A controversial season to say the least.
After nearly a decade, Game of Thrones has finished; years worth of build up, tons of character development and how did it end? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, this has easily been the most controversial season ever of Game of Thrones, a lot of fans are incredibly disappointed on how our favourite TV show has turned out.
Let’s start off with the fact that I believe that everything that happened in the season was actually fine, in my opinion, the main flaw is that it was rushed, there was not enough build up to anything and time would jump all over the place.
We’ll go in more detail in a minute, I’m splitting this review into four parts; the good, the bad, the ugly and my verdict. Before that though, please be aware this is SPOILER heavy! So, please don’t read this if you haven’t finished the series yet!
This season may be one of the worst of the series, but there’s definitely still a lot of good. Compared to most Tv shows it’s still one of the best ever, but the writing just wasn’t as strong as the previous seasons, in particular seasons 1-4.
This all being said, the acting was arguably at its best. Emilia Clarke gave a great performance as Daenerys especially when she went crazy in episode 5. Peter Dinklage again gave an amazing performance as Tyrion and this is arguably his best season since season 4.
Season 8 is easily the best-looking television season ever. Every single shot was stunning, the CGI was near movie quality. Although episode 3 was very dark, I liked that it felt like we were part of that battle, we saw how our characters did, making it very atmospheric. The final two episodes, in particular, had amazing shots, my two favourited being when the Hound and the Mountain face each other on the staircase with the dragon in the background and when Daenerys has Dagon’s wings behind her, showing her descent into darkness.
I was quite satisfied with the final episode, it wrapped a lot of character stories up and all the Starks had an ending which suited their character, apart from Bran, who we’ll talk about later. The burning of the Iron Throne was very cool and Daenerys’ death was handled very well.
Unfortunately, that’s all the good I could really think of, let’s talk about some of the bad stuff.
This season’s biggest flaw is that it’s far too rushed! HBO offered D&D ten seasons and we definitely needed that many. Characters hopped all over the place, but that’s not what made the season bad, what is; is the character’s build up.
Every character decision felt rushed, there was little set up showing Daenerys going a little mad, but not mad enough to kill every civilian in King’s Landing. If we had more glimpses of her going crazy in more episodes it may have been more believable. Every person she ever killed before was an enemy or someone with bad intentions, but none of the civilians did anything wrong. Her dialogue in episode 6 sort of explained this, but I still don’t believe that she was that crazy. They should have had her go after Cersei and kill some innocents while doing so and maybe kill a main character in madness, that would have been so much more believable.
It’s not just her though, Jamie suddenly going back to Cersei was not explained enough, again I don’t have a problem with him going back, but show us why he is. Tyrion was so stupid in this season (as well as the past couple) ratting out Varys, believing Cersei would surrender, he was redeemed a lot in the final episode, but there were so many more character decisions that didn’t make sense. Varys (the smartest person on the show), would have had a plan that if he was caught to stop Daenerys, he also wouldn’t have made it so obvious he was going to betray her. I blame this all on choosing to only have 13 episodes between season 7 and 8.
A character who has annoyed me ALOT is Bran. What was the point of him? He did nothing in the battle of Winterfell, I thought he did something when he worged, but no. It also seems he could see the future, setting up all the pieces for Theon to protect him and Arya to have the knife. If this is the case then he probably knew Daenerys would destroy King’s Landing, that all our characters would die and that he would be king, which is also teased in the final episode when he says “why else would I be here?”. If this is the case, he is the main villain of the whole show! Instead of protecting people or warning people Daenerys would go crazy, he just allows it to happen so he can become king.
Speaking of which, why is he king? He has no sympathy or personality for the human kind, he did nothing to help any of them. Honestly, anyone in that meeting would have been a better king than Bran.
And the ugly? The absolute worst offender of the season… The Night King and his army. The battle was great, fantastic episode actually, but how the Night King died was ridiculous. I didn’t mind that Arya was the one that killed him (although it should have been Jon) but it was that we didn’t find out anything more about him, what the symbols they made with the dead bodies meant, why Bran worged, or anything.
I get that D&D wanted to subvert our expectations, but there are other ways rather than just randomly making Aria kill him. That is the point the season went downhill and made everyone see the problems with the season, because of how disappointed they were with that conclusion.
In the end, it wasn’t a horrible season, just not the same quality of usual Game of Thrones even seasons 5,6 and 7. If it was less rushed it would have been a lot better. I think that I’m going to rank every season of this show in the future, as it’s still one of my favourite shows ever. Thank you for reading!