*SPOILERS ABOUND* But would you really read a review without caring.
Well, that was a lot of death, and I mean that as the season in a whole, not just the very last episode, which was barbaric and brutal, but good to watch. There was a lot going on in this season too, which is most important to look at. Arya going through her training and finishing that training. Sansa getting away from Ramsey Snow. We find out what happens to Jon Snow, Daenerys, how she gets back. Tyrion and Varys continue to integrate themselves into Mereen. The politics of Kings landing between the High Sparrow and Cersei, and a whole lot more, so let us dig into the good and bad.
As with season 5 and dealing with the aftermath of Oberyn getting brutally killed by the mountain, we see nowhere near enough of Dorne. Now yes we see the sand snakes take control of Dorne by killing off the other Martells. But after that, until the last episode we see nothing. Given how much they add an extra layer of deliciousness to the books and how, in the books they use Myrcella been the eldest to their advantage rather than try and kill her, which is a change I do not like. They are badly used and are not utilised near enough.
However, that does not pale in size to the lack of White walkers in the show. The only meaningful time we saw them was last season Hardhome been one, and right at the end of Season 2, with the battle at the fist of the first men. But since then not a lot. They have tried to give us back story and origins into them, of which if you have not watched it go watch it, I do not plan to ruin everything here. But when you give anything an origin, and you explore deeper into their mythology they need to be onscreen more to utilise that and give it further weight. If you are not going to use them or use them sparingly, keeping that backstory and origin quiet in some cases adds to the aura of them, the Joker been one example. Plus also with no more than 2 seasons left not seeing them attack the wall yet gets me worried that they will turn up have a big one or two episode battle and be gone. This is something that I hope does not happen but I fear it will and would be a gross misuse of the characters.
Speaking of gross underuse, again. The iron islands were again not given much time to shine, and given how Euron goes after Daenerys, the whole let us build 100 ships idea is kind of useless now, given she is on her way anyway to Westeros. What is he going to do when she arrives, will you marry me Daenerys and I give 100 ships. No, I already got them go away and be food for my dragons. So again a waste of characters and region as they will not b given their time to shine and are almost been rendered pointless by how much the tv show is making changes from the book.
I like the analogy of a knitted sheet to describe the differences between the tv show and the books. The tv show been the sheet you buy from the shop, its ok, it does the job and keeps you warm, but after a lot of use will fall apart and you need a new one. The books are like the sheet you get from your grandma who has knitted it for you from all her experience. It last lifetimes, you pass it onto your kids who use it and so on. It’s knitted better and does the job and lasts.
Cersei you killing machine, the final episode especially, and how she conducts her revenge on the high sparrow, is brutal and a pleasure to watch. Her cold-heartedness when Tommen jumps out of the window to his death and simply says to have him burnt and his ashes spread around the now exploded sept, and top it all off she takes the iron throne for herself. Brutal just brutal and exactly what her character would do, and was well played.
Now I could go on and on about Jon Snow, and so far I have avoided, but now I need to look at it. Well yes, it was good and got better through each episode. The conclusion to him been stabbed god knows how many times was predictable. If you did not guess that was going to happen then SHAME! But what happens afterward, his handling of his murderers, including Olly. The leading upto the big battle of the Bastards episode. The fight between Ramsey and Jon, which was episode 9, and certain someone got what was coming to them, given what he had done throughout season 6 especially that he bloody deserved it. Shame Rickon could not run in zig zags, he may have actually survived. But then we find out that the R+L=J theory, that was going around the internet, is in fact bang on the money. Been we know who Jon snows parents are.
Arya is back in Westeros, after her training in Braavos almost got her killed by the waif who she instead gets killed by Arya. The proceeds to say she is Arya Stark, then leaves boom, pipebomb, whatever you want to call it. But then they drop the bombshell two episodes later in episode 10 that Arya is back in Westeros and slits the old man Frey throat, just like he allowed his son to do to Caitlyn Stark at the red wedding, after his banquet to celebrate Jaime taking Riverrun back from the Blackfish and killing the Blackfish. So now are we going to see her go through her list she was saying to herself in season 2-4.
Now I could mention a lot more, but then this review will look more like a big huge block of text and be boring as hell, also I would rather leave you all to go back and watch some bits I may have mentioned here and you not noticed. Or simply go and watch if you not. We know that we got 2 seasons left, and it will be around 13 episodes between those 2 seasons, one 6 one 7 episodes long. I would be surprised if season 8 last episode is 2 hours long.
This season was very enjoyable, was it the best, that could be argued, the lack of white walkers is something that annoys me in this season. But the shock moments in the season made it very enjoyable, Tommen suddenly leaping out of the window after seeing the sept blow up. Uncle Benjen been back and seeing the sept blow up. All of them shocking but fun to watch.
However, episode 1 was kind of packed in and felt like a 50-minute trailer, even with the revelation at the end, and at times throughout this season it felt like they were packing in so much into the season that it was overcrowded at times. The iron islands and Dorne, especially Dorne, are not done to good enough standard and more importantly not given enough time onscreen for us to enjoy them, like I have in the books, given how much most of us loved Oberyn Martell in season 4.
But overall it is hard to label this season as the best, good yes, the best revelation, yes, in some cases. Overpacked, at times, but still very enjoyable to watch and will see where it racks up when the show is finished, and before they no doubt commission a preqeul of some kind.