Game of Thrones Season Eight
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Rory McCann, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Lena Headey and many others
Creators: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
IMDb Rating | 6.8
Humpo Show Rating | 6.4
[ SPOILERS AHEAD ]
The final season of Game of Thrones has been one of the most eagerly anticipated television events in TV history. The previous seven seasons have helped to establish the show as one of the best of all time with George R. R. Martin’s masterpiece gripping, shocking and entertaining viewers for the past eight years. The concluding chapter of this epic tale had a lot to live up to, and since Martin has not finished writing the book series, there was a gargantuan amount of hype and expectation that was needed to be met.
As opening episodes go, Winterfell was quite good – it reintroduced the characters; where they were; what happened at the end of season seven; some events concerning the impending battle with the dead; and the plans some characters have, if they survive. This leads well into A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, where we have plenty of character-focused scenes, my favourite of which included Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Davos and Podrick getting drunk, as well as the emotional knighting of Brienne. Probably one of the last happy moments of the show.
The Long Night will be remembered for the abrupt ending of a major storyline. The Night King has become a huge part of the recent seasons of the show and the impending war between the living and the dead – it was made all the more exciting by the villain ‘acquiring’ a dragon in very dramatic circumstances in season seven. There is also the connection with Bran, which is never quite explained well enough for my liking. The battle that ensues in this episode is massive and I held my breath for almost every second of this 70-minute episode. The absence of artificial light upset some fans, but I had no issues with the natural lighting that the show’s decision makers chose to go with. Ayra’s moment was incredible. The build up was immense and riveting to watch, but as soon as the amazing moment passes – that storyline is effectively ended. We are left with as many questions as answers regarding the Night King – what was the significance of his connection with Bran, are White Walkers now extinct with no chance of returning, isn’t there always meant to be a Night King, and so many others.
The Last of the Starks passes by without much impact. Dany’s descent into becoming ‘the mad Queen’ is accelerated quite a bit in this episode following the revelation of Jon Snow’s true identity becoming more known, causing her to quite quickly “turn to fear” as she prepares an offensive towards King’s Landing. For many, including me, the ‘mad Queen’ acceleration of season eight occurred too quickly considering the meticulous planning and character development that has gone into this key character in the previous seven. The hastening of the plot is perhaps the underlying theme of season eight and everyone’s biggest complaint – especially after seven seasons of polished brilliance.
The penultimate episode, The Bells, will be remembered for one scene – Dany snapping and burning King’s Landing to the ground, including thousands of innocent people. Two people also die because of the fire that Drogon rages down upon the capital – Cersei and Jaime. Cersei – a stalwart of the show, barely figures this season. For the previous five episodes of this season, we usually see her looking out on the city with a glass of red wine. She is undoubtedly wasted this season. This episode is visually a masterpiece, but the writing does not match up.
One of the most watched finales in TV history. The Iron Throne. It all comes down to this final 80 minutes of screen time. The ending is bittersweet – sweet for some of the endings that our characters get, but bitter, given the endless list of unanswered questions, endings for some characters, the continued hastiness, and the fact that many things were unnecessary or simply ignored by the writers. TV and movie critics seem to be split 50/50 on whether the finale and the season has been a success, while on Twitter, it seems that 90% of people did not enjoy it, or at least wanted better. I am a bit in the middle, I loved the spectacle and cinematography of the entire season, the action scenes were especially memorable even if people did not like the outcome. The acting has been phenomenal, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage have been the stand out performers and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they get the nod at the Emmys. But, the season was written with far too much haste, and the sense of expectation we all had at the start of the season was not realised. In comparison to other TV shows on offer, Thrones still comfortably sits at the top table given the success of the show for nearly a decade, but the final season has definitely put a spanner in the works in terms of being labelled ‘the best’. With a little more time spent on the script and at least six more episodes, Thrones could have achieved everything it wanted to.
The Humpo Show | Richard