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Opinion
Tara Lachapelle

What's Harder Than Creating 'Game of Thrones'? Doing It Again.

The series defines high-quality TV programming, but quantity is what will keep viewers from canceling their subscriptions.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

Photographer: Helen Sloane/HBO

For those of us who have been watching mostly Netflix lately, it sure is a relief to have HBO’s “Game of Thrones” back on. 

After a 595-day hiatus, fans were once again transported back to Westeros on Sunday night for the premiere of the final season. For cord-cutters, it was a reminder of what good-quality TV looks like – it can be more than background noise for mindless social-media scrolling or filler entertainment before bedtime. “Game of Thrones” is the kind of show that is so captivating you actually put down your smartphone for the hour that it’s playing and appreciate the remarkable work put into each episode. But Sunday also served as a reminder that the series is winding down, and that the era of online streaming and binge-watching may not be as conducive to recreating a following like GoT’s.