I agree with pretty much everything David writes below about last night’s episode and this season generally. But that doesn’t mean it’s all been flawless.
For instance, I think Ross Douthat is right about a few things, starting with this tweet:
Since leaving the books behind GoT has been generating an awful lot of its narrative tension by having its leads be *terrible* strategists.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) July 31, 2017
He goes on to note that Jon Snow truly deserved to lose the Battle of the Bastards (and don’t get me started on Sansa) and that the time/space/distance problem is not getting better this season but worse.
As for Dany, David’s right: She’s not a military genius. But why doesn’t she have one working for her? I know she lost some great resources when Barristan Selmy died and Jorah Mormont went off to find a cure for his greyscale. But she clearly needs a few experienced generals. Grey Worm may be a great battlefield commander, but he knows jack about Westeros. And while I love Tyrion, he’s more of a political tactician than a military one. She should be channeling Sonny Corleone and saying to him, “If I had a wartime consigliere, a Sicilian, I wouldn’t be in this shape.”
The bigger problem with this season is that the show is now trying to do too much too quickly. As Ross notes, are we really to believe that the Lannister army, which was stymied by the Tully’s in Riverrun, could take High Garden without a siege? Fine, fine, the Tyrells aren’t great warriors. But if 100 men holding Winterfell can hold off 10,000 (as we’ve been told), surely that giant, mountaintop citadel can hold out for a little while. Even bad soldiers can shoot arrows and throw rocks from the safety of high walls.
And why is it so obvious that capturing the leader of Dorne means that the Dornish are permanently out of the fight?
And how did the Greyjoys build such a massive fleet so quickly on islands that appear to be barren of trees?
Also, I don’t like all the skepticism about the White Walkers. Dany has seen some crazy stuff over the last few years: dragons, wizards, etc. Now she’s suddenly Richard Dawkins when it comes to skepticism about supernatural stuff? If anyone should believe Jon it’s Dany.
Also, why is the red woman keeping it a secret that she brought Jon back from the dead? She wants Dany to work with him and she believes in her fire god, so why not tell them to boost everyone’s credibility?
I still love GoT, but it’s not perfect.