No fire, no ice, no Starks. They finally made the wise decision, too late sadly, of stopping constant switches between all arcs. Since The North Remembers I have desperately missed its cosmic editing. Contrary to the past episodes that only looked like a bunch of great scenes hastily joined together Blackwater was a full-blown television movie. Its story was unpredictable and featured many infernal moments. Of course the explosion sequence was jaw dropping, an hypnotic green fireworks, and definitely the one thing we will still remember in months but there were also plenty of other intense scenes. For instance when The Hound suddenly appeared beside Sansa in her bedroom I was convinced he was going to rape her. Instead their face off turned into a wicked homage to the Beauty and the Beast. Tyrion's speech to the soldiers made him grow on us even more and I really hope he'll survive his bloody wound because I'm not ready to let Peter Dinklage go. Game of Thrones needs him ! Losing Ned last season and Sean Bean in the process was painful enough. However I wouldn't blame George R. R. Martin if he had decided again to sacrifice again one of his mortal creatures.
It leads us to Melisandre because I really expected her to show up and save the day when some of Stannis ships got annihilated. So I suppose we'll have to wait for the finale to witness what the old gods are capable of. Still I absolutely don't regret that magic wasn't part of the battle because it felt realistic, was served by a shockingly dark choreography and overall the production was just surreal ! In fact would it be wrong to compare it to what films like Braveheart and The Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers delivered ? I don't think so. They didn't fight in bright day light but the action couldn't have been gorier. The battle didn't feature elves, fantastic beasts nor mythological elements but it had a dwarf casting fireballs from his ass, a Joffrey who as expected acted like a pussy and brave men giving their life for what they thought was a noble cause ! My only major complain would be Cersei misplaced and way too numerous monologues. I really think they dramatically made the action less percussive when the battle shouldn't have been interrupted by anything. Otherwise it didn't ruin the experience, far from it, and I even suspect the women's side made things a little more vicious.
Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.