It’s been three whole years and a global pandemic but I still haven’t forgotten. For those of you who witnessed this travesty unfold, you surely already know what I’m talking about. And for those of you who don’t… well I’ll just go ahead and admit that I’m talking about the final season of Game of Thrones. Why am I talking about Game of Thrones now, you ask? Hasn’t enough time passed already, you say? Is it just because of the new prequel series set to release? Nope.
I’m simply still mad. And I’m mad today — because today marks the three year anniversary of that notorious finale. It marks the three year anniversary of when David Benioff and D.B. Weiss put the final nail into the coffin of what was one of the greatest cinematic achievements of the century so far. In fact, there were very few areas in which Game of Thrones didn’t excel. Its writing was absolutely groundbreaking. The sets their team built created the illusion of a truly lived in world. There were profound mysteries within the world of Westeros that appeared as though they would take years to unravel. There were different cultures that centered around different geographic regions, each with its own sets of values and religious beliefs. It was a world that had an intricate history, and an interesting enough one to compel fans to learn it. By the time its finale aired, I’m pretty sure I was more proficient in the history of Westeros than in that of my own country. It was a colossal commitment.
The world of Westeros was awe-inspiring. It felt like a world that could survive just about anything — surely a few bad writers. But I was wrong. It took six episodes to squander absolutely everything. They took a deep, timeless, cultured and expansive world and cheapened it to the point of a mid-tier Marvel movie. The sense of stakes that had defined the show up until its seventh season walked out the door and kickstarted a spiral into cheapened Hollywood sensationalism. By the eighth season, the show had given up on just about all of its most defining features. Action movie tropes began to take front stage. Meticulously crafted plots were replaced by cheesy cliffhangers. Shamelessly manufactured duels between characters were added as cheap displays of fan-service. And there were far too many instances of protagonists overcoming comically impossible odds. (I get that Arya is tough and all, but singlehandedly taking out the night king??) Not one single important character died in the climactic battle the show spent almost an entire decade building up?? My head’s still shaking.
There are simply too many holes to count. I’d try to go through and examine each of them one by one, but at the risk of sounding just a little too nerdy, or worse, forcing you to relive them as well, I’ll spare you the details. No one should have to live through that again! The eighth season of Game of Thrones may go down in infamy but there will always be those of us who remember what was — who fantasize about what could have been. The memory of Game of Thrones Seasons (1–6) still live on in our hearts and in our minds. “The North remembers.”