7 Things Game of Thrones Season 7 Got Right
Don’t talk to me about 2019... I’m still processing the idea of waiting that long for a return trip to Westeros. Yet if it’s as good as this past season, I think I’ll come to accept it (not yet... but soon). Season 7 was the year where size was everything. Where concerns about lesser episode counts were burnt alive, spectacular large scale action and big story developments as the War for Westeros began and the War for the Dawn took shape. For me, it didn’t quite better Season 6 but this was still a monumental achievement for the show in evolving its format towards feature length instalments that look set to dominate its 8th and final season. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss got a lot right this season but here are 7 things in particular I wish to commend season 7 with. Certainly not the only 7 but these are 7 that stood out for me.
You (hopefully) guessed it, this will contain spoilers for Season 7 so please don’t read on if you’re not up to date....
#1- The Scene-Stealing Euron Greyjoy
For the first few episodes, this mad man of the seas was the whole damn show! While his Season 6 introduction was enjoyable, he never looked set to be a spotlight character, merely a disposable villain for Yara and Theon to face. Yet his transformation into Lord Flashheart meets Davey Jones made his every on-screen moment captivating. Whether he was cackling madly while storming from a ship or asking Jaime for sex tips with Cersei, he was the loud arrogant force of nature and the show had been missing since Ramsay fed the dogs. While it’s in keeping to see most characters honouring most traditions and protocols, we always need someone to give them the middle finger and tell people where to go. It was comfortably filled by The Hound for the show’s middle seasons and though this reformed Sandor still has the odd relapse, his, “**** it” crown has firmly been passed to Euron. Granted Euron did fade out of episodes for the second half of the season but got his shining moment in the finale and looks set to wreak more marvelous havoc next season.
#2- Getting the Stakes Right
When considering the ending of Season 6, one of my biggest concerns was how they were going to make Dany’s invasion of Westeros into a story rather than a massacre. On paper, it looked like she was going to walk it with own armies, dragons and newfound allies in the Greyjoys, Tyrells and Dorne. Instead, the season delivered several excellent story swerves to not only make a credible threat out of Cersei but swing the momentum between this pair of Sarah Conners’ vying for the throne. Both were shown to win battles and take crucial losses with the feeling that they’re each being stretched to their personal limits. For Cersei, this was reflected well through her relationship with Jaime as he played the realist against their chances while she drifted further into madness. Then for Daenerys, it was the battle of conquering without being seen as a tyrant. From their first session on Dragonstone, it was well-established successfully taking leadership of a kingdom so big is not as simple as unleashing foreign hoards and beasts upon them. That changed the entire dynamic of her story by making her own desires and thirst for power her own worst enemy.