Chances are if you're a Game of Thrones fan, you couldn't help but notice how quickly Gendry ran back to the Eastwatch in Sunday's episode. And also how quickly the raven he instructed them to send reached Daenerys at Dragonstone, and how quickly she and her dragons showed up to rescue the group of men beyond the Wall.
Yes, the show has fire-breathing dragons, and yeah, Arya Stark can turn into anyone just by wearing that person's severed face, and sure, the dead can walk (while others can be brought back to life), but it's the speed of Gendry, the raven, and the dragons that seems to be keeping a lot of viewers from suspending their disbelief.
Looking at a Westeros map, both a messenger raven and the three dragons cross almost 1000 miles verrrrrrry quickly...— Matt Baldwin ? (@thisbrokenwheel) August 22, 2017
That's such a cheat I barely feel like thinking about it! I get it w/ so few episodes to wrap this up but the time compression is glaring.— David Orr ? (@anatotitan) August 22, 2017
Like, yes, Gendry can run fast, but he's only human. And what about Speedy the raven? Did it get ahold of some meth?
The backlash over this timeline problem was enough that the episode's director, Alan Taylor, spoke to Variety, and also to the New York Times, about viewers' preoccupation with the possible "time" plot hole.
Taylor told the Times,
I’ve only looked at one review online, and it was very much concerned with the speed of the ravens. I thought, that’s funny — you don’t seem troubled by the lizard as big as a 747, but you’re really concerned about the speed of a raven. It is true there are time issues, and I’m not exactly sure how many kilometers there are between Eastwatch and Dragonstone. But it was a bit dreary to hear somebody who said, “I cannot enjoy this episode because, you know, that speed of that raven ... ” There’s was a lot of wonderful stuff going on here and if it really gets that much in your way, that’s not good to hear. But that said, Gendry’s a really great runner. [Laughs.] Ravens go super fast. And who’s to say how much time passes on that island, since it’s always sort of an eternal twilight north of the Wall? With those three ideas in mind, I think we can lay the timing concerns to rest.
Okay? We all good now? Taylor did his best to clear up the confusion by pointing out three things: Gendry runs really fast, ravens fly really fast, and also, maybe time itself is different north of the Wall? YOU DON'T KNOW. So just shut up and enjoy the completely bonkers stuff that's happening as the season nears its end, dammit.
And, as a completely unrelated aside, here's an interesting tidbit: Taylor, who met George R. R. Martin while working on the first season of the show, told the Times that Martin confirmed to him just who the show was really about. And I think at this point you all probably know the answer: THE DRAGONS! Kidding, it's about…Jon and
Daeny his new Queen.
He said something: That it really is all about Dany and Jon. I was surprised because at the time, you know, I thought, well Robb Stark’s going to be king next, probably. And who knows where this story’s going? But it was absolutely clear to him that within this sprawling scale the whole story was coming down to this partnership.
So in the few remaining episodes of the entire show, it's probably better not to waste your time worrying about how fast people can run and how fast ravens can fly when now there's a ZOMBIE DRAGON to contend with and an aunt and nephew about to get it on. Right? Right.