Oh, and if you haven't figured this out already...
SPOILERS *SPOILERS *SPOILERS *SPOILERS *SPOILERS *SPOILERS *
Let's talk about the wrap up.
Episode 5 was beautiful.. from a cinematic standpoint. It was probably some of the most epic footage in a television series to date. And while there were some highlights in the episode..(Clegane-bowl, Tyrion/Jaime's tearful goodbye).. the story had gone irretrievably off the rails, in my mind.
I found myself frustrated at the glaring inconsistencies bursting forth at this point. The "battle" for King's landing (if you could call it that) was completely one-sided. The Scorpion crossbows went from rapid-loading, sure-fire dragon-killers in episode four, to completely useless kindling in episode 5. Meanwhile, Ayra somehow became immune to falling buildings.. and where did the white horse come from?
Which leads us to the final episode..
The first half an hour felt slow to me.. I found myself checking my watch.. something that I had done a lot this season. Peter Dinklage is a good actor, but I thought the scene with him finding Jamie's hand like a needle in a haystack a bit hard to believe. I caught myself scoffing once or twice throughout the first half of the episode.. Tyrion's in chains.. AGAIN.. it felt like we were just going around in circles.
But then Daenerys walked into the throne room and my breath stopped.. they were paying off elements of the storyline set up waaay back in Season 2! From that moment I was intrigued.. did they do it? Did they actually pull the show around in the ninth hour?
If you don't remember, in the season 2 finale, Daenarys has a vision.. she walks into the throne room, its snowing, the room is destroyed.. she walks up to the throne but never touches it. She's called away by her dragons and finds herself in a tent with Khal Drogo and her unborn child.. she says
“Maybe I am dead and I just don’t know it yet.. Maybe I am with you in the Night Lands.”
I'm a sucker for poetic justice and this scene alone pulled me back from the brink of despair. It seems for all the ramblings and loose ends, the showrunners DID know where they were going. Perhaps George R.R. told them and they just did their best to try to get there.
I was satisfied though, and it felt right. They did a good job of wrenching sympathy to Dany, almost redeeming her.
I was a bit disappointed that there was no action at all in the last episode. The battle was over before it began... I thought there might be a showdown between Dany's and Jon's forces, but when Drogon burned down the throne and flew away. I understood..
GoT has never been about giving the audience what they want.. That's where they had been going wrong this season. They were writing episodes trying to give the audience what THEY THOUGHT the audience wanted: Big CGI dragon battles, lots of fire and brimstone, "shocking plot twists"..
However, because they were directing for shock and awe to get a reaction, as opposed to further the storyline it just came across as hollow.. It felt as if they were subverting the audience. The show has NEVER been about getting a reaction.. it has earned reaction due to great writing and storytelling. So when D&D didn't have the books to go by, they went with what I guess they believed their viewers were pining for, but they were horribly off the mark..
Dany being murdered by Jon was the first time all season that I felt the shock twist was earned.. It was believable..
The rest of the episode was too much like a Lord of The Rings ending.. where they have to say goodbye to their characters over multiple scenes and sentimental musical crescendos.. (oh, and someone writes a book with the name of the story that they are in..) It was all too sugary for me, which didn't fit with the feel of the show. Also the corny attempts at comic relief seemed forced and fell flat.
And why did Sansa stir things up unnecessarily.. did you see Yara Greyjoy and the new Prince of Dorne's faces when she said she wouldn't bend the knee?? He's from the North, He's your brother for christsake!
But overall, I felt contented with how they wrapped up everything up. The characters, particularly the Stark children, developed and matured over the years and had each taken control of their destiny. They ended up where they were supposed to be. It just felt right, their story arcs had been paid off...
[Off to finally make use of her face-off skills!] src
All in all, I think it's easy for us, as viewers to demand to be blown away.. to cry out for perfection.. we don't even know what we want, but we want the writers to know, and to wow us. We often hold shows we care about up to higher and higher standards. Eventually, it becomes almost impossible for them to actually deliver. Inevitably, we are let down, disappointed. It's easy to criticize, but we might do better to keep out expectations in check as well.
Was the ending of the show perfect? No.
Did they wrap everything up satisfactorily enough? In my opinion, yes, they did.
I spent 8 years growing with the show. Loving and hating the characters.. and like when any long-term relationship starts coming to an end, there were some exasperating moments and some desperate less-than-graceful flops. And when the relationship is finally over, you can choose to let those last few clumsy moments paint a bitter picture in your memory, or you can decide to look back over the whole time you spent together.. from beginning to end, good and bad, and remember it all fondly as a journey you went on together before parting ways.