We understand that there is more opinions out there on the 8th and final season of Game of Thrones than you can muster and consume. Trust us, we are tired of it as well. But when you are a contributor to a fan-site that covers popular culture and geek news, there is always another opinion out there, even if it is just re-wording what someone else has already expressed. So, here is ours.
Warning, Spoilers Abound
First, I want to point out that I am in the middle of reading the first book, so I am not going to compare the literature to its televised counterpart. I am not here to berate the show runners with common idioms seen among other reviews that express how different the two mediums are. I loved the first five seasons, and I had no issue with the 6th and 7th seasons like others did (save for the exception of blowing up the Sept of Baelor and killing off a bunch of pinnacle characters all in one blow, that’s just lazy writing). It was not until the 8th and final season that issues were cropping up, and it was not hard to notice. They were so clearly front and center, in your face, and shouting that writers, David Benioff and DB Weiss (DND), had given up caring about the series (I do firmly believe that they phoned-in the entire 8th season).
So many issues I have with Season 8 come from the characters not acting like themselves. From Varys, the ‘Master of Whispers’ speaking openly and carelessly about treason, Tyrion Lannister the most clever man in Westeros constantly making rookie mistakes (including turning on his best friend), to Jaime Lannister abandoning seven seasons of character development and returning to the most evil woman in the series. There are plenty of out-of-character changes and developments that took shape in the final season, but those were not the only sins of the final season, as well as the finale itself.
In the 8th and final season, characters abandoned and betrayed themselves in countless moments that left many of us scratching our heads, but what was worse was the course shift for many character arcs not ending where they should have been. Like Jon Snow not taking on the Night King, his primary story arc since the character’s introduction, to Cersei not getting hardly any screen-time in all of the six episodes, to Bran becoming the King, to all the many weird subversions that made the fandom angry, frustrated, confused, and a small minority satisfied (forget those people, right)?
The finale of the series did a lot of the above, including some of the instances I mentioned that actually took place in episode 6, (such as Bran becoming King), but the most awkward and head-scratching moments took form in the following:
- Drogon melting the Iron Throne after finding Dany dead, at the hands of Jon Snow. Like, he was able to conclude the importance of such a socio-political icon, what it meant to the characters, but didn’t harm Jon because he was unable to deduce that he had killed Dany?
- Drogon clutching Dany’s lifeless corpse and flying away to… east some place.
- Also, is Jon Snow immune to fire like Dany? Why was this never explored?
- Grey Worm putting Jon Snow in prison for the murder of Dany instead of killing him on the spot, but was totally cool killing countless innocent lives in the short-lived war on King’s Landing.
- Grey Worm letting Tyrion speak his mind, despite telling him he is a prisoner who is about to be killed for his betrayal of Dany (yet Jon gets to live?), moments after telling him he does not get to speak.
- Samwell suggesting democracy when they pick their new King (or Queen), getting laughed at for it, and then Tyrion recommending “Bran the Broken” because he had an off-screen conversation with him and decided he should rule the seven kingdoms.
- Tyrion having a say in who should become their new ruler.
- Everyone agreeing with Tyrion on who should become their new ruler.
- Everyone referring to Bran as “Bran the Broken”, something clearly insulting to a crippled boy, even after he is chosen as King.
- Bran being chosen as King.
- Grey Worm demanding that Jon be punished for his murder of Dany, only to then take the entire fleet of Unsullied to the Isle of Naarth and likely separating themselves from all of the on-goings of politics and those in King’s Landing.
- Bran, now the King, agreeing to Grey Worm, as if Grey Worm somehow is justified in his demands of Jon being sent to the Wall for life, as penance for his crimes, yet no one demands justice for the countless war crimes of Grey Worm and the Unsullied and Dothraki.
- Grey Worms war crimes bother me more than I can explain. To think that GW demands justice for Dany (who committed mass genocide), but no one demands justice for GW’s crimes? Put the dude in shackles. He doesn’t deserve to be free for his actions, let alone a voice and say in what happens to Jon.
- Jon being sent back to the Wall as a new and returning member of the Watchers on the Wall. What an insult to the character who did more for the people of not just Westeros, but the world. Jon did the right thing, the characters know it, Grey Worm knows it, Bran knows it, the audience knows it, yet DB and David decided to give Jon the middle finger since subverting expectations is far more important than following logic. Also, why is the Wall even needed? All the northern threats have been dealt with. Why would sending criminals up there even matter? Not like they are going to be useful protecting everyone south of the Wall itself, which is also broken and likely can’t be rebuilt by man since it took the First Men and the magical First Children to do it.
- Arya Stark, the most beloved character in the series by many, deciding to go west of Westeros on and adventure of discovery, turns on her family and decides spending time with any of them after the war is over is not as important as being alone on the open sea.
- Bronn, my personal favorite character of the entire series, a common sell-sword who killed the right people to climb the ranks and ultimately become the Lord of Highgarden (this is all acceptable for Bronn, considering his many accomplishments), is then added to the Small Council (just because he and Tyrion are friends) and also made ‘Master of Coin’. I love Bronn, but the dude is all about fighting, banging prostitutes, and selling himself to whomever has more gold. Sure, the guy probably has enough gold and probably won’t need to sell himself any longer, but none of this makes him worthy of being the ‘Master of Coin’. And even more, as much as I love Bronn, Tyrion should not have put him on the Small Council. The dude just kills people. If he is going to be on the Small Council, make him the ‘Master of War’, if anything.
- Bran coming into the Council meeting and requesting he needs a ‘Master of War’ and a ‘Master of Whispers’. Dude, you were chosen as King because you literally know everything. Past, and present. You can watch anyone, anywhere, do anything, at any time, for as long as you want. What the hell do you need a ‘Master of Whispers’ for?
- Also, the final episode had a water bottle in plain view during the scene where the Lords and Ladies of Westeros are deciding their new ruler. You can see it plainly next to Ser Davos during the shots. This is not the first time this has happened either. There was a Starbucks cup on a table in plain view of an earlier episode in the season as well, which annoys me that no one cared to sweep the set to make sure things like this did not happen.
These are just the big points that I needed to bring up. There are obviously more, a lot more. But this should just cover just the 6th and final episode of Game of Thrones.
The things I liked about Season 8? It is a much shorter list.
- Sansa becomes Queen in the North
- Bronn is alive. I point him out because he is barely in the final season as it is.
- The cinematography. Holy shit, the cinematography is good.
- The music. My god, the score of Game of Thrones is masterfully done. Ramin Djawadi is easily the ‘Master of Musics’ in my opinion.
- Dany died. She needed to. The 8th and final season was not kind to her character development.
- Uh, wardrobe and costumes? The entire cast is always looking real sharp.
That is about it. Honestly. I did not like much more than that. Maybe the acting performances were good, too? I just had issue with what they were doing that I could not overlook it and acknowledge the acting performances. Now that I write this all down, I guess I should.
- Acting performances. I hated what the characters did, but that is DB and David’s fault.
Overall, I loved Game of Thrones, but the disrespect DND (David n Dan (DB)) have brought to the franchise and thrown at the audience is unforgivable. George RR Martin better get those books made soon, because fans want closure in the proper way.
Now, let us never speak of Game of Thrones again. Until the prequel series starts production. Or George RR Martin finishes the next book. Whatever comes first.