Well, that’s it. Game of Thrones is over. This is, I suppose, both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that we no longer have to suffer through the poorly written travesties that have been episodes three to six, and a curse in that nothing has been satisfactorily resolved, and any future rewatch is cursed with the knowledge of what is to come.
Complaints have abounded about the sub-par writing and direction of the plot, and the finale is no exception. Again, despite the best efforts of cast and crew, it seems that this entire season has been destined for failure.
The episode begins in the aftermath of the Battle for Kings Landing. Although battle would be a little charitable to the Lannisters, who both literally and metaphorically melted away in the face of dragon fire and the Targaryen army. The major characters slowly come to terms with the fact that Varys was right, and Queen Daenerys has become the Mad Queen which she was apparently destined to be, which wasn’t really mentioned until Episode four.
Again, despite the best efforts of cast and crew, it seems that this entire season has been destined for failure
As things go, the first half of the episode wasn’t all that bad. The cinematography was excellent, producing some absolutely stunning shots with the bleak background of King’s Landing. While the scenes did tend to drag on a bit, the performances were, as usual, convincing. As the battle to decide who would sit on the iron throne reached its climax, it seemed that the finale might go some way towards redeeming the final season.
Unfortunately, viewers were doomed to be bitterly disappointed. With Daenerys dead and Jon Snow guilty of her murder, both were out of the running. The second half of the episode cut to a council of all the great Lords and Ladies of the realm, plus Ser Davos Seaworth for some inconceivable reason, who had assembled to decide on a new ruler. The action between Jon murdering Daenerys and the council being assembled could probably have filled two more episodes, but instead it’s left to Grey Worm to fill us in on what’s happening. The jump between battle aftermath and grand council breaks the immersion in the episode, and is generally quite confusing.
I am unable to summarise the disbelief and disappointment I felt
Then they choose Bran to be King. I’ve spent quite some time trying to think of a sentence to adequately describe how I feel about this decision. So far, I am unable to summarise the disbelief and disappointment I felt when the payoff of the past eight seasons was Bran Stark sitting on the Iron Throne. In the next breath, he then grants independence to the North, an act which, given the decentralised nature of the Seven Kingdoms, seems to be symbolic more than anything. Whatever you may feel about Sansa, it’s difficult to avoid the suspicion that this decision was made not for purposes of the story, but so there could be a fan service scene of her being proclaimed Queen in the North.
Now that the final season of the show has proven to be so disappointing, the pressure on George R. R. Martin is even more intense. Given the glacial nature of his writing, it seems that fans will have to wait quite some time before they get an alternative to the absolute travesty that has been this final season of Game of Thrones. Now our Watch has ended.
Previous review: ‘The Bells”