Game of Thrones hits another ratings high with its penultimate episode

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That added to my dismay.

Large battles in television often induce key casualties, and the anticipation by fans for major characters to fall has driven monster ratings for HBO during the Game of Thrones final season's run of episodes. That's fine. It's the nature of a multi-character show. But not just viewers, some of the cast members, too, have expressed their disappointment. "But that was frustrating for a couple seasons". "As a whole it's been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren't my favorite".

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne in a still from Game of Thrones. I didn't think that would happen. The episode included a high body count as well, offing Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), and Varys (Conleth Hill), among others. The stills feature Daenerys against a burning King's Landing, with her army of The Unsullied and the Dothraki and Tyrion Lannister in an expression which is hard to guess. That's been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more.

As much as we hate it and don't understand it, that shot of Daenerys stepping in front of her surprisingly large force of Unsullied and Dothraki is striking, even more so in the official image released by HBO.

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The Hollywood Reporter's Maureen Ryan had a physical reaction to the latest episode, writing in her coverage, "I shouted that at the TV screen Sunday night, but I wasn't talking to Daenerys".

A further six per cent thought that Jon Snow could die first in the season finale.

It's likely everything above will be moot by this time next week, as the Game of Thrones finale is poised to break this record and close out the series with its highest numbers ever.

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