Now in its seventh season, Game of Thrones is widely regarded as one of the best TV shows around. Monday has been renamed ‘Game-of-Thrones-day’, and self-imposed social media quarantine is mandatory until you’ve seen each week’s episode. With only one more season to go, you’d think we’re approaching peak TV brilliance. Unfortunately, critics and casual viewers alike agree that frankly it’s all getting a little bit ridiculous. Here’s a couple of reasons why.
WARNING: There are massive spoilers from this point on! If you still haven’t watched this week’s episode then proceed at your own risk.
The timeline no longer makes sense
I know, this is part of the ~magic~ of the show and the books it’s based on. But I can’t be the only one that thinks it’s a bit silly that Jon can travel all around Westeros in the time it takes the Night King and his army to get to The Wall? Top that off with ravens that can apparently deliver messages faster than email and it’s clear that someone at HBO has only just realised how little time they have left. Considering how much effort was taken in earlier seasons to show the whole journey, this new hyper-speed travel for the sake of plot progression makes the whole production seem like a last minute assignment.
It’s getting way too predictable
One of the joys of Game of Thrones used to be its unpredictability. For a while there it did actually look like Jon was dead for good. Cersei blew up half the cast in the first ten minutes of an episode. Hodor suddenly had the world’s saddest backstory. Season seven has had some surprising moments, like Euron Greyjoy’s attack on the Dornish fleet, but the rest has been pretty easy to predict. This week’s episode was the most predictable yet – Benjen was always going to save Jon, because his sole purpose is to save important characters beyond the wall. The final scene was always going to be Viserion the dragon opening its new White Walker eyes. It’s a shame, because even insane CGI battles get boring when you can predict it all.
Character development has gone out the window
What was the role of Dickon Tarly, apart from having a funny name? Is it really believable that Arya and Sansa would turn so quickly on each other based off a pretty average Littlefinger plot? Even the behaviour of White Walkers is getting confusing. In the past characters would form relationships and progress over many episodes, or even seasons. But with one season left, there’s no time for that anymore. Characters have become as temperamental as someone with a two-day hangover. It’s confusing and unbelievable, so it’s probably time to kill some more major characters off.
Everyone gets a monologue
Monologues definitely aren’t new for Game of Thrones, but it seems like way more characters are finding time to cryptically rant to another character. The worst bit is that no-one is actually giving away important information. Obviously, some of this is to pit characters against each other, but surely if HBO is trying to speed things up monologues aren’t the way to go. We already know about what Arya, Bran and Sansa have been up to for the last six seasons, so maybe they could catch each other up in their own time.