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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
Unstable Molecule

Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,107
Subj: Re: My review
Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 at 02:45:39 pm EDT (Viewed 337 times)
Reply Subj: My review
Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 at 01:01:50 pm EDT (Viewed 445 times)

    The best (completely out of continuity) explanation for Dany's abrupt heel turn happens in the "previously on Game of Thrones" section for this episode, with a dozen voices in her Dany's head as she watches Cersei behead her friend, including the Queen of Thorns ("BE a dragon.") and Viserys ("You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?"). If you haven't seen it, you should look it up.

Yeah, I noticed that. It was weird for the show to insert new narrative elements into a montage of previous scenes.

    All that being said, Dany's descent into war crimes villainy, even though it's heavily foreshadowed throughout her entire journey, was rushed and unearned. I thought for a long moment she was going to simply fly Drogon to the Red Keep and burn Cersei/Qyburn/FrankenMountain alive - and that totally WOULD have been an in-character, earned moment.

Yep. Her heel turn was set up but still unearned.

    The first death is also the most heartbreaking, especially since, by the end of the episode, we learn that Varys was right. "I hope I deserve this, I truly do." He didn't. So he dies for advocating on behalf of the realm. Goodbye my friend, you deserved better.

Still, there's some irony in that he once plotted behind the scenes to advance Daenerys' cause.

    I didn't like Tyrion betraying his friend, especially when it turns out Tyrion was horribly wrong. Tyrion used to be portrayed as smart. How many times has he given terrible advice to Dany on strategy? And now he steadfastly stays loyal to the Mad Queen despite being abjectly afraid of her and afraid of what she might do.

The clever Tyrion who once fed misinformation to Littlefinger, Varys, and Pycelle to figure out who is untrustworthy has been gone since season 5. He's had a terrible read of character since, always incorrectly trusting the slavers, Cersei, and Dany to act rationally.

    On to Tyrion. Hated his betrayal of Varys, which turned out to be a betrayal of Jon, of the realm, and of himself. But I loved his last moment with Jamie, and I was glad these two characters had the chance to say goodbye.

Yes, that was a powerful scene.

    We, as viewers, have cheered for Tyrion and it turns out we misplaced our trust in him, since his actions since becoming her Hand have made this slaughter possible.

But he meant well. He was just wrong.

    Jon continues his uselessness during yet another battle. He is unable to control his own men as they turn into rapists and murderers of innocent people. (Side note - have we been wrong to cheer for the North all along? These people are monsters too.)

I think the depiction of the North has always been intentionally problematic from the out of control Karstarks to impetuous Lord Glover. There are monsters on every side.

    He basically spends the episode with his mouth open in bewilderment, which is more or less his default state. If he becomes the big hero of this story it will be completely out of character. He doesn't deserve to be King.

Luckily, he's the first to say he doesn't want it.

    Also - his utter devotion to someone, just because he "bent the knee" and swore loyalty to her turns out to make him look weak and ineffectual. Like Tyrion, he took too long to see how horrible the Mad Queen had become. #Sansawasright

To be fair, a lot of it is Dany's heel turn wasn't set up properly. Most viewers didn't see it coming, at least, not in the way it happened, and Jon and Tyrion were similarly blindsided. Jon's devotion to his vow goes back to how Ned could be too noble for his own good.

    Grey Worm - completely in character throughout the episode. He wants his pound of flesh and is willing to take it. These people mean nothing to him, to the Unsullied, or to the Dothraki. He gets his moment taking out both the commander of the Golden Company (who doesn't even get a word of dialogue) and the commander of the Lannister army. That they didn't honor the surrender shows the type of leader Dany, supported by her throng of foreign invaders, will be. We all thought that "breaking the wheel" perhaps meant democracy, when in fact she is burning it to the ground. All Hail the Queen of the Ashes.

Yeah, Grey Worm's lashing out worked in a way that Dany's didn't. Maybe it was because he took it out on soldiers, soldiers who had surrendered to be sure, but soldiers nonetheless, whereas Dany was frying women and children.

    Now is a good time to say that despite the story contrivances, this episode is beautifully shot, directed and scored. From a technical standpoint, this episode is the best of a great series.

It is a great series, which makes it all the more disappointing that the writers can't stick the landing. Maybe the last episode will redeem the past two, but I'm not hopeful.

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