My colleague, Kimberly Pierce, and I are alternating weeks recapping Game of Thrones this season. On our off weeks, though, we still have something to say. She did the recap this week, so I’m facing off with her (Get it? Like with FACE MAGIC.) by chiming in with my two cents here…
Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) were never close. They saw the world completely differently, with Arya believing that the rules were wrong and Sansa believing that the rules would carry her to where she wanted to go. Arya’s worldview made her the woman she is now, and Sansa’s was shattered by years of abuse. Now that they’ve reunited at Winterfell, it would be nice if the joy of discovering their closest relative alive could override their childhood differences. Why doesn’t it? Maybe this tweet holds the secret:
According to IMDB, #GameOfThrones hasn’t had a woman in the writer’s room in years. Suddenly Arya/Sansa bullsh*t makes sense
— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) August 21, 2017
I think there’s something to that. In an episode where the bros are executing the worst plan in history north of the Wall, talking through their differences and bonding as they prepare to face the Army of the Dead, the inability of two of the female leads to make amends stands out.
Gendry (Joe Dempsie) says to Thoros (Paul Kaye) and Beric (Richard Dormer), “Why did you guys sell me to a witch who wanted to kill me, when I just wanted to join your cool club?” They say: “It’s all in the past, little man. Let’s have a drink.”
Even The Hound (Rory McCann) and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) are able to set aside a lifetime of southerner/free people prejudice to giggle about the babies who will someday spring from the Tormienne union.
But two strong and capable sisters, left alone with the most notorious snake in the kingdom, fall into his trap like idiots and send their most alert champion, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), away? For me, this weak return to “women can’t be friends” nonsense is the first major misstep of the season.
Although I’m super disappointed with this lazy take on what happens when you leave the Stark sisters alone together, I am surprised at how completely I’ve gotten on the #Jonerys train since Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jon finally started sharing the screen. The chemistry between these two is amazing, and even if their moment in this episode is 100% fan service, I don’t care. Consider this fan served.
I wish there was a bigger audience for my jokes about the Voyage of the Mimi, the edutainment series little Ben Affleck was in in the 1980s. It’s where I learned that the cure for hypothermia is for people to get undressed and cuddle in a sleeping bag, which is what I was urging Dany and Davos (Liam Cunningham) to do for Jon. Wouldn’t the scene of Jon verbally bending the knee to his queen have been elevated by some additional folks warming him with their body heat? No? Just me?
My last comment on this episode is that I’m sorry we didn’t get a quick beat of Sam (John Bradley) suddenly realizing the importance of what Gilly (Hannah Murray) found last week. Hopefully they, or that three-eyed raven who has proven to be borderline useless so far, will come through with some knowledge before the end of next week’s finale.