Season 7 kicks off with new faces as Game of Thrones marches towards war

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As television and movies have evolved over the years, show creators have enjoyed a newfound freedom to reinvigorate and streamline their hit series as they choose. During the past decade, reboots, continuations and spinoffs have become a very recent phenomenon. After years of withstanding the test of time, TV shows have to make headlines to stay relevant. Without a dramatic change in attitude or way of storytelling, fans won’t care, even if a favorite show comes back again and again and again. TV shows have seemed like cultural and social artifacts. The genre’s moment just moved forward.

The “Arrested Development” reboot released in 2013 signified a shift from longstanding storytelling to innovative innovation — even getting the NFL league to come on board in sponsoring the show’s wildly popular teaser trailer. Another example is “24” getting a second chance at life as “24: Legacy,” which followed one of the Counter Terrorist Unit’s revival teams. Off screen, several “24” stars including Kiefer Sutherland are working on the upcoming live-action “Charlie’s Angels.” “Game of Thrones” also has four installments left after its next season and is well worth our time.

Before streaming media, television shows survived in the distant far reaches of the history books. For well over a century, songs and dramas made such epic journeys through our culture, movies were usually the only kind of viewing experience available. Listeners to the radio had to wait a couple of weeks for the next in a line of songs or in the remote control for an upcoming action film.

Things have shifted. We can now binge-watch any television series in one sitting. The Hollywood industry is not the only one to embrace this change. Streaming media companies — like Netflix and Hulu — have transformed from upstarts, but are getting access to a certain momentum that can only be built with audience numbers.

But the industry also changed with the release of the groundbreaking television series “Game of Thrones.” The company behind the show, HBO, released an entire season of “Game of Thrones” in the summer of 2011, then waited five months before the next season’s premiere. Most other television companies wouldn’t dare do that. Now, they often wait more than a year before deciding how quickly to schedule a new season of one of their hit shows. But once they decide to move forward, they are not afraid to be first. Now, even more fast-paced content makers are exploring how they can drastically change their normal approach to television and redefine traditional storytelling through streaming content.

Consider the first of a three-part series on the upcoming long-awaited final season of “Game of Thrones.” For those who want to know what to expect from the period-piece fantasy epic, streaming media company HBO is releasing two-part episodes in two parts called “A Dream of Spring,” and “The Children,” on Sunday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 23. We will be introducing you to this exciting world through a new story.

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