Game of Thrones Season Opener Brings In The Set Up Man

Old fashioned baseball used to have a pitcher called The Set Up Man. The Set Up Man came on in the eighth inning to “set up” The Closer, who would come in one inning later to end the game. It was a thankless role because no one came to the park hoping to see The Set Up Man. They all wanted to see the flame-thrower at the end of the bullpen. If you saw The Closer, you saw the win.

Game of Thrones’ final season premiered with an episode—Winterfell, they called it—that ably played the role of The Set Up Man. It wasn’t exciting, and it was only for a brief moment in the crypt dramatic. But it did it’s job like an eighth inning reliever, and now the pieces are in place for the final season to really get underway.

Everyone to Winterfell

In a nice callback to season one, season eight began with a boy climbing the walls of Winterfell to watch a royal procession roll toward the gates. Instead of fat King Robert bringing a nest of Lannisters, this procession had Queen Daenerys bringing dragons, the Unsullied and the man who left as King in the North. Here they all are now, ready to fight the undead army. And quarrel a little internally. But mostly fight the undead army.

Golden Company to Kings Landing

Euron completed his quest for Cersei, delivering a flotilla of ships from the Golden Company to pay her bed’s fare. He may think he pulled the strings here, but we all know Cersei is the one in control. She knows exactly what she needs, and now she has it in 10,000 sellswords brought by a fool who thinks Cersei Lannister lets events dictate her and not the other way around.

Stashing the Greyjoys

Family reunions are complicated on Game of Thrones. Good for Yara Greyjoy for knocking over her neutered brother Theon for leaving her captive to evil uncle Euron. Now they’re headed to reclaim the Iron Islands, where no doubt the story will find them when it needs them most.

So there we have it. The final season is set up with Westeros split as it was when we first saw it: The honorable north and the scheming south with the Greyjoys off to the side. But The Closer is jogging in from his bullpen beyond the wall, and he’s got a dragon throwing ice-cold fire.

As Ned warned Cat in that very first episode, “Winter is coming.”

The secret is out

I don’t like when shows delay the inevitable, so I’m glad Thrones decided to clue in Jon to his real parentage right away. Having it linger over his relationship with Dany would have been artificial suspense. This show is better than that. And I like that they did it front of Lynna’s place in the crypt (the episode’s second callback to the series premiere). Now we’ll see how it complicates his position with Dany (pun…intended) , which is already being stressed by his sister’s need to keep the north together.

Snap reactions

No one could feasibly believe Dany’s claim to Sansa that the north is beautiful, but you have to compliment your hosts no matter how ugly you find their couch. The dynamic between these two will be crucial to the final season. The budding distrust was thick as Valyrian steel when Sansa asked what dragons eat and Dany responded smugly saying, “Whatever they want.” I can see Sansa coming to trust her, and Sansa’s trust won’t come easy. What will Dany have to pay for it?

Bran is the guy you knew freshman year who wouldn’t drink at parties. Is this what being the Three-Eyed Raven does to a man? Dany’s not even put up her feet in Winterfell and he’s already like, “Dead dragon comin’.” F*ckin’ shoot a beer and loosen up, man.

I mentioned last season how character reunions gave us a way to measure the way each changed since they parted. We saw two of them tonight. Tyrion and Sansa reuniting for the first time since Joffrey’s death in season three might be the best example. Tyrion is much more mellow and recognizes the virtue in power for more than buying whores and fine wine. Sansa has gone the opposite direction, having been burned by life at every turn since fleeing for her life from Kings Landing.

Jon and Arya’s reunion was one of warrior equals. Longclaw spilled far more blood than Needle, but both wielders respect each other for the paths they traveled. This was my favourite scene of the episode.

Speaking of the scene with Sansa and Tyrion, do you think he felt a twinge of doubt when Sansa questioned whether Cersei’s army was really coming? She doesn’t trust anyone. Trusting his sister might be something Tyrion comes to regret.

Why was Cersei so hung up on getting some elephants?

Bronn is going to have an interesting choice to make. Is he loyal to money or is he loyal to battle? My money is on battle.

There’s got to be some foreshadowing to Lord Varys reminding Tyrion and Ser Davos that “Nothing lasts” while standing on the walls of Winterfell.

Remember when people came to Minnesota for the Super Bowl and didn’t bring coats? That’s what I’m picturing with the Unsullied in the north.

How did Dany forget about dragon food? That’s like a parent forgetting to stop at McDonald’s on a road trip. MOMMMMM!

After waiting impatiently for a year and a half, Thrones fans deserved a little something and the show delivered with Jon’s first time captaining a dragon.

How will the dragons react when they see their undead brother?

I will be seriously annoyed if Jamie manages to hide more than a day or two in Winterfell. And even more annoyed if stupid Bran helps keep him secret.

Is Dany killing Sam’s family going to be a problem? It sure seemed like it. Maybe happy Sam won’t be happy after all as he tries to drive a wedge between Dany and Jon.

What’s that thing Arya wants built???

 

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Game of Thrones Final Season: Hopes and predictions

Game of Thrones the final season premiers April 14! That is going to be a busy Sunday with the final round of The Masters all day and the GoT season premiere basically right after the ceremony in Butler Cabin. Cannot wait!

I re-watched season seven over the past few weekends, and all I’ve got to say is zzzzzzzzz. The questionable pacing that marred the original experience is less noticeable when binged in isolation from the week-to-week anticipation. But it is apparent in the jarring way the arc jumps between story lines, making it feel like I must have missed something even though I know I haven’t.

Anyway, as the final episodes approach (again that premier date is April 14, for all you Google bots out there) here are my preseason predictions.

Dream of dreams prediction: The Night King wins the iron throne. I’m so disappointed when shows sewn with sadness and despair end their run with a happy ending (witness: Revenge). So I would be thrilled if Game of Thrones ends with Cersei, Jon and Dany all defeated and the Night King reigning over Westeros. If they want to tell a story that serves as a warning for what happens when we let our lusts for power overtake the need to do what’s right for humanity, this is how they will do it.

He’s hiding in plain sight prediction: Gendry is revealed as Robert and Cersei’s true born son and heir to the iron throne. I outlined this prediction before. TL;DR—The baby ripped from Cersei’s arms early in her marriage to Robert is actually Gendry.

Don’t mistake this to mean great things for the steamy blacksmith. I also predict he will die shortly after he learns he was entitled to the throne this whole time.

Think of the tragedy inherent in this prediction. With her son in waiting as prince, Cersei and Robert may never drift apart and the entire saga may never take root. There is no “game of thrones” if Cersei and Robert have an honest heir. And think of Gendry spending his life the hard way inside King’s Landing and getting sold to a witch outside it. What a tragedy for him to learn too late that he could have worn the silly crown this whole time.

Who would have conspired to take him and why? Would Cersei be a different person if never knowing the heartbreak of losing her first child? Sounds to me like exactly the kind of things fans would love to debate for all eternity. I really hope this one comes true.

Of siblings:
One Lannister sibling and one Stark sibling will not make the finale. I predict one will die midseason, the other in the penultimate episode. This is as much about story construction as it is true predictions. There won’t be enough room in the extended finale episode to kill off everyone who’s going to die, and they can’t credibly get to that episode without killing anyone. Removing characters early gives the writers a chance to make the survivors grieve and reinforce that even a happy ending in Westeros comes at a great, great cost.

One of the living dragons will survive. If his life comes at the cost of his brother’s last true measure of devotion then even better. I make this prediction because of how it will hurt Dany to lose a child for the second time. Being down to one dragon will also remind her how tenuous her hold on power truly is, another great unknown to leave with the audience for all eternity.

No One prediction number 1: If Cersei dies it will not be by Arya’s hand. Killing Cersei is the last purpose in Arya’s increasingly vengeful life. She won’t get the satisfaction. The wonderful little girl with an indomitable spirit will not get the one face she wants more than any other. She will have turned ruthless for nothing.

Maternity ward prediction: The only way Cersei’s baby survives is if she dies and Jamie has to raise their child alone. This would be the ultimate tragedy for their incestuous love affair. Jamie, after being forced to love his children in secret, left alone to raise a child without the love of his life. Perhaps again having to play the role of uncle and adopt his own son or daughter, only now with a secret he can share with no one. This would be a fantastically sad way to say goodbye to the Kingslayer.

That other incestuous affair prediction: Jon and Dany make the finale, but one does not survive. My money is on Jon to bite the dust, possibly in a heroic sacrifice. He’s always come into his positions reluctantly, whether as the bastard of Winterfell or the King of the North. Never quite comfortable with being brought back by the Red Priestess, he’ll go contently to his death knowing it’s where he should be already.

No One prediction number 2: Littlefinger is still alive. I admit to ripping this one off but I have to include it because Littlefinger is my favourite character. Wouldn’t it be sweet if we learned Petyr was the one who moved to rip Gendry from Cersei, playing the first card in this game of thrones long before anyone ever realized? And that he’s still alive, outsmarting the Stark sisters as he waits to take ultimate revenge on the pair who—no doubt in his mind—failed to live up to the legacy of their mother whom he loved so devotedly.

Something’s got to go right prediction: Sam survives. He’s the last man standing in House Tarly, with a wife and child he adores. Give us this, won’t you, gloomy writers?

The prediction prediction: We haven’t seen all we need to know to predict who wins. There are two main questions for Game of Thrones to resolve: First, does Westeros defeat the army of the dead? Second, who wins the iron throne if it does? I’m going to limit this prediction to the second question. I think are key details waiting to be told, some epic plot twists or revelations that we have to know before the pieces come together. It would be a pretty crappy show if we get that detail in episode one and resolve the winner five episodes later, so look for this to come at us all at once.

As to the first question, even though I gave the Night King’s victory my dream of dreams prediction, I do believe it will remain a dream. I think we’ll see Ol’ Blue Eyes get vanquished in the second-to-last episode, with the decisive round of the game happening in the series finale.

The WWE wouldn’t even dream of it prediction: The series ends in the throne room. It’s Cersei, finally safe in the seat she’s coveted for so long. Humming softly with her infant at her breast (remember how she insisted on nursing her children even though they wanted her to use the wet nurse?).

But wait, her eyes are closed.

We hear the hideous screech of Viserion roaring over King’s Landing as a smile forms on her lips.

*POP*

Her eyelids jump open, revealing the ice blue eyes of the undead queen reigning over Westeros.

The end.

#GameOfThrones Predictions: What came true and what didn’t in season seven

With Game of Thrones season seven completed, let’s hold me accountable for the predictions I made along the way.

Episode 1: Dragonstone Predictions

Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere Review

Prediction 1: Jon Snow makes problems in Winterfell

“Jon Snow as mining industrial dictator is going to cause problems, as is Jon Snow the king of equality”

Jon barely spent any time in Winterfell during season seven. He was nearly everywhere else, but rarely home.

Verdict: WRONG

Prediction 2: Littlefinger vs Sansa & Jon

“I look forward to watching Littlefinger (my favourite character on the entire show) try to fan the flames of a divide between Sansa and Jon.”

See above. Jon wasn’t in Winterfell long enough for this one to come true.

Verdict: WRONG

Prediction 3: Cersei & Jamie split

“The death of Jamie’s children falls almost entirely at Cersei’s feet. I’d love to see her relationship with Jamie broken and Jamie turn against her.”

This might be more of a wish than a prediction, but I’m going to label it the later and channel my inner Politifact to call it half-true. We know their relationship is broken and that they have in fact split but we’ll have to wait and see if he turns against her.

Verdict: Half-true.

Prediction 4: Ed Sheeran ruins everything
“We all know that was Ed Sheeran. And it ruined everything.”

Verdict: ACCURATE

Episode 3: The Queen’s Justice Predictions

Game of Thrones Season 7: The Queen’s Justice Recap

Game of Thrones: 5 Thoughts From The Queen’s Justice

Prediction 1: Foreshadowing Jon Snow’s demise

““Stark men don’t fare well when they travel south,” Tyrion reminds him. Foreshadowing? Jon about gets clipped by a dragon seconds later. Foreshadowing?”

This line came early in The Queen’s Justice and didn’t reach full prediction level by me, but there’s no doubt I laid down a marker for if something does go wrong for Jon in the south.

[Editor’s note: This prediction holds despite the revelation that Jon does not have Stark blood.]

Verdict: Too soon to tell

Prediction 2: Cersei loses Jamie

“Plus, if she’s not careful she’s going to lose Jamie. Wouldn’t that be something – Jamie as the character who killed a king and abandoned a queen.”

See prediction three above, except with this one we can give it a full true because there was nothing about him turning against her.

Verdict: ACCURATE

Episode 4: The Spoils of War Predictions

Game of Thrones: 5 Observations & 2 Predictions From “The Spoils of War”

Prediction 1: Petyr feels the cut of his own dagger
“Prediction: Littlefinger is going down, to the Valyrian steel dagger.”

Verdict: FRICKING NAILED IT

Prediction 2: Jamie switches sides
“Prediction: Jamie switches sides in the biggest betrayal of the entire series, driving Cersei even further over the edge.”

I seem to have made this prediction a lot. With the benefit of hindsight, this prediction was probably too much for this season. Jamie turning against Cersei is a story for ending the series, which they certainly set up for in season seven.

Verdict: Too soon to tell

Episode 5: Eastwatch Predictions

Game of Thrones: Eastwatch Recap & 1 Prediction

Prediction 1: Dany would capture Jamie

“My prediction that Dany would capture Jamie from the water and Tyrion would flip him to their side didn’t even make it past the opening scene.”

I think they cheapened the show’s treatment of cliffhangers with how quickly they resolved Jamie’s fate, but he’s already been held captive once in the story so this was, in hindsight, a stupid prediction.

Verdict: Fail

Prediction 2: Cersei has little Tyrions

“My prediction is twins and they’re both afflicted with a malady that leaves her with her own little Tyrions.”

This one had no chance of being resolved during season seven, so we’ll have to wait.

Verdict: Too soon to tell

Episode 6: Beyond The Wall Predictions

Game of Thrones Finale Prediction

Prediction 1: Arya already killed Petyr

Heh. Oops. Arya would kill Petry, but she hadn’t done it yet.

Verdict: Wrong

Let’s go to the scoreboard…

11 total predictions
4 totally wrong
1 half-true
2 accurate
3 too soon to tell

We’ll keep track of the remaining predictions when season eight airs. Whenever that is. 

#GameOfThrones finale prediction: Arya already killed Petyr Baelish

Game of Thrones opened season seven with misdirection. Walder Frey, fresh off being fed his children and killed at the end of season six, stood to welcome “every Frey who means a damn thing” to his second feast of the fortnight. We were confused. Didn’t we just see Arya open his throat?

We did. But this was not Walder Frey. It was no one. It was the lone wolf. It was Arya Stark in Walder Frey’s dead face.

“When they ask you what happened here, tell them the north remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.”

This show is too good to open a season with that scene and not call back to it. Seasons have their own arc, and I believe the arc of season seven will be Arya Stark revealing herself as the killer of Petyr Baelish.

And I think he’s already dead.

Here’s why:

1.  This budding feud between Sansa and Arya makes no sense. Arya is too smart to fall for Petyr’s crap. Sansa is more than onto his manipulations. It’s wholly unbelievable that they would be so fooled…

…unless he’s not fooling anyone because Arya already slit his throat with the Valryian steel dagger he gave to Bran.

2.  Sansa saw the dagger when she snuck into Arya’s room during “Beyond The Wall.” She then, because she’s such a great snoop, found Arya’s bag of faces under the bed. Arya Stark is not so careless as to leave a valuable weapon and a bag of faces sitting around…

…unless the show needs to lay the groundwork for a big reveal in the season finale.

3.  Arya ends their chilly conversation by putting the dagger in Sansa’s hands, and that’s where I think her intentions are revealed. She’s not trying to frame Sansa for Petyr’s death to get her in trouble; she’s doing it to bolster her position with the lords of the north.

4.  When Petyr arranged for Arya to find Sansa’s note from King’s Landing he meant for it to drive a wedge between the two sisters, and that’s exactly what the show is making Arya pretend it did. My prediction is she saw through it immediately, recognized the way it could damage Sansa and determined then that the only way out was to take his life now and set up Sansa as the one who saved the north from his treachery.

The biggest missing piece here is for the show to create a reason why the lords of the north would hate Petyr. I’m sure they don’t like him, but I’m also not sure they want him dead. I think Game of Thrones will use the 79-minute season seven finale titled “The Dragon and the Wolf” to reveal Petyr as the man behind the attempt on Bran’s life, who turned on Ned Stark an murdered Lysa Tully.

What better way to reinforce Sansa’s position than to frame her as the hero who killed the traitorous Littlefinger?

They wouldn’t show us the scene with Arya as Walder at the beginning of the season and then forget the entire thing. They wouldn’t reveal Arya’s secret to Sansa in the penultimate episode if they didn’t intend it to be a BIG part of the finale. They wouldn’t include Petyr’s dagger in the scene without reason.

I think it will be the bookend to Arya’s story in season seven. It starts with pretending to be Walder Frey to avenge her mother and brother, it ends with pretending to be Petyr Baelish after she brings him winter.

[UPDATE] I had another thought here: What if Arya really is mad at her sister and will use Petyr’s face to humiliate Sansa and gain dominance in their relationship? If the jealousy and anger Arya has shown toward Sansa is real, what better way to turn it against her than use Littlefinger’s mask to convince Sansa to act against her then reveal her own face?

A ridiculous Arya-Sansa theory
This one is stupid, but I’m compelled to reveal it just in case. Arya has shown unusual envy toward Sansa since they reunited. “Your pretty handwriting.” “I remember the pretty dress you were wearing. I remember the fancy way you did your hair.” “You wanted to be a queen, to sit next to a handsome young king on the iron throne.” “I wonder what it would feel like to wear those pretty dresses. To be the Lady of Winterfell.”

My ridiculous Arya-Sansa theory is that Arya will become so consumed with jealousy and rage toward her sister that she kills the Lady of Winterfell and takes her face. It would be a fitting tragedy for the only family on the show that shows true familial love.

You’re on thin ice
Why is there thin ice north of the wall? If the land is so cold its inhabitants have to keep moving and having sex to stay warm then the ice should be thick enough to walk on.

How am I supposed to be afraid of winter if it’s not even going to get cold enough to freeze a lake?

WTF, Hound?
What’s wrong with The Hound? He appeared to be shellshocked during the fight with the zombie polar bear and then inexplicably goaded the dead army into attacking Jon’s team on their little rock. What’s his deal?

This is how you do it
Last week I ranted about the pace of season seven and this week’s director of “Beyond The Wall” admitted they threw the whole notion of geography out the window. But a line from Sansa to Petyr (or Arya if you believe my theory above) shows how simple it is to mark time in a story.

She told Petyr, simply, “I haven’t heard from Jon in weeks.” That’s all it takes. In fact that whole interview really makes me angry and pushes me more toward the thinking in this Screenrant column about how this season has gone off the rails.

And I wholeheartedly agree with the assertion in this piece from Esquire: “While things began to crack last season—its first without the guiding light of George R.R. Martin’s books—it has become clear that the writers don’t know how to complete the author’s vision.”

But all will be forgotten if the season finale delivers.

 

#GameOfThrones: Eastwatch Recap and 1 Prediction

First off this week I need to do some confessing.

At the start of every Game of Thrones episode I usually type in my notes something like this: “I cannot stand this opening. Every other show on TV figured out how to not have a protracted opening sequence. Get with it, Game of Thrones.” Usually it gets left out of the blog post because who wants to hear me complain, and it’s not even all that insightful.

I confess this now because I finally realized watching “Eastwatch” that the opening sequence shows the locations that will be featured in the upcoming episode. Duh. Now I love it. It’s a great way to help viewers understand such a sprawling story.

Now then…

About This Speed
I feel a little hypocritical even bringing this up seeing as I was all “Winter needs to get here NOW. Dany needs to sail west NOW” at the end of season six. But I’m not comfortable with the speed things are happening in season seven. To phrase it a different way, I’m not comfortable with the way seemingly major things are so quickly and obviously being dropped into the story.

Two scenes from “Eastwatch” illustrate this point.

The first and biggest is Gilly casually uncovering documented evidence of Rhaegar annulling his marriage in order to wed Lyanna Stark. This is, um, rather freaking major and yet the show gave it one scene. One line really. I understand that it’s setting up for the big BIG reveal later. But it should have been given more now.

And to be clear, I’m not critical that Sam didn’t jump up and go, “My stars, Gilly, that’s Jon Snow’s mom you’re talking about! Jon Snow is a bleeping Targaryen!” We as viewers all know this, but Sam can’t be expected to have that grasp of obscure Westerosi marital history.

The second is Tyrion arranging to meet Jamie among the dragon skulls deep under Kings Landing. The show theorized and executed this big reunion between the two brothers in a matter of minutes.

Shouldn’t there be a little more room for these things to breathe? It feels like events are being forced a long so quickly in order to tell the whole story that we’re missing the fabric that gives Game of Thrones its depth. I know the show plodded along in earlier seasons (something I missed a little by bingeing it all in the span of a few months) but I think it’s swung too far the other direction for most of season seven.

An example of a good but not too rapid pace is the latest scheme from Littlefinger in Winterfell. They showed him watching Arya spar with Brienne in a way that clearly indicated he was going to view her as an obstacle to whatever end goal he has in mind for Sansa, but they waited until the following episode to show how he would try to cleave the Stark sisters apart. I like that pace. Set it up one week, knock it down the next.

When major things are set up and knocked down in one episode, it strikes me as the show trying too hard to check boxes in advance of the season finale than it does telling a rich story.

Now on to some other thoughts.

Arya is smarter than this
Staying in the north, if anyone should be too smart to fall for Littlefinger’s games it’s Arya. She’s lived a hard life since first leaving Winterfell and she doesn’t suffer fools. Witness 1) the way she outwitted Sansa’s dimwitted guards getting back into the place, and 2) she fed Walder Frey his children. Maybe she’s never dealt with the likes of Petyr Baelish, but she should be smart enough to know she’s being lured into finding the note.

Just show us
And about that note. What’s the point of the show not making it obvious what it was? The letter from Sansa to Robb was a callback to season one, some six years ago. It didn’t need to be half-hidden.

Maybe I’m wrong
My prediction that Dany would capture Jamie from the water and Tyrion would flip him to their side didn’t even make it past the opening scene. Solid work. Now I’m thinking maybe I had the wrong brother shifting the wrong direction.

Tyrion sided with Dany because he wanted to get back at his family and because I think he sees Dany as the way to a better Westeros. Buuuuut he was awfully uncomfortable walking through the ashes left behind by her use of the dragons and with how she treated the Tarlys. There was desperation in his voice when he offered her two alternatives (prison and the black) to roasting them. I don’t think they gave us the scene later on with him and Lord Varys drinking away their guilt to tell us Tyrion is at peace with her decision.

The brotherly bond between Tyrion and Jamie is always a joy to watch in a show where genuine affection is increasingly rare. It’s the only time Tyrion appears emotionally vulnerable. Maybe as he finds further trouble with Dany’s tightrope act between vengeance and mercy his love for Jamie will lead him back in the Lannister’s direction. Further strategic blunders that frustrate Dany could push him while a softening stand from the suddenly pregnant Cersei could pull him. It won’t take much.

No happy ending for Cersei
“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” I love this line from Ramsay Bolton because I’m in love with the notion that not every TV show should have a happy ending. George Martin seems to agree.

Nevertheless I think there are characters in Game of Thrones who could have happy endings. Cersei is not one of them. At all. Nothing about her life makes her deserving of happily ever after. Even at the joyous moment when she tells Jamie of their baby, she has to ruin it. Lesser shows might use her pregnancy as a way to give her redemption, I would be shocked if this one did. My prediction is twins and they’re both afflicted with a malady that leaves her with her own little Tyrions. How rich would that be? I’d love it.

Gendry as Adam & Eve
Darlton always said they put Adam and Eve into the first season of Lost so they could call back to it at the end for proof that they always knew where they were going. If Gendry was written into this story so there would be someone who forge Jon Snow some weapons with dragonglass in them then hats off to all involved.

A key difference
In the south, Tyrion cooked up a whack-a-doodle plan to prove to Cersei that the army of the dead is real by bringing a White Walker to Kingslanding. For this to work he had to convince Dany it was a workable idea, work with Davos and Bron to schedule a secret meeting with Jamie, convince Jamie to take the idea back to Cersei and (as if all that was so totally doable) convince Cersei to at least entertain the idea.

In the north, one conversation outside a jail cell convinced everyone to put their grudges aside and fight on the same team.

That’s the difference between a culture that lives with a threat and a culture that doesn’t.

Perilous
I wouldn’t want to hang out at Eastwatch. Did you see how all that stuff just hung on the side of the wall? That shit is perilous.

Geography
I started this post criticizing the speed at which the story is moving in season seven. The poster child for that has been the way characters are jumping about Westeros in the blink of an eye. Case in point: Jon’s quick sail from Dragonstone to Eastwatch.

My point here is to say that when a story is forced to unfold unnaturally fast, it strains the credibility it needs to for viewers to suspend their disbelief. Having medieval characters transit continents by sea and by foot as if they’re flying puts further pressure on it.