Friday, September 1, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7

Game of Thrones Season 7 brings the series nearer to its conclusion with the showrunners deciding to reduce rather than expand the length of the season. An odd decision if there ever was one, given the complexity of the show, though originally I thought perhaps it was to expand each individual episode, but though there were a few episodes that were a bit longer their total length is only about twenty minutes more than seven hours. This must be said was a mistake. Although there were naysayers saying the early seasons took to long in their pace, I would say that is a nonsensical reaction to the show's story telling and storytelling in general, a recent attitude among some viewers who seem to crave character deaths than a genuinely compelling or entertaining show. Never cater to these viewers who frankly should just read a Wikipedia page entry on any given show since what happens seems to matter more than the actual execution of it. Although I suppose I won't become an overly critical sort, as again when something is popular this can lead to nitpicking rather genuine criticism, such saying "where'd the army of the dead get those chains" is a nonsensical thing to gripe about, however the carelessness involving geography is a worthy claim given it had not been ignored, for the most part, in the previous seasons. Again another point though is that the source material also fell into problems in its last two entries partially due to mind such ideas, which is noble, yet it ended up being perhaps a foolish notion given the expansion of the world lead George R.R. into a corner that might be unable to escape from. That leaves the show to attempt to close out their series in their own way, their own way apart. Now in part this season, though the pacing was particularly swift did accomplish more than expected in creating a compelling conflict between not only Cersei and Daenerys, but also Daenerys and Jon Snow. In the first half of the season, though they perhaps should have slowed down just a tad accomplished much and did seem to find the complexity of the politics in the world in quite the effective fashion. It also delivered on its "promise" of Dragons finally in a truly stunning sequence which was also was not simplified due to the character involved. Its second half are where the problem arose though when it shifted to the threat White Walkers, who were never a problem before. This is where the pace really went into a downright ridiculous overdrive particularly in the contrived mission, by the writers not the characters, to get a Dragon beyond the wall. That is where all the proper build up the series went out the window. It went beyond just the pacing as it also so quickly removed certain complexities particularly within the Snow and Daenerys conflict. Now a slower pace could have allowed the writers to build to a more natural reason for this development but instead we got a rush job. The same goes for our side story of Winterfell, the Stark sister and Little Finger's last scheme. The downfall behind the man quietly behind the entire series was sensible in terms what should have caused it, and again even within that situation in a single season it could have been completely satisfying. The reduced time though forced the false conflict between the Stark sisters, as well as made Little Finger's plan seem just a little too slight, again slowing things down would have only benefited all. Now having said that I again do think the slathering of criticism is ridiculous. The accusations of fan service, aka when the loved characters are successful is mostly unfounded. It it rather the need of a show to eventual fulfill expectations as to constantly subvert them would be impossible, not to mention if you've subverted them long enough that becomes the expectation. Even with the flaws of this season it was still a highly entertaining show even in its weakest episode, and the characters we've become so invested are still compelling, for the most part. Hopefully the showrunners will take a step back slow the pace down for the final season to give the show a proper sendoff worthy for the entire series. This season after all was not a failure as the greatness of the show was still evident, even if the flaws were the most evident since season 5. 
4.5/5

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