Game of Thrones: how it ends. Was it worth it after all?
Was the ending a good closure to 8 years of the building up of this fantastic Universe?
The fan community of Game of Thrones is divided. The controversy on the creative decisions made by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff on the two last seasons of the biggest TV show of the decade has had the Internet and Social Networks on fire for the last 8 weeks and now everything is over. The show has ended. So, was it worth it after all? Did eight seasons of building up the political conflict come to a good ending? And, what now?
Game of Thrones is the biggest show of the decade. I don’t think that is arguable. Of course there was also Breaking Bad, but it was much less popular because it wasn’t for everyone. Millions of people have been captivated by the complicated, cruel and surprising political medieval fantasy plots developed by George R.R. Martin in his books, and if they had a quality that defines the story, it is this one: well written. The characters are well built, realistic and honest to their nature. And they are the main and most important thing of the saga, as it has been clearly proven (the wrong way) on the last season. They have motivations and contradictions.
Throughout seasons 1 to 6, what kept us addicted to the show was that it felt completely unpredictable. The characters weren’t stereotypical at all, they were imperfect and chaotic sometimes, but solid and interesting. That is not how it has ended. And fans aren’t happy about it. Proof of it, is the petition created on Change.org , that has collected more than 1.2 million signatures demanding a competent remake of season 8.
But you probably already know about this. So, what happened on the series finale?
After the destruction of King’s Landing, Daenerys emerges as a dictator. Not a queen, a dictator, and the visual design of the first nineteen minutes of the episode are clearly intended to create this narrative. The color, the stairs, the display of the Unsullied and the Dothraki, the triumphal arriving to the top of the ruined fortress, but mostly the powerless look on Jon, Aria and Tyrion’s eyes. There are clearly two bands: the good guys (The Starks, Jon and Tyrion) and the bad guys (Danaerys, the Dothraky, and Grey Worm and the Unsullied). Jon tries to justify the Queen’s acts because he’s so loyal, that he’s become dumb, but the moral polarization is obvious. This depiction of morality as black or white didn’t used to be a thing in GoT. Before season 8, the characters had a moral background, but their acts were mostly justified by survival instinct and the anticipation of the consequences of their acts. I mean, if they didn’t kill their enemies, it was only because by doing it they would gain other enemies and therefore they were always meticulous with their actions. That is long gone now.
The oversimplification of the decisions they make and the lack of consequences that their actions have on the universe is evidence of a rushed closing to the series. The acting is plain and superficial. It isn’t that the plot is bad, in fact, it is incredibly fresh and innovative and D.B. Weiss, David Benioff and George R.R. Martin have achieved a milestone in the history of television. It’s only that the narration and development of events are accelerated, anticlimatic and not well justified. The massive technical effort and the 90 million dollars they have put into season 8 feel like they haven’t been matched in quality by the script, and it feels like such a waste, such a missed opportunity.
So Jon kills Daenerys, the dragon destroys the Iron Throne and the remaining Lords of the Seven Kingdoms are summoned to elect a new King. The sequences pass by as literal descriptions of what the development of the story should be, the characters narrate it instead of living it, and it doesn’t feel organic. If feels superficial and incredibly rushed. The council elects Bran as the new King, following Tyrion’s reasoning, and Sansa decides unopposedly to rule Winterfell as an independent Kingdom. Jon Snow, on the other hand, is forced to remain on the Night’s Watch (despite the fact the White Walkers have been defeated) in order to have peace with Grey Worm, now Commander of Daenerys’ forces, who wants to kill him for assasinating his queen.
No, Bran’s character isn’t developed enough to become King. They all accept it because of reasons. Grey Worm, whose only motivation is to kill Jon Snow and Tyrion, just accepts not to do it because of… reasons. Aria, who has been given a major role this season, hasn’t actually done anything since episode 3. Sam is ridiculized for proposing a democracy, as well as Edmure Tully. Bronn becomes the Master of Coin despite all he’s ever done is in his own interest. And now the show is telling us that all of this is how it was meant to be because Bran saw it in one of his visions. It doesn’t hold together. Not without further development.
Now, was it worth it? Did this bad ending sacrifice 8 years of development? For me, and this is completely personal, because I’ve talked to other people that are happy with the way it ends, the 8th season destroys the essence of the series and If they asked me, I would redo it, no doubt. But it was completely worth it because I’ve spent 8 amazing weeks discussing the series, listening to other people passionately explaining their theories and it has been a fascinating process. I don’t regret a single minute of the time I’ve invested in the show and I’ve enjoyed it a lot as a social event. And the music by Ramin Djawadi is an absolute masterpiece, the visual effects are astonishing and the production design is massive and beautiful. And, despite all its flaws, this series has changed television forever.
So, what’s next? Well, they haven’t waited long to announce a sequel to Game Of Thrones that has already begun filming in Ireland. (watch here) And if you want another show to get addicted to in the meantime, let me suggest Barry, also on HBO, one of my favourite shows right now.
user rating : 5.00 stars (2 votes)