Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3 Review: Free of the unwieldy fantasy books that inspired it, the show is thriving.
The mood ofGame of Thrones(Sky Atlantic, Monday, 2am & 9pm) is always likely to swing. We’ve had whole series charged with fighting spirit and delicious wit, then others that lingered in the wearisome depths of trudging processions and torture chambers.
Here, in the third episode of the penultimate season, we get a taste of both; a fondness for sadism that is hard to excuse as belonging to the characters alone, and a dollop of good humour that persuades you the showrunners will not get mired in the stuff.
Anyone whose childhood ever involved a horribly dispelled moment of make-believe, like a grown up casting doubt on the interstellar capacity of your cardboard spaceship, will find it hard not to cringe in empathy when Jon Snow, asks, rather pathetically, “So you believe me, then, about the Night King and the Army of the Undead.”
He’s always banging on about those guys, as though they were his favourite and under-appreciated metal band, but NK&TAU really remain a Northern thing. He is in Dragonstone, partly through the agencies of priestess Melisandre, briefly glimpsed explaining that she has “brought ice and fire together”, a little like Spinal Tap’s Derek “Lukewarm Water” Smalls.
Here, though, we have a whole court that believes in fire-breathing dragons who find the idea of zombies just a bit too much to swallow. Instead, we witness some very competitive CV rattling.
Behold Daenerys Targaryen! Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, The Unburnt! (“The Unburnt?” That’s just padding.)
Behold Jon Snow! Reluctant King of the North, apparent Metal devotee and secretly a little undead himself!