New Delhi, April 16 -- There was a time when Game Of Thrones mattered. Truthfully - you know this as well as I - that winter has passed. We're still watching, of course. We storm ahead in denial as the final season arrives, engulfed in expectations and coasting on once-deserved momentum. We desperately want it to matter, which isn't quite the same.

The eighth and final season began this week on Hotstar Premium - new episodes are out every Monday at dawn - and the first episode involved many a reunion as characters torn asunder by bloodlust and betrayal finally came together, assembling like medieval Avengers preparing warily for the final push. It's a sweetish, strictly okay episode, and one that consistently echoes 'Winterfell,' the breat...