This time a year ago, the world was getting hyped for the final season of Game Of Thrones and the anticipation was off the charts. After seven years of building up storylines, long-awaited resolutions to outstanding plot points and unparalleled cultural influence, everyone was hoping that it would end gracefully.
And then it all landed with an almighty thud.
Speaking of HBO TV shows, the GOAT team dives into Zendaya’s office romance with her Euphoria costar on It’s Been A Big Day For… below:
The backlash to the final Game Of Thrones season was so swift that any hype and goodwill built up over the years was quickly overwhelmed with disappointment.
Whereas people were downright force-recommending people to watch Game Of Thrones, folks these days are vehemently telling people to avoid it or are indifferent to the show at best. Hell, even the cast, who were the hottest people in Hollywood, have suddenly been regulated to yesterday’s news.
By comparison, people still talk about Breaking Bad years after it ended and yet there’s virtually no peep about Thrones, except maybe to diss it and/or tell people to stay away.
All this begs the question: did Game Of Thrones‘ ending ruin whatever longevity it might’ve had? After having such a strong stranglehold on pop-culture, how did its cultural influence dissolve the moment it ended?
For all the faults the last couple of seasons of Game Of Thrones had – and boy were there many – the preceding six seasons were great, if not some of the best TV ever produced in recent memory. You’d think that the greatness of the show’s first 60 episodes would offset whatever lapses in logic in the final 13 episodes, but it appears not.
There’s no denying that some of the blame can be put on the showrunners for squeezing in about 25 episodes worth of plot and character development into the final 13 episodes, but surely that’s not enough for Game Of Thrones to go from pop-culture golden child to red-headed step cousin virtually overnight. Slightly neglected middle child certainly, but family pariah seems a bit extreme.
Perhaps it was a combination of the aforementioned rushed ending and the unrealistic expectations everyone had. We all propped Game Of Thrones up as the pinnacle of TV and thus, the ending simply had to be good, especially when we’ve invested some seven years into the journey.
There was no way the showrunners could meet the hype, but the fact that they didn’t manage to even remotely pay off seven years of build up was perhaps too much for fans to handle, even today.
It’s just fascinating to see how a TV show that’s been touted as one of the greatest ever go from endlessly rewatchable to being shunned. There hasn’t been a heel turn from a fandom quite like this, which is fitting for a show like Game Of Thrones since that itself is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon that’ll likely never be replicated.
There’s no doubt that the short term cultural influence of Game Of Thrones has more or less dissolved in the wake of its final season. As for its long-term influence, well perhaps a little early to make a judgment on the lasting legacy of Game Of Thrones. Anger and disappointment fades over time and the show’s final season may be retrospectively looked as an underrated ending with flaws that were blown out of proportion.
Or maybe not. Ask us again in 10 years.
Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.