SIONR: Stop Complaining About How Short Season Seven of Game of Thrones Is

One of the biggest complaints I am seeing all over the Internet is as follows – “why is this season of Game of Thrones so short?!  Everything is so rushed!  Why can’t they take more time and get to know the characters more?  I mean, all Sam does is move the plot forward!  It’s boring!”  That may be a bit longer than I had thought, but I wanted to basically encapsulate all the complaints that I’m hearing in the same space.  Generally speaking, anyway.  And it’s frustrating.  Because it’s like people haven’t really been paying attention.

Here’s the thing – Game of Thrones is the most ambitious television series ever produced.  There isn’t a single comparison to be made, anywhere.  This series has done with no others have even attempted to do.  Because of that, they have had to make a lot of sacrifices.  There are a TON of plotlines from the books that are either distorted or outright gone.  Why?  Because they don’t have the time, or another crucial element that everyone who is bitching seems to forget about – money.  This series’ price tag has gotten astronomically-large.  A lot of critics have wondered if the series has gotten to the point that it’s too expensive to keep making.  A valid question.  So, when the lead writers said that they only have 13 episodes worth of plot, any normal person would wonder – why not have some filler stuff.  Little things where we take a break and get to know the characters more.  That’s smart.  The simple reality is that doing that takes more time and budget to shoot longer.

I understand how some people are a little annoyed.  Yeah, it’s weird how characters are able to traverse great distances in ye olde times with great speed.  But you know what I do?  I do that thing called critical thinking.  It’s a lost art in the age of conservative and liberal hand-wringing that eschews nuance completely.  How many episodes would they have needed to realistically have Greyworm get the Unsullied to Casterly Rock?  At least two or three.  They have to speed things up.  There isn’t enough plot left to fill in that kind of time.  So yes, Jon Snow made it from Winterfell to White Harbor and then to Dragonstone in the span of a single episode.  Hell, not even that.  The series has at least attempted to make the audience understand that there are weeks going between episodes, but that part has been admittedly clumsy.

And sure, there is a ton of stuff that I’d like to see.  Like, why didn’t Ghost go with Jon?  What a way to have them get to know each other.  Him being the father of a dire wolf with the mother of dragons?  That seems like a good way for them to bond.  I’ve missed Ghost.  He has barely been in the series since the very beginning of last season.  But then I remember – dire wolves have to be animated.  And that takes money.  Money that HBO unfortunately can’t spare.  We may never see Ghost again.  That will suck.  I hope he survives until the end.  There’s only one other dire wolf left.  Thankfully we did get to see that Nymeria is okay.  I’m really glad about that.  Not glad that Arya went back to Winterfell.  I thought her deal with seeing Nymeria and saying she doesn’t belong there anymore took it to mean that she doesn’t belong in Winterfell, so she was going to go south and finish her mission.  But nope.  Kinda disappointed with that.  Not gonna lie.

The point of all this rambling nonsense is that HBO has to do the best it can with what they’ve got.  They are out of plot and the budget just keeps growing.  They’re too invested in this to stop now, but the studio can’t let this series bankrupt them.  From a financial standpoint I understand their problems.  For all of us, it means that we get less show to watch.  But if what we see was like last night, with Drogon setting an entire army on fire, then yes, please, more of that.  I love the political stuff in the series the most, but I got a raging nerd hard-on for how cool that is.  Let’s enjoy how great this series is for as long as we can’t.  One more season, and that’s it.

Until next time, a quote,

“You can’t always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” – Lyrics by The Rolling Stones

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 10 Game of Thrones: Season Seven Predictions

Tonight, this sixth season has come to an end.  While most people are in love with the last episode, and it was awesome, this was the episode that I liked most this season.  The level of payoff here was just phenomenal.  I like good payoff.  I’m even able to overlook minor plot holes for the sake of good payoff.  Like why Sansa didn’t tell Jon about her allegiance with the knights of the Vale.  It would have made the battle SO much easier.  This episode at least did acknowledge that her hiding that from him was really stupid.  However, it was awesome payoff, so it was fine.  The last episode was fantastic.  But this episode was better, in my opinion.  The big battles of the series are good, but the thing that I love most about the series is the fact that it has all the political intrigue.  That’s what made this show great, and it’s at its best when we have that.

Which brings me to what I predict will happen next season.  I hope it goes without saying that if you haven’t seen tonight’s episode, there will be spoilers out the ass.  For real, you should have known that.  If you have no seen the episode go watch it legally (or pirate it) and then come back.  I could predict that the next season will be shorter, but we already know that.  I think they said that they have around 13 episodes of plot remaining in the series.  I figure that will get a little stretched out, but not much.  It’s clear that the budget for this show is about to explode, and the show-runners don’t want this series to die before it gets to the end they want.  My unofficial prediction is that the next season will be between six to eight episodes long.  So long as it’s good, that’s fine by me.  This series is riding a high note.  Let’s keep going on that.  Here are my predictions to the next season.

10. The Hound Allies With House Stark
When we see the Hound again, it’s clear that he is looking for some redemption for the things he’s done.  He does not like the person he has become, and he wants to atone for his crimes.  We know that the Brotherhood Without Banners is headed north to help in the War for the Dawn.  I think that he is going to see the Starks on the throne at Winterfell and decide that he can atone by serving them.  He’s a warrior, and now he will have a chance to not just be a dog for someone, but to serve a ruler who is worthy of the name.  I like his arc of redemption, and it would make for a good way for things to go, moving forward.

9. Bronn and Tyrion are Reunited
One of the things that never went away from previous seasons is the fact that Cersei put out a hit on Tyrion.  She offered a mountain of gold to whoever brought her his head.  Now that he is going to be in Westeros again, odds are that she’ll find out that he’s the hand of Daenerys.  So, given that she’s off the deep end now, Cersei is going to try and have that hit completed.  Who would the crown send?  Why, their in-house killer.  But here’s the thing – Bronn is a sellsword first.  He is too smart to cross the Dragon Queen, knowing that killing Tyrion would paint a giant target on his back.  As he said, “no sellsword ever ran from the winning side.”  What I think will happen is that he will see the Lannisters as a bad investment, and go back to someone who he knew made good on his promises to repay his debts.  I am certain that Bronn is going to survive the game of thrones.  Hopefully we’ll get to see why soon enough.

8. Samwell or Gilly Meets Daenerys
The series is known for not just foisting things out of nowhere.  They have build-up, then payoff.  I think that there will be someone who is going to pass the word to Daenerys about what is happening up in the North.  It will lay the seeds for what will happen in the season to come.  Since the Reach is declaring itself for her, along with Dorne, I figure that Dany’s army is going to come that way.  Way I see it, either Sam or Gilly is going to meet her, and they will let slip that the army of the dead is marching south, and that if they get past the Wall, there will be hell to pay.  I kind of hope that it’s Gilly.  Given that Dany seems to want the common people on her side, it would be refreshing if Gilly is the one who makes nice with her.

7. Arya Kills Melisandre and Ser Illyn Paine
We got to see that Arya is back in Westeros.  But she isn’t going home.  She’s headed to get revenge.  The girl is out for blood, and that’s what she will find.  Most of the names on her kill list are gone, but I figure that she’s going to head south.  There’s one destination – King’s Landing.  She wants to get revenge on the people who destroyed her family.  But wouldn’t it be interesting if she runs into Melisandre by sheer chance, and sees a perfect opportunity to get revenge for what she believes happened to Gendry.  The alternative is that she will talk to Melisandre and learn that he’s alive, so she’ll spare her.  But Illyn Paine, on the other hand, is going to go.  I think that his death will tell Jaime that something off.  Word will reach King’s Landing about the death of Walder Frey.  The Twins will be up for grabs, since Arya not only killed him, but killed his sons.  There is no one to take the throne, save Edmure of House Tully.  Not only is he married to a Frey, but he’s the only chance to carry on the line.  Illyn Paine was the one to swing the axe that killed her father.  So he’s going to go.  When Jaime finds out that more people are dying in a way where their throats are being cut, but it’s like no one was there, he will sense that something’s wrong.

6. Bran Expands His Vision Powers
I suppose this is a given, but hear me out.  We discovered that Bran is able to communicate with people through the visions.  That can only mean that he is going to find a way to reach out to people in the world today.  He needs a force to take on the army of the dead.  Who better than a woman who has dragons?  This ties in to another prediction, but I think that Bran is going to find a way to reach out to people with his visions, and that is going to be important.

5. Arya’s Direwolf Returns
In the books, Arya’s Direwolf has started a pack down in the Riverlands.  It is the largest wolf pack ever seen.  It is causing untold hell to the people there, as the wolves are hungry and there isn’t enough to eat.  I think that it will come back in the series.  Maybe she will find Arya, or what I think is more likely – Bran will reach out to it.  Using his Green Seer powers, he will find a way to get word to it and have the wolves head north to fight for House Stark against the army of the dead.  A pack of wolves, several dozen strong, ready for battle.  That would be pretty awesome.

4. Word Reaches Winterfell about Daenerys
This could also be a given, but I think this is important.  Jon Snow told Sansa that now they have a multitude of enemies that are coming for them. Jon has been crowed the King in the North.  That’s important, when it comes to Daenerys.  After all, she is going to be asking for allies to fight against the Lannisters.  I think Jon is going to see a chance to save the North.  He figures that he will pledge the North to Dany, if she comes and helps him in his fight against the dead.  After all, she has dragons now.  Three dragons is one hell of an ally against an undead army, don’t ya think?

3. Bran Finds a Way to Reach Daenerys
Way I see it, this will be right towards the end of the season.  Maybe in the very last episode.  Dany will be asleep or something, and she’ll see a vision.  Maybe something telling her to go to the Isle of Faces, so she is near where Bran is at his most powerful.  There, he will reach out to her and show her the truth about what is coming in the North.  I don’t think that she is going to go all the way to King’s Landing.  I think that she’s going to halt her course when she learns this and then head north to join the fight there.  This ties directly into the top prediction, but I think it will be Bran that makes her chance her mind about where to go.  It will be an awesome scene.

2. Arya or Jaime Kills Cersei
Obviously, she is going to die this coming season.  We all can feel it.  She’s gone from ruthless bitch to Mad Queen.  She used Wildfire to kill tons of innocent people.  Now, it’s going to come to the point that something has to be done about her.  The series has a thing about history repeating itself.  Way I see it, Cersei will be crazy enough to believe that she can fight Daenerys, and when the girl is destroying her armies left and right, that’s when Jaime will realize that something has to be done.  Meanwhile, Arya is working her way closer and closer.  She’ll get into the castle, and learn about her prey.  We’ll get a few episodes where she is studying Cersei.  Maybe a repeat of how she was a servant of Tywin.  Only difference is that this time, she’ll be preparing to kill Cersei.  Now we come to how she does it.  The Mountain guards her night and day.  When would she do it?  I think that it isn’t going to be Dany who heads to King’s Landing.  It will be Euron.  He will be sacking the city, and that’s when Arya will make her move.  And I also think Jaime will be making his move.  What I’d like to see is the two meeting.  Like they are headed to kill her, and both run into each other.  They have a brief confrontation, and Jaime tells her that he will finish this.  She’ll protest, but he’ll assure her that this is something that he needs to do.  Either that, or she’ll be sneaky and during the attack, will kill her.  Then, like the Faceless Man she has learned to be, she will disappear.  Jaime will find Cersei and that’s the moment when his failure as a knight will be complete.  Grim, but hey, it might not work out that way.

And the biggest prediction that I have for the next season will be…

1. The Wall Comes Down
It would be the perfect way to close out the season.  This season will be about the war Daenerys is waging to conquer Westeros.  The final season will be all about the War for the Dawn.  Since winter has finally come, now we will see the army of the dead reach the Wall.  But rather than try to climb up or anything else, the Night’s King will want to make his statement clear about how powerful he has become.  So, he will us ancient magic in order to bust the wall open.  I don’t figure he will destroy all of it.  For one, HBO doesn’t have that kind of budget.  He’ll just blast open part of it, and the army of the dead will seep through.  This will be how the season closes out.  It will be really on, and all the forces of Westeros will be heading to meet them, for the last great war of the Seven Kingdoms.

So, what do you think will happen?  Think my predictions are good?  I will say that of the predictions that I made for this season (linked here), most of them came true.  So it seems that I have a knack for this.  Here’s hoping I’m on the money again.

Until next time, a quote,

“My name is Arya Stark.  I want you to know that.  The last thing you’ll see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”  – Arya Stark, Game of Thrones

Peace out,

Maverick