Even if you’ve managed to avoid watching a single episode of Game of Thrones in the eight years it ran, you probably know that the recent final season left many fans more than a little disappointed.
Fans of the show are notoriously passionate and not at all afraid of holding back their opinions. I even had a guy from Tinder unmatch with me after I said I didn’t think Season 8 was that bad.
But are fans justified in their anger over the final season? Or are they just control freaks?
The six-episode eighth season seemed destined to bring a resolution to the biggest conflicts in the show: the battle against the Army of the Dead (i.e. White Walkers) and a fight for the Iron Throne.
Screenwriters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (D&D) were faced with the challenge of writing a season comprised mostly of original content, rather than the novel-to-screen adaption they’d done in most of the other seasons. They were armed with a combination of their own imagination and some material revealed to them by notoriously slow author George R. R. Martin.
So, if you felt like the show lost its footing a little bit in later seasons, D&D didn’t have entire (very long) books to adapt from. This led to various plot lines not getting properly fleshed out in what felt like a rather rushed season.
Most notably, the long-anticipated R+L=J storyline that revealed Jon to be the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (and therefore a threat to Dany’s claim for the throne) was a little underwhelming and largely inconsequential. Jon, being Jon, did what he felt like was the right thing and told Daenerys and his sisters the truth which led to, well… nothing?
Other than fuelling Daenerys’ insecurity over her ability to rule – and justifying Sansa’s preference for Jon’s rule – it ended up being fairly redundant.
Fans were mad about more than just this though. Complaints included the way the Battle of Winterfell was planned, how the Night King was killed, Bran being generally weird and creepy, Arya’s apparent lack of theatrical killings (because her practically flying in to kill the Night King wasn’t good enough), Missandei’s death, Daenerys’ war crimes, Jaime’s arc, the death of Cersei, and that whole final episode, basically.
Oh, and the Starbucks coffee cup – can’t forget that!