Spoilers Ahead on Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3
Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 10: “Mother’s Mercy” Review (Spoilers)
It’s been said before that no one is safe on Game Of Thrones. Season 5 finale entitled “Mother’s Mercy” lived up to that adage. In what is arguably one of the most shocking deaths to date, we say farewell to another major character that’s been on the show from the very beginning.
Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 9: “The Dance Of Dragons” Review (Spoilers)
Going by previous seasons, Game Of Thrones has conditioned viewers to expect the unexpected in its penultimate episode. High expectations can be bit of a double-edged sword. It adds to the intensity knowing a regular character could get killed off and in anticipating a season defining moment. On the other hand, setting the bar high could result in a let down if that game changing event doesn’t land as hoped. The good news is that on its own merits, “The Dance Of Dragons” is a solid episode. It just happens to be in the shadows of “Hardhome”, one of Game Of Thrones’ best episodes to date. A better way to think about these two episodes is that they’re not in competition with one another, rather it’s a great one – two punch to the final stretch of Season 5.
A common sentiment is this season hasn’t had that wow factor. That moment or event were all fans are raving about around the water cooler. Sure, there was a highlight scene with Tyrion and Jorah versus the stonemen in Valyria. While the consequences of that scene is still reverberating on a personal level as Jorah comes to terms with grayscale disease, it’s implications won’t ripple into other storylines.
Then there was Sansa’s wedding night which garnered lots of heated discussion but was divisive of the fan base rather than something everyone could get behind. This all changed in a big way in Hardhome. As good as all the other scenes are, the epic battle against the undead army stole the episode and ramps up this season’s momentum several notches.
Game Of Thrones doesn’t follow the structure of a typical season of television. However, in terms of the narrative arc, “The Gift” is still in the rising action phase as a number of storylines are building their way towards a climax (insert your Samwell Tarly joke here). The most notable series of events is the convergence of Tyrion and Dany’s storylines. We also saw Cersei’s smug grin get wiped off her face and discover things can actually get worse for Sansa. Speaking of Sam the Slayer, giving a shard of dragon glass to Jon appears to be setting up a battle with possibly a White Walker and their undead horde against the wildings in Hardhome.
After last week’s highly focused episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” returns to a number of the other storylines. Arya in Bravos and Jamie in Dorne have been the two least developed storylines of the season and while both move forward this episode, only one them is hitting the mark. Without Jon’s storyline, arguably the season’s strongest, or a highlight moment like Drogon in Valyria, this episode feels like a bit of a mixed bag. Full spoilers ahead.
Game Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 5 “Kill The Boy”
Halfway through season 5, certain story lines are more difficult to ascertain their trajectory than others. Jamie Lannister and the Sand Snakes’ story in Dorne could play out in a number of different ways and the Faith Militant is a wild card in King’s Landing. However, for the story lines in “Kill The Boy” there is a clearer picture on where they might land. Stannis is on a collision course with the Boltons, Tyrion and Jorah will eventually make their way to Meereen, and the consequences of Jon and Dany’s respective decisions will likely come to a head by season’s end.
Speaking of Jon and Dany, there are obvious parallels in their progression as leaders in “Kill The Boy”. It gives the episode a sense of cohesion when similar themes are addressed in story lines at opposite ends of the world. The usual set up is advisors telling Jon and Dany what is the right thing to do. So I liked how their respective scenes flipped it around when both Maester Aemon and Missandei basically said to do what you believe is right. Another minor point, is that I liked how Ser Davos’ previous advice has influenced Jon to see that the Night’s Watch are not only defenders of the Wall but are also Protectors of the Realm.
Watch the 22 minute special on HBO’s Game of Thrones featuring exclusive interviews with series executive producers and cast members including Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) & Emilia Clarke (Daenarys Targaryen) as they give insight on the hit television show, highlight key moments from Season 1 and give teasers for Season 2.
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.