WARNING: Spoilers for the latest episode of Game Of Thrones ahead
While “Beyond the Wall,” the penultimate episode of this season of Game of Thrones was met with mostly enthusiasm from fans and critics alike for the many twists and turns, the episode still left many baffled by the timeline.
To wit: The episode saw a raven travel from beyond The Wall to Dragonstone and then Dany fly her dragons from Dragonstone back to Jon Snow beyond the wall in less than the time it took for The Hound to lose his patience and chuck a rock at a wight. As Donna Dickens points out, the distance between Dragonstone and beyond the wall is roughly 1500 miles, and that trip was made twice — once by a raven and the other by dragons — and Jon Snow and his crew mostly managed to survive the wait in the dead cold of winter while holding off an army of the dead. There was also the fact that the raven couldn’t even begin its trip to Dragonstone until Gendry ran back to the Wall, which must have taken at least several hours, even assuming that Gendry can run as fast as Usain Bolt through the snow in sub-zero temperatures.
Absolutely nothing about that timeline adds up, but Alan Taylor — who directed the episode — knows that, and frankly he’s not that bothered, as he tells Variety:
“We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy. We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance…In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments. We tried to hedge it a little bit with the eternal twilight up there north of The Wall. I think there was some effort to fudge the timeline a little bit by not declaring exactly how long we were there. I think that worked for some people, for other people it didn’t. They seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly but there’s a thing called plausible impossibilities, which is what you try to achieve, rather than impossible plausibilities. So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff.”
In other words, Taylor admits they “fudged” the timeline and “strained plausibility.” Taylor, however, is not concerned because the ratings are good?
“It’s cool that the show is so important to so many people that it’s being scrutinized so thoroughly. If the show was struggling, I’d be worried about those concerns, but the show seems to be doing pretty well so it’s OK to have people with those concerns.”
It sounds like what Taylor is saying is that if the show wasn’t as popular, they’d have made more of an effort not to strain plausibility, but since everyone watches the show and loves it, it doesn’t matter that much. We are, after all, complaining about the timeline in a show where a zombie killed a dragon by throwing an ice spear 1,000 feet into the air, a feat even The Walking Dead was impressed with.
Ridiculous? Sure. But fun? Absolutely!