Game of Thrones: Why are we so unhappy?

2019-05-24 09:30
Isaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark on "Game of Thrones."

Isaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark on "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

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Game of Thrones, a TV series first of its name, King of Ratings and the First Fans, Lord of HBO, and Protector of the leaks. Often described as a television feat, it has achieved what no other TV series can possibly achieve. Plots, sub-plots, multiple characters whose names we could not initially remember, scenic locations, witty dialogue and themes (incest, religion, power, corruption, love, loyalty, family, duty, honour, magic) that have simply broken the boundary when compared to an individual’s beliefs of what constitutes normal society, the show has definitely delivered in transporting its audience into a world of its own. But is it really different to the world we live in today? Although set in a different era and time, these crucial themes remain the same.

Based on the novels, “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George RR Martin, the TV show was able to successfully bring together the elements of the novels into a visual depiction of Martin’s world. But for how long has this been successful? As Lord Varys (The Spider) states, “Nothing lasts”, so too have the showrunners failed to consistently drive Martin’s elements into the final season. To be fair, Martin has not yet completed the final 2 books in the series. However, the author has stated that in order to reach an appropriate conclusion, the show should continue with another 5 seasons, which is a significant period of time.

The final season has come to an abrupt end and many have described the last episode as being “disappointing”. There was no sense of closure, finality and satisfaction amongst fans who have so dutifully watched the show since its inception in 2011. But why do so many fans feel this way? Is it nonsensical for fans to be absorbed in a show, that they have taken the ending personally, to the extent that a petition is being signed to re-make season 8? With only 6 episodes in the final season, it was imminent that the show would not be able to deliver the appropriate ending that fans so desperately craved. Does it solely rest on the fact that Bran sits on the iron throne?

The show has certainly sparked numerous controversies and debates on the character development of many of its characters. Notably of the beloved Danaerys Targaryen. Danaerys’ sudden plunge into the depths of madness and her destruction of King’s Landing, while a brilliant TV viewing, has left fans confused and with mixed feelings on their “Mhysa”. The list goes on to Cersei not dying the way we wanted her to, Jon stabbing Danaerys as a final act of justice, Jon being sent to the Night’s Watch despite being the rightful heir to the iron throne, etc.

The audience has come to identify with these characters. Earlier seasons have built, broken and moulded these characters into human beings whom the audience can relate to. Their personalities and actions have made us laugh with them, cry with them and think with them throughout their journeys. So surely, we as the audience would be able to anticipate their actions, thoughts and feelings on events to come? This is essentially why fans feel cheated because it is not what “they” would have had happen to these characters in the final season.

Season 8 has been very fast-paced and rushed. There seems to have been a need to drive the series to a final conclusion that we as fans were not ready for in only six episodes. It is the progression and character development that fans loved to begin with. The descent of Danaerys into the Mad Queen was too sudden. Her character development in previous seasons did not sufficiently justify this portrayal of madness yet to be sure, this was the end game of her character. The portrayal and sudden movement towards her madness was wrong.

Cersei’s demise was not fitting for one of TV’s ultimate villains. One could argue that death is never fitting or predictable but her character development did not allow for a mediocre death. Wisdom from characters such as Lord Varys and Peter Baelish “Littlefinger” is often overshadowed by the actions of other characters, and yet in their wisdom, events could have easily been avoided. More emphasis should have been placed on their character profiles.

Game of Thrones has not delivered on its story. Every story will come to an eventual end. Perhaps all we have to fully complete this story are the books. Who better than the author himself to provide us with an appropriate conclusion. This brings me to the irony of Tyrion’s statement, “There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken?”

Game of Thrones has not delivered on its story.

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