The seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is exactly what you expect, and not in a good way.
In past seasons, surprise and disappointment were frequent feelings to experience while watching the show. Intense anger was another, making it hard for me to resist the urge to throw the remote across the room as I witnessed betrayals and murder.
At this point, seven seasons in, it’s been easy to get the hang of the show: I start to like someone, and of course, they die. So it goes in the land of Westeros. For me, this most recent season has been fulfilling in that the people that I like simply… survive. When it comes to credulity, this is where the show falls short. GoT is supposed to be the show that surprises you, the show that adds twists and turns where you didn’t expect, the show that breaks your heart.
I remember watching the first season with my family, being instructed to cover my eyes as my mother fast forwarded through the rampant sex scenes. I remember being impressed with how cinematic the show felt, how each episode left me on the edge of my seat. Maybe I was young then, or maybe the show just feels a little bit different than before.
Out of all the episodes from this season so far, the first is the only one that showed some sort of creativity, cinematically speaking. While it was pretty gross, the bedpan-cleaning montage featuring Samuel Tarly was expertly cut up and pieced together, deviating from the GoT norm of wide shots and long scenes full of dialogue. Besides that, the show’s production quality seems to have wavered.
Content-wise, a lot of loose ends have finally been tied, which has been satisfying to watch.
It was especially satiating to see Arya back in Winterfell with her siblings, but the fact that none of them really talked about where they had been or what they had been doing made it feel forced and unbelievable. The writers of that episode somehow managed to make a show filled with dragons, magic and zombie snowmen come off as even more unrealistic than before, which is actually kind of impressive.
The recurring theme of fantastical, too-good-to-be-true plot lines is tiring. Somehow, Daenerys Targaryen is always there in the nick of time. Somehow, Jon always makes it out alive—Not that I want him to die before seeing him and Dany get together or anything, but at least make me worry!
With one final episode in the series left, a lot of game changers could go down.
Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by being unpleasantly surprised. Maybe Jon and Dany never do get together. Maybe Arya and Sansa have a hair-pulling sister duel. Maybe someone important gets a limb bitten off by Frosty the Nightwalker. Maybe we’ll get to find out what a frozen zombie dragon breathes—though, if it breathes fire, I swear I actually will throw the remote at the television.
I’ll take what I can get.