I don’t like it.
I know I am late, and this is not an original take, but this episode bothered me. It is not exactly the results I am upset with, but the way we got there.
I am fine with Dany being the mad Queen. It has been shown throughout the series that she is ruthless to those who stand in the way of her goal. When she showed up in Westeros and was feared not loved as she thought she would be, it crushed her. And then she saw two of her dragons die, and two of her closest friends. I can see a result where she is sick of it all, and decides to punish those who have opposed her, but…
The way they presented it just does not work, not for me. There was no reason for the moment where the bell rings, and the Lannister army surrenders, to be the moment she snaps and decides to burn the city. Something should have happened. Cersei should have done something that pushes Dany over the top. Maybe they should have saved Rhaegals death for this episode. Maybe they should have saved Missandei’s death for this episode. Killing Missandei didnt make sense anyway, because Dany would not have burned down the Red Keep while Missandei was held captive.
I do think Dany burning down Kings Landing was the plan from the very start. When Dany had that vision, with the snow falling in the Red Keep’s Throne Room, that was never snow, but ash. It is a fine result, but sloppy execution.
There was no payoff for the Golden Company. Why not show them fighting with the Unsullied, to at least give the Golden Company a reason for being in the show?
No payoff for Cersei amassing a Grand Fleet. Euron took out a dragon in the last episode, but now with a bay full of ships all armed with Scorpions and none even came close to hitting Drogon. It was all too easy.
Speaking of Euron, never have I seen a worse book to show/movie adaption of a character. Euron is frightening in the book. He wields ancient powerful weapons plundered from the ruins of Valyria. He has a horn that can bind Dragon’s to his will. He is a true villain, but in the show, he comes off as a frat boy. There is nothing interesting about show Euron, he is boring, a bland psychopath. When he strolled onto the beach to confront Jaime my first thought was, just get this out of the way.
Why did Cersei have no backup plan? She has been the most conniving and dangerous person in Westeros, and she goes out doing nothing. They couldn’t have thought of one last twist, one last thing for her to do? Some last vengeful act? She was pointless this entire season.
And then there is Jaime. 8 seasons of character arc, chucked out the window to have him be in the same place he started. Him going North to help fight the dead feels pointless now because he did nothing up there, had no real role in the battle, and it didnt impact his story afterward. It was an empty gesture that served only to give him more screen time but do nothing interesting with his character. There are ways to make him going back to Cersei interesting I’m sure, but not the way they did it. Them going out together, embracing while the building collapses around them, is boring. It is a disservice to two of the most interesting and complex characters in the show.
What I did like, was the stuff with Arya and The Hound. The Hound got a fitting end, and the times Arya was on the screen was compelling. Arya’s arc is the one saving the grace of this season.
It was also beautifully shot and put together. The effects were amazing, despite myself thinking the writing was subpar.
I will make no predictions for the last episode because I peeked at the leaks for the final episode and now know what will happen.