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Mr Smith

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Noble (7/8)

  1. I gave it a 8, because I didn't love absolutely every decision they made, but that was an excellent episode and I really enjoyed it. Huge bounce back after last week. Amazed so many people didn't like this, can't help but feel it isn't adhering to a lot of headcanon. What I liked: - The drama and conflict caused by the truth of Jon's parentage. This really works, on every level. Dany begging him to keep it a secret, Jon unwilling to lie to his family, Sansa seeing the opportunity to undermine Dany, Varys seeing the value in an alternative to Dany. It all worked really well. - Mad Dany. She's obviously not gone 100% mad, and I'll sure she'll have redeeming moments before the season ends. But I'm really glad they're reminding us she has a complicated relationship with power even at this late stage. - Arya rejecting Gendry. Very in character, unlike a lot of what they've done with her over the last few years. - Jamie. I feel like I interpreted this differently to a lot of people. Isn't he going south to kill her? That's what it seemed like to me. - Rhaegal's death. I'll concede there are definitely conveniences here, but that's nothing new for the show, and it really did shock me so I've got to give them credit for that. - Bronn. I still think he should have been killed off some time ago, but I ain't even mad. What I wasn't wild about: - Jon leaving Ghost behind. I get this is a metaphor for giving up his northern identity, but it didn't work for me. - Cersie not killing Tyrion. I don't get this at all? Why does she continue to spare him for seemingly no reason? - Jon not mentioning the incest. I liked that it was unsaid before, but I felt like it needed to be said this time. Also it would have emphasised how far apart Jon and Dany are on why his parentage bothers them. After feeling like I didn't care at all what happens after last week, this episode has got me excited again, so I have to say well done for that.
  2. Gave it a 5 out of 10. But the rating doesn't matter much for me in this case. I don't think it's really D&D's fault it's come to this. I think they've done a great job with the cliff notes they were left with. But sadly this just isn't the show I love anymore. I liked that they built the tension to make it a very uncomfortable episode to watch (it should have been), but that can only take you so far. If you don't have the substance, the style will feel hollow, which is exactly what I was left feeling by the end of this episode.
  3. I gave it an 8, after some consideration. On the one hand the dialogue still leaves a lot to be desired, and a lot of the humour is falling flat. But on the other... when was the last time we had such a heart-wrenching episode of Thrones? A few moments here were among the most emotional in the series. What I liked: - Jamie's "trial", expect for the parts I didn't. Brienne vouching for him made sense, and that moment worked. - Dany and Sansa seeing eye to eye... sort of. I really loved that they were on the verge of making peace and then the conundrum of the North appears again. Very believable and well done. - Jamie knighting Brienne. The best scene so far this season? I certainly think so. - Jenny of Oldstones, which almost brought me to tears. Absolutely perfect. - Jon revealing his parentage to Dany. The inopportune timing really allows them to maximise the drama caused by this particular revelation. I think Dany's reaction was perfect for her character, and I like that their familial relationship is remaining unstated, almost as though it's too terrible for them to say out loud. What I wasn't wild about: - Arya. I'm just a little sad that I don't find her believable or compelling as a character anymore. Everything is flat and emotionless. I don't care what you've been through, anyone is nervous for their first time, and I just saw no emotional depth from Maisie during that moment at all. - I felt Jamie should have confessed to throwing Bran from the tower. Would have truly wiped his slate clean. - Continued emasculation of Tyrion. I suppose you could argue that there's value in making him vulnerable by calling into question his intelligence, but I don't feel they're really trading on that, which means all we're left with is more cock jokes, drinking jokes, and dwarf jokes. Very frustrating to see one of the show's most central characters become so obsolete. The above are minor nitpicks though. Overall it was a great episode.
  4. Gave it a 7. Tricky episode to rate in truth, not sure whether the slow pace was a good thing or bad, but hopefully establishing some relationships here will allow the rest of the season to breathe a little. What I liked: - Tension between parties. I'm not to into the norther lords outright criticising Jon for giving up his crown, but the tension regarding Daenerys works. - Sam breaking the truth to Jon after learning Dany killed his family. This really worked. I sort of wish they had set up that they weren't planning on telling him prior to this, and then Sam changed his mind after he learned about his family, as this would have given the scene a lot more weight. But I like that Sam has an ulterior motive for delivering the information, and the scene itself works really well, and perfect to be delivered in the crypts. - Jamie and Bran. Perfect, and very well acted by Nicolaj. - The Last Hearth. Great horror moment with Ned Umber turning into a wight, made even better by the fire symbol. What I wasn't wild about: - Jon riding Rhaegal for the first time. I felt they misplaced the tone here. The scene was far too comedic given that the audience is aware of the significance of this, and I think it cheapened the moment a bit. - Jon and Arya reunion. It wasn't outright bad, but felt underdone. It was really a waste not to have the Stark music swell as they embraced. - Continuing to make Tyrion look like a fool. I know this is really a season 7 problem, but drawing attention to Tyrion's ridiculous assumption that Cersei would actually come north only increases the sense that he simply isn't the character he used to be. It's really sad to see a character that was once the life-blood of the show become such a hollow imitation.
  5. I really don't know how to rate this one. Only Game of Thrones would produce such an impressive conclusion to a mixed season, and still manage to piss away it's most important piece of story IN THE SAME EPISODE. Lets break it down: What I liked: - The dragonpit meeting. Could have been anticlimactic, but I personally felt there was enough of a blend between airing old grievances and discussing the larger threat. And you have to give the show credit for one thing: the "capture a wright" plan has been roundly criticised (in some cases quite fairly), but there was genuine value in showing a dead man to people who'd never seen it before. It did a good job of proving that nothing compares to seeing something with your own eyes. - Tyrion and Cersei. Wow, what a scene. The content was well written, but they could have been reciting lines from a geography textbook and it still would have been compelling. I would go as far to say that was the best acted scene in the history of the show. - Theon's fight. It was nice to see him finally have a win. All the more sweet as it came out of the ashes of his own suffering. - Jamie's departure. He's finally set Cersei aside! Only took a dead man. But again, a great scene. Both of them very much in character. And adding in the Golden Company was a nice touch, I hope they go some way to articulate their interests as Westerosi exiles desperate for a way back home. - BOATSEX. Buy into the hype. You know you want to... What I didn't like: - Littlefinger's end. Again, I'll give credit where its due: the scene on its own worked well. If it had been built better, I would have really enjoyed it. But unfortunately, this moment couldn't hold the weight of what was done to reach it. I won't pretend I didn't enjoy watching Littlefinger's crimes laid bear in front of him however. - R + L = J. What a shame. For most of this season, it seemed as though the show had been building something really powerful: a dramatic irony that hung over almost every scene Jon was in, reminding us that while we know the truth of Jon's parentage, the characters do not, adding weight and tension to every move Jon makes, every situation he is placed in. That has now been lost, with possibly one of the cheapest moments in TV history. We'll never know whether this moment was debated long into the night behind closed doors, but the conclusion we have reached is ultimately unsatisfying, especially given the potential the show appeared to be building. And finally, the wall comes down. Do I think this will be the way it happens in the books? No. But the scene works on its own, and while I feel it possibly struggled under the weight of its own spectacle, it was really the only way to end season 7. I've settled on giving the episode an 8. And the season a 7. And now the wait begins again.
  6. Hmmm... 6, and I feel I'm probably being generous. I really want to just enjoy the show at this point, but there were a few too many conveniences in there for me to stomach. What I liked: - The opening bit with Dany and the Tarlys. Say what you want about Emilia Clarke, but the show has done a good job of keeping Danaerys consistent, and maintaining her confused morality despite her essentially good heart. - Jon with Drogon. The moment was a bit contrived (and came out of nowhere), but the scene was well-delivered. - Davos being Davos. He was the real star of this episode. - Arya and Sansa conflict. I have issues with Littlefinger's convoluted scheme, which I'll get to in a minute, but I feel the mistrust between Arya and Sansa is natural. Both have been taught that trust can be dangerous, and Arya's impractical sense of justice is realistic given how long she's been away and what she's experienced. All she understands now is blood. - That weird moment at Eastwatch with all those complicated relationships. Very entertaining. What I didn't like: - Gendry's return. They really could have found a better way to do that, and I didn't quite buy his eagerness to jump back into the fray of war either. Frankly, his entire return is unnecessary fan-service, really don't see how his presence adds much. - Cersei flip-flopping. I guess I can understand her trying to be clever given the whole dragons situation, but I find it hard to believe she'd be able to resist killing Tyrion if she had the opportunity. And where's Euron got to? - Littlefinger. The show has struggled with his character for some time, and it seems this season they really just didn't know what to do with him. Not only was the whole letter scheme incredibly convoluted, I don't understand at all how conflict between Sansa & Arya serves him. Finally, it felt to me like this episode would have worked much better if it had been stretched out over two episodes. Decisions seemed to be made out of nowhere, and no thought or revelation was given a moment to breathe. One more episode could have made all the difference here.
  7. Gave it a 9; maybe a little harsh, but Arya's homecoming didn't quite land for me, so that's the way that goes. Cracking episode however, in what could well become Thrones' greatest season to date (if these first 4 episodes are anything to go by). What I liked: - More good stuff between Jon and Dany. I'm a little bothered at the low key hints at some sexual tension between the two, but I can put that aside for the present because they're producing excellent scenes at the moment, and neither are giving ground to each other, which is as it should be. Particularly pleased that Jon still hasn't sold out the North, contrary to many moaners predictions. - The return of Bronn. This is the second time in the show's history where I was absolutely certain Bronn's story was about to come to an end, but I'm not complaining (because lets face it, who doesn't love Bronn?) Very interesting that they had him make the first genuinely heroic decision in the show's history, but I'm not really sure where his story goes from here. - Arya vs Brienne. Nice moment, and a good way to showcase her skills in a way we haven't seen to date. - The final sequence. Outstanding TV. And great to be back to battles that really conflict the viewer: we want Dany to unleash the dragons on the Lannisters, but do we want Jamie to die? We want Jamie to survive, but at the cost of Dany or Drogon? The show did a good job of making us worry about characters on both sides here. What I wasn't wild about: - Arya's return. Like I said, just didn't land for me, especially her reunion with Sansa, which should have been much more cathartic and emotional. At first I didn't like her entrance sequence with the guards either, but in "Inside the Episode" Beniof explained that the scene was evoking Odysseus's return home after his travels, so I'll allow it. Final word: Both Jamie's fate and Dany's morality were both very much left up in the air at the end of this episode, and we were left thirsty for more. Complain about plot conveniences all you want (and I did think Jamie's last-minute rescue was a little convenient), but you have to credit the show's ability to leave you desperate for the next chapter. After a couple of years struggling to balance source material and original content, the show has decided decisively what it wants to be, and is now reaping the benefits.
  8. A 10, scaled back to a 9 for some lacklusture dialogue in places and whatever Bran has turned into. But really, to complain too much about this episode is the height of churlish. That was outstanding television. The meeting of Jon and Danaerys was everything I could have hoped for. High tension, neither giving ground, family grievances hanging in the air like a spectre. Perfect. I even thought Emilia Clarke's acting improved. Cersei. Some really great moments from her, from revenge for her daughter to no longer giving a fuck what anyone thinks about her and Jamie (though I suspect that may come back to bite her). Acting was top notch. Final montage was outstanding. People complaining about offscreen battles need to get a grip. We're going to get a lot more action in the coming episodes. Not fussed about the timeline. I've accepted that the show has changed, and that the slow deliberation and subtlety of the earlier seasons has given way to fast-paced movement. That is as it should be. For me, the show was always going to change pace as we moved towards the end game, and it benefits. Final word: we really could have done without Littlefinger's ridiculous monologue. Like I get the point he was making, but surely someone could have cleaned up that dialogue a little. Minor nitpick though.
  9. I actually disagree, I felt their disagreement was a natural progression for both their characters and the different things they have experienced. I agree the conflict should have occurred behind closed doors though. What I enjoyed most about it though is that there's no absolutely right answer either way; Jon is right not to punish sons for the sins of their fathers and Sansa is right to try to reward loyalty and not have people close to them who might hold grudges.
  10. Personally, I think the show massively benefits from not have any book material to directly parallel it to. I honestly felt I enjoyed the show for the show in that episode. Character arcs may be different from those in the book in places, but they work within the context of the arcs the show has built.
  11. I’m giving it an 8. Solid premiere, one of the stronger ones in the show’s history. Some very interesting set-up, and most importantly, this episode left me hungry for more. What I liked: - Jon and Sansa’s complicated ruling relationship. This felt like a natural progression of both their characters, which was important because I was worried any conflict between them would feel contrived like last season. But you can understand where both are coming from based in their experiences. Personally I think Jon was right doing what he did, but there’s no clear right answer either way which is in important tradition for the show to uphold. Still think StarkBowl is a red herring, and Jon and Sansa will still be allies come season’s end. - Jamie and Cersei’s complicated ruling relationship. Great parallel between the two factions, and some beautiful acting from Lena and Nikolaj. Can’t wait to see where their relationship goes this season - Sandor and his ghosts. This was a great use of a great piece of characterisation from earlier in the show, and show’s how the Hound’s way of looking at the world has shifted, as well as reminding us he still has crimes to atone for. It may have been slow, but the whole sequence between him, Beric and Thoros was very good in my opinion. - Ed’s cameo. A nice way to use him, and a good reminder that not all men are monsters. Serves the purpose of humanising Arya’s enemies while providing a refreshing change of pace from the brutality that normally comes from chance meetings on the show. Well done David & Dan. - Dany’s return home. Nice moment, although I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t seen almost all the footage from trailers, etc. What I wasn’t wild about: - Still not entirely convinced by Euron, especially his perchant to use the word murder like its going out of fashion. I do think he was playfully menacing however, and his eyes in particular have a madness to them - Arya’s face changing. I know it was supposed to be vindication, and I didn’t hate the scene itself, I’m just worried D & D have written themselves into a corner with the faceless ability. Arya is too OP at the moment. Final point; it was interesting that I enjoyed the show more without having any book content to directly compare it to. I feel I can finally enjoy the show for the show and the books for the books, and I hope others start to feel that way as the season continues.
  12. Giving it a 7, after long consideration. As far as production is concerned, you can't fault this episode. They really brought out the CGI big guns for Mereen. And that battle? Talk about the horrors of war. For a show that's always struggled with their depiction of violence, I thought they handled it pretty well, and that battle felt far more cautoinary than most violence has been on the show up till this point. However... The false and contrived emotional stakes were a big problem in this one. The only time I felt real tension throughout the whole episode was when Rickon was running; other than that, I could (and did) predict every major beat of this episode, from Dany going fire and blood on the slavers (and slaves, btw), to Davos finding out what happened to Shireen, to Jon's army getting completely destroyed, to the Arryn reinforcements riding in to save the day (that has literally happened on every battle in the show so far), to finally Ramsay getting eaten by his own dogs. Seriously, what was the point of that entire battle when we KNEW Littlefinger was bringing reinforcements??? A quick hypothetical; way back in episode 4, Sansa rejects Littlefinger's help (fair enough) because she's already had the conversation with Jon and co about where they can get some men, and Littlefinger goes away. Jon and Sansa go on and get their men: not as many as they wanted but enough to take on the Boltons and feel they're in with a serious shot. However the tide turns, and then at the last minute, to the surprise of EVERYONE, Littlefinger rides in to save the day (we could later have it revealed that he had a spy in their camp, and was keeping tabs on how things were going). Now, he finds himself in a much stronger bargaining position, because everyone thought they were finished and genuinely wouldn't be alive if it weren't for him. It's stuff like this where it just seems baffling to me that the writers can't be just a little more clever: not a lot, just a little. The predictability of the show currently is a grim omen for the future, particularly given that the major selling point for watching the show before the books came out was that we're in the dark about where things are going. I gave David and Dan the benefit of the doubt this season, but my patience is running low.
  13. Gave it a 5. Unbelievable. Every time I think this show is taking a step forward it takes two steps back. David and Dan don't deserve this story. Unsurprisingly, the best parts of this episode were those taken directly from the book (Riverrun, etc). Sandor's stuff was good but nothing special, but all of Arya's stuff was actually unacceptable.
  14. Gave it an 8. Mostly enjoyed this episode, and there was nothing terrible, but still a few clumsy moments. What I liked: - Stark recruitment. Everything was great, and I particularly liked the trip to Bear Island. Really wished that Sansa had vowed to come back and hang Lord Glover for an Oathbreaker as Robb did to the Greatjon though. - Jamie at Riverrun. Great to see some of the book dialogue survive, and really enjoyed Jamie putting down the Freys. - King's Landing. Glad to see Margaery has some kind of a plan, looking forward to seeing where this goes. What I wasn't wild about: - Septon Meriband and the return of the Hound. They bungled this in my opinion, very clumsily done. Didn't mind the Cold Open and early reveal, but the Septon himself was a big disappointment. - Arya in Braavos. Surely she was expecting some kind of attack; she should have been much more covert than she was. And after being stabbed in the abdomen three times, there's no way she can walk around straight the way she is. Was expecting much more of a fight between her and the Waif after all this build up. Very disappointing.
  15. Gave it a 6. Really strange episode, didn't really feel like an episode of Game of Thrones. I wouldn't bring back that director at all, he didn't get the tone right. What I liked: - Everything in Braavos. Now that they've stopped beating Arya half to death, her storyline has really picked up. Pity they left it in a cliffhanger, but I'm thoroughly looking forward to the next instalment of that particular arc. - Benjen reveal. I knew it was him as soon as I heard his voice, but it was still great when he took his hood off. Moment was kind of ruined by the fact that I was watching with a bunch of Unsullied who had no idea who he was. - Walder Frey reintroduction. They've got the Frey tone spot on. Well done. - Tommen's moment at the sept. Not entirely sure they'd done a perfect job forshadowing that, but it was still a good moment. Also loved Jamie riding up the steps of the sept. What I wasn't wild about: - Jamie getting stripped of the white cloak. He's basically a different character now, and I don't know why they've changed his relationship with Cersei so much. Don't think it improves him as a character at all. - Visit to Horn Hill. Tone was all wrong, nothing from that worked for me. Randyll Tarly was a big disappointment as well. Not a fan of any of that. It felt completely out of place, like it came from a different show.
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