In the last couple of days I watched all of GoT season 8. I didn’t hate it. I was seriously bummed to see who ended up at the high table in the last episode. Not sure why, but I was hoping that Daenerys, Sansa, Arya, Yara and Brienne would sort out the future of the continent. How the fuck did we end up with so many shitty dudes at the table? Assuming that the two DBs are total shitheads, it’s a predictable yikes.
Going into it, I was hoping that the white walkers would wipe Westeros clean of all humans. I figured the idiots would never get it together, winter would come, they would all feel the wrath and all the good people would be dead. This is the ending that would be fitting for the series.
My favorite thing about the books was that the heroes died. My favorite characters would get dramatically and surprisingly murdered, then the people who conspired against them would become more sympathetic as a new bad guy emerged. The TV show didn’t stick with this, and maybe the final books won’t either. But I was still hoping that all the heroes would die or something massively surprising would happen.
I didn’t expect Bran to end up King, but I definitely didn’t think they’d make him king without exploring his experience and memory of the old gods and their power. What was cool about Bran in the book was that he wasn’t really human anymore and was essentially an all seeing tree. But in the show he’s just the snarky disabled kid who gets to be king. Whatever.
The first two episodes of reunion, planning and storytelling were pleasant. I was surprised at how much I felt at seeing some of my favorite characters reunite. I prefer quiet, observational cinemas, so the style worked for me.
I don’t generally like long fight scenes. Tons of meaningless bodies dropping is boring to me. Long war scenes, like in Saving Private Ryan and the Band of Brothers series work because there is a specific narrative progression accomplished by each scene of the fight. The only element of the Winterfell fight that worked for me was the moat. At least that gave some structure to the fight that made sense. The rest of it was a lot of slashing and gore with some minor characters dying.
I wish that Arya had been more of an assassin and had sniped the undead that were chasing her. That she was so incapable of killing anything until the Night King was weird. I mean good for her, that move of dropping your knife or an offhand gut shot was dank, but unpredicated. Her killing of the Frey’s was totally badass. I just wished she’d planned to kill the Night King, maybe using some kind of white walker faceless shit. Instead, she got some kind of pep talk from Melisandre and the next thing we know the Night King is dead. Ok. She saved their asses. And it landed like a dud. There should be epic songs about Arya.
In the aftermath of the fight, only Daenerys sees clearly. She knows that the only way through is for Jon to sit on the truth. But he’s a Ned Stark acolyte, and has to tell the truth no matter what. I relate to that — I’ve ruined plenty of relationships by being hardheaded about “telling the truth.” I groan at my memories of such stupidity and inflexibility, but I still do it. At least Jon’s action is in keeping with his character’s history and trajectory. He hasn’t been changed by any of it.
Not sure why Varys went out like such a bum. Eunuchs everywhere deserve better. His great strength was his duplicity, subterfuge and timely alliances. He blew it. Why was he so open about his intentions with Tyrion? Probably lazy writing. Wouldn’t it have been nicer if all of his spy-kids turned on him? Maybe someone like Arya, who was once a fleabottom urchin herself, could have won them over.
The end of Cersei was super lame. She had no plan? Wow. And why didn’t Daenerys or Sansa send the realm’s best assassin to take her out? Arya went anyway, but without taking any faces. Cersei just stood there. Finally she broke and wept. When Jamie found her, it was a reunion of the depraved. I was still hoping that he would shank her, but no. That they ended up crushed by rocks was anticlimactic, but even worse was watching Tyrion weep over them. I felt nothing for the Lannisters. Did anyone? Good riddance.
Daenerys always had a bit of the mad king in her. She had better motivations, but she could kill some people. That she got so angry at Cersei and acted in brute force wasn’t out of character, but it was interesting that the men trying to talk her out of it were so falsely moralistic. Jon’s argument was always that we need all the humans to fight the undead. With at over, what, he loves the Lannisters? And with Tyrion, the interesting part was that he might actually be a traitor, willing to sell anyone out for his family, as much as he hated them. That weakness is compelling, but at least for me I had lost so much sympathy for him and them by the end that I couldn’t care.
That Daenerys was killed by Jon in a parallel with Cersei and Jamie was interesting. Jon’s choice was to go down as a Jamie (things we do for love), and start it all over again, or kill his queen and also become a Jaime (kingslayer). So incestuous hetero-(ab)-normativity kills us all. Great.
What if Sansa and Yara and Brienne had stood up for Daenerys against the men with bad grooming? Why not have Sansa tell Jon to stfu and support his queen? Why didn’t the ladies band together and support each other? Oh right. All that hope about a future of westeros ruled by women was our collective fantasy, but it was never a priority for the showrunners. Despite all the opportunities given to them by the many strong women characters, they managed to kill or neutralize all of them via the petty squabble. How fantastic.
Should Jon have been sent to the wall? Sure, but by Queen Daenerys, just like extraneous Targaryen’s before him. Bran should have gone back under the tree and been consumed by the roots, to become the old gods and the new. Arya should do what she wants, because she’s a badass. Tyrion should have been killed or given a haircut.
And the small council should have been the women.