It’s hard to believe there’s only 6 episodes left of “Game of Thrones” in total. But we should also be thankful because season 7 has started the push to bring everyone together and bring so many storylines either to a close or almost to a close. Season 7 not only gave fans the many hopes and desires they always wanted since Season 1 Episode 1, but also was a magnificently fast-paced, exciting, satisfying, intense, and fulfilling season by itself, despite its noticeable flaws.
In this season, the fight for the Iron Throne begins to intensify and scheming, betrayal, and battles of epic proportions start to unfold as Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) finally arrives at Westeros to begin her conquest and take the Iron Throne while Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) must learn to survive against all odds and enemies from all sides whilst sitting upon the Iron Throne herself.
Meanwhile, Winter has finally arrived in Westeros as Jon Snow (Kit Harington) continues the fight against the White Walkers, whose numbers continue to grow. As he continues to search for a solution to defeat the army of the undead, Arya (Maisie Williams) makes the decision to return home while Sansa (Sophie Turner) begins to understand the weight and difficulties of ruling Winterfell.
One of the aspects of this season that made it so strong is that this time around, the show has focus on only seven characters: Daenerys, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Cersei, and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) while also reducing the primary locations to Winterfell, Dragonstone, and King’s Landing. Though there are still plentiful supporting characters, the focus is clearly on the seven of them. This provides a much cleaner, more straight-forward method of storytelling that enables us to give more investment into each of these characters.
Another strong aspect is how, being the penultimate season, this season gives fans everything they ever wanted ever since the premiere of “Game of Thrones” 6 years ago. Desires and wishes finally come true as Daenerys and Jon Snow finally cross paths in magnificent fashion, Daenerys at last rides her dragons into battle, the Stark children reunite after so long, and Daenerys finally learns of the White Walkers.
While every performance is worth talking about, whether it’s Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, or many others to choose from, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey continue to be the standouts, with Headey providing a chilling performance as Cersei Lannister as she’s mad with power and Dinklage giving the audience the Tyrion they all know and love, wise-cracking and all.
But, as previously mentioned, the season still had its noticeable flaws, starting with the mishandling of Arya and Sansa. At first they started off strong, with Arya coming off seeking vengeance against those who plotted the dreaded “Red Wedding” and Sansa learning the ways of ruling Winterfell on her own and becoming a much stronger leader. But halfway through the season, they seemed to take a step backwards when they began hating each other, no thanks to Littlefinger. It seemed as though their development from previous seasons was wasted and they didn’t really become better people. While this did get wrapped up in the season finale in a satisfyingly appropriate manner, it felt like the lead-up should have been executed much more properly for the sake of the characters. While it wasn’t awful, it could have been vastly improved.
Unlike previous seasons, this season felt as though no one important was at risk of dying off. While there were certainly a couple fan-favorites who bit the dust this season, moments where a character should’ve died didn’t end up panning-out that way. For instance, two characters in particular each respectively experienced a moment where they should’ve met their demise, one by a dragon and the other by White Walkers.
Overall, “Game of Thrones” continues to be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, television series currently on the silver screen. Season 7 is all about set-up and giving fans exactly what they wanted. Characters fans have seen grow into powerful, influential figures and have become fully invested in finally get to cross paths with one another and friendships fans never thought would ever happen actually happen. While the big, extravagant battles certainly give fans a lot of what they could’ve wanted, the tiny moments between characters provide as much satisfaction as any of the battles featured this season, and they also provide some of the best acting in the series.
Despite some excessive pacing issues, moments of poor character development, mainly with the Arya and Sansa storyline, and the diminishing of stakes compared to previous seasons, this season accomplished in laying the groundwork for what will surely be the most explosive, daring, and exciting season the entire series will ever put out in Season 8.