The latest Game of Thrones episode ‘Beyond the Wall‘ had a lot of talking points (not least Daenerys‘ utterly fabulous winter coat), but hardcore fans of the show couldn’t get past a few of the more obvious plot holes: namely, the super fast speed of Gendry, the raven, and Dany’s three dragons.
How fast are those ravens?! Birds in Game of Thrones be like… #GameOfThrones #ThronesYall pic.twitter.com/z7lPpcSZtp
— B. Robeniol (@brianrobeniol) August 21, 2017
The director for this episode, Alan Taylor, has now admitted that they kind of fucked the timeline, and were hoping for the audience to suspend their disbelief a little more than usual.
He told Variety:
“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy. We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments. We tried to hedge it a little bit with the eternal twilight up there north of The Wall. I think there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit by not declaring exactly how long we were there. I think that worked for some people, for other people it didn’t. They seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly but there’s a thing called plausible impossibilities, which is what you try to achieve, rather than impossible plausibilities. So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff.”
Taylor, who has directed seven episodes now – including the acclaimed season 1 penultimate episode ‘Baelor‘, during which Ned Stark lost his head – reckons it’s cool so many people are scrutinising the show, actually. He’s not mad at all.
“It’s cool that the show is so important to so many people that it’s being scrutinised so thoroughly. If the show was struggling, I’d be worried about those concerns, but the show seems to be doing pretty well so it’s OK to have people with those concerns.”
Criticisms of time-travel have dogged this season from start to (almost) finish. The stories, for all that they include dragons, the undead, and gods bringing characters back to life, have always been based in realism. The audience has followed it as much for the political machinations of King’s Landing as it has for Dany doing her unburnt superhuman thing, so hopefully the folks who make this behemoth of a show take some of the criticism on board when it comes time to filming Season 8 in October.