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allegro  May 15, 2019 • 12:23:52pm

May I add to your list?

7) Tyrion turning in his bestie, knowing he’ll be dragon-fried, after a single conversation in which he, too expressed reservations about Dany. It felt wrong and out-of-character especially when he tells her she’s been betrayed by Varys when she’s clearly distraught and losing it. Tyrion was always an excellent judge of character up to now. But then the writers have made the previously cunning Tyrion into a moron the past 2 seasons.

8) Tyrion turning in his bestie for treason because he was so “concerned” then releasing Jaime to save Cersie and get the hell outa Dodge. Yeah, there’s a family thing but it’s still entirely contradictory. On that same note, Cersei sends an assassin to kill Tyrion but doesn’t take a couple of very easy opportunities to take him out? Also, Cersei having the easy opportunity to take out Dany, Drogon, Jon and the entire lot of them easily in minutes but didn’t even though we know she is completely without any ethical restraint.

9) Failing to use obvious, valuable resources: Bran for recon/intelligence - what the hell has all of the Bran story even been about all these years? (Perhaps he’ll play a role finally in the last ep?) Arya the expert stealth assassin who could have killed Qyburn, taken his face, fucked up KL defenses and killed Cersei with zero collateral damage. Varys’ vast network of informants (barely hinted at the last ep, ignored the past 2 seasons).

10) Where the hell is Yara and her fleet? Just sitting it out when she could be battling her nemesis, Uncle Euron? Yara vs Euron would have made sense and felt satisfying. The Jaime thing was WTF, reduced to what, jealousy? Dick measuring?

The writers have done such a disservice to this amazing story and its previously complex, deep characters. No one was looking for a happy ending here but we sure didn’t expect the fuck-you-we-have-new-projects-to-work-on so Pffft, we’re done.

All that said, the production values (coffee cup aside) have been spectacular. Visually mesmerizing, exquisite music, excellent performances (given what they’ve had to work with recently). It’s been a fantastic ride, as disappointing as much of the writing has been in seasons 7 & 8. I’ll never regret the time and investment spent.

steve_davis  May 15, 2019 • 1:43:35pm

The answer to all of this is because this is fantasy fiction, and as has been true of fantasy fiction since the beginning of time, it is almost impossible for authors to work out plots that don’t ultimately seem utterly trite. Even the Lord of the Rings, which is in many ways THE masterpiece of modern fantasy, the destruction of Sauron comes about because a stupid freaking ring gets melted down. Why would the destruction of the ring destroy Sauron? He put much of his power into it, but not all of his power. If the destruction of the ring, containing all that power, destroyed Sauron, then how the hell was Sauron keeping himself together when he was separate from the ring?

So there simply was no good way ultimately to have these characters have successful character resolutions because they exist in the same level of genre as the Andy Griffith Show, or the Nibelungenlied.

I agree, by the way, with pretty much all of your complaints. Both dragons’ deaths were ridiculously contrived. I mean, really? The Night King, who doesn’t exist in the books, and won’t exist in the books, throws a fucking harpoon a good quarter of a mile? Hits a moving target? Okay, I’ll give them that. It’s a magical harpoon. Euron manages to ambush dragons that are flying high enough to where everything below the horizon for the ships would be easily visible? Moronic, and as my old DM used to say, “sorry, but the plot demands it.” What would have made far more sense would have been for Varys to, instead of trying to poison Daenarys, poison the second dragon, in a kind of complicated plot to even odds out a bit so that Daenarys would be more inclined to accept negotiated terms with Cersei. And for the dragon to die, but Daenarys to understand the treachery and the person who initiated it, clearly viewing that as a kind of last straw, in which she ultimately decides she can trust none of her advisers. I could see that as being a last straw that might well lead her to take vengeance upon an entire city in her wrath.

wheat-dogg, raker of forests, master of steam  May 16, 2019 • 1:39:31am

I have two possible explanations for the disappointing closing episodes.

1. Showrunners said, we want another 10-episode season, HBO. Then, HBO said, nope, this has gone on too long. Finally they agreed on 6 episodes, and with 4 fewer hours to devise a more believable ending, they took shortcuts and relied on tropes to bring the plotlines to a close.

2. Since Martin himself doesn’t really know yet how the book series ends, the showrunners took some liberties with the characters and their motivations to create a cheezy, TV-style ending.

3. Both 1 and 2.

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