photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Part of what has made this season of Game Of Thrones so much fun is the steady determination with which it marches toward its conclusions. No more bickering or equivocating, just action! There are certainly still questions as to how things will play out and mysteries to uncover, but many of the thrills here are resolutions years in the making. Witness, for example, the spine-tingling thrill of dragons torching rows of Lannister armies last week, or the continued steady unveiling of the long-suspected connection between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen meted out week by week this season.

And while a lot of this has provided fodder for people to root for their favorite characters as they coalesce in riotous set-pieces, it’s also been fun seeing characters on the fringes, like Theon and Littlefinger and Gendry, continue to contribute to history. Did anyone expect old Gilly, for example, to stumble upon a revelation that shakes the very foundations of the kingdom?

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Not Samwell, that’s for sure. He was extremely busy at the time and had little patience for her nattering. All of which—Gilly’s casually earth-shaking discovery, followed by Samwell excoriating her for talking too much—struck a resonant chord for many viewers.

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Anyway, it is good to know that Samwell may have grown from the picked-on oaf he was early in the series, now a man of letters with friends in high places, but he is still a real fucking dolt when push comes to shove.

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