What was the worst moment of Game of Thrones season 7? Check out the poll results


Last week, we asked you to vote on the worst moment from Game of Thrones season 7. For better or worse, it inspired a lot of discussion.

First, let’s check out the poll results:

What was the worst moment of Game of Thrones season 7?

The top four choices all relate to “Beyond the Wall,” which revolves around Jon Snow and friends traveling beyond the Wall to capture a wight. The episode that gets a lot of antipathy from fans, and while the reasons why vary, I think it mostly has to do with the the turns of the plot not holding up to scrutiny, which is a big problem on a show that has trained its fans to scrutinize everything — it’s why we love it.

To get specific, commenter Fenny97 complains of “the last minute saves, absurd conveniences (a small group of wights to ambush just happened to be walking aimlessly and detached from the rest of the army? Really?) and the warp speed travel.” Lakersfan713 drills down further:

"If you’re the Night King, you can’t just automatically know of the existence of dragons who’ve never even been on your continent before, and you can’t be ready to kill one with ballistic missile-sized ice spears. You also can’t just pull hundreds of feet of chains out of nowhere. You also can’t have a wight army in which a few hundred drowned just 10 minutes earlier, and then have them turn into deep water divers to take the chains that you pulled out of nowhere to hook up a dragon at the bottom of a lake.And you can’t have Gendry run an unknown number of miles, send a raven all the way across a continent, and then have Dany fly back across that continent to show up right in the nick of time after what appeared to be about 1 day. It was absurd."

AinoKyllikki, meanwhile, picked at the impetus for Jon’s adventure itself:

"All characters in GoT have problems in the tactical thinking department but the way the plan for the hunt and later Dany’s decision to go rescue the hunting party are presented is just confusing. It is a bunch of characters doing uncharacteristic things and ignoring previous character relationships. The Night King needs a dragon and Jaime needs to leave Cersei and there is not enough time for character development and plot so let’s just have a meeting where characters decide to do random stuff that will get us what we want. Problem solved. Yay!"

Sravya also saw the gears of the story turning, and detected an instinct to turn Jon into a Mary Stu-type character. “Almost everything leading up to and in “Beyond the Wall” felt off but Jon staying back and fighting the wights even when it was not necessary just seemed to be put there to show Jon surviving yet another day miraculously!”

Personally, I can excuse a contrivance or two in my fantasy fiction, but having this many in one place tends to take me out of the experience. I stop thinking about the characters and their world and start thinking about the writers and the actors, and why they’re making the strange choices they’re making. That’s the real failing of “Beyond the Wall,” I think. It has so many conveniences and inconsistencies that it becomes very hard for me to just sit back and enjoy it.

Finally, no discussion of the problems with “Beyond the Wall” is complete without someone bringing up the chains the Night King used to drag Viserion’s body from the bottom of that lake. I actually have no problem with the chains (why is it so hard to believe that the Night King picked up a few chains during his thousands of years of down time?), but others, like Stormborn, feel differently.

Like, very differently:

"The inclusion of those chains was completely antithetical to the fantasy world of magic, dragons and zombies that GoT asks us to suspend disbelief and buy into. Seeing those chains on the screen took me past breaking point, shattering the illusion and fantasy. Postulating theories and hastily fashioned logic as to how or why they got there, does not justify their presence and general mediocrity. I’ve seen the NK raise dead people with his arms and somehow I’m expected to believe that he needs chains to raise a dead dragon???? It’s like seeing Superman hitch a ride when you know the dude can fly!In the moment of dragging Viserion from the lake with chains, GoT stole the wonder, magic and awe of fantasy rendering it ordinary. That’s the crime here, not where the chains came from."

That is a lot of emotion for chains, but to each their own.

Leaving “Beyond the Wall” behind, clearyk2 had a problem with the Sand Snakes, who have been the fandom’s least favorite characters pretty much since their first appearance in season 5. “I went with the Sand Snakes’ “Mama” scene because that was the only scene in the season that made me cringe.”

They’re having stilted conversations with angels now.

Monz, meanwhile, didn’t appreciate our introduction to Samwell Tarly’s life at the Citadel, which featured by far the most shots of poop in the history of this or possibly any TV show.

"I was not keen on the Samwell Citadel montage. They seemed to cram and rush so many fantastic opportunities during the season, but they had time for this!? It frustrated me that they had running taps, but no Roman-esque type sewer systems too."

I’m torn on that one — I kinda like that they went somewhere different with it, but different isn’t always good…You can watch it here to refresh yourself.

Moving in, Ueber de Super had some issues with the new (and improved?) Bran Stark:

"Maybe it is just me but wasn’t Robo-Bran a bit too extreme? The three-eyed raven was not like that at all, he seemed like an emotional wise old dude, but Bran makes Mr. Spock look over-emotional."

You might be able to explain that one by saying that Bran had all the information dumped on him while the former Three-Eyed Raven had centuries to adjust, but I take your point.

Sticking with characters, Paula M. complained about how Varys was portrayed this year:

"The “Master of Whispers” knew nothing” about that huge armada parked in Blackwater Bay for all to see; or the movements of the huge Lannister army matching out in the open to HighGarden. Totally unaware of these most important events while at war. Yet in previous seasons, he knew what was happening in Essos and all of Dany’s movements with her army….while he was in Westeros. So it seems Varys has been neutered."

Reasonable minds differed on that one, with Stormborn providing an alternate take: “The state of play in S3 is not the same as in S7,” Stormborn wrote. “In S3 Varys was Master of Whispers now he is not, Qyburn is. We are clearly shown that Qyburn inherits Varys network which he insists belong to Cersei (the Crown). In Essos, Varys could still command that end of his network.”

Okay, that’s enough being down on the show for now. Being critical is fun, and worth it, and I enjoy it, but there’s more than one way to approach this topic. DonnydarkoIRL, for example, provided some perspective on how the show has changed over the years:

"After the ‘divergence’ if you will… when HBO surged past GRRM’s material, there was always going to be some alienation of the hard-core fan base. It’s a different entity now and it is GREAT. It just may not feel consistent or authentic to those loyal to the book series for the past 20 years.Personally, I think it’s fantastic we have now two climactic finales to anticipate."

And Chee$07 wrote an incredibly long, articulate comment about the bigger picture that’s worth reading in full, but in the interest of saving space I’ll cut to the big finish:

"It’s hard going from political drama to The Walking Dead in a matter of a couple seasons, but thats what is happening, and the urgency of the story has made things different on Thrones. I don’t mind. I just want great television, and Game of Thrones blows my mind on how well done it is. There’s nothing like it. “Beyond the Wall” was an amazing episode. If we can’t enjoy the show, perhaps you can go daydream about what could have been and go keep your head in the books. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it. Blame George R.R. Martin for not writing faster. I know it sucks that David Benoiff and Dan Weiss are speeding things up and ending Thrones so quickly, but I’d rather them do that than overstay their welcome. It’s a rare feat for anyone to bring to life a massively successful fantasy in today’s world, outside of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and break out of the stereotype. People like fantasy or they don’t. I feel Game of Thrones has something for everyone."

Thank to everybody who voted and commented! May we all enjoy Game of Thrones in our own way.

Next: Game of Thrones dominates at the Visual Effects Society Awards

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