Winter has arrived!

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Well, just…wow! This season of Game of Thrones has been nothing short of spectacular. It is a show that makes me weep with joy and jealousy in equal measure for being just that damn good.

Trying to dissect the show could be a life’s work as there are so many elements that make it one of the most popular dramas in television history. From the characterisation to the epic battles to the behind-the-scenes scale that goes along with it, it has something for everyone to at least find some interest in. The thing that stands out to me about Game of Thrones though is the longevity. Like a slow-roasted pork belly, the plot, the characters and the story have been left to slowly develop and build until just the right point to deliver some of the most delicious moments in television history.

This season has been full of such moments but for me this has been typified by the scene in Episode 4 between Bron on the scorpion and Daenerys on Drogon. By traditional logic, there should only be one person you’re rooting for here – the saviour who has come to break the wheel. Not in Game of Thrones. Bronn, played by the brilliant Jerome Flynn, has been one of my favourite characters since he was introduced. Capable of awful things and a truly self-centred man, he offsets that with the roguish charm and wicked humour that has me genuinely supporting the man. So as the pair are locked in their standoff that is seemingly to the death, I was genuinely yelling at the TV for both to pull out. I didn’t want either of them to lose that clash, even if in the grand scheme of things I wanted Daenerys to win the day. No character in the show is black or white – each character has their intricately woven layers and that just elevates the already epic set pieces even further. This has been achieved through seven seasons of plotting, twisting and some of the boldest creative choices I have ever seen.

Some people I know have been critical of the show’s pacing, from it being too slow to begin with to being wildly inaccurate in this season but I would disagree on both fronts. The slow burn was necessary for the punch it packed this season (and next), and the quick shift of pace was necessary to get us to where we are now. In a world where attention spans are lower and more things are competing for our attention, to have faith in such pacing from all fronts – writers, producers and execs – was a brave choice that has thankfully paid off!

I’m devastated that Thrones is now over for another year, and even more heartbroken that the wait could be as long as 18 months for the final season. But what a treat these last seven weeks have been and what a way to set up the finale. Winter is here. Someone get my coat.

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