Monday, August 14, 2017

Five assorted musings regarding the Eastwatch episode of Game of Thrones

"Eastwatch" as envisioned by Ted Nasmith. It actually looked a lot like this in the episode last night.
This week's episode of Game of Thrones seems to have set up a pretty strong White Walker episode. And for what it's worth, it was a good episode in its own right. Here are my assorted musings that I took away from the episode (and feel like pointing out):

1) I thought for sure that Jaime Lannister had his goose cooked and drowned last week when he fell into that lake. How Bron saved him other than it being "plot armor" is beyond me. But I suppose that Bron has proven himself time and time again to be an incredibly valuable resource to the Lannisters. For what it's worth, I think that the showrunner of Game of Thrones understands George R.R. Martin very well. George typically cliffhangs something in the books, making you think that something important has happened (Arya being blind for instance). And then when the tale resumes, it's just a minor thing and resolved within a couple of minutes.

2) I was pleased to see that Drogon didn't die from a poisoned harpoon. I'm also not really sure why Tyrion and Varys are making such a big deal of Daenerys burning her enemies when they clearly chose that fate as opposed to bending the knee. I would have bent the knee immediately, but then again, I would find little honor in allowing myself to be burned alive by dragonfire. There's bravery and then there's just plain stupidity. I did like how Dickon stood with his father though. They held hands at the end. That was a nice touch.

3) I'm not sure what Jon Snow hopes to accomplish with his little band that are headed north of the wall to capture a wight and bring it down to a meeting between the queens. They may find that the magic that animates the wights doesn't work over a great distance from the Night King. I think that someone should have at least mentioned that possibility...that it might have some kind of range they don't know about. Also, it's strange that the maesters at the Citadel still have such a hard time swallowing Samwell's tale about the Night King and the army of the dead. Are learned men really that skeptical in a world where dragons are real?

4) Cersei has nothing to win by helping out Jon Snow to take on the Night King. I'm not sure why even trying to convince her that an invasion of walking dead men is real is even a strategy. If she admits that it's real, then she loses any support of locals in Westeros who will march north to fight the army of the dead with Daenerys. How does that at all solidify her position? It doesn't. It only weakens it, which means that even having a meeting with her is at best a waste of time and at worst, incredibly dangerous.

5) Littlefinger knows Arya is following him and manipulated her into finding that raven message. My guess is that it's from season one, when Sansa was forced to write to Robb to try and get him to bend the knee to King Joffrey. Splitting up Sansa and Arya (sowing doubt between them) is in Littlefinger's best interest as together, they are too strong for him.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Do you have any assorted musings you'd like to share in the comments below?


  1. Love the picture, and Martin is so clever to use those tease cliffhangers.

  2. According to Mashable you are right about #5. I assumed they were so upset about burning people alive because it's something the Mad King would do.

  3. I didn't like this episode but after last week I knew I was bound to be disappointed. Part of it is the lazy writing. They wanted Jaime to have a big scene with the charge last week but he needed to get back to King's Landing. They have him float a mile downstream in plate armor despite the fact Tyrion and the whole Dothraki army saw him go into the water. That's not possible and it was dumb.

    I thought Tyrion was right to be upset about the burning. Dany keeps saying she wants to lead the people to a better future yet when only a couple agree to 'bend the knee' the dragon growls and everyone kneels. I know its supposed to be comic relief but they follow up that scene with one where she roasts the Tarly's alive for not bending the knee. That isn't the action of a leader, it's the action of a tyrant. She's becoming her father. GRRM is very good in the books at redeeming people we thought were villains. It would be so like him to create a villain but do it in small increments so the reader barely notices until she becomes a monster. It will be interesting to see what she does when she finds out she isn't the rightful ruler.

    The whole convenient grouping of the band of heroes to get a wight to convince Cersei about the white walkers is silly. I think they did it to get heroic episode with the the seven men going into the blizzard on a forlorn hope. It just didn't make sense because a dragon is much better suited to travelling long distances and picking things up with their talons. I know they want to finish the show in an epic way but this felt forced.

    That's the thing that makes me maddest. The showrunners said there wasn't enough story for a full 10 episodes this season but they keep cutting corners and teleporting people to move things faster. It's obvious they just want to finish the show. They are lost without the depth of the books so they've turned the show into a series of brilliant CGI set pieces but little actual story or character building. It's frustrating to watch after the great character study we saw in the first 4 seasons.

    1. I tend to think budget isas much a factor as story in the shorter seasons. All that CGI is expensive and HBO doesn't sell ad time like a traditional network.

  4. I'm just glad we didn't see a dead dragon.

  5. Littlfinger is so evil! I really want to see him whacked this season just as I really want Jon Snow to live. As for the dragons -- I'm not nuts about them, but I'm assuming (and hoping) they'd be a fantastic defense against all those white walkers.

    I figured Jaime would live and not drown, and the actor explained in an interview that the armor he was wearing was leather, not metal, hence Bron was able to save him--but yeah, this was still stretching things.