‘Game of Thrones’’: Winter is Finally Here

Rachel Spinella
Features Editor

PC: Kal242382

The final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is here. After a restless and anxious two year wait where fans binge watched the entire series over again, the show has finally returned for its final season.

On Sunday, April 14, season eight of HBO’s popular internationally acclaimed  ”Game of Thrones” aired at 9 p.m. eastern time. ”Game of Thrones,” a TV series based on George R.R. Martin’s book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” has received many awards and has even been named a New York Times Best Seller.

Martin is not only an author of epic fantasy novels, but he is also an American Novelist, a short story writer in genres of fantasy, horror and science fiction, and a screenwriter as well as a television producer whose epic story will finally be coming to its conclusion. His novel series was adapted into an HBO award-winning drama series by David Benioff and D.B Weiss, both American screenwriters, television producers as well as writers.

The show is set in a fictional world, focusing on the two continents of Westeros and Essos, with many different story arcs surrounding the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties, vying to either claim the Iron Throne or fighting for independence.

Over the course of the last four to five years, “Game of Thrones” has drawn a significant viewership record on HBO and also has a broad, active international fanbase. The series alone has received 47 primetime Emmy Awards such as Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016 and 2018; this is more than any other Primetime scripted television series.

Many of the actors from the show have been praised as well, including cast member Peter Dinklage, who has won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

Dinklage has also won a Golden Globe Award for Best supporting Actor in a series, miniseries or television film, for his portrayal of Martin’s character, Tyrion Lannister. Other cast members Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Diana Riggs and Max von Sydow have also been nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances in the HBO hit drama series.

Throughout the show, the series focuses on themes like Medieval Realism, as Martin has said that he set out to make it“feel like Historical Fiction rather than contemporary fantasy.” Martin’s stories tend to have less of an emphasis on fantasy elements like magic or sorcery. Martin instead centered the story around battles, political intrigue and a set of characters. He views magic as something that should be used more moderately than explicitly in the epic fantasy genre.

Another constant theme that recurs throughout the series, both in the tv series and novels, is the constant conflict or struggle between Good and Evil. ”Game of Thrones” shows this nonstop tug of war between good and evil in characters or other supernatural-esque creatures.

Both the show and the book do not shy away from more gruesome or grotesque scenes that have caused some outrage from critics. Writers including Martin have defended these explicit scenes as being an accurate portrayal of what affairs happen during the midst of war. The show often displays acts of sexual violence, brutality, along with death. However, the show has also become famous for its nail-biting twists. In Martin’s world, the good guy doesn’t always win, and happy endings are not a guarantee.

When questioned about the many scenes that contained sexual violence, Martin defends these scenes by stating, “An artist has an obligation to tell the truth. Rape and sexual violence have been a part of every war ever fought, from ancient Sumerians to our present day.” He further explains, “Tthe true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves.

Many fans are both excited and sad that the epic TVand book series will be coming to an end. Some are ready to see this story come to a final conclusion, while others are not completely satisfied and want to see more of the fictional world that Martin has created.

Recently, HBO has announced a spin off/prequel series to the hit TV series drama called “The Long Night.” Jane Goldman, a screenwriter, will be one of the writers besides Martin to be working on the potential pilot of the ”Game of Thrones” spin off. In June of 2018, it was announced that HBO had given Goldman the greenlight for the pilot to proceed.

In an interview conducted by backstage.com with Martin regarding the premise of the spin off series, he answered, “It’s set thousands of years in the past. You’re looking at a whole different era of Westeros. No dragons, no Iron Throne, no King’s Landing. It will be interesting to see what the fans make of that.”

Although the plot is still in the works, some characters of the spin off show have already been cast. The cast of actors so far consist of Naomi Watts, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim and Naomi Ackie. In addition to those listed, Marquis Rodriguez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan and Dixie Egerickx have also been recently cast.

However, there is still no official release date; there have only been reports of the story still in the works.  

With the ending of the series fast approaching, the big hovering question remains for fans and critics alike; who will sit on the Iron Throne? And who will survive or die? Tune in to the last six episodes of the final season of HBO’s ”Game of Thrones,” all airing through mid-April to mid-May to find out the final conclusion of the epic fantasy series.

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