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Game Of Thrones

So it's been a bit of time now since the end of Game Of Thrones, and the internet hate machine has died down a little. I've had a chance to consider and temper my thoughts on the season and we can go ahead and discuss the show again with a little more nuance and a little less pointless moaning. Or at least that's the dream anyway because pretty much all I was seeing from YouTube, where people shitting on this show for clicks. It was so bad that AngryJoe was making forced rage filled rants about why "it fucking sucks", after every goddamn episode. I've unsubscribed, fuck him. He's become a shill, he chases trends and spouts stuff for clicks. I've no intention of following someone who does that. "He didn't even Boop The Snoot". No, Joe, he didn't. Because "Boop The Snoot" isn't something you do to a wild fucking wolf. Poking any dog in the nose is fucking insane, but by all means scream and call a TV show shit because one character didn't pat a dog when you wanted him to. That'll seem like a measured response.

Obviously, I should make it clear, this article is going to be filled will spoilers for the entirety of Game Of Thrones, so stop reading if you're not caught up, but considering how much the internet complained about it, if you're not caught up you've likely had it spoiled for you anyway. But here goes

Spoiler Warning

First of all. Was I somewhat disappointed by Season 8 of Game Of Thrones? Honestly, yes I was. Was I disappointed with Season 7 of Game Of Thrones? Quite a bit actually. So why am I defending it? Because people are blowing this entirely out of proportion. This may not be the glorious end we'd hoped for. It doesn't have the thrill of 'The Battle Of The Bastards' or the impact of 'The Winds Of Winter' which made the ending of Season 6 some of the best television ever made. Honestly, the majority of Season 6 was well written, hard hitting drama. The storyline on how Ramsey Bolton was ravaging the North and how people gathered to stop him was suspenseful, while the storyline with the Sparrows and the Faith Militant was a terrifying and sobering reveal that shook the very foundations of power we saw in the show so far. Following that season was going to be near impossible.

The thing in Game Of Thrones has always had it's problems. Season 1 was great, it had a slow start but it felt like it was breathing life into a bold world and I liked it for that. Season 2 spun it's wheels a little, there wasn't anything that massively stood out about season 2 for me. Season 3 has some incredible episodes including 'The Rains Of Castamere' with the infamous Red Wedding. This was a fantastic story, and a great end to the build up that subverted a lot of what people expected. At the same time though, both Seasons 2 and 3 suffered from having this side plot with Daenerys Targaryen that seemed to be completely seperate from the main plot. At least with the first season there was references to it, spies sent, assassins etc. Now, there's almost no cross-over at all. It's like being forced to watch two different shows that cross over. Like watching 'Buffy' and 'Angel', or 'Arrow' and 'The Flash'. Sure, they're in the same world, but that's all. It was a problem that never really resolved itself and was one I'm not sure easily could be resolved without completely re-writing the storylines.

Season 4 had some of the best characterful moments ever, with the death of Geoffery and the trial of Tyrion being highlights. There was a lot of political scheming, and characters felt like they where at their best. There was a sense that people where their most intelligent here, there most capable. It's because of these episodes people complain about the latter episodes where people make so many silly mistakes. I believe Season 4 is the peak of the show and that it has been downhill since.

Season 5 is, I feel the weakest the show has had. Tyrion went from being one of the most likable characters to a moaping wreck who wasn't fun to watch and who I honestly stopped rooting for because he bored me. The storyline surrounding Arya Stark became convoluted to the point of just being silly. It made little sense and was frankly cryptic for the sake of being cryptic. The season focused on this story and the slavers story with Daenerys, which was already dragging on way too damn long. Admittedly it means Essos was getting more attention, but Essos wasn't interesting and it left all the Westeros scenes scrambling for screen time and barely able to do anything. The threat of the White Walkers was built upon and the Sparrows for the Faith Militant storyline where established but little else. It was a drudge honestly, and dragged down the entire show. The fact that people didn't turn on the show here shocked me. Now, don't get me wrong; each episode was better than 90% of TV on today. It was still worth watching. But compared to the high points of Season 4 or the deep atmosphere of Season 1 there wasn't as much here.

This problem continued into Season 6, which was still boring and a drudge to watch at times. The Bravos story with Arya Stark still dominated way too much of the season, while the storyline with Bran Stark and the Three Eyed Raven was equally as bullshit and cryptic as the Bravos story. Sure the death of Hodor was inventive but it wasn't an interesting bit of intrigue like with previous seasons. It wasn't cleaver planning and characters scheming, it was bullshit magic and that feels beneath Game Of Thrones honestly. Still, at least the Faith Militant story was building up and the stuff with Ramsey Bolton was also paying off. It's those last two episodes that truly stand out. Without them Season 6 would be like Season 5, but those 2 episodes are perhaps the best episodes of Game Of Thrones ever made and pay off all the build-up the previous two seasons gave them. That's why these seasons are forgiven as such.

So why do people hate seasons 7 and especially 8? It's honestly just the internet hype machine. People complain about the show having less political intrigue but it's been like that since the end of Season 4. People complain about the show having a bit of a wonkey timeline and characters seemingly teleporting from one place to the other, and yes, there is a problem of logistics. Season 7 especially doesn't do a good job conveying the passage of time and it makes things feel like they've got narrative whiplash. This is an issue. People complain that there's too much spectacle, and I agree the action is a big gratuitous at times. The thing is, it's exactly that level of scale that people liked in episodes like 'The Battle Of The Bastards'. People complain that Daenerys going mad came out of no-where and I honestly want to slap them because they've literally forshadowed this since season fucking 2. People complained about basically everything and yes, those complaints are valid. This isn't the best ending. It's not what I would have wanted either. The thing is, people are spoiled by their own hype and expectations and then they get whipped into a fury by the internet. Not everything is either amazing or dogshit. Some things are just "good".

Game Of Thrones Season 8 is "Good". It's not great, it's not amazing, it's not shite, it's not a betrayal of the series. It's not as good as the high points of Season 4. It didn't catch the lightning in a bottle that was the ending of Season 6. It's not the best the show has been, but honestly it's hardly bad TV and while it's fine to criticise we need to keep perspective. If we scream "this is shit", about everything that doesn't meet our expectations, (especially when out expectations are so unreasonably high due to internet hype nothing ever could), when something really is shit, we lose all ability to express that it is. I actually enjoyed the ending. I was glad to see Kings Landing return to it's status quo despite all of what happened. It was nice to see some of the elements come full circle. I found some parts particularly moving. I think the people trying to insert real world politics into this, claiming it was feminist propaganda that lead to Arya killing the Night King, or it was deeply sexist because all the women who get power go mad; both of which I've seen, need to grow up. If you see politics in everything, it's because you're obsessed. Sometimes the cigar is just a fucking cigar!

All in all, measured responses people. That's all I ask. It wasn't a perfect show with a perfect ending. It was flawed, but it was still a great show with an awesome legacy and I think we should show it some respect there. Let's not let the internet hate machine have this one.