With the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones nearly halfway done, some fans have felt the first two episodes have progressed slowly.
As the living set up defenses against the White Walkers and their Army of the Dead at the northern castle of Winterfell, much of the latest episode was spent with characters reacting to the impending battle in different ways. According to longtime series writer and executive producer Bryan Cogman, this was all part of the plan to set up epic action sequences in the immediate future of the season.
"If somebody who's watching wants a bit more action early, then they're probably disappointed," Cogman said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I think it's fair to say they'll get their wish pretty soon."
While some audiences felt this deliberate pacing at the start of Season 8 was a bit too slow, Cogman noted the relatively quiet opening was to give the characters a moment of reflection before facing certain death; a calm before the storm.
"I have learned this from [series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss]: we just have to tell the story we want to tell, and feel the rhythm of the story as we're laying it out," he explained. "There aren't any conversations about what people are going to think. If it feels right? That's what we do. We determined pretty early on that we would explore this idea of, 'What would you do if you thought it was your last night on Earth?' It felt appropriate, and even necessary at this stage in the game."
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.