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The Game of Thrones: season 7 IS Now Out


A lot of people have contacted me this week to say things like, “Did you see the new Game of Thrones leaked?” and “You can get an early start on Game of Game of Thrones!” and “You have 31 days to pay this traffic violation before incurring fines.” That last one is none of your business, but as for the first two, I have only this to say: are you guys kidding? I am, I hope, far from a corporate shill, and I don’t really care about whatever activities you want to do to hurt HBO’s feelings in general. But Game of Thrones is a Sunday night spectacle for a reason, and watching a leaked episode is not cool.

If you spoiled “The Spoils of War” for yourself earlier this week, I’m not angry with you, I’m just disappointed. We’re supposed to watch this completely bizarre and outrageously expensive thing together, every week, at the same time, so we can all ride the emotional roller coaster of “Is this show getting… bad?” to “This show is awesome!” to “Well, the writing has gotten markedly worse, but realistically, I’m not going to stand up for myself and stop watching” to “I don’t know if it’s useful to have such a complicated relationship with a television program, but at least it’s something to do so I don’t have to think about the fact that tomorrow is Monday.”
The importance of this shared experience should be abundantly clear, given last night’s episode, which plodded along through dozens of weakly written conversations between characters with no clear motivations, goals, or consistent personalities, and then erupted into a full-scale dragon blitzkrieg. What better way to fend off the Sunday scaries than by spending 40 minutes feeling annoyed and uncomfortable, followed by 20 minutes of blazing catharsis? And what better way to enjoy that experience than with your family, friends, internet pals, and me, a stranger? Here’s a love song I picked out for me and you:

A small piece of trivia: this episode was the first to be directed by Matt Shakman, whose background is mostly in television comedy (You’re the Worst, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and he also directed the incredible final two episodes of the first season of FX’s Fargo. It was also the first episode in which it seemed like Jon and Daenerys might actually make out eventually. But I’ll let you decide which one of those is the more thrilling development.

Let’s kick things off in The Reach, where Bronn is explaining to Jaime that he has been working for him for free for years now, and would like that castle he was promised. Jaime’s response is, “Well, if I give you Highgarden, someone might just come and take it back with a dragon, so I might as well not… you know?” I’ve had more than a few jobs that I felt weren’t compensating me fairly for my emotional labor, or for the fact that the setting made all my clothes smell irrevocably of burnt egg, but never have I been told, “Well, it doesn’t make sense to pay you… someone might come take your paycheck with a dragon.” That is a bridge too far, and Bronn should really consider being the founding member of some kind of mercenaries’ union. Bronn, it’s not a dis or reflection on you, but I think you could use an advocate and a more seasoned negotiator. This is unacceptable treatment by your employer. Value yourself.

In any case, Bronn at least gets +5 for reading Jaime’s pouty post-murder face and asking, “Queen of Thorns give you one last prick in the balls before saying goodbye?” Gross, but I laughed.


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