With just two episodes left in the final season of Game of Thrones and absolutely nothing to suggest that the train wreck we’ve seen so far this season is going to get any better, I’m now comfortable calling the show’s official time of death: 10:10PM ET on August 27th, 2017, when season 7’s finale drew to an end. Season 8 has been a travesty from start to finish, with the action that took place during the epic battle in “The Long Night” having provided the only watchable moments of the entire season so far. This season hasn’t just been disappointing, it has been laughably and unfathomably bad in every conceivable way.
Game of Thrones was once the most complete show on television. It had everything, from jaw-dropping production value and mind-blowing twists and turns, to incredible writing and phenomenal acting. The character arcs through the first seven seasons of the show were absolutely brilliant — there were heroic characters we loved, dastardly characters we hated, and viewers couldn’t wait to see how all of their stories developed. Now, I couldn’t care less what happens to any of the characters on the show. It has devolved into an embarrassing medieval soap opera with some of the worst writing I have ever seen. I’m not sure I have ever hate-watched anything so hard in my life.
Game of Thrones fans, it’s official: “The Last of the Starks” was the worst episode in the show’s long and storied history. Like everyone else I know who saw it, I was cringing almost the entire time I watched. As has been the case for the entire eighth season so far, the storylines in episode 4 were fine. In fact, some of them were quite smart. But the execution was startlingly bad and the writing was flat-out awful. It’s actually quite impressive that the show’s writers have been able to take such a talented cast of actors and use them to create something so mind-numbingly bad. Kudos.
I hate almost every character I used to care about. Daenerys was once a powerful, vulnerable, and relatable woman who sought to claim the iron throne for all the right reasons. Everyone was rooting for her. Season 8 has turned her character overnight into a petty, whiny child. Forget empathy, it has now become almost impossible to keep oneself from cringing as she delivers each line. Sansa has been through hell and she was also becoming one of the best characters on the show. Now she’s catty and conniving, and her scowl bores me.
Jamie was fighting battles both inward and out. He constantly struggled between what he knew to be right and his unnatural love for his sister, but he managed to stay true to his underlying code of ethics the whole time. Now he bends with the wind, and the way the storyline unfolded with Brienne was just silly. That’s right, even character development that makes sense has been executed so poorly that it’s embarrassing. Of course Jamie would finally come around to Brienne and of course he would end up going back to Cersei, but the way it all went down was laughable. Brienne, thankfully, is so friggin’ awesome that not even the pitiful writing in season 8 can ruin her character. Just like Tyrion.
Cersei was cunning and manipulative, a character masterfully designed for us to hate. She was so great to watch because you never knew who she would screw over or how. Now she’s bland and she telegraphs every move she makes. And holy cow if we get the “oh my gosh she’s human and she has empathy and she totally might come around this time and do something nice… nope she’s still evil” schtick one more time I might throw a Valyrian steel sword through my TV.
Jon Snow? His whining and whingeing is unbearable, and I’m pretty sure the special effects used for Falcor in the 1984 film The Neverending Story were better than watching Jon and Dany fly around on those dragons. Bran? Good lord is he hilariously bad as the dead-inside Three-Eyed Raven. Bronn’s crossbow negotiation scene was laughable, Varys has lost everything that made him fun, and at this point I just want to grab Samwell and shake him.
Remember how shocked and appalled people were when they killed Ned Stark so early in the first season? I couldn’t be happier for him and all the other great characters who died along the way. At least we don’t have to watch the show ruin their characters in its final season. Season 8 episode 5 airs this coming Sunday and then the show wraps up completely a week later, on May 19th. At this point, I just can’t wait to put it all behind me.