Did “Game of Thrones” lose its edge? Why season 7 is different

Azzam Tomeh
Staff Writer

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This year’s season of “Game of Thrones” garnered its usual, huge audience. Episode  after episode, fans downloaded leaked versions, and then rewatched the original ones in higher quality. The season followed the development of Westerosi politics, the rise of Jon Snow, his alliance with Daenerys, the death of the Martells, and the iconic meeting of the heroes near King’s Landing.

The season brought masterful dragon scenes, well choreographed White Walker fights, and Jon Snow’s usual charm. Beside its content, season 7 episodes offered an enhanced soundtrack, refined editing, and an elaborate set design. Yet, as the season ended, many fans were disappointed.

With the books running out, many declare that  “Game of Thrones” is at the end of its winning streak. Why is that?

In its earlier seasons, “Game of Thrones” depicted a world of reality where complexities of morality and consequence were not reduced to binaries. It was not a world where those who did good reigned high, but rather a world of injustice and luck – not far from reality itself.

Those episodes studied the complexity of human nature through characters that defied clichéd notions, yet garnered audience support. Such themes unfolded through various narratives, namely, Robert Baratheon’s righteous rebellion that was built on a lie and Robb Stark’s revolt against his father’s murderers that led to far more harm than good.

However, the recent season abandoned such nuances in favor of a familiar polarity: “good versus evil”.  

This season fell into stereotypes as the now-invincible heroes burned hundreds by crying out “Dracarys” and escaped inevitable deaths at the last moment. Additionally, seemingly teleporting characters and inexplicable plot holes split with the logic of the “Game of Thrones” universe.

With further character inconsistencies, and actions that were unaccounted for, the intricacies of its reality seemed to shatter.

Perhaps most series that go on for several seasons suffer in quality. Regardless, this last season of “Game of Thrones” was surely different. Is it setting up the stage for its upcoming grand finale? Can the final season restore its former glory?

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