STREAM VIDEO Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 7 FULL EPISODE
The climbing sequences as the wildlings scaled the Wall were simply brilliant, and it shows that something as tedious as climbing up the side of a mountain can be milked for a surprising amount of tension and a great sense of adventure in what could have easily gone wrong. Very strong visuals this week, and some very clever scene transitions from Sakharov and the show's usual writers Benioff and Weiss, who seem to be on their game this season like no other.
Having so many great characters - Olenna is particularly good this week, as she always is, meeting her match in the form of Tywin Lannister - is a luxury that most writers would love to have, but they've done such a great job at balancing episodes between fan favourites, new favourites, and the various Westeros story lines.
Seeing Olenna square off against old favourites is great, but the fact that the show can keep longtime frenemies like Varys and Littlefinger interesting when we've seen them do this song and dance before is a credit to how well-written the scenes are and just how much is invested in their moments together in the throne room.
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There's nothing boring going on; even Sam and Gilly huddling around a fire has a tint of the adorable around it. There were multiple monologues this week, all of which ended up being really good (see also Paul Kaye's monologue about Thoros' weak faith).
One could make the argument that watching Theon Greyjoy get tortured is losing its appeal, but the absolutely wonderful, bug-eyed insanity on display from Iwan Rheon and the sheer glee his character brings to torturing Theon turns what would otherwise be a disheartening display of special effects prowess into something much more interesting, and much darker.