Our final review before the start of season 8.
With the eighth and final season beginning this month we’re looking at each season to see where we’ve been so far. You can read our Game of Thrones 101 here, and our season seven recap here. For now we’re going to look at season seven as a whole, and whether the hype surrounding the show is merited.
Based on the popular book series by George R. R. Martin, A Song of Fire and Ice, Game of Thrones centers on the fictional land of Westeros. The land is ruled by whoever sits on the iron throne, and through the years the leaders of the seven main houses have fought for the right to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The series became an immediate hit for HBO, and helped define the idea of peak TV.
Season seven continues to build upon the great things that the previous season established, and everything that the show has been leading to since Ned Stark was beheaded in season one. The Starks have returned to the North and are lords of Winterfell once more. Daenerys has won battles over Lannister men and renamed Slaver’s Bay the Bay of Dragons. The Wildlings are now helping to guard the wall against the army of the dead. And of course, “winter is here,” with the dead breaching the Wall thanks to the Night King’s new Wight Dragon.
While season seven may be a bit shorter than the previous seasons, it packs in an enormous amount of material within each episode. Every single moment is a payoff to what the show has built up thus far. Every single scene helps to end things or lead into the final battles. The heroes have truly, completely banded together, to fight for the living. While the dead have finally destroyed the wall and march south, into the Seven Kingdoms, and Cersei plots to betray the good guys.
Game of Thrones has always been a show that balances the important character scenes with moments of death and destruction, and this season is no different. This season actually does the best job of turning the action sequences, and moments where characters are dying, into important moments for character development. Daenerys doesn’t just attack Jaime’s men, she’s making a lasting impact on Jaime and the Lannister men that may survive. She’s sending a message to Westeros that the Mother of Dragons is here, and she’s not afraid of the Lannisters. It’s a major moment for her, and it helps define what type of person and leader she is. When Olenna Tyrell dies, it’s Jaime that kills her, and in that moment he is given a warning to leave Cersei, one which may be why he does finally leave her side at the end of the season.
Jaime leaving Cersei’s side is also the last piece of the puzzle the show has been building of the past six seasons. We’ve seen the good people and the bad take a firm stand on what their ideals are, and either succeed or die because of it. But Jaime has always been a wildcard. He’ll help Brienne, but bow down before Cersei. He’ll give Olenna a merciful death, but in the process destroy her entire house. He’s literally gone back and forth the entire series between being someone we root for to being a disgusting and horrible human being. While some of the things he’s done are unforgivable, there is good in him, and it’d be nice to see that good make a difference for once.
Theon’s journey this season is similar, and another major turning point leading into season eight. After years of torture and uncertainty, Theon has finally found his place, and realized that the things that destroyed him previously can now be his strengths. He knows how to destroy someone, because he was ripped apart piece by piece. Somewhere inside him he has a good heart, but he’s capable of horrible things. Now that he’s found his true self, he can use his past to help take down Euron, and save his sister.
There are so many great moments and major character developments this season that we could list for days. But overall, season seven of Game of Thrones is a reminder of why this show is still “must see television” seven seasons and nearly ten years in. It’s a show that will give you what you want, but also surprise you at every turn. It will lead down the path you think it will but the result may not be what you thought, or what the characters need. It’s also a show that can bounce around from person to person effortlessly, and you’re still invested and interested. It’s an ensemble piece, where you care about every single character and want to see what happens to them. We love to love them, and we love to hate them. Game of Thrones helped redefine television, and in turn is the poster child for the “peak tv” era. And seeing it come to a close this year is bittersweet. But we’ll be there for every episode. Because at this point, it’s proven that every moment has been worth the wait.
That’s it for Season Seven of Game of Thrones. Be sure to check back for plenty more coverage of Game of Thrones before it premieres tonight on HBO. Check out all our previous coverage below.
Game of Thrones 101
GOT – Season 1 Recap
GOT – Season 1 Review
GOT – Season 2 Recap
GOT – Season 2 Review
GOT – Season 3 Recap
GOT – Season 3 Review
GOT – Season 4 Recap
GOT – Season 4 Review
GOT – Season 5 Recap
GOT – Season 5 Review
GOT – Season 6 Recap
GOT – Season 6 Review
GOT – Season 7 Recap