it’s funny — I’d argue that the show actually benefited after losing the books. I appreciated the nuance and the character building it brought but S2–6 often times became a snorefest (your issues were Reek, mine were Dany screaming where are my dragons x100). My major issue is every season ended with “the white walkers are coming!” It’s hard to center a show that keeps trying to build to the same thing for 7 years.
But I digress, I enjoy the quick pace of S7 and the shit that keeps happening. I guess it does feel like a different show but I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m getting more screen time with the Hound and Tormund and I’m all for that.
The plot has become predictable, they’ve made some LotR type logic gaps (why can’t they just fly a dragon to snatch up a wight?), but the action is fantastic, the pay off is fun, and it feels like a climax of a movie.
Plus, Bran as Mr. Manhattan is lolz