The long awaited final season of the supposedly most epic TV series of all times is finally here. I subscribed to HBO Nordic in order to be able to follow the season as it unfolded. Getting HBO Nordic was a good decision, despite the awful quality of the application, but this series certainly was not the reason.
Where do I begin? Season 7 was already completely based on some guidelines provided by George R.R. Martin and original writing, since the novels that describe the same events have not been released yet. Before they started to make season 7, they were well aware, that they had 2 seasons, under 20 episodes, to finish the series. So what do they do with season 7? They kill of a bunch of interesting characters just so they won’t have to give closure to any plots they were involved in or to the arcs of the characters themselves.
Now we come to season 8, 6 episodes and we still have the white walkers to beat and then there’s the problem of Cersei, who, to no one’s surprise, does not provide troops to fight the white walkers.
They spend 3 episodes out of the 6 available on setting up and going through the white walkers fight. I guess it could’ve gone into more interesting paths, but it didn’t. We get one episode of setting up the final chess pieces in their places. I mean seriously, most of the dialogue in the episode seems like the characters are describing chess piece movement. We get one episode that is supposed to set the mood before this end of the world fight. Except that everyone knows that the white walkers are going to be beat, because the show runners have shown exactly zero courage in anything they’ve done once they ran out of George R.R. Martin material. This kind of an episode still has some potential. Yes, the walkers are going to be beat, but so much of the secondary and tertiary cast of the series is present, that even without courage, we are going to get scores of important bodies, right? So night before the battle episode, there’s potential. But the dialogue is putrid, there’s very little tension in any of the scenes. Have a drink, knight a woman, sex for the first time, all by the book and seems like the actors were phoning it in. And obviously then the third episode, the fight. Yeah, there’s probably not been another mass combat depicted in a TV series with so much flair, but nothing happens. First it looks like they are doomed. Then some things go right and maybe there’s hope. Then those things are countered and they are doomed again. A few efforts that are supposed to be heroic fail, and the doom deepens until every hero has been cornered and it seems all is lost. Enter deus ex machina, combat resolved, count the bodies, one. How many? One. What? Yes, one. We get exactly one important body. They had the courage to kill one fucking character out of the dozens of expendable people there. One! If they had that much courage and that much originality, they should’ve covered the whole white walkers fight in a montage in 20 minutes during the first episode, so at least we could get more space for finishing character arcs and the multitude of open plots with some time and satisfaction – but they chose to spend half the season on a fucking useless subplot in a manner that does not take one character forward and does not provide a single surprising moment.
The rest of the season does not get any better. It’s true that they’ve been broadcasting Daenerys’ turn to evil for at least a season and a half, but they still manage to handle that so hamfistedly, that it feels like there’s no character arc behind it and no justified psychology. Cersei just dies. So does Jaime. The “awaited” Clegane encounter is a fucking joke. Euron’s arc is just ended. Tyrion and Varys continue being blabbering idiots instead of brilliant strategists. All the feminist tones are stomped on and ground to dust. All the other ideas about breaking the mold are diluted to the point of irrelevance. Jon, the fucking puppy eyed miserable cry baby, is the one, who finally finds his balls, and ends it all… And manages to do it in the most unsatisfactory way. All of it, everything, just wasted potential in the end. There is not a single juicy scene during the last two seasons of the series. And the 8th is by far worse than the 7th. And that isn’t even going into all of the lack of charisma and tension present in everything.
In all fairness, it is difficult to end a series, that has gathered so many expectations around it. I would assume the reason for Martin not having released further novels to the series, is that he is having the same problems. Martin and the series are both in unnecessarily deep waters with finding a good ending due to Martin’s tendency to take every namesake of a side character and give them a full story arc. But this is just a no show by the show runners. They phoned it in. They couldn’t care less. Their checks had already been signed. This is seriously a good contender for the prize of worst series ending ever, and there is no shortage of good contestants.
In a couple of years, the best bad moments will be watched during private bad film festivals and laughed at heartily.
- Finished in: 20th May 2019