her sister” on the audience, but went overboard.
WTF#6 I maintain that Jon and Dany have the sizzle of oatmeal, but the writers really went out of their way to make that inevitable love scene as unappetizing as possible by inter-cutting it with the scene of Bran and Sam figuring out the Targaryen family tree. Also, is it too late to re-cast Jon and Dany at this point? Kidding not kidding. God bless Kit Harington, he is a very attractive man, but his acting range seems to be shrinking with every episode. Ditto for Emilia Clarke.
WTF#7 All-Seeing Bran is, in fact, only Selectively-Seeing Bran. So, basically, he’s useless unless you already know what information you’re looking for.
WTF#8 Jon’s real name is Aegon … the same name as Rhaegar’s son by Elia Martell. The son who died in tragic circumstances, along with his mother and sister, after being presumably abandoned by Rhaegar following the start of a civil war precipitated by, what else, Rhaegar’s pursuit of Lyanna Stark. Having Lyanna name her kid Aegon, with or without Rhaegar’s approval, is messed up. We have no idea if Elia Martell voluntarily agreed to divorce Rhaegar and was all cool with his new teenage bride, but overall that was … not a good look for R+L. This pains me, because I was a Rhaegar-Lyanna shipper based on the books, but the show has only served to highlight all the problematic aspects of that relationship.
WTF#9 Why was Tyrion skulking in the shadows outside the Chamber of Dragon Incest? The show better not be suggesting that Tyrion is in love with Dany and feels Jorah-ed by this development because … ugh. One Jorah on this show is one too many already. Whatever this is supposed to foreshadow, I already know I don’t like it.
Overall, I am not sure how I feel about season 8. Unlike most of Twitter, I think I am in no rush to see it. The wait will give me time to forget how much this past season has come to annoy me. Of course I want to see how the story ends (even though I have a feeling I will be disappointed), so of course I will watch next season, whenever it happens. What I love most about GoT these days, however, is the sense of a shared experience that it gives me. I don’t watch sports, so this is the closest I get. The anticipation each week, the online and IRL discussions with fellow fans, the Sunday evening ritual, the post-episode analysis. I don’t know of any other show that inspires quite the same obsessive devotion across a similarly wide audience base. (There are a half dozen people at work that watch the show, and will happily water-cooler it on Monday mornings.) I will miss that, for sure.
Speaking of which, this marks the end of my GoT coverage for the year. Some of you may now breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, I have really enjoyed writing these posts, so I’m thinking of continuing in a similar vein — alternating books and TV shows as my weekly habits dictate. I do love hearing your thoughts/insights though, so I would also be open to doing some sort of watch-along-athon, if anyone is interested (either as a separate post, or as part of this weekly round-up). If anyone is interested, or has suggestions for shows to watch, let me know!