Ian O'Doherty: ''Game of Thrones' is coming back but I miss Ramsay Bolton'
I didn't want to like it, I really didn't. When Game of Thrones first appeared, I dismissed it as just swords and sorcery with boobs and bums.
And dragons. Did I mention those bloody dragons?
Yet the show, which returns tomorrow week, has a habit of getting under your skin and I now feel almost embarrassed at how I used to loudly crow that The Walking Dead was the superior option. Sadly, as anyone who has watched The Walking Dead shuffle ponderously into repetitive irrelevance knows, there's no comparison between the two.
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Slowly but surely, Game of Thrones became one of those programmes which became unmissable.
Whether it was Ned Stark's surprise execution or the massacre at the Red Wedding, or even the sight of the zombie dragon shooting frozen fire at the Wall - a phrase, I humbly admit, I never thought I'd find myself writing - there have been moments that aren't just great TV, they're works of majestic dark art.
The various controversies have been as much part of the show's allure as the scripts. Whether it was the howls of outrage about the way women were maltreated (it's not as if the men fare any better, just ask Theon) or the endless nookie, it appalled and beguiled in equal measure.
But there is one glaring loss in this last ever season - the sad demise of Ramsay Bolton. Sure, he was a psychopathic rapist who got his kicks by skinning people alive, but he enjoyed himself immensely and in these angst-ridden times, isn't it nice to see someone who likes their work?