This is a column meant to blow off some steam, so please allow me that much. Whether you liked it or not, you’ve no doubt been bombarded with “Game of Thrones.” Whether you watched the national news do a segment on it or you saw it on social media, everyone reading this probably has at least heard about the HBO TV show which just had its season finale last Sunday.
If you’re a fan of Thrones, you might find what I have to say interesting. If you haven’t watched it, or tried to and decided that dragons, fire, blood, guts, swords, war, Armies of the Dead and violence wasn’t for you, then you likely won’t find this interesting and have my permission to stop reading.
I kid. Keep reading.
So here’s what’s up: I’ve been a Thrones fan for a long time. I’m not talking about the books – I haven’t read any of them – I mean the TV show. I started rewatching all seven seasons — and there’s about 10 episodes in each one — about a month before the season opener on April 14. I wanted to have it fresh in my mind before the new ones started.
It was a tall task to get them all rewatched — my bedtime suffered as a result — but I finished them in time and enjoyed it. It made me fall in love with the show again. I couldn’t wait for the rest of the story to see how it ended.
Before Season 8 started, Thrones fans were pumped. The show had an absurdly high approval rating. But when the new episodes came out, things started going downhill — fast.
It became obvious that the two writers of the show — David Benioff and DB Weiss — were rushing things with the plot. We all knew this was the last season to tie all the loose ends up, and that Benioff and Weiss didn’t have any help from George RR Martin, the author of the novels. But a lot of fans didn’t care. They still wanted the story to flow better, for it to make sense, for more characters to die, etc. To me, it seemed like everyone was going overboard with picking apart the plot of a fantasy TV show.
This is where I was different.
I didn’t care about a plot hole here or there. I didn’t care that characters weren’t dying at a staggering rate, like everyone had predicted, because I’m just a fan — I watch the thing and get entertained. That’s my role in this whole mess, nothing more.
Many others think their opinions on social media matter when discussing Thrones. They don’t. Fans are just that — fans. No matter how many signatures a petition gets for new writers to redo Season 8, it’s not going to happen. People need to face the fact that Thrones ended the way it did — poorly.
There, I said it.
I’ll say it again: Thrones ended poorly.
I guess I’m finding myself in the same group that I just tore apart — the group that thinks their opinions on Thrones matters.
Here’s where I differ from that group, though.
I know I’m not a Hollywood writer. I don’t wake up every morning, hit the Starbucks and go write scenes and dialogue for a play or movie or TV show. But Benioff and Weiss are. That’s what they do every day. That’s what they get paid money to do.
Sure, everyone else can have an opinion on if they like the way those two ended the most popular TV show ever, but I have a serious problem with fans thinking they could write a better script for Season 8 than Benioff and Weiss.
I’m sure in a couple months from now someone will present their version of Season 8 and post it online for all to read — Thrones fans are *that* serious, believe me — but it won’t get picked up by HBO or anywhere else. It’ll basically just be a long book report.
My point is this: If you think you could have done a better job than Benioff and Weiss, show me. Then pitch it to the execs of HBO. Then start interviewing and hiring a cast, then production people. Then rewrite the script to fit the version the HBO execs want you to change to appeal to a different demographic.
If it was easy, everyone would do it. Because making TV shows and movies would be fun. But it’s not easy. I bet it’s actually an incredibly difficult endeavor full of setbacks, challenges, headaches and egos. It’s my opinion that Benioff and Weiss knew this wasn’t going to be their farewell masterpiece. They probably knew it was going to catch some flack, but the show needed to end. And they had six episodes to make that happen.
So stop picking apart every detail about a show that deals with dragons, armies of ice zombies, three-eyed ravens, Direwolves and a guy called the Night King.
The show ended how it ended. Accept it and move on. Pick a new show to watch, like I did with “Chernobyl” on HBO.
Thanks for allowing me to blow off some steam. I feel much better now.
Everyone have a great Friday, I know I will.