“There’s nothing in this world more powerful than a good story”
Here we are, at the finish line of an 8 year race to the Iron Throne and what do we think about the blood, sweat and tears we have expelled throughout the years? Fruitless, Uneventful and Disappointing.
Game of Thrones strikes again with another technical mishap in the final episode simply titled, The Iron Throne (how creative). Fans were quick to point out during the 80 minute runtime that there were several mineral bottles hidden near the chairs of the lords and ladies of the seven kingdoms during their counsel.
It baffles me and renders me speechless how a show that is so beloved and almost immaculate could screw up in such ridiculous proportions during its final season. I mean, even in smaller productions these mistakes are avoided so how can a crew of 703 and 257 cast members overlook this? To make matters worse, the other fails (coffee cup and magic hand) solidifies that the creators of Game of Thrones were eager to get it over with so they could move on to other projects (i.e Star Wars) and yes, I’m looking at you Benioff and Weiss…
However, the infuriating goofs can be forgiven if the plot was distracting enough to stray our eyes away from Starbucks cups and mineral bottles but it seems like the writers of the final season couldn’t even do us that justice. Without further ado, I will be discussing plot points of Game of Thrones Season 8 that grinds my gears.
1. Too little, too late… (not to be confused with Jojo’s 2006 hit single)
Fans have been awaiting the numerous potential opportunities that can be brought to light with Jon Snow’s newly discovered Targaryen heritage. After we found out that the Stark bastard was actually a Targaryen, making him the rightful heir to the throne, we were naturally excited to see where the writers would take our favourite, brooding war hero in the final season but instead of giving us any redemption arc whatsoever, we got a bumbling and unsure Jon whose only lines were “I don’t know” and “Bbbut she’s my queen!”
jon snow waking up in cold sweat at night: you’re my queen
— ellie (@odairannies) May 15, 2019
To top things off, we never really witnessed how Jon’s Targaryen blood could alter the fight for the Iron Throne because all he did was bend the knee and kiss his aunt/Khaleesi while frolicking on dragons… Melisandre brought him back from the dead for this shit? The disrespect…
At least show us a scene where one of the dragons breathe fire on Jon Snow in order to prove his Targaryen lineage but nahh, that would be too exciting for Benioff and Weiss. So, in conclusion, that whole Targaryen arc was fruitless and boring in the end. Yeepee!
Sighs, Ygritte was right all along when she said,
Another powerhouse character who seemingly fell short in the Season finale was surprisingly Arya. Now, before you light your pitchforks and plant Wildfire in my home, let me explain.
In season 6, we were graciously given incredible training sequences of Arya becoming No One or a Faceless Man. What this essentially means is that Arya can adopt the face of anyone she desires, making it easier for her to cross all the names on her Wanted list. This weapon, coupled with her already masterful swordplay makes Arya one of the deadliest people in Westeros.
— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) May 18, 2019
All of this sounds dope, huh? It would’ve been cool to see this in action during the final season, right? Well too bad! Benioff and Weiss basically said, “Screw you” and now we have a diluted version of the most badass Stark.
Known for never straying away from revenge, it was uncharacteristic of her to follow The Hound all the way to King’s Landing only to be persuaded to leave with only a few motivational Pinterest quotes about choosing to live. She was at the capital and Cersei, her ultimate bounty, was right at her fingertips yet, she chose to bounce? Not my Arya! Especially not after she single-handedly killed the Night King (which we will discuss later). Make it make sense, Benioff and Weiss!
— iiRavenii🐉 (@RaveniiIi) May 13, 2019
Not only did they butcher Jon Snow into becoming a love-crazed teenager but they had to insert that ridiculous proposal between Gendry and Arya too? I’m done. It’s perplexing how this season has too little substance when it’s on its last legs!
2. The Night King was easier to kill than the fly in my kitchen
I will admit, the cinematography and choreography of The Battle At Winterfell (episode 3) was something other productions could only dream of achieving, making it one of the most beautiful and tactical battles in television history. In full disclosure, the same can be said about all the episodes of Season 8, especially The Bells (episode 5) and The Iron Throne (episode 6), which were bursting with scenic shots and clever visual imagery.
All in all, kudos to the visual team over at GoT headquarters but now, I need to have a word with the writers.
How in the Lord of Light’s name is The Night King, an antagonist that the show’s creators have been hyping up since he was first introduced in Season 4, easier to kill than a mere mortal such as The Mountain (Gregor Clegane)? After seasons upon seasons of building tension between this ice cold killa and Jon Snow, they don’t even have a tiny little tiff at the Battle of Winterfell? Not even a quick quarrel? Really?
Instead, we get Arya who jumps from a mysterious portal somewhere with a knife and stabs The Night King into oblivion hence obliterating his army of the dead simultaneously. And that’s the end of that. Don’t even get me started on how Bran a.k.a three-eyed raven a.k.a glorified extra just sits there with his eyes rolled back into his skull, not doing a damn thing. When the deed has been done, he comes back and smiles as if he did anything to help at all. The audacity of men sometimes!
I am fully aware that Arya killing the Night King was a prophecy from Melisandre back in Season 3 and I have no issue with her fulfilling that prophecy. In fact, I rejoiced seeing that Valyrian knife plunge deep into Mr. Cool As Ice at the hands of Arya because she is the most badass character of the entire show and deserves to shine. However, with a capital H, the execution and build-up to that moment could have been better and not so out-of-left-field. The ending of The Night King just left myself and thousands of fans speechless and wanting for more. It seemed like an afterthought which disrespects the viewers who have been waiting 8 years to see an epic battle between the leaders of both Ice and Fire.
But that’s all in the past and I guess the only way to relive that memory is if you’re the omniscient Bran Stark… or if you just rewatch the series which I don’t think anyone will at this point.
3. Game of Throw away all that character development out the window!
As per my previous article, I briefly touched upon the frivolity of all that good ol’ character development that has spanned throughout the 7- I mean 8- seasons…
From Jaime’s sudden turn against Brienne in favour of Cersei in the eleventh hour to of course, Queen Danny’s snap in The Bells, it seems to me that Benioff and Weiss scraped all the hard work that was carefully crafted by George R.R Martin only to give us a cliche plot twist where lookee here, nobody truly grows out of their old ways because we’re pessimists and evil is evil no matter how much they try to run away from it. A great message to the audience, truly. I’ll display that right next to the message that evil always prevails and we might as well wait helplessly until death embraces us.
— Michelle Aldridge (@gingerlymyself) May 20, 2019
It sucks to see a character ardently rebel against their evil ways in order to become a better, more virtuous person relapse in a split second without a single warning. After Jaime’s courting ritual (I actually mean sex but I’m a nerd so I’ll refer to it as that) with the beautiful and newly knighted Ser Brienne of Tarth, he apparently practices the popular ‘hit it and quit it’ act and leaves without even telling the person he slept with. Nice one, lad. Jaime has one arm but he also apparently has one braincell.
Finally, we reach Daenarys Targaryen’s character development and how it was brutally murdered (no pun intended). Yes, we are going to discuss how The Mad Queen was something we all saw coming but were disappointed by when it happened.
Sometimes with a story, it doesn’t matter much on the destination but more so the journey and the journey to Danny’s madness was sloppy, rushed and poorly executed.
Daenarys has always been compassionate which was proven by her liberating slaves and helping those who needed a true leader. Of course, to get her way, she had to murder those who stood in her path but 9 times out of 10, her actions were just and the people she killed deserved it. But in episode 5 titled, The Bells, the Khaleesi, the Mhysa, not only murdered soldiers who have blatantly surrendered but she also massacred an entire city filled with innocent men, women and children.
This decision was explained by the writers as a result of her brewing madness that was caused by the beheading of her best friend Missandei and the loss of her trusted protecter Jorah Mormont. To make matters worse, the person she loves, Jon Snow, has suddenly revealed to her that he is the true heir to the throne since he is a Targaryen (and her nephew, gross but okay) which makes him a liable threat to her destiny.
That’s fine and I can completely see how that has an effect on her sanity but it still does not justify Danny’s slaughter by dragon’s fire on all the habitants of King’s Landing. This decision is made especially unwarranted when you can see Cersei watching in the Red’s Keep, completely unscathed. Why? Why murder hundreds of people with your dragon but leave your true enemy and obstacle untouched by your wrath? It it because Jon refused to give you the D that one time?
Keep in mind, this is coming from a person who preaches to deliver a new, good world bereft of tyranny. She wishes to ‘break the wheel’ yet she continues her father’s Mad King legacy. Instead of ruling for the people, she even states in the finale that the people “Don’t get to choose”.
Since Season 1, we have been rooting for the Khaleesi to make a name for herself, to prove the seven kingdoms wrong on the Targaryen tyranny but alas, all that character development and powerful portrayal from actress, Emilia Clarke, has gone to waste when Queen Daenarys Targaryen met her end with a tiny knife and a stab to the heart, mimicking her father’s, Aerys Targaryen, death.
In short, why watch the ending if it’s exactly, beat-for-beat, like the beginning? Nevertheless, let’s reminisce on better times where the Khaleesi was good and right.
Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen.
First of Her Name.
Queen of the Andals and the First Men.
Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea.
Breaker of Chains.
Mother of Dragons.
— Complex (@Complex) May 20, 2019
One second from every episode of Game of Thrones. pic.twitter.com/rFz2CFLwBx
— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) May 20, 2019
To conclude, this article is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the things fans found unsatisfactory with the show’s ending. The main complaint and general consensus is that the finale was rushed and felt incomplete with many plot holes still unresolved. It teases spinoffs with Arya’s venture west of Westeros and Bran’s new reign but are we willing to forgive them for butchering the series that started it all? Time will tell but until then…
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Also, if you want a laugh after crying your eyes out due to frustration, have a look at this list of questions fans have after watching the final episode. The Qs range from “What happened to that white horse that saved Arya in episode 5?” to “Who was braiding Danny’s hair after Missandei died?”