Hands up if, like me, you were disappointed by the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale. (Warning: this will be a long rant).
Despite its spectacular action sequences, this season was marred by a multitude of flaws, made all the more obvious by the fact that the complexity of the plot paled in comparison to earlier seasons.
Even as loose ends were being resolved, in their wake came gaping plot holes so big, a dragon could fly through them. But before launching into a list of the most annoying moments of Season 7, a requisite spoiler warning:
OKAY, LAST WARNING.
For a show that’s known for its subtlety, the dialogue this season has all the finesse of Gendry hammering important plot points into your skull.
The writing in the earlier seasons was sharp, cutting, witty and even lyrical at times. There was a poetic quality in the dialogue written for characters like Littlefinger (“Chaos is a ladder”), Daenerys (“I’m going to break the wheel”) and even for the stoic Ned Stark (“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword”).
But in season 7, most of the notable quotes have been nothing more than cheap jokes. The most we got was Olenna’s admittedly badass “Be a dragon” speech and a lot of talk about cocks (we get it, Bronn). And when Jon Snow blurted out a blunt “We’re f***ed” in the finale, it felt so weird and out of character that it made me wonder if he had finally gone mad after all he’d been through.
I just want the writing to be more like this quote from Ned in Season 1:
“You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honour for a few more years… of what? You grew up with actors. You learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned to die a long time ago.”
In one short speech, the writers conveyed just the sort of man Ned Stark was. Most of the quotes this season however, have been one-liners that were clever for the sake of sounding clever. Even when there’s some sort of attempt at making it sound important and truthy, it never quite rises to its potential and sounds, well, lame:
“This isn’t about living in harmony. It’s just about living.”
2So. Many. Plotholes.
I have a theory that the showrunners wanted to go out with a bang these last two seasons, and decided to put in a big action sequence in almost every episode in order to really give people their money’s worth. But it’s like they decided on what their end shot would be at the end of the season and just worked backwards from there, logic be damned.
I have so, so many questions about the events of this season. Like, is the cure for greyscale seriously just some extreme exfoliating? If Sam didn’t pay attention to Gilly while transcribing that High Septon’s diary, then how did he know about Rhaegar annulling his marriage?
How on earth did Benjen Stark keep his horse alive for so many years beyond the wall? If the wights can’t swim, how did they manage to attach all those chains to Viserion’s body to drag it out of the frozen lake? Where the hell did the chains even come from in the first place?!
Granted, the Loot Train sequence and the battle with the Wight army was gripping television. But if you take away all the CGI and fighting, there isn’t much left in terms of plot. The show is obviously tying up loose ends wherever they can, but the writing has become so bloody predictable and stupid at times that it’s become very sian to just watch them go through the motions.
3Nonsensical timelines and teleporting
GOT is now in completely unknown territory without George R R Martin as a consultant or writer. The showrunners don’t have his writing to lean on anymore, much to the detriment of things like pacing and timelines.
In a now infamous example, the people on the GOT Reddit have tried to figure out just how long Jon Snow and co. were stranded in the middle of that frozen lake. After some research, a Redditor estimated that it must’ve taken a raven at least FOUR DAYS to fly from Eastwatch to Dragonstone, and another day or two for Danaerys to make her way up north with her dragons.
All this while Jon Snow and the Brotherhood were freezing their asses off with (presumably) minimal supplies while the wights waited to make their next move.
Or in Singlish: WHERE GOT RAVEN FLY SO FASTLY ONE?!
This is just one of the many examples of characters teleporting all over Westeros in the time it takes for an ice cube to melt in Dorne, an issue already flagged by eagle-eyed fans in Season 6.
If, as Jon said in the finale, it takes an army a fortnight to march from King’s Landing to Winterfell, how was he able to travel back and forth across Westeros in the time it took Sam to travel from Oldtown to Winterfell? Just how fast were those Greyjoy ships?!
4The Stupidity Beyond the Wall
Don’t even get me started on the sheer stupidity of Jon’s idea to capture a wight to show Cersei that the threat is real. He and his Suicide Squad left Eastwatch on a hope and a prayer, with minimal supplies and no real clue about what they were going up against.
Seriously, they just planned to walk out beyond the wall, and keep walking until they bumped into some wights, kill them all except one, and bring it back down south? I can’t even with this level of dumbness.
5Littlefinger and Tyrion turning into idiots
With bad dialogue comes bad characterisation. And for characters known for their eloquence like Petyr Baelish and Tyrion Lannister, it means they went from strategic geniuses to mere idiots.
Littlefinger may be a little turd of a man, but he was one of the highlights of the show throughout all the seasons. Slimy and conniving as he was, there was just something about his scheming that you couldn’t help but admire.
Unfortunately, he turned into an idiot in Game of Thrones season 7. The Littlefinger of old would’ve known to be more careful when trying to pit Arya against Sansa. He would’ve been a lot more subtle and employed more subterfuge instead of creeping around the corridors of Winterfell like a child playing cops and robbers.
And he would’ve at least tried to talk his way out of being executed by the Stark sisters instead of merely begging for mercy. Even his death wasn’t as satisfying as it should’ve been because it felt cheap.
As for Tyrion, well. There were so many times during the season when a well-placed quip from him would’ve lightened things up for a moment or two, injecting some much-needed humour in a season that was all about doom.
But instead of cutting sarcasm, we get a Tyrion who whines about his lot in life when he meets Jaime. And for someone who won the Battle of the Blackwater by using his smarts, he seems to know very little about military strategy.
He’s even lost his gift of eloquence. Take this classic quote from season 1:
“Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”
Contrast that with his most…amusing speech this season:
“I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel I’m failing at brooding over failing.”
Give me back the character I loved. PLEASE.
6Game of Thrones turning into The Walking Dead
I’ve been dreading this for years, but it’s unfortunately come true: with the White Walkers and the wights breaching the wall, GOT is turning into The Walking Dead.
The wights are basically ice zombies, and if a White Walker touches you, it’ll turn you into an ice zombie. So far, quite similar, but with slightly different zombie rules.
But then in the finale, The Hound cleaved a wight in half before it could attack anyone, and the scene reminded me of this famous one from TWD:
Of course, it’s not their fault that it’s been done before, but I was expecting more from GOT.
7Jon + Dany = YAAAWN
I’m sorry, but Jon and Danaerys have no damn chemistry at all. They just happen to cast long, blank-eyed glances at each other every so often. I’d believe in it more if the people around them didn’t keep mentioning how obviously besotted they both were with each other. Less telling, more showing.
Don’t even get me started on how Jon decided to call her “Dany” when literally NO OTHER CHARACTER has called her that in the entire history of the show. Where the hell did he even dredge that up from? This was nothing more than fan service for the Jon/Dany shippers.
Can we also talk about how creepy it was to have Bran’s voiceover about Jon’s true heritage taking place during the scene where he’s getting busy with his aunt? For a show that’s managed to get people on board with twincest, even this seemed too much.
8Arya v Sansa: Dawn of the Stupid
Fans have been waiting for the Stark children to reunite for years after they were pulled asunder in season 1. We cheered when Arya gave up her plan to kill Cersei and instead travelled all the way up north to Winterfell when she heard that Jon had reclaimed it.
So it was sheer agony to watch her seemingly turn on Sansa so soon after she’d been reunited with her siblings. Sure, it turned out that they were all plotting against Littlefinger in the end, but it was such a quick about-turn that it gave me whiplash.
9Euron Greyjoy: evil dick
In case you’ve forgotten, Euron Greyjoy went from this (in season 6) to this swaggering, over-the-top villain of the dumbest order.
He’s a shell of a character and basically has no personality beyond acting like a psychopathic f***boy. Like everyone else in this world, he wants power and lots of sex with beautiful women, but there is no redeeming characteristic to this poor man’s Jack Sparrow.
Even if he were the heir to Ramsay Bolton’s spot as the villain everyone loves to hate, he’s a very poor and unlikeable one. Sorry, Pilou Asbæk. You’re actually lots of fun when you’re onscreen on your own, but Euron’s bad characterisation is doing you no favours.
10Bran Stark: shitty Charles Xavier
Starks are known for their stoicism, but Bran brought it to another level this season. Look, I know that as the Three-Eyed Raven he’s got lots of responsibilities on those shoulders of his. But would it kill him to actually, you know, TELL people about the important information he happens to have?
Also, he was an ass to Meera. And telling Sansa she looked beautiful the night Ramsay raped her? Um. Do you think you could use the power of the Three-Eyed Raven to search for the empathy you misplaced, Bran?
Why? Because he’s the biggest saboh kia in all of Westeros at this point. Why did you get bored and throw that stone, Clegane? WHY?
What did you dislike most about Game of Thrones season 7, geeks? Tell us!