Yet another all-time great series gives us a bad ending
The final season of Game of Thrones came with much anticipation and went with much ridicule. Season eight to one of the greatest shows ever on television had fans turning on it saying it was boring, rushed, and the writing was poor. I came to the show's defense with one of my most recent articles trying to say that things were going as they should just not as fans wanted. When the series finale aired this past Sunday, I found myself turning on it as well.
Game of Thrones is known for subverting expectations. That's probably one of the reasons why it captivated fans and became the most popular show in the world. The show threw curveballs at us just when we thought we knew what was going to happen. Ned Stark dying when we thought he was the main character. Khal Drogo dying after declaring war for the Iron Throne. The big red wedding scene where Robb and Catelyn Stark were killed. Of course, if you read the books you knew what was coming but for those who didn't these are some examples of the way GOT subverted our expectations.
However, sometimes doing that can be really bad. Look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi to see a perfect example of that. Giving us a specific main storyline and then telling us 'actually, that doesn't matter'. That's how I felt in the GOT finale.
My favorite story arc of GOT was the story of Jon Snow. R + L = J and all of the clues throughout the series surrounding that narrative. It's the main thing that drew me into the show besides everything else. I could not wait to find out the truth about Jon. Then I couldn't wait for all the other characters to find out. More importantly, I couldn't wait to see if Jon would take the throne like he was meant to do. What we got was nothing. No resolution, no reward, nothing at all. No prince that was promised, no Azor Ahai, nothing.
It felt like a big middle finger to me to not finish this story arc and fulfill the prophecy. I don't care that Jon went to live with the wildlings but why waste his arc? Who was Varys writing those letters to? When picking a new king, Why wasn't Jon's identity even mentioned? This isn't about subverting expectations as I mentioned before, this is more like telling us the main narrative that everyone talked about the most meant nothing. According to the writers, George Martin allowed them to have the series after they correctly answered who Jon's real mother was. So if it's that important why not complete it.
The finale left too many questions and too much to be desired. I'm ok with Daenerys dying because that had to happen. The Night King's end left me wanting just a little more about him but I accepted it. Sansa becoming Queen of the North works and Arya sailing off to discover new worlds was a good fit for her. But none of their stories were what the show was about. Not for me. It was all about Jon and it felt like they threw it away.
But I digress. In the end, Game of Thrones will always be one of my favorite shows and stories of all time. Unfortunately, it's another show added to the list of disappointing endings. But I will still recommend it to those looking for a great show to watch and I look forward to seeing what comes next. Maybe the prequel that's coming in the next couple of years will be just as good.