Bleats

If You're Upset About Bad Endings On Game Of Thrones, You've Learnt Nothing

You'd think everyone would know this by now after 8 years.

SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8 EPISODE 5!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

That fifth episode of Game of Thrones’ final season was something else, wasn’t it?

Between Daenerys fully descending into Mad Queen territory and Cleganebowl finally happening to Jaime and Cersei Lannister getting crushed by rubble while embracing each other in their last moments, a lot went down in the show’s penultimate episode.

Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of chatter from the internet over how Thrones handled a number of character arcs in the episode, especially the conclusion of Jaime’s story as many thought it neglected seven seasons of character development.

But here’s the thing, why are we all surprised that Jaime got the ending that he did? If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Game of Thrones, it’s that happy endings are in shorter supply in Westeros than live dragons.

You’d think we’d know better after 8 long years.

One of the biggest points of contention was how all the growth and redemption that Jaime underwent over the last seven seasons was all undone in his last episode and the ending he got was undeserved after everything he’s been through. However, I’d argue that it was the perfect ending for the character.

Okay, I will concede that the show royally butchered the last few steps in Jaime’s journey, such as how he ended things with Brienne and him declaring how he doesn’t care about innocent people while conveniently forgetting that he killed Aerys Targaryen so he could save innocent people.

But for the broader picture stuff, the conclusion of Jaime’s arc was spot on.

Ever since Jaime lost his hand back in season three, his journey has been predominantly about atoning for all the bad things he’s done, like pushing Bran out of a window in episode one. A classic redemption story if you will.

For the most part, he’s followed that redemptive road relatively well (with a few bumps on the way) and it culminated in his abandoning of Cersei and riding up north to fight the Night King. At this point, you’d expect the logical ending for Jaime’s journey to be something along the lines of him killing Cersei to save the Kingdom (again) before living out his days with Brienne.

While this would be fan-service of the highest order, it would be unrealistic and not reflective of what drives Jaime. As he states right off the bat in episode one, he reveals that his motivation is love, for his family but most importantly for Cersei.

Even after several seasons of trials, tribulations, and seeing the true monster that Cersei is, he remains hopelessly devoted to her. She is his fatal flaw and Tyrion has no problem pointing that out.

So from a character perspective, it helps explain why Jaime would leave Brienne to go back to Cersei. The other explanation is the limitations of a “redemptive arc”. It would be nice to see an evil person change and bat for team good but that simply isn’t realistic or honest. People want to change and try their utmost best to do so but not everyone is successful, and Jaime ultimately relapses despite his efforts.

It’s hard to defend some of the strange and inconsistent narrative paths the show took in order to get Jaime back to Cersei in season eight, but the ending he received is perfectly right for the character: in the arms of the woman he loves after trying his best to be better.

As far as happy endings go for Game of Thrones, that’s about as close as we’re going to get.

Blame The Books For Why The Final Season Of Game Of Thrones Sucks

Or the lack of books to be specific.

SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

A lot of stuff has gone down in the last couple of seasons of Game of Thrones.

In just this final season alone we’ve had Daenerys’ armies go up North to fight the army of the dead, Arya and Gendry getting down and dirty, the Battle of Winterfell, Arya stealth-knifing the Night King, preparations for the final battle against Cersei, Jon saying an awful goodbye to Ghost, and even a cameo appearance from a coffee cup.

While so much has gone down in just four episodes, it’s all been a little…underwhelming. In fact, I would go as far as to say that most of the last three seasons of GoT has been pretty bad so far and I’m definitely far from the first person to admit that.

Your mileage may vary on this.

The characters make some weird decisions that make no sense, the time logistics are all over the place, the pacing is way too fast, some of the narrative choices really push the suspension of disbelief to breaking point, and the dialogue has lost some of its early season zing.

This sort of decline happens to most TV shows, especially for those that have stuck around for over eight years, but GoT‘s decline has been especially noticeable, partly because it’s literally the biggest show on earth and partly because the early seasons were so damned good.

So how did the show get so sloppy in the last few years?

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons why but I think it all has to do with the unfinished book series and the issues that stem from that.

Okay, just bear with me here while I explain.

For the first five or so seasons,  showrunners for GoT, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, had the benefit of five intricately plotted novels from George R.R. Martin to act as a roadmap for where the show should go. But once they burned through the books, their guide was gone.

It is a known fact that Dan and David Benioff have talked to George about how the whole series ends when it became clear that the show was going to overtake the books, which happened at around the midpoint of season five. While having the duo know all the big plot points is a logical solution to this problem, it meant that Dan and David had to make up stuff to fill in the gaps.

The pair are actually pretty good at coming up with original material (such as Cersei and Robert’s conversation in season one) in the earlier seasons, but they’ve been forced to come up with increasing amounts of original content on their own in the latter seasons due to the lack of source material from George, which explains the increasing number of deviations from the novels.

Couple the pressure of having to write high quality material that lives up to George’s meticulously plotted writing with the time constraints put on them by HBO in regards to getting the show made in a timely manner (unlike George, who spends years perfecting each novel), it’s perhaps no surprise that the wheels have begun to fall off the wagon over the last three or so seasons.

Here’s to the situation we find ourselves in.

In an attempt to add some quantifiable evidence to my dumb argument, I had a look at the review numbers on Metacritic and they align up suspiciously close to my argument.

The first five seasons averaged a score of about 89, which is critical acclaim. But for the final three seasons? An average of 75, which is “only” very good.

(Rotten Tomatoes paints a much more flattering portrait as the show registers an average of 92% but that is a bit misleading due to the site’s method of counting anything that’s a 6/10 or above as a positive rather than taking an average of all the review scores like what Metacritic does.)

It really is.

Now this is obviously nothing more than a wild stab at an explanation as to why Thrones is no longer as satisfying, however, it is fascinating to see how a TV show operates when its source material is still being written concurrently.

This is definitely not any criticism to the work from Dan, David, and George, who deserve all the praise in the world for putting up with all the pressure they get from fans to properly land this plane.

The three did the best they could do under a series of unique and trying circumstances, and hopefully this is something everyone understands when they watch the Game of Thrones finale and it turns out to be something they didn’t expect.

A Game Of Thrones OG Will Join The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Its Latest Superhero

Marvel are definitely not messing around with Phase 4.

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will wrap up in bombastic style with the record shattering Avengers: Endgame and the guaranteed-to-be-successful Spider-Man: Far From Home, but the comic book movie behemoth aren’t about to rest its laurels just yet.

So far we know that Marvel are toiling away on a movie about The Eternals and they’ve managed to pull off a massive coup by getting a Game Of Thrones veteran onboard to be its newest spandex-wearing superhero.

According to The Wrap, Richard Madden is in talks to star in The Eternals, which means the MCU is about to get this stupidly handsome chap as one of its newest superheroes.

Welcome to the MCU, you handsome devil!

Now as for who Richard will play, Variety reports that he is going to portray the character of Ikaris, who a member of the titular Eternals. This is another case of pitch perfect casting from Marvel as Ikaris is basically a regal god-like figure not unlike Thor and who better to play a part like that than someone who was literally Prince Charming.

For those wondering who The Eternals are, you’re in for a wild ride. The series basically revolves around beings called Celestials, whose experiments on early humanity resulted in heroes (the Eternals) and villains (the Deviants). If you thought Guardians Of The Galaxy was bonkers then you haven’t seen anything yet.

While we are still light years away from hearing anything about The Eternals, it is shaping up to be something special as  the immensely talented Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao will be directing, and starring alongside Richard will be Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani.

Marvel has yet to officially announce its Phase 4 line-up of films but it is looking like the post-Endgame would is going to be in good hands.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us