Despite all the complaining from fans of the current season, Game of Thrones is still one of the best shows around. While this season has been disappointing in many respects, the show never lost its talent for incredible, cinematic moments that left viewers on the edge of their seats. What had been missing from this season were the smaller moments; scenes between great actors, allowing some Breathing Room for the show’s bigger moments while also putting the actions of the characters into context and giving them motivation. Due to the decision to have fewer episodes, the season often felt rushed, and these moments lost.

The finale was “Game of Thrones” back in perfect form. The episode was well-paced and built up to its bigger moments gradually while allowing viewers to once again see some of these incredibly actors go head-to-head. Of course, there are spoilers below, so if you have not seen the episode, do not read further.

No rush allows for more great character scenes

The season has felt rushed most of the time. Often, conversations would be hurried along in order to get to the action, whether that be Euron’s ambush or the battle beyond the Wall. But this episode gave us a chance to take a much appreciated breather, at least for several scenes. The scene in the Dragonpit was long and gave even minor characters a chance to catch up with their friends or enemies that they hadn’t seen in a few seasons.

The Hound and Brienne’s interaction over Arya; Podrick, Bronn and Tyrion finally being reunited briefly; the Hound and his monstrous, undead brother Gregor Clegane.

Perhaps one of the greatest scenes in the episode was that between Queen Cersei and Tyrion Lannister. These characters had not seen each other for several seasons, and watching as Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage acted through the rage and sorrow at their meeting was a delight.

It is these kinds of scenes that are missed when the show becomes too quick. Some of the best moments in the show are from simple conversations between two characters, whether between Tywin and his children, Jaime and Brienne, or even minor characters like Aemon Targaryen with Jon Snow.

Big moments

Despite all the slower scenes, the finale still had plenty of incredible moments.

A personal favourite was Littlefinger’s execution. While the Winterfell plot this season had been slightly boring and annoying, seeing its conclusion made the wait worth it, and gave us one of the best scenes in the entire show. Littlefinger finally realizing he had been outplayed was incredibly satisfying, and proved that the Starks had actually been learning some lessons on their journeys.

Of course, the final scene was the most important. With the undead Viserion under his command, the Night King destroyed the Wall and set the stage for the final season; the war with the White Walkers and their Army of the Dead. Again, this scene shows how masterful “Game of Thrones” is at creating stunningly beautiful cinematic moments.

The blue fire melting the Wall was a striking image.

In conclusion, the Season 7 finale was everything “Game of Thrones” should be. Amazing scenes between fantastic characters, punctuated by epic moments. Unfortunately, most of this season has been epic moments punctuated by the occasional small scenes between characters, which meant there was little breathing room, and the season felt ill-paced. The fear is that the final season will be similar, since it will only be 6 episodes. The hope is that they manage to pace the episodes as well as they did this one.