This week’s Game of Thrones was a booze-fest and the most moving episode yet

Wine was glugged, songs were sung, and things got emotional in what might serve as the final chance to hang out with some of our favourite characters

How do you kill time before the actual time for killing? Perhaps you amuse yourself with wordplay. Episode two of the final season of Game of Thrones was called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a grand and unusually courtly title for a drama defined by political opportunism and devious backstabbing. But, as a prelude to episode three long trailed as featuring the biggest and most spectacular battle in a show that has never been short on epic ding-dongs it consisted of one long night for a ragtag band from all seven kingdoms, as the forces at Winterfell prepared their bodies, souls and livers for the imminent arrival of the Night King and his undead army.

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This was essentially a single-location bottle episode, with Tyrion providing a steady flow of passable northern wine. It is odd to think of Game of Thrones, probably the most lavish show on TV, fretting about budgets in a final season that must have essentially come with a blank cheque attached, but this instalment never left the Starks chilly family stronghold, although with dozens of glum extras milling about in the background preparing siege defences, it was probably the most expensive bottle episode ever made.

What could have been a bloody encounter the cliffhanging arrival of Jaime Lannister, notorious killer of Daeneryss father and longstanding plotter against the Starks was done and dusted in the opening five minutes. He was ready to fight for the living, and that was enough. Even Bran, the child he defenestrated in the very first episode, seemed pretty chill about it, in his weird cryptic Professor X way. After that pseudo-trial concluded, there was the strange but not unpleasant sensation of Game of Thrones turning into a Richard Linklater hangout movie. The camera roamed through the corridors, courtyard and crypt of snowy Winterfell as beloved characters gloomily considered their fate or busied themselves to take their minds off impending doom.

Souper
Souper trouper … Davos (Liam Cunningham) serves up. Photograph: Home Box Office (HBO)

There was the cheering sight of Davos the Onion Knight gruffly manning a soup kitchen, the loving reunion of Theon and Sansa and a tetchy exchange between Mormont cousins Jorah and Lyanna. We got the briefest of moments with Grey Worm and Missandei, daring to imagine a future for themselves, while the sullen Hound exiled himself to the frosted parapets. Arya, who had been openly admiring Gendrys muscular blacksmithing prowess, seduced him in the family crypt to see if sex so often a major plot driver in the world of Westeros was all it was cracked up to be. (It was always unlikely that the 69th episode of Game of Thrones would not feature a love scene.)

By lingering in hallways and nooks, this was an atypical instalment of a drama that has always gone to great and often bloodthirsty lengths to surprise its audience. There was the obligatory scene of all the major stakeholders huddled around a battle map discussing potential strategies. But while Game of Thrones has always shown that Westeros politicking involves having a ton of meetings with various advisers, previously all that sharp-tongued statecraft was bracketed by fun adventures out in the wider world. Until this season, someone was always going somewhere far-flung to do something if you play the Game of Thrones, you must be good at orienteering, it seems but for good or ill the major players are now all assembled at Winterfell. They have literally run out of road.

Tyrion
A steady flow of wine … Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Photograph: HBO

So what do you do? You gather round a fire, drink, sing songs. In the UK, superfans who had set their alarm for the 2am simulcast could have the immersive nocturnal experience of watching people who should probably be doing something else staying up too late. And who wouldnt want to pull up one of those wooden chairs to linger and reminisce with these characters? The reward was seeing the stoic Brienne of Tarth be officially knighted by her problematic fave Jaime. (Between this and Fleabag, who knew that the hot TV trend of 2019 was going to be asking people to kneel?) In a show characterised by grim scowls on the battlefield or false faces while someone pours poison into your drink, Briennes genuine smile shone through.

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After two episodes of table-setting, next weeks looming battle of Winterfell will be a game-changer. Dragons, both living and undead, will take centre stage. Beloved characters will die. Hierarchies will be upended. After that, it must surely be a thundering charge toward whatever ending showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have cooked up for their trailblazing saga. Once that dust has settled, we might look back on this episode as the last night of the old Game of Thrones and, like Tyrion urging his companions to stay for one last drink, wish we could have made it last a little longer.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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