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How Game Of Thrones Season 6 Has Breathed Life Into A Stagnating Series

It's Game Of Thrones, so, SPOILERS ahead obviously...

Over the course of season 5 of Game Of Thrones I wrote a piece analysing how the show had become boring, with plot lines stagnating and a real lack of drive. Many agreed and many did not, claiming that the slower pace made for greater character exploration - something I disagreed with given that our characters were set on slow, laborious journeys, with little in the way of any personal or emotional development.

With all that said on Season 5, I couldn't have been more happy with both the exceptional quality, pace and excitement that Season 6 has granted us so far. Now 6 episodes in, this season has been nothing short of fantastic, each episode has given us exciting and critical developments in the overall plot of the show. Even characters like Danaerys, whom I'd assumed was getting the 'slow burn' treatment this season with her initial predicament has quickly had her plot thread thrown on its head and dramatically accelerating her toward her own end goals.

So, where has this new sense of urgency and integral story focus come from? I'd suggest it's likely because season 5 put the showrunners in difficult territory as they effectively used up the last of the available written context for the show from George R.R. Martin - dragging it out - whilst hoping that the next book in the series would be ready in time for preparing season 6. Whilst fans of the novels themselves are likely unimpressed that they're yet to get the respective novels taking the show forward, this lack of core text has truly allowed the show to flourish on its own right and breathed new life into it.

The sad end to fan favourite Hodor
Most importantly of all, whilst the excellent exposition of the books is absent in season 6 - even though it hasn't been page to screen for every season either - George R.R. Martin is working with showrunners Benioff & Weiss to ensure all the key integral plot points are present in the show. So as sad as it was when "Hold The Door" Hodor met his demise, this was always going to happen in the books too, of course reading that in prose will now be a unique and interesting experience all of its own as it receives greater exposition for readers.

With 4 episodes left in this excellent season, we hope the show can continue with this phenomenal pace, driving the core storylines forward and finally giving us in the audience some key payoff as the long journey's of our heroes and villains come together in epic fashion.

What do you think to season 6 of Game Of Thrones? Have you found this new pace and continual reveals to be invigorating or do you miss the slower burn of previous seasons? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Ben Corbett-Mills / @benleopards

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