Have you seen the most recent Game of Thrones episode?  Season 6, episode 5 (S6/E5).  If not, please come back after you have.  My short post is going to have some spoilers.  A lot of spoilers.

You have been warned.

Warned twice.

Okay, here we go.

My quick thoughts on tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones (S6/E5) are going to have several negatives (perhaps hasty negatives), so I want to add from the get go that I am a fan of the show, I was glued to the episode, and I think the writers and directors are doing amazing work.  So my criticisms have to be read from that perspective.  Well, and from the perspective of a blogger with an audience of about 5 people who does not have the pressure of churning out amazing quality content every week to very demanding fans.  It is a great show.  [Note:  There are some positives below.  I wish in hindsight I had started with those.]

  1. Six seasons of gratuitous sex and violence, and this is how the male Full Monty card gets thrown for a male?  Seemed a strange choice for timing.  Actually, it just seemed a strange choice all around.  Hmm, there might have been a Full Monty with Oberyn, can’t remember now.  [Note:  I was definitely wrong.  Forgot about at least one other time.  Shame!  Shame!]
  2. I didn’t buy Varys’ reactions during the confrontation with the Red Woman.  It seemed contrived for effect.  I think one of Varys’ many strengths is that he has heard it all (and experienced it all).  I think they could have conveyed the Red Woman’s street creds without having made Varys look like a deer in the headlights.
  3. Good time to remind everyone that I am a huge fan of the show.  Part of the fun is talking about it.  There are going to be other critiques in my list.  If you want to know where to reach me to discuss them, check back on Sunday, because I will be tuned into the next episode.
  4. I went back and re-read GRRM’s opening chapters for the first Game of Thrones.  They are incredible.  I remembered why that first book hooked me.  I also remembered why I had to set it aside.  I may give the books another go.
  5. After Bran went vision questing on his own and ran into some trouble, the Three Eyed Raven immediately asked Bran if the Night’s King had touched him.  He followed up that question by explaining that the Night’s King could now reach them. It seems like that risk could have been easily conveyed earlier on, instead of couching it in cryptic phrases of “stay too long and you risk drowning”.
  6. Bran’s selfish act(s) got Hodor, Summer, the Three Eyed Raven, and the Children of the Forest killed.  Nice going.  I think it could have been done in a way that didn’t make Bran look reckless.  We are, after all, meant to believe he is maturing and growing wiser.  Walking through an army of undead didn’t seem particularly wise.  I think I would have preferred another means of showing that he was not all powerful in his vision quests, one that humbled him a bit.  Children test boundaries all the time, but occasionally you want to hear someone in a show explain why doing something could have disastrous consequences.  One way to look at it that provides an easier pill to swallow is the idea that for Bran to keep advancing he had to realize on his own how to steer his vision quests.  Still, seems too convenient.
  7. I’m going to stop there.  I didn’t like several parts in this episode, but I sound like a grumpy killjoy.
  8. No, I should end on a positive note, because I think it is an amazing show.  The scene between Daenerys and Jorah was incredible.  Two great actors executing fantastic writing.
  9. Meera Reed just keeps getting better and better.  Her performance in S6/E5 was fantastic.
  10. The fight scenes with Arya were great.  Very curious to see how they get her storyline folded back into the main one.  Have I mentioned that I love the show?
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