Game of Thrones continues to impress but one key episode has rendered much that came after somewhat pointless.
This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season six.
Game of Thrones has a problem that stems from its last great episode.
The battle at Hardhome was as thrilling as television gets, a truly remarkable hour that left the audience almost as breathless as a terrified Jon Snow, staring at an army he had no chance of defeating without a whole lot of help.
Since then we have seen five more episodes of the show and aside from the welcome (if expected) joy of seeing a resurrected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and Daenerys’s rescue by dragon, there have been few other standout moments.
In fact, watching Game of Thrones since ‘Hardhome’ has prompted an unavoidable feeling in this writer – that everything bar the battle against the White Walkers is pretty much pointless from here on in.
Of course all the characters still have to move around the proverbial chess board in order to finally do battle against the seemingly undefeatable masses, with Daenerys, Jon, Bran, Tyrion and Arya all set to play a vital role when that day comes, but the drama of most scenes is lost when you know they are futile.
Who cares about Meereen when the White Walkers are coming? Who cares who sits on the Iron Throne when the White Walkers are coming? Who cares about Dorne when the White Walkers are coming?
The point is a simple one: Because we know what Jon knows, the plotting and double-crossing that made the earlier seasons so riveting is now redundant.
Of course it would be unrealistic for Jon to quickly gather up his army and have the almightiest of smack downs before this season is through, and there is sure to be plenty of fun seeing what he does next, but I have lost all enthusiasm for the pointlessness of a power struggle that the vast majority of characters still believe is the end game.
In essence that is what the show is now saying and plenty of characters are in for an almighty shock when they see what Jon has. It is just a shame that the Stark strand aside, there is currently no other sub-plot that actually means anything…at least until Daenerys gets herself out of her latest pickle.
We all know we are building up to something huge; the only shame is that in showing just how much of a threat the White Walkers are, much of Game of Thrones is now little more than ignorant ego-maniacs fighting their insignificant wars until they realise too late where the real enemy lies.
But then, perhaps that is the point…