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Game of Thrones (season 8)

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Game of Thrones (season 8)
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This takes the throne for a textbook example of what NOT to do when finishing a muti-part televised saga.
Genre: Fantasy
Serial drama
Running Time: 54–82 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: April 14 – May 19, 2019
Network(s): HBO
Created by: David Benioff
D. B. Weiss
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: Peter Dinklage
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Lena Headey
Emilia Clarke
Iain Glen
Kit Harington
Sophie Turner
Maisie Williams
Alfie Allen
Isaac Hempstead Wright
Episodes: 6

"I said that Game of Thrones jumped the shark with its deus ex Arya debacle at the end of "The Long Night", and if that's the case then "The Bells" straight up murders the shark, buries it, then digs it up and rapes its bloated, decaying corpse."
Will Jordan, The Critical Drinker

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. It premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and concluded on May 19, 2019, with 73 episodes broadcast over eight seasons. Many critics and publications have named the show as one of the best television series of all time.

While seasons 1-6 were well received and season 7 received mixed-to-positive reviews, the same can't be said for the eighth and final season, which was a big disappointment for many critics and fans.


Most of the remaining protagonists unite at Winterfell to prevent the Night King and his army from attacking the city and defeat him and his army once and for all. After they deal with the Night King, Daenerys plans on invading King's Landing with the aid of the other protagonists to end Cersei Lannister's tyrannical rule over the Seven Kingdoms.

Why This Season Single-handedly Dethroned The Show

  1. A bunch of problems in the seventh season return here, such as plot armor, nonsensical scenes, and plot holes, except that this season basically worsened all the problems Season 7 had.
  2. The overall story is a disjointed and cliched mess. The way the season concludes various plots felt either very rushed, or were never concluded at all.
    • The fact that this season has only six episodes and not ten like previous seasons isn't helping matters at all.
    • Also, the royal elections near the end make the show feel more like a sitcom than a drama.
    • Because of the plots not flowing naturally, very little character development happens.
  3. Plenty of inconsistencies and illogical scenes, notably:
    • During the scene that takes place in the meeting hall of Winterfell, Tyrion announces that the Lannister army is going to join their cause. Considering that Cersei Lannister is known for being a treacherous liar, it is unclear why he trusts her.
    • After her rescue from Euron's ship by Theon, Yara states that she is going to retake the Iron Islands. Not only does this sub-plot about retaking the Iron Island go nowhere, Yara doesn't appear at all during the battle for King's Landing, despite making a deal with Daenerys in the sixth season to help her with said battle in exchange for Daenerys helping her take over the Iron Islands.
    • Tormund runs into Edd in a corridor in House Umber's seat of Last Hearth, where the latter warns his men to stay back because Tormund has blue eyes. Due to how dark the corridor is, being able to tell what eye color Tormund has, especially immediately, is nearly impossible.
    • Jon tells Daenerys that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, despite stating that he had no interest in claiming the throne anyways. This made the problems they are facing much more complicated, and brings in unnecessary tension within their relationship.
    • In the third episode, the Dothraki (Daenerys' army) decides to charge straight at the Army of the Dead outside of Winterfell, despite them stating that they will be unable to defeat them in a "straight fight". The reason for this tactic was to draw out the Night King, but due to the colossal number of White Walkers, the area being pitch black, and the tactic being the worst idea of all tactics they could've used, it would be impossible to find the Night King. The battle itself is very illogical, as a bunch of characters could've something fairly simple to help gain the upper hand in the battle, but don't for seemingly no reason.
    • During the battle with the Night King's army, Jon takes cover behind a small boulder to keep himself safe from Viserion's fire breath, even though dragons can easily destroy large structures such as castles with their fire breath.
    • When Daenerys and her fleet go to attack King's Landing, Rhaegal is killed by Euron's fleet who hit him with three consecutive scorpion bolts without missing once, and Rhaegal was very far away from the fleet too. Despite this frightening accuracy, Daenerys still has Drogon fly in close to attack the ships. All of the bolts miss him despite him being much closer to the ships and being larger than Rhaegal. Daenerys was also warned about Euron's fleet, and "forgot" about the fleet according to writer David Benioff. In the next episode Daenerys and Drogon easily defeats Euron's fleet, which will make viewers wonder why Daenerys and Drogon retreated instead of defeating Euron's fleet in the previous episode if taking out his fleet was that easy.
    • In the fifth episode, King's Landing rings their bells to indicate that they are surrendering to Daenerys' army, but as shown in previous seasons, ringing bells do not indicate surrendering.
    • Daenerys' army gets devastated by the Night King's army and Euron's fleet during episode three and four respectively, but the fifth and sixth episodes pretends these battles never happened, as her army is still very large and well armed.
    • Arya and Sandor are sent to assassinate Cersei before any fighting begins to prevent a battle, but they act like they are in no rush at all, which caused the battle to start anyways.
    • When Jon is talking with Tyrion when the latter is in jail, Jon said that Daenerys' actions were unjustifiable, but a few moments later he starts to defend her actions.
    • Drogon, who was fiercely loyal to Daenerys, essentially allows Jon to kill her. When it seemed like Drogon was going to kill Jon to avenge Daenerys, he destroys the Iron Throne instead. It is never explained why Drogon did this.
    • The deaths of all the citizens of King's Landing are never brought up once during the finale.
    • Jon is treated like a criminal for his murder of Daenerys, despite the fact that she has committed mass genocide. Despite multiple characters knowing that he is the rightful heir to the throne and is arguably the best candidate to become the king of Westeros, he is sentenced to rejoin the Night's Watch, even though the group is now pointless due to the Night King's death. They try to explain this away as an attempt to appease Daenerys' surviving forces and the Ironborn, but this is an even stupider explanation considering that it requires the former to be angry enough to want Jon punished but not angry enough to just kill him the moment they find out what he did to their queen, and the latter aren't any sort of military threat anymore thanks to Euron wiping out Yara's fleet, and then Euron's own fleet getting wiped out by Daenerys.
  4. Several characters have been badly butchered in this season.
    • Tyrion, who was shown to be very intelligent in previous seasons, now acts gullible and ignorant; notably, he blindly believes in Cersei's claims.
    • Jon similarly acts ignorant, as he constantly makes bad decisions because he believes it's the honorable thing to do, notably when he tells other characters sensitive information that was meant to kept secret without thinking.
    • Euron goes from being very arrogant acting to a pervert who constantly speaks about his desire to have sex with Cersei.
    • Jaime's character arc throughout the series is undone, as he re-joins Cersei and reverts to his villainous ways just because he believed he was on the losing side.
    • Daenerys' character arc is similarly assassinated, as she goes from being kindhearted and selfless Mother of Dragons to becoming a ruthless tyrant just like Cersei. After Cersei and her army surrender to Daenerys' army, she responds by obliterating King's Landing, killing thousands of innocent people for seemingly no good reason. One could argue that she turned villainous because of all the difficult situations she was currently facing, but other characters, including herself, in previous seasons had been though worse and showed no signs of going insane and becoming an antagonist.
    • Varys is known for keeping secrets, but in this season he does essentially the opposite as he blurts out sensitive information to other characters and converses with Jon about his secrets in front of other people.
    • Cersei goes from being a ruthless, stone cold tyrant to acting much less ruthless and even showing a degree of care for her people. In the final battle for King's Landing, she just stands on a balcony and mutters things to herself like a crazy person while Qyburn directs their forces - a far cry from the woman who once destroyed a big part of the city in a Wildfire explosion just to kill the Small Council and the High Sparrow.
    • Arya still never uses her ability to disguise herself as anyone she wants to, which pads out the conflict in the season.
  5. Laughable dialogue, notably Edd's warning to his men.
  6. Generic foreshadowing, notably Varys foreshadowing Jon Snow's and Daenerys' relationship ending by simply stating that "nothing lasts".
  7. Throughout the show the Night King would often leave a spiral-like symbol as a message, but is is never explained what exactly it is supposed to mean, and as a result it becomes somewhat pointless.
  8. Many of the sex scenes in this season are forced with such scenes including one between Arya and Gendry and another between Jaime and Brienne. The sex scene between Brienne and Jaime undermines the platonic part of their friendship and only seems to exist to pander to shippers of Jaime and Brienne. Arya and Gendry on the other hand do not have much build up in their relationship as they only interacted with each other for the first three seasons with them taking place when Arya is still a child.
  9. Lower production quality compared to previous seasons. Notably, in one episode, a present-day Starbucks cup was accidentally left in, prompting HBO to edit the episode to digitally remove the cup.
  10. Visually, the season is far too dark, with many locations being dimly lit and difficult to see, especially in "The Long Night" and "The Bells". As a result, it is often difficult to tell what is happening.
  11. The show's title sequence is changed to one that, while not outright bad, isn't as good as the original used for the previous seven seasons. It feels like a change they just made for the sake of it.
  12. Many of the villains' deaths are unsatisfying:
    • Arya appears out of nowhere and fatally stabs the Night King in the stomach. The Night King was surrounded by many White Walkers, and somehow none of them notice Arya charging at him. Many believe Jon Snow should've been the one to kill him, considering that he has more history with the Night King than any of the other protagonists. He is also never mentioned after his death, and the season continues on as if the character never existed, and his death becomes even less satisfying as a result.
      • After his death, the overall plot feels more low-stakes than before.
    • Euron somehow survives getting caught in the destruction of his ship when Daenerys and Drogon destroy his fleet uninjured, and then is killed by Jaime. Their fight also feels forced as this is the second time both character ever had any real interaction on-screen (the first being halfway through the previous season), and both of them are allies to Cersei.
    • Qyburn is killed when Gregor shoves him aside in a moment of anger, causing him to him to hit his head on a piece of debris and die.
    • Although Gregor's second death is satisfying, the battle with his brother Sandor is an awkward one. His first death was much more satisfying due to how unbelievably painful it was (his fist death was from getting stabbed by a spear that was coated with an extremely lethal poison).
    • Cersei and Jaime get crushed to death by castle debris instead of getting killed by Arya and Sandor, which is a very unfitting and anticlimactic death for two characters that have been around since the first episode.
    • Daenerys' death is also unsatisfying when considering how out of character she became for no good reason. Also, Varys should have gotten the death penalty instead of Daenerys because he held the most responsibility for causing her breakdown.
  13. The infamous series finale, "The Iron Throne", was a disappointment that had negative reception from critics, the cast and fans alike.
  14. Ultimately, the season was so awful to the point that the showrunners David Beinoff and D.B. Weiss received enough ridicule for them to move to Netflix and drop out of their Star Wars project. Even worth noting is that the prequel, House of the Dragon, was set to be released without their involvement.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Most of the acting is still good, especially the interactions between the main characters.
  2. There are still some good moments that happen. Some examples include:
    • Sansa and Arya seeing a dragon for the first time.
    • Samwell talking about his father and brother's deaths to Jon.
    • Jaime knighting Brienne, and her reaction to being knighted.
    • The funeral lead by Jon at the beginning of the fourth episode.
  3. Just like other seasons, the visual effects and cinematography are both visually stunning for the most part.
  4. The musical score is also pretty good just like previous seasons.
  5. The first three episodes are pretty decent despite having some plot holes and other problems. The third episode also features some impressive action scenes, even if the bad cinematography and a few plot contrivances detract from it a little.
  6. The writing was indeed bold and they did take a lot of risks, but they failed in execution pretty miserably.
  7. When Arya kills the Night King (while unsatisfying) it's considered to be a marvelous and awesome defeat that fans may have reacted shockingly.


The eighth season of Game of Thrones was met with mostly mixed reception from critics, but overwhelmingly negative reception from audiences and fans, and was widely and quickly considered to be the worst season of the entire show and the final nail in the coffin for Game of Thrones' reputation. While the show as a whole received critical acclaim, the final season in particular received backlash for its reduced length and creative decisions, with many considering it a disappointing conclusion. The first three episodes were positively received, while the last three episodes received mixed to negative reception. The series finale of the show, "The Iron throne" is considered by many one of the worst and most disappointing series finales of all time.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a critic approval rating of 59% with an average rating of 6.37/10, and an audience approval rating of 31% with an average rating of 2.3/5. The last three episodes are the only episodes in the series with a "rotten" approval score, along with the sixth episode in the fifth season.[1]

Many of the cast members and the series' creator George R.R. Martin expressed disappointment with the season. Kit Harington, the actor of Jon Snow, initially fiercely defended the season, but when he was later asked to describe the finale in one word, he said "disappointing". Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, and Nathalie Emmanuel, the actresses of Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and Missandei respectively, expressed disappointment towards the fates of their characters. Conleth Hill, the actor of Varys, described the season as "frustrating", and disliked how out of character Varys was in the season.

However, there were several people involved in production of the season that displayed a complete inability to take any criticism. When he was defensive of the season, Kit Harington told fans who didn't like the final season to "go f*** themselves". Sophie Turner, the actress of Sansa Stark, called criticism of the season disrespectful to those who had worked on it. Carice Van Houten, the actress of Melisandre, accused fans of being "entitled" and "ungrateful" for not liking the season. And Fabian Wagner, the cinematographer for the episodes "The Long Night" and "The Bells", dismissed criticisms that the lighting in both episodes was too dark, and accused the people complaining of either having eyesight problems or having the brightness on their TV turned down too much.

On, a petition created by a disappointed fan asked for the season to be rewritten without David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, who described both of them as "woefully incompetent writers". The petition has earned over 1.8 million signatures.[2]

Despite the mixed reception, the season received sixty-five award nominations, and won twenty-four of those nominations.[3]


Angry Joe's Reviews of Each Episode

Jeremy Jahns' Reviews of Each Episode

Glidus' Reviews of Each Episode