Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — The so-called Battle of Winterfell was, perhaps, the culmination of the path “Game of Thrones” has trod over its past several seasons; a show that has grown relentlessly in scope, dazzle, and cruelty reached its apotheosis in some eighty-plus minutes of slaughter and dragon-flight that forced characters through a gauntlet whose punishing nature was the point. (We in the audience marvel practically as much at the actors, clearly enduring a challenge unlike any other in the TV industry, as we do at the valiant characters.) In its exuberantly nihilistic willingness to push past the point of viewer discomfort — building from a starting point of extreme intensity to an exhausted, burnt-out stagger towards the finish line — the episode stands in as the ultimate representative of one of the ways “Game of Thrones” has seen itself, as the staging-ground for ultra-violent action whose stakes are the fate of the world.
But that's not the only “Thrones” that exists. And, indeed, there are to be three more episodes of some other series, one in which the series's most existentially pressing question, the fate of the world in the face of the encroaching Night King, has been settled. In … — Daniel D'Addario/@Variety