A scene in the Season 7 finale "encapsulates what Game of Thrones has become," says James Poniewozik: "a dragon-delivery device, a collection of spectacular images, to which character, complexity and conversation have become secondary. The series’s changes, in part, reflect the ambitions and limitations of today’s big-ticket TV. Rewatch the earliest episodes, from 2011, and they already seem to belong to another era. It’s not simply that Arya (Maisie Williams) was more innocent then, Westeros more peaceful, Ned Stark’s head still attached to his body...It’s how much of the series was simply people talking, how it was able to draw import from relatively small incidents. The second episode, 'The Kingsroad,' for instance, focuses its main story line on nothing more high-stakes than the death of a child’s pet."