This month marked the 10-year anniversary of the premiere of Game of Thrones, but sadly, fans are still preoccupied with their hatred of the show's final season. The HBO fantasy adaptation helped change the face of TV itself, but its issues with source material gradually came to overshadow its reputation for greatness. Now, fans on social media can hardly discuss the show without performing a post-mortem on its last season — or two, or three.
Game of Thrones premiered on April 17, 2011, and became an immediate hit with its eye-catching rendition of author George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels. It was lauded for its complex world-building and politics and for juggling more storylines than a TV audience would typically be trusted to remember. However, the success of the show gave Martin serious writer's block, and by Season 5, the show had surpassed its source material. After that, the two writers and showrunners opted to cut their last few seasons short, resulting in one of the most reviled TV endings of all time in May of 2019.
Some have defended the ending, often saying that no finale could have been satisfying for a show this grand. Others argue that fans are mostly angry that their fan theories did not turn out to be true. However, these counter-arguments have died down in the year and a half since the series ended, leaving only bitter fans awaiting the next book.
There is good news on that front, as author George R.R. Martin has been posting regular updates about his progress on The Winds of Winter. Martin claims on his blog that his isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has given him plenty of time to write, though so far, he has not even hinted at a release date.
As for fans, there is more room than ever for speculating and theorizing, using the show as a guidepost to guess where Martin will go with the story in his final two volumes. There are also side books to consider, like The World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood.
When it comes to the show, however, the heartbreak goes on. Here is a look at what fans had to say this week in memory of Game of Thrones' lackluster ending.
You ever find the moment your life went completely wrong??? pic.twitter.com/LALkqt2AC4— angelina 😖 (@whyangelinawhy) November 30, 2020
THIS IS WHO I AM NOW, LINDSAY— angelina 😖 (@whyangelinawhy) November 30, 2020
YouTube critic Angelina was recently faced with a tragic "memory" post on Facebook of the moment she first decided to give Game of Thrones a try. Angelina would go on to co-write an epic two-part post-mortem on the series with Lindsay Ellis in 2019.prevnext
Arya spent an entire season learning to become a faceless person... for no reason. She used it ONCE.— 𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 | 𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 (@ItsMeLydiaa) November 28, 2020
Jaime had an almost perfect character arc and then fucked it at the last minute for no reason.
The White Walkers didn't even fight anyone, only the wights did. Why.
Don't writers understand that people want character progression?— 🇳🇿 Liz, usually horizontal 😴 (@crims0nl1z) November 29, 2020
For some fans, the dropped plot points of Game of Thrones are now like intrusive thoughts that come up out of no where to bother them. This includes Jon Snow's parentage as a secret Targaryen, Arya's extensive training as a Faceless assassin, and the entire White Walker threat, which was wiped out in a single battle.prevnext
Drogon took Daenerys to Volantis after she died
Kinvara, who was a supporter of Daenerys, is the High Priestess of The Red Temple in Volantis
The Red priests are known to successfully practice resurrection pic.twitter.com/av0PsSZHYw— Game of Thrones Facts (@thronesfacts) November 30, 2020
Left unsatisfied by the series' ending, many fans have turned to fan theories over the last year and a half, either to fill in the gaps left by the show or extend the series beyond it. One theory that gained a lot of traction this week suggested that, when Drogon flew away with Daenerys' body, he headed for Volantis, where red priests worshipped Daenerys. They speculate that these magic users could have resurrected Dany just like Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion were resurrected.prevnext
I think about this every. single. fucking. day. https://t.co/jEEmunOKah— Baby (@120vsss) November 30, 2020
WE CAN'T MOVE ON FROM THAT SHITY WRITING, I MEAN LOOK AT THIS TWEET ALMOST 100k likes 💀 https://t.co/WWMDQwf86R— dracarys them all (@clarkedominance) November 30, 2020
While the revival of Game of Thrones complaints seemed random, many fans got in on it, and many commented that their outrage has never really gone away. More than a few said that they still think about the show's hasty ending often.prevnext
We were a captive market at that point, we had Stockholm.— Attempted Chemistry Nobel Award (@DracarysBanner) November 29, 2020
But it had begun to decrease in quality since season 5
One thing that set Game of Thrones apart from other shows with reviled endings was that the outrage was aimed almost entirely at the writers and showrunners themselves — not the actors or other crew members. However, in hindsight some fans were prepared to direct their anger at HBO for allowing the showrunners to carry out a plan that seemed doomed to fail.prevnext
Game of Thrones forgot to edit a Starbucks cup out of one of its later episodes and we shrugged it off as a harmless gaffe, unaware of the laziness to come. I'm still mad.— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) November 30, 2020
Fans reminded each other that the "laziness" of the final season of Game of Thrones extended past the writing process to the shooting as well, where anachronisms and visual mistakes were common. Many argued that this never would have happened when Martin's source material was in place.prevnext
I've never seen a franchise so big, become so irrelevant in the mind of so many people as quickly as Game of Thrones did man. If that show stuck the landing, you'd still have folks starting from the beginning. HBO wanted another 3 seasons. The bag was fumbled so hard.— DENNY the VILLAIN🦉 (@DennyVonDoom) November 28, 2020
Foreal though, I see Bran pushed out the window and flash forward to his smug ass face being named king and it's done for me lmao— DENNY the VILLAIN🦉 (@DennyVonDoom) November 29, 2020
Finally, one of the most tragic parts of the series' ending for some fans was that it invalidated the success of the earlier seasons, in some ways. Many fans commented that they used to re-watch the early seasons often, but knowing how the show ends, it is hard to enjoy them now. Game of Thrones is streaming on HBO and HBO Max.prev