Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3: Tainted Love

This was a great episode even though this was usually the point where pacing took a lunch break in previous years. I attribute this to the excellent decision to shorten each season to seven episodes. Since the show has done away with many of the complexities of the book, this leaner timeline means we don’t get filler (and usually cringe worthy) scenes.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Episode 3

The Good

-Tyrion shone for the first time in quite a while. He was instrumental in taking over Casterly rock, as well as helping Jon and Daenerys find a path towards middle ground. His conversation about Sansa with Jon, Dany making good-natured fun of him, his mantra of “We are not our father”, all reminded me of the Tyrion of old, albeit a Tyrion who is finally recognized for his talents in an organic way.

-I was curious about how a meeting between Daenerys and Jon would go and I was not disappointed. They are characters whose journey we’ve followed for years that we know are going to become allies if not more, but in that moment they know nothing of each other and exactly how important they are in the grand scheme of things. It was played beautifully, with Dany being assertive though not overbearing and Jon stoically standing his ground. I could watch them dance around each other quite pleasantly. However, even though Davos speaking up for Jon was lovely, Dany speaking up for herself goes against what the show has set up to be admirable, even though she is entitled to do so and that kinda bothers me.

-Sansa seeing to practical matters of survival is everything I’ve ever wanted of a Queen in the North arc. Her little mention of missing Jon plus the declaration that Bran should be heir, ought to silence her critics who thought her power-hungry and selfish.

-Cersei was back to her old self this episode. Even though I’d noticed her ’80s inspired lip color, I spent the entire time they were down in the dungeon very apprehensive due to the fact that Gregor Clegane was in the same room as two Dornishwomen. So the kiss came as a surprise and a pleasant one at that. Giving a blanket disclaimer that I hate every single thing the show chose to write Dorne as, this was within its canon an appropriately cruel conclusion to that arc.

-I live and die for Samwell Tarly, cleric-bard extraordinaire.

-While I wasn’t in love with Olenna nearly as much as the rest of the fandom was, I am very sad to see her go. Props for plunging the knife in as she sat back and waited to die.

The Bad

-This Stark reunion was bittersweet since tree-Bran-ch is unfortunately robotic. I’d prefer it if they’d made him pleasantly hollow since I think that would hurt a heck of a lot more.

-Jaime has long been a puppet of a man, so I remain anxious to see something -ANYTHING- change for him and his relationship with Cersei.

-The losses Dany is taking have reached comic proportions and they should have staged it differently if they wanted us to take her and her forces and allies any seriously. Also I know the Tyrells were devasted as a family post-explosion, but how many soldiers of their huge and powerful army could have died. Olenna’s remarks about their readiness and ability does a disservice to Loras, her army, and the notion of continuity itself.

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