Game of Thrones returned for its seventh season Sunday with expectations higher than ever, following a strong, forward-moving Season 6.
It seemed like we were in for something bombastic in the premiere, titled “Dragonstone,” after the ancestral home of Daenerys Targaryen, one of the series’ more fiery characters.
But while Thrones moved at a speedy pace last season — and now has just 12 episodes remaining in total — the episode played out like the slow-moving and exposition-heavy premieres of seasons past. And there isn’t really time for that, not anymore.
Game of Thrones has always aimed for a balance of huge, shocking moments with smaller, more intimate ones.