Courtesy of HBO

By: Daniel Kilgallon, Staff Writer

When looking back on the eventful seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the word bittersweet comes to mind for several different reasons. First of all, it is hard to come to terms with the idea that there will only be six more episodes of my favorite television show and it seems like it will be at least another year before it starts to air again. Given how popular and profitable the series has been, spinoffs seem inevitable, but nonetheless, this core story is sadly coming to a close. On a more positive note, the show writers have done just about everything right so far, creating a real chance to finish on a high note and cement Thrones as one of the singular greatest series in this history of television.

Courtesy of HBO

It is impressive that Thrones has continued to deliver high quality content over the years, especially when considering the fact that many storylines in recent seasons have surpassed the source material; George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Serving as a co-executive producer of the the series, the author has supposedly had conversations with the showrunners explaining exactly how he intends for the books to end someday. That being said, it has become more and more clear that the screenplay is not coming straight from the pages anymore.

This brings me to my next bittersweet feeling with the shortened (seven episode) penultimate season of Thrones, and that is largely concerned with the pace of the storytelling. I appreciated that the plot really picked up steam and there was excitement in each and every episode of the season. But at the same time, I feel as if this story could have benefited from stretching out over the course of a few more episodes. In previous years, the show followed a pretty clear formula containing build up episodes full of character development before finishing off with a pair of action packed, eventful episodes. The choice to lean towards two “half seasons” of sorts seemed to cause the loss of that structure, but is good to understand that these storytellers are well aware that they would be shooting themselves in the foot if Thrones overstayed it’s welcome. As a result, there was hardly a chance to catch your breath in the seventh season, with more going on than ever before. For example, the opening scene of Arya Stark assuming the role of Walder Frey and fatally poisoning all of his house really set the tone for everything else to come.

With Arya’s introduction certainly making the cut, I would like to take this chance to point out a few more of my favorite moments from the seventh season of Thrones. To carry on with Arya’s arc, I think that she firmly established herself as the most deadly killer in the game this year, and her long overdue slaughtering of Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) was simply the icing on the cake for that title. Aside from that, the standout part of this season for me was the loot train sequence from “The Spoils of War” (episode four). I think that is the best action we have seen from the show yet and a brighter color palette than any previous major battle was incredibly effective.

Needless to say, I am absolutely ecstatic for the finale season and I hardly even know what to expect. It is somewhat crushing that fan favorites Jon and Daenerys fell for each other so quickly and it will be interesting to see how their inevitably tragic love story will play out. Of course, we now know that Jon is technically her nephew as well as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. I hate to admit it, but I doubt that my favorite character will assume his rightful role when it is all said and done. Based on the ruthless nature of Thrones, I believe that the Night King will use his newly acquired ice dragon and unstoppable army to wipe out the people of Westeros, proving that, in terms of the big picture, their wars were nothing but a game.


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