Is Game of Thrones Entertainment Value Depreciating?
In opening, HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7 has something in the ballpark of a $10 million per episode production budget to play with. They spend anywhere between 10 – 15% of that on editing and CGI costs, which allows for their fan-famed special effects like dragons, battles, and explosions. Trending reported expenditures over the past 7 seasons, the cost per show has, to date, increased exponentially. Believe it or not, much of that cost can be traced back to paying out contracts for the leading actors and actresses, who are obviously very talented but are massive production budget constraints. The $1 million plus salary for each of the major characters that are featured in the episode can add up quickly. Adding to the tally, they still need to cover off the cost of permits, props, costumes, extras, set designs, the set crew, roadies, key grips, drug dealers… all the expenditures that come with delivering a great final product.
With that said, from an audience and end consumer perspective, when the fuck will arguably the most expensive season of a single TV series ever, start to live up to its hype? Maybe the creators are sticking to the “wait for the last few episodes” kind of mindset here, sure but WTF! This week’s episode was like Wikipedia in that it included many interesting facts about Game of Thrones. But like Wikipedia, The Queens Justice at the end of the day, delivers far less entertainment value, leaving you somewhat unfulfilled after. Let’s quickly roll through the snoozer that was this episode and focus in on three core characters, their family houses, their fortresses, and how it all interconnects.
The Starks, Winterfell and Jon Snow
The Starks historically have been the ruling family and keepers in the North of Westeros for centuries. At the start of episode 3 features Jon Snow who is technically not a full Stark, just Ned Starks bastard son. Hence the name convention of Snow not Stark. But now he is the “King in the North” and travels with his “Hand” (or advisor) Sir Davos, the “Onion Knight” after leaving the Stark family home of Winterfell. The Stark’s stronghold at Winterfell, recently liberated is the largest and most strategic stronghold south of the Wall. As far as accommodations go in that part of the kingdom, it is one of the nicer places to find oneself in. Jon Snow and crew rock up by boat on the shores of Dragonstone to meet the Queen of Dragons and face their version of this Queens Justice.
Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, man this broad has so many goddamn names. Yes yes I get it, you have dragons and have done a lot of epic shit with them. All that in foreign lands and you need make a big splash to the region you just invaded but fuck right off! Can’t you just pick your best 3 titles maybe? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Take a lesson from the Onion Knight and his introduction of Jon Snow Missy! “This is Jon Snow… He’s King in the North.” End statement. And it has a much less twat sound to it, no?
Anyways the invader of Westeros wants Jon Snow to bend the knee – in the past, the Starks only bent the knee to save their northern people from being torched by dragons by her fucking ancestors. However, according to the story timeline, that all happened like a 1000 years ago. Jon Snow’s response back essentially was I don’t know about you sweetheart but I need to fight an army of zombies, who seem super keen on killing us all… are you with me? She basically doesn’t listen to him (typical) and was way more pissed at him for not “respecting” her many, many names and royal titles. Sorry queen-princess BUT you just expect Jon Snow to show a demonstration of fealty on the spot? Maybe show him your boobs! It would make for a far greater introduction. And it would also serve to what the Dwarf so eloquently said later. It is a way to give him something and nothing all at the same time. I’m just saying, right?! Ok well that may have been more for my benefit than that of the plot line as their shared Targaryen blood lines could pose a rather “incestuous” type of relationship. Speaking of incest, let’s shift the focus over to the Lannister’s, who are the sworn enemy of the Starks.
The Lannister’s, Casterly Rock, Queen Cersei + Her Bro Jamie
The Lannister family have historically been one of the oldest and wealthiest houses in the kingdom. Their wealth derived from mining gold out of the bedrock of their family stronghold named Casterly Rock. This castle a top of rocks was designed to be an impenetrable fortress, manned by a well-trained and well-armed force. Through their wealth and iron rule, they have always wielded significant influence over the seven kingdoms. Tywin Lannister was a hard dude who had three children, Jamie, Cersei, and Tyrion. Tyrion is often referred to in these reviews as the Dwarf. For the purposes of this section, we will only focus on Jamie and his sister Queen Cersei. Cersei became queen bitch because she is a power “hangry”maniac who stops at nothing until she gets what she wants. And that is to sit on the prized Iron Throne. Cersei Lannister thoroughly enjoys blowing and banging her brother Jamie on the reg. And up until this point, the fornication between brother and sister had been an infamous rumour but not fact.
As pointed out in last week’s review on the topic of Game of Thrones and sex, straight up, it’s all fucking weird! But it’s not too far off from reality if you compare to other reigning family monarchs like the British Royal family. Back to the story, Jamie and Cersei also had three kids born from their incest. However, as it goes in the Great Game, their children have now all been killed or took their own life.
In episode 3, the real point of the story was that The Iron Bank is calling in the Lannister family debts. It was revealed in previous seasons, that their family is now totally broke ass. You know it’s bad when the bank comes to your house and is asking for their money back. Ah but they are good for it! “A Lannister always pays his debts”. The Lannister’s pride themselves on this so much that it is their family mottos. So, who the fuck cares about the Lannister’s goddamn credit rating? Well, when you are at war and likely to get fucked on multiple fronts, a family needs some leverage when asking for more gold to keep fighting.
In true shrewd Lannister fashion, they abandon their family Castle when they find out is to be besieged by the Unsully. Instead the Lannister’s decide to invade and jack the next wealthiest family in the realm. The family in their sights is the Tyrells and enemy of the Queen, second only to the Martells of Dorn, who Cersei also was able to inflict her revenge on in this episode. Don’t let those thorns prick you as you snap their little flowers!
Jamie Lannister, who at first glance comes off as a totally douche-bag but later reveals himself to be a pretty decent dude. Outside of being a sister-fucker and getting his right hand chopped off, he has a good sense of humour and a lack of family spirt that is quite refreshing. In episode 3, he is tasked with doing Cersei’s bidding and dirty work. The Tyrells of Highgarden were once a very prospers and formidable family. But after turning on the Lannister’s, their family did not fare too well. One of the greatest characters of this family line has to be Olenna Tyrell, the old bag of Highgarden. In the final scene Jamie is sent to kill her on orders from Cersei to end the family’s line forever. But before the curtain is called, Olenna admits to killing that lil fuck Joffrey, who was the former King and son to Jamie and Cersei. I think we all are going to miss the Queen of Thorns, you were an OG to the end!
In my opinion, the overall rating for Game Thrones Season 7, Episode 3, would be a very mediocre score of 2.5 / 5.
Be sure to check out next weeks review of Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4, The Spoils of War. I hope it is an improvement and NOT The Spoils of Bore!! Hey HBO, the Game of Thrones audience deserves more blood, more boobs, and more battles!