‘Game of Thrones flatlined when it could have soared.’ Readers react to final episode

‘I never before set my alarm for 2am to watch a TV programme, and I never will again’

Fans watch HBO’s Game of Thrones series finale at a viewing party at Brennan’s bar in Marina del Rey, California. Photograph:  Robyn Beck / AFP

Fans watch HBO’s Game of Thrones series finale at a viewing party at Brennan’s bar in Marina del Rey, California. Photograph: Robyn Beck / AFP

 

Niall Hanratty

The series wrapped up with how certain aspects would end.

Jon killing Dany. Check.

A new King. Check.

Tyrion surviving. Check.

However, there were pieces that didn’t satisfy me ...

What was the purpose of the Night King?

Why bring Jon back from the dead were he not to assume a larger role postwar?

What was the purpose of the Lord of Light and his followers?

We definitely needed more in terms of what Bran’s role is as the Three-Eyed Raven and where he went to during those battles.

If we were to surmise his role now looking back, the Night King wanted to kill Bran as he knew he was in the way of the throne.

Why do they even need a Nights watch now if there are no more people of the Forest or Undead beyond it?

There is just way too many questions left unanswered.

Yes, we got conclusions to stories in this saga, but for a show with so many peaks and troughs,it flatlined when it could have soared.

Martin McBennett

The season was dark and full of errors.

Jane Chandler

So disappointed that Jon came through everything and ended up losing everything. Such a build-up to nothing. The last episode should have been the best but was the worst.

Dean McGarr

HBO did a fantastic job ... of making sure nobody ever mentions how much they butchered the ending of The Sopranos ever again.

Siobhan O’Sullivan Morrin

Very disappointed with the finale. Not enough detail in series eight and a sense of the series being rushed. Cersei deserved a better dispatch, something far more spectacular would have been fitting, tho the decision to have her die with Jaime was right.

The death scene for Dany, of dragons, was excellent and a surprise.

But Bran the Broken, as ruler? Oh please! He seemed more interested in warging his way around the world in search of Drogon the Dragon than in ruling the kingdom, leaving that messy business to the small council.

Arya’s decision to travel westwards was the only satisfactory character conclusion in the whole thing.

The only comfort I got from Jon Snow being exiled beyond the wall was that he now has the opportunity to establish himself possibly as ruler with the free Wildlings in the Westeros equivalent of Scotland.

Oisin Challoner

The reaction to Game of Thrones’ final episode has been an unfortunate experience for me. People are having trouble – I think – separating their criticisms of what could have been improved about the season’s final episodes from the dismay they feel that the series reality wasn’t the overflowing tap of concentrated vindication they and their expectations over the past eight years had built it up to be.

Factors such as the episodic structuring, character choices, script form and lack of shock value in the finale are stoking the furnaces of discontent in many viewers. There are numerous decisions and framings which have been made in season eight which do not accord with what theorists and watchers had hoped would happen, and they are mistaking this lack of alignment with their predictions for a lack of coherence and intentionality on the part of the show itself.

My perspective as a long time GoT viewer is one of disappointment. I’m disappointed that so many people are so intent on gratifying their sense of entitlement with how art and storytelling ought to be presented that they are incapable of appreciating the positive aspects of the work that has been created.

Many seem to forget that the tale and conclusions we have just seen were conceived of by the author more than 20 years ago, and have been ruminating within the production since episode one of season one.

People seem to think that this ending has been morphing based on theory and discussion in tandem with the show’s course. This is, I’m afraid, not the case, and it leaves the showrunners in an impossible conundrum when expectations as unrealistic and unflinching as these pervade upon viewers’ experience.

What I saw was much in agreement with Fintan O’Toole’s piece on the show recently: an epic, grand, ambitious and thoughtful adaptation of a gorgeous, achingly beautiful story and universe that defines our time and culture.

Patricia Hick

I thought it was a damp squib.

Della McGuinness

I wish this season had been made into 10 episodes. I felt some of the plots were rushed, which is a pity as the show has always had good pacing in the past.

However, I have to disagree with those who say the show was ruined. I have followed it since the first season and also loved the books. Game of Thrones was never about fulfilling the viewers wishes. For eight seasons, main characters have died and moral ones have been corrupted. Why then do some criticize when they are not left feeling happy?

I have enjoyed this show but rarely have I been happy for the characters. I wasn’t impressed with who won the throne but I never expected to be and it certainly took me by surprise. It makes sense, the Game of Thrones was never going to be won be someone wholly deserving.

The endings for the rest of the characters, in particular the other Stark siblings, all made sense without giving too much of a happily ever after.

It is important to remember this is a relatively new type of fantasy on TV, it is not a story of justice and victory. It has always been a bloody political drama. In politics, no one is happy. Overall, a rushed but fitting ending.

Simon Stroughair

I had never before set my alarm for 2am so I could watch a TV programme, and I don’t intend to do it again. The end of GoT feels like the end of watching live TV.

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