REVIEW: Game of Thrones S7E7 ‘The Wolf and the Dragon’ delivers disappointing reveals
The moment we have been waiting months for is finally here: The Game of Thrones season finale, of course.
After last week’s blockbuster effort, Game of Thrones was always likely to put its foot on the brakes to reassess where each character stands. ‘The Wolf and the Dragon’ followed the series’ pattern of slower season finales but contained enough noteworthy events to make up for the lack of action.
A key theme of the episode was family. Jaime and Cersei’s bond seems to have finally snapped, while Arya and Sansa’s cement one another’s trust. Theon finds a sense of himself and Bran discovers who Jon Snow really is. In addition, Jon and Daenerys get it on – just as it’s officially confirmed the two characters are aunt and nephew.
The show handles these themes with varying degrees of success. Tyrion’s exchange with Cersei was one of the highlights of the episode. Theon’s moment of inner strength resonated through the television screen.
Arya and Sansa, on the other hand, join forces to trick Littlefinger into his execution – off-screen. Although the moment where Sansa turns on Littlefinger is brilliantly savage, choosing this twist does cheat the audience out of character development for the Stark sisters. How long have they trusted one another? How much of their disagreement in the last few episodes was genuine? Have they been playing a game all along? Game of Thrones doesn’t deem it necessary to tell us.
‘The Wolf and the Dragon’ handles some of the biggest developments in the series so far with shockingly little finesse. The presentation of a wight in King’s Landing is anticlimactic, and Cersei’s caricature villain response is only to lie that she will send forces. The fact that proof of a wight is hardly proof of an army goes unquestioned. Likewise, the consummation of Jon and Daenerys’s relationship is sandwiched between the reveal of Jon’s true parentage, singling out the ickiness of the situation with some bizarre transitions. It all felt very uninspired.
The season ended with the chilling shot of the wall falling down, as The Night King controls undead-Viserion. It’s a visually epic sequence, even if it begs a thousand questions. It just about sums up Game of Thrones this season: full of spectacle at the expense of all we originally loved the show for. We need more depth, fewer dragons.