Game Of Thrones Finale - The Writers Have Some Explaining to Do...
All throughout Season 8 of Game of Thrones, it sort of felt like with each episode you were going back to an ex. There were some good times, some truly disappointing times, but it never quite felt the same as before. The conversation ran dry, there was less sex, and time spent with them seemed to stretch on forever.
After the petition to rewrite Game of Thrones reached over one million, it was clear that there was no way that season 8 could have been pulled back around by the ultimate episode for most people. Especially considering that for some of us, all of our favourite characters were dead or ruined beyond salvation at this point.
Regardless, the eagerness hadn’t escaped a lot of people, because the end still came with the promise of answers. There were so many exciting prophecies bouncing around the internet, will Bran warg into a dragon? Has Arya become Death? Is Jon Azor Ahai? Will we get to see Arya use her faces again? But the biggest question which we wanted to be answered was ‘will we finally get the payoff from following Jon Snow’s character so closely’? The answer was of course disappointing.
There was so much that we wanted to all be wrapped up. But the finale acted as somewhat of a whitewash. Banal, but acceptable-ish. For the first half of the episode, it slightly felt like we were just moving through the motions. Dany has to prove she’s completely unreasonable, Tyrion makes an obvious protest on her actions, Jon completely changes his mind after what tries to be an inspirational pep talk and decides to kill Dany. Oh, and Drogon had a concept of what the Throne was.
What was so tragic about the Drogon in mourning scene, was that the Iron Throne had a bigger death scene than Cersei and Jaime. On that subject matter, wasn’t it incredibly convenient that Tyrion was able to find the bodies? We watched that whole ceiling collapse, yet, they were just in the middle of a neat pile of bricks? Of course, the bricks which fell on their skulls didn’t do all too much damage. There were plenty of gaping cavernous plot holes which I could have easily got lost within, but at this point, apathy had all but taken over. I felt as though I was waiting in line for tickets to an event that had already sold out.
Last week there were so many people smugly quoting Ramsey Bolton with “If you think this has a happy ending, then you haven’t been paying attention” at the end of Episode 7 after Dany had burnt most of King’s Landing to a crisp. Those posts haven’t aged well, have they?
With the time jump to the second half of the episode, the writers were spared dealing with the more intricate details of the plot following on from Dany’s aftermath. We didn’t get to see Greyworm’s reaction to the death of Dany, we didn’t see Jon’s capture, we didn’t see how they managed to all come together at the end or where they managed to pull Edmure Tully from; one of the worst characters EVER in Game of Thrones. They were all simply just there, conveniently awaiting trial. Somehow Yara Greyjoy was still backing Dany after she must have seen the destruction that Dany left in her path with her own eyes? Of course, there had to be some loyalists left for Dany to thicken up the plot and create some tension. I’m not sure how we were ever supposed to believe that Greyworm would have ever hung around killing both Jon and Tyrion. Ever since he watched Missandei die, he’s been left with uncontrollable bloodthirst. He would never have given him a fair trial. They made a point of showing us that Greyworm was completely beyond reason with the Lannister soldiers then, they completely backtracked.
The Curve-Ball King of the 6 Kingdoms
That small murmur of tension which we did have when it was still to be decided who would take charge quickly dissipated when Tyrion off-the-cuff suggested Bran Stark. It wasn’t just an unexpected curveball, it was ridiculous. Many people had predicted Bran being King, the betting odds even predicted, before March 2019, Bran sat at less than 7%, then he became the bookies favourite just before the ending of the season. At least we now know to look at betting odds if we want answers to TV series.
Upon Tyrion’s proposal that Bran should be king, Bran proved himself to be one of the most underhanded players in the Game of Thrones. “Why do you think I came all of this way?”. What a great admission that you have had people throw themselves under the Knight King bus for you while you act as Westeros CCTV as the bodies pile around you. Well played Bran. Well played. And everyone thought that Littlefinger was one of the most contrived characters in the show.
I mean, I get it. Tyrion wanted the person who didn’t want power to take the throne… But who else could that have POSSIBLY been?! No, of course it wasn’t one of the most focused on characters in the show. It was a character who was missed out of an entire season – and Season 5 was made better for it. At least Bran finally got what he wanted (even if he had kept it incredibly quiet). And in a way, so did Jon. He’s never wanted power, and I really don’t think that swearing off women will be all too much of an issue for him after the Dany experience, but there was still so much about Jon Snow’ ending that didn’t make sense.
Why did he have to live out the rest of his days at the Night’s Watch if the Unsullied were going to Essos? Why did Greyworm hold any jurisdiction in that situation whatsoever? I’m assuming the collective forces of all of the Noble houses in attendance could have driven away the Unsullied and Dothraki. But at least he’s back at the Night’s Watch with Tormund and Ghost. Tormund’s hinting made it fairly obvious that was going to happen anyway. But why was Tormund part of the Night’s Watch? He wanted his people in the true north! Not amongst the cripples, bastards, and broken things at the Night’s Watch.
Also, can we just spare a thought for Podrick, he’s spent seasons beside Brienne learning how to be a great fighter. Now his main job is to push Bran around in a wheelchair. He’s essentially a porter with a shiny golden suit.
Are They Ever Going to Build a Better World?
It was hard not to get the feeling as you watched the new small council convene at the end of the finale that they all acted like children who had been left at home alone for the first time.
The first questionable choice was Bronn serving as Master of Coin; a man who has only fairly recently learned the concept of borrowing. It doesn’t really fit in with his character, does it? He was a man that wanted to live out the rest of his days with a woman and a castle. He’s got his castle, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of women now happy to join him. So, what is he doing wasting his time as Master of Coin? His comments about needing the brothels to be built were fairly obvious for his character to make. But after making such a point that they were all there to create a better world, we were treated to a view of Bronn who wanted to choose brothels over water sanitation based on a survival of the fittest mentality.
I really hoped that with this final episode that Tyrion would get some of his incredible wit back and prove that he deserves to be in a position of power. But sadly, that moment never came, he may have had the biggest impact on who took the power in the end. But there was no sight of the scheming delightful imp which we came to love since the very start of Season 1. His final words spoken in Game of Thrones were “I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel”. Also, whose bright idea was it to waste valuable viewing time by showing us Tyrion moving chairs around?
Have you noticed that the writers have repeated lines from previous series a fair amount this season? You could argue that using old lines from the earlier series' was for nostalgia and reflection. But you’d probably be wrong. The much more likely explanation is that the writers have no clue on how to make Tyrion sound clever unless it has already come from George RR Martin’s mouth.
How’s that for an anti-climax?
Prequel & Spin-Off Speculation
“Game of Thrones Season 9” is going to be frantically punched into Google a fair amount of times following on from the end of season 8. The writers left the ending to Game of Thrones incredibly open, setting the expectation that there is the possibility for more to come. But I wouldn’t hold your breath given that you’ve already wasted a fair amount of time investing in a series which has been incredibly disappointing. Anyone who has nerded out and invested time watching fan theory videos will be sorely deflated at this point. YouTube channels such as Emergency Awesome give us some of the best Game of Thrones theories – they would have done a much better job of cooking up the ending.
In many years down the line we may be re-introduced to much older characters, yet, for now, it's the prequel, Blood Mood, in the pipeline. There are multiple writers all having a go at giving the prequel, and a few actresses and actors lined up for the main cast including Naomi Watts along with plenty of other up and coming actors. With a predicted air date of 2021, it’s probably best you don’t spend too much time speculating on it. The prequel is also unlikely to answer any burning questions we may have about seasons 1 to 8, and even more devastatingly, GRRM will have very little to do with how the prequel pans out!