Last night’s Game of Thrones episode ‘Eastwatch‘ was jam-packed with about fifty different plot twists. Jaime miraculously survived his death charge, Cersei‘s pregnant (possibly), Gendry‘s alive and well and back in the action, Jon has an affinity with Drogon, Jorah Mormont is back, Littlefinger is playing Arya into thinking she’s playing him, and Gilly just happens to stumble across a vital piece of information about Rhaegar Targaryen‘s annulment and remarriage that would put Jon’s claim to the Throne higher than Dany’s.
It was a LOT to take in.
But Game of Thrones fans are starting to call bullshit on the writing. The ability for characters to travel vast distances in seemingly no time at all has been called out since the Season 6 finale, but this episode seems to be the breaking point for hardcore fans.
Over on popular Game of Thrones podcast ‘On The Throne‘, hosts Gene and Big D (lmao) called bullshit on Jaime’s miraculous survival.
“This was a first, in however many episodes that we’re in now … I have never before screamed at the television, ‘Fuck no, bullshit!’. That reveal of Jaime and Bronn somehow swimming up what looked like a half mile away from the burning fields of the battle? That was just lazy, it was implausible, and it was unnecessary. You didn’t need to have Jaime charging at the dragon like Don Quixote [alright, this originally said ‘Don Coyote‘, which will teach this writer about Googling random TV shows vs actual literature…. apologies], it was forced. You wanted that scene, so guess what: you needed to write yourself an escape. It was lazy, and I hope people aren’t going to say, ‘Oh, come on, that could have happened.’ No, it couldn’t have happened. You’re in full armour and in chain mail and you have a gold, 20 pound hand.”
His co-host – and look, I’m sorry, I cannot tell the two dudes apart – agreed, arguing that this episode insulted the ending of last week’s ‘The Spoils of War‘.
“I think what upset me the most is when we saw Jaime falling into the depths, people said, you know, he got tackled off a horse on shore and suddenly he’s falling in what seems like the Marianas Trench, what the hell is going on here. And I thought, okay, it’s symbolic, it’s artistic, maybe he’s going through a life change, some sort of baptism of the depths or something like that. No, it was just complete incontinuity, he gets pulled out a little bit later, there was no ‘he’s missing’ for a couple episodes, or he goes under some life change. I think the only thing they did to balance it out, for me, was to see two characters people really liked, particularly Dickon, get fried. I needed that sacrifice.”
Over on another GoT podcast – literally called ‘Game of Thrones The Podcast‘ – the hosts Jim and A.Ron were peeved off with how Gilly’s big reveal came to light.
Here’s a rough transcript of their chat:
“The thing where Gilly is reading fucking Prince Rhaegar’s annulment from Princess Elia – I’m telling you, it’s this fucking close. This fucking close.”
“And Sam dismisses it immediately – or not even dismisses it, but just doesn’t listen to it, because it’s mixed in with 15,000 shits.”
“Yeah. This is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. I don’t know how they thought it was going to be taken, but it feels a little bit like mockery.”
“It was obviously fan service-y – the Gendry stuff.”
“I think there’s a fine line between wink, ‘we’re all in this together’, and wink, ‘we know something you don’t know and fuck all you’. It just felt a little – it’s a fine point between fan service and winks and poking fun and not respecting your fan base’s time and attention. There’s a couple places – and I don’t think it’s intentional – they continue to be a bit tone deaf about this stuff.”
And over on the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ wiki right now, the top posts are all questioning the quality of the writing.
Redditor Aijiu‘s main gripe is this overwhelmingly undercooked plan to somehow grab a wight, bring it south, and use it to convince Cersei to join forces with Dany to defeat the army of the dead.
“So as it stands, the plan developed in the most recent episode is as follows: to smuggle Tyrion and Davos into KL [King’s Landing] – and by smuggle they mean just row onto the coast of a city on the edge of potential invasion, in a paddle boat in plainsight of anyone who so much as looks out to the sea – so that they can talk to Jaime (who inexplicably managed to escape the Dothraki army with Bronn, despite being at most a few hundred metres away from where they fell into the lake as evidenced by Jamie’s reaction upon ascension to the top) so that Jaime will convince Cersei (a step in the plan that could have equally come to fruition had they just captured jaime and sent him to Cersei) that if they get Jon (the King of the North and the only leader in Westeros 100% committed against the army of the dead) to go beyond the wall, somehow approach the army of the dead (close enough to obtain a wight and (???) put it in chains (???), but far enough that their ranging troop of seven isn’t overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of wights), bring that wight back to the 7 kingdoms, and transport it all the way to King’s Landing. They hope that Cersei will be convinced of the reality of the situation upon seeing the wight (which is nothing more than evidence of the existence of necromancy, something she is already aware of because of her own undead bodyguard) and not just think that this is a singular undead conjured up by Danaerys to fool her into believing of a much greater great than exists, and upon convincing Cersei of all this, then will transport all the troops of Danaerys and Cersei (as well as somehow also convincing the Westerosi troops of the great existential threat beyond the wall, so that they are willing to fight alongside Dothraki savages) across westeros to fight the army of the dead.
And this all can happen in time before the white walkers reach Eastwatch.”
And Redditor Slims reckons the show has “officially gone off the rails“, calling the plot to capture a wight “insanely stupid”, claiming the teleportation is “out of hand”, and that nobody ever has to deal with the consequences to their actions.
“Earlier in the show when characters made decisions, there were severe consequences. Robb not marrying the Frey girl, the Viper gloating over the Mountain after all but defeating him, Ned Stark’s decision to be honourable until it was too late, Jaime’s simple hubris led to his hand being cut off; the list is endless.
“Now? Characters can quite literally charge a dragon blindly and be rescued by deus ex machina. Not only that, but by some miracle, they will be carried away by water from danger in full plate.
“I had thought for sure that Jaime would at least be captured as a consequence of his decision to charge at Dany, and that might lead to some interesting developments with Tyrion. But nope, deus ex river machina carried him far away from the dragon and Dany, and literally nothing has changed. He’s back with Cersei, zero character development, zero consequences.”
With George R.R. Martin‘s fifth book, ‘The Winds of Winter‘, still not finished, the HBO show is well past the source material at this point.
And as Redditor iHartS points out, it might just be that Martin is smarter – or at least, better at writing complicated characters – than even the best in the business.
“All of the clever characters have seen a drop off in quality. Tyrion, Varys, Littlefinger. GRRM, old gods love ‘im, seems like he’s just smarter than most people and can write clever, witty, scheming characters, and absent his source material, it becomes difficult to recreate it from scratch.”
Here’s hoping next week’s still untitled episode satisfies the hardcore fans.