‘Game of Thrones’ Turns Around Dire Critical Prospects for a Fitting, Surprisingly Sappy & Bittersweet Series Finale

Unrelated: Is it odd that Arya Stark & Tyrion Lannister/ Night King Killer & King’s Hand/ The Anti & Rejected Royalty never meet?

The Bells” may have been the worst episode of the series in the worst season, but “The Iron Throne” or “A Time of Spring” as it should be called was as good of a finale, particularly with its committedly downtrodden first act as fans could hope for. A few foolish things: a winking reference to A Song of Ice and Fire, House Lords conflict-free resolution, Jon Snow petting Ghost it all felt like serviceable Fan Fiction. But the show checked all the boxes, had decent pacing lacking in previous episodes with more of the recent stunning highmark photography, it’s hard to complain. If any blame can be assigned it’s with the corporate greed that might have driven its creators to seek out other assignments rather than finishing their first, but corporate greed is also what bore this show.

It is nice to see they actually saved the budget well for the finale, managing its running time and resources well making for some stunning shots. Any shot of Drogon seen, particulary this doozy below in its obvious imagery, is showy and unsubtle, but there’s no yielding its power. Among others the closeup of Tyrion’s face as he awakens in chains. The overhead of him looking upon his siblings grave of rubble. The sheer scale of the finale was expertly managed. There will always be a question of how much the creators dropped the ball compared to earlier seasons, but its gracenotes still carry some power.

There was enough unpredictability while still making sense of what’s left of Westeros. The actors as they have been all season gave it their all. Despite the major death of the series [Not the writing] handled in the best way possible, it felt oddly bland. The somewhat cheery denouement had an antithetical why-not assurance to it. Everyone except Gilly (who cares eh-Sam?) got their moment, with a few bringing lighthearted-ness to the affair. Did I love it? No. But I really like and have accepted it. I have written more Game of Thrones content on this site than I have for anything else. Particularly impressive when the site is called FilmGamer and this show is technically neither. If that doesn’t adequately contain my love for this series than I don’t know what does. [Maybe me writing unused Bar Trivia questions and keeping them for years until someone else needed them.]

I recall first getting into this series. I planted myself on a couch on November 1st 2012 for a week of bingeing nothing but the first two seasons and 3 Kilograms of Halloween candy I had bought on sale. Later my father sat through five seasons in the den one month of Summer 2016. He said: “It makes you feel spoiled” [for what you’re getting.] There was nothing like Game of Thrones but I don’t doubt something like it will come in the future. After all it premiered the same year the Harry Potter series ended. It was definitely worth the HBO subscription. How fans favour the finale may differ from writer/ director/ creators David Benioff & Dan Weiss’ hopes: but I’m satisfied. On to the next great adventure.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So here you are. The final season. How is it? Are you happy?
DAVID BENIOFF: It’s still too early to say.
DAN WEISS: It could end up being a complete mess.

With serialized shows, there is so much pressure on the finale. People’s opinion of the last episode can color how they feel about the whole series. How important is it to you that final episode sticks the landing?
WEISS: We want people to love it. It matters a lot to us. We’ve spent 11 years doing this. We also know no matter what we do, even if it’s the optimal version, that a certain number of people will hate the best of all possible versions. There is no version where everybody says, “I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this” — that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. You hope you’re doing the best job you can, that this version works better than any other version, but you know somebody is not going to like it. I’ve been that person with other things, where people are loving something and I’m going, “Yeah, that’s okay. I was hoping for more.” I’m hoping we get the Breaking Bad [finale] argument where it’s like, “Is that an A or an A+?” I want that to be the argument. I just wish we found better directors for it.
BENIOFF: From the beginning, we’ve talked about how the show would end. A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending. Of course we worry. It’s also part of the fun of any show that people love arguing about it. I loved the way David Chase ended The Sopranos [with its surprising cut to black]. I was one of those people who thought my TV had gone out. I got up and was checking the wires, unable to believe my cable had gone out in the most important moment of my favorite TV series. I think that was the best of all possible endings for that show. But a lot of people hated it. I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments with people about why that was a great ending, but people felt legitimately cheated and that’s their right to feel that way, just as it’s my right to feel like they’re idiots.

HBO would have been happy for the show to keep going, to have more episodes in the final season. We always believed it was about 73 hours, and it will be roughly that. As much as they wanted more, they understood that this is where the story ends.

When the final episode airs, do you have any specific plans for what you’ll be doing?

 I plan to be very drunk and very far from the internet.

The Legacy of Game of Thrones: “Ask me again in ten years.” Just Kidding. It’s a comedown I fairly expected. Why the show doesn’t do a sequel Winds of Winter I don’t know. The fans demand more. I am satisfied.


  • Who will be the breakout actor? Dinklage, Daenerys, Aquaman, that Ed Sheeran guy?
  • I can’t believe Greyworm survived the Game of Thrones Deadpool. Good for that actor, I’m sure he was surprised given his character’s severe lack of emotional depth.
  • I thought Bran couldn’t be anything but the Three-Eyed Raven? Psych.
  • Bronn got highgarden, Grand Maester Sam somehow isn’t required to be a part of The Nights Watch. And now my watch has ended.
  • Looking Forward: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix, Stranger Things 3, Watchmen, His Dark Materials, & The Last of Us: Part II

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