It's taken six seasons, but Ned Stark has finally been proven right: Winter has come, and with it, the beginning of the end of Game of Thrones. As such, the show needed to start paring down its various storylines and plot threads, which it did last night with brutal efficiency. For those few players that remain, the time for games is over.
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Hey, ha ha, remember how the last few episodes of Game of Thrones have seemed to be a bit… low-key? Uh, well, now we know the reason why: It was spending all its time (and manpower, and probably a sizable portion of season six's budget) on creating what is possibly the most incredible battle that has ever been seen on TV.
Game of Thrones is a show where audiences always need to expect the unexpected. But sometimes, when you're expecting something crazy to happen, that means the show will surprise you by not doing anything crazy at all. And that's what the latest episode was: Not crazy in the slightest. Of course, "not crazy" on Game of Thrones still means that two people get brutally decapitated, minimum.
After last week's harrowing episode, you can't blame "Blood of My Blood" for wanting -- needing, even -- to take a step back. The flip side is that "Blood of My Blood" is a bit of a letdown. It's not bad, per se, and plots do get advanced. They're just not advanced very far, and in some cases, they're advanced in a way that makes them sort of baffling. Take, for instance, the strange cases of Margaery Tyrell and Arya Stark.
I know, saying HBO's Game of Thrones has anything on top of ol' GRRM is bold -- if not outright traitorous -- to some people. But I think there's a good chance that when the credits rolled on last night's episode, "The Door," ol' George stroked his beard and said, "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that."
Cersei is angry. Danaerys is furious, although she's being regal as hell about it. In fact, it seems like most of the characters in "Oathbreaker" are angry, because they're fed up with the rules they're forced to live within. Add to that another immensely satisfying peek into Game of Thrones' past, courtesy of Bran, and you have another fantastic episode in a season that promises to be full of them.
Last night's Game of Thrones begins with the sightless gaze of Jon Snow, right where we left him last year. But the most striking moments of the episode -- including its final shocker -- involve the gazes of women, usually without any words at all. There weren't any dragons or zombies, and only a couple glimpses of a direwolf, but the main special effect last night was medium close-ups of women's shifting facial expressions.