Here we go. After eight seasons and eight years, it’s all over. The fight against the dead and the fight for the Iron Throne are eventually gone, with some major surprise and an even higher amount of disappointment. Yes, disappointment. It is no mystery that #GameOfThrones season 8 has divided the fans in two factions: the ones who liked it, and the ones who didn’t. Objectively, this past season wasn’t the best compared to the previous ones (exception made for season 7, when even if plot holes and fast travels had a huge impact on the quality of it, some mistakes was still forgiven by the most critic fans), and we witnessed to the festival of contradictions; and now it comes, your spoiler alert. If you haven’t watched the season in its entirety, DON’T continue with reading, as there will be spoilers.
Let’s be honest, season 8 will be forever remembered as a teaching of how you don’t make one of the best series ever have its final call. Time management has been completely messed up, and the six episodes format doesn’t seem to have paid off; from sudden ends to plot lines that took years of development, events that are in clear contrast in the span of few episodes, bad script decisions and characters that have been entirely deconstructed. It’s a shame to see such a powerful machine turn rusty and ineffective, moreover if the visual effects, the soundtracks and the directing still stuns the audience with their wonderful beauties; a fact that does nothing else than amplify the delusion within the fans, as it shows the high level of work that has been done on the season. A high level of work that clearly doesn’t reflect on the scripts; but let’s analyse the last episode in its details (I will talk about the season in its whole in another post).
The episode starts exactly where it was left off on episode 5: King’s Landing leveled to the ground by Drogon’s fire and Daenerys towering above the city, lost in her twisted (and nonetheless sudden) madness. The emotion intensity is immediately high as we follow Tyrion into the crypts beneath the Red Keep, where he finds the bodies of Cersei and Jaime, sharing their last hug, together, in death. A scene I liked, that seems to bring back the Tyrion we all used to know, as right after this he abandons his role as Hand of The Queen, just right in front of the Mad Queen and her inexplicable large army (seriously, has anyone noted how many Dothraki were present at the scene? Weren’t they supposed to be all dead, or, at least, most of them, as D&D clearly state in the inside of episode 3?). An act of bravery, nonetheless, especially as he knows what will expect him for betraying his queen (remember Varys, anyone?), not after he alludes that it’s Daenerys herself that betrayed the people and everything she always seemed to believe in.
Then, we are dragged into lame scripting territory, firmly held by the mighty Jon Snow, aka Aegon Targaryen. Jon witnessed the horror that “his queen” delivered to the people: he watched children being burned by dragon fire, women being slaughtered by Daenerys’ soldiers and what? He still believes that “Dany”, as he calls here, can redeem herself by admitting she made a mistake. So Tyrion has to convince him, one last time, and ask him to do the right thing, even though Jon doesn’t seem to really believe that the best thing for the people and for Westeros is to get rid of the umpteenth tyrant of a country that has just seen a queen of the likes of Cersei Lannister.
Deep down Jon knows that he would be the best man to sit on the Iron Throne, but he just “doesn’t want it” (keep that sentence in mind…), and we had to accept that since season 7 Jon lost all of his character strength that made him one of the fans favorite, incapable to see with his own eyes, incapable to think with his own brain. It all leads to final (and fatal) meeting between Jon and Dany, after the former King in the North walks into the Iron Throne hall, walking past Drogon who was asleep just outside to protect the Mother of Dragons. The visuals in this scene are insane: ash (snow…? It’s not clear what it is exactly), grey sky and the room without a ceiling, Jon appearing on the background, behind Daenerys who looks just fine, with no regrets or whatsoever similar. Then, the dialogue between the two, where Jon still tries to make her see that she made a mistake, one last time, on the verge of tears, almost. “Please, Dany”, one more time. Daenerys is gone, there’s no hope at all, so all he can do is to put a knife in her heart and kill her, without saying anything else that “you’ll always be my queen”. We got it Jon, we got it, it’s your season catchphrase, after all. Then, Drogon flies in and after he realises what happened, he start spitting fire against the Iron Throne, for seemingly no reason but just the sake of the cool scene that had to be shot, because it’s the only reason I can find in this nonsense. Then, Drogon grabs Danerys and flies away, just right before the screens turns black.
After the action starts again, we find Tyrion, still in chains, that is taken by Grey Worm to Dragon’s Pit where all the Lords (and Ladies) of the great Westeros houses are waiting for him. Time skip. We don’t know how much time has passed between this scene and the previous one, so they have to tell us that Jon has been captured and imprisoned after killing Daenerys and now the Lords are there to negotiate. Imprisoned, not killed. Why? Why Grey Worm, who was cutting throats of soldiers who had surrendered in the streets, did not kill the man who killed the woman who symbolised the hope of a better life for him, the woman who had freed him? And, moreover, why don’t you show the moment when Jon had been captured to us? It doesn’t make sense, does it? So, we find out that Tyrion had been brought there to talk with the Lords and Ladies to try to move through this political empasse. Tyrion, a prisoner himself, the man who will basically crown the future king of the seven kingdoms (er, six kingdoms, sorry). Everyone is there, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Sam, Davos, Edmure Tully too! Edmure Tully, which is the hero of the most useless, out of place and time and not funny comic scene ever: he stands up, starts to make a list of his skills as leader, just to be shut up by Sansa and while trying to seat back he just clumsily bangs his sword against the chair. Was it necessary? Then Sam comes in and tries to emulate Edmure, by basically proposing a democracy. Result, everyone just laughs at him, and the viewers just don’t know what to think.
How do we break the wheel, then? What is the answer to this question that everyone has been asking to themselves, all these years? Simple: from now on, all the Lords and Ladies of Westeros will choose their ruler. Easy peasy. That was always the solution, a solution that everyone could have come up with at any time, if only it was that simple. So, after Tyrion gives his speech on who’s gonna be the next king, we find out that his choice is… Bran. Bran the Broken. Bran the Three-eyed Raven, the same Bran Stark (“I’m not Brandon Stark) that didn’t want to be Lord of Winterfell. He doesn’t want to be king as well, but… He accepts. And everyone picks him, too. Except Sansa, who just says the North will be independent again, and guess what? She gets what she wants, and nobody seems to care about it. Why Yara remained silent? Wasn’t her goal too, to have the Iron Islands independent (or almost), too? But hey, there is no time for such quarrels, let’s just pretend that they are all good friends, let’s forget about the conflicts they had in the past years. So here we are, with a new king that doesn’t want to be king (Jon? Why not him? Does anyone remember that he is Aegon Targaryen, the rightful heir…? No, huh?), and a hand that doesn’t want to be the hand. Yes, because Bran chooses Tyrion as his Hand of the King, and Grey Worm accepts it because it’s supposed to be his punishment, to spend all of his life fixing his mistakes. A prisoner that chooses the king, and becomes the new hand, after committing treason against the queen he pledged to. What about Jon, the other prisoner? Let’s send him to the Wall, to the Night’s Watch! Does the Night’s Watch have a need to exist now? I mean, there are no more White Walkers and the Wildlings are now fellows of the Northerners. Nope, Jon is destined to the Wall, one more time. Not before one last Stark reunion, with the now Queen in the North, Bran the Broken and Arya new Christopher Columbus with a will to explore the unexplored. Cut.
Next scene we see a meeting of the small council, now composed by new members, with the likes of Sam Tarly as Maester, Brienne of Tarth, Ser Davos and nonetheless that Bronn of the Black Water as Maester of Coin (really? This guy had three scenes in the whole season and pops up in the end as Maester of Coin? Seriously?), and Bran, that shows up just for thirty seconds to mess up with the scripts again, asking news about Drogon, even if he should be able to see where he is by himself and he definitely shouldn’t be asking everyone else in the room. As the camera widens, we have to listen to random conversations about brothels and whores, as nothing ever happened and as if the fans really cared about what was going on in King’s Landing at that stage. Disappointing to say the least. Then, we go back all the way up to the Wall, where Jon reunites with Thormund, the Wildlings and… Ghost (and he even pets him in the head, finally). He reaches Castle Black just to go beyond the Wall again and become the new Mance Ryder, basically. The series starts and ends in the real north, in the lands behind the Wall, the lands that were hosts of the Night King and the army of the dead. Another hint that the real threat, and the real “final boss” should have been them (but I won’t talk about my frustration about it, not now at least)…?
That’s the final episode wrapped up. An episode that was delusional on most aspects but, considering the previous episodes, it wasn’t as disastrous as I thought it was gonna be. Pretty much every character development has been lost (Jaime, what did they do to you?!), but the ending points for some of them are fair, and with a bit more of time to thicken the plot, I am sure it wouldn’t have looked so bad on screen. If we had seen more on Daenerys going mad, if we would have seen more of the love between her and Jon, if we had seen more on Bran’s road to the Throne, would have we hated it so much? #GameofThrones has always been one of the best series in dealing with its characters story-lines and development, basing most of the events on the butterfly effect, where every action has a consequence and that has always been one of the firm foundation of Martin’s works. It is not enough to explain what you really wanted to put on screen on the episodes inside, my dears D&D. This is one of the biggest evidence and guilt admissions of the duo, the constant need to explain what really happens and why. It doesn’t work like that. Not every one watches Game Revealed on YouTube and moreover it only matters what happens on the screen, during the episode. What was the whole point about Jon Snow being a Targaryen? Where did it really lead? Absolutely nowhere. What was the point of building up the battle for the life against the dead for 8 seasons and end everything in a span of a single episode? These and other questions will be forever unanswered, and this season will always be remembered as the stains on what it could have been one of the best series ever, if not THE series. It will be forever a lost chance.