I liked this one. Very good and interesting alternate universe episode and a solid way to start the season (best season premiere the show has had in a while). It's nice to see them doing something different with an entire episode about what just could easily have been an Treehouse of Horror segment and I liked how they expanded the surrealist of a Treehouse segment into a full length episode that wasn't limited to just 5-6 minutes. I'm not a fan of Game Of Thrones (I honestly don't care for it to say the least) and I thought they would pretty much only parody that, but I'm glad they didn't focus only on it too much and made it feel like a general medieval fantasy tale where they parodied other fantasy works too such as Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, Narnia, Warcraft and Harry Potter as well as more generic fantasy stuff that was sprinkled throughout. I must say it worked better here than in many similar Treehouse stories and even the fantasy sequences in Marge Gamer; they clearly put some effort into this and it showed despite the flaws.
The plot was pretty good, interesting and overall well written (and nice use of Marge's mother Jaqueline whose role here probably is the biggest one yet; they could easily have gone with Grampa instead but I liked that it was Jaqueline instead and it made for a good mother- daughter element), the pacing was overall pretty good (it could have been tighter but I liked the pace they went with, allowing it to feel more natural) and the music was suitable. The alternate character designs for the family and others were pretty good and suitable & I liked how they had some fun (even portraying some of the characters into non-human fantasy creatures) and the animation was probably what I liked the most; the backgrounds were really neat and detailed and some of the animation was really fluid (the first scene with Aslan the lion man stood out but I also really liked Lisa doing her magic and Jaqueline confronting the dragon and walking towards it through it's fire breath, which was surprisingly great- looking and epic).
The humor wasn't the strongest aspect (maybe the weakest one) and the ones at the start were pretty lame (especially Homer kissing the hooves of the horse and the ice walker trying to woo Jaqueline) but it got better and even though the humor never got great there were some some decent-to-good and sometimes fairly kind of inspired jokes in there (the blob monster in the family's house, the slave wheel powering nothing, one of the wizards trapping Homer in a prison made of his extending toenails, "Take a peasant, leave a peasant", Aslan trying to convert people to his religion, the Milhouse goblin horde & Jaqueline's story all come to mind as jokes I liked) and some nice referential gags (such as the spider forest as seen in The Hobbit as the retirement home with the elderly hanging upside down while wrapped in webbing which made me laugh a little). Nothing was great but it had quite a bit of stuff I liked (and I really liked the LOTR & Hobbit styled end credits with the sketches of the characters and the song based on that from the last Hobbit movie; that was pretty neat).
Overall, I can understand those who find it just okay or a meh episode since the writing wasn't really that strong, it was partially kind of obvious and uninspired, a lot of it was just okay and it really could've used better humor (and those who don't like fantasy especially much probably doesn't get as much out of it as I did so I guess that I'm biased as a fantasy fan) but I enjoyed it a lot for being an fairly entertaining and inoffensive special episode without any forced modern references that took me out of it (they were careful with keeping the style and tone within the parameters of the medieval fantasy genre even with the spoof names and sign jokes and all). To be honest, I wouldn't say no if they did a sequel episode set inside this weird alternate universe (or even if they did another alternate universe story) since I found this one good, simple fun and nicely entertaining.
9 out of 12 found this helpful.
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