As many of you are aware, the legendary series Game of Thrones is an epic. It has almost everything you could possibly ask for—conveniently packed within eight dense seasons. Medieval society and culture, royal courting, romance, sex, battles, sorcery, betrayals, tempests, zombies, dragons, nations, armies, the meteoric rise of certain individuals and families, the fall of others, and an ominous threat to the end of the entire world. It grew to earn universal acclaim from critics and audiences worldwide, shining particularly in seasons three, four, five, and six. And though the series infamously parted with a terrible final season, it remains one of the greatest shows of all time. In terms of scale and scope, it earns the very top spot.

Nobody—neither viewers nor cinema itself—will ever forget Game of Thrones episodes like “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” “The Rains of Castamere,” “The Mountain and the Viper,” and “The Winds of Winter.” Historic episodes like these alone are exponentially greater than most full-length films out there. It is in such moments where Game of Thrones transcends the very medium of television itself. This earth-shattering HBO series was, for many years, so entrenched within modern society that almost everyone in it was familiar with some of the show’s intricacies. Besides, this show alone brought HBO tens of millions of subscribers. Did its writers earn them? Yes. They did, with a mega-hit that far surpassed George R.R. Martin’s original books, marking an entire era of outstanding television.

At the end of the day, I can’t even begin to list the incredible accomplishments of Game of Thrones. I can only link a few marvelous scenes and hope that the minor spoilers don’t disillusion prospective viewers. After all, this show speaks for itself. It does not rely on the “benefit of the doubt” extended to shows that garner acclaim of this magnitude. The writing is consummate. The depth of its plot is unparalleled. The timing and development of its countless twists and shocking moments are always perfect. Its characters’ intricacies are sprawling. And yet, the show’s hard traits—like the production design, stunt choreography, and editing—are just as carefully crafted as its soft traits, like the writing and the excellence of the directors and actors. Game of Thrones is not flawless. But it is impossible to assemble such a project without an enormous host of mistakes and inconsistencies. Regardless, such flaws are frighteningly sparse in this show. The Game of Thrones we came to know and love was, indeed, an impossible fantasy. How the creators pulled it off remains a mystery to us. We can only clap our hands and say “bravo.”

*If the last 2 minutes of this doesn’t send chills down your spine, I don’t know what will.*

Rating: 9.5/10