I feel like I well may make myself a social pariah by admitting this, but I actually rather enjoyed episode five, season eight of Game of Thrones.
As far as penultimate episodes go, The Bells was nothing short of spectacular, with Daenerys’ descent into tyranny as tragic and as terrifying as it deserved to be.
Indeed, as imperfect and as frustrating as it may have been, season eight as a whole has so far made for excellent television in my eyes. And I am tentatively looking forward to the upcoming conclusion.
However, I know there are plenty of others who completely disagree, and feel they have been personally let down by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
I do honestly kind of get this sense of being underwhelmed. Game of Thrones has always felt way bigger than just a TV show, expanding and building both on the screen and in our imaginations.
What we see on screen is just one part of this extensive fan universe. The rest is made of wilder, more fluid stuff: theories, memes, and heated late night discussions.
For me, writing about Game of Thrones is a great pleasure, allowing me to focus in on those intricate details which make the show feel so worthy of our undivided attention.
For no other show would we obsess over the meaning behind costume changes and credit sequences, or the shock twists foretold in moments of quiet conversation.
And so, to see that Game of Thrones is simply a TV show like any other – with editing errors and deadlines to meet – kind of feels like pulling the curtain back on Oz the Great and Powerful.
Season eight has admittedly suffered from a lack of book material, and there have been certain key scenes which could have benefited from a slower build-up.
However, when you step back and look at it objectively, the final hours of Game of Thrones have been truly thrilling, and a testament to Benioff and Weiss’ creative compatibility.
However, with half a million people having signed a petition for season eight to be remade, it’s clear not everybody is satisfied.
The change.org petition-started by a fan named Dylan D. – has made the following demands:
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on.
This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!
Look, if you’re not happy with this final, brutal blast of fantasy, the book ending is still very much up in the air…
You can now watch the new season of Game of Thrones on HBO or Sky Atlantic.