Season 2’s Blackwater is was a powerful episode. For a brief hour or so, it transformed the show we loved into something bigger. Forgoing the series’ usual globetrotting for a singular epic story told in one location made Blackwater arguably the most compelling episode in series run – Neil Marshall’s impressive direction and the memorable special effects of the episode made it one of the most technically impressive pieces of television out there.
This week’s episode, The Watchers on The Wall, is technically every bit as impressive as Blackwater, but fails to top the series first ‘battle-episode’ when it comes to the narrative side of things.
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD
Like Blackwater, the episode opened with a brief glimpse of each side of the battle to come. It quickly rehashed the state of things for the Wildling raiding party and the men of the Night’s Watch. The episode actually handled the geography of the battle really well with frequent aerial shots effectively conveying where the action is happening. After finding its narrative feet, the big story arcs emerged for the episode with Sam finding his courage and Jon finding his way to leadership – at the cost of Ygritte’s life. There was a cool symmetry between Sam & Gilly’s romance reaching its first high, whilst the romance between Jon and Ygritte came crashing down.
I honestly wish there was more I could say about Rose Leslie as Ygritte this week, but really there isn’t all that much to say. She played the role perfectly and exited the show in (tragic) style. I don’t know if many show-watchers expected her to make it through the battle but it was a nice poetic touch to have her meet her end at the hands of the kid she orphaned. As I said before, Neil Marshall outdid himself with this week’s episode. There was an incredible sense of scale to the battle and some of the death sequences were some of the most grisly the series has featured to date. Between the poor member of the watch who got taken for a ride by a giant and the poor wildlings who got eviscerated by the scythe, it was hard to play favorites. The last time we saw Mance Rayder, he promised to light the biggest fire the north has ever seen – and it was hard to be disappointed with the results. Sadly, the King Beyond The Wall himself was absent this week around and I feel like the episode was a bit weaker for it. It would have been good to see more clear antagonists or characters on that side of the conflict but given the incredible special effects on the giants and mammoths, it’s a bit hard to complain.
The scenes on top of The Wall as riveting to watch as the chaos below. Between the showdown with the giant in the tunnel and the incredible sweeping shot of the battle for Castle Black towards the end of the episode, it was hard to play favorites. Between all this, of course, were a number of great character beats. It would have been easy to make the whole episode action but I dug the way the episode used the time characters spent travelling up and down the wall to get these scenes in. Although I have my issues with Kit Harington as Jon Snow – he’s in his element with this week’s action-heavy episode. His command of the wall was perfectly delivered and it was fun to see him let loose with Longclaw. I also liked the way the episode foreshadowed Jon’s potential as a leader. In particular, I liked how is depicted his decisions as ones that, while probably the best available, rarely made anyone happy. Tyrion’s speech in Blackwater remains one of the series best to date and while it was a little bit surprising to see Alliser Thorne taking that role this time around – he did a great job with it. It was good to see Alliser put his animosity towards Jon to the side and step up to lead the defence of the wall – at least for a time. His presence in the episode went a long way towards giving it that 300-esque vibe that it was going for and the choreography of his fight with Tormund was magnificent.
Janos Slynt on the other hand, showed the precise amount of courage and bravery I expected of him. His nervous waddle through the courtyard of Castle Black was hilarious provided some fun gallows humor and the moment he came face-to-face with Gilly hiding in the pantry was priceless. The Watchers on The Wall was no doubt, an incredible hour of television – that said, it did feel like the stakes were a little lower than they were in Blackwater. The Battle of the Blackwater secured the Lannister’s dominance of the Iron Throne for another two seasons and set Stannis’ own claim back two whole seasons – it was a, if not the, pivotal moment in the War of the Five Kings. The first night of Mance Rayder’s assault just doesn’t feel as important. While the episode definitely tried to offset this with its cliffhanger ending, it definitely lacked the victorious punch of Blackwater’s ending. That said, it was still an jaw-dropping hour of television that firmly cements this season as the most technically accomplished one in the show’s run thus far.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts on this episode
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 Review
So the latest episode of Game Of Thrones has just gone to air and yes, there will be spoilers in this post episode review. Please watch the episode first before reading this review.
After coming out of last week’s big battle heavy episode, this episode starts to look at the aftermath of the battle. Early on in the episode the characters need to dispose of the dead and this includes brave characters like Jorah who passed away during last week’s battle. It’s a sad time and many of the characters are still dealing with the deaths of their friends. But probably, the loss of Jorah has taken the largest impact on Daenerys than anyone else.
In the next section of the episode, we see things change a little during a post funeral party scene. Daenerys makes a point of appointing Gendry to a position of power, which is her right to do as a Queen. This scene shows us that characters are being rewarded for their loyalty and service in battle and Daenerys is the type of leader that does do that. In return, she points out that she keeps loyal people in loyal positions, which helps her to rule better.
But at this party scene, there’s a little more that goes on. Jon is celebrated by his peers and is even called a King at one point. We all know that for much of this season, there’s been tension between Daenerys and Jon about his true claim to the throne, which is stronger than her own. This continues to cause tension for actually this entire episode and we see Daenerys tell Jon not to go around telling people about it. People are already gravitating towards him as a ruler and a secret coming out like this will give them more reason to do so. This is the Game Of Thrones universe afterall and secrets don’t really get kept. We see people already gossiping about it, such as Tyrion and Varus and it’s probably not long now until everyone knows. Question is though, once this secret gets out what’s going to happen to Daenerys and her following?
There’s some sections towards the end of this episode that are very important. Daenerys at one point takes her ships and her two dragons out to sea and gets ambushed by Euron and his fleet. One of the dragons (not sure which while writing this review) gets shot down and killed rather quickly. It’s a complete shock and a massive loss for Daenerys. Her fleet of ships is also destroyed and Missandei gets captured. It’s possible that Daenerys and the rest didn’t think that Cersei and her forces had the ability to kill a dragon, but we know that Jaime did know because he had the weapon when he fought them long ago, as I remember his army getting destroyed by the dragons and him trying to use that weapon during that battle. It’s logical that the Lannister’s would have many of those weapons by now made. Jaime could have warned Jon or Tyrion or anyone, but he didn’t. Then he left in the episode to go back to Cersei. I do wonder, if it was this that he intended for the entire time, or if he just switched sides when he saw things turning.
The final scenes of this episode see Daenerys and Tyrion come face to face with Cersei and Euron. Missandei is at the castle as a prisoner and Daenerys is there with her small force and her last dragon. I thought, watching this episode, that if this is all Daenerys has left of her forces, then she really doesn’t have much. There’s no way they could win that siege like that. In the end, Tyrion just tried to bargain for Cersei to surrender and for Missandei to get returned. But, it was hopeless, Cersei doesn’t listen and Missandei was killed. It didn’t come as a surprise to me, you would be mad to surrender to a force of that size and having just killed a dragon, Cersei and the rest are pretty confident.
For the first time in a long time, after the events of this episode and the deaths of Daenerys’ closest supporters like Jorah, Missandei and another dragon. It seems to me that Daenerys has become significantly weakened lately. The rumour of Jon’s secret getting out is also a substantial threat to her and it will be interesting to see how things go for this character in the coming weeks.
The strength of Cersei and Euron is that they came prepared. They did not underestimate Daenerys at all, they were incredibly well prepared. Next week’s episode will definitely be very interesting.
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 Review
So the latest episode of Game Of Thrones has just gone to air and just to let you know now, there will be spoilers in this post episode review and discussion.
In this episode we witnessed the conclusion of the long running storyline about the Night King vs everyone else. For the most part this episode was mostly action based. There was little in it to further the plot much, except for right at the end when Arya came out of nowhere and killed the Night King. I quite liked this and it did surprise me at the end seeing Arya jump out in the way that she did. We do know it was their plan originally to use Bran as bait so they could lure the Night King there, but as we saw in the episode before this moment, much of that plan didn’t really work out.
With much of the episode being an action based one, I felt that what was shown of the battle was excellent. In many ways the battle scenes had movie like production quality with soldiers fighting the dead and dragons flying high in the sky burning the dead armies from above.
Much of the scenes were very dark though and it was hard to get a sense of scale and later in the episode there was a snow storm which further limited vision. These things made the episode feel quite tense for the viewer, but I also felt they were done to minimise the scale for what is a large battle for a single episode of TV with a production budget to meet.
The cgi was good yet again and the dragons were the highlights of the show. I’ve been wanting to see a dragon battle for some time and this episode delivered that.
Overall this was quite a good action based episode, which more than delivered on the action based experience. The end of the plot featuring the Night King and his dead people is nice to see and the best moment was right after Arya jumped out and got him for good. Many will be sad about some of the favoured characters falling in battle here, but they all died well and it’s not so bad in the end. I am looking forward to seeing how next week’s episode goes and how our characters move on from this.
How Old Is Arya In Season 8?
If you are wondering how old is Arya in season 8 of Game of Thrones, Arya is 18 years old. The character was 11 in the first season of the show when it first went to air, there has been 8 seasons which makes Arya 18 years old now. The show has moved forward about one year in time for each season of the show. In the books though the character was a little younger, she was 9 in the first book. But in the show the character was made a little older.
If you are wondering how old is Maisie Williams? She was born in 1997, which makes her about 22 this year.
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