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Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne (2019)
Nothing more powerful than a good story
This very last episode actually contains two very distinct parts without a proper bridge between them. I think it would be more satisfying if it had been split into two episodes, elaborating more on each part.
But hey, the first part is chilling, dramatic and emotional, and the last part gives us the resolutions and farewells that the show needs. It's not a perfect ending, but it's a powerful final chapter of the world's most monumental TV show.
Game of Thrones: The Bells (2019)
Oh. My. God. (The best art divides the audience)
So, OK, this episode divided the fans. Personally, I love it to death. It's so true to this show's heart and soul - and to its historical influences. The developments are certainly not what many people had hoped for, but if you watch the entire show again from the very first episode (I did), this has been coming from the start. I dare say the showrunners have done some impressing sleight-of-hand here, showing us one thing with one hand, tricking us to ignore what the other hand was doing in broad daylight. It's just brilliant.
The one thing that COULD have been done better, however, is the buildup during this season. Season 7 worked well and got us halfway there, but this season got off to a slow start, and the previous episode just had too much ground too cover in one go. Still to me, the issues with some earlier episodes don't diminish the achievements of this episode. It's shockingly, devastatingly great. Period.
Game of Souls
The battle for survival has ended, now starts the battle for major characters' souls. It's brilliant storytelling in most regards, but I have one grievance: I would have loved the showrunners to elaborate more on these developments and conundrums, preferably by dividing it into two episodes.
Game of Thrones: The Long Night (2019)
Fighting impossible odds
After an ominous start, things get really bad. End of World bad. It's truly stunning how devastating and exhaustingly hopeless they've made this episode.
Note: Watch this episode on a large, high quality screen at night to enjoy it in its full, epic glory (otherwise you might not see much).
The North still prepares for war
Tensions are building up - different kind of tenions, even - as The Great Battle with the dead approaches. There's some very nice scenes. Still, using one third of this season to build up to one (albeit Great) Battle seems a bit slow to me. Honestly I'd expected more from the two first episodes.
Game of Thrones: Winterfell (2019)
The North prepares for war
This episode has several things in common with the very first episode of season 1. Unfortunately I didn't like the very first episode very much. This one ... it's a nice enough start of the season, but in a season consisting of only six episodes I guess I'd hoped for more punch from the get-go.
There are so many reunions and first time meetings here, it's a true feast. There are truths and lies (and lack thereof). There are surprises and seismic revelations. Discomfort. And there's a big finale that raises the stakes even higher.
Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall (2017)
Tensions are rising
This episode, which mostly takes place in the North, actually starts quite humorously. Soon, though, things get more sinister. And it seems there's quite a bit of distrust going around these days.
Game of Thrones: Eastwatch (2017)
One of the things I love about Game of Thrones, is how there are hardly any simple truths. Nothing is only white and (almost) nothing is only black. Most of the times we are dealing in grayscales. "Sometimes strength is terrible", Daenerys says. And yes, Game of Thrones demonstrates that it truly can be.
Oh, and by the way, look out for 1) Jon's developing relationship with Drogon and 2) some inconspicuous information later in the episode.
Impressing as h...
Starting off quietly with some nice references and reunions, this episode literally explodes. Even watching it again later, knowing everything that will happen, it's got me sitting on the edge of my chair.
Ice and Fire
There's plenty of drama in this episode, but the highlight is still something as simple as two characters finally meeting each other. And I can't shake off the feeling that we're witnessing two worlds collide.
Game of Thrones: Stormborn (2017)
How to be a dragon
In Essos Daenerys has largely been running her own show. In Westeros she need allies, and an interesting power struggle is now breaking out around her. How should she go about conquering Westeros? "Be a dragon", Lady Oleanna advices. But can you actually be a benevolent dragon?
Game of Thrones: Dragonstone (2017)
A strong start
This episode delivers a kick-ass start of the season. Then, it slows down a little bit.
There's something very final about this season finale, so much closure in so many storylines. And still so much promise.
To be honest, I'm not super-interested in battle scenes. Normally, anyway. But this episode blew me away. Terrific stuff!
Game of Thrones: No One (2016)
Suspense is building
There are several nice twists and turns - and a sense that something big might be coming our way.
Game of Thrones: The Broken Man (2016)
Necessary steps towards the finale
The highlight of this episode is the introduction of 10 year old bad-ass Lyanna Mormont. Brilliant! Other than that, it's a good, but not a great episode.
Recovering from last week
In a quite interesting start, Bran is having visions of numerous past events as well as some (possible) future scenes. Interesting indeed. The rest of the episode, however, doesn't quite follow up. It's still a good episode, it's just not quite up there with the best.
Game of Thrones: The Door (2016)
Utterly tragic and fantastic
This episode gives me chills. It has such a magnificent ending. It's admittedly not an entirely new idea, but it's performed so very, very well.
All part of a story
"It was all part of a story", says the High Sparrow. And fortunately the High Sparrow and the rest of Games of Thrones keep making entertaining stories for us.
Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker (2016)
Another great episode
Some storylines are still starting up, while others are already paying dividends.
Game of Thrones: Home (2016)
Here we go!
New characters are introduced, old ones are back in the game, and - wait for it ...
Game of Thrones: The Red Woman (2016)
Perfectly in tune
The previous season ended on a high note - and this season picks up on the same melody. Great start of the new season!
Game of Thrones: Mother's Mercy (2015)
The stuff of legends
Game of Thrones has given us several amazing scenes. This episode delivers not only one, but two legendary scenes. What a way to end the season!
The second to last Game of Thrones episode of the season usually punches you right in the stomach. So does this episode. But stomach-punching is a thin line. To me, this time around, Game of Thrones punches a little bit too hard. But other than that, it's an amazing episode.