Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Game of Thrones is over and I have a lot of feelings

I honestly don't remember when I started watching Game of Thrones. I don't think it was with the premiere of season one just because I know I didn't have HBO back then. I do know I've been watching for several years and was highly invested in how the story played out for the main characters. Now the finale has come and gone and I've spent the last few days processing my feelings so I'm here to share them.

I'm notorious among my friends and family for being ridiculously bad at remembering details from movies, shows, and books, so I am not the person who's going to point out tiny plot holes from season two.


You have undoubtedly seen the anger on social media over the last few days regarding the series finale. I've also seen a few people who loved the way the show ended! I'm somewhere in the middle of those two camps. I tried really hard to defend season eight even after Daenerys decided for whatever reason to burn a city full of innocents. I was one of the people pointing out how violent she has been throughout the entire series, despite the fact that it just didn't feel right.

I've spent the last few days trying to put all of my thoughts about this series into words, but I think it's really simple: the showrunners very obviously wanted it to be over. I'm not sure why exactly that is, but I think that when you compare the earlier seasons to the last two it's clear that they were rushing to the finish. Maybe they knew the ending (as given to them by GRRM) and didn't know how to get there. Maybe they wanted to hurry onto their next project. I have no idea what their reasons were, but the show most definitely suffered for it. There was so much that didn't make sense in the last couple episodes, but I'll try to stick to the ones that bothered me most.

First and most importantly, what happened to my baby Dany? I loved her from the very first season and have continued to love her through every single episode. I didn't always agree with her choices, but I understood them. I understand that she was always going to be the Mad Queen, but the progression from not mad to full on genocidal maniac was over the course of a couple episodes. Yes, I get the reasons, but it didn't feel earned. They did Dany wrong. I would have been fine with her ultimately going mad and ending up dead for it, but she should've had a full season to get there.

Speaking of wasted characters being killed off too quickly, what even with the Night King?? I was willing to let it go way back when I thought the finale would make up for his quick demise, but now I'm just irritated. I cannot believe we've spent so many seasons hearing about how he is the most dangerous threat in the entire world, only to have him taken out by teleporting Arya.

But my absolute biggest issue with the entire show is King Bran. Not only does Bran have absolutely no leadership experience and no people skills, but the more I think about his part in all this, the more I wonder what he's really responsible for. When he's chosen as king he says, "Why do you think I came all this way?" Did he always know that this is how it would end? Did he know that Daenerys would kill a million innocent people? And if so, how villainous is he? I've heard people say that he doesn't interfere with the knowledge he has, but he absolutely does. Case in point: he encouraged Sam to tell Jon about his heritage, which was the catalyst for the entire Mad Queen plot point. As far as I'm concerned, Bran indirectly caused the death of the city. Don't @ me.

By the way, when exactly did he get so weird? He wasn't like that a couple seasons ago.

The rest of the character endings were also disappointing and a bit too Disney for my tastes. I thought Arya's sailing off into the sunset made no sense considering she has never given any indication that she wanted to discover new worlds. In fact, it always seemed like she was pretty set on being with her family. I was okay with Sansa's happily ever after, I guess.

Jon's, not so much. If Grey Worm hadn't outright killed him (which, why wouldn't he?) why wouldn't anyone mention him as a contender for the throne, what with his leadership, war, and king experience, never mind his actual claim to the throne. His being exiled for killing a tyrant makes no sense. Even if he was, why wouldn't he just come back to the North since it was no longer a part of the Seven Kingdoms? How would Grey Worm ever know what he did anyway once he left?

I could go on and on, but I'll cut it short. At the end of Game of Thrones, am I still glad I watched? Absolutely. I loved seasons one through six and even really liked season seven! I tried to defend season eight until the bitter end, but I finally admitted to myself that it... wasn't good. I truly wish there had been a full season devoted to the Night King and Daenerys, and maybe a ninth one to pull it all together. I'll watch the whole thing again, but I'll probably stop after Dany dies and before the sitcom epilogue begins.

What did you like or dislike about the finale?
Will you watch it all again?
Let me know in the comments!