The fantasy-drama is back and better than ever

By: Ally Melnik, ’18

Winter is finally here.

July 16th marked the beginning of the seventh season of Game of Thrones and viewers have been intently watching and theorizing since its premiere. Fans are excited (and scared) to see who will win and who will die.

Game of Thrones had its series premiere on April 17, 2011 on HBO and has had a season debut every year since; an episode premieres every Sunday at 9 p.m. The show is based off of George R.R. Martin’s best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire and was adapted for the screen by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Although this season is the shortest one so far, that hasn’t stopped GoT from making each episode action-packed and full of detail. Season 7 picked up where the finale of Season 6 left off, allowing for an almost seamless continuation of the characters’ storylines.

This season’s premiere, “Dragonstone,” finally gave fans what they had been waiting years for: Daenerys arriving in Westeros, Jon ruling Winterfell and the North, Sam training to be a maester and Arya taking one more person off her list. Cersei is also Queen of the Andals, which no one likes, but will soon change (hopefully).

“Dragonstone” brought in a combined 16.1 million viewers from the live viewing, reruns and streamings on the HBO Go app, which made it the most watched premiere in HBO history, according to CNN. Even with the record-breaking viewings, fans still thought this year’s premiere was somewhat underwhelming, although it received a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (which is pretty impressive).

Since “Dragonstone” debuted, three more episodes have aired, each one obtaining high ratings and praise. GoT’s latest episode, “Spoils of War,” received a 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 9.9 on IMDb, making it one of the highest-ranking episodes of the entire series.

Even though the season isn’t over yet, it’s already shaping up to meet the high expectations set for GoT. Every hour spent watching is full of tense interactions, heartfelt conversations and dramatic battles, creating an emotional rollercoaster that is actually fun to ride. The first four episodes have proven that allowing six years to build up anticipation of Daenerys meeting Jon or for a Stark family reunion is what helps make each Sunday feel like a gift from the old gods and the new.