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    • I’ve begun to see a pattern recently. After each episode of Game of Thrones, starting from the third episode until the fifth, fans have been divided, very vocally divided. Some fans are ok with the direction the final season is taking, while others absolutely abhor what the show has become. Me? I’m leaning more towards the latter, though perhaps abhor is too strong a word. Disappointed is more suitable to describe how I feel.

      The Mad Queen

      Yup, Daenerys has gone that far. I think many people weren’t surprised that it happened, but the problem was how it happened. One common criticism of the final few episodes has been that they felt rushed, which is how I would explain Daenerys’ descent into madness. One moment, she’s the breaker of chains. The next, she’s burning innocent civilians for no good reason. She had already won the war, the Lannister army laid down their weapons and surrendered. If she was truly angry with Cersei, she could’ve just flown directly to the Red Keep and take her out without committing genocide. But nope. Gotta burn them all, like her daddy used to say.

      Also, it seemed quite easy how Daenerys and Drogon destroyed the entire Iron Fleet. Couldn’t they have just done that in the previous episode when Rhaegal was killed? And it was so easy for Drogon to decimate King’s Landing. I guess we now know why she lost her other dragons. Having three would’ve made it a no contest. Losing one to the Night King was good for the Night King’s story arc, but losing one to the Iron Fleet just to make the final war seem “fair” was just lazy writing.

      Some people think Daenerys’ breakdown is justified. She lost two dragons (her “children”), her best friend, her most trusted adviser, and she was rejected by Jon. Varys was right about her, and his planned treason probably made Daenerys feel betrayed, as did Jon’s decision to share his lineage with his sisters against her advice. She’s been through a harrowing journey to get to where she is now only for everything to fall apart just before the finish line, so it does seem reasonable for her to have gone mad.

      Perhaps the problem, as I mentioned earlier, was that her twist just feels rushed. Justifiable maybe, but rushed. Everything we went through with her for seven seasons, undone in just one episode.

      The fall of the Lannisters

      Another character arc which felt weird to me was Cersei’s. Her defenses failed to keep Daenerys’ forces out, Ser Gregor killed Qyburn while disobeying her orders to stay by her side, she was alone, lost, with no one to turn to, but the show was angling for viewers to feel sorry for her? Why? At the end of the previous episode, she had reminded everyone why she was possibly the vilest character on the show. Then suddenly in this episode, we were meant to feel sorry for her? To make matters worse, she died to some falling bricks? We didn’t even get the satisfaction of seeing her being killed by another character?

      And we lost Jaime the same way too? After an amazing redemption arc for Jaime that lasted several seasons, after what he’s been through with Brienne, after keeping his oath to fight for the living (abandoning Cersei in the process), he just heads back to King’s Landing and dies with Cersei? Just like that? I don’t feel sorry for Cersei, but I do feel sorry for Jaime. Such a waste of a good character.

      And Tyrion. Why has his influence seemingly dwindled this season?

      Cleganebowl

      Probably the most anticipated side plot in the final season. The Cleganebowl wasn’t as dramatic as I was expecting, I felt like Sandor’s battle with Brienne a few seasons ago was better, but it wasn’t bad either. We finally saw The Mountain’s face. We saw him being basically immortal as no number of stabs from The Hound could take him down. We saw Ser Gregor almost crush his brother’s skull in like he did Oberyn Martell. And we saw both brothers falling into the fire as Sandor couldn’t see any other way to kill his brother.

      But I feel like the tender moment Sandor had with Arya before his brawl with his brother was much more memorable. He got her back on the right path, away from a path of vengeance. Their relationship is one of the best story arcs of the series, and unlike many others, it actually ended on a high.

      This episode was just announced as the joint lowest rated episode of Game of Thrones ever by Rotten Tomatoes. Even worse than the previous two episodes. Though I won’t make such a claim myself, I do feel like the writers were going for more of a spectacle, a glorious cinematic experience filled with dragon fire and an image of King’s Landing burning to the ground. The story however feels rushed. Character arcs are meeting abrupt twists and turns, and ending without all the poise and elegance of the earlier seasons. Many people are already comparing Game of Thrones to Lost, a series with incredible build-up throughout the earlier seasons, only to be let down by a disappointing final season. We still don’t know how the story will end, or who will sit on the Iron Throne (Danny and Jon look to be the favourites now), but after the previous few episodes, I won’t be surprised if the finale next week is met with even more scathing criticism by fans and journalists alike.

    • I don't watch the series (yeah, I know, I'll get to it eventually) but, they torched Dubrovnik? Damn, I was quite fond of it.

    • I’m in the minority that is enjoying this season. Yes, it feels rushed. Yes, there have been some disappointing endings for some characters. But the series is ending and to me that means disappointment is inevitable.

      Episode 5, in my opinion, was the best episode of this season (episode 4 was the worst). The touching last meeting of the Lannister Brothers. The gut-wrenching escape of Arya as Drogon delivers death from above. The anguished look on Jon’s face as his queen shows her true colors and his own men turn to savagery. This was the Game of Thrones that I’ve come to expect.

    • I know there are plenty of valid criticisms of the show, but it feels like majority of the complaints are not referring to the execution but with the very idea that the characters they love would do something they disagree with. People are emotionally invested in Daenerys and feel betrayed by the writers. Despite the fact that her turn, sudden as it was, makes perfect sense.

      I’m not sure if my assessment makes sense but this thread absolutely nailed it in my opinion (it’s lengthy but worth it):

    • I've been having trouble putting my finger on why things feel so different the last couple of seasons. This twitter thread is a really good summary of why things have ended up the way they have for the writing:

    • The touching last meeting of the Lannister Brothers. The gut-wrenching escape of Arya as Drogon delivers death from above. The anguished look on Jon’s face as his queen shows her true colors and his own men turn to savagery.

      Those were some of the best moments of this episode. Unfortunately these moments have been few and far between this season.

    • People are emotionally invested in Daenerys and feel betrayed by the writers.

      This is where the writing failed in my opinion. If the writers had taken their time, showed over the course of a few episodes Danny slowly going mad, slowly descending into madness, then people wouldn't have been so shocked and betrayed. It's like that article I shared in my opening post explaining why people feel betrayed by Danny's turn.

    • FWIW I don't feel that the writing failed. And I don't think she went mad, or something. She just buckled, and that's as close a depiction of (powerful or not) people buckling under the stress and loneliness and emotions that I've seen in real life or other imaginary worlds of literature and theatre, as you can get. IMHO, YMMV.

      Disclaimer: I've read all the books way back when they weren't even wildly popular, and consequently didn't pay much attention to the TV show until it started outpacing the existing books. Nevertheless, the only gripes I am experiencing with the show mostly relate to mindbogglingly bad tactical decisions related to warfare. The characters, with whichever minor imperfections, behave exquisitely in character, to my tastes.

    • Nah. As much as I wished the season was a bit better, I don't think signing a petition will do anything.

      It is interesting though to see just how upset fans are with the shows writing.

    • I was about to post the very same thing as I was reading this thread. I think it does explain a lot.

      I also think that the writers are rushing to the conclusion. In the past a lot of these plot points would take an entire season to develop and now in Season 8 they last through half an episode. It's less satisfying.

    • Luckily in Malaysia, Monday is a public holiday! No, not because of GOT, but a religious holiday. Just happened to coincide with the series finale.

      Also, remember that petition? It got more than a million signatures already 🤯