Season eight of Game of Thrones is being canceled.
By now, we all know the story. There were a few shows that were once quite popular, but took a big turn for the worse towards the end. True Blood, Lost, How I Met Your Mother, and Dexter all left viewers with a distinct sense of huh. Was it this the past?
Fans of the above will likely be content to rewatch some of the previous seasons, but try to finish before the end. One show, however, has a final season so poorly received, it retrospectively tainted what came before and left some fans hesitant to watch: Game of Thrones.
A Disappointing Answer
Theres a reason that the final season of Game of Thrones focused on a single, central question: who will sit on the Iron Throne? When the answer to that question proved unsatisfactory, the long journey to get a resolution that was a total breakdown left a bitter taste in the mouth.
The Long Night finale, which included the vast end battle against the Night King halfway through the shortened season, was perhaps a good idea at the time, since it was the human-politics side of the story that brought in so many mainstream viewers back in Season 1. The sequence of events, putting the huge final battle against the Night King halfway through the shortened season, seemed to be appropriate, but everything that happened following the epic match felt like an afterthought.
Danys Rushed Descent
The entire plot of the last three episodes, especially the story of Daenerys throughout Seasons 7 and 8, was horribly rushed. We have to suspect that Martin''s intentions for Daenerys'' character arc are in broad lines similar to the TV show, but there are plenty of clues throughout the story that she may be headed down a dark path. A particularly traumatic moment was the crucification of 163 Grand Masters in Meereen (an inversion of the historical Crassus), but Daen
While Daenerys moved from well-intentioned saviour towards dark and destructive Evil Queen, the change was too quick, and her changing attitudes were avoiding any use. We were given a character who spent most of the series saving people, destroying a city that was trying to surrender because she wanted revenge against two people (Euron Greyjoy and Cersei Lannister). This change had been stopped because we had not seen enough of a late burn.
Bizarre Deaths and a Bungled Redemption
Daenerys wasn''t the only character who had been short-changed throughout the final season. While seeing Cersei crushed by a falling structure might have been somewhat satisfying, audiences were likely hoping for something more dramatic, more in line with her eldest son Joffreys. And Jaime Lannisters'' story took a strange turn. After a long (and intense) redemption arc, he suddenly leaves Brienne in the middle of the night to return to Cersei.
And finally, to top it all off, we get the answer to the single question that has been driving the whole series since the death of King Robert back in Season 1? Bran Stark, a character who told his sister Sansa in Season 7, that he cannot be superior to anything because he is now the Three-Eyed Raven. He has become almost completely emotional, and as such, is a charisma vacuum. He is certainly the worst possible candidate to be King.
A Forgivable Disaster?
Tyrion gets a terrible speech (Peter Dinklage does his best to save it, but it''s awful) in which he insists not only should they choose a monarch based on who has the greatest story, but that Bran, who was physically assaulted early on, skipped an entire season learning prophecy, then showed up to basically tell everyone I knew was going to happen had a better story than the woman who killed the Night King, the woman who won the North. It''s a
Was it a tragic accident? HBO is betting that it was their first prequel series, House of the Dragon, which will be released this August. Not only does this assume a permanent desire for all of Game of Thrones in a context where some have switched their tries, but also the focus on House Targaryen, the whole House that came out of the finale looking so bad.
While all those who gave their daughters Khaleesi may be considering how to legally change someones name, the Daenerys character arc might be unveiled in the long run. If we take the time to re-watch the series, chances are that some suggestions were dropped here and there, and some fans had anticipated it all along. Daenerys'' story, aside from being controversial, wasn''t so much the plot itself as the plot. With hindsight and knowing where it is going, it might not be
Cersei and Jaimes'' endings are trickier. Cersei gets her comeuppance, and viewers can probably live with that. But Jaimes'' romance is left flapping all over the place. He is a strong supporter of love, and so his final message is probable to be true, but he cant help but go back to her, but it''s painful as his apparent healing had been so successful.
Stop Before King Bran?
Return to King Bran. This is where fans are going to get frustrated. Years and years of viewing, hours of television, may just put viewers off all together. While the destination is such a huge disappointment, the journey does not turn away.
Fans will always have the option of watching until Season 8, Episode 3, and then delaying. That cuts out Jaimes return to Cersei, it cuts out Daenerys turn to complete destruction and death, and it cuts out King Bran. As Arya was the character who murdered the Night King, and we all know that Sansa would have been the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, however. Or fill in your preferred ending.
The downside to the new series being a prequel is that it is a story building to an unsettling climax. However, it does not have to talk about the ending of Game of Thrones at all. There may be some odd obscure prophecy, but Jaimes slides backwards, or Brans stumbles. In the end, it may be that the fans are able to forgive the show again.
On Sunday the 21st of August, House of the Dragon will be available on HBO, and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom on Monday the 22nd of August.