Game of Thrones – Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. It has been two months sins my last con- blog post. I have been writing lots but this has been more to do with academic and professional opportunities and less to do with this site. My apologies, friends. So, to make up for this failing, I will finally complete my reviews of Game of Thrones Season 7. Here I am with a sum up of the final episode and my thoughts on where this leaves them for the end of the series. I’ll admit that it has been a while since I watched the episode, meaning that the points that I talk about are the ones that made a big enough impact to stick in my head. Heads up, I’m in the midst of a 24 hour create-a-thon so there may be a mountain of errors in this review. Remember when I used to have stamina as a writer?

Game of Thrones S7

So, in this season finale episode of Game of Thrones Jaime Lannister finally give up on his potentially-pregnant-but-definitely-crazy sister Cersei when she revealed that she still intended to wage war on the other rulers even after she had proof of the snow zombies marching on Westeros. He rides off north as snow reaches the southern half of the country. In Winterfell, Baelish thinks he’s got everything sewn up but realises (rather more slowly than expected) that you don’t mess with the Stark pack. Jon continues to be stupidly noble but does actually show some balls when he finally gets around to seducing Danaerys. Shame that Bran’s about to reveal a little family history. Oh, and the ice dragon destroys the Wall, thus explaining why the Night King has been procrastinating all season.

I didn’t dislike “The Dragon and the Wolf”. It kept me engaged, if not guessing, and did what it needed to do. We needed to see that Cersei wouldn’t change even when presented with solid proof. We needed to see Jaime’s alliance switch. Hell, we needed to see Jon and Dany finally give in to one another (as icky as it is). It ticked the right boxes. For a normal  Game of Thrones episode, it was wonderful. For a season finale, it was a bit…. lukewarm. The only bit that caused any surprise was Bran turning around to Sam and saying that they needed to tell Jon that he was a Targaryen and, really, you didn’t need to be the Three Eyed Raven to see that coming.

My favourite bit of this episode was Baelish’s death, not because it shook things up but because I called it just about perfectly. I’d discussed it with my friend not twenty minutes before it aired and pretty much got all the details bang on. It was well acted on all parts and, in any other season, probably would have been one of those memorable Game of Thrones moments that we’d still be talking about for years to come. As it is, Baelish’s death fell in to that horrible tick-boxy trapping that this series has been packed with and we won’t remember at all. What a waste.

This is one of the big problems with Game of Thrones Season 7. Season 6 struggled with writers trying to put in necessary plot points to keep the story going but this season just felt like they were ticking off the steps they’d already established to get from a to b. While the writing was less intrusive for me than the previous season, I still find it frustrating that everything was so transparent. Game of Thrones was a good show because it kept the audience guessing – even as an adaptation of a previously published novel series – but the last two seasons, where they’ve been working without such a substantial amount of source materials, have struggled to maintain that momentum.

Moving forward into the final season, there are some things that I can see them doing and others that I honestly don’t know how the Game of Thrones writers are going to escape the problems of. So, predictable things first. White walkers will keep moving south. While the speed with which the undead army made it over the Wall makes this a little illogical, narratively the white walkers shouldn’t make it to Winterfell until the fourth or fifth episode. The other characters need a little time to get their dragon glass, recruit the Children of the Forest who are probably living in the Neck, and deal with all the post-incestuous-sexy-time drama. Because there WILL be drama. Dany and Jon are into each other but he’s the true heir and do we think Danaerys Targaryen the Long-winded, will just let that go? Nope, not a chance. Meanwhile, Bran needs to die at some point and I still maintain that Sansa will be queen. Tyrion, if he survives and stops being as boring as he has been this past season, can be her advisor while Arya continues her merry adventuring as the head of her sister’s Kingsguard. If everyone doesn’t die…

The part I can’t work out at all is Cersei. Her continued plotting is needed to keep things Game of Thrones-y but it’s also a huge hole that I can’t see how the writers are going to get out of it. Either she’s going to be this annoying pest while everyone else is paying more attention to the dead army, she’s going to have a ridiculously timely death (most likely from childbirth), or she’s actually going to be the ultimate bad after they’ve defeated the white walkers (which seems like a bit of a step down after the dead ice dragon if you ask me). This entire plot element just feels… like a problem. I feel like if they’d kept the likes of Margaery Tyrell then Cersei would have had something to bounce off of in this coming season but right now? The only person who could take her on would be Sansa, which would be hella satisfying, but I just don’t have the faith in the writers that they’d go down this route. And thus, I am frustrated with the Cersei storyline.

All in all, Game of Thrones Season 7 was a vast improvement from the previous season but it has created its own pitfalls for the finale. They’ve stripped so much off so quickly that I’m not sure they’ll manage to maintain the interwoven narrative style that makes Game of Thrones so great. I will, no doubt, still watch it though.

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