Review: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 “The Spoils of War”

“The Spoils of War” begins slowly, enforcing boundaries between characters like Bran and Sansa, and crafting respect and understanding between others. For the most part the writing balances audience expectation, and internal, transformative arcs of the characters, with Arya’s clearly established confidence, and Bran’s cold, isolated withdrawal being highlights. Yet, there are other moments where a need to solidify bonds and create resolution arguably overwhelms the stature of others. For example, Tyrion feels largely undermined by the need to strengthen ties between Danerys and Jon. However, the significance of this, both in terms of the good and the bad, pales in the absolute artistry that is presented in the final act. It is beyond cinematic flair or ambition, with Matt Shakman relishing in creating iconography that speaks visually and on a far more complex emotional level. Shakman and the writers pummel the audience with an extensive range of emotions, as our loyalties are constantly torn, a monumental symbol of the brilliant character work done to make us love both sides of the battle. It resonates not just because of its magnitude, with excellent visual effects and choreography, but because it isn’t a war for the sake of action. It means something far greater to the viewer. 9.5/10


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