Ssooo………. I done threw up a Facebook post about the season finale of Game of Thrones stating, and I quote myself… “I loved everything about last night’s episode… season 8… and the series”, only to be hit with the backlash of #really, an explain urself, and a dumpster on fire. One respondent even took the time to email me to fully explain where the final episode went so wrong.
Folks, I appreciate the feedback, but I am one of those “true fan” people. One of those ride or die peeps… one of those no matter what I’m in kinda folks… one of those Idk what happened I’m down people. It’s too bad that same attitude doesn’t carry over in to my relationships with men but for perspective: I am team R. Kelly and MJ, I found my way back to Mariah after the Rainbow and Glitter debacles, I loved Sex and the City 2, The Cosby Show is still my favorite TV show of all time (even more so than GoT), and I’m contemplating a NY Giants tattoo – ok, I am gonna get it, just not sure what.
So best believe that if I say I love Game of Thrones, please know that unapologetically and without conditions… I “heart” Game of Thrones. A lil context…
Technically I didn’t start Thrones until season four. Which only happened because laying around one Saturday morning I just so happened to catch season 1 episode 1 (S1E1) from the very beginning with the marathon leading up to S4. Because I had heard so much about the show I decided to DVR every episode to binge watch later and I have been recording ever since. At this very moment I have all 73 episodes stored in my DVR – so I can never change cable providers, that I have been watching on a continuous loop since January (minus these six S8 episodes) in preparation for season 8, the final season of Game of thrones.
So why do I “heart” Game of Thrones, more importantly, why did I love S8 and the series finale???
- Game of Thrones can do no wrong: And not just because I’m a huge fan, because the show speaks for itself… it’s epic. First of all, imagine the budget. This show films in Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland – epic. And those costumes, you can see the costume budget increase every season as those costumes keep getting better and better. They have become such a huge part of the show that as Kings Landing burns to the ground with death and destruction is everywhere and her army literally cutting the throats of the 7 enemy soldiers that didn’t die, Daenerys Targaryen found the time to change into an all-black leather wrap coat to slay her final speech. Set in the Magical land of Westeros that was once home to dragons, Game of Thrones is an epic quest for the Iron Throne. The only real rule across the Seven Kingdoms is if you are going to betray your leaders then be prepared to kill them – so let the games begin, because in the Game of Thrones either you win or you die. Making the title itself – Game of Thrones – epic. But if awards and recognition is what it takes to truly understand how epic this show is, GoT has too many recognitions for me to count, Google it.
- We learn the fate of the main characters: Season 8 did an excellent job of playing out the fate of the characters fans have come to love over the years. Daenerys burned Kings Lands and the Red Keep, home of the Iron Throne, to the ground in S8E5 effectively destroying the show’s primary location and ensuring the shows finality. Most of our faves died in episodes 3, 4, and 5, including two of the dragons. Jon Snow killed Daenerys in the finale when it became apparent she isn’t going to stop killing although she now has the Iron Throne like she wanted from the start, reminding fans one more time why we love Jon Snow. His selfless act has quite possibly saved the world. Sansa Stark is now Queen of the North after successfully ceding the North from the Seven Kingdoms, and her brother Brandon Stark was named King Brandon the Broken – Ruler of Six Kingdoms – First of His Name with Tyrion Lannister begrudgingly as his Hand, as decided at a meeting of the newly minted Westeros leaders. Arya Stark sailed off to do her own thing beyond the map. And because all actions have consequences and no one cared that he saved humanity, Jon Snow was banished to the Night’s Watch for killing Queen Daenerys. Fortunately when he arrived, he reunited with Tormund and Ghost to lead the Free Folk beyond the wall.
- GoT accomplished exactly what it set out to do: Conquering the Iron Throne has been the point of the show from the start. Throughout the show Daenerys Targaryen – Mother of Dragons had the strongest claim to the Throne. She vowed that nothing would stop her from accomplishing her goal and since she was the one with the dragons, the presumption was that she would win. She did win, successfully completing her quest to liberate those under Iron Throne rule from tyrants, slave owners, and dictators to ensure freedom for all. She claimed she wanted to “break the wheel” of power that forced citizens born without class or status to live a life of servitude rather than become a part of a system that kept Westeros under monarchy rule. Unfortunately because, as Queen Cersei put it, “power is power” Daenerys thirst for more power – or liberation as she convinced herself – turned her into the very tyrant she sought to free people from resulting in her murder, an empty seat at the top, and the Iron Throne being incinerated by the last remaining dragon. All providing an opportunity for the remaining great houses of the Seven Kingdoms to select their next leader a bit differently. They chose Brandon Stark whose infinite knowledge as the Three Eyed Raven understands the destruction caused by war, who doesn’t need an Iron Throne because he comes with his own chair, and who can not father children as King, to effectively break the wheel Danny sought to conquer from the start. Although it may have appeared Brandon Stark was just spaced out for 8 seasons, he actually spent the entire series learning about the past in preparation for his moment to become King, a reminder that big things happen when one is prepared for opportunity.
- They incorporated the book… literally: Well 5 books and it was a nice touch!!! And yes, Game of Thrones is based on a five-book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The books and the series are pretty much aligned for the first three seasons. There are even lines from the books which the characters state in the show verbatim, which is pretty awesome. Some moments within the books not covered on screen during their particular season have been incorporated into other seasons of the show to help tell the story. By seasons four and five, the show producers began incorporating elements from the last three books in the series, and even included elements of the unwritten books (yes, the author still plans on writing two more books to complete the series) when it was determined HBO writers would take over the primary direction and story line for the show with continued input from George R.R. Martin for authenticity. The finale paid homage to Martin with Samwell Tarly presenting a book A Song of Ice and Fire to the Small Council explaining that it is a history of all the Kings of Westeros. A fitting way to recognize the man and the books that produced one of the greatest television shows ever.
Yet, the number one reason I love GoT S8 and the series finale is because…
- No expectations: I simply watched the show they way I have watched for the last several years… to enjoy it. Knowing this was the final season of Game of Thrones was heartbreaking, but all TV shows come to an end. Yes… there were things I thought the writers could have done differently. Like, I really wanted Arya to kill Cersei and the drawn out verification of Jamie and Cersei’s death was unnecessary. Yes… there were inconsistencies. Like, where did Daenerys get all of those Dothraki? Because most of them were killed in the war against the dead. And, where did Danny go to change clothes and why didn’t anyone else have time to change? But I chose not to focus on the things that would make me dislike the final episode of the greatest TV show on air. A show that I have enjoyed and watched faithfully on Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO for years.
For me, S8E6 was another great episode of an awesome show. I loved the imagery of Danny walking out to address her subjects cloaked in black leather while the dragon’s wings spanned behind her… slayed. I loved that I was shocked when Tyrion tossed away his Hand of the Queen pin right in Danny’s face and in front of all those people… oh no he didn’t. I loved seeing Arya’s new found instincts as she warned Jon about Danny by telling him that she knows a killer when she sees one… growth. Or even when Jon killed Danny, I mean I knew he was going to but I still wasn’t sure, but then he did it, and now here comes Drogon – Danny’s last dragon… oh somebody else bout to die. But Drogon didn’t touch Jon, which actually wasn’t so surprising, but instead he was so enraged and heartbroken at the loss of his mother that he breathed enough hell fire and damnation to completely melt the Iron Throne… touching and unexpected. I even loved when Sansa, who was so hopeless in the beginning, stood up not only for herself, but for her country, to keep the North from again becoming a part of the Seven Kingdoms… fierce.
S8E6 made me cry with Tyrion’s speech about creating a better world and I felt Brandon’s elevation to King – First of His Name in my heart. When Brandon was asked if he would accept the position as King, his simple response, “why do you think I came all this way” sent me over the edge to ball out crying. The whole scenario touched me because it felt like Tyrion’s words were a direct commentary on our society in that we need to do things differently. Plus, and I can’t lie, seeing greatness in action always brings a tear to my eye. Game of Thrones is a great show, and the series finale was greatness in action. To me it made sense that Brandon would become the King, because face it, the writers kept him alive for something. Yet in that same scene the show also made me laugh when the leaders of Westeros laughed hysterically at the idea of letting the people choose their next King. Jon Snow’s banishment to the Night’s Watch was a perfect fate for him because ever since S1E2, all he wanted to do was to be a part of the Night’s Watch. Now, not only is he again doing what he wanted, but he’s doing it with one of his new best friends he helped to unite with Castle Black and his dire wolf that he rescued on the very first episode, Ghost.
Basically, the GoT writers, in-my-own-personal-opinion, successfully and succinctly ended the show. They even went as far as literally burning the primary set to the ground so that it’s clear… this show is over. They told us what happens to all the main characters. And by sending everyone their separate ways, they left us with the possibility of several spin-offs.
So to the writers, cast, and crew of Game of Thrones… farewell and well done.
Seriously tho… I didn’t have to write all of this, but… it’s Game of Thrones… what’s not to love…