Lord Parramandas's Written (and possible video) Reviews - Season 8

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Lord Parramandas
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 am

Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:15 pm

Opening this thread to post my reviews for S8 episodes when they air. The reviews are usually show-only related, with all background info being taken from "History and Lore" episodes which are canon to TV series. If by any chance book speculation is included (which is very unlikely), there is notification about it at the top and again at the very part in the review which includes it. So book readers and non-book readers alike, you're all welcome to read them. If there will be video review included, there will be a link to my Youtube channel. For videos for already aired episodes from previous seasons, check my other "Memory Lane" thread.

S08E01 - Winterfell (complete)
S08E02 - ? (incomplete)
S08E03 - ? (incomplete)
S08E04 - ? (incomplete)
S08E05 - ? (incomplete)
S08E06 - ? (incomplete)

My youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_LIi ... 2ZcwyBdVGw
Last edited by Lord Parramandas on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lord Parramandas
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 am

Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:06 pm

In darkened crammed room, Lord Parramandas takes a dusty old tome from the shelf. There're no drums pounding this time, no banner with an elephant being raised atop the tallest tower. Only an isolated room with a table in the midst and a candle providing light. Lord Parramandas opens the dusty tome. There are 67 chapters already written... 67 chapters of hype, happiness, thrill, emotion. But there towards the end, there are 6 chapters still blank. The final pages to be filled in order for this journey to be complete. Lord Parramandas thinks of everything that happened, everything that will happen. And then in the midst of this serene environment, he takes a deep breath, picks up a quill and writes: »This is the beginning of the end...«

68 – WINTERFELL
This is the beginning of the end. In past 8 years, I've made a long journey, accompanied with all kinds of emotions and thrill and now, I need to brace myself to reach the destination. I don't feel any need for intense speculation, for making »scenes« with my review, for passionately defending show and trying to push myself in the light. That phase is long over. What remains now is the emotional goodbye to this long journey, the desire to get enriched when the cycle finally closes, the wish for tears of joy and sadness at same time when the final scene airs in front of my eyes... the wish for this show to create a lasting legacy in my heart, to stand true to its current status of being part of my »golden trio« of TV shows. As I'm preparing to write this first chapter, I feel the time of me being »formal« and sticking to the rules with review structure is over... now it's time to look deeper, beyond the layers of storytelling. It's time to look into the heart and soul of the show.

So »Winterfell«, the very last season premiere. First thing first, there is a new title sequence that I plain love. Second thing, Jacob Anderson got added to main cast which resulted in me needing to edit my main characters' appearances chart by adding him. Third thing, the song from first episode's credits played in credits this time. Here it is, three facts that I needed to include.

Now to the TV piece itself. It pulled at my heartstrings, that's what I need to say first. I don't know whether it is due to story itself or the fact that I need to prepare myself for closure, but I never felt like this before at the beginning of the new season. I pressed the »Play« button with shaking hand, my heart being so filled with positive anxiety, and through entire episodes and beyond, I could feel hard heartbeats. If a TV show is capable of pulling a string like that with me (and so far, there are two others that did in my case), then I know it's one of my favorites. GoT did pull strings in the past for me, especially on rewatches, but now I'm more sure than ever that it's part of my golden trio.

As for story itself in this episode, it's a prologue to the final stage. There's no »big moments«, no action scenes, no major deaths or some shocking moments. It's mostly interactions, subtle moments, reunions, a pleasant dragon flight and a horror-movie-scene. But is that bad? I wouldn't say so. As I said so many times before, the character interactions and their body language are the key for me to love the episode. If I'm not »pulled in« in a way that I feel I'm in there and know those characters, then no action scene can save the show for me. And »Winterfell« was very succesful with this.
What should I touch first? Is there a point of recaping the scenes? Or maybe I should rather touch the heart and soul... which are characters themselves. I can say that this episode truly shook things up regarding »rooting« for characters in my case. Characters made me have doubts, same characters sparked a positive feeling a moment later. But what I loved is how grounded story felt. No reliance on drama, big scenes... every scene felt real to me, like it was happening in real life.

For example, let's pick the very awaited reunion between Jon and Arya. I kept thinking prior to it: »So yet another dramatic Stark reunion is on horizon. Works once, works twice, but i don't think it will work for third time.« But then I watched the scene and I was like »But this is actually really beautiful!« Why? Because it felt so grounded, so spontaneous, so »fresh«. No dramatic music or deep stares before the hug. Just Arya's otherwise cold expression lightening up after exchanging some words and jumping into Jon's hug. While not being the biggest Arya fan, this scene truly got to me in right manner and I was so happy to finally see Arya »vulnerable« again. I was honestly worried for her in S7, the cold manner she was developing like she's slowly dying on inside. Now I can say I feel very happy about her character and I can't move past the fact how that hug reminded me of every moment when me and my girlfriend are reunited, considering we live in different countries and are able to meet a couple times a year.

And I truly loved that bit when Jon is trying to team with Arya against Sansa (like they did when they were kids) and Arya simply responded »Sansa is the smartest person I know.« which was a truly nice response to Sansa's remark previous season that Arya is the strongest person she knows. Yes, memories remain but life changes and for me, this scene indicated how that sibling rivalry is finally over and that Arya is making a firm step into new era.
Speaking of Sansa, I'm a big fan of her and she's my favorite GoT character and also one of my favorite female characters overall. Rewatches only amplified my like for her. In this episode, she caused me both doubts and positive feelings. On one hand, she had some very rough moments when I felt she could have been less harsh. I get an impression she keeps a lot of anger on inside and it's affecting her mentally. At same time, I loved the »Of course I do!« remark to Jon. It made me think about her as a character... after all, she's young with a lot of pressure being put on her. Sure, she likes being Lady of Winterfell but the job comes with responsibility and the thread I noticed when rewatching previous seasons is that she really cares about her family underneath her rough facade. So her coldness to Dany... it may be unpleasant on sight, but I feel it's natural for someone like her. Another thing... I love Littlefinger is out of the picture. I'm way more relaxed watching Sansa's scenes now, knowing she's fully making her own decisions now, whether they're right or wrong. On long scale, I truly hope she softens up or does something really good on long term that would benefit her family.

There are other reunions through this episode... Jon & Bran, Sansa & Tyrion, Arya & Sandor, Arya & Gendry... and every reunion works in its own way. Feels natural, grounded, fresh... for an episode packed with reunions, I'm glad they didn't go dramatic route.

But in the midst of all these reunions, there was one not-so-pleasant one that truly shook things up. Samwell and Jorah, by the former meeting Dany for first time. I knew that Dany burning the Tarlys will have unpleasant results and there was really something that bugged me with that action. And Sam's reaction proved it. Randyll was an awful person and a terrible father and I didn't feel any sad at all when he died (although I wish he wasn't burned but executed more properly). But even his death triggered an emotional reaction in Sam. But that wasn't the worst... not at all. He kept clinging to the hope that his brother is now a lord but got to know he got burned alongside as well. And here I'll point out that I truly don't approve Dany burning him. She could have easily executed Randyll and kept Dickon captive... as far as we know, him watching his own father die could have triggered a change of heart in him. But you reap what you sow... Sam was driven to tears and I could see on his face that he started harboring resentment towards Dany. Probably my very favorite scene from this episode but at same time very sad. Now it seemed a firm wedge was driven between him and Jon, who used to be best friends.
So if I maybe touch Jon and Dany at this point... they both gave me very mixed feelings. They're two good people overall but they're just as flawed as everybody else. Now their »mistakes« are coming to the scene. Jon is losing support of Northern lords and Dany doesn't even seem to be trying to earn their support at this stage. She believes everyone needs to follow her as she's the queen and with Jon being her lover, apparently that seems a good reason enough. In my eyes, I feel Dany needs to prove herself being worthy of bending the knee to, like she did to Jon in »Beyond the Wall« when she rescued Jon and co. from the army of the dead. The way she arrived to Winterfell... the »smug« face expression when people got terrified of dragons... why was that necessary? I feel she would suceed by making people love her, not fear her. If she means to rule, people need a reason. Jon on other hand, I generally like him but at this stage, love is showing its flaws. I often say falling »too quickly« in love can result in too harsh decisions and too narrow-minded perspective. And I believe Jon is dealing with this grip at the moment... if he loves Dany, that doesn't mean everyone will follow him. So on overall scale, I wish these two find a way to make the people happy and don't rely on »I am your ruler!«

Speaking of Jon and Dany, the next part is... the dragon flight! Possibly one of the most »feel good« moments in this episode for me. The nagging question... »Will Jon ride the dragon?« The answer is »Yes!«. But this was a hyped dramatic moment that would probably happen in crucial moment... sadly or not-sadly, it wasn't the case. It happened spontaneously, with no particular reason... and I loved it! It truly reminded me of Harry Potter flying on Buckbeak in third movie (a movie that still gives me sooo many special feelings) – the serene feel-good atmosphere which kind of makes you see happiness and joy in the world. And this is exactly how i felt while watching Jon ride the dragon... I kept smiling and laughing all the time during this scene as it was a beautiful and yet funny scene. That part of him flying across the walls of Winterfell especially. I only imagine what Varys, Tyrion and Davos were thinking. And then him and Dany landing in that waterfall pit and sharing the kiss of love... what is more beautiful than getting away from everything with the person you love? Trying to forget all the daily stress, all the worries and being with the most dear person in that moment... yes, I'm a romantic at heart and that's how I felt in that moment. A year ago, such scene wouldn't get me... now it does!

So what remains? I've been writing for so long already. Oh, I know... elephants! Or rather »No elephants«. Oh I really wanted to see the elephants. And so did Cersei apparently. »What about elephants?« - »I so wanted those elephants«. Haha I did expect that there would be no elephants and I was truly glad the show adressed it. Yes, those poor elephants would suffer a lot on ships. But on negative part, Cersei has less power than she wanted. As for King's Landing as a whole, it nicely set figures into space for whatever is coming. The army is here, Euron and Cersei started sleeping together (the two main antagonists finally »teaming up« on body level as well), Euron is his typical psychopathic self... but probably the biggest surprise was that Bronn didn't leave with Jaime and seems to be taking a very antagonistic route now. Yes, as i said in my last year's review, I felt he was taking a dark turn after sack of Highgarden. Something just didn't click right in those scenes and the increasing hostility he showed to Jaime... I wonder how will it occur. Overall, Bronn is one of my favorite characters regarding one-liners. »There's no cure for being a cunt« still remains one of my favorite quotes. Whatever turn he makes, I'm sure he'll remain entertaining.

Touching Theon a bit, the big Yara rescue mission turned out to be exactly the opposite of what I expected. Back in S7, I thought it would be the remainder of Theon's and also Euron's story... the real story came to an end after one scene. It really was just that... a rescue. And it gave me the vibe that Yara's story is fully finished at this point and that her and Theon parted ways forever. I guess she went to go back to Iron Islands and will remain there for the remainder of the show. I grew to be really fond of her character and I would be happy to see that she's one of those who makes it. As for Theon, I believe he won't... he's traveling to Winterfell now to embrace his Stark side, after he proved to be a true Greyjoy as well by rescuing Yara. Like Jon said, he can easily be both.

Okay, I'm really feeling drained now... but some more bits need to be featured. Sam and Jon... the two best friends but now their friendship was put to the test. Sam finally revealed the truth to him, seemingly also to make sure it's not Daenerys who ends up on the throne. It's sad... seeing Sam taking such angry turn now as much as I understand him. And Jon... he couldn't stand the idea of his father (who was not biological father) lying to him whole life. That scene truly made me wonder what would happen next...two characters I really enjoy both brought to such unpleasant point.

Are we there yet? Is this the end? Sadly not... phew, this is taking longer than I thought. Do I need to keep recaping every scene? Or is it enough to say that the whole undead Umber scene creeped me out? First thing first, I was sooo woried for any of those 3 characters dying. I was happy to see both Tormund and Beric alive after their uncertain fate at the end of S7 but I was sure at least one of them will bite the dust. Luckily, it wasn't the case... the castle was slaughtered beforehand to send a message. But the kid nailed to the wall suddenly reanimating... it's like my heart skipped a beat. Now we're getting the real taste of what means if army of the dead comes south. Death and horror and i imagine it would be outright terrifying when they arrive to Winterfell.
Okay, I promise you, this is the last bit. The final scene includes a stranger in a strange land... no I'm not speaking about the episode from LOST, but about Jaime arriving to Winterfell, alone, wrapped in a cloak. I wasn't sure in S7 if he went completely alone or if he intended to bring an army... now I know. He's just one man at this point, one man trying to do the right thing and it reminded me of why he's one of my favorite characters. Leaving Cersei and coming here alone... that was a huge step in his development and I eagerly await what comes next. Guess who he met first... Bran.

Okay, I'm getting truly drained now. I've been writing chapter 68 for over an hour now and I started feeling light-headed. I guess this is the point where I need to pull down the quill and get some rest. But some final words: »Winterfell« is a beautiful and serene episode that truly pulled my heartstrings. I'm really not sure where to put it on my ranklist... I believe somewhere in my 9-rated section, ahead of »Dragonstone« but behind »Two Swords«. I'll think a bit and make my decision. The emotional journey is coming to an end... and I hope I fullfil the feeling of enrichment and emotional closure like I hope to. With best regards from Lord Parramandas!

Lord Parramandas closes the big dusty tome and returns it to the shelf. He leaves the darkened room but leaves the door unlocked for any eyes to read his latest writing. Outside,he removes the elephant-and-castle-badge and continues his life as Erik, the 23 year old Chemistry student, while waiting for next week when it will be time to step into the lord role again.

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Chilli
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:40 pm

Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:02 pm

Very nice review! You are only 23 and a chemistry student? From reading your review I thought you were older and studied something like literature or languages. That's a compliment by the way. It shows that you are really mature at such a young age.
English is not my first language, I don't even know what my first language was since I'm adopted from a country very far away. A country with many languages and cultures. But this makes that I'm not flawless in writing.
But I liked what you wrote and I liked the style. I hope you keep on doing that for the remaining 5 episodes.

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Lord Parramandas
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 am

Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:18 am

Chilli wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:02 pm
Very nice review! You are only 23 and a chemistry student? From reading your review I thought you were older and studied something like literature or languages. That's a compliment by the way. It shows that you are really mature at such a young age.
English is not my first language, I don't even know what my first language was since I'm adopted from a country very far away. A country with many languages and cultures. But this makes that I'm not flawless in writing.
But I liked what you wrote and I liked the style. I hope you keep on doing that for the remaining 5 episodes.
Thank you! I appreciate it! Yes, I'm young and English is not my first language either so I'm sure I make mistakes in my English text as well.

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