Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 was another solid episode for this season. This season is shaping up to be more like Season 4 than the lacklustre seasons 5 and 6, due to its return to focusing on character interaction. All throughout the episode the highlights were related to the actions and reactions of character rather than plot. In seasons 5 and 6, without adequate information from George RR Martin the show attempted to have a complex and tight plot but ended up as a forgetful convoluted mess. But we’ll save rants about seasons 5 and 6 for another day and reflect on the 4th episode of this season.
This episode opened to a follow-up to the ending of the previous episode, with the aftermath of the Highgarden attack. This scene emphasises what I previously mentioned as great character interaction. Braun and Jamie have incredible chemistry and the dialogue in this scene was well-enough written to not hinder the performances from the actors. This scene also cemented that these were characters the audience care about so in the climax of the episode the audience would care about the survival of Jamie, Braun and even Dickon. The performance from Dickon this episode was bedrock for a possible interesting character and his juxtaposed against his absurdly strict father demonstrated the complexities this show is capable of, when it isn’t bogged down in terribly forced fan service. Then we shifted perspectives to a very unnecessary and throw-away scene in Kings Landing. We saw Cersei having another conversation with the banker from Bravos and they seemingly foreshadowed the gold not making it to Kings Landing but as we later found out in the episode the gold safely made it to the city? That was an interesting bait and switch if it were intended. But having the Iron Bank as another ally to Cersei does assist the plot in presenting the two sides as nearly equal and does make the conflicts between them more interesting. These two scenes were both brilliant set up for what was occur later in the episode.
The scenes in Winterfell followed Kings Landing and they have received a very mixed reaction from the audience. Bran continued his robot impression and it still makes no sense narratively for the show to have put him in this position. The original 3 eyed raven wasn’t this obnoxious or boring so why is Bran? The call back to the line, ‘Chaos is a Ladder’ was an impressive inclusion and some harmless fan service. We get more Bran nonsense when Mira announces that she’s departing which could possible (however unlikely) lead to the introduction of Howland Reed, which the show built up in the Tower of Joy flashback we got last season. However I seriously doubt the show would introduce that massive of a game changing character this late in the series. Arya then arrived in Winterfell which was handled responsibly and without copious amounts of fan service, which was refreshing. But the very mixed reaction that I foreshadowed at the beginning of this paragraph surrounded the scene in which Arya fought Brianne. Many people calling shenanigans on the abilities of Arya and how she shouldn’t be able to fight Brianne competitively let alone seemingly tie with her. Personally I had no problems with the scene probably because I find Brianne’s character incredibly weak and boring and therefore her being rivalled was amusing to me. All-round the scenes in the North were fine and not detrimental to this episode at all, and featured many interesting character interactions.
Following Winterfell, we journeyed to Dragon Stone with scenes with standout performances but questionable character writing. The initial scenes in the cave were… bearable. The ‘guiding of the hand’ part was astonishingly cringe-worthy and unnecessary and the ‘bend the knee’ comment from Dany was so dumb it was basically comical. The characters are all being idiots for the plots sake at Dragon Stone. A simple ordinary marriage pact would solve literally every issue between Jon and Dany and the only reason that this hasn’t been brought up is so they can have a dramatic realisation towards the end of this season. Personally I think I would have been much more interesting if they were forced to be married and then grew to resent each other and had to develop that way. But instead the show has opted for a run of the mill and predictable love story. The scene on the beach was surprisingly. The quality of the acting in this scene from of all people Jon Snow (Kit Harington) who is one of the weaker characters/actor was completely unexpected and the reaction of Dany was actually interesting and compelling. The way he delivered the line, “Then you’re just more of the same,” was captivating and poignant and the fact that she completely ignored his warning was even more effective and compelling.
The climax of the episode and one of the best scenes in the entire second half of this series was the field of fire 2.0. I haven’t been this emotionally invested in a scene from this show in a long time. I was literally jumping up and down hoping that Braun would kill either Drogon, Dany or both of them. 75% of the reason for my reaction was that Dany is a character I don’t like at all and doesn’t deserve anything she has and 25% because it would have actually meant this show killed off a main character and reinforced that stupid decisions and rash decisions end in characters dying and have consequences. Her actions in the episode might have made her the most evil character in this show because she burnt the food that’s supposed to feed a majority of the population of Westeros through the longest predicted winter in a serious amount of time. The cinematography was done extremely well in this episode especially when the camera followed Braun for that long duration of time. The only negative of this scene besides some minor leaps in logic, was the mediocre cliff-hanger. Absolutely no one believes Jamie is drowning.
Ultimately this episode had me emotionally invested in the climax of the episode and for that reason this episode gets a 7. The character interaction in this episode reminded me of better time with this franchise. Please comment below any feedback would be greatly appreciated and any interaction in the comments would be excellent.