SPOILERS for the Game of Thrones series finale, “The Iron Throne.”
Well, after eight seasons and a whole lot of shocking deaths, Game of Thrones has ended. Naturally, the entire internet has opinions about it, and publications are flurrying to write think pieces about it. Lots of think pieces. I kind of love how the writer of the Vox GoT piece says it feels like “a slap in the face.” Really, Zack Beauchamp? You didn’t like a TV series’s finale, so it feels like the show hit you? Okay, then. That’s not melodramatic at all.
If I agree with any of the think pieces, it’s Emily Nussbaum’s piece for The New Yorker, when she says “I also didn’t care if it made sense, which is the best way to enjoy a lot of finales.” You know why I agree with that statement? Because the finale entertained me, even if it left its realist politics behind. You know why it left its realist politics behind? Because the showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, ran out of time. They also ran out of books. I’m betting that George R.R. Martin is taking so long to finish the series because he’s trying to preserve that realism. There are plots from the later books that the show didn’t include (Jon Connington and Young Griff/Aegon VI, everything with Princess Arianne of Dorne and her younger brother, Quentyn) because we don’t yet know how those plot lines are going to pay off. In fact, some people got mad at GRRM for throwing too much world-building into the fourth and fifth books (A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, respectively). I enjoyed those books, however, mostly because by the time I got to them, they had been on the shelves for several years. I didn’t have to wait for them to be released, so I had no time to formulate theories about what had happened next.
I’ll admit, I have a weird relationship with Game of Thrones because I don’t get HBO, but I watched the first season by getting the DVD discs through Netflix back in 2012. Then I read the book series from November 2013 to November 2014, and I fell in love with the book series. I only saw bits and pieces of Seasons 2-6 via YouTube, and Seasons 7 and 8 are the only seasons I’ve seen all the way through. And Seasons 7 and 8 entertained me. And that’s fine. If you enjoyed these past two seasons, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with you or your taste. Enjoy all the fantasy fiction you want. See, I really enjoy watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes where they make fun of really bad fantasy and sci-fi films, and I can tell you that the worst episodes of Game of Thrones are 2,000 times better than the best of those flicks. Yet I get a kick out of those terrible movies anyway. I have friends who have similiar tastes, too.
What really irks me about the reactions to the GoT finale is how it shows that people are beginning to define themselves by what they consume. Their favorite TV show declined in quality in the last two seasons, as so many TV shows have before it, and they flip out and make fun of it to make sure that no one thinks that they enjoyed it. Because they certainly did not enjoy it because they definitely do not like low-quality things and that’s what this was, yes, sir. Because Bran landing on the Iron Throne is the worst thing that’s happened in the last five years! 2016 Presidential Election? What’s that?!
I’m a goofy nerd who spent too much of my twenties reading reviews on the internet and trying to make my tastes more like those of the reviewers. Now that I’m on the brink of thirty, I realize that reviewers’ tastes, and fandoms’ sanctioned tastes are all a load of crap. You like what you like, and that’s that.
Overall, my feelings about the GoT finale can be summed up by this quote from The Simpsons:
Homer: “Is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”
Marge: “It’s an ending: that’s enough!”