Nadal's streak began at Roland Garros previous year and was ended by Thiem, who beat the Spaniard in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.
The world No. 1 wasn't as invincible this year - there may have been an injury issue - but he was still plenty good enough at the grand slam where he is virtually unbeatable.
Nadal struck 26 winners to Thiem's 34 yet made only 24 unforced errors to Thiem's 42, with "unforced errors" a relative term in Nadal Roland Garros matches. Even a cramp in his left hand early in the third set, which required a rub-down of his left forearm, did not stop him as he closed out for victory. He removed the tape from his left wrist and seemed to take a tablet.
Up in the stands, Nadal's uncle Toni, his former coach, was nervous, too, "because I thought maybe we can have a problem", he said.
Less than an hour after the match was completed, demolition workers began to smash up Court Philippe Chatrier, part of the continuing redevelopment that will lead to a roof being in place over the stadium court in two years' time.
No stranger to rewriting the record books along with his friendly rival, Roger Federer, here is another feat for the Spaniard: He joined Margaret Court in becoming the only tennis players in history to win the same grand slam 11 times.
At the Australian Open last January, a depleted Halep fell to Caroline Wozniacki in a gruelling three-set final.
Bar playing two exhibition matches on grass to prepare for Wimbledon, Nadal rested completely after winning his 10 French Open.
Ten years ago, Nadal was already the King of Clay. While serving down 4-5, Thiem played an absolutely atrocious game.
Should the 20-time grand slam champion reach the final at the Mercedes Cup, something he has never previously done, he will replace Nadal as world number one.
At the Slam before that, the U.S. Open last September, Nadal was the last man standing.
It's impossible to know, looking ahead, just how much longer Nadal can do this.
But against Thiem, there was nothing wrong with Nadal's start.
Last year's US Open runner-up won his first title since 2015 in NY earlier this season, and having now broken into the world's top-10, has improved his chances of deep runs at the majors.
That's three behind Federer who is more than four years older.
He still occasionally inconvenienced the reigning champion, not least when a deft drop shot brought up a point to break back at 2-4.
That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.
His lone opportunity of the set indeed vanished.
Thiem, competing in his first major final, was second best in the next set as he was edged out in a gruelling second game for the only break of serve.