9 of Our Favorite Game of Thrones Stories
Tonight’s episode marks the season finale of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. While the current season’s certainly had its ups and downs, we’re ultimately sad to see it go after almost a decade now of dragons, incest, and multi-generational trauma.
To commemorate the occasion, or maybe just celebrate the fact that that we actually made through all 67 hour-long episodes, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite GoT coverage throughout the years. Whether you’re a devoted fan or still catching up, there’s never been a better time to reflect on what’s made the show a generational phenomenon to remember for decades to come. In the buildup to the series’ final episode, these are some of our favorite essays, interviews, and reviews from throughout the show’s existence.
“I always tried to put a twist on the look, to reference living conditions etc., and not lift it directly from a visual reference of the time, as this is usually styled be the sitter or painter. Once you get to the age of photo documentation then you can truly believe the period.” —Emmy Award-winning costume designer Michele Clapton on the inspiration behind her designs.
“It actually reminds me of clubbing, years ago: People dress up, like club kids — people from all different walks of life, and interests, sexualities, all coming together under one big banger. That to me is what clubbing’s about. So, any doubts about the legitimacy or “crass” aspect of doing Thrones has been well washed out of my mind.” —Hodor actor Kristian Nairn on the relationship between his electronic-music career and role on GoT.
“At this point, Game of Thrones is mired in too much plot to be a conventionally well-written, well-paced, and dramatically logical show. It’s burdened with even more mythology than the most overstuffed Marvel super-film, and like the worst of those, shirks its responsibility to do anything but further plot by whatever half-comprehensible brute force necessary.” Our review of Season 7’s first episode, “Dragonstone.”
“Six years later, the show has ditched the books (which remain unfinished, to the chagrin of thousands) and grown to an untamed sprawl of conflicting narratives, forgettable names, and supposedly-important plot points so narratively obscure the show has taken to utilizing the least sexy of fictive devices: the pre-episode recap.” Our review of Season 7’s second episode, “Stormborn.”
“In a narrative sense, the Bran story is enjoyable because of its distancing from all the procedural mechanics of the show—the chess-moving of which armies will go where, which alliances will bear fruit. Seven seasons in, the show’s meticulous planning can feel a little farcical, since much of it goes nowhere and everyone is subject to a surprise death.”
“Incest is a necessary part of Game of Thrones history: the Targaryens married their siblings, Tywin Lannister married his first cousin, the wildling Craster marries his daughters, and so on. Still, these characters are traditionally antagonists. Jaime and Cersei’s relationship, once villainous, has been framed positively enough that it’s normalized in the viewer’s eyes. It’s weird, but it’s consumed the length of their lives, and it’s a narratively complicated relationship with consequences that have continually pushed the plot forward.” Our review of Season 7’s fifth episode, “Eastwatch.”
“If you’re a fan, lines like ‘Fucking punkass little shitburger stole my khaleesi!’ probably come off with a certain charming nerdiness. If you find the show corny, this peek behind the curtain will do nothing to dissuade you of that position.”
“It seems strange that a show for which the clock is counting down so rapidly, and in which so much is ostensibly happening, would have time to recycle old material. But when Jon Snow and Sansa Stark debated each other by candlelight about why Jon isn’t acting like a King of the North, and Jon reminded Sansa that he’s forfeited his crown and that the living “don’t stand a chance against the army of the Dead” unless friend and foe band together, it’s hard not to wonder how many times we’ve seen essentially this exact same scene before.” Our review of Season 8’s first episode, “Winterfell.”
“Director Miguel Sapochnik has already proven himself to be one of the series’ strongest talents, and delivers some of his best work yet in ‘The Bells.’ The confrontation between the Hound and the Mountain is literally framed with dragon fire, bathed in the warm hues that were so sorely missing from the Battle of Winterfell in ‘The Long Night,’ the Sapochnik-directed third episode of Season 8. The crumbling precipice feels like a reflection of existential tension. After a lifetime spent living in fear of fire as a proxy for his brother, the Hound finally charges straight into it.” Our review of Season 8’s fifth episode, “The Bells.”