Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7 episode 6, Beyond the Wall.
While most Game of Thrones fans enjoyed the banter between Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and the men in his “suicide squad” in the seventh season’s penultimate episode, Beyond the Wall, others were bothered by the gaps in the timeline of the episode.
Though the fantasy series used to show its characters taking their time traveling across Westeros, the new season has been using a lot of “teleportation,” transporting characters from one point to another in a single moment using rushed cuts. The teleportation in Beyond the Wall became grating for fans that were frustrated by the speed of the travel in the episode.
Now, in an interview with Variety, the episode director Alan Taylor explains the reason why travel seemed rushed in Beyond the Wall.
“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy. We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments. We tried to hedge it a little bit with the eternal twilight up there north of The Wall. I think there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit by not declaring exactly how long we were there. I think that worked for some people, for other people it didn’t. They seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly but there’s a thing called plausible impossibilities, which is what you try to achieve, rather than impossible plausibilities. So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff.”
Though fans haven’t taken so well to all the “teleportation” and “speed travel” in this season’s Game of Thrones, Taylor’s decision to cut the onscreen travel time certainly added to the urgency of the episode. Travel could have probably been portrayed more accurately if HBO decided to add more seasons to the fantasy epic.
Game of Thrones airs its final episode for Season 7 next Sunday, August 27 at 9pm on HBO.