The ‘House of the Dragon’ season finale has arrived early — and not on HBO’s terms.
In the final hour, Game Of Thrones season six was finally brought to a close, but in a way that has not suited HBO and the network’s desire to end with a bang. Season seven opens with a single shot of a dragon, the night sky ablaze with the lights of the dragon’s lair, set to the strains of the original “Battle of the Bastards” theme song.
It is the end, or at least the end of season seven on that particular day of the week. The last two episodes of the final season will air Sunday night at 9 p.m. on HBO Max. The final seven episodes will then air Monday night at 9 p.m. on HBO Go, a service that is not part of HBO’s HBO Max package. That, though, is not the real source of anxiety on the set of Game Of Thrones.
Instead, the show’s directors and actors are grappling with the potential for cancellation, a concern that has been made more real since HBO announced a raft of changes in order to get the show off the ground in the first place. Those changes include a reduction to six episodes a season. HBO Max’s goal is to get the series off of its current cliffhanger-laden structure, and onto a more streamlined structure with more of what HBO loves to call “character.”
That is the way the show is likely to go, says Jonathan Nolan at the Royal Film Unit, “because that’s the sort of structure that got the show together in the first place. When you’re trying to go out with a bang, you can’t have a bang.”
That said, we still do not know what the show will look like when it finally does bow with a happy ending: the return of all the characters from the show’s beginning to their home and the world. And while HBO’s big move in the series has been to let the directors and actors do what they do best, the show’s finale will still be a massive event, with the biggest battles of the series to close it out.
“There’s a couple of things we haven’t talked about yet, and we have to think through them,” says David Benioff, the show’s writer and the man behind the show’s opening moment with the dragon. “The thing that we know is it’s been a real journey, and we