Game of Thrones Review: The Winds of Winter

And it’s over again. The darkness has come. in what will most likely the final 10 episode season (the showrunners have already confirmed that there will be about 13 episodes left in total) The Winds of Winter was a worthy season finale. It was the longest episode they have ever done clocking in at 68 minutes and it was the best season finale because of it. Usually with Game of Thrones the season premieres suffer from the vast amount of characters the show has. Therefore the opening episode of a season feels like a catching up episode just to remind us of who is where and with the less important characters even reminding us of who is who. The season finales suffer from coming across as a final chance to check in with everyone before the season ends. But not this season finale. Shit went down. Lots of people died. It was awesome! Again, I have to give lots of credit to the extraordinary Ramin Djawadi. I have been a fan of him for years and his work in this episode is among the best he has ever done. So before we go into the darkness that is the off season of Game of Thrones, which lasts for 10 freaking months, let’s talk about the masterpiece that was The Winds of Winter. Winter is here folks!

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What happened
The trial begins and Loras confesses to his crimes. He renounces his name, titles and claim to Highgarden pledges his life to the faith. The High Sparrow has him marked with the 7 pointed star. Then they wait for Cersei but she remains in the red keep, having Ser Gregor keep Tommen there as well. Pycelle is lured to a cavern where he is stabbed to death by Qyburns little birds. Lancel is lured underneath the Great Sept of Baelor where he sees the cache of wildfire and three burning candles. One of the little birds stabs Lancel. He craws towards the candles but he is too late. The Sept explodes killing Lancel, Margaery, Mace, Kevan, Loras, The High Sparrow, The Faith Militant and many others. In despair Tommen jumps out of the red keep and kills himself. Cersei takes her revenge on Septa Unella by letting Ser Gregor have his way with her and she later takes the crown for herself.

In the North Bran and Meera are dropped off close to castle black by Benjen. Bran goes back to the Tower of Joy and finds out that Jon is Lyanna’s son. At Winterfell Lyanna Mormont calls out the lords who didn’t answer the call from Jon before the battle of the bastards. She proclaims Jon King in the North and after Lords Manderly and Glover do the same, all the other northern houses and the knights of the Vale proclaim Jon King in the North. Lady Olenna arrives in Dorne and makes an alliance with the Martell’s to join Dany’s alliance.

In Mereen Dany tells Daario that he won’t be joining her in Westeros but is to stay behind to keep the peace in what she now has named the Bay of Dragons. She also names Tyrion the hand of the Queen. At the end of the episode her large fleet finally sails for Westeros.

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What I liked
There was much to love about this episode. The grand opening with the trial, the brilliant music of Ramin Djawadi and the pitch perfect direction. It was amazing. The visual effect were stunning throughout the episode. I am elated that Dany is finally headed towards Westeros and I am happy that Dorne will finally become interesting next season. Lyanna Mormont was badass as always and I liked the scenes in the north.

I’m also happy that we finally got confirmation on Jon’s parentage. Though it wasn’t really necessary to keep it so ambiguous as to who the father is. The scenes at the twins were good to. Jaime shines as always and Walder Frey is finally dead. The coronation was gorgeous too.

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What I didn’t like
Even though it was one of the best episodes of Game of Thrones to date, there were a few things I wasn’t happy with. The thing that keeps bothering me is the conflict they are trying to create between Jon and Sansa. It seems as unnecessary as it seems artificial. And the logistics of a few things. Like, Arya killing Walder. How did she get in there? How many people did she have to kill to get to Walder? Did she have to kill innocent people to so? How did she have the time to make the Frey pie? And of course the logistics with Varys being in Dorne and back in Mereen so quickly.

What I’m looking forward to
Dany arriving in Westeros. Is she going straight to Kings Landing? Bran and Arya arriving in Winterfell. I hope that’s where they are headed. Ramifications in Kings Landing. You can tell that the noblemen weren’t too please during the coronation but Cersei has killed a lot of people. There should be a lot of consequences. I want to see how that plays out.

5/5

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Notes from the Ravens
Winter is finally here. Things are going to get even harder in the north. Gods help them.

It’s interesting that the dead cannot pass the wall while it stands. The fact that it has been mentioned must mean that the wall will be coming down.

Frey pie. Even though Walder’s death was less cathartic than one might have wished for, I think everyone is happy that the old dirt bag is finally dead.

Did you see that look between Jaime and Cersei? Finally some of the animosity between them from the books has made it to the show. It seems like Jaime knows what mad queen his sister/lover will be.

The showrunners confirmed that we have about 13 episodes left. I’m sad already

Even though I hate the conflict that the writers are trying to create between Jon and Sansa one can ask why he so easily accepts being named King in the North. Both Bran and Sansa come before home. I do hope they will address that.

2 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Review: The Winds of Winter

  1. I called it years ago! Benjin not being dead an all! 😀 No way, didn’t make sense at all at the time.

    And what about Tyrion being made Hand of the Queen, man? That was my biggest “damn, son” moment. It’s huge!

    The whole season did give me the lingering feeling of wanting this book in my hands already. Everything was so good. I know, branching paths and alternate story lines and all that, but I have the distinct feeling that Hodors end and Jons story are canonical. And those were arguably the best parts of the whole season.

    And about Hodor… God. Damn. What a way to tie that all together. The raw emotion of that scene, combined with the ethereal powers unlocked by Bran. To be able to make that work together is the mark of a great writer and director.

    And it opens up a whole other bag of questions like “if Bran can literally and directly influence the past, what else has been altered already that we don’t know about.” I mean, Bran can go back and stop the Children of the Forest from ever making the White Walkers, but would he than trigger a grandfather paradox?

    All in all, a great finale to a great season. Now finish the fucking book George!

  2. Well, the thing with Benjen is, George confirmed that he is not Coldhands (from the boks) because Coldhands has been around for a lot longer. I think the showrunners just decided to have a familiar face take the rol of Coldhands but I would not be surprised if Benjen is never seen again. Don’t forget that Westeros is a big as South America. It would be perfect sense for him to be never seen or heard of again.

    It was a powerful moment indeed, when Tyrion was named Hand of the Queen. Peter Dinklage is one of the best actors in the cast (despite his weird and ever-changing accent) and it seemed like a well earned moment. Even though, if you think about it, Dany and Tyrion haven’t spent that much time together so she hasn’t done that much to earn his faith.

    The Door was the best episode of the season for me. It was perfect. Especially that ending. And it was a brilliant way of wrapping up Hodor’s storyline. The showrunners confirmed that at their last meeting with George, he told them 3 things. The true nature of the name Hodor is one of them. And like you said, there could be major rammifications. There has been a lot of speculations about Bran driving the Mad King crazy by whispering all sorts of stuff in his ear. I don’t actually think that Bran can truly change the past but that there will be more complications that come with his abilities is a given.

    And yes, George should definitely finish the book. Let’s hope he does it before the start of season 7. It will be tight as S7 will premier around March/April next year. The publisher needs a couple of months to edit and get the book out and George already confirmed that he won’t finish the book this year. That means that he has till January or maybe February or else he won’t make it. But we’ll see.

    GoT at least gave the earliest bookreaders something they have literally been waiting 20 years for. Dany moving her ass to Westeros. Can’t wait to see what happens when she gets there.

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