Game of Thrones: The Bells
OK…now that I have access to a keyboard that works…my thoughts about the last couple of episodes of Game of Thrones:
1) The dragons and characters just sort of seem to become entirely different entities according to the plot checklist that Benioff and Weiss got from GRR Martin. The dragons are great in battle, then useless and vulnerable, and then great again. Similar problem with characters, which I will look at a bit more.
2) Euron the Hot Topic Pirate and his super magical teleporting pirate fleet were a train wreck from the moment they appeared. A shallow, annoying and one dimensional character whose only reason for existing apparently was to wreck a bunch of Dani’s fleet and kill one of her dragons with an nigh-impossible scorpion shot. His final (and unexplained) fight with Jaime was pointless and boring.
3) …Which brings me to ask: why the hell didn’t Dani and her war counsel prioritize burning Euron’s fleet? Euron was allowed to mysteriously show up on opposite sides of the continent wherever the writers needed him to pillage, burn and cut Dani’s forces down. Destroying him should have been the first military priority. However, all of Dani’s advisors suddenly became blithering idiots.
4) Many reviewers in the past three days wondered why the scorpions suddenly became useless and failed to score a single hit on Drogon (things work great and all of a sudden they don’t as the writers need!). I wonder why in the hell did they ever manage to get a first round kill on Rhaegal from a distance of half a mile or better in the first place. Aerial gunnery is insanely hard, and Dani adopting intelligent tactics to avoid AAA fire and engage in counter battery fire was about the only thing that made sense.
5) Wrecking character arcs for the lulz. Seven years of Jaime becoming a decent person…thrown out and pointless. Arya’s quest to kill Cersei…who cares after a fatherly 30 second admonition from Sandor? (after riding half the length of Westeros!) Varys the spy master suddenly becomes a bumbling and incompetent fool…not through any explainable reason natural to his character but because the writers had to have him killed off and provide motivation for…
6) THE MAD QUEEN! Ah, yes, we finally get to see Daenerys Targaryen live down to her family reputation and unleash the equivalent of a B-52 ARCLIGHT raid on what was going to be her own capital city. Yes, we got bread crumbs that this might happen. Yes, Dani has always been brittle, ruthless and far too assured of her destiny as a liberator and breaker of chains.
We spent 7 seasons seeing her as a heroine. 7 seasons of her tempering her destructiveness with real empathy for common people. This is the queen who locked her own dragons in a dungeon to keep them from hurting innocent people. By way of example, Battlestar Galactica carefully spent four seasons to turn Boomer into a villain. Game of Thrones spent, maybe an episode and half…and maybe not even that much. In fact, the show had to revert to a “previously on…” verbal montage at the beginning of the episode to try and justify an utterly unearned character development. Worse, Benioff and Weiss explained that they intended for her break with everything she had ever fought and stood for to be ‘coin toss’ that she impulsively arrived at. In other words…they intended this to be a SHOCKING MOMENT™ instead of the culmination of a carefully thought out, dreadful descent into depravity that brings the audience along.
I have no problem with making Daenerys Targaryen a villain. I would not have had a problem if she had attacked the Red Keep directly and ended up with the human shields inside as unintended collateral damage…which still would have had dreadful implications for her judgement but would not have been at complete odds with what we knew of her. I have SIGNIFICANT problems with her becoming a genocidal villain through rushed and lazy writing. A drastic change of this magnitude should have had at least a season to develop and explore. BSG took FOUR seasons with Boomer as I noted. Here….they needed her to be a Hitlerian villain so she just flipped that metaphorical coin and started indiscriminate killing and burned down everything and every reasonable expectation we had for her. What a waste of a great character. What a waste of a show.