The script for the Game of Thrones series finale, "The Iron Throne," was released on Wednesday, and fans wasted no time in tearing it to shreds. The episode — and the whole season — got mixed reviews to say the least, but most complaints agreed that the writing was the weakest part. For that reason, the nomination of this script in particular had social media howling.
"The Iron Throne" took place across the course of several month, rapidly tying up most of the plot lines left in the beloved series. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are credited for the script, with a nod to author George R.R. Martin who wrote the source material novels.
Most fans who disliked the finale agreed that it is far from Martin's style, however, and one person even put it side by side for comparison. While Benioff and Weiss' direct adaptation of Martin's first book was dense and faithful, the finale script was sparse, full of shorthand and jokes meant only for the cast and crew behind the scene.
Game of Thrones first episode vs last.July 31, 2019
Elsewhere, however, the stage directions gave more insight into how the showrunners viewed their finale, and what they hoped it would evoke for fans. Some of these analogies were grim, while others were oddly playful about the mass murder of an entire city.
"Here is the future Emmy-winning full script - Tyrion walking through the wreckage of King's Landing is compared to SON OF SAUL, a film that takes place partially at Auschwitz, in the first three paragraphs," pointed out media critic Lindsay Ellis. "Classy."
Elsewhere, Benioff and Weiss evoked the site of the nuclear bomb explosion in Hiroshima to ensure the full effect of the dragon fire was clear. However, in another place they joked that Jon Snow and Sansa "both failed geography" as a way of explaining that they did not know what was west of Westeros.
Of course, it was not long before fans were isolating their least favorite parts of the script, taking screen shots of awkward lines and explanations of their least favorite scenes that looked all the worse in text than they had on screen.
Many fans even took to attaching reaction memes to the script, comparing Benioff and Weiss' work to that of others or mocking their casual tone.
In defense of the two writers, some on Twitter grumbled that these critics did not understand how scripts worked on the set of a show. They argued that it was meaningless to poke fun at Benioff and Weiss' stage direction, which were meant only to be seen by those on set in service to the show itself.
I'm with Mr. O'Brien. An ostensible culture writer making judgements about an episode of television from scene description in a script and not, you know, what was actually on the screen is some straight up disgusting bullshit, whatever you thought of the GoT finale. https://t.co/xrsLgEBz4X— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) July 31, 2019
Still, the script is the item on trial here, as it is up for an Emmy. The episode was nominated for Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series, and outraged fans show no signs of slowing their criticism down any time soon.
The Emmy Awards are live on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.