A new king rises in the north; a Khaleesi finds new hope.
The denoument of the first season of Game of Thrones acts almost as an epilogue, bringing to a close the first act of the series. The event that closed the previous episode opens this one,and from here we see the aftermath rippling through the Seven Kingdoms. Alan Taylor’s consummate direction—already witnessed in the prior episode—returns to guide viewers through these final moments, skillfully handling the emotional moments as the Starks and Dany suffer their individual heartbreaking moments and ensuing challenges. Taylor has since been announced as director of four episodes next season—out of ten in total—and that’s certainly welcome.
Highlights of the episode include an impressive expansion of the role of Ramin Djawadi’s score, giving the episode a more cinematic feel than any before it, and to go along with it there are scenes fully matching in their breadth and scope. Not least, the final moments of the episode, one of the most evocative and iconic scenes in the whole of the series. Matched with strong acting performances from Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Sophie Turner, and more, in retrospect this may be the best episode in the first season.