Episode 5 - Eastwatch
17 August 2017
I enjoyed this, I promise you. I like seeing the good guys band together and there were a number of nice scenes. I'm not even going to complain about the rampant "jet packing" and contraction of time. I understand that Benioff and Weiss want to give each major battle its own space and not have them going on simultaneously.
BUT I still think they could use more imagination in getting from A to B. Their solution, since they parted company from the books, is simply to have characters meet one another and discuss things. Ludicrous distortions of time and space aside this usually involves fairly implausible decision making (e.g. Jon placing himself in Dany's care). There is nothing more implausible to me than Tyrion going all the way to the Red Keep for a chat with Jaime. I won't even bother discussing all the impracticalities and dangers of that. The fact that Cersei knew about it doesn't make it better. That's just a wave of the convenience wand.
I would even be willing to forgive that choice if it were in service of a sensible plan. But bringing back one dead man to show Cersei makes no sense. Surely Tyrion knows that Cersei won't care and will use any delay to strengthen her position? Plus if you take time and space seriously it will take months to transport one zombie to King's Landing by which time the Army of the Dead will probably have scaled the Wall. It wasn't really explained why Dany couldn't take an excursion north to help out. Other than Dragonstone she has no base to protect. Or Dany could just besiege King's Landing now and hope to make it to the Wall soon after the city surrenders.
Dany just learnt not to invest in cute plans but to be decisive instead. Now she backslides completely to serve the needs of two Showrunners who are out of their depth in attempting to finish this story in a logical manner. For those reading this who are slowly becoming more angry: I'm not criticising the source material. Nor am I saying this ruins the show or should stop anyone from enjoying it. I am looking forward to some exciting action next episode. But I don't see how anyone could defend this as satisfying storytelling.
In passing I can't help but say that it was silly for Jon to trust the Brotherhood without a longer conversation.
Here's a prediction for you: Benioff and Weiss think that surprise is the key to good TV. And their method is to show us events in a deliberately misleading way to ensure that we are surprised. So, I think Sansa and Arya are setting up Little Finger. I think Arya has marked him for death for his past crimes. We are being led to believe that there is a feud between Sansa and Jon brewing and that Baelish is stirring the pot. But just when it looks like the Stark's are going to fall out the truth about Petyr will be exposed and someone will chop his head off. That's certainly where I hope this is going. I have no interest in seeing the Stark's fight.
I did enjoy Dany telling Jon about her three children from a previous relationship and how he needs to lie about how pretty they are if he wants to be King-consort one day.
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