Which probably helped to give them a green light to be more dynamic this season. The finale especially helped to confirm numerous fan theories, perhaps the most important being Jon Snow's true parentage. Basically Ned Stark was Uncle Owen or Joseph from the Bible, the guy who raised a kid who wasn't his and who has a great destiny ahead of him. Though I had to ask Michael Offutt to explain to me what the hell was going on in that flashback because I wasn't up on all the backstory. If Jon Snow is the half-brother of Danerys, then how's that going to affect who sits on the Iron Throne?
Though right now it's the evil Cersei on the throne. It seemed like a third of the episode was dedicated to her. Basically she went all Michael Corleone at the end of The Godfather and killed all her enemies in King's Landing in one fell swoop (which inadvertently included her own son) and then made herself the High Queen of the realm or whatever. Which was pretty freaking awesome.
And hooray, Arya's back from training with Ra's al Guhl! Though really when she got stabbed in the gut I hoped she'd die just to be rid of her. Like all of the Stark (and Stark-ish) people she probably has grand destiny but the whole League of Shadows/Kung-Fu thing was so fucking lame I was glad just to be done with it.
And finally after six seasons, Danerys and her dragons (and a huge fucking armada) are heading for Westeros. It was seriously about fucking time for that to happen. I mean last year she got bogged down in
And good, Ramsey Bolton finally bought it. The "Battle of the Bastards" was pretty crazy but at least the end result was good. There was someone who definitely deserved to be eaten by his own dogs. Though only after he killed Rickon Stark--if anyone remembers (or cares) who that is. I was a little bummed at how quickly they dispatched that loudmouthed Wildling girl with him; she had been sort of a main character a couple seasons ago and then she's in like one scene and gets her throat slit. I suppose that's just how it goes in Game of Thrones, which is why it's definitely not a universe I'd want to live in. (The universe I'd want to live in: Star Trek. Probably the Next Gen because they had cooler shit. Star Wars is second--only if I could get a lightsaber.)
The comeback of Jon Snow was a little underwhelming. First, all that Melasandre chick did was give him a bath and say a prayer and he springs back to life. Seriously? Even the Bible was more dramatic than that. Plus he came back from the dead but he doesn't have any superpowers (yet) and didn't even really get any rousing speeches. The 10-year-old queen of Bear Island had a more rousing speech than him. He didn't even seem to have a clue what he was supposed to do; if Ramsey hadn't sent a threat to Castle Black, he'd have probably just wandered around the rest of the series.
Anyway, after pissing me off last year, the series pretty much made up for it with this new concept of actually doing stuff. Whoa! Next year I hope they continue that. Plus I hope they continue to dovetail some of these plots together and trim off some extraneous ones. I'm sure there's some important reason to bring back The Hound, but was it really necessary? Offutt says that Sam guy has a magic horn that's important, which is why I assume we need to keep going back to him--and also comic relief I suppose. The Dorne thing was largely pointless as sure they gave Danerys some ships but she pretty much already had the ships she needed from the Masters/Iron Born. The point is they need to get things moving so the last season can really concentrate on the battle with the Night King, which is where this has been heading all along, and then wrapping up. Next season needs to set the table for that without getting bogged down in too much extraneous shit.
So just keep it up, Game of Thrones writers. And if you want a lesson for writing, get off your ass and make things happen! Which also means actually writing, unlike GRR Martin. (That's probably why his initials spell grr because he makes fans go grrrrrrrrr at waiting so long for him to finish stuff.)