TV Episode Review: Game of Thrones (Season 8, Episode 6)
WARNING: This blog post will contain spoilers for season 8 of Game of Thrones, including the finale. Read at your own caution.
Game of Thrones wrapped up it’s final season last night, and I managed to catch up with the other seasons just in time to witness this finale and go in spoiler free. I am one of the people that has actually enjoyed what the show runners had to offer for the final season, even if I felt the season could have been another two to feel less rushed. I enjoyed the darker route that they took for this season, and how brutal they really have been to their characters. How did this finale fair though?
Going into the finale of the episode, I was comprehensive about what they would try to do. This show has been building up to this reveal for years now, and no matter what the results were, people were going to be disappointed. I will start my reviews off with the positives, and then move on to the aspects that I did not like as much.
First of all, this episode was stunning to watch. The cinematography and post-production team did a fantastic job with some of these shots (even if they did leave a water bottle on show this time). The obvious shot that I want to point out is when we see Daenerys for the first time this episode and her dragon is right behind her. That was absolutely incredible and the cinematography was so well executed this episode.
I also particularly liked that HBO had the guts to kill off one of their most beloved characters in the show with Daenerys, and that scene was beyond anything I expected to see in the show. The fact that Jon managed to reason with himself and actually stab her was shocking to watch. What made this scene in particular perfect was Drogon’s reaction to it. The fact that they took a page from the original novels and had the Iron Throne destroyed was such a bold move, yet it worked so well. It was the fact that Drogon realised that it was not Jon who killed Daenerys, but the battle for the Iron Throne, that really made that scene even more powerful.
I also really enjoyed the last 20 minutes of the episode. Aside from the initial shock of Bran becoming King of the Six Kingdoms (which I am still not sure whether I am pleased with or not), I loved that the show ended with the Starks in control. Yes, it is predictable, but that was what the battle was about from the start. They kept Arya as someone who does not want to have power, but to be on her own and to explore and help other potential countries and areas of the world. I was incredibly pleased to see Sansa at the end being the Queen of the North, and the council meeting at the end gave me feelings of the first few seasons, which I really loved. We also got to see Jon be reunited with Ghost and give him the love that he deserves, and that was a nice touch to end his arc.
However, just like the rest of the episodes this season, there was some problems with how they ended this show. The main issue with this episode, along with the entire season, is pacing issues. Many people have pointed out how this season has felt rushed, and I completely agree with it. So many things happened in this episode, and I loved a majority of the decisions that they made, but they all felt like they needed another episode each. There should have been one episode dedicated to ending Daenerys, one for deciding who was going to be King or Queen of the Six Kingdoms, and one to fully wrap up the story.
It also became clear that if you were not a Stark, Tyrion or one of the characters like Brienne or Samwell, there was no need to write a fully fleshed ending for your story. I really did not get the idea of sending the Unsullied off to another place for them to start their own house, because they will not last long after not being able to reproduce. It just felt like they had to write something to get them out of the way of the Starks, and it was very badly executed overall.
I am also still not fully on board with Bran being the King of the Six Kingdoms. Throughout the entire show, I have found Bran to be a waste of potential, with me not really caring for his story lines after season two. Maybe with a second watch I may find myself drawn to his storyline again, particularly now I know how it ends, but I am not sure if he was the best choice for the role. It does tie in all the way to the first episode though, and the fact that it was the Lannisters that made him a cripple yet he became King after they were killed. People were not going to be happy with anyone who got the role though, and it was not the people I least wanted it to be. I need to let the finale sit with me for a bit and see if the idea works later on.
I really did enjoy what this season had to offer overall, even if the writing and pacing was off throughout. I feel like this was a strong finale to a show that had so much power, and they tried to get so many messages out there by the end, even one about democracy. This may not have been the strongest season of the show, but I do not think it was as bad as many people are reporting it to be and I am satisfied with how the show ended. I will be watching this show again at a later date and a review of the entire show, all eight seasons wrapped up in one blog post, will be going up within the upcoming days.
What did you make of this finale of Game of Thrones? Did Bran deserve to be King, or do you think the show ended poorly and joins the list of shows with bad final seasons? Let me know in the comments down below and let’s have a friendly conversation about it.