Well, okay, so we finally had some plot movement in this episode. Unfortunately, it was still agonizingly dull.
So we begin with a rather nice scene with Davos breathing heavily as he looks at Jon having been resurrected… although I suppose it makes sense that Davos would be surprised by it, despite the fact that he was the one who made the suggestion to Melisandre in the first place… actually, you know what, no it doesn’t make sense. Why Davos still cares so much about Jon, I don’t know. Still, overall, this opening is pretty nice and not bad.
We then shift to Sam and Gilly sailing on the seas somewhere… oh hey, here’s an example of how little thought Benioff and Weiss put into this show: People can magically travel from one place to another in between episodes, yet Gilly’s baby is still a newborn after almost 3 seasons, if not more. The timeline is just completely fucked up and nobody seems to care. This scene goes on way too long. Honestly, at this point, does anyone really care about Sam? I also didn’t like his whole “I only care about you and the baby” routine. What about his brothers at the Night’s Watch? Jon? Eh. Oh, I guess Sam throwing up here is supposed to be comedy?
We then move on to a flashback scene of the Tower of Joy… it arrives completely unannounced and looks no different than the rest of the episode. The filmmaking on Game of Thrones in general is rather uninspired but come on, why couldn’t they have at least done something to make these flashback scenes look a bit different visually? The dialogue here is atrocious as well as Bran and the Raven give play-by-play commentary. “That’s my father,” says Bran, and moments later Ser Arthur Dayne repeats it by saying “Lord Stark.” Why not just keep the latter? Why do we need this kind of heavy-handed dialogue? I also laughed at the Sword of the Morning (singular) fighting with two swords. What, is this supposed to make him look bad ass? What really infuriated me about this though is that after the episode, in the “inside look” or whatever, Benioff and Weiss said that the reason they put that stuff in about Ned apparently lying to Bran is because they want the viewers to know that Ned wasn’t as honorable as we think. Yet, they’ll keep turning their favorite characters like Tyrion and Varys into complete one-dimensional goody two-shoes? In the books, it was Jaime who gave us a different and more interesting perspective on Ned – but this is just simply fucking with the character for the sake of it. I will say one thing about this fight scene though – at the very least, it seemed like director Daniel Sackheim wanted a little clarity, as he opted for long shots (wide shots) that lasted longer than just a few seconds. Not a great fight scene by any means, but at this point I’ll take anything over the choppy, incoherently shot and edited battles that this show usually features.
I have literally nothing to say about the Dany scenes here. I have no idea where they’re going with this and I’m not sure I care.
Speaking of Tyrion and Varys… Good Lord, they’ve really whitewashed these characters, haven’t they? I remember making jokes about Varys back in season 4 when he offered Shae money to leave Westeros, wondering if he might go about doing the same thing in Essos, offering money to prostitutes to save them. They actually literally made this come true. Holy fuck, these writers. So Varys, who in the books wasn’t above killing people he had no quarrel with, to achieve his ends, here he basically offers gold for information? Yeah, sure, he puts in some subtle threats, but still. This scene was embarrassing. The following Tyrion scene just goes on far too long and is just a waste of screentime.
King’s Landing still bores me to death. So Qyburn has somehow found Varys’ little birds and he gives them candy (which is what Varys apparently did) in exchange for their loyalty and information from them. Okay then. There’s also a fart joke involving Grand Maester Pycelle. Hilarious. Mature, adult entertainment everybody! Jonathan Pryce meanwhile gets another long-winded speech – you know, I like him as an actor and I like watching him talk, I just wish I could like listening to his dialogue as well. Ugh. This is torture. As with every episode, the King’s Landing stuff really drags the pace and interest down.
Next up is a rather hilarious scene where Arya ges a training montage and is given her sight back. What? Why didn’t they just do this in the beginning? Or at the very least, why did they waste time on those stupid scenes in the first two episodes? Why not just directly get to this episode and this montage? Why do they keep wasting screen time with pointless filler?
Ramsay gets Rickon and Osha. No cookies for guessing what’s coming next. It’s that predictable.
The final scene of this episode was the one I liked the most. Jon hangs all the traitors who stabbed him (although if he is no longer Lord Commander now given that he died, how is it that he still has authority to do this? Why did they have to wait for him to give up his position? Is he really an oathbreaker, taking advantage of a technicality?), but at the very least he seems to get no joy out of it. We also get some lingering shots of the dead bodies hanging, particularly Olly, which surely must have quenched many fans’ bloodlust.
Overall, basically, I don’t mind the bookends to this episode, but everything in the middle ranged from dull nonsense to embarrassing nonsense.