The Atlantic

How Will the Game of Thrones Be Won?

As the show returns for its seventh, penultimate season, what will become of Westeros?
Source: HBO

Game of Thrones is, inarguably, the king of the TV water-cooler. There’s no other show around that maintains total command of the zeitgeist and dominates the pop-culture conversation every week like Thrones does each season. In the fractured world of Peak TV, the HBO fantasy epic is still a show you have to watch live rather than wait to binge, such is the ubiquity of spoilers. And yet, as the series returns for its seventh and penultimate season Sunday on HBO, even avid fans could be forgiven for not quite remembering where things in Westeros last left off.

has been off-air so long—the last season premiered in April 2016—because the showrunners Davidgo on for years at a time—the last summer went for a decade—but Season 7 (which will run for only seven episodes) will pick up at a truly dark and cold moment for the show, where any chance for a return to the relative harmony of the show’s early episodes feels more remote than ever.

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