‘Game Of Thrones: The Winds Of Winter’ | Winter Has Finally Come (Review) *Spoilers*

Written By: Traves Bezenar

‘Game of Thrones’ is perhaps HBO’s most popular program ever, and yes, that includes 'The Sopranos'. The show is based on the beloved ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series by author George R.R. Martin but probably already knew that. Over the series’ six season run it has kept pretty close to the source material, leaving out only a handful of important characters and subplots, Cold Hands and Lady Stoneheart being the first to come to mind, but that’s just how things work when you’re adapting from one media to another, things have to get left out. But, ‘Game of Thrones’ isn't you’re average adaptation, not by a long shot. Unlike most TV shows and movies based on books ‘Game of Thrones’ has actually caught up to and is now outpacing the source material. I don’t know what lies ahead in the seventh season and for once, neither do readers of the book. I guess we’ll find out together next year when the show returns from hiatus. While we wait for Westeros to return to our screens we at least have the season six finale to reflect back on, so let’s talk about it.

The opening of the season six finale was a thing of beauty. Director Miguel Sapochnik, who has directorial credits for shows like ‘True Detective’ and ‘House’, outdid himself here. Sapochnik’s last episode of GoT was the critically acclaimed ‘Battle of the Bastards’ that aired two weeks ago. 'Battle of the Bastards' scored a perfect ten on IMDB and a whopping 98% on rotten tomatoes. Somehow against all odds Sapochnik managed to top that impressive achievement with the follow up episode by scoring another perfect ten on IMDB and an astounding 100% on rotten tomatoes, the highest I’ve ever seen. Getting back to the topic at hand for a moment, the opening ten minutes of the finale are the best I’ve seen in years, the pacing, the music, and the powerful conclusion leave nothing left to be desired - it was brilliant.

Somehow, despite how amazing the start of the show was, ‘The Winds Of Winter’ got better as it went on. Dozens of plot points, character arcs, subplots, and even fan wishes were addressed as we hopped around the seven kingdoms. No stone was left unturned and I can safely say if the show ended right now, with no seventh season, I would be happy...

*SPOILERS AHEAD STOP READING*

...Some of the most notable things that happened in the finale are of course King Tommen committing suicide leaving Cerci to become high queen, Jon Snow being declared King in the North by his bannermen, Cerci killing the High Sparrow and all his followers (including Queen Margaery and her brother), and of course the news that the popular fan theory R+L=J is indeed canon. But there are just so many excellent moments in this whopping 69 minute episode that I can’t possibly list them all here. I will say this though, season six has already been full of excellent fan service, great battles, pivotal story moments, and the season finale was  the icing on that proverbial cake. As we moved closer towards the end of the episode, the action tapers off, and you start to think that all the huge moments are out of the way. That is until we return to Meereen just in time to see Daenerys setting sale for Westeros with her army, and the two Greyjoy siblings intow. I can't express in words how excited that made me as a fan. We’ve been waiting six seasons for Daenerys to stake her rightful claim as the one true queen of the seven kingdoms (I guess it's technically a Queendom now) and it looks like we’re finally on our way in that direction. In my opinion it was the perfect way to cap off the best episode, of the best season, the show has had yet.

Every year when ‘Game of Thrones’ goes off the air I slowly forget how amazing it is. I watch other shows, movies, and start to think to myself, “yeah, it’s just ok” and then when the show finally comes back I end up falling in love with it all over again. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue this time around. The finale was perfect in every aspect of the word and there’s sparse chance I’ll be forgetting that anytime soon. ‘The Winds of Winter’ isn’t just the best episode of the series, it’s the best episode of any television show I’ve ever seen. Mark my words, this season finale is going to go down in the history books as one of the best pieces of television ever produced.

Grade: 5/5