– if youre so smart why dont you write this show yourself and win an Emmy- is not an argument.
Major spoilers ahead.
I started watching this show when season 5 came out. While I avoided it for 4 years cause I am not big on nudity on screen, my sister convinced me to watch it. And so skipping the inhuman amount of gratuitous boob and ass shots, I made it through the first four seasons right before season 5 was released. And boy, I was in love. Smart writing. Brilliant acting. And a standard of production that had been unheard of on television.
I think the show was lost on me the second Arya killed the night king.
Season 8 has been reduced to fan fiction written on a cellphone. I dont see the point in complaining after the last episode. Its done then.
Some scenes I did not enjoy simply because of the story.
- Tyrion playing drinking games with Brienne of all people. This isnt a teen getaway movie where the tsundere hottie lets it loose. Its Game of Thrones for god sakes. I can imagine anyone in that group but Brienne.
- Brienne and Jamie sleep with each other cause the fans wanted it. But Jamie still loves his sister enough to want to run away with her or die together. Then why bother showing him growing for the last 7 seasons?
- The shot of the ceiling collapsing on Jamie and Cersei was timed like a cliche horror movie shot. Gotta watch the lights go off in the corridor before the ghost takes us.
- Jamie and Euron fighting each other without stakes. Not the first time Cersei slept with another man without telling Jamie. Why would he be pissed? Because the show is coming to an end and the writers dont know what to do with Euron.
- Jamie not dying with two severe stab wounds while Euron dies with one. Even though Jamie is a weaker fighter after losing his right hand and Euron is supposed to be as ruthless and as strong as, if not worse than, Ramsay.
- Clegane bowl because fans asked for it. But no stakes besides both wanting the other dead. Also, if the mountain is barely human, would he even care about a grudge? Wasn’t he a zombie programmed to protect the queen. Not only does he kill his own creator he ignores Cersei completely.
- Mad queen Dany laid waste to kings landing because fans started asking for/predicting mad queen.
- Wildfire clearly seemed to have been added as an afterthought. Had no effect on the story whatsoever. Cersei suddenly forgot about it and didnt plan anything with it.
- The best character on the show just looks over Drogon burning Kings landing without a plan.
- Mad queen became mad queen because fans wanted Jon to be king and there was no other way to justify it.
- Yet they chose to have Arya kill the night king because they wanted to subvert fan expectations.
- The direwolves are not part of the story because the fans expected them to, and they are beyond the budget.
- Arya suddenly humanized despite spending several years (at least 6) training to become an assassin. Her giving up on killing Cersei because the Hound says so. A guy also on her list by the way.
- Rhaegar dies with three scorpions aimed perfectly at him, yet the very next day Drogon alone takes out about 30 scorpions without getting hit once. Also, Drogon is useless in front of the scorpions on day one.
- Tyrion is a good guy but not to Dany because now Dany is a bad guy.
- Varys, arguably the smartest guy on the show, will plot treason with Jon in plain sight before Dany loses her shit. Even though he knows shes not eating and has been out of her mind ever since Missandei died. Varys, the spider cant wait one day to try and get Jon on his side. Because the show wants carnage and no space for brainy people.
- Arya killing the night king. She has never interacted with the Night King before. Nor the undead. What motivations could she possibly have to make this personal? Only cause fans would not have expected it? Thats called bad writing. Even before, whenever the show did anything shocking, it was because of something that already been in effect much before the character becomes aware of it. And it was always a scene where the characters had personal stakes. Walder Frey kills the Starks cause he wants to impress Lannisters by eliminating the threat to their rule. Dany burns the Tarly’s because they refused to bow down to her. Jon hangs a 12 year old because he was betrayed by him. Ned Stark is executed because he knows the truth about Cersei’s kids. Jon Arryn was poisoned because he knew the same. Robert Baratheon is drunk on his hunting trip because Cersei wants him out. Not only does she not love him, he doesnt respect her in the least. Stannis kills Renly because he is a threat to Stannis’s claim to the throne. Shireen is burned alive because Stannis is convinced it would protect his armies. His wife hangs herself after the horror she puts her own daughter through. Tyrion kills Shae because she betrays him. He kills Tywin because he always treated his youngest son like shit. Olenna kills Jeoffrey because she doesnt want her granddaughter marrying a tyrant. Olenna kills herself cause she doesnt want to give Cersei the satisfaction. Cersei kills the Tyrells because she doesnt want Tommen to be controlled by Margery. Tommen kills himself because he blames himself for Margery’s death. Robert kills Rhaegar because he is under the impression that he kidnapped Lyanna and possibly raped her. Arya kills the Freys to avenge her mother and brother. Sansa kills Peter Baelish because he betrayed her father and sold her to the Boltons. Jon charges into the battle of the Bastards because Ramsay kills Rickon. And these arent even half the surprise attacks on the show. Surprise deaths have always happened for a reason on the show. Reason that fans didnt usually expect to get played out a certain way. Because we are all used to rooting for the good guy. But there was always a justification. It wasnt out of the blue to the logic of the GOT universe.
- Retconning previous scenes in the show to suit your own idea of a prophecy coming true yet ignoring other big ones. A la – red eyes, green eyes, blue eyes.
- The Long Night being a about 10 hours long. You know, like a regular night in a southern country.
- Bran just conking out after the Long Night. When now would have been perfect for him to come in and tell Dany about how her Dad was basically like an out of control dragon.
Make up your mind already! Do you want to subvert expectations or do you want to make fans happy? I though they didnt care about these things in the past. Why now? This isnt a romantic drama or a daily soap opera. Its an epic saga. Why would you change the direction of the story and character arcs in a certain way according to fan reactions? Its like they wrote down certain scenes and wrote the show around those. They want to give certain scenes, yet at the same time they dont want any fan theory to come true. They wanted the city to burn, so they drove Dany into a corner. You forced her to go crazy, thats not character development. She did not have a choice. Her growth in the show has always been about the choices she made, whether it was burning people or letting them go. She could have easily killed the Dothraki when she took over but she chose to be leader instead. She suddenly became a tyrant in two episodes? Because Jon refused to sleep with his aunt and her BFF is dead? This is a woman who has lost everything before, yet she never snapped. Oh the people dont like her this side of the sea? Well they didnt like her in Essos either. She conquered the area, but she didnt burn it to the ground. She became a leader. She made people respect her. So she lost people close to her, well she had let Jorah go earlier and she willingly pushed Daario away. She let Greyworm rule in her absence with Tyrion. She lost Barristan Selmy. Her son was born a monstrosity and she smothered her own husband to put him out of his misery. Dany would never become mad queen, at least not in two episodes. She locked up her dragons years ago because they allegedly burned a 6 year old girl. She conquered lands even before she met Missandei and Greyworm. She started from nothing when she was married to Khal Drogo and made him fall in love with her. He was basically a savage and she brought him over to her side. You are telling me a lady that has been through all that would just suddenly snap? On an unarmed army? On helpless women and children? Why didnt she just fly to the red keep, when she has used smaller, weaker dragons more smartly in the past. You want to say she is drunk with power, but is she though? More than half her army was depleted in the *cough* Long Night. She apparently lost half her army, even though the episode makes it look like she lost all of Dothraki and most of the Unsullied. She lost a dragon right after in a surprise attack at Dragonstone. To the Iron Fleet, something they discussed in the War room earlier in the same episode. She just forgot about them, about hundreds of ships? The young girl who came from nothing and basically created the biggest battalion in the east just forgot how to war cause she got blinded by her love for Jon? Then how come she didnt forget to argue with him over lineage? If she was so in love with him, why did she feel so threatened by his stronger claim to the throne despite him constantly reassuring her that she is more important to him than being king. She willingly came to the North to fight the undead with Jon, she postponed going west several times in the past to make sure her army was ready to go to Westeros. This woman now cant wait for Cersei to surrender and suddenly decides to decimate tens of thousands of innocents to do what? Prove a point? What point? To whom? Her subjects are dead. Even if she doesnt know Cersei is dead or alive, Cersei doesnt have an army, so she couldn’t possibly fight Dany. Dany doesnt know about wildfire, so from her perspective, Cersei is harmless without the Iron Fleet and the Golden Company. So why kill innocents now? She has clearly won.
And if this is the show creator’s/writers’ justification for making her go mad, why didnt Sansa? She is another strong female character that has grown a lot over the years after being subjected to torture over and over again, each time worse than before. Why doesnt she lose her mind? Granted she does not have the same amount of power as Dany, but why does she still have her wits about her and not Dany. She is still smart enough to argue about her troops being battered, or not having enough rations for the whole army during winter. Or to pass the secret about Jon’s parentage to Tyrion. Granted it was one of the more enjoyable moments of the season. While the direction in which things are going are up to the writers at the end of the day, the path they chose is most, well, stupid. The story could have easily been stretched over another 5 seasons keeping the same pace as earlier. Even if they had just stuck to 10 episodes each season, for seasons 7 and 8, they would have had room to justify this character progression. Game of Thrones, despite the number of prophecies in the show, was always character driven and not story driven. Yet, the characters seem to be changing to fit scenarios instead of the other way around. Ruthless characters are suddenly kind, kind characters and leaders are suddenly tryants, Jon Snow is still as stupid as first season, smart and patient characters suddenly couldnt be done with the story faster. Its almost like the writers gave up halfway and just skipped to the end.
Unlike the writing, the production quality of the show has only gone up consistently. From the acting, to the costume design and makeup. From the grand sets, to the special effects. From the sound design to the background score. The finesse put into the tiniest details is marvelous and the scale of the biggest action set pieces is insane to say the least. So where did it go so wrong? Why does the whole thing just feel like its moving from one giant action spectacle to the next without any of its previous soul. Its not like the show didnt make fans mad before, from first season itself, killing Ned Stark.
The show definitely doesnt feel like a big budget advertisement for the book series. (Sarcasm intended)
To end on a happy note, some things I liked in the season 8 of this show so far.
- Sansa telling Tyrion about Jon’s lineage. It was a smart move for her. She isnt hung up on honor like Jon. And she hasnt forgotten what happens to the men in her family when they go south. Her character growth has been consistent and executed well. While I dont think Peter Baelish should have died at all, I thought executing him was a great moment in establishing her power in the North.
- The fireplace drinking scene right before the Long Night began. We got some levity from beloved characters, yet still within their character tropes. Not the shitty drinking game scene with Tryion and Brienne and Jamie and Poderick
- Brienne being knighted, and by Jamie no less. Finally, officially, getting the respect she has deserved from the beginning. Granted they butcher that instantly by making her sleep with Jamie and then him leaving a few days after and her crying after him. Crying. Brienne. Sobbing. The great woman knight. Ugh.
- People celebrating after the Long Night. Even the part about Dany feeling left out was thoughtful, showing how she felt alone in the North and Westeros despite being their queen.
- Tyrion betraying Varys to save his own skin. Again, one of the few remnants of what this show used to be about.
- Lyanna Mormont and Jorah Mormont. Dying honorably. The great Bear House will not be forgotten.
- Greyworm losing his shit over Missandei’s death. Him and the Dothraki are actually perfectly justified in raging over the dying king’s landing.
- The Dothraki finally showing the carnage they are known for. It is however fascinating how they revived their numbers after the Long Night.
- The last interaction between Tyrion and Jamie. A beautiful moment. Two veteran actors totally selling their character and emotions. Its hard to believe they arent really brothers.
- Bronn threatening Tyrion and Jamie. One of the few people still within character on the show.
- Arya and the Hound farewell. While I am of the mindset that Arya would never back down from going after Cersei, I still liked their little moment and the Hound finally admitting that his lust for revenge destroyed him. In a way he admits that Sansa and Arya brought out the good in him and he feels he could have had a better life.
- The scene between Sansa and the Hound. While a lot of fans felt that Sansa was reduced to her horrific past, I actually felt it was a powerful moment for her. Sure what happened to her was unfortunate, but she has made peace with the fact and chose to learn and grow from the experience. If anything, I thought it was inspirational. We cannot change the past. Only move forward. And Sansa understands that. What doesnt kill us makes us stronger.
- Theon. Another character arc beautifully completed. From him rescuing his sister, reuniting with Sansa and dying protecting Bran, his life came full circle. And he was sent off with respect, as a member of the Starks.
- Cersei shuffling past Clegane brothers. Stupid moment, but got a chuckle from me.
- Jon and Dany, Don? I dont know their couple name. But them flying amongst the snow in the north. I wish they had more moments like this one and time to actually show them falling in love with each other. Then their latest scenes together would hold more tension. Although Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke are still acting the hell out of them. But Dany had more chemistry with Daario Naharis and Jon with Tormund.
Ah well, this wont be the first time such a large and long running franchise has let people down. Only difference is, now people have the power of the internet to voice their opinions to the creators of the show instead of cribbing about it at lunch at work. Its sad the show runners seem to have hurt their own creation. But it still doesn’t take away the fact that the previous seasons were glorious and to this day are quite possibly the best in all TV. Hopefully, stand alone original works would get more recognition. Avengers saved theaters and GOT solidified it, in their own ways. On to Chernobyl next.