Movies & TV / Columns

Will the Game of Thrones Finale Deliver?

May 13, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Game of Thrones 8-04 Jon Snow

By the time you read this we will have one more episode of Game of Thrones to look forward to. Adapted by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for HBO from the George R. R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series, the show has captivated audiences from its beginning and most of us have been along for the ride since 2011.

Game of Thrones has been a boon for HBO and has given them record viewership along with critical acclaim thanks to its top notch acting, layered characters and storylines. Plus, it has had no qualms killing off a favorite character or two. Or three.

As the show closes up the talk has been about the quality of this last half of the season and will the finale be one that’s fondly remembered or one that we would just as soon forget?

Being a beloved show is no easy task. Viewers get used to a certain level of quality and their expectations grow accordingly. When it come to wrap things up, those expectations become almost impossible to fulfill thanks to numerous fan theories, rumors, and comparisons to other hit shows.

When it comes to Game of Thrones, fans have made it their own and quickly run to their social media to compare notes and share their opinions. As the show comes to an end, the fan interest has deepened and many feel this season has been the weakest, which is frustrating because not hitting the landing can throw fandom into a tizzy.

While I’m not a fan of Rotten Tomatoes, I found it interesting how this season score has compared with previous ones. Take a look:

Season 1: 91%
Season 2: 96%
Season 3: 96%
Season 4: 97%
Season 5: 93%
Season 6: 94%
Season 7: 93%
Season 8: 77%

One of these things is not like the other. Is the show really suffering this season or have fans become too critical? Personally, it feels like they are trying to do too much in a short amount of time, rushing the story and cutting corners that they hadn’t cut before.

There’s a real fear that the show won’t be wrapped up properly, with fans not getting that sense of satisfaction they got from other finales like Breaking Bad, M*A*S*H, The Sopranos (I liked it!), The Americans, The Wire, and so on.

And don’t think the show runners don’t know it. “We want people to love it,” Weiss said. “It matters a lot to us. We’ve spent 11 years doing this. We also know no matter what we do, even if it’s the optimal version, that a certain number of people will hate the best of all possible versions. There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’ — that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. You hope you’re doing the best job you can, that this version works better than any other version, but you know somebody is not going to like it. I’ve been that person with other things, where people are loving something and I’m going, ‘Yeah, that’s okay. I was hoping for more.’”

At least Benioff has a plan for the night of the finale of their series airs. “I plan to be very drunk and very far from the internet,” Benioff said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

That’s a good plan.

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Game of Thrones, Steve Gustafson