Before I begin this review, I would like to urge you to pick up the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Published by Bantam Books, it is currently on sale and under $30 for the five novel set and includes:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings (a personal favorite)
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
I own a leather-cloth bound box set of the series, along with The World of Ice & Fire lore book that I purchased years ago on sale with a hefty coupon from Barnes & Noble. I’m not just shilling the books, I own them and seriously the story is night and day from the adaptation. Here is a link to the ASOIAF set, and even a link for a Free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime for free shipping in case you’d like to pick them up.
Seriously, it is worth the investment.
If I could describe my feelings after the series finale of Game of Thrones, it very well may be disappointment. All anticipations for beloved character’s burnt, ashes flowing in the wind. To be quite honest, when Drogon burned the Iron Throne I thought to myself – “that is the perfect summation of my feelings right now.”
There were discrepancies I observed while watching, one of the more glaring things Dany’s increased Dothraki and Unsullied forces, coupled with Tyrion being “small enough” to fit through the hole in Maegor’s Holdfast. Never mind him strolling through the space that seemed immense last episode, but he just happens upon his dead siblings – golden hand gleaming in the dimly lit room apparently.
Never mind Drogon not killing Jon, but rather – (after it is established that dragons are no smarter than dogs) – has the sentience to burn down the Iron Throne, grab Dany and presumably sail to Essos or something to bury her there. Yes, I said bury since this dragon apparently is smart enough to know she is deceased, but not smart enough to take down ballista’s on its own volition episodes earlier.
There were so many things – like doesn’t wildfire burn longer than normal fire? Why was Arya still in KL? Why was the horse necessary (or alive) when Tyrion finds the charred remains of those special extras from last week and he only walked one block? Why is the same bell that was destroyed when the Sept of Baelor was blown up in this episode as well? What gives Grey Worm the authority to continue ruling the city? How is the population of King’s Landing not decimated? Why did the other lords mock Samwell Tarly when he suggested they end Feudalism? When did Sam have enough knowledge under his belt to become Grand Maester of KL? Had he even received his first chain yet before he left the Citadel?
And then we had the nameless Dornish Prince, some random guys who I presume were with the other lords, fucking Bronn of the Blackwater and a GROWN UP, non-sickly Lord Robin Arryn!
Why on earth didn’t we get to see the little lording get to grow up on screen with the rest of the cast? It would have been great! I just realized how much I would have loved to see the rest of the seven kingdoms again. Where is the new Dornish Prince from? Which branch of the Martell family? Is he a lord from a lesser house made Prince? Is he a descendant of Nymeria?
So Sweet Robin was cool with his cousin borrowing his forces for half the series? Why did Sansa tell Lord Edmure Tully to sit down? It was kind of rude. I wanted to hear his speech, because that is what Lords in this show used to do…give (slightly) pompous speeches that were informative and just awesome.
An insight into the internalized narrative on display with colorful words and pomp and circumstance. I wanted to hear that so badly, it made me sad when he stupidly sat down and almost missed his seat.
I know captivity can age a person, but when did Edmure get so old? Are they trying to say he is out of touch? He never was. He cared about his people and was innovative, that’s why he was captured.
And what the hell was that with Bran saying “why do you think I came back” in reference to being King of the six kingdoms? I’m sorry – so is he implying he knew he would come out on top and everything had to happen, people like Theon Greyjoy had to die, Daenerys Targaryen had to die – because it “brought them where they are today?”
Get the fuck out of here. Bran the Broken, ruler of the six kingdoms. Sansa is Queen in the North, and honestly I am fine with that. I am a Sansa Stark loyalist and apologist. She is my favorite show and book character, so I wanted her to have her comeuppance and prosper. After all, Sansa was the only one who really cared for The North and a Stark must always be in Winterfell – because reasons.
And you know what? I’m not even going to talk about Dany’s arc, or Jon’s because it was massacred. Did she really not sit on the damn chair in the time it took him to mope through the ashes of KL? I am just so depressed over that, and Tyrion trying to justify why she had to die while listing her SELFLESS, and NOBLE past achievements across Planetos
Also, screw Tyrion’s speech about good writing – D&D we all saw through that.
Now, for some positive.
The Bittersweet moments of Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Series Finale:
Grey Worm deciding to still sail to Naath. I’m still so sorry Missandei had to die. Also, her translating skills would have been useful this episode since Tyrion nor Jon knew what the hell Dany was saying before she was assassinated.
They deserved to be happy together, and frolic with the butterflies.
Arya Stark seems to have taken Elissa Farman’s storyline from the Fire & Blood ASOIAF Targaryen anthology book. While dying of a fatal stab wound, Arya mentioned in passing to Lady Crane “What’s west of Westeros?” so, that’s not all that shocking that she would leave. A more shocking scene would be Arya not taking moon tea off screen and having a whelp from Gendry Baratheon.
Ser Bronn of the fucking Blackwater got…Highgarden? And they made him Master of Coin? Bronn? The selfish foreign sellsword? Richest lands in the kingdom? Oh that reminds me – Davos told Grey Worm and the Unsullied to go live in The Reach, take their likeness as a sigil and start families? Umm did we forget they are fucking eunuchs? Like geez did no one do a quick fact check? You could have even googled it or read the wiki entry. Man…
Ser Brienne completing Jaime’s pages in The Book of Brothers. I kind of wish she told the lesser-known truth of why he killed King Aerys, but it was enough. In the end, Jaime Lannister had about two pages in The White Book, although I vaguely remember some (like Ser Duncan the Tall) or Ser Arthur Dane having four? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I just remember he felt badly about not achieving enough. Maybe now it is enough. I guess Brienne drank some moon tea off screen, and hid her sadness over his death with a stiff upper lip.
Bittersweet indeed. (not sarcasm)
I wonder if we’ll ever get more in the books on whether or not Ser Brienne is related to Ser Duncan the Tall. I hope so, it would be a great addition to her story.
The last high note I will leave this on is the small council meeting. I’m not going to lie, after my initial shock that the room was still intact (I mean time is very loosey-goosey here), my shock at seeing the hand’s chair was palpable.
When was the last time we saw any scheming in Game of Thrones? The political intrigue? The dueling ideologies? Cultural clashes from North and South? Foreign guests from other kingdoms?
By the Seven, it all just feels so hollow. I hate it.
Sam presenting A Song of Ice and Fire was a very nice touch, I truly enjoyed that scene. I think that’s the memory I’d like to hold for this show. (possible jab at Peter Dinklage aside…)
All those years I spent collecting Westeros maps, reading the books, the wiki’s, lurking in the r/ASOIAF and r/Freefolk subreddits…ultimately amounted to nothing in the show adaptation. I don’t think this was George RR Martin’s vision, or his outline.
Bronn is not important in the books, lineage still matters so no way they would put a cripple Stark on the throne, Sam isn’t qualified to be Grand Maester…none of that should have been.
But it was, and it was what we are left with.
Honestly, I don’t agree with much of the writing from mid-season five on, but it is what we were left with. I thank the actors and actresses for caring enough about their characters that they felt real all of these years. I imagine their faces and voices as I read and re-read the novels in anticipation for The Winds of Winter.
Thank you to the production crew, who worked tirelessly to create an absolute visual masterpiece. There will probably never be another Game of Thrones-level-production in my lifetime. And that’s okay, it was truly a delight to watch. These are memories I will always hold dear, and I know the cast & crew will go on to have bright futures. Thank you for all of your hard work – truly. Thank you for bringing this fandom, this world of Ice and Fire to life. It was marvelous, and I loved every minute of it.
Again, I don’t agree with the writing, and going forth I see just how important character-driven narrative really is in a revolving door world full of houses, titles, and misandry. I think a lot can be learned in this regard. How to put the writing, the characters, the core of your plot before all else. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it looks cool, but thematically makes no sense. That’s not what your audience will remember.
They will remember the stories they sympathized with. What made them laugh, what made them cry. Who they saw themselves as, how they envisioned their friend’s journey ending. It is that deep when it comes to fandom. As I mentioned before, I like Sansa. She is my favorite character and I am happy with her character arc in the end. It makes sense she was rewarded.
I am not happy with Bran presiding over all, smugly from a wheelchair and flitting off to go to Three-Eyed-Raven stuff whenever he pleases.
That was not earned. And Hodor did not deserve to die. Jojen Reed did not deserve to die. Summer did not deserve to die. Meera Reed did not deserve to be cast aside. If Bran knew the outcome, there was no point for this suffering, and I don’t care how many times he exposits “it was necessary” for the outcome when he knew the outcome would benefit only him. That is selfish, and not the boy who went beyond the wall.
Brandon Stark really went beyond the wall a prince, did nothing, and came back a king – and that utterly disgusts me.
I don’t like this new person. I never got a chance to know him or his motives, therefore I do not care.
This is how writing shapes a story, shapes a reaction, and shapes a dynasty.
Game of Thrones will make television history, but at its peak it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons – leaving a sour taste in our mouths at the disservice done to our friends, our family – these beloved characters and actors we quite literally saw grow up in front of our faces.
And that is a damn shame.
I do hope George finds it within himself to finish his novel series, I would love to read it. If he doesn’t, que sera sera.
At this point, the story is over for me. The novels remain in an endless loop, suspended storylines that hang in the balance – the gap filled with our imagination. But that is the nature of fantasy, the deepest recesses of our mind coming out to mingle with the fragile reality that surrounds us. Sometimes it is amazing, and sometimes you are hurt. And sometimes, you feel both of these emotions simultaneously, like that of the series finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Thank you for reading my reviews, all of them can be viewed here. If you enjoy sci-fi, stick around and bookmark the website. I’m doing reviews of The CW’s The 100 on Tuesdays, and will be doing sporadic Netflix and television show reviews.
This is also my author site for my Solarpunk novellas, so I will begin talking about those soon. The site will be fixed of any optimization and overall readability issues soon.
Thank you again, and I’ll see you all again on Tuesday after The 100 airs!
⊙ Remember, This World is a Shadow of the Real One.