Six Years of Build-up Equates to the Most Intense “Game of Thrones” Season Thus far
By: Rami Tabari
Between the well thought-out character development and writing to the stunning imagery of gory ship battles in the Narrow Sea, “Game of Thrones” hasn’t let up for a second. Simply put, everything we could have wanted, or hoped for, has thankfully come to fruition this season.
The last season of “Game of Thrones” ended with Daenerys Targaryen finally journeying to Westeros and Jon Snow becoming King in the North. This cliffhanger would later lead to the long-awaited and inevitable meeting of Fire and Ice, which is exactly what we got this season.
Although their initial meeting left a lot to be desired, I believe that was the point. The writers behind “Game of Thrones” know exactly what they’re doing in terms of how to introduce characters and develop relationships.
The slow and realistic pace that embodies each interaction is a tool that the writers use to captivate audiences. It’s clear that they’ve mastered this art throughout the years, and it even shows in each subplot as well, from Arya’s vengeance to The Hound’s redemption.
While the writing carves out spectacular scenes, it’s the incredible cast that consistently bring it to life: Kit Harington’s flurry of emotions when defending his people as Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke’s scorn when she hunts her enemies as Daenerys and Peter Dinklage’s… well he’s just an absolute joy to watch as Tyrion.
Speaking of the cast, everyone is buzzing about Ed Sheeran. Love and hate has been pouring over this simple cameo, but that’s all it was: simple. It was interesting to see Sheeran in action singing an original song from the books and his voice was rather pleasant. His presence on the show was only meant as a surprise for Maisie Williams, Arya Stark, because she is a fan.
Another key element that “Game of Thrones” has always mastered is its cinematography. Examples of this are shown throughout the bloody battle in the Narrow Sea: unsuspecting ships in darkness, lit only by torches, are consumed by a hint of the Iron Fleet’s flag slowly engrossing the screen.
It was an excellent way to present a surprise attack on screen, almost as if the flag itself was luring you in, feeding off your curiosity before it went in for the kill.
The follow-up of the attacking ship slamming a spiked bridge onto the navy’s was swift and shockingly sudden. I could almost equate the scene to a Tarantino-esque style of brutality.
Another scene that sparks with elegant cinematography would have to be, my personal favorite, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister brooding over a mountain-top. The view over Dragonstone was gorgeous, but the irony and true beauty came from Tyrion’s dialogue.
In a great comical moment, he mentioned that he came to the scenic mountain to brood, but Jon was making it hard because he looked much cooler when brooding. The crisp scenery only enhanced the comedy that Tyrion brought to the moment.
“Game of Thrones” matched its impactful cinematography with its transitions. One of the grossest moments and excellent use of a transition would be when it cut from Jorah Mormont’s skin getting sliced off to someone eating pie.
It was so cleverly disguised that it tricked you into thinking that the pie was Jorah’s dreary grey skin. It was very disgusting but commendable for being so seamless and deserves much praise.
Now, to discuss the critically acclaimed soundtrack: yep, still critically acclaimed.
In all seriousness, let’s take a moment to break down one of the most epic battles in “Game of Thrones” history: Jaime Lannister vs Daenerys Targaryen. The sound, imagery and music were all coated in violence, perfectly depicting ‘The Spoils of War,’ as the episode is aptly named.
Jaime’s perspective of his world being surrounded by dragon fire was horrific, while Daenerys’ perspective of burning her enemies felt empowering. My favorite moment throughout the battle was when Bronn scrambled to fire the ballista. It’s a perfectly crafted thrill ride where you just can’t decide which character to root for. Then again, that’s what “Game of Thrones” does best. It was the first of many scenes where beloved characters will clash and ultimately kill each other.
That’s not even the best part; this season is only the second to the last, meaning that the final season will kill everyone you care about, and smile through the process.