Of all the shocking moments in the latest Game Of Thrones, the fact that they all occurred in the same episode, even a 75-minute one, seems to be the one most throwing viewers for a loop. The truncated seventh season was destined to have more rushed or inconsistent pacing than usual, but lately it feels like we’re still trying to work out the math for the speed of ravens and Bran’s time spent north of The Wall. But “Beyond The Wall” had some of the most dubious timing so far, including Gendry hoofing it to Eastwatch at Usain Bolt speed and Daenerys swooping in to almost save the day. The director of the episode, Alan Taylor, hears fan questions about just how Davos knew which raven would fly the fastest, admitting to Variety that the timeline’s “getting a little hazy.”
As Taylor tells Variety, the Thrones team has been focusing on the “emotional experience” of Snow-cean’s Seven’s misguided mission rather than the particulars of how it unfolds. “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,” Taylor says, which “worked for some people, for other people it didn’t.” Noting that fans “seemed to be very concerned about how fast a raven can fly,” Taylor brings up “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.” Ultimately, the story took precedence over the pacing; there was just too much important stuff to address, though that doesn’t seem to include discussing just how stupid the plan to capture a wight was in the first place.
The director, who helmed several episodes in seasons one and two, says “it’s cool that the show is so important to so many people that it’s being scrutinized so thoroughly,” as if he weren’t at all concerned with how much of our Sunday nights and Monday mornings we’re spending on models for the raven’s flight to Dragonstone and Dany’s subsequent flight to Jon’s exact location. He continued: “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.” Okay, back to our models.