SPOILER ALERT! IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED SEASON 7 OF GAME OF THRONES, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…
Season seven of HBO’s fantasy TV show Game of Thrones had its finale on August 27 and it was a doozy. So much was thrown at us in the last 15 minutes of the finale that viewers are still reeling from all the implications and plot twists even three weeks later. And we loved every second of it, while suddenly coming to the realization that we might have to wait two years before seeing Westeros’ power couple vs the White Walkers. So what are we to do in order to pass the time? First, let’s wrap our heads around what just happened before thinking about what is implied in season eight.
First, a brief synopsis of the season. It seems pretty bleak for the future of Westeros, as Cersei Lannister has rooted out all of her enemies and dismantled the majority of the powerful houses (RIP Olenna, you will be missed!) that opposed her ascension to the Iron Throne. In the far north, the armies of the dead are rallying past the remnants of The (destroyed!) Wall while being led by The Night King on dragonback (more on that later). However, all is not lost! Show favorites Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have joined forces following Daenery’s arrival in Dragonstone. Fortunately, Daenerys and Jon have rallied the support of the Lannisters in fighting the army of the dead. Unfortunately, it cost Daenerys one of her dragons and if you still trust Cersei after seven seasons…well, you know nothing. And perhaps the most important revelation of all: Jon Snow’s true name is Aegon Targaryen, and he is the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, the brother of Daenerys Targaryen. Which means Daenerys is Jon’s aunt. Hooray for incest!
This past season was the best we’ve seen from co-creator David Benioff and the rest of the crew behind the making of Game of Thrones. It had everything we could want from the show and more: backstabbing schemes, huge battles, dragons, steamy romance scenes, and plot twists galore. Watching Daenerys’s dragons soar across the valleys of Westeros while torching entire battalions of Lannister forces gave our hearts a kick as we take in the scene in awe. Then, the producers wretch out our heart when one of these dragons tumbles through the air and crashes through the ice, lifeless and sporting a long icicle embedded in its side. These scenes have a different perspective, however, as the director chose to focus more on the human aspects of both sides of a battle. In the battle between the Jaime’s army and Daenerys, for example, a lot of the shots focus on the soldiers in an attempt to humanize the combat. There’s a scene where Jaime pauses amidst the chaos and realize that he’s losing the battle, watching soldiers burn and perish around him. Scenes like these are the bread and butter of Game of Thrones, where the producers play with our emotions all the while keeping us hungry for more.
However, no TV show goes without its flaws. This season was the shortest of all six previous seasons of Game of Thrones at seven episodes (most averaged 10+), and the final season is rumored to only have four episodes. Shortened screen time for the main characters is a problem, as viewers want to get every minute that they can out of the remaining episodes of the show. In a few instances this season, it seemed that the show gave us a couple new characters who may or may not have lived past their first episode but included them in cameo form. There’s a scene in the season opener where Arya, fresh off of a 54-man killstreak (cya Freys), sits down with a group of Lannister soldiers plus Ed Sheeran. While the meeting did help provide plot exposition in the form of Arya learning about Jon’s return, it takes precious screen time away from the main events occurring around Westeros (of which there are many) and instead focuses it on a few characters we’ll probably only see again in the form of melted metal and flesh. While it’s a nice gesture to the extras that fill in as soldiers to help develop the soldiers making up the armies, that simply isn’t what makes Game of Thrones appealing. After all, we came to watch Daenerys fry the Lannisters, not listen to Ed Sheeran’s new single.
Season seven has been a crazy one. Now that we realize it’s over, however, we miss the show more and more every day and can’t wait until we hear that iconic theme song once more.