At last, after eight years of waiting to see who would finally take the Iron Throne in the finale of Game of Thrones, audiences finally got their answer.
73 episodes in a series filled with twists and turns, fire and blood, the audiences learned that the youngest sibling of the Starks, Bran (Issac Hempstead Wright), is the new king of the Six Kingdoms of Westeros. The North, the seventh kingdom, was declared its own independent kingdom by Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
In the beginning of the finale episode, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), in a controversial move that occurred in episode 5, that left many of her followers in shock and horror, finally took back the Iron Throne.
Her reign did not last long because her lover Jon Snow (Kit Harington) decried her actions and decided it was best to kill her for the good of the realm. This left the Iron Throne up for the next available in line to take the throne. However, instead of the traditional family succession process, the new lords and ladies of the realm decided its best to begin appointing the new successors for the throne instead of them inheriting it.
The remaining protagonists of the show showed Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), going off to explore the uncharted West. While Sansa Stark was named Queen of the North and Jon Snow was banished to the Nights Watch, a punishment for bad men. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was made the Hand of the King, again.
The finale sent expected shockwaves for many of the diehard fans who have been watching the series since its first season. The final season had already begun to upset fans after the third episode.
In the third episode “The Long Night,” the Night King and his army of dead White Walkers who were coming to kill all the living, was an ongoing conflict throughout the series. What was thought to take up most of the last season proved to be resolved in just one episode.
Audiences were raging online accusing the final season of being underdeveloped, rushed, character arcs in ruins, and countless story plotholes.
The online disapproval of the final season grew to be so insurmountable that an online petition was created asking for the final season be rewritten by “competent writers.” As of Sunday afternoon, it has been signed by 1.1 million viewers.
Much of the criticism that has been echoing online was that the majority of the main characters deserved a better ending, especially that of Daenerys Targaryen. She started the series a shy, quiet, abuse victim, who set out to take the throne back for her family and rule with justice and peace. She freed countless slaves and freed countries. Only to go completely mad, almost completely out of nowhere.
If the show would have had more episodes to explain the characters closing storylines, perhaps the show would not have disappointed audiences to such lengths.
Production costs for the show were cited as the reason why the series was cut to a shorter amount of episodes for the last two seasons. The series started with a $4 million to $6 million budget for each episode, while the last season’s budget was increased to $15 million each episode. The cast also renegotiation their salaries to $500,000 an episode.
While production costs may have been the reason why the show ended as fast as it did, many fans were still not satisfied with how the story ended.
A great story that began as a powerful and unique story ended almost as if the writers themselves kind of gave up.
Many prophecies from the beginning of the series were not fulfilled and ignored, side characters with great background stories were also ignored, and the heroes were made to be useless in the end.