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#351 Posted by gerrid (698 posts) -

As ever, none of it holds up to even the slightest scrutiny but at least they tied it up. Feels very hollow though. I think mostly because it was an ending for the sake of an ending rather than an actual culmination of years of storytelling. Comparing it with the endings of other great television series it is a million miles away.

I would say it was a well made episode of TV, but I have to say that abrupt bounce on from Dany's death scene (which was fantastic, if a little cliche), sort of ruined it for me as a dramatic episode. Reminded me exactly of the transition between the ending of Read Dead 2 and the epilogue. The way the tone shifts so jarringly. After all that, 8 seasons, she is gone and then forgotten about completely. We get one or two lines of Jon asking if he did the right thing, that's it. From saviour to genocide to forgotten in the span of 2 episodes.

I also feel like the way this season has gone, and in particular the ending, is a thematic void. This story had nothing to say, in the end. What was the message here, that if people are evil you should kill them and then everything will be OK? List off the evil characters, have them all murdered, and then everything will turn out fine?

I'm so intrigued by people who loved it, singing its praises as an amazing conclusion. I guess if you take things completely at face value then it's very rewarding and successful.

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#352 Posted by someoneproud (584 posts) -

Hahaha, "What's more important than a good story?" In a TV series, not much. In a ruler, quite a lot, maybe some charisma/leadership/empathy would be good, No? OK then just the good story. Jon coming back from the dead/Riding a Dragon > Bran surviving a fall if their stories are that important but OK.

Illiterate cut-throat as master of coin? Why not? Tyrion couldn't spot a mistake if it kicked him in the face, he's become a legitimately terrible advisor and all the monarchs he's served are dead, surely they could have found better members of the small council. Davos, Sam and Brienne make sense but the others are there to give popular characters something to do in the end scenes. With that bunch of fucking clowns ruling the kingdom I'm starting to think Jon made the wrong choice entirely.

As well as the nonsense plot, I thought the writing in this one was fucking dreadful. Between Tyrion's speech on why Bran should be king, Sam suggesting democracy & writing ASOIAF and the small council meeting it was non stop, loosely coherent cringe. The fact that the Iron Islands/Dorne didn't demand independence too was stupid AF, all of a sudden everyone wants to play nice after 7/8 seasons of backstabbing and political positioning?

Overall for me the series left too many plot threads dangling and even managed to turn the plot they did address into rushed, half-baked drivel. The show-runners apparently wanted it to have an ending like Breaking Bad, this certainly ain't that and for me I would file it away next to Lost instead. At least it's over now and I know a couple of writers to avoid going forward.

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#353 Edited by Deathstriker (1172 posts) -

@acharlie1377: I doubt Jon was going to let her slide, I think he was just in denial. The Unsullied thing just seemed like an excuse by the writers to not make him king. Bran after his transformation has shown no empathy or leadership. His intentions are unknown, so I wouldn't pick him as the leader.

It should've been Jon. If it had to be someone different then Gendry or especially Davos would be closer to breaking the wheel, since they're regular people. Bran would be a great master of whispers due to his powers, not king, the show hasn't supported that at all.

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#354 Posted by Efesell (4507 posts) -

@deathstriker: Well no empathy or leadership is remarkably on brand for the realm so it's probably fine.

Maybe the most important quality for a king right now is being too boring to start or invite shit.

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#355 Posted by gerrid (698 posts) -

If you think back to what happened in the last 4 episodes of this show, the pace has been supersonic. I can't imagine what it would be like to watch all of this in one go.

End of episode 2 we had the huge threat to the existence of all humanity poised at the walls of man, set up for the epic final battle. The culmination of years of planning, a dozen storylines converging in one place just to face this great challenge and save the world.

But then that was all over with a single knife to the belly, so the real threat could now be the focus in episode 4 - evil Queen Cersei. The heroes had suffered not much consequence from defeating the mystic evil (it was just a distraction? Meant to be a side-plot many people argued, not the real focus of the story at all!), so this was going to be the real battle, the big one.

But then evil Queen Cersei dies with merely a whimper in episode 5 and it turns out she had no chance to begin with. And actually the real real threat was one of the heroes all along, not the army of the dead or the evil queen.

But then, after one speech in episode 6, the new evil queen gets knifed in the heart and is dead. And everyone basically lived happily ever after, with all the evil defeated in quick sequence.

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#356 Posted by acharlie1377 (127 posts) -

@deathstriker: The fact that he was in denial after that is almost as bad as Grey Worm actively supporting it. If Jon had never spoken to Tyrion, it's very possible that Dany would have never been stopped, because Jon was too in love with her to do anything without someone telling him point-blank that she was evil. Also, he and Gendry are commanders, good at fighting and not necessarily much else; they're good people, but that alone doesn't make them good leaders. I think Davos would have been pretty good, but I don't think he would be taken seriously--even when voting on Bran, he comments that he's not sure if he gets a vote. Just like how the idea of democracy was laughed out of the room, Davos as king would never be given serious thought.

Bran doesn't need to have empathy or leadership, because he shouldn't be out fighting battles in the first place. After all this destruction, the people need a king with knowledge--knowledge of the present to know how to move forward, and knowledge of the past to know how not to move forward. Tyrion and all of the advisors have a strong knowledge of the present, while Bran has infinite knowledge of the past.

Lastly, Jon is still a Targaryen, and that information probably won't stay secret for long (if it even is a secret anymore); after thousands of innocent people were slaughtered in King's Landing, no one would be happy with yet another Targaryen on the throne.

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#357 Edited by Gundato (262 posts) -

Last night was weird. If I didn't know any better, I would think it was entirely made due to viewer feedback

They "fixed mistakes" by

  • explicitly listing why Dany is batshit insane
  • getting rid of the white fucking horse
  • Giving Ghost some love (when did he lose an ear?)
  • Probably some more stupid shit I already forgot

They checked off the blatant Martin ending bits by

  • Having his avatar character (Sam) propose democracy
  • Having his avatar character present the books (some actual Maester wrote it?)
  • Putting his avatar character on the council even though he was a shitty maester in the books and a dropout in the show
  • Surprised everyone by having the very first POV character "win" through his wisdom and love of knowledge

Appealed to fanservice with

  • The dumbest fucking council the world has ever seen (I somehow like Bronn less after that scene)
  • Sent Arya off for a spinoff if they can convince Maise to come back
  • Had Jon fuck off to the North to continue doing jack all (did he abandon his Watch?)

If there is one thing I am now dead certain of, it is that Martin is a huge Rick and Morty fan

I am fairly certain that a lot of this had to do with Kit and Emilia being bad actors and actresses. As YA heart throbs they were... okay (I was not a fan, but some people like them). As "adults" who have to carry most of the plot, they are horrifically incompetent. And I have a feeling that a lot of the plot adjustments and pacing issues were about not having to rely on them. Dinklage drove just about every episode this season and there was a much heavier reliance on the other characters who are probably dead by this point in the books.

Which has me wondering: has any other long running show/movies been this hurt by the younger actors not stepping up? Harry Potter resulted in some genuinely great actors and actresses. I remember watching a show in the past few years and having that "Damn, you guys lucked out with that kid" moment but can't for the life of me remember which one. Even frigging Twilight apparently had a pretty damned great cast if we are to look at their careers afterward.

GoT gave us season 8, the second Silent Hill movie, and a Terminator that made the Christian Bale one look good. Although I guess Sansa's actress is doing okay in the x-men movies (I haven't seen any with her). And Lily Allen's little brother was in John Wick 1 and The Predator, so he is alright.

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#358 Edited by Deathstriker (1172 posts) -

@acharlie1377: I think he would've killed her without talking to Tyrion. Considering his personality and he's only slept with two women and both have now turned into enemies after he fell in love with them, I can't blame him much for being in a little bit of denial for a very short time.

I would say empathy is possibly the most important trait a leader can have. That goes for in real life too. That's one of the main reasons I was pro Bernie Sanders and anti Clinton and Trump during the election. Considering how Bran treated Meera or whatever her name was after their journey ended and she sacrificed so much for him, I wouldn't trust Bran to babysit Ghost, much less lead a whole country.

Jon was already famous throughout the country (going by what Ramsey Bolton said and other evidence). Even if everyone now knows who Jon's real parents are I think stopping the white walkers, lord commander of the NW, making peace with wildlings, being a Stark/Ned's "son", king in the north, and stopping Dany is more than enough to offset that. This also goes against Tyrion's dumb speech about having a good story since Jon has a way better one than Bran.

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#359 Posted by TheHT (15859 posts) -

What a perfect ending. Absolutely beautiful.

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#360 Edited by notnert427 (2230 posts) -

Sigh. About all I can say positive about the final season is that the cinematography was mostly great and there were a handful of cool scenes. However, the writing turned out to be completely abysmal and really tainted the overall show such that most of it proved pointless and won't ever really be worth rewatching.

I guess I'm glad they actually addressed the elephant in the room of Dany being treated like a hero up until burning King's Landing, but the fact that they felt the need to try to rationalize it to the audience via a Tyrion speech speaks to how abrupt/forced/incongruent/bad that all was. The scene with the throne, Dany, Jon, and the dragon was done very well, even though I called this X3 ending after last week. Dany never actually sitting on the throne and having the dragon melt it were both solid symbolism given the ending the writers chose, so credit where credit is due for that.

Beyond that, though, this episode really fell apart. The time skip was a total cop-out to avoid the obvious issue of having Jon waltz past Grey Worm, the Unsullied, and the Dothraki (who apparently didn't get wiped out by the Night King?) moments after putting a shiv in their beloved queen. Nice of all of her hyperviolent, bloodthirsty, fiercely loyal army to take Jon prisoner and patiently hold him and Tyrion until their fates could be collectively decided by a council to be convened at a later date.

Then this council itself decides to be jarringly joke-y when tasked with making the wildly important decision of what happens to the seven kingdoms, disrespectfully zinging Edmure Tully and laughing off Sam's proposal of democracy, and ultimately allows the decision to basically be made by prisoner Tyrion. And the basis for Tyrion choosing Bran is because he has "a good story"? Nevermind that Jon's story is better, that everyone except Grey Worm and apparently Yara would love to see him as King, that he's easily the most obvious and deserving choice for it, etc. Jon isn't a subversive enough option for the writers, so let's just shuffle him off to the Night's Watch.

So now Bran becomes sort-of "king" of six of the seven kingdoms, because Sansa gets to have her cake and eat it too to now be apparently lovingly embraced by the independent North despite them choosing Jon as their king earlier, and everyone at the council is totally fine with them playing by different rules. They're also fine with oversight from a smug space cadet who barely speaks and spent most of his life in isolation basically playing VR. Grey Worm, the Unsullied, and the Dothraki are fine with freeing Tyrion so he can keep the same job he had under their queen, and are also fine with their queen's murderer going home. The Unsullied are fine with sailing off to a place they've never been to quit being soldiers and live in peace because Grey Worm liked Missandei, and the nomadic, horse-based Dothraki horde are fine with their new city life.

We then get what should have been a good scene of Brienne correcting the record on Jaime, but it somehow doesn't feature her entering her own page in the annals. Then we have an eye-roll-inducing "A Song of Ice and Fire" book appearance amidst another odd scene of the newly-minted leaders being silly, because apparently this wacky group needs to feel as slapped together and unqualified for their roles as possible. A brief-but-fun appearance from Knight Podrick couldn't even save this scene. Arya goes off to be Christopher Columbus, and then Jon pets his wolf that he was a total dick to a few episodes ago and walks into the woods.

Is this really a satisfying conclusion for anyone? At this point, I don't care enough to join the petitions for remaking it or whatever, but man, this series went out with a whimper. I fully expect this to be remembered as a "what not to do" in ending a series that belongs among Lost, Dexter, etc. The writing absolutely fell off of a cliff this season, and ultimately seemed to only care about trying to subvert itself and people's expectations. Multiple characters behaved nonsensically and/or against their own motivations to try and allow for/adhere to this dumbass "conclusion", if you can even call it that.

Honestly, I'm glad it's over, and that's maybe the worst thing I could say about it.

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#361 Posted by TheRealTurk (525 posts) -

I didn't watch, but from the talk around work this morning it sounds like given the writing for this season that the ending was very . . .

ON BRAN

Online
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#362 Edited by Humanity (18786 posts) -

I expected the worst and yet they still surpassed my wildest expectations of how bad it actually turned out to be.

But hey man.. that Westworld Season 3 trailer looked pretty good.

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#363 Posted by htr10 (1058 posts) -

@humanity:

I liked that trailer too, so I’m trying to watch Westworld season 2 to catch up and this show is boring as dirt. I hated the GoT finale, but I still enjoyed it a lot more than I am enjoying Westworld.

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#364 Posted by hankrazorbeard (121 posts) -

I don't even know where to begin.

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#365 Posted by notnert427 (2230 posts) -

@htr10 said:

@humanity:

I liked that trailer too, so I’m trying to watch Westworld season 2 to catch up and this show is boring as dirt. I hated the GoT finale, but I still enjoyed it a lot more than I am enjoying Westworld.

Stick with it. Episode 8 of Season 2 is one of the best things that's been on television in recent years.

Also, the Season 3 trailer indeed looked rad. If I hadn't known going in that it was Westworld, I'm not sure I would have made the connection because it seems like they're definitely taking the "beyond the park" idea and running with it. Aaron Paul is an inspired choice, and I'm way into the Blade Runner/Black Mirror vibe. I'll watch the hell out of that.

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#366 Posted by Humanity (18786 posts) -

@htr10: Hey you're not wrong. Westworld Season 2 had some ups and downs. I'm ready for them to go off in a completely new direction as they seem to be doing. Too bad we gotta wait till 2020. Shit.. 2020.. that date is future as heck.

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#367 Edited by Gundato (262 posts) -

Went down a bit of a rabbit hole. I don't think the ending was good, but I think it might have been really interesting

Resolving Dany was bad, but that was always expected. But it is Tyrion pointing out, to the audience and Jon, that lots of stuff Dany did in the past was played as heroism but was actually really fucking bad.

Fast forward and we have a medieval-ish kingdom that is inherently going to be thrown into upheaval every 20-60 years when a new king needs to be selected. We already have one kingdom that seceded with the likely outcome being at least Dorne and the Iron Isles leaving too.

And we have a king who is actually an eldritch god in human form that has

  • Demonstrated a willingness to warg into humans (straight up mind raping and slavery)
  • Completely ruined the life of one of those humans from when he was a young boy and then sacrificed him to make his escape (Hodor)
  • Got his protector's brother murdered and then callously told her to leave (getting rid of witnesses to what happened Beyond The Wall)
  • Demonstrated a severe lack of empathy or interest in humanity

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But then we have a moment during the stupid council meeting (not to be confused with the Really Fucking Stupid meeting) where Tyrion makes Bran king. And And Three Eyed Raven ominously agrees by saying something along the lines of "Why do you think I came here?"

You know who else was Three Eyed Raven?

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Brynden_Rivers aka Lord Bloodraven

So yeah. Apparently we got a full on horror movie ending where an eldritch being with a grudge against Westeros AND a history of bering a bit bloodthirsty is in charge of a continent that is a decade (at most) from civil war. And this is an eldritch being that experiences time non-linearly and allowed for Dany to torch King's Landing and kill thousands (tens of thousands?) all to get himself in that position. He confirmed to Sam that Jon was Aegon all to set up Dany's fall from "kind of scary" to "commits war crimes"

The Night King never mattered. And maybe Bran getting touched was more about turning NK than anything else. All we really know is that the NK has always gone after The Three Eyed Raven and that the touch meant he could always find Bran.

Which even puts into question what The Night King was. Was he just a random warlord? Or was he a guy trying to make an army to fight an eldritch god? And if we assume the book war ends the way the show war did: Were they bound by the NK or did Someone stop warging in to them?

----

I've seen a few posts questioning if Hodor was constantly being used to get Bran into position and the implication that he let Bran wander off and climb shit to get him crippled. My book and show knowledge is not enough to even begin to verify that though.

----

And it is REALLY funny to watch people lose their shit and claim that all of these implications are bad writing rather than a hilariously dark ending.

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#368 Posted by hankrazorbeard (121 posts) -

When was Bloodraven ever mentioned in the TV series?

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#369 Posted by nutter (2137 posts) -

@htr10: Man, I liked Westworld season one, but that second season, I couldn’t do it...

I think I made it through episode three before telling my wife she’s on her own with that shit. She watched one more episode before joining me in not wasting my motherfucking time.

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#370 Posted by nutter (2137 posts) -

@gundato: I’m almost with you on the dark ending. I just found the writing to be so bad that I’m not sure I can give the writers the benefit of the doubt to say that was their intention.

I think you need to start going full Indoctrination Theory to explain late series motives of previously insightful characters like Tyrion.

Bran was a reaper!

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#371 Posted by Gundato (262 posts) -

@nutter: I'm Commander Davos and this is my favorite store on the citadel.

A lot of it involves the assumption that we are seeing the Real Ending from the books, but without earning it. Show Tyrion is a god damned idiot. Book Tyrion is a bitter man who wants vengeance and is currently (?) still in a slave pit in Mereen. He may outright be dead by the end of the series. But both show and book Tyrion do have a habit of trusting the wrong people (family and Shae and Bronn).

Similarly, I could easily see book Jon (who is a god damned idiot, but in different ways than show Jon) being the one to propose it and Book Faegon being the one to shank Dany and outright getting executed.

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#372 Edited by TheHT (15859 posts) -

@gundato said:

Went down a bit of a rabbit hole. I don't think the ending was good, but I think it might have been really interesting

Resolving Dany was bad, but that was always expected. But it is Tyrion pointing out, to the audience and Jon, that lots of stuff Dany did in the past was played as heroism but was actually really fucking bad.

Fast forward and we have a medieval-ish kingdom that is inherently going to be thrown into upheaval every 20-60 years when a new king needs to be selected. We already have one kingdom that seceded with the likely outcome being at least Dorne and the Iron Isles leaving too.

And we have a king who is actually an eldritch god in human form that has

  • Demonstrated a willingness to warg into humans (straight up mind raping and slavery)
  • Completely ruined the life of one of those humans from when he was a young boy and then sacrificed him to make his escape (Hodor)
  • Got his protector's brother murdered and then callously told her to leave (getting rid of witnesses to what happened Beyond The Wall)
  • Demonstrated a severe lack of empathy or interest in humanity

That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But then we have a moment during the stupid council meeting (not to be confused with the Really Fucking Stupid meeting) where Tyrion makes Bran king. And And Three Eyed Raven ominously agrees by saying something along the lines of "Why do you think I came here?"

You know who else was Three Eyed Raven?

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Brynden_Rivers aka Lord Bloodraven

So yeah. Apparently we got a full on horror movie ending where an eldritch being with a grudge against Westeros AND a history of bering a bit bloodthirsty is in charge of a continent that is a decade (at most) from civil war. And this is an eldritch being that experiences time non-linearly and allowed for Dany to torch King's Landing and kill thousands (tens of thousands?) all to get himself in that position. He confirmed to Sam that Jon was Aegon all to set up Dany's fall from "kind of scary" to "commits war crimes"

The Night King never mattered. And maybe Bran getting touched was more about turning NK than anything else. All we really know is that the NK has always gone after The Three Eyed Raven and that the touch meant he could always find Bran.

Which even puts into question what The Night King was. Was he just a random warlord? Or was he a guy trying to make an army to fight an eldritch god? And if we assume the book war ends the way the show war did: Were they bound by the NK or did Someone stop warging in to them?

----

I've seen a few posts questioning if Hodor was constantly being used to get Bran into position and the implication that he let Bran wander off and climb shit to get him crippled. My book and show knowledge is not enough to even begin to verify that though.

----

And it is REALLY funny to watch people lose their shit and claim that all of these implications are bad writing rather than a hilariously dark ending.

Ooh, that's a fun notion. Not sure it follows though that the Three-Eyed Raven is a being with ambition so much as an entity going through the motions; more of an aware agent of fate (i.e. knows its just following a timeline of events that have happened and will always have happened, while others are unconscious of their role in the timeline of reality and have instead a false perception of agency), rather than a thumb-twiddling player in the game of thrones.

In the small council meeting, Bran just fucks off to go warg around looking for Drogon. He isn't revelling in his new station of king. He never wanted it, but you cannot change the past. He's just going through the motions.

As for any doubts as to whether or not fate is a thing in this story's universe, consider the two visions of the house of the undying and Bran touching the weirwood tree, and the conflation of past and present that created Hodor. Events are set, Drogon's shadow over King's Landing, the ruined Red Keep, Dany never getting to sit upon the Iron Throne, Bran learning from the Three-Eyed Raven while under assault of the Night King and those happenings bleeding into the past creating Hodor who was an active participant in that very moment in the present. There's a fitness to events (not in that they are "proper," but in that they are tightly fixed together rather than fluid and changeable).

[edit: I should add, I'm not entirely sure the Three-Eyed Raven has unfettered access to seeing the future in its entirety, but this point might ultimately not matter as it resolves itself to the course of fate nonetheless]

But the case of a demi-god-ish entity that lives mostly in the "past" blithely becoming King is still a fun one, even if it isn't bent on destroying the realm or anything like that.

Fitness in the "proper" sense does apply to the ends of the Stark children (and Jon) though. Genuinely expected this to have a thoroughly unhappy ending, and what we got instead was, well not really chipper an end, but a fitting one. Love it, love it, love it. ^_^

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#373 Posted by Deathstriker (1172 posts) -

Bran being evil or the mastermind behind all these events would be interesting, but that's obviously not the case at all. I'd rather gotten that than the bland ending that actually happened.

When you think about it, everyone got a happy ending in the last episode besides Dany. Jon got screwed and he should be king, but he himself said he wished he was going north with the wildlings before he left Winterfell. It sucks he got banished, but he ended up where he wanted. The north doesn't deserve independence and Sansa didn't deserve to be queen - she hasn't done anything positive since helping Jon get an army for the battle of bastards. It feels like Sansa and Bran were randomly handed power. People like Arya and Jon put in more sweat and blood than them.

Ideally, D&D should've resigned around season 6 since they want to move on with their careers and some new blood could've replaced them. Showrunners leave all the time, odds are the show would've ended better with people who are better writers and were willing to go 9 or 10 seasons. GRRM himself has implied this too.

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#374 Posted by SethMode (2016 posts) -

The more I think about the past two seasons, the more I find that there are moments I liked, but overall it just needed to be longer. I know that that isn't some kind of huge revelation, but it's just being solidified more and more in my mind as I reflect on it. I think 5 years from now or maybe more, many detractors will look back and think "They're not as bad as I thought at the time" (if it can happen with the Star Wars prequels it can happen with anything), but I don't think people will EVER forget how needlessly shortened the seasons felt. I think this will only become more glaring when people rewatch the whole series in a binge style fashion. It's really a shame, because HBO basically allowed a disinterested and/or preoccupied D&D to hit the gas so hard at the finale that it basically cost the show its reputation among a lot of fans.

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#375 Edited by Deathstriker (1172 posts) -

@sethmode: I think you're mostly right, but Bran being king will always be looked at as a joke or silly by most people, similar to The Sopranos cut to black ending. Seems like the writers tried too hard subvert things and pick someone that no one hates.

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#376 Posted by SethMode (2016 posts) -

@deathstriker: I think that will be GRRM's ending too, for what it is worth. I just hope that with context and more time he can maybe pull it off better. I've been predicting it as a book reader sonce season 1 of the show so it isnt outlandish, I just think that the show did it SO badly.