Back off, haters — the last season of ‘Game of Thrones’ is the best one
Tonight’s series finale of “Game of Thrones” marks TV’s biggest event of the decade. The 80-minute episode will cap off a smartly calculated end to one of the densest and most popular dramas ever, viewed in 170 countries and obsessed over by tens of millions of people since it debuted in 2011.
But from fans’ constant kvetching about the eighth season — hating on everything from lighting design to entirely rational twists — you’d think HBO’s epic wrap-up was a nuisance. A blight on our eyeballs. A houseguest who just won’t leave.
“How dare a character make a choice that disappoints me!” they whine.
Um, have you guys ever watched “Game of Thrones” before?
The biggest collective hissy-fit came after the penultimate episode, which aired last week and found an emotional Daenerys and her dragon let loose, turning King’s Landing into a BBQ pit.
It was excellent. And yet the episode scored a measly 53 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, some 842,000 people have signed a Change.org petition called “Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers.” It’s as if these bozos think the Mother of Dragons’ last name is Gandhi.
Sorry, folks — it’s Targaryen. She’s the daughter of Aegon, a guy who started out as a swell ruler, but eventually earned the nickname “Mad King” when his benevolence gave way to barbarism. He became a paranoiac who burned anybody he believed to be disloyal, and turned so destructive, Jaime “Kingslayer” Lannister had to kill him. It’s hardly a stretch that his revenge-obsessed, born-of-incest daughter might follow in Pop’s fiery footsteps!
Two episodes earlier was the controversial Battle of Winterfell, a flippin’ cool fight between the armies of the living and the dead that boasted cinematic production values. But a million Statlers and Waldorfs were just itching to air their grievances.
“It’s too damn dark!” they crowed. Those malcontents would be absolutely right if this was the Battle of the Teletubbies on a beach in Phuket. Too bad it was a skirmish with a phalanx of corpses during the dead of winter in the bleak North. Of course, it’s dark, you nincompoops.
And did you know that all along fans have looked to “Game of Thrones” to be a simple good-vs.-evil tale in which the noble of heart win out and the corroded villains come to excruciating ends? I sure didn’t. But many viewers were furious that the cruel Cersei Lannister died in the arms of her brother-lover Jaime as King’s Landing crumbled around them — instead of being crossed off Arya Stark’s kill list.
But letting Arya take out her arch-nemesis would have been too easy for Westeros.
“Game of Thrones,” at its best, pummels us with heart-wrenching twists and turns. That’s why it’s risen above everything else in the fantasy genre — it’s true to life . . . but with dragons.
Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss deserve a lot of credit for wrapping this monster up in as clean and satisfying a way as they have. Final seasons, by and large, occur during a decline in interest and quality. Remember “Lost”?
The characters of “Thrones,” on the other hand, are going out with their heads held high. Well, except Ned Stark.
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