Ah, Game of Thrones. A TV show that embodies the motto “treat ’em mean to keep them keen”. You made us wait 15 months for a new series, and a shorter series at that, but we still love you – and we still scramble to our TV screen every week to find out what epic scenes lay in wait for us. It truly says something about the power of GoT that an extended gap between seasons and the removal of three episodes has done nothing to diminish its reputation or the hype around the series – if anything, an extended wait just made the hype even crazier. We waited for what seemed like an eternity to find out what Season 7 held for us: would Jon Snow find out his true heritage? Would Sansa be swayed by Little Finger? Who was going to die next?

Luckily, July eventually rolled around, and with it came winter through the beginning of a new GoT season. However, when something is as hyped as GoT, there’s always the question of whether the hype will be justified. We’re now almost half way through the season, with just four episodes to go, so now seems as good a time as any to take stock of the series so far and ask if GoT 7 has followed in the prestigious path of its predecessors – and what we can expect in the remainder of the series.

“We’ve waited so long for a happy Stark reunion, but can such a thing exist now?”

Series 6 left open many questions that series 7 needs to answer, though, as of yet, most of them are still up in the air. Perhaps the biggest revelation (if you’re not up to date, take this as your spoiler warning) of the series 6 finale was Jon Snow’s true parentage, as discovered by Bran. This was a big moment, not just for viewers, but for the plot as it makes the Game of Thrones a whole new ballgame: Jon Snow is no longer a bastard, but instead has legitimate claim to the throne, which is sure to displease both Cersei and Daenerys. However, so far, this hasn’t been massively touched on in series 7. Fair, Jon is busy trying to convince everyone about the White Walkers, and Bran is still trying to make his way to Winterfell, so it’s understandable why we’ve seen little progression. Still, it would have been nice to see some sort of traction with this storyline in the three episodes so far – though, I can only assume this will be left to some massive moments later on in this series, which could even outdo the series 6 finale.

Another huge moment of series 6 was Arya finally getting revenge on House Frey for their part in the Red Wedding. Series 7 continued this straight away by showing her poisoning all the Frey men once and for all, showing Arya in full ruthless badass mode. Arya is one of the characters who has undergone the biggest transformation in the show, from a young tomboy in series 1 to a full-on assassin by series 6. Series 7 seems to be exploring this change further. The scene where Arya encounters her dire-wolf, Nymeria, only to find she is no longer domestic and is now truly a lone wolf is a perfect metaphor: Arya has spent so long on her own and changed so much that she can no longer go back to how she was before. This adds a really interesting dynamic to show, particularly with Arya heading to Winterfell to be reunited with her remaining family. We’ve waited so long for a happy Stark reunion, but can such a thing exist now? There’s no way Arya can be happy as her brother-but-not-actually Jon takes the throne, and I’m sure it won’t be long until someone else finds themselves on her hit list. Plus, that’s not even accounting for how Bran’s travels made him a bit weird and emo to Sansa when he returned this week.

“In series 7 of a show, it’s kind of unbelievable that Dany hadn’t met Jon or Cersei yet, but this just made the idea of their first meeting even more explosive.”

Something series 7 has promised to do that has yet to be achieved in GoT is bringing together some of the biggest characters. In series 7 of a show, it’s kind of unbelievable that Dany hadn’t met Jon or Cersei yet, but this just made the idea of their first meeting even more explosive. Of course, we finally saw Jon and Dany meet in the latest episode, something which fans have been waiting a long time for. It perhaps wasn’t the meeting Dany hoped for – the ‘Mad King’ inside of her demands respect from everyone, but Jon has bigger fish to fry thanks to the White Walkers, and his refusal to bend the knee showed he wasn’t prepared to be another of Dany’s supporters. This is set to be the beginning of a great relationship between two key players, and I look forward to seeing how the power struggle between the pair continues, particularly when Cersei is involved. Dany and Jon are two of the best characters, in my opinion, so series 7 has already done well in bringing them together, and I am sure will provide entertaining scenes throughout the remainder of the series, and I suspect also see the return of GoT’s favourite plot device, incest. You couldn’t get this sort of stuff anywhere else.

A newer addition to the show who seems to be spicing things up in Euron Greyjoy. When he first appeared in series 6, I wasn’t overly fussed about the character, and, to be brutally honest, was waiting for his death. However, since episode 1 of this series, he has become a more dynamic and exciting villain: his proposal to Cersei showed his confidence and his chillingly relaxed attitude to violence. He is a man who genuinely enjoys war, and this was shown even further in his surprise attack of Yara’s fleet in episode 2, which marked a return to the good old violent and gory GoT that we all know and love. It’s credit to the writers that they’ve been able to create a villain enticing enough to fill the void left by Ramsay Bolton, and I can’t wait to see what else he brings (as well as what that mysterious gift for Cersei is).

“It’s worth noting that, despite a shorter run, this series didn’t receive a budget cut, meaning we can expect breathtaking visuals and immense battle scenes.”

The afore mentioned Euron/Yara sequence was also the first battle we’ve seen in the series so far. It’s worth noting that, despite a shorter run, this series didn’t receive a budget cut, meaning we can expect breathtaking visuals and immense battle scenes, suggesting this battle sequence is just a warm up. With the arrival of the White Walkers in Westeros imminent, I’m sure we can expect more epic fights, gruesome deaths (side note: did anyone care about the Sand Snakes anyway?) and film-quality scenes.

Overall, GoT has disappointed with series 7, even if we did have to wait a little too long. It has picked up where it left off with series 6, and seems to really be responding to fans’ desires with epic moments like Jon and Dany’s meeting and the reunion of the Starks. The three episodes so far have seen the plot gaining momentum, and put forward some really interesting story lines to watch as they progress. That being said, I have an inkling the best is yet to come as the series finale approaches – and after that, let’s hope we don’t have to wait the rumoured two years for series 8.

(Image credit: Variety.com)

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