And now, my Game of Thrones predictions

Over the last few years, I've featured a variety of content on this blog. We've covered political thriller, zombies, Star Wars, even Harry Potter! But I know my loyal fans have had one burning question in thier hearts: Ronan, how is Game of Thrones going to end?

Now that there are three episodes left in the entire series, I'm here to tell you. No, I don't have insider knowledge*, but these 100% accurate predictions are guarenteed to come true. Trust me.

*Fun fact: I did actually have insider knowledge of a major spoiler from a previous season, almost a full year before it leaked online through other sources, but I never spilled the beans in order to maintain my flawless record of journalistic integrity, and also to avoid getting someone fired,.

(Spoilers for the entire series up to the third episode of the last season, and I guess the last three in the extremely unlikely even that I'm actually right)

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Game of Thrones season 7 (contd)

It's time for some Very Important opinions on Game of Thrones' just-concluded seventh season, with full spoilers.

In my last GoT post, I talked about how the show was gradually moving away from being the dark, gritty deconstruction of epic fantasy is started as and toward just being plain epic fantasy. With this most recent episode, that transformation is fully complete.

All of the surviving characters have developed inch-think plot armour, half of them have supernatural powers or near-superhuman combat abilities, there's magic destinies and secret birthrights left and right, and the bad guy is flying around on a zombie dragon that shoots nuclear Godzilla laser-breath. If you mildly toned down the amount of boobs and swearing, you could easily pass this off as an adaptation of a YA novel.

Not that all of this is necessarily a bad thing--because sometimes you've had enough pointless death and misery and just want to see attractive heroes fight scary monster villains with their magic swords--but it does mean that the entire story's priorities are now suspect. Case in point: Jon Snow.

I knew there was something up with Sir Gormsalot as far back as the second season, because he kept making decisions that should have gotten him killed if the same rules that governed everyone else were applied to him (and they did, but then he came back to life). Things got more suspect when the story kept rewarding him despite his being a total dingus: first he became commander of the Night's Watch despite looking about nineteen at the very most, then he was crowned King in the North even though he nearly got all of his friends and allies killed, and now it turns out he's the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and probably the literal Chosen One (and got to sail to the bone zone with Daenerys Targeryan).

Strip away all the surrounding grimdark, and you're left with an absolutely bog-standard fantasy yarn about a mildly downtrodden (but still extremely privileged) youth who rises from a lowly position in life, proves himself, discovers his secret destiny and saves the world while having sex with an attractive woman ( actually his aunt, but let's ignore that for now). Unless this is all setup for a spectacularly cruel twist where Jon gets stabbed in the forehead in the first episode of season eight, it feels like a massive betrayal of the show's core principles.

Except it's not, because it turns out all of that grittiness and deconstruction baloney was a smokescreen. This is where the story was always heading: cool, dashing heroes fighting epic battles against zombie laser-dragons. 

I for one fully embrace the cheese, and plan to plunge headfirst into the stupidity come season eight.

Game of Thrones season 7

We're four episodes into Game of Thrones' truncated penultimate season, and I'm Not Entirely Pleased.

On one hand, plot points that the show has been teasing since literally the first episode have finally happened--Dany is finally in Westeros with her dragons--which is undeniably exciting. But the episodes released so far have also been strangely flat and lifeless, featuring unusually poor dialogue and acting (I suspect the latter is a consequence of the former).

The battle scenes are a prime example of why this season isn't really doing it for me. Game of Thrones has come to be known for big, expensive battle sequences that far outstrip anything else on TV in terms of budget and production value, the standout being last season's "Battle of The Bastards". 

That scene was the culmination of a two-season-long standoff with the show's most loathsome villain, and a major turning point in the saga of the Stark family that began all the way back in episode one. Given how brutal Game of Thrones can be, you knew* there was a very real chance that the Starks would lose and we'd have to watch Ramsay Bolton butcher a bunch of our favourite characters for shock value.

*(Okay, in hindsight it's obvious that wasn't going to happen, but the show did a good job of making it seem like it might)

By contrast, the two big battles this season (and given how expensive these sequences must have been, I seriously doubt there's another one coming) have been random, fairly low-stakes clashes. One major character momentarily seemed to be in danger; the cliffhanger ending implied that another one is in mortal peril. He's probably not, since at this point the cast has been whittled down to characters who obviously have a role to play in the climax of the series and/or are walking plot triggers that have yet to go off.

That's the thing, over the last season or so Game of Thrones has quietly ceased being a dark, grounded story where there are no heroes and villains and anyone can die at any time, and has become the kind of fantasy story its source material was meant to be a refutation of: a low-stakes action-adventure romp featuring near-superhuman badasses who can't die before their story reaches a suitably dramatic moment.

At this point, I'm just left wondering what the endgame is. Do out heroes defeat the white walkers? I'm not sure how satisfying I'd actually find that. People have floated the possibility of a bleak ending where all the bickering over power finally comes back to bite Westeros in the ass, everyone dies, and our last shot is the Night's King ascending the steps to the Iron Throne. The internet would have the biggest meltdown in history, but I'm kind of hoping that's where we leave off.