HBO has no choice but to defend the final season of Game of Thrones. But no matter what company executives say about what David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did with season 8, it won’t change how bad the final season was. I’ve said this before many times while talking about all the criticism surrounding season 8 — it’s not what happened with the characters that’s upsetting, but the way it was all presented. The showrunners rushed through the story to get to where they needed to go, sacrificing hours of story that would have made the transition a lot smoother. Not to mention that season 8 is riddled with puzzling choices that ignore logic and common sense, making it hard to defend the series.
If you agree with all that, then you’ll also agree that the video you’re about to watch below perfectly explains everything that’s wrong with Game of Thrones in season 8.
YouTube channel Just Write needed just 20 minutes to go through the many problems with season 8, and you definitely need to watch the clip, even if you liked the final season. But you didn’t, of course, because you’re not crazy.
As you’ll see below, the cleverly titled What Game of Thrones Kinda Forgot clip illustrates the mistakes D&D made while writing the final season. The clip covers everything from rushing through the plot to making unexpected choices for the whole purpose of subverting expectations. It suggests that the show also ignored the years that went into making these Game of Thrones characters so lovable by delivering character twists bluntly, without giving the audience time to adjust to the ever-changing context, or to understand where their motivations come from.
Just Write argues that the story can still go in the same direction, and arrive at the same finale, but explains how some of the choices D&D made ruined the character arcs. And in the process, season 8 completely changed what we thought we were watching:
We thought we were watching a story about how redemption is possible even for the worst among us, about the need for us to come together during a crisis, about how by challenging social norms we can build a better world and about how we must be savvy in the pursuit of those changes.
But in the final moments everything flips on a dime and we find out that no, this is actually a story about redemption being impossible. That the only quality that predicts a good ruler is not wanting the job, about how it’s actually better to let others solve problems instead of uniting, that women are too emotional for power and that any attempt to improve the world will backfire.
Emphasizing the subversion of expectations over satisfying storytelling and forcing unnatural changes on to other characters tarnishes so much of what this story was trying to say. And what it was trying to say was important and inspiring.
A grim dark world that was trying to be a little less dark.
So, in the end, the final season of Game of Thrones is like a Cadillac with the chrome stripped off and the paint sanded down to dull metal. It goes somewhere, but it ain’t you know, boss.
So, HBO, you’d better be watching this clip a few times and vow never to repeat the horrible mistakes you made with Game of Thrones: