Game of Thrones: Some Final Thoughts and Questions…

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Spoiler Alerts

It was only this past March that I started binge-watching Game of Thrones in preparation for the launch of Season 8. My hat goes off to the legion of fans who tenaciously worked their way through the show over the better part of a decade. I don’t think I would have weathered all the waiting in-between. The good thing is that all the story and character arcs were still fresh in my mind as the series wound down.

That being said, I was able to buy into many of the developments that most fans seemed to hate. Yes, Daenerys went bad all of a sudden in reaction to the brutal loss of people closest to her, but the seeds of her destructive nature took root little by little over many years. She was the daughter of an insane king and as they say, the apple falls close to the base of its tree, just as Jon reflected the benevolent nature of who his father truly was.

I think Cersei’s death was metaphorically satisfying with the weight of her transgressions raining down on her. It also saved any other character from being labeled a baby killer. I can even buy Jaime holding true to his warped sense of love and going against all the years’ worth of hard earned redemption. People do that sort of thing, it’s human nature.

A couple of the things I had hoped to see in the end were the knowledge of Jon’s true identity becoming common knowledge. Who was Varys sending those letters to? Had all the other kingdoms’ representatives understood Jon had the clearest claim to the throne (Gendry Baratheon notwithstanding), it might have ended differently? And then there is “Chekov’s Gun” principle. Why did they concentrate on Varys removing his rings and placing them in a cup, what was that all about?

I have to concur with so many fans in my disappointment that Bran became king of the now six kingdoms. Brava to Sansa for withholding her consent to remain part of the larger realm. The thing is, I don’t see how Bran as a character earned the right to be elected. To my mind, Tyrion would have been the correct choice. The roles should have been reversed. Bran would have made an excellent hand given his vast knowledge of the past and his ability to warg his way into seeing what everyone else was up to. Also, I think the collective voices voted in the affirmative for Bran way too easily – most of the time, these people can’t agree what day of the week it is.

It was difficult to swallow Jon’s banishment to Castle Black. What purpose does the Night’s Watch even have at this point? Surely they could have found a better way to deal with him. Regardless of his true parentage, Ned Stark’s sense of honor shines through Jon and you would hope he might pass that along to his own children. Jon did the world a favor and is being punished for it, why, because a newly insane leader of the unsullied needs justice? Grey Worm’s uncompromising devotion to follow madness, up to and including slitting the throats of prisoners, should deny him the right to call for anyone else to pay a price.

And Drogon, how do you not love that beast? I had hoped in some way the one remaining dragon and Jon would develop a relationship in the end. They’re first cousins after all. I know Jon killed his mother, but I think Drogon understood. It’s why he melted the Iron Throne and left Jon uncrispy.

Regardless of the pitfalls faced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in concluding this body of work, I must applaud them for creating the stunning visual representation of George R.R. Martin’s incredible stories. As a writer of fantasy, I am inspired and further educated in the art of good storytelling. Yes, there are areas that might have been better written. I think HBO should have allowed for a couple more episodes to flesh out the events taking place in the final season. Looking back, however, we have 73 episodes of jaw-dropping production quality and sublime acting from one of the largest casts of any show in the history of television. I’m pretty sure I’ll never see anything quite like this again.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Game of Thrones: Some Final Thoughts and Questions…

  1. HBO hacked up the book, mostly by killing 30% more 2ndary & tertiary characters than GRRM did…rush job, last 3 seasons shoulda been 10 eps like the 1st 5, but the new millionaires all wanted to spend their $. Cancell HBOs cynical plot devices & bootlegg any future HBO hit shows

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  2. I agree with the majority of your blog. As one of those people who watched from the beginning, the main issue I had with this season is that it felt rushed. Most of my theories came to fruition, though I disagree with Jaime’s motivation to return to Cersie (not that he returned) given his redeption arc as well as the reason Jon returned to the Nights Watch. I felt that he would kill Dany and exile himself. It was infuriating that Grey Worm who became more like a terrorist dictated Jon’s fate. While I too would have preferred Tyrion on the throne, Bran does make sense the writers just did not set it up correctly. Overall a very satisfying ending to a wonderful show.

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  3. Gary I agree with much of what you said. The Finale did not connect the dots. And Bran as the new leader just doesn’t make sense. He was a rather bland character who exhibited intellectual traits but not necessarily leadership skills. And Jon’s and Arya’s stories were much more dynamic than Bran’s.

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    1. Yes they did. I was happy with Arya’s ending for the most part as she became one of my two favorite characters early in the series (Tyrion being the other). With Jon, there was so much narrative given to Sam, Bran, and Varys dealing with the secret of Jon’s true birth that really all came to nothing by the last episode. I think Jon was too nice to be the King of the amassed kingdoms, but Bran wasn’t a good choice either. Other than Sansa, who hated the South, Tyrion had the most direct experience in dealing with politics and the realities of governing.

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