HBO’s Game of Thrones finale falls flat


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Unknowingly, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) takes one last look at her lover before he kills her.

Ellie Hafer, Entertainment Editor

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the finale and previous seasons of Game of Thrones

After eight iconic seasons, Game of Thrones has finally ended its nine year reign as the most watched show on television. The show’s finale aired Sunday, May 19, on HBO. It had a runtime of 82 minutes and had 13 million viewers in the U.S. alone. Reactions have been mixed about the last few episodes, including “The Bells” and “The Iron Throne.” The last season only had six episodes, whereas most other seasons had a total of 10. Overall, viewers were not happy with the show’s finale.

The writers of the show, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, both planned to stay off the internet and far away in “an undisclosed location” when the episode aired. This was a smart decision on their part, because the internet backlash was severe. People even started a petition to have “more competent writers” rewrite the finale.

The last episode, “The Iron Throne”, has an average rating of 3.5 out of 10 on and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 48 percent, as of May 27.

A major issue fans had was the botched storyline of Daenerys Targaryen that ultimately ended in her unnecessary death. Over eight seasons, she had a meticulous plotline, from being sold by her family, to the Breaker of Chains, and then to the prophesied Mad Queen. People treasured her character as a strong, powerful female character that could be both kind and ruthless. The writers of the show had plenty of time to fulfill Robert Baratheon’s prophecy that Daenerys’ would end up like her father, falling into madness and killing innocents in a mass slaying. Instead of slowly slipping into madness, the writers had her snap in the second to last episode, and she was killed by her lover, Jon Snow, in the last episode for that misstep.

It also appears that the production team may have been rushing to finish the season, as displayed by two careless mistakes in the episodes “The Last of the Starks” and “The Iron Throne.” In “The Last of the Starks,” a Starbucks coffee cup can be spotted on the dining table directly in front of Daenerys. HBO acknowledged the mistake and making a statement on Twitter, saying, “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.” All jokes aside, HBO scrubbed the cup from the image and all available episodes on their streaming service. In “The Iron Throne,” towards the end of the episode, two plastic water bottles can be seen on the ground besides the feet of Samwell Tarly and Ser Davos. Another blunder is also seen in the episode “The Bells,” right before the Lannister twins are crushed by rocks. Jaime Lannister’s flesh hand is visible, when it should have been his gold prosthetic. No statement has been made about the water bottles or the prosthetic goof.

Competing against Daenerys for the most disappointing death is the Lannister twins. For seasons, fans have speculated that Cersei Lannister would be killed by Arya Stark, fulfilling Melisandre’s prophecy about who Arya would kill, long before she became an assassin. In the prophecy, Melisandre said, “I see darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes — eyes you’ll shut forever.”

After she kills Walder Frey and the Night King, the only eyes left were the green ones. Fans figured the only option that made sense was if Arya killed Cersei. Then she and her brother were crushed by rocks in maybe the least climactic deaths ever. Right before their death, Jaime returns to King’s Landing to be with his sister, ultimately undoing several seasons worth of character development. RIP Braime.

As for HBO’s favorite siblings, the Starks have each of their plotlines wrapped neatly with a bow. Rightfully so, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) became the Queen of the North all on her own, and she didn’t need a king to rule beside her.

Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) takes on the equivalent of the Iron Throne, even though there isn’t the physical throne left. He becomes the ruler in the six kingdoms following Winterfell’s separation from the surrounding kingdoms.

Arya is going to answer her eternal question, “What’s west of Westeros?” She is seen sailing away from King’s Landing to explore the world.

Whatever viewers think of Game of Thrones, there is no doubt that HBO has made quite the impact with the series. With over 44.2 million viewers total, the show has certainly left its mark on the entertainment industry.