Game of Thrones is no longer a game of thrones

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premieres on Sunday, April 14th, and HBO has been in full marketing swing to remind viewers of the years-long journey to get here: Iron Thrones have been hidden around the world, and the network has been producing endless trailers and teasers and spinoff products from custom sneakers to branded Oreos, all centered around one message: #ForTheThrone. But eight years in, Game of Thrones’ title has never been less accurate. As the sweeping stakes of the show have escalated, the Iron Throne of Westeros, and the question of who gets to sit on it, has become almost completely unimportant to the story.

When Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 17th, 2011, the network didn’t use the poetic but…

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