Game of Thrones Season 8: My Thoughts

22/05/2019 Discussions, TV and Film 6

Warning: Spoilers for the entire of Season 8 of Game of Thrones!

If you’d told me back in 2011 that one of the biggest and most popular shows to grace TV was about to start, and that it was going to be a fantasy, I wouldn’t have believed you. Not so long ago, fantasy was a fairly niche genre, with your average non-fantasy fan only really knowing and caring about the likes of LOTR.

But Game of Thrones did something incredible: it brought fantasy to the masses, complete with dragons, political intrigue, epic sword fights and battles, and of course an overabundance of sex and nudity. And now, finally, after eight seasons, it’s all over.

It truly has been a phenomenon, so it’s a shame that a lot of people’s views of the show seem to have soured over the course of the final season. Has it been the best season of the show? No. Do I think that disgruntled fans are justified in starting a petition to have it rewritten and refilmed? Not really.

In fact, if you want my opinion on that (before we actually get to my opinions on the final season itself!), I think the whole idea is childish and entitled. Being a fan of something doesn’t mean you own it. It’s something that has been created for our entertainment, and if we’re no longer finding it entertaining, then we should just stop watching it. There was things about the final series I didn’t like, but the idea that they should remake it is totally ridiculous to me. It ended how it ended, and that’s that.

But with little rant out the way, let’s talk season 8! I thought I’d cover my thoughts on some of the more controversial moments of season 8 first, and I’d love to know your thoughts!

The Battle of Winterfell

The Battle of Winterfell was the big event…the Long Night we’d been hearing about for so long was finally there, Winter had come, and the characters were finally going to come face to face with the Night King and his army of the dead.

And whilst I did enjoy the episode, I don’t think it quite compared to some other epic battle sequences from Game of Thrones, such as the Battle of the Bastards. I didn’t have as much problem as some people had with it being too dark – I thought the sense of disorientation that you got kind of worked – but I feel like there maybe could have been more deaths? Yes, that may sound silly in regards to Game of Thrones, but there weren’t quite as many big deaths as I had expected, and none that truly hit me in the feels.

The Death of the Night King

Not everyone was thrilled with the fact it was Arya who killed the Night King, but you know what? I loved it. I think after all she’s suffered and all the training she’s gone through, Arya had to do something truly epic at the end, that no one else could have done, and she did it. Her knife drop trick was incredible, and that whole sequence was so tense, where you see Theon die and think the Night King is going to get Bran…and then Arya leaps out of nowhere, looks like she’ll die, and then finally gets the win. Amazing!

Jaime going back to Cersei.

This is kind of a weird one, because I don’t feel like Jaime and Cersei dying together was an unsatisfying conclusion for their characters, but it did completely destroy the huge redemption arc that has been so integral to Jaime’s story. We saw him come so far and change so much, only to regress and go back right at the last moment.

Plus his abandoning Brienne didn’t feel good…It meant the last major plot point in the series for one of it’s strongest female characters was her weeping and begging a man to stay. She definitely should have picked Tormund (or you know, stayed single!)!

Daenerys, The Mad Queen

This was the big thing that so many people objected to, and to an extent I can see why. I was ok with the idea of this twist, but feel like it could have been built up to more, so that it didn’t feel quite as out of the blue. There has been a few signs of her growing madness and ruthlessness throughout the last couple of series, but she still, at heart seemed to be behaving like a good person, and a good queen.

Plus, the city had surrendered when she decided to go on a rampage…there wasn’t really a conceivable reason why a woman who had previously been all about freeing slaves would have randomly decided to incinerate a city full of innocents when they had surrendered and accepted her rule. Especially when she seemed to do this in favour of heading up to the Red Keep and killing Cersei, the woman responsible for the death of Missandei and her dragon.

It’s strange because I feel like it had the potential to be an amazing twist, but it just felt too rushed and with not enough motivation. I definitely think the last couple of seasons have suffered from having fewer episodes, as there has been less time to work in subtle threads of several plots, and so things have appeared to be a little more heavy-handed. A lot of people have been saying the show went downhill after the source material ran out, but personally, I think it’s just because the shorter series length.

The Death of Daenerys

Again, people were annoyed with this storyline, but I felt OK about this one? Jon Snow didn’t really have a huge amount to do this season, so saving the Seven Kingdoms from a tyrant queen at the cost of his own love seemed like a pretty fitting final act for a character who has always tried to do the right thing.

Yes, it was sad to see that this was the end of Daenerys story after we have seen her come so far, and the fact that she died mere feet from the Iron Throne was sad. But after her turn in the previous episode…I think Jon did the right thing. And I personally felt that scene was amazing! The level of conviction Dany had in her own dream and her own goodness, even as she said the words of a tyrant was incredible. It was sad, especially as you could increasingly start to see where things were going, but that it had to happen.

And I think the symbolism of Drogon melting the Iron Throne was a great ending to the series, symbolising the end of the Game of Thrones that began all the way back in season one.

King Bran the Broken

If someone had told me before the beginning of this series that Bran would end up as King, I wouldn’t have believed you! This seemed to come completely out of left field, but at the same time, I could kind of understand the reasoning when Tyrion nominated him.

A man who can see all the mistakes and triumphs of the past and has no interest in power would obviously make a great king, in my opinion. And I loved the way they decided that they would vote for a new King or Queen in future. You get a sense at the end that you have seen the world of the story – an incredibly cruel and harsh world – truly change for the better. No, they weren’t quite ready for full democracy, as Sam suggested, but they are taking a step towards it, and choosing the best person for the job, rather than someone who was born to it, and perhaps doesn’t deserve it. It seemed like a very modern concept for a show set in a medievalesque time period, and I loved it!

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On the whole, I really enjoyed the final episode and thought most of the character endings were fairly satisfying. Tyrion is in a sense back where he was in season 2, as Hand of the King, but he has learnt so much in the intervening years that he is more fit for the job than ever, and finally serving a worthy ruler. And I adored the little scene amongst the new members of the Council!

I also liked Jon going off with the free folk, and Arya embarking on an adventure into the unknown. And Sansa finally being crowned Queen of the North was such an amazing completion of her character arc from a weak young girl into a strong, powerful woman.

Whilst this wasn’t my favourite season, I was personally fairly satisfied with the ending!

A few other things I enjoyed about Season 8:

Episode 2: A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms

The second episode in the season may have been light on action, but it was heavy on character moments, which is where I think Game of Thrones truly shines. It was so amazing to see all these characters whose separate stories you have followed for so long finally come together, and the way they interact in the face of potential death.

I especially liked the scenes around the fire and Brienne being knighted by Jaime!

A Song of Ice and Fire

I really liked the references to the title of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire in the final episode. I loved that Sam had suggested the name for the book chronicling the events of the series – A Song of Ice and Fire – and I’m assuming that the version of the opening song at the end which had words was supposed to be a literal Song of Ice and Fire? It was definitely an incredible way to end the series, and I loved the accompanying montage of all the characters going their own ways.

Cleganebowl

It finally happened! We waited so long for it, and we finally got to see the Hound and the Mountain face off. Sandor Clegane is one of my favourite characters in both the books and TV show, so I was glad he went out in such epic fashion. Hooray for Cleganebowl!

Lyanna Mormont vs. Giant

Yes, this fight may have killed the incredible Lyanna Mormont, but I’m so glad she went down like the badass that she was. She totally won the fight!

Ghost finally got petted!

Thank God Jon finally petted Ghost at the end there! The poor wolf genuinely did look so dejected when he left Winterfell without so much as a goodbye pet.

So, what did you think of Season 8? What did you love, or not love? What are your feelings about all the controversy surrounding it?

6 Responses to “Game of Thrones Season 8: My Thoughts”

  1. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    This is a very well written post! I loved the first three episodes- yes I think we could use some major deaths in Battle of Winterfell, after all, The Night King supposed to be the Big Bad and main characters have been killed for less in the previous season. But overall, I think they’re great! The last three? Not so much. Dany’s descent was unbelievable. Yes, she had done some bad things in the past, but her good deeds always overwhelmed the bad. The people she killed are always those who disagree with her, never innocents. So why now? What happened in that moment?? I’m conflicted about Jaime. Yes, it totally reverse all his character development, but at the same time, not really. He still cared for the people, it’s just some people always love someone so much they love them no matter what. It took me a while, but I agree that Bran is a good choice. It’s just come out of nowhere. Tbh, I wish we got more season or episodes; the pacing felt so rushed and the story was underdeveloped, even though the plot made sense, the storytelling doesn’t!

    • Laura

      I felt the same about Dany’s descent. I think it could have been believable with more build up, but it was too rushed and she went from only killing people who opposed her to slaughtering thousands of innocents with no real, explained motivation. And I definitely see your point about Jaime. He couldn’t exactly stop loving Cersei just like that.
      I just wish there could have been more episodes so it would have felt less rushed and things might have made more sense. I didn’t have much of a problem with how things played out, just how it was hurried over.

  2. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I didn’t love season 8, but I think the petition is disrespectful and stupid. No matter how the show ended, someone was going to be unhappy with it. I think this season badly needed 10 episodes. I liked the twists, but they weren’t given enough time to develop believably.

    • Laura

      I totally agree! I liked the twists but they weren’t given enough time to develop properly. This series really could have benefitted from the whole ten episodes!

  3. Catherine@basedonthebook

    I agree with pretty much everything you said here, except I didn’t mind too much about Jaime going back to Cersei – it felt consistant with his character. I think he cared about Brienne a lot but Cersei was his twin after all – blood’s thicker! 😂 Think my highlights were Pod’s song, Arya and Gendry flirting (but not the sex scene so much…) Lyanna Mormont’s death scene and Brienne being knighted. Tyrion freeing Jaime also made me tear up a bit. I reckon another 2 or 3 episodes would have been useful to show Dany’s descent better, but I thought she acted it really well.

    • Laura

      That’s true. Jaime couldn’t just stop caring about Cersei just like that, so I suppose it did work for his character, even if I did find it a little disappointing.
      The scene where Tyrion freed Jaime definitely had me tearing up a bit too, and I totally agree that Emilia Clarke acted Daenarys turn really well, especially given the fact it was hurried over. The bit where she’s looking out over King’s Landing and deciding what to do was pretty intense, and you could definitely see that moment where she snapped. Given the right build up it would have been an incredible twist!

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