After following these characters and this complex plot for seven seasons, the eighth season was set to be the finale that tied up every loose end and we would see who would finally take their place on the Iron Throne. Game of Thrones fans had high hopes. One thing to keep in mind is that the original books haven’t even been completed yet, so George R.R. Martin’s ending is going to be different than the HBO series ending. If you ended up not liking the HBO ending, you have an option to wait until the original books have been finished and read the ending the creator intended.
Season eight has been getting awful reviews, including a petition which just hit one million signatures to have the season rewritten and filmed. Some are content with the outcome of the HBO series but those voices are much less audible than those who are distraught over it. The writers at HBO have created a show in which every episode ended with some type of cliffhanger and all the intricate little plots would eventually come to a conclusion. Season eight, despite plenty of build up, left a lot unanswered and seemed to end out of haste rather than due to the natural story arc. Here are some reasons why Season eight was a result of lazy writing.
Jon’s Targaryen Lineage
Why was this even mentioned if nothing came of it? His immediate family, Sam, Tyrion, and a few others came to know the truth but it did them no good. If anything, it put him in place to make the final decision on whether or not to kill Dany but even if he didn’t, Arya could’ve been the one to do it or there could’ve been a war between Winterfell/Sansa and Daenerys. Jon’s true name being Aegon Targaryen was made out to be one of the most important jaw-dropping moments in the series and ended up being virtually useless information as it didn’t have much effect on the outcome of the plot. Hopefully, Martin has a better explanation in the books as to the importance of Jon’s lineage.
Arya’s Assassin/Face-Changing Skills
Unless this was an entire elaborate scheme that took place over multiple seasons just for Arya to be able to kill Walder Frey, I think the writers failed to show what the true value was in Arya’s assassin skills, especially when she wasn’t even the one to kill Cersei in the series and didn’t need the assassin skills other than super-sneak to get close enough to kill the Night King. This is a perfect example of where I think Martin is going to do so much better in providing a real purpose to Arya’s skills and story than the HBO writers did.
Bran’s Entire Storyline
The only way the HBO writers could justify Bran’s story was by making him the King of the *Six* Kingdoms. Like I stated in the previous post, the history of mankind could’ve also been located in all the books in the Citadel. It’s not like the original Three-eyed Raven, the old dude hiding in the trees, was really offering much to the people of Westeros. All of civilization had carried on fairly normally without any intervention from him. Bran ended up becoming the king no one really wanted and aside from knowing the past and present of mankind, doesn’t offer much applicable wisdom to the throne.
What was the purpose of his warging in the battle against the Night King or at all throughout the HBO series if when it really mattered and all of humanity was on the line, he didn’t even use it to his advantage or interfere in any way aside from becoming a damn bird and watching it go down from the sky? I think the writers got lazy here and in wanting to move on from the series, looked to justify Bran’s existence in the show by giving him a valuable spot at the end. The series started off by following the books general plot pretty well but when they started to stray from the books, they needed to justify Bran’s existence in the earlier seasons after following him so much. Just like the memes have been saying, he’s the embodiment of doing nothing in a group project and still getting an A.
The Lord of Light
This was so useful in the earlier seasons and was made out to be incredibly mystical and significant only to be entirely forgotten in the final seasons. He resurrected Jon after his murder, brought Lord Beric back from the dead six times, and even turned the Hound into a believer with the notion that this revelation was significant to the story, only to be left unanswered. Yes, the Red Woman used her dark magic to ignite the Dothraki swords but those dudes were slaughtered in seconds at the beginning of the battle so that didn’t do much and the lighting of the trenches was the equivalent of a rain delay because the wight walkers eventually realized that they can stack themselves up and allow the rest of the army to proceed. This was an awesome plot point that wasn’t adequately explained or displayed in the final season.
Jamie’s Development/Jamie & Brienne
We saw Jamie Lannister go from arrogant, morally corrupt, and ruthless rich kid to a man who came to see the error of his ways, the darkness in his love, Cersei, and began to become a hero to the series in his own regard. The Kingslayer was once a person everyone loved to hate and eventually became a character everyone saw become good, righteous, and rational only to have it all pissed away in the final season. Jamie’s relationship with Brienne was an unlikely and pleasantly surprising twist that signified Jamie’s transition to an honorable man, only for the writers to throw it away by having him run back to Cersei only to die despite his prior acknowledgments of how evil she was.
Rather than complete Jamie’s development and watch his full character arc unfold, they went the cheap route. Yes, Tyrion freed him in the hopes he would arrive in time to convince Cersei to surrender but when he spoke to Brienne, rather than explain this noble intention to prevent war and merciless death, he made it about running back to his old piece and leaving Brienne in the dust. Brienne being a woman of duty and honor would’ve totally understood if he said his goal was to prevent the war if he could make it there in time but the show depicted Jamie running back for different reasons. I wanted Jamie to fulfill that final arc in becoming a hero to the story but I was left unsatisfied and Brienne lost the only love she had throughout her life.
There were other aspects to the overall story that were left unfulfilled, I’m sure, but I either can’t recall them or don’t know enough about them to add them to this post. I do intend to read the books and reach the real end to the Game of Thrones series. Luckily, George R.R. Martin hasn’t even published book six of seven so I have plenty of time. It would’ve been nice if the writers of the HBO series went for the complete story arcs and finishing the entire story rather than going for on-screen battle records and hastily completing a series just to move on from it. You know HBO would’ve run Game of Thrones for at least three more seasons because of how much it brought in but it seemed the writers were ready to move on from the show before the fans were.
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