Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7 episode 5 follow.
In true Game of Thrones fashion, the most loyal of its fans have gone from loving the show to absolutely hating it within the course of a week. After last week’s blowout battle sequence in ‘The Spoils of War’ – already ranked in the top five episodes ever on IMDb – Thrones has come under fire from some fans for what they see as logical inconsistencies its fifth episode of season 7, ‘Eastwatch’.
Many fans aren’t convinced by the logistics of the plotting as we head towards the final two episodes of the season. Over on the 386,000-strong Reddit page for A Song of Ice and Fire – the book series by George R.R. Martin on which Thrones is based – a post entitled ‘The worst writing in the show since Dorne?” is the most upvoted in the past week. Another on the same group is ranked 11th in the past week and is labelled “The show has officially gone off the rails”. Both have huge criticisms about the plot – and even the 1,000,000-strong Game of Thrones Reddit page has a massively upvoted post entitled “Does their plan seem kinda absurd to anyone else?”
The latter is the kindest of the lot, beginning: “Why the fuck are they going North of the Wall?”. The book-reading members of the ASoIaF page, meanwhile, are way more critical, with Redditor Slims writing: “The showunners have no idea how to manage the story of Westeros without Martin’s books as a backbone.” They call the plan to capture a wight “insanely stupid”, they don’t like the “teleportation” of the characters’ movements, criticising the lack of danger involved in each character’s travels from place to place. They dislike the fact that Jaime was easily rescued from the depths of a river when in full plate armour. Slims concludes: “The politics are dumb, character development has stalled on almost every major character, and in general the world no longer feels real or consistent. It’s massively disappointing.”
Another similarly popular post by Aijiu is critical of Tyrion and Davos’ unnoticed arrival into King’s Landing in the middle of a war, given that it’s “a city on the edge of potential invasion”. They arrive “in a paddle boat in plain sight of anyone who so much as looks out to the sea”. Like Slims, Aijiu criticises the fact that Jaime “inexplicably managed to escape the Dothraki army with Bronn, despite being at most a few hundred metres away from where they fell into the lake”. Aijiu adds: “They hope that Cersei will be convinced of the reality of the situation upon seeing the wight (which is nothing more than evidence of the existence of necromancy, something she is already aware of because of her own undead bodyguard)”. They express disbelief that the plan could possibly be executed and all Westeros’ armies summoned against the White Walkers before the White Walkers reach Eastwatch.
Commenting on that post, Caiden019 writes: “This episode was really…..odd. There was so much rapid fire fan service, characters traveling, reintroducing characters, Characters meeting for the first time, and some lore thrown in. At one point they decide to kidnap a wight, setup a meeting with Cersei, send Tyrion and Davos to King’s Landing, set up a meeting with Jamie, have Jon return to The Wall to go ranging, and send Jorah with him in a matter of like five minutes.”
Gus_B disagrees, telling Aijiu: “I like your post and I think I generally agree with all of your issues… BUT, I liked the episode. What I think the show does really really well is create good television… The Avengers team north of the wall, while plot-wise silly, is really awesome to watch interact on screen. I’m rooting for them and it’s going to be a fun ride to watch… While the books are undeniably better pieces of story, the show is really fun to be a part of too.”
What do you think? Was ‘Eastwatch’ a classic episode, or are plot holes getting worse now that the source material has run out ahead of Martin’s next book, The Winds of Winter? Let us know what you think in the comments.