TFP:the only plot holes that really bothered me were: (1) the ballistas, flip flopping between over- and under-powered (at the point at which Jon's dragon was hit a second time last week, wasn't their hit rate, following that battle & the 'loot train' scuffle, about 4 in 5 or something? suddenly now they're 'bows & arrows against the lightning'); and (2) the size of the northern/dothraki army, which was surely reduced to almost norhing at winterfell.
PL: Kind of agreed. I think I lay the blame at previous effectiveness - Bron missed a few times, the Night King missed with 2 out of 3 spears all in (?), The Iron Fleet caught them completely by surprise but yes, there were 3 hits in not much time at all - that's the one which skews it massively. This time they were utterly useless against a single dragon, to the point when she made that hole for the unsullied she didn't first take out the ballistas on the towers either side of that spot. Only mitigation is the speed to re-point them, if the Iron Born had 10 of the things all aimed on an unsuspecting and straight flying dragon then maybe. i think that was my gripe early on and why I wasn't enjoying it, Dany was suddenly in no danger at all whilst wiping out an entire fleet in seconds. I guess we know she hasn't come this far to be taken out so easily so any protracted suspense would just mean they'd not get the rest into the episode.
TFP:dany's turn of character was alright, it didn't quite come out of nowhere but, yeah, could have been paced a little better, or we coud at least have been given a few more recent reminders of that side of her since most of the others were so long ago.
PL: I was happy with it, even after the angry face and taking off again it wasn't clear if she was just going for Cersei and I liked the way she first torched soldiers with just a split second to morally decide if killing armed men on the verge of surrender is ok before following up with innocent small folk. I read some shit complaining about them no doing enough on the "nuclear deterrent" subject, if there was any point made there this emphatically answered it, it's a Hiroshima moment within this series and there's no real coming back from it.
TFP:i didn't mind the hound-mountain fight, though thought it a bit odd that the mountain cared who sandor was, i always got the impression that the dislike was one sided, if not why hand't the mountain just topped him when they were much younger?
PL: They set this up last series when they met to show off the wight, it was always going to be 2 sided. There's also the bit from the S1 tourney. I think by adulthood the Hound was more or less a match for his brother (no doubt as a result of ongoing bullying - who would the Mountain torment if he killed his favourite victim?), it's the whole Qyburn thing which took him up a few notches. I expected this fight to end with a decapitation but liked the final result, just not the dagger to the face and prior regular stabbings to the neck having no impact.
TFP:i'm sure that JS is going back 'up north', by which i suppose i mean winterfell or, just as likely, as far as the wall or even beyond... my main reason for this is that, in the 'after show' piece that the creators, the reasons they gave for splitting him up with Ghost were just far too lame for me to believe that he they wouldn't be reunited. after hearing this i also re-reconsidered Tormund's observation that JS now has some of "the real north" in him. but what's he going to do up there? king/queen in the north or lord/lady of winterfell is now sansa's gig, right? and there's no need for a night's watch now?
PL: I don't think I see it, unless the whole thing is going to end on a South vs North cliffhanger (which seems massively unlikely, HBO would want a 9th series suddenly). If anything the North is coming to him to take out Fire as it were, having already taken out Ice.
TFP:barring another very rapid change of heart Dany must be toast, macbeth style ['is this a valyrian steel blade I see before me?'] but, i mean, place your bets as to how that'll happen. i sort of think Arya & Sansa's arcs are done now? Jon &/or Tyrion, maybe supported by someone like Davos, will need to do the heavy lifting there?
PL: Sansa could be done unless I'm right above, I felt she was after last week but now I'm not sure. Arya... same deal as with Cersei, if she was going to be the one, she couldn't also have been the one in E2, it's too much glory for one character. I still don't think she'll actually make it to the end (but I've felt that strongly during both battles this series and I'd like to see her sail off West at the end). It has to be Jon.
TFP:i was pleased that Arya cleaned her act up... these days we're, a bit, encouraged via a kind of weird reverse sexism to believe that, if carried out by a 'kickass' female protagonist, sustained ultraviolence is a marvellous thing ['you go girl'] when, of course, it's not, and viewers surely weren't supposed to think that it was.
PL: Agreed, very much so. Different subject and also potentially a spoiler but there's a moment in Engame* which jarred me out of the experience for a moment.
TFP:of the other remaining major characters Tyrion, Bran still need their stories wrapping up somehow. are Samwell & Davos important to also need their own 'endings'?
PL: Sam is surely going to the citidel to write "A Song of Ice and Fire" to fully complete the Tolkien Sam comparison, even if that's a TV only soppy personal ending. Bran is done I think, he's the 3 eyed raven, he'll keep doing that until he needs a successor, he'll do it in the safety of Winterfell and it turns out his only usefulness was to tell Jon who he is. Davos is with Jon to the end, Tyrion could be too at this point, he can't stand with Dany after that, he knows Varys was right.
TFP:i suppose i doubt we'll see bronn again? maybe not pod or gendry?
PL: Gendry: Doubt it, either Dany or Jon will keep him as lord of Storms End. Bronn: Going to pop up to kill Tyrion if he doesn't get High Garden, which seems unlikely he will.