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Game of Thrones’ final season has unfolded in a firestorm of fan fury. We take a look back at:

Season 8, episode 6: A self-indulgent send-off that tries, and fails, to convince audiences of its own brilliance


The Iron Throne, the sixth and final episode of the series’ eighth and final season, is consumed with responding to any and all of the potential criticisms of the material that came before it.

Season 8, episode 5: A cheap twist ruins Mother’s Day for the Mother of Dragons

Courtesy of HBO

With The Bells, the fifth and penultimate episode of Game of Thrones’ final season, showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have well and truly ruined seven seasons’ worth of careful character-building, not to mention immensely impressive work from Emilia Clarke, in one fiery fell swoop.

Season 8, episode 4: An air of defeat lingers over Westeros – and in the writers’ room


It is with an air of constant defeat, of inevitable suffering, that we take our first breath in The Last of the Starks, the fourth episode of Game of Thrones’ ultimate go-round. In the previous week’s episode, our merry band of Westerosi vanquished the series’ gravest threat. So now we’re left to trudge on to yet another war between the living.

Season 8, episode 3: The Long Night may not look so good in the harsh light of day


The 82-minute episode – the longest in GoT history – was a ridiculously intense, enormously brutal, delightfully captivating and kinda-sorta-sorry-but-it’s-true frustrating creation. By employing around 750 extras, shooting for more than 50 days, and gobbling up a budget that would be the envy of many nations’ GDPs, The Long Night took almost every measure to exceed the bloody spectacle and visceral thrills of the series’ previous all-timer battles.

Season 8, episode 2: The pain of finality and awkwardness of saying goodbye


Game of Thrones has been working toward this last stretch for the past eight years, and the series now feels severely aware of its limited time left. So before the show got down to the brutish business of battle, it would use this opportunity to catch up, and linger, with old friends for one last sentimental, rambling goodbye.

Season 8, episode 1: Like all men, all expectations must die


With the premiere of GoT’s eighth and final season – and George R.R. Martin still dithering over his sixth book, The Winds of Winter – we’re all long past the point of preparations. Anything, and everything, could happen. Shame, then, that much of Game of Thrones’ final season premiere felt, if not predictable, then like a lot of par-for-the-course place-setting.

As Game of Thrones comes to an end, its successors live on

Bell Media/HBO

With Game of Thrones, HBO accomplished the unthinkable: making Dungeons and Dragons-styled high fantasy palatable to the masses, John Semley writes. Here’s a survey of some shows that have attempted – or are planning – on capitalizing on the cultural appetite for all things nerdy that Game of Thrones unleashed.

After Game of Thrones, what is TV’s next big thing?

Alliance FIlms

The end of the Game of Thrones era on HBO creates a vacuum. And that vacuum must be filled. TV critic John Doyle looks at the possibilities for what the next GoT will be, where it comes from and why.

Sci-fi in a post-Game of Thrones publishing world


The fantasy genre has exploded into a global phenomenon since George R.R. Martin’s books arrived, and with the gatekeepers of traditional publishing playing a smaller role than their previous monopoly, a proliferation of diverse authors has emerged, writes Andray Domise.

Valar dohaeris: The Game of Thrones that rulers must play for power

Photo Illustration: Lauren Heintzman

A look at the cultural phenomenon that also happens to be a blood-soaked illustration of academic theories of the state, and of winning and maintaining authority.

The unaired Game of Thrones pilot was bad. Really bad


Winter might not have come. That’s the consensus of anyone who read, worked on or saw the unaired pilot episode of Game of Thrones. In a quasi-epic quest that parallels the HBO series itself, superfans have sought out and shared every breathless detail of the Thing That Was Not Good, writes Johanna Schneller.

How Game of Thrones might end, according to television’s greatest – and worst – series finales

The Associated Press

The GoT team can learn a lot from TV’s best and worst series finales. Here are five ways they can either stick the landing or crash and burn.