Originally both Jessica and Dean were low on this episode, but after a re-watch they both looked past some of the flaws which have creeped into this season. The internet is found of pointing out things like travel times, and plenty of information is out there on how long it takes ice to freeze, and how fast ravens fly, but it all comes down to one thing: how well are they telling the story? On the one hand you have some great dialogue and character moments between our “Suicide Squad” that has traveled north of the wall. On the other hand you have what appears to to be a more forgiving world in which named characters escape situations that would have killed them in season three. You also have the Arya and Sansa stuff flailing somewhere between inscrutable and down-right ludicrous, and some inexplicable behavior from Jon Snow… commander of men. All in all there was plenty to like, and this mostly comes by way of performance and character. Emilia Clarke shows some vulnerability, hesitation, and hopefulness. Richard Dormer’s presence is a stage-setter for all things Lord of Light. Kit Harrington uttering “Uncle Benjen” was heart-wrenching. Kristofer Hivju brings not just comedic timing, but some believable wisdom to Tormund, and the always consistent Rory McCann knocks “The Hound” out of the park with his “I don’t care” attitude and bevy of crass insults. Although not the series’ best episode, but we are hopeful that the finale will bounce back.
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