Was the Game of Thrones series finale a firy disappointment or an epic conclusion?
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Game of Thrones’ 8th and final series divided fans continuously as it hurtled towards the finale. So, with the vast amount of fan theories and growing hype, was it ever truly possible for HBO to deliver a conclusion to satisfy all. The short answer; of course not.
I found the never-ending fan theories have always driven fans to have completely unrealistic expectations of the TV show, especially once it surpassed the books. With the possibilities of Bran being the Night King or who is Azor Ahai, some fans had got way too over their heads on what could potentially happen. In with this, comes the hype for the final series which will happen with any TV show. I am not defending the showrunners, as there have been some abysmal choices the last couple of series, but there is a lot of pressure to produce a fantastic ending.
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (source: HBO)
Don’t forget, particularly with Game of Thrones I have noticed there are two types of fans. Type 1; the book lovers and die-hard fans who wanted that bitter-sweet ending, and type 2; who like the more cliche happy ending.
Plot-wise I felt that this episode delivered on mostly wrapping up loose ends and finishing off the Mad Queen Daenerys. However, I still wish HBO extended the number of episodes to 10 as this and the last series felt quite rushed. I think the show would have benefited from more episodes to effectively deliver on the Mad Queen twist. Although this twist had been subtly (and not so subtly) hinted at across the series, the delivering on slaughtering the innocents still felt a bit random.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
I think that the show mostly delivered on a bitter-sweet ending, but some aspects were certainly predictable. I’m glad Jon was ultimately sent back to the Night’s Watch rather than made king as this would have been painfully predictable and nonsensical due to the act of treason he committed. However, I’m so glad he got the appropriate reunion with Ghost. Dany clearly had the most bitter-sweet ending here, but I’m glad the show mirrored her vision in the House of the Undying from series 2. Although she touches the throne, she never actually sits on it. At the same time, I found Daenerys’ death a little lack-lustre for such a main character.
I like the direction the show decided to take the politics of the show to a more democratic leadership role rather than inheriting the now non-existent throne. This to me made sense as this was essentially what Daenerys claimed to be hoping to achieve.
Kit Harrington as Jon Snow
One thing which I believe will anger fans would be the Bran twist, I found this to be confusing and contradicting and I definitely feel there were far better candidates for king or queen. To me, Bran was a bit of an odd choice as he isn’t exactly a warlord and hasn’t been the most helpful in revealing useful information. However, I’m glad that this was not very predictable and therefore made the episode more interesting by taking unexpected turns. I feel that all/most characters had a satisfying or appropriate conclusion to their story.
Overall, I feel that this episode was one of the stronger ones of series 8 (although that's not saying much) and made up for a lot of issues and problematic episodes earlier on. Although the ending was not perfect or as complexly written as the books will be, I think it serves its purpose to a degree.
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Left to Right: Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark