I love Game of Thrones. It is, in my opinion, the best TV show of our time (closely followed by Rick and Morty.) Its intense story lines and gory violence has kept me hooked since I saw the first scene in episode 1 with the Nights Watch deserters getting attached by the Wights. This season, however, is something else entirely. with the number of episodes being reduced to a mere 7 episodes leaves us with a very small amount of footage to get our “thrones” fix each year. However, it does give us a much faster pace and higher quality episodes to sink our teeth into. so without any more stalling here is my ranking of the 7 episodes of Game of Thrones season 7.
7. ‘Eastwatch’ (episode 5)
This is the weakest episode of the bunch but it just shows how quality Game of Thrones is when it still kept me glued to my seat throughout and was thoroughly entertaining. This episode was mainly to setup for the final two allowing them to have some great pay off for the season as a whole. However, I did not appreciate how out of character Daenerys this episode who was killing two highborn Noblemen without first seeking council. I couldn’t believe that she just ignored Tyrion and went and barbecued the Tarly’s without a second though. There was also Jon’s half-baked plan to capture a Wight where at the first mention of the plan my reaction was similar to Ellaria Sand when the Viper dies.
This was some great set-up for the next episode and seeing Gendry back was great and his no nonsense attitude to going to fight the dead was refreshing after seeing so many people deny their existence for so many seasons. Overall this was still a solid episode and was only bogged down due to the exposition and setup that needed to happen to allow other episode to be better.
6. ‘Stormborn’ (episode 2)
Episode 2 was similar to episode 5 with allot of set up and exposition chiefly lead by Melisandre telling Daenerys to send a raven to Jon Snow. However, this was better as it was done in more of an interesting way with 2 powerful magical characters finally meeting. The moment where Daenerys puts Veris down for his line about Melisandre supporting Stannis was savage after she chewed him out for conspiring to take down the two kings before her. We did get another gross Sam scene while clearing the Grey Scale of Jorah witch was again very funny similar to episode one. However it is odd that a highly educated organisation like the Maester would ban or not explore a practise that can clear Gray Scale so effectively. I could not find a bad word to say about the final scene. The god awful Sand snakes were killed and we had some awesome fight sequences to go with it. We also go to see Theon face his PTSD and fail to lead to what I suspected at the time to be a proper final character redemption arch for him not just his sister telling him in a brothel to “man up”.
5. ‘Dragonstone’ (episode 1)
This was one of the best openings to a season I have ever seen, with Aria as Walder Fray roasting the rest of his family and supporters for the Red Wedding in the very hall where it happened. With all of them being positioned it was the best starts to a Game of Thrones season in the series history. It was great to see all of the characters we have missed in the off season back and mostly growing stronger. Even the quick glimpses of some characters like Jorah were a great addition hinting at things to come. Also we had one of the most disgusting seines ever with Sam cleaning and then eating out of some very similar looking bowls. The wholesome Lannister soldier scene to bring Aria back some humanity after here butchering of the Frays was pretty good but the Ed Sheeran comments were a tad cheesy for me and I reckon he should have stuck to a background role. This overall was a great opening episode and gave us the first inclines of the rest of the season and what we had in store.
4. ‘Beyond the Wall’ (episode 6)
This is probably one of the most split episodes of the season ranging from wanting to check my phone to screaming at the screen in fear for some characters. This is probably when my worries got to a peak about the Area, Sansa Plot line. I had had enough f the Sansa character back in Season 5 with the characters constant hints to become a badass then immediately shying away from what could have been a great character arc. This felt like another manufactured conflict between two characters that should have by now learnt to appreciate family. There was also the random topic of succession brought up by Tyrion that would obviously not help his relationship to Daenerys. Again you would think Tyrion would be smarter than to bring this up after all the plans he has come up with have failed. Then you get to the northern half of the episode witch is almost flawless. The Tormund, Hound banter had me in stitches and the battle seine were great. It was great to see all these hardened warriors fighting together in the aid of one cause. The CGI bear looked fantastic but the sequence was a little choppy for my taste and the fact one of Daenerys dragons died at the end was needed. No more are they the all powerful weapon to kill white walkers. This episode had the potential to make the White walker army look a little weak however it remained strong in numbers throughout and the fact they didn’t all escape on the dragon was great to see (very close to being the eagles in lord of the rings.) I would still say though that Benjen could have got on the back of that horse no issue.
3. ‘The Queen’s Justice’ (episode 3)
Apart from the Jon, Daenerys meeting I feel this was a very Lannister central episode with Euron returning to the capital with the Sand Snakes and the meeting with the Iron Bank it really allowed us to catch up with how Cerci and Jamie are doing. The moment where Euron talks to Jamie about what Cerci is “into” while being praised by the crowd was gold and the torture seine was so emotional with the way Cerci was going to kill the final Sand Snake the way Ellaria killed Myrcella. However by far the best seine was the one between Jon and Daenerys. We have been building these two characters up for over 6 seasons now and to see them finally meet with the camera slowly cropping closer and closer until they are finally both in the same shot was great to see finally happen. Also the bit leading up to it with Jon talking to Tyrion like long lost friends was a real pay off too. Brans talk to Sansa was a bit weird with the way his character is being portrayed as detached and doesn’t sit well with me as it just seems to come across as a bit odd when compared to the emotions from Sansa. Also we see that the Unsullied are now trapped at Casterly Rock meaning that all of Tyrion’s plans have gone down the plug hole. For what is supposed to be such a intelligent character for all his plans to fail is a little disappointing especially as this is the first half of the season and you can already see cracks starting to show in his and Daenerys relationship. Another great moment was the Jamie and Olenna seine where she tells Jamie she killed Joffrey leading to him not believing it was Tyrion anymore potentially leading to some sort of reunion between the two. Overall a great episode where some memorable scenes happened but there were some issues with characters not being portrayed in the best way.
2. ‘The Spoils of War’ (episode 4)
Another fantastic episode, of great battles and character moments. Again though we have some small instances where characters are just a little odd. The Bran and Meera fair well was emotional however with Bran not reacting with any emotion to someone who has emotionally and at some points literally carried him for years of his life was a little jarring as at no point were we made to feel the three eyed crow had to be detached and unemotional as shown by the pervious one, Blood Ravin. The Aria, Brienne fight was a cracker mixing two very different fighting styles and some great choreography to make one of the best one on one fights of the season and this was only a training fight. Theon and Jon coming together after such a long time paid off another long awaited moment due to Theon originally ridiculed Jon and now the power has switched to put Jon completely in control. and finally one of the most epic scenes of the series the Dothraki vs Lannister fight. As soon as you heard the hoof beets we were getting excited. Robert Baratheon said in season 1 that anyone would be a fool to face Dothraki in the open field and we finally got to see why. Drogon going around roasting anything that moved looked amazing too. I was worried seeing Amelia Clark with him in CGI back in season 5 when it looked like she could just have easily been on a broom at Harry Potter World. However, they have really improved it for season 7 with it looking really realistic when he blows up the whole train of Grain and food. All the cinematography similar to the Battle between the Grayjoy’s was fantastic. The way the camera followed Bronn with Barely any cuts was a joy to see and very reminiscent of the Battle of the Bastards. Bronn’s fall from grace as well when his dagger get deflected then he gets de-horsed was a sad moment as I have always imagined him as one of the top fighters in the Game of Thrones universe and for him to get messed up by a Dothraki was a little unexpected however I reckon if it was a one on one without a horse he would have an edge. Though the battle I could not pick a side and I were always just rooting for none of the main characters to die. After so many seasons getting to know these characters it would be hard to see one die even after George RR Martin saying he does not mind killing off main characters. So overall another great episode with allot of great conflicts.
1. ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ (episode 7)
Of course the finally was going to stand a good chance of being at the top of the list being 71 minutes long giving us the largest amount of thrones and paying off more plot points than ever before. I loved the way the the show depicts Kings Landing in snow this probably cost a large amount of the money for the season to create this effect. The image of Cerci’s new floor map being covered in show foreshadows the coming of the long night for Westeros was very ominous. The Dragon Pit scene was a great pay off with so many reunions of popular characters meeting up including the Hound and Brienne and the 3 hero’s of the Black Water. This was great to have so many throwbacks to older seasons. Daenerys turning up on only 2 dragons was a interesting tactic potentially showing her hand witch Cerci picks up on. These really shows that Cerci is actually a decent leader and she might be ruthless but she can be quite cleaver when it suites her. The Hound interrupting everyone and telling the Mountain how he will die was fantastic as the fans have been looking for Clegane Bowl for years and the potential for it to finally potentially happen would be the final redemption for Sandor for all the terrible things he did.
Cerci’s reaction the the white really showed her fear of it in that moment. she didn’t flinch at the dragon or the Hound but when something that unexpected got up in her face she finally showed her true colours and flinched. It was surprising the Mountain did nothing during this to stop anything from endangering his queen so it was lucky Sandor had it covered. The filming of the Wight where it looks sped up looked very cool and really added to the fear of it. Jon sticking to his morals was nice to see as he has the same values as Ned even when everyone is roasting him over it. I was not surprised when Euron left after seeing the Wright to go back to his Island and hide. It then leads to a pleasant surprise that it was part of the Cerci trick. This was a fantastic twist that really changed my perception of Cerci’s position from one of weakness to one of power. I was so happy that the Sansa Area plot line is now over. For me it was just dragging out so much and needed to end. It did go out with a bang with Petyr Baelish finally dyeing in a very satisfying way by the dagger he held to Ned Starks throat. I cant not talk about how awkward the incest going on between Jon and Daenerys is. The voice over from Bran talking about him officially being the heir to the Iron Throne was interesting but the way Tyrion responded to it by just standing there looking sad spoke volumes. It said that these two having a relationship may not be a good thing for the realm or its people. A fantastic end to the season with the Wall coming down and with Viserys using what thought was similar to Godzilla’s plasma breath from 2014. Overall a fantastic episode to end the season on and a great way to leave us wanting more in Season 8.