It’s over now. There will never be another new Game of Thrones episode. But the way the curtains came down could have been more graceful, more felicitous for a show which had us glued to the screens for more than eight years. There are those few who feel that the HBO series ended just right but the popular feeling is that the last season did a lot of disservice to brand GoT. I am one of them who was very disappointed with the way things unfolded. The characters’ individual journeys might have found the perfect destinations – Jon at the Wall, Sansa the Queen, Arya the explorer – but the way they reached there didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Here are the 10 times D & D (show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) got it wrong in the last season.
Dany out of her element
The mad streak in Daenerys Targaryen has been hinted at – and even shown – at certain times in the first seven seasons but the way she reacted in King’s Landing in the penultimate episode just didn’t cut it. The writers must have thought that the beheading of Missandei and everyone’s love for Jon had done enough for the Mother of Drogon to feel so angered and alienated that her continuous chanting of Dracarys would make sense. Sadly, it didn’t.
Long Night was too dark
Let’s be honest, we saw nothing. Maybe we could make out whether the dragons were dancing or the humans were prancing but that’s about it. How does it matter that the episode was shot over 55 nights if we just couldn’t see things? The cinematographer claiming later that we audiences across the world don’t know how to tune our television sets was the dumbest defence ever.
Blocking is how the characters are physically placed in a particular scene. It’s usually a director’s call. And this Season 8 had some really poor blocking which really affected our viewing of important scenes. Like just before the Mountain and the Hound dived into Cleganebowl, Cersei was stuck in the stairs between them and she had to make the most awkward of exits. Again, Jon and Arya popping up at strange positions in the finale when Dany is asserting her reign is quite inexplicable. And if you think about it, no one in the Night King’s posse standing behind him stopped Arya when she crept up on him!
Terrible battle strategy
Where were the Dothraki running in the dark? Why was the trench made so close to the castle and why was it so narrow? Why couldn’t the dragons be alerted when they needed to unload their fire? Jon had three weeks to prepare for the battle against the undead and he really messed it up. Remember how we laughed at the way Rickon ran in the Battle of the Bastards? Well, this entire episode was equally laughable in the suicidal strategies of the living.
Jon the confused
The man says different variations of the same line – “I don’t want to be King” – many, many times through the season. It’s unclear, though, what he really wants. He wanted to save the realm from the White Walkers and so he got everyone together for the last many seasons. Now, once that was taken care of, the writers didn’t know what they wanted to do with Jon Snow, except that he would kill Dany in the end. That too without any build-up whatsoever.
The cup and the bottle
It just didn’t help that a Starbucks cup showed up on the desk in front of Daenerys in Episode 4 and then a water bottle surfaced next to Sam’s chair in the finale. Just the thought that hundreds of cast and crew members didn’t spot the unwanted props during shooting and then hundreds of others missed them during the post makes you cringe. Was this season really made over two years?
That there was no buildup for events and characters and everything seemed to be rushing towards a quick ending is because of the peculiar pacing. Why did the season have to be of six episodes? If four of the episodes ran for close to 80 minutes each, couldn’t it be a more conventional season of 10 episodes of the usual 50-odd minutes which is the standard GoT episode length? Why break viewing habits? The Long Night was tiring and even the Finale seemed overlong.
Cersei needed a bigger exit
So if you feel that the battle for the throne was a more important episode than the battle against the White Walkers – that’s why you kept it for later – then the main villain should have had a grander sign-off. A pile of bricks to finish the Lioness? Fine that she was clinging on to Jaime in those final moments but that meant much more to him and for him than her.
Two people kissing and one of them sticking a dagger in the gut of the other. Two people falling together from a height into the fire. The main moments of the final season of Game of Thrones are images you have seen before in other films and television work. That was never the case for the series which has always created fresh, original and enduring visual memories.
Bran the useless
What was he exactly doing during the Long Night? Playing bait for the Night King? When was he planning to use his warging skills and help the Army of the Living? And he turned out to be the King? His story was better than Jon Snow’s who came back from the dead? Even in the council meeting towards the end of the finale, Bran hardly has any wisdom to impart. Sanjay in Mahabharata was better; at least he relayed things to Dhritarashtra.