Game of Thrones season 7 has essentially been entirely constructed of the best run of episodes in the show's history. Yet that hasn't stopped some sections of the fandom from complaining about a whole bunch of nit-picky stuff.
In most case, though, it's because they clearly don't realize the writers and directors have actually already detailed the reasons behind almost all of their decisions this year—including some of the most contentious elements.
We've collected some of the most controversial talking points from this season of Game of Thrones, along with the very reasonable explanations for them.
1. Why has there been so much teleportation this year?
There's been a lot of complaining about characters (and ravens) being able to travel super-fast this season, but a lot of people seem to have forgotten this was also an issue in season 6—and it was explained way back in July 2016, by director Bryan Cogman.
"The timelines between the various storylines don't necessarily line up within a given episode," Cogman said. "For instance, the 'Northern Tour' Jon and Sansa embark on would probably take a couple weeks, but Arya's storyline over the past few episodes only spans a few days. We realized a while ago that if we tied ourselves in knots trying to make all the 'story days' line up between all the characters the momentum would suffer."
So there we go.
2. Why did Jon carry on fighting the wights when he could just get on Drogon and fly away?
Possibly one of the most confusing moments of season 7 came when Jon Snow turned down the chance to escape the White Walkers, wights, and the Night King by hopping on the back of Dany's dragon and winging it away. Instead, he ran into wights swinging his sword, which felt just a tiny bit pointless. But, as it turns out, he was doing something very specific.
"The intention was two things," episode director Alan Taylor told The Daily Beast. "One is that they're climbing on the dragon and it's a slow process. Their flank is unprotected and we see that there are wights coming towards them, so he had to battle those guys back.
The other thing is that it is just very Jon Snow of him. [Laughs] To get caught up in it all and it not being the most tactical thing or strategic thing. I love the fact that Battle of Bastards hinged on him doing something that did not make sense: charging in and trying to protect his little brother exposed everybody to failure and basically lost the battle for all of them.
For me, ideally people believe that he's doing something heroic, guarding the flank so everyone can get to safety. Then once he gets caught up in it, there's a moment of Viserion going down and he's, again in a very Jon Snow moment, protectively enraged and hacks his way through a few more to get an eye line on his nemesis, the Night King. I believe in the psychology of him going to do it."
3. Why doesn't Dany just burn the Night King with her dragon?
During the action climax of "Beyond The Wall," we all screamed at the telly for Dany to turn around, use Drogon to burn the Night King alive, then fly off into the sunset after all the wights he'd dropped into rags and bones. But it's not quite that simple. Why? Magic.
"Why isn't Dany bringing both her dragons around to take out the Night King? There are subtle things going on trying to explain that as well," Taylor explained. "One is that she's a mother and she just lost a child and she wants to save her other children.
Another is, you'll notice when the Night King walks forward with his spear, he steps into a line of fire and the first brushes away from him when he steps through it. We saw that effect earlier in the series—that he seems to repel fire. So it's possible that dragon fire may not work on him."
4. How long were Jon and the Snowicide Squad on that rock?
"We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy," Taylor told Variety. "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."
5. Why doesn't Beric use his flame-sword to keep everyone warm?
After "Beyond The Wall" aired, some fans bemoaned the fact Beric could have made Jon Snow's and his mates' stay on that massive cold rock a bit more pleasant by lighting up his fire sword and perhaps sticking some marshmallows on it. But, as Beric actor Richard Dormer points out, it's not as easy as all that.
"The sword is not CGI," Dormer said. "That's real flames every single time. It lasts about two minutes, so I could only use it for two minutes and then it would start to go out so we had to start all over again.
"Also, I had to slow my sword arm down by about 20 per cent. So if I was doing a move, I would just do it quick with the sword. But with the sword on fire, you can't move that fast otherwise the flame will go out. So you've got to move just slightly slower but more effort, you know? Also it weighs three times as much as a normal sword, so it's just this big club really."
So, yeah, sounds like it would be a bit of a hassle, tbh.
6. Why are the White Walkers taking so long to get to the wall?
This season, a lot of people have been complaining about the fact that the Night King and his mates are taking AGES to walk to the wall (the same amount of time Jon Snow has taken to go all over Westeros), but there's a very good (and canon) reason why.
"The Wall is not just ice and stone," Benjen Stark told Bran Stark and Meera Reed in the season 6 finale. "Ancient spells were carved into its foundation, strong magic to protect men from what lies beyond. And while it stands, the dead cannot pass."