The last episode of Game of Thrones aired on May 19, 2019 and it marked an end of a show that had been in the center of pop culture for almost a decade. The show first caught people’s attention thanks to its explicit content (both sexual and violence) and for killing off main characters like how one eats popcorn, all at once and without much care.
The readers of George RR Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire (on which the series is based) were the only ones who were used to the story progression but, for the rest of us, the show was a totally different genre of television, as it rarely featured clichés and had an overall unique tone to it. For me personally, ever since the first season, (and from here I request you to proceed with caution because…spoilers), Game of Thrones has been about waiting all week to catch it on Mondays and Tuesdays on HBO around seven or eight at night, praying that a disturbingly sexual scene will not pop up exactly when my parents walk into my room.
The first thing that caught my eye and probably everyone else’s was the death of Eddard Stark which was like if Batman were to die in the first 30 minutes of a Batman movie. It made absolutely no sense and that was what made GOT so different. There was once a time around season three, whenever I learned a character’s name, that character would die in the next episode and I genuinely believed that the show’s producers were inside my head, laughing and plotting the death of a character whose name I happened to remember (and why wouldn’t you remember dramatic names like Thoros of Myr?).
As the seasons progressed, GOT got more and more popular and I have to say the last two seasons of Game of Thrones ranks at the bottom for me personally, out of all eight seasons. However, this is not to say that they weren’t good (GOT is never truly bad). In the earlier seasons, a character would die if he/she breathed in another direction but (and I remember this scene specifically) in season seven, Jamie runs towards the mouth of a fire-breathing dragon and still manages to live. GOT turned from this nonchalant hipster who couldn’t care less about what people thought of him/her to this to this self-conscious high school kid who will give up being themselves just for the sake of popularity. And this very popularity, I feel, is what dumbed down GOT.
And finally, when winter finally did come in the last season, the internet was buzzing with all things GOT. Some fans were happy and some were not. Personally, I feel like GOT created a paradox for itself. In its seasons before the grand finale, it gave us such glorious and totally unexpected suspense moments to a point where it could never outdo itself. The very aspect of suspense would feel stale and as GOT had been so unsuspecting in the past, I would have been dissatisfied with the ending no matter what (no amount of zombies would shock me like say, the “red wedding” or “hold the door”). Nevertheless, as it ended, it left me in quite a bit of shock (both serious and hilarious).
I know for a fact that my fellow friends and people on the internet were a little disappointed. The last season seemed feverishly rushed and how the winter ended in three episodes when it had been coming for eight years was insane. Several theories like Azor Ahai and Maggy the frog prophecy were burned down by Drogon’s fire. It’s third episode “The Long Night” was literally too dark and I almost had a meltdown because I couldn’t see a thing. For me, it came as no surprise that the last season had the least favorable ratings among all seasons.
However, instead of signing petitions against shows creators (the internet needs to get a job), we should be thankful to the genius that is George RR Martin, the creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and also the actors for taking us through such a roller coaster of a show, for making cafe talks loud and interesting as well as making fans bond over wanting to kill people they have never met (looking at you Jeffory and Bolton).
From its magnificent cinematography to brilliant CGI (for the most part), GOT has set a legacy for being a one-of-a-kind television production and, whether or not its ending was satisfactory, it will remain so. The books have yet to catch up, so anyone disappointed with the series has that to look forward to. GOT gave us heroes worth celebrating and villains worth hating. It transcended the mere dimension of a good guy-bad guy storyline and delved into the complexity of human emotions, power and politics and sits on its own iron throne amongst the best of what television has to offer.