The Golden Company
In episode 7 Cersei tells Jamie that she has hired a foreign mercenary company with gold that she stole from the Tyrells in episodes 3 and 4 to help her defeat Daenerys. Why is it that we only hear about this previously non-existent, potentially world conquering, force only now? Couldn’t any of the other factions have purchased the Golden Company far sooner? Stannis uses mercenaries in season 4 and does not hire them, neither does Daenerys, The Tyrells or the cities in Slaver’s Bay. All of these characters are supposedly incredibly wealthy and have reason to use their services, so why does only Cersei think to hire them now? We can tell you why – the writers had to needlessly inject tension by magically creating an army for Cersei to use in season eight.
The Eagles are coming
Our brave protagonists are surrounded on all sides by the Army of the Dead, a tense standoff leaves viewers on the edges of their seats; who could have thought Tyrion’s perfectly constructed plan could leave our heroes in such a precarious position? In ‘Beyond The Wall’ (episode 6), Jon Snow and several side characters are trapped on a frozen lake surrounded by zombies and White Walkers who cannot kill Jon and company because the ice is too thin; if the army tries to cross the frozen lake it would be broken and the zombie army would be destroyed as it cannot swim. Because of this, the White Walkers wait for the ice to freeze even further whilst the merry band of morons hope that Daenerys and her eagles will arrive in time to save the day.
There a just a few pertinent questions about this set piece. Can’t the White Walkers or their zombies just throw or shoot things at the trapped party to kill them? We see later on in the episode that the Walkers can throw spears with inhuman levels of accuracy, so couldn’t Jon and friends be killed this way? Maybe the army of the dead could construct a rudimentary structure to cross the lake? We do see zombies dragging heavy metal chains in the same episode, which makes it clear that they are capable of doing more than just walking and killing. Either way, the scene is contrived in such a way to unnecessarily create tension for the inevitable arrival of the eagles to save the day.
Arya and Sansa’s catfight
One particularly vapid plotline in season seven was the conflict between the two Stark sisters. Arya, as soon as she arrives in Winterfell, thinks Sansa wants to betray Jon and seize power for herself. The tensions between the two inflame in episode six when Arya finds a letter that Sansa was forced to write by the Lannisters in season one, and Arya then berates Sansa for betraying their family. Obviously amnesia is becoming as common as incest is in the world of Westeros and now Arya has been afflicted with a terrible case of memory loss too.
In season 2 Arya is captured at Harenhall and then put to work as Tywin Lannister’s servant, where she does exactly the same thing she is angry at Sansa for doing a season earlier – serving the Lannisters under duress. Great. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only problem here. Back in season 2, Arya has personal command of a supernatural assassin and almost unlimited access to Tywin, who she could likely kill at any point, yet Arya acts on none of these opportunities. Tywin then proceeds to orchestrate several of the murders of Arya’s remaining family members, and we are then still expected to believe that the Arya and Sansa plotline in season 7 even makes a lick of sense. Nice one writers!
What are your thoughts on the above? Are there any other plot holes or dangling threads that you hope to see resolved in the eighth and final season? Let us know in the comments below…