Tag: Winterfell

Why Jaime’s Character Arc in Season Eight Was So Disappointing

Jaime has come a long way from his early days on Game of Thrones. He began as a villain on the show, so devoted to an incestuous relationship with his sister, Cersei Lannister  that he did terrible things, such as pushing Bran Stark out a window, thus crippling the boy for life. But as the series progressed, he began to move down a path of redemption, growing as a person through his interactions with Brienne of Tarth and being further humbled through the loss of his hand. Jaime proved himself as a person capable of change, of growth, while Cersei doubled down on her own inner flaws and became a fully fledged tyrant. Both siblings began to drift apart, clearly showing Jaime as a fundamentally better person than Cersei (though that is not hard.) All signs pointed towards Jaime becoming a hero and this seemed to be confirmed in his last scene with Cersei in Season 7. Cersei had just been shown absolute proof that the White Walkers were real and coming to kill everyone in Westeros. She seemed to ally with Jon Snow and Daenerys to fight the oncoming threat but later revealed to Jaime that she was lying, hoping to weaken her enemies and claim the Iron Throne unopposed.

Jaime was horrified by this plan, so much so that he rode away from King’s Landing and joined with the forces of Winterfell this season. His arc seemed to be reaching a happy conclusion, especially with him and Brienne consummating their mutual attraction to each other.

Until, well, all that character development suddenly did a swan dive off a cliff.

 

Cersei and Jamie embrace in the burning ruins of King's Landing
IMAGE VIA DEADLINE

Jamie and Cersei’s relationship had clearly fractured, broken by the paths their mutual character development had taken them down. Jaime’s path had evolved naturally to make him a better person, which is why it was sudden and jarring when he appeared to do a 180. After bedding Brienne, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, Jaime left her in the middle of the night, told her how ‘hateful’ he was while claiming his devotion to Cersei, and rode off to be with her in King’s Landing. This could have been seen as perhaps a lie, a trick, or setting up for Jamie to even kill Cersei as had longed been hinted at but nope! In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, The Bells, Jamie dies in the arms of Cersei while claiming his love to her before they’re both buried in the collapse of the Red Keep.

This felt wrong. Jamie should not have returned to Cersei. Their relationship had naturally broken over the course of the series and for them to embrace each other as if nothing had ever happened between them, as if their mutual paths meant nothing, just feels like honestly a slap in the face. Jaime deserved so much better than what he got in the past few episodes, where he seemingly forgot all that he had learned, endured, and seen in favor of dying with the woman he had grown to hate. Perhaps this could have worked if more time had been devoted to showing why Jamie still loved Cersei, why he was willing to abandon his friends to go back to her, but thanks to the rather rushed pace of this season, it comes out of the blue and seems to ignore the character’s internal logic.

 

Jamie Lannister lies wounded on a rocky beach, faced covered with dust and blood
IMAGE VIA VOX

Jamie’s arc had naturally pointed to him rising above his twisted beginnings and becoming a good man. And he almost did! But at the last minute, he just reversed back to his origins in Season 1. A lot of the characterizations in Season 8 have been rather wonky but Jamie’s especially stings, as it feels like the writers just chose to ignore his redemption arc for no real reason. Jamie keeps claiming he loves Cersei, even though we’ve seen that clearly isn’t the case anymore. But instead, he dies a rather pathetic death, buried under a pile of rocks with the woman who mere episodes ago he was disgusted by. It was an insulting end to one of the show’s best characters, especially one who had evolved so far and shown so much more depth than what he appeared to be at first glance.

What were your thoughts on Jamie’s characterization this season? Tell us in the comments!

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline

‘Game of Thrones’ Left a Starbucks Cup in Episode 4 and The Internet Is Loving It

There was a major mistake in Episode 4 of Game of Thrones last night and it’s a pretty hilarious one. During the big dinner scene in the episode as Tormund toasts Jon Snow, Daenerys sulks in the background, giving Jon the side eye for all the attention he’s getting. However, eagle eyed viewers noticed an unusual object in the background, right next to Daenerys. What was the object? Why, a modern day Starbucks coffee cup, all of things! The plastic looking thing stood out in contrast to the rustic, moodily lit surroundings of the Winterfell hall and although a little hard to spot, you can’t unsee it once you do.

See if you can spot the offending latte in this GIF below:

 

A GIF of Tormund toasting Jon Snow in the darkly lit interior of Winterfell as Daenerys sulks in the background next to a Starbucks cup, of all things.

Image Via The Verge

Naturally, the Internet reacted to this error with the usual storm of hilarious tweets and reactions. Here are some of the best ones below:

 

 

 

Oops! That was a considerable blooper, that’s for sure. Perhaps this was all part of a strange tie in deal with Starbucks! After all, who wouldn’t want to have a Starbucks cup that says this on it?

 

A Starbucks cup with all of Daenerys's titles from 'Game of Thrones' on it

 

It is always hilariously baffling when things like this happen, considering Game of Thrones’s massive production costs. Still, it provided many great laughs and memes from the fanbase. Did you catch the Starbucks mug in all its glory in this episode? What was your reaction to it? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Featured Image Via The Verge 

‘Game of Thrones’ Review: ‘The Long Night’

The latest episode of Game of Thrones was hyped beyond belief. “The Battle for Winterfell” was possibly the most anticipated episode of the season, showcasing the war between the united characters of Westeros (sans Cersei) vs. the White Walkers in what was thought to be a bloodbath of epic proportions, on par with the Red Wedding. But when the episode came roaring onto screens last night, it had some noticeable issues that, in this author’s opinion, prevented it from reaching the heights of true greatness. We’ll delve more deeply into SPOILERS in this review of “The Long Night” but before we do, here’s your chance to turn back now in case you haven’t seen the episode.

So, turn back now! Last warning?

 

Spoilers Ahead!


 

 

Alright, still here. Then let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t in last night’s epic battle.

 

Danenyrus and Jon Snow stand on the wall of Winterfell, staring at the army of torches in the distance
IMAGE VIA THE ATLANTIC

The opening moments of the battle start off grinding out the tension. The defenders of Winterfell stand assembled. Grey Worm stands before the gates, standing stalwart with his fellow Unsullied. Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Tormund Giantsbane, Samwell Tarly, Sandor Clegane, Beric Dondarrion, Jorah Mormont, Davos Seaworth, Ghost, and Lyanna Mormont stand among their ranks. Arya and Sansa Stark stand tall on the walls. Tyrion Lannister and Gilly hide underneath Winterfell in the crypts with the common citizens. The dragons circle overhead. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen finally stand side by side on the highest point of the keep, staring ahead into the darkness beyond. Its so quiet you can hear a pin drop as the tension is ratcheted up beyond belief, as the characters stare off from the sanctuary of Winterfell, unable to see into the darkness beyond, waiting…waiting…for something to happen.

Melisandre arrives presently (nice to see you again!) and although Davos doesn’t trust her, he allows her inside. Melisandre gifts the soldiers of Winterfell with the blessing of the Lord of Light, making their swords alight with flame similar to Beric’s own. The army then charges off to meet the army of the dead and flaming cannonballs are fired off. They strike something ahead, engulfing the battlefield with pockets of light…showcasing a HUGE tide of wights coming out of the darkness. What follows next is one of the episode’s brilliant moments, as the POV switches back to Winterfell, with the sea of torches visible in the distance. One by one, with no sound, the torches go out. The terror at this situation is boldly felt and captures the horror of the White Walkers without them even being seen. A great artistic choice, well done!

 

 

Arya Stark fights wildly for survival as zombies surround her

Image via Vox

But that’s when the episode takes a sharp left turn towards incomprehensibility. As the wights swarm Winterfell en masse, the defenders rush out to meet them. What should be a great/terrifying action scene is unfortunately marred by one fact: you can’t see what’s happening! Between the very dark lighting, the fast paced editing, and the chaotic style of the melee itself, the action is downright incomprehensible. You can’t see what’s happening onscreen, which is problematic to follow the characters who are in real mortal peril fighting for their lives against the surge of the undead. This is a problem that pervades throughout the entire episode and unfortunately, one that brings it down considerably. Its almost impossible to tell what’s happening onscreen throughout the battle through much of its runtime and considering the sheer scale of the battle itself, this is a huge problem. We want to see what’s happening! We want to see who lives and dies! But whether through design or error, you simply can’t throughout ‘The Long Night’.

Some of these moments were obviously intentional, such as when the Night King arrives and his Walkers conjure an enormous blizzard to blind the dragons as Jon and Daenerys pursue him. This scene captures the frantic pursuit very well, being very hard to see as the dragons race around desperately through the blizzard, getting attacked at points by the Night King atop his zombie dragon and only providing brief moments of relief as the two exit the blizzard. But at other points, you simply can’t tell what’s going on, such as when Grey Worm and the Unsullied defend the gate, Jamie and Brienne fighting desperately on the walls against the endless tide, or when Arya is sneaking around inside Winterfell, trying to avoid lurking wights. The episode is unfortunately undercut by the fact that we can’t see any of it.

 

Bedric wields a flaming sword in the crypt of Winterfell
IMAGE VIA WINTER IS COMING

You could argue it is a stylistic choice in order to capture the chaotic pace of medieval warfare. However, previous episodes such as “Battle of the Bastards” embrace this as well and they weren’t nearly as visually hard to follow. You can blend the chaotic style of medieval warfare with comprehensible cinematography without an issue, as previously shown, but this episode just couldn’t do it for whatever reason.

Still, this episode was full of cool moments when we could see them. Lyanna Mormont’s death scene was a tearjerking highlight, as she faces down an undead giant that smashes its way through the gates. The monster begins butchering soldiers and slaps the little girl aside. But Lyanna gets right back up and with a scream of a warrior, charges back in towards the towering monster. The giant grabs her and begins crushing her but Lyanna, with her last breath, stabs the beast with a dragon glass dagger, killing the giant at the cost of her own life. RIP, Lyanna, you went out like a boss!

 

The Night King stands tall in a towering inferno
IMAGE VIA IGN

Other great moments included Sansa and Tyrion’s heart-to-heart scenes in the crypts as the battle raged overhead, bringing their relationship closer as they spoke of how they were nearly married, the dragon fight as Jon Snow took on the Night King’s undead mount in a midair duel to the death, and Jon Snow attempting to kill the Night King himself only to be stopped by a wall of zombies that the Night King raises from the corpses of the battlefield. The last stand of Theon Greyjoy was also a great moment of the character, as Theon faced down dozens of wights to defend Bran, getting a solemn thank you from Bran as his former brother told him he was a good man. Theon then ran at the Night King himself, only to be gutted and died. A great ending of the character and another badass exit.

Still, despite what viewers thought would be a bloodbath of an episode, there really weren’t that many ‘big’ deaths. Theon Greyjoy, of course, has been a pivotal part of the show but his importance has waned with time and he was much more of a side character in the lead up to his demise. Lyanna Mormont’s death of course was heartbreaking, but she was never a main cast member, just a member of the supporting cast to whom viewers grew attached (for good reason). Beric Dondarrion also perished but his status as a cast member is quite similar to Lyanna. Melisandre walked her last at the episode’s end but she too had been dwindling in importance and the fact that was the first time she showed up in a long while undermined her death scene, as it appeared she appeared out of the blue simply to die. Arguably the ‘biggest’ death was Jorah Mormont, who died defending Daenerys from endless waves of zombies, but even he wasn’t a main cast member either. Everyone who was on the A-list came away relatively scott-free, without even any serious injuries to show for it. Even characters who arguably should have died— i.e: Sansa and Tyrion trapped in the crypts with the undead, Samwell buried in an avalanche of wights, and Jamie and Brienne overrun by wights— survived. Honestly, it’s a little disappointing that not a single main cast member perished, especially considering Game of Thrones’s reputation of killing anyone, everyone, no matter who they are. Perhaps we overhyped ourselves but still…its disappointing nonetheless.

 

IMAGE VIA IGN

Of course, the most controversial moment will be the death of the Night King himself. The big guy perished at the hands of Arya, who shanks him with her dagger, causing the Night King to quite suddenly explode, with his entire army of zombies falling apart with his death. It is a sudden, jarring moment, perhaps somewhat anti-climatic, but one that feels more in line with the show’s desire to subvert audience expectations. One hopes we’ll learn a bit more about the White Walkers now that they’re gone, as the Night King and his troops never showed their motivations nor any real personality traits. They were just evil and while that certainly made them threatening, it would be a disappointment if they didn’t have much else going for them.

It seems now Cersei will become the threat for the reminder of the season. We’ll have to wait to see what happens but it be a bit sour to have the supposedly main threat offed and a smaller, more petty threat take his place. Still, we’re sure the showrunners have something up their sleeves.

The Battle for Winterfell proved to be a rather mixed bag. With the lighting issues, lack of character deaths, and the death of the Night King sorted in with a truly epic scale and great moments this one isn’t bad but perhaps fell short of true greatness. We can only hope Cersei proves herself to be just as a threat as the Night King’s forces but we’ll have to see.

What were your thoughts on the episode?

 

 

Featured Image Via Vox 

All the Ways ‘Game of Thrones’ New Intro Hints at What’s to Come

The opening credits of Game of Thrones serve as a guide to the physical landscape of the series, changing with each episode to show not only the actors involved but also the places in which they’ll be. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the intro to Season 8’s premiere is different from previous intros— but this intro is definitely most drastic update yet, and hints at many things to come.

So let’s talk about it.

 

Cersei, Bran, and Arya - then and now

Image Via IGN

The most surface-level change to the intro is the animation is no longer colored with the bright golds and reds of the previous credits, but is now uses a darker, richer color palette. It’s a somber look, predicting the darkness to come.

Besides the color scheme, the intro is basically the same in the first few frames, so much so that your eyes flit past it. We see the small sun contained within an armilla that metaphorically depicts major events in Game of Thrones history – we’ve seen this before.

 

Game of Thrones Intro Season 8-The Wall

Image Via Polygon

Then we zoom to the map, and personally my eyes just shot open wide. We see the wall with its giant hole where the decimated Eastwatch used to stand. Ouch. Thanks for the reminder. Following this we a series of blue tiles that lead towards Last Hearth, the ancestral seat of House Umber. They’re dead, and this map shows us our worst fears: the White Walkers are on a collision course with Winterfell.

 

Game of Thrones Intro Season 8-Winterfell

Image Via The Verge

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Honestly, I would have just started here, but I get it: We need to fill a minute and a half of screen-time with SOMETHING to accompany Ramin Djawadi’s sweeping music.

Thirty seconds in we hustle over to Winterfell and at thirty-five seconds we rush back inside our favorite castle. Ooo, that’s new.

 

Game of Thrones Intro Season 8-Winterfell's Crypt

Image Via Polygon

After wandering around the Great Hall, we found ourselves inside the crypt at fifty seconds in. The looming shadows, the lanterns that light our way but don’t illuminate anything, it’s all very unsettling. Is something going to happen there? We shall see.

Break my heart, why don’t you? It’s only fifty-five seconds into the intro and you know what I see? Upon the armilla band, engraved in gold because they just want to hurt our little hearts, is a pivotal moment in Game of Thrones history. What is it, you may ask? Well, there’s a crouched hungry lion, the wolf torn apart with arrows, and the man holding up a severed wolf head.

 

Game of Thrones Intro Season 8-Red Wedding

Image Via Popsugar

Go from a crypt to a depiction of the Red Wedding, why don’t cha?

From here, of course, we head over to King’s Landing. At a minute and ten seconds in we see the courtyard map from Season 7, symbolically reminding us that Cersei is out for Number One: herself.

A minute and twenty seconds in we see a dragon skull in King’s Landing. Hey, I get it. I think the Dragon Queen and Cersei (this might be a stretch) might not get along this season. But I’m just spit balling.

 

Bart Simpson writing"I'm not here on a spitball scholarship"

The Non Sequitur

Don’t go shaking your head, there might be something to that theory. Going to a minute and thirty seconds into the video and you’ll see the Iron Throne with the Lion sigil — a nod that Cersei is now in control – but for how long?

 

Game of Thrones Intro Season 8-The Iron Throne

Image Via Popsugar

To build up the pressure, after we see the Iron Throne with the Lion sigil we go straight to  the armilla depicting three dragons below a comet. If you recall this event from Game of Thrones history, you’ll know Danearys took this comet as a sign that she would end up victorious.

From we here we see Game of Thrones. Because that’s what this show is about: people battling each other for a big chair. You know what? Let’s focus on this Cersei VS Danearys fight. Heck, it might give us our long awaited Cleganebowl. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Night King's Landing

Image Via Youtube

Maybe. Maybe not. Watch the video and tell me your thoughts!

 

 

Featured Image Via Popsugar