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  #601  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:22 AM
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Earlier this season people pointed out that Cersei was just a person. She didn't want to kill all life or open a portal to a demon dimension or anything. Compared to the Night King, Cersei was just kind of a jerk. A human jerk who by her very nature posed zero threat to humanity itself.

For someone like Bran, I'm wondering if the sack of King's Landing was even worth noticing. A few hundred thousand people died, whoopty-do, he's been preoccupied with trying to stop an Extinction Level Event for the better part of a decade.

If a hundred year civil war erupted starting now, that still wouldn't even register on his existential threat scale, I don't think.
  #602  
Old 05-23-2019, 10:38 AM
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How can you say that Bran knew everything was destined, if he was an active participant in the chain of events? He had no free will to keep his trap shut about Jon's lineage? If Bran was gonna end up being king no matter what, then why not keep your mouth shut so as to not appear complicit? Bran as the source of the info was known to several people.
  #603  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:47 PM
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I was half-expecting Jon to walk though the gates of Castle Black and say, "Well, I'm back."
  #604  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:57 PM
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I was half-expecting Jon to walk though the gates of Castle Black and say, "Well, I'm back."
I mean, Arya did sail west to where she eventually found the Grey Havens, I'm assuming
  #605  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:58 PM
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How can you say that Bran knew everything was destined, if he was an active participant in the chain of events? He had no free will to keep his trap shut about Jon's lineage? If Bran was gonna end up being king no matter what, then why not keep your mouth shut so as to not appear complicit? Bran as the source of the info was known to several people.
If everything is destined, then no he doesn't have free will. He let Sam know about Jon's lineage because it was his fate to do so.
  #606  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:03 PM
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How can you say that Bran knew everything was destined, if he was an active participant in the chain of events? He had no free will to keep his trap shut about Jon's lineage? If Bran was gonna end up being king no matter what, then why not keep your mouth shut so as to not appear complicit? Bran as the source of the info was known to several people.
It's possible that Bran saw a path to victory and didn't know what would happen if he strayed from that path. So he did everything he saw himself doing, just to ensure that victory. Not exactly fate, but his free will would have been hampered.
  #607  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:12 PM
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If everything is destined, then no he doesn't have free will. He let Sam know about Jon's lineage because it was his fate to do so.
It's not really possible to convincingly argue what Bran knew and what he did not, or what his take on free will is. He speaks in noncommittal phrases most of the time. There is really no way one can demonstrate that he knew he'd be King.
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  #608  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:18 PM
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Am I the only one who has been generally down on this season but rather liked the final episode? There were some beautifully shot scenes, especially Dany's speech and death. While the latter felt rather abrupt on first viewing, I think the scene works, including Drogon's actions, at the level of emotion and symbolism. I also just liked seeing the characters that we have been following for so long and who have been through so much, find some happiness, Brienne adding to Jaime's entry, Sansa's getting crowned and Jon returning to the Wall and beyond.

My overall feeling at the end was just gratitude, the show has been through its ups and downs, with more of the latter towards the end, but at its best it was a pinnacle of television and even the weaker episodes often have individual scenes of outstanding merit worth coming back to.
  #609  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:24 PM
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Am I the only one who has been generally down on this season but rather liked the final episode?
I would say I was rather indifferent to the rest of the season. However I found the Battle of Winterfell ridiculous and poorly shot. The overall feeling I have for the finale is "content."
  #610  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:17 PM
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I really thought the society in GoT is what made it extraordinary, not the characters. Once the characters' morals started tracking with our contemporary ideas of good and evil it went downhill. I didn't have much hope for the finale, but I was onboard up until the council scene. From that point forward I just wanted it to end so I didn't have to watch it anymore.
  #611  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:01 PM
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It's not really possible to convincingly argue what Bran knew and what he did not, or what his take on free will is. He speaks in noncommittal phrases most of the time. There is really no way one can demonstrate that he knew he'd be King.
I don't know.. Bran repeatedly said to people lamenting their past actions words to the effect of, "You were exactly where you were supposed to be", or "You did exactly what you needed to do." When asked if he'd be King, he said, "Why do you think I came all this way?", suggesting that he knew exactly what would be asked, and what he would say. It's not like he was just sitting at home and thought, 'You know, I should make an 1800 mile trip just on the off chance that they want a crippled northerner to run the kingdom."

The implication I got from Bran's actions is that he know what the future IS, not what it might be. And if that's the case, he's powerless to do anything other than what his sight tells him he will do in the future. He has to follow the script.
  #612  
Old 05-23-2019, 05:15 PM
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The implication I got from Bran's actions is that he know what the future IS, not what it might be. And if that's the case, he's powerless to do anything other than what his sight tells him he will do in the future. He has to follow the script.
Which is a pretty hellish existence. Some science-fiction has characters who are possessed, and the original personality is behind the scenes just watching as the possessor controls the body.

I imagine Bran is a bit like that, knowing what's going to happen, including knowing what he's going to decide, and knowing that when the moment comes, he'll not decide anything different.

Christ almighty that would be awful.
  #613  
Old 05-23-2019, 05:46 PM
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Which is a pretty hellish existence. Some science-fiction has characters who are possessed, and the original personality is behind the scenes just watching as the possessor controls the body.

I imagine Bran is a bit like that, knowing what's going to happen, including knowing what he's going to decide, and knowing that when the moment comes, he'll not decide anything different.

Christ almighty that would be awful.
That's like Dany being your personal sovereign. You don't get to decide. Or, maybe, he does have a choice. Bran could do what he would have 'wanted' before he no longer had wants, no matter what the foreseeable consequences were. Then he would be Dany.
  #614  
Old 05-25-2019, 10:40 AM
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I don't know.. Bran repeatedly said to people lamenting their past actions words to the effect of, "You were exactly where you were supposed to be", or "You did exactly what you needed to do." When asked if he'd be King, he said, "Why do you think I came all this way?", suggesting that he knew exactly what would be asked, and what he would say. It's not like he was just sitting at home and thought, 'You know, I should make an 1800 mile trip just on the off chance that they want a crippled northerner to run the kingdom."

The implication I got from Bran's actions is that he know what the future IS, not what it might be. And if that's the case, he's powerless to do anything other than what his sight tells him he will do in the future. He has to follow the script.
I disagree. I don't think Bran knows the future any more than the previous 3ER did. What he knows is probabilities. The more data you have, the better predictions you can make. Bran didn't travel on "the off chance." He traveled because he had a very good hunch they would pick him. But Murphy will always have a say.

Besides, knowing the future is the same as being prophetic, and we have seen how accurate that is on Westeros. That is, minimal at best.
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  #615  
Old 05-26-2019, 10:24 AM
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Check out the GOT making-of documentary "The Last Watch," tonight at 9pm EST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K7c0jXkaGc
  #616  
Old 05-26-2019, 01:58 PM
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Am I the only one who has been generally down on this season but rather liked the final episode?
I would put it like this:

Episodes 1-2: Excellent, I believed they had it in them to make an amazing final season.

Episode 3: OK, my stream was way, WAY dark on the night it aired. I re-viewed it in super-high resolution and it is a great episode. One of the great ones, actually.

Episode 4: I LOVED the post-battle celebration. I found the final 20-30 minutes with Cercei totally awkward and badly made. Forced, awkward, and eye-rolling-inducing.

Episode 5: Beautiful, but disappointing resolutions to storylines.

Episode 6: A mixed bag, but mostly good. I think Jon leaving the south forever is a beautifully filmed ending. The rest of the character endings ranged from frustratingly bland to wonderful.

I would have suggested two 10 episode seasons instead of one 7 and one 6 episode season. Or even 3 seasons of 2-8 episodes:

Season 6 - Night King

Season 7 - Cercei(final ep of season ends with Dany burning the city)

Season 8 - Aftermath of Cercei's death and Dany's decent into full psycho and a slower development of the other storylines.
  #617  
Old 05-26-2019, 02:32 PM
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I would put it like this:

Episodes 1-2: Excellent, I believed they had it in them to make an amazing final season.

Episode 3: OK, my stream was way, WAY dark on the night it aired. I re-viewed it in super-high resolution and it is a great episode. One of the great ones, actually.

Episode 4: I LOVED the post-battle celebration. I found the final 20-30 minutes with Cercei totally awkward and badly made. Forced, awkward, and eye-rolling-inducing.

Episode 5: Beautiful, but disappointing resolutions to storylines.

Episode 6: A mixed bag, but mostly good. I think Jon leaving the south forever is a beautifully filmed ending. The rest of the character endings ranged from frustratingly bland to wonderful.
I agree mostly with this. I love episode 3 but it would have been better if they would have let Sam stay in the crypt rather than somehow survive where he should have been dead at least three times. Episode 4 spiraled out of control from the surprise attack of Euron onward, and is by far the worst episode of the season for me.
  #618  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:16 PM
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I just wanted to say that I'm currently binge-watching the entire series with my son who has never seen it. We're up to season 5 now, and I have to say that it's causing me to already see the last season in a much more favorable light.

I think one of the problems Game of Thrones has had is that the seasons were so spread out in time that people forgot little details that make the actions in the last season much more reasonable. For example, it's very clear that Daeneris, left to her own devices, makes rash decisions that lead to great harm for a lot of people. For example, she had 161 masters crucified along the road to Mereen, against the strenuous advice of Barristan Selmy, who counseled mercy. Then in the next episode one of the supplicants to see her says that his father fought bravely and tirelessly against slavery, and fought against crucifying the child slaves. Daeneris says, "Where is he now? I'd like to meet him." And the man replies, "You crucified him."

There was another scene a few episodes before where Ser Jorah had to talk her down from killing a whole bunch of people. And it was an effort, because she really wanted vengeance.

When she heard that Yunkai and Astapor had fallen to the slavers again, she ordered Dario Neharis to take the second sons and simply kill every master in those cities - after she had already been shown that not all the masters were evil people. Again, Ser Jorah talked her down, and she agreed to give them one chance to free the slaves or they would be killed.

At almost every turn along the way, Daeneris's instincts told her to do the most brutal thing she could, but the fact that she was doing it in the cause of freeing slaves allowed her and the audience to overlook her tendency to violence. But imagine if she had done the same actions in King's Landing, crucifying or murdering every Lannister or Knight in the King's Guard, and along with assholes like Meryn Trant we saw her crucify Jamie and Tyrion Lannister and Bronn. The audience would never have forgiven her, but in terms of her morality it would have been no different. But because they were NPC's being crucified, we overlooked it.

I suspect that when we get back to the last season, it's going to feel a lot more justified and coherent than it did watching it after waiting 2 years.
  #619  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:18 PM
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I'm surprised people are bold enough to go against the grain and admit they liked season 8. I liked it too.
  #620  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:26 PM
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Because they’re risking soooooooo much by expressing an opinion?
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  #621  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:36 PM
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Because they’re risking soooooooo much by expressing an opinion?
We don't even have "dislikes" here so you don't even lose internet points. And while we certainly saw a lot of Dany being ruthless to her enemies, and people she might have mistakenly thought were her enemies (the masters of mereen were not very tolerant of anyone wanting to free their slaves, we only have Hizdahrs word on his father's liberal slave policies) we never got any hint she would ever harm random innocents. If anything we had tons of evidence to the contrary. Most of those brutal actions you quote are a DIRECT result of the culprits harming innocents.

Last edited by DigitalC; 05-26-2019 at 05:40 PM.
  #622  
Old 05-26-2019, 06:01 PM
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we never got any hint she would ever harm random innocents.
She fed a random innocent to her dragons solely to make the point to the city leaders that the Sons of the Harpies were unacceptable.
  #623  
Old 05-26-2019, 09:47 PM
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I think that it was deliberate so that the viewers could imagine the end they prefered to Jon's story.

For me, he's leaving the Night Watch.
Talking with folks this week, it surprised me how so many were upset with Jon's ending. He shouldn't have been punished by returning to the wall - he was the true king! And I realized that as many times as Jon said he did not want it, no one paid any attention to him (other characters and a lot of the audience). Sansa wanted him to be king. Varys wanted him to be king. Viewers wanted him to be king. He kept telling everyone that he did not want it. But what he wanted was never considered. So even it they had somehow forced him to be king, he might have been good at it but he would have been miserable. He got the best ending he could hope for - free in the north and far away from the bullshit of politics.
  #624  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:47 AM
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I watched the show Last Watch last night and it was an interesting one. It showed what what happens behind the scenes. It was two hours but I found it very interesting.
I enjoyed watching the table read, wish it was longer but it was enough to notice that some of the actors didnt like their script too much..... (hello Varys).
Good stuff.... so many people involved and nobody had the balls to tell D&D that the season was crap....
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:06 AM
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the next big show that ends maybe they can say before the final season : We know it's crap and we don't care. Maybe that will make the whiners happy.
  #626  
Old 05-27-2019, 12:21 PM
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I'm surprised people are bold enough to go against the grain and admit they liked season 8. I liked it too.
I think it did continue the gradual decline compared to the first 4-5 seasons, but that's hardly surprising. There are definitely things that I would have liked to have seen done differently, but I have no problem with the major points (defeat of the night king, Dany turning evil, Jon killing her, even Bran for king - with the suggestion that he played the game on purpose this way to become king). Dialogues were clearly sacrificed for action, again I might have liked it differently, but so be it. The acting was excellent, the special effects amazing. In the end: was I entertained? Yes, definitely.

Last edited by Art Rock; 05-27-2019 at 12:22 PM.
  #627  
Old 05-27-2019, 01:38 PM
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Interesting exchange between Barristan Selmy and Daenerys in season 5:

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Barristan Selmy: "When the people rose in revolt against him, your father set their towns and castles aflame. He murdered sons in front of their fathers. He burned men alive with wildfire and laughed as they screamed. And his efforts to stamp out dissent led to a rebellion that killed every Targaryen, except two."
Daenerys Targaryen: "I'm not my father."
Barristan Selmy: "No, your Grace. Thank the Gods. But the Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved, and each time, it made him feel powerful and right, until the very end."
Daenerys Targaryan also gave her enemies the justice she thought they deserved, and each time it made her feel more powerful and right, until the very end.

Like father, like daughter. Selmy basically described the rise and fall of Daenerys Targaryan three seasons ago.
  #628  
Old 05-27-2019, 04:03 PM
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Barristan Selmy was a great character who shouldn't have been killed off so early. He's still alive in the books. I liked his contradictions. He was a kingsguard who let his king die, joined the usurper's kingsguard, and then let him die too. Yet he only talks about honor and duty. Then he wanders off to find some other monarch to serve. He's one of the few knights whose skills Jamie respects. But he admits that his best fighting days are behind him. Yet he refused an honorable retirement. I'm sure he'll go out fighting in the books, but his death in the show was lame and anticlimatic. It would have been fitting for him to live long enough to see Daenerys die too, and realize he failed yet another ruler he was sworn to protect with his life.
  #629  
Old 05-27-2019, 04:34 PM
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I'm surprised people are bold enough to go against the grain and admit they liked season 8. I liked it too.
I definitely come down on the side of "like it", but I believe they could have done better. It was a lot of pressure.

They do NOT deserve to be put up there in the upper level of "crappy endings to good shows". I leave that to Dexter and X-files, personally. No way is this anywhere near as bad as those.
  #630  
Old 05-27-2019, 05:38 PM
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Barristan Selmy was a great character who shouldn't have been killed off so early. He's still alive in the books. I liked his contradictions. He was a kingsguard who let his king die, joined the usurper's kingsguard, and then let him die too. Yet he only talks about honor and duty. Then he wanders off to find some other monarch to serve. He's one of the few knights whose skills Jamie respects. But he admits that his best fighting days are behind him. Yet he refused an honorable retirement. I'm sure he'll go out fighting in the books, but his death in the show was lame and anticlimatic. It would have been fitting for him to live long enough to see Daenerys die too, and realize he failed yet another ruler he was sworn to protect with his life.
It was a good end for Barristan Selmy - he got to die fighting for his queen, and he died before he discovered once again that the person he was sworn to was going to end badly.

Rewatching, there are a number of scenes where Ser Barristan doesn't say anything, but you can tell he's having second thoughts about his Queen. He gives her a lot of side-eye when she's making rash decisions.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 05-27-2019 at 05:38 PM.
  #631  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:18 PM
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many people thought the books went downhill too after the first 3 so the show is just continuing that tradition.
  #632  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:31 PM
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I watched the show Last Watch last night and it was an interesting one. It showed what what happens behind the scenes. It was two hours but I found it very interesting.
I enjoyed watching the table read, wish it was longer but it was enough to notice that some of the actors didnt like their script too much..... (hello Varys).
Good stuff.... so many people involved and nobody had the balls to tell D&D that the season was crap....
I love behind the scenes stuff so I really enjoyed it. It was obviously exhausting for all the crew. Someone said that it was good the show was ending because there was no way they would be able to do it if it had gotten any bigger. If was fun to follow the extra through the whole thing. He really loved what he was doing.

It was interesting that Kit Harrington hadn't read the script before the table read and was so surprised that Jon was going to kill Daenerys. And Emilia Clark's look to him like "yep, that's what they're doing".

My favorite line was when the director was driving to the set past a pasture and said "those sheep have seen things."
  #633  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:50 PM
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I love behind the scenes stuff so I really enjoyed it. It was obviously exhausting for all the crew. Someone said that it was good the show was ending because there was no way they would be able to do it if it had gotten any bigger. If was fun to follow the extra through the whole thing. He really loved what he was doing.
I highly recommend The Last Watch, even if you were disappointed in the last season, I liked that they followed the behind the scenes workers for the most part and the extras and lesser known actors. The sheer joy of Vladimir Furdik (the Night King) with the fans was something to behold.

And now I want one of the spin-offs to be called "Bannerman", starring Andrew McClay.
  #634  
Old 05-27-2019, 08:32 PM
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THR did a scientific poll to find out what regular GoT viewers think, something I have been dying to know. Turns out they are a little more positive than the social media/Reddit consensus, but only a little:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...-finds-1213014
  #635  
Old 05-28-2019, 03:30 AM
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To me, the last season felt rushed. It reminded me of the last episode of a cancelled TV-show where they try to tie up as many loose ends as they can.

-The entire Night King/Azor Ahai issue ended with a knife thrust. Who was the Night King? Just a grumpkin? What was his deal? What about Azor Ahai, R'hllor etc ?

-Winter is coming. No, it isn't. After almost a decade of saying that winter is coming, we've had so many years of summer, it'll be the worst in thousands of years, they've used their resources on wars instead of the normal stockpiling and prepping. The winter turned out to be a complete nothing. The characters just spent eight years in some kind of autumn limbo.

-The character arcs seemed far too rushed. There had been some work done on foreshadowing Danys fall, and some character work but the final turn was still way to sudden to seem right to most people.

And Jon... they seemed to think they were writing book Jon, rather than the character he has developed into in the show. Show Jon is probably around Joffery as a potential King. Varys, who saw Rhaegar screw up the end of Aerys reign, and served on the council of Robert Baratheon, watching him run the kingdom down for 20 years through his dislike of being King, should be particularly opposed to Jon as king. To Varys, Jon must seem like some king of unholy union of everything unsuitable in Robert and Rhaegar with a parodic ineptitude as a military commander, thrown in.

Instead of showing more organic growth towards the endpoints of their arcs, the season relied on exposition instead. They said it, they didn't show it. Tyrion and Varys going on about how they are worried about the queens mental state, and in defiance of all common sense, how good Jon would be as a King.

Also, Tyrion didn say much clever and funny in the season.

Arya -what was the payoff of the whole learning to take on other peoples faces? And a few cliches from the hound and she changes her whole outlook?

And the whole turning Brienne into a crying girlfriend at the end, ick. The whole sudden Jamie/Brienne issue, and Jamie suddenly reverting and ending up right back where he started the show. Too sudden.

And the magic +5 repeating invisible scorpions in the invisible fleet, that suddenly turned out to be not very effective after all, when not fired from the moving deck of a ship.

But mainly, the character arcs and story seemed to be rushed to a finish. Bran as the mastermind, ok. Might have seen some hints of that sooner? For a show that is so renowned for its characters, it just came across as incredibly arbitrary.

I felt like there was supposed to be nine or ten seasons in total, and they suddenly decided to cut it short, abruptly forcing everything to its planned endpoint.
  #636  
Old 05-28-2019, 05:43 AM
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Barristan Selmy was a great character who shouldn't have been killed off so early. He's still alive in the books. I liked his contradictions. He was a kingsguard who let his king die, joined the usurper's kingsguard, and then let him die too.
He didn't let Aerys die, he was wounded at the Battle of Ruby Ford, and was recovering when Kings Landing was sacked.

I'm not sure how a Kingsguard could have prevented a drunk king hunting a boar, but he was there, so I suppose he did let Robert die.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:35 AM
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He didn't let Aerys die, he was wounded at the Battle of Ruby Ford, and was recovering when Kings Landing was sacked.

I'm not sure how a Kingsguard could have prevented a drunk king hunting a boar, but he was there, so I suppose he did let Robert die.
That's part of his tragedy. He really couldn't have stopped it, but you can be sure others think less of him for it. With King Robert, he could have taken a more active role in politics and realized Cersei had it in for him. Might have went along on the hunt with him. Most people underestimated Cersei though, so it's understandable.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:01 PM
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Robin Arryn is actually the longest-serving head of a Great House in the series, becoming the head of House Arryn when his father Jon was poisoned prior to the beginning of the very first episode.
Technically hasn't Aegon Targaryan (Jon Snow) been head of his house longer?
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:32 PM
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Because they’re risking soooooooo much by expressing an opinion?
What a helpful comment and a GREAT contribution to the thread.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:35 PM
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What a helpful comment and a GREAT contribution to the thread.
The idea that it takes an impressive level of boldness to express an opinion about a television show on the internet deserves mockery.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:39 PM
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That's part of his tragedy. He really couldn't have stopped it, but you can be sure others think less of him for it. With King Robert, he could have taken a more active role in politics and realized Cersei had it in for him. Might have went along on the hunt with him. Most people underestimated Cersei though, so it's understandable.
He did go on the hunt with him. But I guess if a King says 'wait here while I finish off this boar' and then gets himself gutted, there's not much Ser Barristan could do.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:28 AM
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Here is the ultimate sum-up of my feelings about all of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAhKOV3nImQ
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:02 PM
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Technically hasn't Aegon Targaryan (Jon Snow) been head of his house longer?
But the statement was that Robin Arryn was the longest-serving head of his house. Jon had not been serving as the head of House Targaryen.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:33 PM
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Here is the ultimate sum-up of my feelings about all of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAhKOV3nImQ
Yep, pretty much.
  #645  
Old 06-02-2019, 03:38 PM
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Have you seen the John Hughes ending to Game of Thrones?

https://youtu.be/64IGxrQEN68
  #646  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:10 PM
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I'm way late to the party, as I didn't sign on for HBO until the season was over so I could binge it in a week. I know that there's been a lot of squawking on the intertoobs, and I'm assuming there was a lot in this thread as well, but I for one really enjoyed S8 and had zero problems with the ending. Except for the fact that the dragon destroyed the entire city, but somehow the interior of the palace was magically resurrected at the very end. Episode 3 was a heart-pounder. I had to turn it off half way through and take a break.

This whole series has been epic. I went from someone who had no intention of ever watching even a singe episode, to being completely caught up in this world. I think I may have even convinced my wife to watch it, whenever I'm ready for a second airing. I really think that this is likely the best TV series to ever be produced up to this point, and that's saying something. Kudos to HBO for staying with it, even though the production costs must have been enormous.

Last edited by Chefguy; 06-07-2019 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:24 PM
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If your aim was to binge it in a week, why not sign up the last week of the season?
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:35 PM
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Your favorite lines from the TV show?: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=876821
  #649  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:45 AM
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If your aim was to binge it in a week, why not sign up the last week of the season?
Why do you care?
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:44 AM
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Since 2011, I watched virtually every episode of the series as they aired for all eight seasons...until the last episode. I was actually on a cruise when it aired, and when we got back I was catching up with work, moving my son out of his college dorm, helping him buy a car, etc. Then I was probably just stalling, because once I actually watched it, it would all be over, forever. (I still haven't watched the last couple of episodes of Firefly for the same reason.) I managed to keep myself unspoiled first by being on a ship in the Caribbean with no internet, then simply avoiding all GOT discussion.

So with that as preface, I just watched the final episode exactly one month after it aired. Without reading a single post in this thread yet, my initial reaction is that it was more than a little anticlimactic, like most of the season. It wasn't horrible, but also wasn't great -- overall just kind of "meh." That also goes for the climax of the episode, Daenerys's death. It was just "meh." (And maybe Daenerys should have had a Queensguard, or been a little more suspicious of Jon...especially after his rejection of her in the previous episode.)

Why was Jon imprisoned by the Unsullied when they discovered that he had assassinated Daenerys instead of immediately executing him on the spot? After all, they were seen killing POWs earlier the same episode -- would they really have left him alive for a second after finding him next to a pool of her blood?

When Sam proposed a democratic government, I was afraid for a second that it was actually going to be entertained seriously, which would have been completely unrealistic for Westeros as it has been presented in the series. The reaction of the lords to this proposal was dead on. However, the elected monarchy that they adopted wasn't much better. I find it hard to believe that they would turn the throne over to a cripple with no army and no claim to the throne. It seems more likely that following Daenerys's death it would turn into a series of wars and squabbles as the survivors fought for control of one or more of the kingdoms. Indeed, it seems unlikely that Sansa's declaration that the North would be an independent kingdom wasn't immediately followed by similar declarations by the Ironborn, Highgarden, Dorne, etc.

If one of the goals of the series was to show a gritty, more realistic portrayal of the standard medieval fantasy trope, then it basically failed at the end with this "happily ever after" ending for most of the characters.

Now I'll go read everyone's comments from the last month -- I'm sure everything I just wrote has already been discussed to death.
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