Washington - Perhaps it was inevitable that certain details on HBO's "Game of Thrones" would leave us scratching our heads. The show's writers don't have George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series as direct source material anymore, and they need to quickly tie up this whole saga over the span of just a handful of episodes.
But after watching along for seven seasons, we're now seeing some annoying plot elements crop up. Here's the rundown of what we've seen this season that has really been bothering us:
This whole "catch a wight and bring it as proof to Cersei" plot
If I had literally already died once (Jon Snow) or endured an incredibly painful medical procedure to save my life (Jorah Mormont), I'd spend, oh, I don't know, maybe more than three minutes mulling over a plan that'll probably leave me dead.
That's how this whole go-north-of-the-Wall-to-capture-a-single-wight scheme was hatched. Look, we just need 13 guys to capture a member of a giant army - cool plan, dudes. The argument for why this kind of risk is needed - by golly, if only Cersei saw one of these undead guys, then everyone would chill for a second and recognize the common enemy - doesn't feel all that compelling. With everything we know about Cersei, at least the audience needs more convincing than that.
Wights stopped by water ... but can pull a dragon out of the water
A moat of icy water was enough to stop an army of wights from pursuing Jon and his raiding band. But they apparently had no trouble at all diving into those same treacherous waters to secure a massive chain (where did they even get that?) around Daenerys's felled dragon and pull it out of the cold abyss? OK.
Bran knows all the things but won't say much of anything
What's the point of having this omniscient kid around if he won't help clear up some probably disastrous misunderstandings? Like, Bran takes time out to scare the bejesus out of Littlefinger by referencing a private speech the scheming guy gave four seasons back, but Bran doesn't bother (at least yet) to defuse this intense Arya-Sansa feud. Or, maybe send one of those trusty ravens to Jon to let him know that he's falling in love with his aunt. Perhaps such earthly matters are beneath him.
Arya can be anybody - so can we trust anybody?
The season-opening scene showing Walder Frey, who was actually Arya, was exciting. But now we can't help but wonder about the true identity of anyone on screen, particularly now that the little face-swapper has made her way back to Winterfell and is still burning with revenge she wants to exact.
All of a sudden, incredibly fast travel
All this zipping around in season seven makes you wonder whether the Hound, who traveled around with Arya for a couple of seasons, just had a super-bad sense of direction. As my Washington Post colleague Stephanie Merry explains:
"The boats and horses on 'Game of Thrones' are moving faster than ever. On August 13's episode, Daenerys dispatched Tyrion and Davos to King's Landing and, moments later, the men were rowing to its shores. But that was just the start of Davos pinballing around Westeros. During the same episode, he wandered around Flea Bottom, returned to Dragonstone and, most preposterously, made it all the way north to Eastwatch and beyond.
"'Game of Thrones' has always taken liberties with the passage of time, but the itinerary Davos followed was still laughably efficient. This kind of voyage used to take characters a season or two to complete, and the journeys were harrowing, riddled with enemies and obstacles. Now Jon Snow can snap his fingers in Dragonstone and end up next to his old pal Tormund at the Wall moments later. (The White Walkers, meanwhile, are total lollygaggers, in no apparent hurry to annihilate mankind.)"
That's so raven
These ravens are more reliable than my cellphone provider. One of these little guys managed to fly quickly enough from the wall to Dragonstone, alerting Daenerys that Jon and the Gang were in trouble, that she could swoop in to save the day. Do these birds never get attacked, or fly into stuff, or get eaten? Where I can get one?
And kudos to Gendry, who has managed to work in some long-distance training in between all his blacksmithin' back in King's Landing. Do you know how hard it is to do cardio in the bitter cold?