Game of Thrones Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Two episodes into a very short final season, and we have a very long, final night of the Seven Kingdoms.

Title: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Directed by David Nutter
Written by Bryan Cogman, Ethan J. Antonucci, Gursimran Sandhu.
Based on novels by George R.R. Martin

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Kit Harington as Jon Snow
Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
John Bradley as Samwell Tarley
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
Marc Rissmann as Harry Strickland
Joe Dempsie as Gendry
Pilou Asbæk as Euron Greyjoy
Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
Samantha Spiro as Melessa Florent Tarly
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
Liam Cunningham as Devos Seaworth
Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund
Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion
Anton Lesser as Qyburn
Bella Ramsey as Lady Lyanna Mormont
Hannah Murray as Gilly
Staz Nair as Qhono
Conleth Hill as Lord Varys

Premise:

As night falls, Winterfell prepares for war, and various groups break off to live what may be their last night on earth.

High Points:

Of the several character moments, I do not know which one ranks best. Certainly not the predictable, relatively antsy scene between Dany and Jon. I would say either the frequently funny lead to the official, serious knighting of Brienne of Tarth, or Arya’s decision to lose her virginity because, hey, she may not get another opportunity.

With regards to the lead up to Brienne’s knighting, that Tormund really knows how to milk a story.

Low Points:

They do an extraordinary job of depicting the night before the battle begins, but it is an hour of the night before the battle begins, and it feels tremendously like last week’s episode, albeit better staged and better written.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The episode may be the only one in which Game of Thrones observes the Classical Unities, showing us one place in one short time, with a single movement.

Effects: 5/6 This episode lacks dragons and last week’s vistas, but quite a number of effects go into creating Winterfell, and they are seamless.

Story: 5/6

Acting: 6/6 This show has the best cast on television, and everyone in this episode gets a moment.

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 It’s not the first time we’ve watched the night before the big battle, which, for many of these characters, will be their last night alive. However, it ranks among the best such depictions.

Overall: 6/6 This week shows us how the characters and their relationships won an audience. Next week will be about the battles. Given that we only have four more episodes, that’s probably a good thing.

Get your bets in for next week!

In total, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms receives 35/42.

Note

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is also the title of a collection of prequel novellas set in the Song of Ice and Fire universe.

3 replies on “Game of Thrones Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms””

  1. zocalo says:

    I thought they could perhaps have combined the last two episodes, dropped 30 minutes of it, and done more with the cast at King’s Landing but maybe pacing issues in order to show the Battle of Winterfell in a single episode had something to do with it? Also, on a more practical front, I suppose they need to spin the budget out given we’ve presumably got at least two *major* battles to go… Still, it did allow for some touching and/or long overdue moments, so not really that much of a low point for me.

    As an aside, something odd I noticed that might just be a visual glitch connected with the “last supper” motif but given a line from the next episode preview I’m not so sure. Speculation, but spoilered just in case: when Theon has his bowl his spoon appears to reflect blue, my first thought was whatever was in the spoon reflecting an on-set blue screen, but given the next episode promo at the end included the line [i]“The dead are already here”[/i] I’m now wondering if it was a deliberate hint that there might already be undead in the camp and they’ve slipping something into the food?

  2. After Avengers and Game of Thrones next week, Monday is going to be full of corpses.

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