Happy Sunday MMT Fam! This will be my first post, in almost eight years, filled with “intentional” spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen the eighth and final season of GAME OF THRONES read this with caution…and what the heck are you waiting for?
Anyways, I believe that many “Game of Thrones” viewers have been overly harsh while critiquing this last season. Did showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss “cut their noses off to spite their faces” by only wanting to shoot six episodes this season? Absolutely. Although four out of the six were a little over or under ninety minutes, it wasn’t enough time to reach the final, and for many fans disappointing, conclusions to which they led.
With a show that spent considerable amounts of time throughout the first seven seasons building detailed character arcs and addictive storylines, it was hard to digest the end of some character trajectories – especially one of my favorites, the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
For anyone who payed attention to her actions throughout the series, it wasn’t hard to envision Daenerys becoming the “Mad Queen” – Tyrion’s speech in episode 6 was a nice summation of why. But after all she’d experience pre-Winterfell, mistreatment by the North men, women, and even children after her arrival, losing a good portion of her army, her most trusted protector Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and two of her dragons for a war that wasn’t hers, and then her most trusted confidante Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), it’s not hard to understand her mental state in episode 5 “The Bells.” I may have wanted to burn some *ish down too!
And I don’t know how he survived it, but my absolute favorite character of the series Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) made it! He should have died at least three times this season alone. He made it through the long night, freeing Jamie (Nikolaj Coster – Waldau) and throwing his Hand pin back at Daenerys, down the stairs, without a Dothraki sword or Unsullied spear taking him out! Best survival technique of the series!
In addition to Tyrion, my next two favorite “I survived the Game of Thrones” characters weren’t human at all – Ghost the direwolf and Drogon the dragon. Don’t laugh at me, because I know some of you were cheering just as hard for Ghost when he showed up in episodes 4 and 6!
I know I wasn’t the only one yelling at my tv during episode 3 “The Long Night” because Ghost was in the battle at all! Bran you knew what happened to Summer! She died with Hodor (Kristian Nairn) saving your little narrow butt! Jon Snow (Kit Harington) you also saw the wights and Whitewalkers in action! Why was Ghost running on the front lines with the Dothraki??? Okay woosah, Ghost made it and is happy with his no-good owner… eh hem, I mean Jon Snow, up North with my good friend (in my head) Tormund (Kristofer Hivju).
And, Drogon – all alone in the world, mom and brothers gone – did the right thing by burning the Iron Throne! Lost his whole squad and he wanted to smoke Jon Snow so bad – that whole Targaryen thing is the ONLY factor that saved Jon’s life. But Drogon said, “I’m burning this damned chair, ain’t nobody sitting on this bitch! I win.”
I guess if I had to rank the final season, episode wise, I would say that episode two “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is number one. The episode before the Whitewalker battle, this one finds all the major players at Winterfell preparing for the impending war/doom, making amends, and partaking in heavy discussions.
Fave moments: Ser Jamie knighting Ser Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie), Theon (Alfie Allen) and Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) reunion and the beautiful last moments they shared without words (none needed), Sansa and Daenerys’s conversation before Theon’s entrance (“What about the North?”), and the little girl who reminded Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) of Shireen (Kerry Danielle Ingram) (and they played that sad theme… “I know, I know. Oh, oh, oh!!” sniff, sniff).
Following in my ranking would be episodes three, one, five, six and four. I mean episode four just pissed me off. Benioff and Weiss, y’all had to take both Missandei and Rhaegal? They were only about 10 minutes from home! And Rhaegal is why Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) needed to suffer more!
But I did appreciate how they depicted the epic confrontation between The Hound (Rory McCann) and The Mountain (Hafpor Julius Bjorsson). I guess Missandei got some kind of justice – I would have rather she sailed away with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) – and the Mountain got what he deserved.
I also loved, loved, loved the cinematography, sets and wardrobe this last season! I wish I had an HBO authorized shot of the picture above with Daenaerys’s front! That shot with Drogon’s wings spread behind her is one of my favorites of the entire series.
And allow me to go back just a bit please. Speaking of suffering more, does anybody besides me remember Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) taking out a whole part of King’s Landing with wildfire just to kill a few people that were in the Great Sept of Baelor? So, why was Danerys labeled the “Mad Queen” but Cersei wasn’t? And why did Cersei get that quick death instead of the torment she deserved?
Okay, I literally can talk about “Game of Thrones” for another couple of pages just on season eight and that’s why – at the end of the day – I believe it was a pretty decent season. I’ve heard/read about some folk slamming it – including a few critics’ reviews – but the show still has everyone talking. I believe many are really mourning the end of arguably one of the best shows of all-time, and can’t accept they’d made several predictions regarding but were way off.
I jest, mostly because I was serious about Ghost 😛 , with my questions above. But my only major criticism of the finale season was its length. I believe had the showrunners given us at least eight or nine episodes, at that close to an hour and a half time, there would have been more than ample time to complete those characters arcs and arrive more satisfactorily at the same conclusions. I don’t believe they would ever please everyone, but I think most would have accepted the results better than they have.
I rate season eight a 3.5 out of 5 beats on the MMTrometer.
But guess what, one lucky winner can judge the season for themselves! MMT is giving away a digital copy of the final season of GAME OF THRONES. To enter, you must be an active subscriber of this website and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Season 8” and your name in the body. To increase your chances, tell me your favorite character(s) from the show and why. One winner will be selected and notified by Saturday, June 15.
Until next thought, Thomasena
PS: for those who will, but haven’t watched, I still did pretty good with the info/spoilers! No mention of who actually ends up on throne, what stops the Night King/Whitewalkers, or how Daenerys’s arc actually ends! 😉