GOT 6.6 The Iron Throne
There’s no point in recapping the final episode of a TV show that has been running for eight seasons over nine years. You either watched it or you didn’t.
What I’m going to do is give some brief thoughts and opinions.
Bear in mind that I only finished the episode about half an hour ago from writing this and these are just my off the cuff thoughts without any time to digest or really think about it too much.
I enjoyed it.
I thought it was fine. It wasn’t anything incredible and it will… has left a lot of people feeling unsatisfied but I didn’t really feel that way too much.
I should come clean, A Storm of Spoilers podcast have their ‘Storm’ section where they delve into spoilers for upcoming episodes, last season as so much of the plot has leaked they kind of knew everything that was going to happen. That wasn’t the case at all this year as security was much tighter, many scenes were filmed without intention of being used to keep people guessing or looking in the wrong direction and even when things were confirmed by multiple sources a lot ended up being different, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in big ways.
I listened to the Storm all season long as for this show I subscribed to Dave Gonzales’ theory that it wasn’t ruining, it was enriching. It works for me, it wouldn’t work for everyone.
As I had been listening to those spoiler sections as the season progressed some plot developments started looking more and more likely and after a couple of weeks of people being a lot more disappointed in the show than I was I came to realise that one of the reasons I was enjoying it more is because I had tempered expectations.
I think I did regardless of spoilers though to be honest. To tell a massive epic on the scale of A Song Of Ice And Fire and have it conclude in a way that satisfies every plot line, character and reader is never going to happen. Then when you take into account that the show has gone from being an adaptation of a nuanced literary fantasy story to a spectacle driven premium cable television series it had even less of a chance.
Everyone is putting the blame at the feet of show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and the writing. It’s well known they’ve been ready to move on and start work on new projects, including Star Wars movies, for some time now. I appreciate that! Working on any project like that for ten years must be exhausting, but I guarantee they put their all into delivering the best show they could until the very end. They knew a few key points they needed to reach but a lot of the ‘how’ to get there was left in their hands. That’s why a lot of the plot points may have felt unsatisfying because they were tied into an ending George had decided upon and they had just been trying to fill the gaps.
The fault is not their own though. They’re not the only people ready to move on. Sure, HBO would have thrown a lot of money at the show if they had wanted to go longer but there is a limit. They would have done an analysis on their return on investment and had a top budget.
All these actors contracts were up, to bring them all back and to go longer would have cost the network a lot more money considering Game of Thrones is one of the biggest global entertainment brands. The cost of that on top of the already extraordinary high production cost is a factor that not enough people are mentioning when they criticise the show.
That’s not to say the show is without faults, it had plenty, but no more than the majority of other TV series in history.
Other than Tyrion surviving this finale played out almost exactly as I expected, to the point that I called the final shot of the series weeks ago. Maybe I felt more satisfied with the episode because most of it was what I was expecting.
A couple things I would have liked to have seen; Arya doing something with her faceless man super powers. Killing Greyworm would have been a perfect opportunity for this. The lack of payoff for her years of training in the art of disguise was disappointing to me.
Some broader acknowledgment of Jon’s true heritage, sure it may be a very George thing to do to build up our expectations with years of speculation and revelation only to subvert said expectation by having it be effectively an unimportant in the grand scheme of things piece of the puzzle.
Maybe, one day, we’ll get the final two books and see what the Dornish plot was leading toward, whatever Lady Stoneheart’s role to play is, wether or not Euron’s horn can bring down a dragon and some better conclusion to the valenquar prophecy but for now this is what we’ve got.
It wasn’t perfect, the last couple of seasons were very rushed, it may not have felt like a wholly satisfying conclusion for everyone, but it was a hell of a good show wasn’t it?
If you didn’t enjoy the finale, don’t think about it too much, remember how much you enjoyed the journey. We got over seventy episodes of rich fantasy television that for the most part was amazing, appreciate and relish that because it’ll probably never happen again, not to that scale anyway.
I am notoriously too forgiving of the media I enjoy and I am an optimistic realist in all aspects of my life so I’ll leave you with this;
It was a really good tv show.
And now my watch has ended.