Score Technician: Sean McConnell
It's penultimate episode time on Game of Thrones. Generally, this is when HBO shows clear the board in an effort to set up a season finale that serves to set-up the next season. So, how penultimate-y is this episode? Only the nanobots can answer that question.
- Not protecting your foodstuffs during a war, in the middle of winter. = -2pts
- Keeping your word. = +20pts (No joke, this is a big deal in Westeros.)
- Sending your best friend/closest adviser away on the equivalent of a grocery run. = -1pt
- Vhagar the Dragon ain't no punk-ass like that gorgon Medusa. = +8pts (Because even our adorable Greek myths end poorly in Westeros.)
- Thanking someone for something and making a reference to a future state of being...in Westeros. = -5pts
- Pouring one out for your homies in a manner that would indicate that it is not, in fact, for said homie. = -2pts (The equivalent of dismissively wiping your privates on something in Dorne.)
- Playing the slap game with your sister. = +3pts
- Playing the bitch slap game with your sister. = +6pts
- Mycroft Holmes' handshake. = -2pts
- Writing a letter with your back to the door. = -3pts
- Offering to help your dad out of a pickle. = +10pts
- Burning your daughter alive. = -40pts
- Smiling while it happens. = -10pts
- Khalessi takes Drogon for a spin. = +50pts
Season Score: +177pts
It's hard to think of another episode in Game of Thrones that so completely taketh away and then giveth back. Shireen's death, while upsetting, was foreshadowed way back when we first met Mehreen and Stannis engaging in their public barbeques so many years ago. The fact that only Mehreen seemed to be enjoying herself is probably a bad sign for Stannis.
Speaking of Stannis, the nanobots have confirmed that he currently holds the record for highest drop from the list of likable GoT character rankings, falling from the top-5 and landing somewhere between Cersei Lannister and the black hole that is Ramsay Snow.
The fact that this scene happened this episode, as opposed to the one before, is evidence of how much thought the showrunners put into mitigating the trauma that Martin's books/ideas keep feeding them. The past two episodes have offered little hope for pretty much any character. Perhaps Shireen's sacrifice was the final scourge on a world that may be on the brink of redemption. Maybe... Probably?... Meh...