Did Game of Thrones live up to the hype?

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Did Game of Thrones live up to the hype?

Dragon from Game of Thrones

Dragon from Game of Thrones

Photo by HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Dragon from Game of Thrones

Photo by HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Photo by HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Dragon from Game of Thrones

Alex Weinberg and Colm Slevin

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AYE

*SPOILERS* When the final episode of Game of Thrones ended, I was shocked to hear it receive such an overwhelmingly negative reaction.  Throughout the season, whenever I talked to someone about the show, I usually heard, “The producers totally ruined it!  This season sucks!” However, I found that not to be true.

Some people say this season was underwhelming because the plot didn’t line up with exactly what they thought would happen. I don’t think that those opinions discredit how this season turned out, however, I thought that it was still really entertaining.

Heading into this season, there was enormous pressure for HBO to live up to the hype. While some areas of the show were lacking, at the end of the day the producers did what they set out to do: They showed who won the Game of Thrones.

Personally, I wanted Jon Snow to survive the Long Night and win the throne. So the fact that he was able to unite all of the living and defeat the Night King lived up to the hype. Doing this has been his goal since Season 2, so this was a very fulfilling ending for that storyline.

The Mad Queen storyline was brilliant, especially the hypocrisy of the wheel that Dany tries to break. Seeing Jon kill her was shocking yet fulfilling.

There were a lot of other good plot points, like Jon’s conflicted sense of morality, Tyrion betraying Dany, Cleganebowl and the interplay between Sansa, Jon, and Dany.

The visual effects were also impressive, especially the dragons. Moments like Rhaegal getting shot down, Dany burning King’s Landing, and Drogon burning the Iron Throne stood out. Instead of breaking the wheel, Drogon broke the throne that broke Dany. That was an epic moment.

The set design was detailed and immersive, even if they made King’s Landing look more desert-like than it had in the past. But the rubble and ash that remained after Dany burned everything was haunting.

Call it cliché, but I was happy that the good characters prevailed. When the Night King became the main villain, the living won. When Cersei became the main villain, Dany won. When Dany became the main villain, Tyrion and Jon won. The good always defeated the cycle of evil.

In the end, hype is just hype. So when the show doesn’t fulfill every fan theory hyped up enough to seem believable, it gets unfairly categorized as a failure. Overall, the season had more good moments than bad.

NAY

*SPOILERS* In the final season of Game of Thrones, there was plenty to love, from the amazing dragon scenes to the Battle of Winterfell and King’s Landing, but there was also a lot not to love. Season eight of the series premiered after a two-year hiatus, with a budget of $90 million, according to Business Insider. From the infamous cup incident to the poor editing, many fans, myself included, have felt as though the ending was rushed and cheap.

As I sat in front of my television ready to watch the final season of one of my favorite shows of all time, I began to grow bored. The first two episodes felt slow in a season of only six episodes. There was no action. While I get the buildup to the Battle of Winterfell, I began to worry how the rest of the season would play out. We were a third of the way through the season and nothing had happened yet.

In episode three, at last there it was: the battle scene I had been waiting two years for. But wait, what just happened? I couldn’t see — it was too dark. This 82-minute battle scene was kind of lackluster. George R.R. Martin has never had any issues with killing off a main character and with over half of the remaining main cast at Winterfell, I was sure there would be a major death. Yet no, there was no major character who died. There had never been a battle I can think of where we didn’t lose someone championing for the throne. There was also no logic behind many of the scenes:  How did Ser Jorah get there to save Daenerys? How did Arya get past all those white walkers?.

Episode four felt the same as the week before, cheap and rushed. Episode five’s production was good. However, I have a hunch the Battle of King’s Landing was filmed first. It was the first time in the season that it felt well done and like a $15 million episode. Still there were issues everywhere, most notably: how did Jamie return almost unphased from being impaled twice?

Finally the finale had arrived, after a month of disappointment, I had hope it would be amazing. I watched closely, anticipating who would sit on the Iron Throne, only to watch it melt in poor graphics. The only thing in this episode more laughable than Tyrion fixing the chairs was his saying that stories unite people, and picking the king for that reason.

Without spoiling too much more of the beloved show, this past season of Game of Thrones ruined many character arcs and battles, but worst of all — they lost the majority of their fans.