The seventh season finale of Game of Thrones aired August 27, 2017. The eighth and final season will premiere late next year.
By the time you read this, you already know. The Dead are coming and they are real.
In a finale that boasted well over an hour runtime, we were treated to some storylines coming to a solid conclusion while others having frayed ends became unraveled even further. From the beginning, this season of Game of Thrones was fighting an uphill battle with viewers by going against its previous release strategy of ten episodes, instead shortening the season to seven. These seven had slightly longer runtimes, but featured a quicker pace of storytelling that was atypical from that of the previously successful formula of having a slow burn during a season.
I must admit that I loved the quicker pace where I know most did not. I thought that what they usually would take to accomplish over the span of three or so episodes would be taken care of swiftly in one was a much needed move on the writer’s part to help accelerate some of the storylines that had been left stagnate or were spinning its wheels in an effort to actually tell or show something about its characters. Understandably, this caused some fans to bristle and begin to question the plausibility of the main storyline as well as smaller stories as if somehow that would cheapen the experience, but I was one of the outliers that enjoyed the characters moving, speaking and acting/reacting at a quicker than usual pace. Alright, I will step down from my soap box…
The season seven finale was able to deliver on several well thought out plot lines that occurred this season. Sticking out the most to me was Cersei’s descent into madness in the aftermath of her children’s premature deaths was amazing to watch unfold, but it occurred to me while watching her throughout this last episode that she was desperately trying to fill her father’s role controlling the family since his passing. In doing so, she thought it best to assume this crude and unwavering cruelty that you could tell she thought was something to be admired to the point where if her father were still living she thought that he might actually be proud, but something was glaringly wrong as she attempted to be him… she was not him. Thrones does not make many mistakes when it comes to story and so they deemed it important to show that on more than one occasion when given the chance to kill off people that oppose her (i.e. her brothers) she could not bring herself to go through with the executions. I mention this storyline because it was one of the most dynamic to me over the course of this season. It was great to watch the character of Cerse convince herself that she has become this stalwart monarch, infallible to the point where anyone against her would not be long for this world.
Another MVP candidate for this season was easily Tyrion. His arc was definitely one of humbleness and change, but it was in a positive direction. He was shown very quickly how quips and witty retorts can’t always get you out of situations. It was almost humanizing to see Tyrion fail so miserably in front of his queen because it is through those failures that he will be a better Hand to Dany. That is still an ongoing story, but it was wonderful to watch over the course of this season and will be interesting to monitor going into the show’s last.
As we were finally treated to #boatsex, I couldn’t help but be thankful at Jon, I mean Aegon, and Dany’s chemistry and how well it played out on screen. Their partnership felt earned and not rushed which proved to be the right move as the episode came to a close while also leaving their future together wide open. The only knock I would say towards their last scene together is the voiceover of Bran and Sam discussing Jon’s lineage as a Targaryn. That was the one major moment where I actually felt the story was forced upon the audience not so much for fan service in confirming something we all were hoping was true, but more for attempting to cram one last little payoff in the end of an already full episode. It’s a minor complaint that I ultimately still enjoyed and loved hearing, but it would’ve been nice to have seen Sam and Bran working together to discover this rather than Bran just word vomiting it to Sam during the course of a fireside chat.
While this finale boasted wonderful scenes of characters sharing screen time that we secretly wanted for years now, I’m looking at you Brienne and Hound, nothing even comes close to what we were shown at Eastwatch. Words cannot begin to describe my reaction as I watched Viserion (R.I.P.), now turned Wight-flyer (the internet has to have coined a better term by now), take his newly restored blue flame and burn down a large portion of The Wall as well as completely decimate Eastwatch. I’m actually glad they showed Bran warging into a raven that was there because that could’ve possibly been another stretch just as to how anyone in Winterfell could know about the invasion quickly, but being that I was screaming internally with excitement during this scene, I would have easily overlooked anything at that point.
I loved everything about this season finale and yes, even in the face of a quickened storyline(s) I found no harm in the show taking it upon themselves to see the need to expedite certain developments among characters. I know the collective that are GoT fans might find that difficult to agree on, but the truth is the end is near for this show and there is much more story to be told and in order to do that they must do whatever it takes to get it done. The greatest feat achieved by Game of Thrones managed was the fact despite the hacks and leaks to scripts, photos and episodes, it managed to still offer up a few surprises as well as leave us wanting more! It gave us just the right amount of answers, but caused us to still sit there while the credits were rolling to wonder “What if….?”
Some parting thoughts on the finale:
- Aegon + Dany = Dagon (long ‘a’)???
- LittleFinger’s death was hard to watch. He went out like a chump.
- I feel that the whispers around Cersei’s behavior in King’s Landing were just a bunch of pregnancy and hormone jokes.
- The music in the episode was perfect for setting each and every scene. Unsung hero of the episode.
- Bran is the official wet blanket of Westeros.
- Sam arriving at Winterfell and talking to Bran felt extremely forced and random.
- Can Theon die already? Not believable as a leader.
- The Flashback to R + L and then the J was well done.
- If Tormund dies, I’m going to lose my mind!
- Is Euron really doing Cersei’s bidding or did she just say that to avoid showing lack of control?