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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Game of Thrones Season 8: Is It Worth the Watch?


What went right, and what went wrong – and is it still worth watching?

Warning: Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers

The ultimate season of Game of Thrones (GoT) had its moments but overall could’ve been much better. The season feeling extremely hurried, and the development of several characters could’ve been handled better, to say the least.

Earlier in May, the last episode of one of the most popular TV show made aired its final episode, ever. Over 19.3 million people tuned in to see the characters they have grown to love (or hate) over the past decade for one last time. Despite these high numbers, the show has significantly decreased in quality; the Rotten Tomatoes score for season 7 was 93 percent. This was lowered to only a mere 70 percent for the last season.

GoT season 8 counted only six episodes, each episode lasting around 70-80 minutes long. This was disappointing, especially knowing that HBO offered producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff the opportunity to add more episodes or even another season.

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Six episodes to wrap the whole show up was too short, and frankly, the ending of the show felt rushed and very forced. David Allen, a WIS Sophomore, said the show was too focused on “getting everything done, rather than focusing on character development and keeping the spirit of the show alive.”

A perfect example of this is the Night King dying in episode three of the season. The Night King had been the main villain of the show for the past seven seasons and had been hyped up as the biggest threat Westeros had ever seen. Rather than building up more tension between the Army of the Dead and, well, the alive, the Battle of Winterfell happened too quickly and was over before you knew it.

The Night King (Vladamir Furdik)
Helen Sloan / HBO

Despite this, the episode, called The Long Night, did have some beautiful moments in which GoT does what it does best: building up the suspense. The perfect example of this was when the Night King has just killed Theon, and is about to kill Bran. All hope seems lost. The camera pans over to Jon; he looks confused, not knowing what to do. The Night King slowly reaches back for his sword, when, out of nowhere, Arya Stark comes flying in and murders the Night King by stabbing him. What made this scene so good was that it made the audience feel anxious. GoT has always known how to do this, and they didn’t fail to do it again in season 8.

Then, there was the character arc which was plainly handled very badly. For example, Jaime returning to Cersei to die together didn’t feel right. He left to fight for the people, against the army of the dead. Even though Jaime had good intentions, Cersei sent someone to murder him. Despite this, Jaime still came back to her. Many fans expected the Kingslayer to kill Cersei, rather than the two dying together. He outgrew her, matured beyond her, yet still came back to her. This was slightly saddening, as there were many other options the directors could’ve and should’ve considered when writing an end of the Lannister twins.

It wasn’t all bad though. Sansa and Arya Stark, the Hound, and Theon Greyjoy all had great character arcs and I found how each of those characters ended up satisfying. Sansa becomes the Queen in the North; Arya wants to explore where the maps end, West of Westeros; the Hound and his brother die together after an epic battle between the two; and Theon Greyjoy dies defending the Starks, after he betrayed them in season 2 and regretting it ever since. All of these fate fit the character well, and I was happy to see them end up the way they did.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) ended up as ‘Queen in the North’
Helen Sloan / HBO

And to those of you haven’t seen the show yet: The show is still worth watching. It does peak at around season 5-6, but everything up to that moment is worth the watch. Even though the last two season were a slight letdown, “it is still some of the best television ever created” Allen said.

By Erben Gerts

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