You know, as unintentionally hilarious as the above image is, the episode itself was actually funnier. A lot.
What was even funnier was watching people last week come up with all sorts of theories to explain the Arya scenes in that episode, only for it to turn out that, well, everything that happened, happened exactly as we saw it. There was no big “twist.” As is typical of Benioff and Weiss, there was nothing underneath the surface. People as usual tried to go out of their way to defend the show and explain away the sloppy writing but even they can’t run away from this. Two years/two seasons of screen time has just been wasted away. The problem with Benioff and Weiss is that they keep eliminating characters and plots that they think they don’t need but don’t actually change the endgame of those characters or plots and so they go off on tangents only to haphazardly come back to where they would’ve gone anyway had they stuck closer to the books, which begs the question, why deviate anyway?
Remember Gilly’s storyline from season 4? She’s sent away to Mole’s Town by Sam to “protect” her from the Night’s Watch brothers, which makes no sense considering the Thenns are south of the Wall and are likely a much bigger danger, only for her to come back to Castle Black just like that. There was no need for her to be there at Mole’s Town, it’s not like we needed her POV or anything of that sort, yet they sent her there, wasted screen time on her, and then just brought her back. Arya’s storyline so far has been almost the same except stretched out over two seasons. I still have no clue what Arya’s training was for, I have no clue what her training was about, how did she become “no one,” the House of Black and White, none of it makes a lick of sense. I won’t even bother ranting about the whole business with Arya being stabbed, then magically being healed by
Tauriel Lady Crane that other character who isn’t Cersei but is meant to make Cersei look good and sympathetic, and then having a Bourne-style chase through the streets (which I’ll admit I thought was fine and decently directed/edited), it just boggles my mind how this show keeps getting a pass for stuff like this (although in this case at least it seems like it hasn’t, at least not in the minds of a lot of people).
Speaking of Cersei, my God, they did actually compare her to Catelyn didn’t they? I mean, they did actually have Jaime make that comparison. Well, Catelyn was a terrible character in the show but I know what they’re aiming for here. Their love for Cersei knows no bounds. Much like Jaime, who now seems to have no problems talking openly about his incestuous relationship with his sister. Yeah, yeah, I know, someone will say “oh it’s Edmure, who’ll believe him,” yada yada yada… point is, Jaime was smart in the books. Here, he’s a one-dimensional caricature of the character he used to be. I mean, compare the Jaime/Brienne scene here to the one they had back in season 3, the famous bathtub scene. Their conversation here makes absolutely no sense on a sentence by sentence basis. That’s really an achievement. I mean, Jaime wants to take back Riverrun, but then he doesn’t mind letting Blackfish and his army go North so they can help the Starks take back Winterfell? Why, because he likes Brienne? Brienne says she’ll have to fight on the Blackfish’s side? What? Oh and then “we shouldn’t talk about politics” has got to be one of the worst lines Jaime’s uttered in the show. Unfortunately, it got worse.
Tyrion meanwhile has another cheesy goodbye scene, this time with Varys. I hate it when Benioff and Weiss try to fake nuance like they do here – as if it isn’t absolutely clear these two are “good” guys and we’re supposed to feel sad about it, I mean the direction and the music make it clear, but the writing is shifty – and, did I mention, nonsensical? I mean, if Varys is going on a secret trip somewhere, why is he walking around in broad daylight with Tyrion telling him he’s going on a secret trip? The Masters then suddenly arrive and the peace seems to have broken (why? Because the season finale is around the corner?) and then Dany just randomly pops up (or down?) at the end and isn’t even given dialogue. It’s just like, oh hey, so this happened. Oh, and the CGI when Tyrion first sees the ships is pretty terrible.
The Hound kills a few people and randomly meets Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr who seems to suddenly know about the war to come from up North. Well, I suppose you could chalk it up to the whole “Lord of Light” deal but everyone in Westeros seems to suddenly know about the White Walkers now. Yeah, sure, Sam’s family didn’t believe it, but Bran suddenly seemed to know about the Night King, as did little Lady Mormont (ain’t she just Bad Ass™? Sigh…) Oh, and the less said about King’s Landing the better. The only good thing about it is that I already know where it’s going and how it’s going to end, so at the very least I know that some of the terrible storylines are going to end soon, so I guess there’s a silver lining to hold on to. Oh wait, no, I just realized – there’s going to be a bit more Dorne this season before it ends.
This isn’t going to be pretty.