The Rampage

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review

Hadley Kauvar

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The seventh season of the HBO hit Game of Thrones was perhaps less of a hit than its predecessors. The show was once lauded for its originality, unpredictability, and writing, yet it now seems to have lost these elements.

Despite its defects, this season brought the biggest and best in terms of battles and special effects. HBO spared no expense in creating the three massive battles that dominated this season, filling them with stunning visuals, dragons, and hordes of undead zombies. However, due to the lower number of episodes (seven instead of ten), important dialogue was left out while the focus was given to extending the battle scenes. The quality of the writing has suffered a sharp decline now that the showrunners, David Benioff and DB Weiss, are no longer able to base their material off the books, the last one having come out six years ago. The dialogue in this season was much more banal and exposition-filled, replacing what had once been elegant prose layered with nuance and subtlety. Several characters also appeared to be diminished; Tyrion and Littlefinger, political masterminds of the grandest scale, were in this season frequently manipulated by almost everyone around them.

In addition, the showrunners frequently toyed with space and time in the newest season. In the earlier seasons, medieval travel was accurately portrayed as a long and arduous affair, taking multiple episodes to traverse long distances. However, characters now seemed to travel at lightspeed around Westeros, with a total of perhaps thirty seconds being dedicated to travel time, making the actual timespan feel far shorter than intended.

However, that isn’t to say that the entire season was a disappointment. This season’s special effects were by far superior to those of previous seasons. Instead of the usual single large battle per season, this one boasted three. With the aid of extensive CGI, Benioff and Weiss brought to life a naval battle, an engagement between the Lannisters’ forces and the infamous Dothraki as well as a dragon, and a desperate last stand against an army of the undead. The sheer scale of the effects, from practical effects such as prosthetics, to the CGI, was utterly breathtaking.

While this season fell short of my expectations, I am hopeful that the final season will be better. Given that Game of Thrones has surprised audiences for years, I think Benioff and Weiss are not likely to disappoint.

 

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