I think I've had enough time to let this season sink in and go over it again and I'm confident that I know what I think about it, overall and in depth, too. Just for a bit of context, Game of Thrones is my favourite TV show and, I would argue, one of the best in history. You should also know I have read the books and adore them. By far my favourite book series I have ever read and likely ever will. I am a huge book nerd and that often comes into play when I'm measuring the quality of the writing so just be aware that I will often compare the show to the books in order to make a point.
I'll get the negative stuff out of the way first and then get into the positive things.
Needless to say: SPOILERS FOR UP TO AND INCLUDING SEASON SIX!!
Here we go;Disliked:
The structure of the writing was jut all over the place e.g. Cercei spent the first half of the season doing a whole lot of nothing and, though the payoff was worth it, it still made her story line this season feel unbalanced. Poor pacing. Dany's story line and character development felt really fucking rushed, too. They really glossed over the second siege of Mereen. I also feel a bit let down by here character arc... I mean, she hasn't changed personality wise at all. It seemed like she might embrace her Targaryen side and become more Mad King-esque but that quickly went away and she went back to how she was before. I hope she becomes a little bit more impulsive in next season because she's a really bland character imo. Why D&D like her so much but had it out for Stannis I shall never understand.
And yeah, Arya's story made no fucking sense this season. They completely fucked up the faceless men and their culture. E.g. When Jaquen tells her 'A girl is finally no one' after she killed the waif. No, faceless men become no one when they've let go of their identity, not when they've killed someone for the first time. Also, didn't she already become 'no one'? When she drunk the liquid earlier this season? So that scene was totally pointless too.
The stabbing was retarded. Completely for shock value, nothing else and it cheapens any kind of dramatic tension that would've been because we know she wouldn't recover from a stabbing just to get killed off in the same season.
The only thing I thought this storyline did well was reaffirming Arya's identity. But that's not a big of a deal as it is in the books because in her book storyline, she goes through an identity crisis which wasn't as present in the show.Hated:
The thing I'm most angry about is the fuckup of the kingsmoot and Euron as an antagonist. He is fucking lame in the show and the kingsmoot was generic af. In the books Asha (Yara) had a really funny speech and a sensible plan, not just a generic 'I will make the Iron Islands great again' speech. And Euron was SO much cooler in the books. He's a parading, mean, crazy flamboyant pirate (Think Capt. Jack Sparrow crossed with The Joker) who rocks up with his squad of raiders and warriors from all around the world and doesn't just flat out state he murdered his own brother. What a dumb fucking move that was. How did he know they would still support him? I hate to be that person who's constantly like 'OH BUT IN THE BOOKS-!!1!' but it makes NO SENSE to me why they would chage this. It's not as if they have to come up with the material themselves, it was already there for them. Why they didn't utilize it to it's full potential is beyond me because the Kingsmoot is one of the best scenes in the series.
Also Dorne can fuck right off. I hate how they're giving Doran's and Arianne's story line to the Snadsnakes. Nothing else much to say about itt hat hasn't already been said. The 'gurl pouwur!!' element of this season really got under my skin after a while because it seemed like they were more concerned about pandering to feminists than writing believable character motivations that actually make sense.Liked:
Tyrion. Just Tyrion. + his scenes with Varys. I'm glad these two joined the Merren storyline because I'd really gone off it. The only characters I cared about in it prior, had all died.
The Kings landing storyline was pretty consistently good all the way through. The High Sparrow vs Everyone was entertaining and… I liked Tommen. His character is so fucking tragic… an incest baby who comes to the throne at a young age in an environment where everyone around him tries to manipulate him. He feels like a failure throughout this whole season, and when he tries to do something good, that doesn't work out and he kills himself because of a horrible massacre orchestrated by his own crazy mother. I hardly ever say this but, good writing D&D. Well done.
Sam and Gilly's storyline was a good combination of cute and funny. It also got pretty heavy when they got back to Hornhill. The scene in the Citadel was great and I can't wait for more.Loved:
I loved the Riverlands. Jamie and Brienne have a great dynamic that's always fantastic to watch. That scene with Jamie and the Blackfish on the drawbridge was one of the most memorable scenes in this entire season. Bronn and Pod are hilarious and were some of the best comic relief this season. The only issue I have with this story line is that they killed the Blackfish offscreen. How dare they. But yeah, loved the Riverlands stuff.
Bran's story was great. I can forgive the rushedness of it because of the time skip. The flashback scenes were amazing. The Tower of Joy was shot perfectly. My favourite scene in the entire season was the Tower of Joy fight. I'm really excited to see what he'll do with his powers next season. I also really love Meera, I think she's super underrated.
The Northern storyline. Holy fuck, this is what I've been waiting for. Great payoffs, great pacing, great battles, amazing characters. Just a constant joy to watch and by far my favourite part overall of this season. I'm happy with how Sansa has developed and how she's finally stepping up to the plate of Lady of Winterfell. She and Jon have a great dynamic. It's not perfect, it's flawed. They argue just like real siblings would. But you can tell they love each other and are trying to get past their own personal daemons in order to trust one another.
Davos was i n c r e a d i b l e this season. I think he really made of for the loss of Stannis (Yes, Stannis was my favourite character, fucking fight me) and while I miss Stannis and Davos' relationship, I think him and Jon found a pretty good dynamic. But what really cemented it for me and made me respect Liam Cunningham as an actor more than I did before, was the scene where he confronts Melisandre about Shireen's burning. That scene was so powerful. It was almost has hear-wrenching as the infamous 'Hold the Door.' Probably moreso for me, because I was more invested in Davos/Mel/Stannis etc. and was always a Team Dragonstone rooter.
Also, I have to mention Lyanna Mormont. Whoever cast that little girl as her was a fucking genius because christ, that kid is a good actress and an amazing character. One of the more unexpected comic relief to come out of this season. And her involvement with the scene at the end… just wow. Let's hope for a better outcome for the King in the North this time, eh people?
I do have one issue though that I need to get off my chest. Jon's resurrection. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy he's back but he;s just so… unchanged by it. It sort of makes me wonder what the point was… okay maybe so Melisandre could make they claim that he is, in fact, Azor Ahai/The Prince that was Promised but that was, for the most part, brushed to the side. That combined with the fact that they brought him back so early on, I have to be honest, it didn't feel earned.
But considering that's the only gripe I have with the story line and is more of a personal qualm, I have to commend it. Overall:
For this season;
Favourite story lines: North & Riverlands
Favourite characters: Davos, Lyanna Mormont, The Blackfish
Favourite relationships: Jon and Sansa, Jaime and Brienne, Jon and Davos
Favourite scenes: Tower of Joy, Battle of the Bastards, Blackfish & Jaime
Favourite payoffs: R+L=J, Walder Frey's death
Favourite setups: Bran becoming the three eye-Raven, The King in The North
Overall Quality out of ten: 7/10
Overall enjoyability out of ten: 8/10
Ranking with other seasons;
1. Season 4
2. Season 3
3. Season 2
4. Season 5
5. Season 1
6. Season 6
While I am ranking this as the worst season so far, please don't think that I disliked it. It was still absolutely worth watching and had some absolutely golden moments in it. In my opinion, where this season stopped short of the mark was consistency and pacing.
For me, game of thrones gets worse the more it goes off book. The last two episodes were great consistently but other than that, this season was a mixed bag and highly inconsistent… I'm torn. While, as a season, I think it's the worst one overall, it had two of the strongest episodes from any season (Ep9 & 10).
A lot of people have been saying that this season is more memorable than the last season but I think people remember this season more because it's still fresh in their minds and there was a whole lot of shock value. Last season may not have been as memorable, but the writing, pacing and characterization was so much better. Hopes for next season:
I know this might sound crazy, but I hope Arya doesn't meet up with Jon and Sansa just yet. What I really hope is that, since they clearly aren;t giving Lady Stoneheart's storyline to Sansa, I hope they give it to Arya. I mean, she's already in the Riverlands so it makes sense for her to meet up with the brotherhood (and possibly Melisandre.) I'd love it if she just went around hanging people who even have the slightest connection to the Frey and the Lannisters. Cold blooded Arya would be great to see. Though, it's be tragic too since she's still just a little girl. Maybe she'll lead the brotherhood north eventually and THEN reunite with Jon, Sansa and Bran.
More flashback please. I want to see more of Westeros before the start of the storyline. Ned, Catlyn, Lyanna, Rhaegar, please, PLEASE show us Rhaegar. The scene I want to see most of all is the battle at the Trident.
Obviously for Jon Snow to discover his true parentage. Most likely it'll be done by Bran showing him, but an incorporation of the Winterfell Crypts theory would be cool.
Finally, more exploration and clarification in the Azor Ahai prophesy. What does it mean for Jon and Dany to both be theorized to be the prophesied savior? How will they convince the rest of the realm to rally behind them? How will the politics play out when Dany comes to Westeros?
Well, you'll have to wait a few months longer to find out since they pushed back the filing schedule so they can fil it in winter. -_- 'More authentic', my arse. Go to Greenland, you fucks.
Thanks for reading!