One of my favorite TV shows of all-time just ended its 8 season run on HBO, GAME OF THRONES which was based on the books by George R.R. Martin, “A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE”. I haven’t read the books yet but I plan to do so someday. He plans to write two more books to conclude the series which he started in 1991 but it’s been 8 years since the last book as of 2019 and he’s about 70 years old now so it’s not looking good. He’s a notoriously slow writer but not that slow. He’s just been doing everything but working on completing this series. He’s shared all of the amazing things going on in his life like other book projects and many prequels and a concordance and so many interviews and events. I don’t blame him for reaping all of the spoils of his success–I would do the same thing. However, at some point, he really needed to step back and make a commitment to finish the book series at the very least before the TV series ended. Now his fans are waiting for two more books and the TV show is done.
I have to admit that I was not happy with the last season of the show which was only 6 episodes and it needed to be 10 at the very least. It felt very rushed and the decisions made were not popular with the fans at all.
Unlike most of the disappointed fans of the final season, I will not condemn the entire series because of the poor way that it ended. You cannot erase all of the wonderful emotions that the show brought me for 7 years. I tweeted that “it’s about the journey, not the destination” which means we should still appreciate and respect all of the good that we enjoyed along the time instead of judging everything based on how it concluded.
However, I will agree that the ending of the story does impact the overall enjoyment and quality of the whole story so the bad exit does impact the total judgement of the series. Still, it was an amazing achievement in TV history. The acting and the production quality were incredible.
The Finale (Spoiler Alert!)
I’ll begin with the finale and then work backwards from there. Since it’s still fresh in my mind and emotions, I would like to explain what went wrong with the series ending first.
First, Bran was a terrible choice for King for so many reasons. He’s not even Bran–as he has told everyone for years. He’s a three-eyed Raven. Second, he has withheld so much information just to wind up on the throne which meant the deaths of countless innocent people including the whole population of King’s Landing.
I’m still pissed about how he didn’t choose to save Theon when he could’ve easily. He knew Arya was closing in so all he had to do was tell Theon to stall the NightKing a little bit and just avoid getting killed. But no, he tells Theon he’s a good man so he can die a heroic death. Thanks Bran.
While it was nice to see Arya make the big kill of the NightKing, it really should have been Jon Snow which was hinted at for many years. Sure, I know about diverting expectations but it just didn’t make any sense. Jon should’ve battled the NightKing and ultimately defeat him.
Arya’s big kill should’ve been Cersi which was also hinted at for many years. She was on her kill list, for God’s sake! Another storyline destroyed.
I did enjoy the battle between brothers, the Mountain vs the Hound. It was an epic fight and I guess they had to kill them both but I would’ve loved seeing the Hound win. Whatever.
The meeting of all the leaders to decide who becomes king was stupid. Some didn’t belong there at all. Why was the prisoner, Tyrion, given so much authority and say so over who becomes king anyway? He’s lucky to be alive after the ridiculous suicidal move he made in front of Daenery’s army. In reality, he would’ve been beheaded on the spot.
Tyrion’s reasons for making Bran the Broken the king of the Kingdoms? He had the best story? No way. Jon who rose from the dead and rode a bloody dragon and saved the world from the dead has the best story.
Then Bran admits it’s why he came all this way which confirms that he withheld lots of information that killed perhaps over a million people just so he could become king.
Then it gets worse. The new king’s own sister rebels instantly and removes her domain from the seven kingdoms so she can have her Queen moment. Again, this was a modern day politically correct feminist decision that had no basis in reality. No freaking way it would happen in real life. The showrunners just wanted a woman to have a crowning moment but not for the whole seven kingdoms (which I would’ve respected more) but for one tiny part of it. Gutless move in hindsight. By the way, the other realms should’ve protested and sought independence as well.
The final insult to injury for loyal fans of the show was how they disrespected Jon Snow. Not only didn’t he become King, but they punished him and sent him to the wall? Then the sisters were so cold and callous when he left them. At least we got a nice moment with Jon and Snow (thanks to footage from season four of course).
My favorite character was Jon Snow. Hand’s down. I always liked him. It was so painful seeing him get killed but so satisfying to see him come back to life. I loved his relationship with Ygritte. It was also painful seeing her die in his arms–much like Daenerys would many years later.
I also loved Theon but it was very difficult to like him early on and especially when he became Reek. However, he had the best character arc of all the characters if you think about it. He was so heroic at the end and saved the world by protecting Bran until Arya got there.
I think Bran could’ve saved him but he didn’t. Instead, he encouraged Theon to rush at the NightKing to his death.
I’ve always loved Daenerys ever since her rise from terrible origins with her tyrant brother who got what he deserved. She became a hero and the breaker of chains which was so exciting. This is when her legend grew with the fans. Many fans named their daughters after her. Boy, were they shocked and angry with how her story ended so abruptly in season 8.
Author George R.R. Martin has admitted that Tyrion is his favorite character in his book series for the Song of Ice and Fire. I actually would not have been shocked if he wound up on the Iron Throne but he got the next best thing, literally–as the hand of the king Bran.
No one had a more amazing character arc than Jaimie who started off as a villain as the King Slayer who pushed little Bran out the window and crippling him. He also got into a relationship with his own sister, Cersi! Then ever so slowly, he began to change and grow over time. Year after year I found myself liking him more and more. He suffered so much, even losing his hand and faced certain death several times.
He made heroic decisions time and again. He even left his sister the Queen when she seemed to lose her mind and he fought to defend Winterfell. He also defended Brienne who saved his life years later when Daenerys asked if anyone could justify not killing Jaimie who killed her father the Mad King.
In one of the best scenes of the whole series, Jaimie knighted Brienne in an emotional moment before their epic battle with the dead. She became Ser Brienne, a knight of the 7 kingdoms.
My complaint with how they concluded Jaimie’s character arc is that it just didn’t make sense. After all he went through, after all the growth and after the experience of being with Brienne, why would he decide to run back to his sister and die with her? It imploded all of the good things he did for so many years. Sorry. Not buying it.
Brienne of Tarth
I liked Brienne’s story and just like Jaimie, I didn’t like how they ended her character arc. She was always a strong character who only got stronger as she learned to believe in herself.
First, she honored her promise to Caitlin Stark and protected Sansa all the way home. Second, she got to know Jaimie really well and fell for him. It took years to get their but they finally got together but then he left her in the morning to be with his evil sister. I didn’t like how Brienne handled it. She should’ve been mad at him and told him that he was a fool. Instead, she cried and then wrote kind things about him in the history book.
By the way, I thought they should’ve shown a new page in that book with her entry as a new knight. That would’ve been great. I made a mock up of what it would look like and shared it on twitter.
Here’s what I predict regarding the ending of the book series. I’ve not heard or read this theory anywhere else so I could be the only idiot who thinks this way.
I find it hard to believe that the author George R.R. Martin would allow the TV show to reveal the true ending of his epic multi-decade book series. I believe that his final two books will continue where the TV show leaves off. Remember that I am writing this in 2019 soon after the TV series ended.
I think Jon Snow and Daenerys are not done yet. She will return from the dead like Jon did. Let’s see how it really ends after that. 🙂