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[REVIEW] Game of Thrones S08E05 : Writers Tossed A Coin, We Held Our Breaths

Game of Thrones, Fantasy, HBO, Foxtel

Game of Thrones Felt Rushed For Once

It was in season five of Game of Thrones that the writers strayed away from the source material that were George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books.

Mainly to trim the fat that was the extra storylines and characters that would take too long to cover in the average ten episodes per season. For awhile it seemed to work out. With the majority of future storylines made either with a few notes from Martin himself, or the writers taking their liberties to great effect.

We got a lot of good episodes from the writers, but with the last two seasons long time fans had to admit that the writing was starting to become a little lax.

With shorter seasons, mostly do to the show runners D.B. Weiss and Dan Benioff wanting to move on to greener pastures (*COUGH* Star Wars *COUGH*) They wanted to show more of the “emotion” of the story.

Game of Thrones, Fantasy, HBO, Foxtel

There Were Bound to be Issues

But with such a big story like this one, there were bound to be some issues.
None more prevalent with this episode.

Like previous episodes in this last season, there are call backs to previous plot points. Such as Varys writing letters telling the truth of Jon’s rightful claim to the throne, which parallels Eddard Stark’s letter telling the truth of Joffrey and the lies of the Lannister’s. Which both leads both men to their untimely death.

On the heels of last week’s episode, Daenerys is still reeling from the death of Missandei, and when she learns the treachery of Varys. She feels like she has no one left on her side which who she can trust. When an advancement toward Jon is denied, you can see the hate and pain growing inside of her.

Everyone is worried about Daenerys’ mental state, and though grieving, she wants to march on the capital as soon as they can. But it’s Tyrion that pleads with her to show Cersei mercy, and not to make her The Queen of Ashes like she promised Olenna Tyrell. “Mercy is our strength!” She says to Tyrion and he goes on hoping that she will keep her promise.

But there still lies the “What if” of it all to Tyrion. And when he learns that Jamie had tried to make his way to the city, he goes to him to tell him of way for Cersei and himself to escape the city. Along with assuring that the safety of the city if he’s the one to ring the bells that will tell Daenerys of the city forces surrender.

Game of Thrones, Fantasy, HBO, Foxtel

The Mad Queen

It’s a heartfelt moment when Tyrion and share a hug. But bittersweet in hindsight knowing that that would be the last time they would see each other.

Before we know it, it’s the day of the battle. Taking a cue from the Night King, Dany and Drogon are hiding in the clouds and swoop down to attack an unsuspecting Iron Fleet, and Golden Company.

It seems like the battle is won, and the surrender of the Capital all but assured. But there’s a look that crosses Dany’s face. A flash of anger, resentment, and most of all rage. She then takes flight with Drogon and starts to burn the city to the ground. Not caring for who or what is in her way.

This was actually a good place to take the story in my own opinion. Much like the books, the television series did have some foreshadowing for the madness of the Targaryen’s. Heck, even Robert’s rebellion, (even though for his other ulterior motive with Lyanna Stark) was about The Mad King.

Game of Thrones, Fantasy, HBO, Foxtel

The Writers Tossed A Coin – We Held Our Breaths

When a Targaryen is born. The God’s toss a coin and the world holds its breath to see how it lands is what most people in the realm believed to be true. Robert even wanted to have Dany killed for fear for coming back to Westeros for her revenge. But would it have been better for Dany to slip into her supposed madness this quickly?

It may have been a huge turning point in a future season, but it seems rushed and maybe short lived just to move the plot along.

Most if not all of this episode was mostly fan service, and rushed story elements. Yes, the long awaited Clegane bowl was one of the better aspects of this episode. Even though Jamie killing Euron and making his way back to Cersei only to have them die in each others arms (like Jamie always wanted to do so). The penultimate episode to the end of the series seems rushed. Over loaded with fan service character moments and deaths. There’s no real telling on how they are going to end the series with one more eighty minute episode.

Besides the story, it was a well shot episode. Almost a contender with “The Long Night”. With the symbolism on point, especially when the final scene of a white horse surviving the destruction by Daenerys and Arya climbing out of dust and ash, which draws parallels with Christen mythology as the white horse and a pale rider symbolizing death is coming to Dany. Or way in season one where Khal Drogo gave Dany a white horse as a wedding present (maybe seeing that as a fleeting sign of her innocence?)

And didn’t one of Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying back in season two show a throne room covered in snow? Or was it Ash?

One more episode is left, and there’s no telling who will win the Game of Thrones. If only they had a longer season, and a more steadily paced story. Who knows.

[REVIEW] Game of Thrones S08E05 : Writers Tossed A Coin, We Held Our Breaths 1

For North American fans, Season 8 of Game of Thrones is available via HBO. For Australian fans, Season 8 is available via Foxtel.

How did we rate Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5? 5 Sodas
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