Game of Thrones Season 8 Discussion [Spoilers!]

#1

Aw shit, here we go again.

-CJ, when discussing Game of Thrones on the Internet


So!

The 8th season is two episodes deep now, and I’m… Mostly disappointed? These first two episodes have been very focused on tying bows up than any real character development. We’re seeing, “Well, we’re back here again, huh?” And, “Ha! Who’d ever thought we’d be standing next to each other?” For like, EVERY conversation or piece of dialogue. It’s frustrating because these characters have more to say, I feel, then being relegated to ‘final act’ conversations that are WAY too obvious. Also it doesn’t help that I find the writing to be pretty bad so far…

This article summarizes a lot of what I feel:

I have been feeling this way a lot recently in the last couple of seasons. I feel like the show really has suffered without the source material to fall back on, even if that source material is just filler. It shows that GRRM barely has anything to do with the show anymore…

Though, we can talk about what’s good. As always, I love EVERYTHING involving Jaime, and his stuff in the most recent episode really shows what a great character he’s become. Though they really fucked with his arc… I love villains turned good tropes, so I’ve always leaned towards Theon and Jaime as my favorite characters. The knighting scene is probably my favorite scene of these two episodes so far. It felt like a return to old GoT, with development that is actually worth something. I find it frustrating how SO MANY PEOPLE have explained to people like Dany that, “No, your Dad was a fucking monster. What Jaime did was a good thing.” And she STILL doesn’t get it.

I really like the whole conflict that Sam is introducing to Dany and Jon. For one, I think Sam illustrates how reckless Dany can be, and shows why she might swing more mad on the spectrum of Targaryan offspring. My feeling is that this is going to lead to some kind of civil war within the North’s ranks. It would feel a bit strange for the battle of the dead to wrap up so quickly, and then the rest of the series be delegated to the war of the throne though. My guess is that this battle is going to be a retreating one, where they lose Winterfell and fall back south.

I… REALLY do not like what they’re doing with Arya. Her whole personality change is really off putting and kind of terrible. I’m fine with her being a super assassin, being this girl who can assume personalities and take their faces, but this ‘stoic jedi’ mood from her just isn’t my thing. It feels like we didn’t just lose Bran, we lost all the personality of Arya as well. And I hate that…

Anyway, those are some of my feelings. How do you all feel about it?

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#2

It might be that I’m on the casual end of the viewer spectrum but these last two episodes have totally reinvested me in the show after season 7 nearly put me off the whole thing. I agree with Todd VanDerWerff’s assessment that the Theon and Yara escape was brushed over but it didn’t really bother me in the moment and it led to much more interesting character driven scenes with Theon getting back to Winterfell.

Season 7, and 6 as I remember it, really felt like they were hurtling forward with plot at the expense of the sense of space, time, and logistics that drew me into the world early on, so the show deciding to take two episodes to just dwell on all of these characters interacting for two full episodes has been fantastic for me. My wife and I have watched the series premier and episode 2 after these season 8 episodes and it really has driven home the span of time and made the payoff in season 8 so far really satisfying.

I would have agreed with you about Arya until season 8, but she has come back into her own as a character fast. And for Dany, I’m just hoping the show isn’t as blind to what a potential monster she is as it seems to be at times.

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#3

There’s a pretty limited amount of time left to tie up a tremendous amount of plot threads and character arcs. I think they’ve decided to err on the side of giving fan favourites a bit of closure before the body count starts racking up (rather than have them go with so much left unresolved). The sheer volume of that really makes everything feel a bit thin. (Like seriously, it took less than two minutes to ‘welp, all’s forgiven Jamie A+, let’s fight some zombies’). But, I did tear up at a few spots (that hug!) so some of it is working.

OTOH, at this point, I’m starting to feel like the body count might approach 100%. People are still being stupid, petty and ambitious enough to make me approach Jon Snow levels of brooding.

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#4

I stand by to this day that for Game of Thrones (and ASOIAF) to finally complete it’s journey of redefining modern fantasy it needs to end with everyone losing. Game of Thrones can be that Shaggy Dog story that hammers home that sometimes you just don’t win. I doubt this will happen, the show is a major network drama and is driven by people watching; killing the most likeable characters mid season would pretty much be show-runner suicide.
But boy, these last two episodes continue to break my heart for Lord Snow, the man who wants to do the right thing because it’s all he has left of Ned. If he makes it through this he needs to pull a Gurren Lagann and just find happiness for himself; because ruling and politics and pride will kill him.

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#5

I really like Arya’s arc actually. She’s less stoic Jedi and more quiet confidence; she doesn’t need to talk because she knows people underestimate her. Her scene with the Hound was just great like she just stopped by to make him uncomfortable. I also think her love scene with Gendry was an earned emotional payoff, so much more than the usual sex scenes in GOT.

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#6

I think the difference between the first and second episodes is what’s really got on why this show is so uneven now. The show thinks it’s heroes are Dany and Jon, but it doesn’t really understand them as characters, doesn’t believe in their points of view, and can’t write their dialog. (Also frankly, they’re played by two of the weakest actors in the cast.) The real heart of his show is all the little people, the odd and ends of misfits that make up the army. So Jon and Dany should be all we care about, but I instead care about the people sitting around the fire and Brienne being made a knight. It’s why the Lannister soap opera of the middle seasons was such exciting television.

I don’t care if Jon or Dany are the rightful king of Westeros and actually believe they’re both terrible for the job.

Anyway, weirdly enough looks like Cersei is gonna be the Final Boss of the show considering they’re taking on the Night King now. I would think that keeps Jaime and Tyrion alive at least until then, but who knows? If I were going to fuck with all fantasy conventions I would make her the final winner of the Game of Thrones, just to stab the viewers in the heart. But I’m a Lannister-stan, so don’t listen too hard to me.

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#7

Yeah, it is pretty strange to me that it looks like the whole shit with Cersei is going to be the endgame here, considering how much of the novels is really about the buildup to the war with the Night King.

I think I agree with you about Dany and Jon, which is I sort of hope they just completely throw the wrench in and kill them both off, letting these lesser characters to step in a figure out what to do in the wake of their deaths.

But that seems fairly unlikely at this point.

#8

I was expecting the inverse to happen, with them needing to deal with Cersei first, then transition to the final battle against the Night King. And that might still happen to a certain degree, with survivors of this battle retreating south after a defeat.

But I do think it would be more interesting if everything with the Night King just got resolved right away, and then transitioning to dealing with Cersei and the Iron Throne. The machinations between warring factions and people have always been significantly more interesting and compelling compared to the white walkers, who just are a faceless, empty, not remotely compelling or interesting threat.

#9

I still quite like the show as a whole (did an entire rewatch recently) but the quality of the writing/pacing in seasons 1-4 vs. 5-8 is so noticeable and it continues to kinda bum me out. I have at this point mostly given up on having the characters I care most about (Davos, Jorah, Meera, Missandei, Yara) getting any sort of real closure and good amount of on-screen time; I’ve made my peace with it and am just along for the ride at this point. Jon and Dany continue to be some of the least interesting characters in the roster and they’re only made more unlikable with the weird drama they’re trying to manufacture between them given Jon’s true heritage, despite his entire character being based around his distaste for and reluctant acceptance of leadership roles. Idk still excited to see the battles to come and hope for some twists but honestly whatever happens I can just go back and enjoy the first half of the series a ton and try to ignore the rest if need be

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#10

It kind of sucks that we’re looking at possible future confrontations at which makes the most sense in terms of prophecy. Every character seems to have this problem now, where prophecy will dictate their outcome, and the show can’t truly surprise anymore.

I miss the days when people were genuinely shocked because of the choices of their characters, and not to whatever prophecy had been built towards the outcome.

#11

I think a big part of the issue here is that Martin dropped those “prophetic” hints early in the series and has now taken years and years to get us to where he’s trying to go (and, of course, the books may never actually get there). People have had way too long to do the math.

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#12

I know nobody likes Theon but somebody probably should’ve warned him that the NK has a dragon when he volunteered to watch Bran.

Whole thing feels like it’s going to be anti-climactic, though. Euron’s boring and Cersei feels insignificant at this point. The geography of everything makes it hard but those threads feel like they should have been tied up by now. They spent all this time talking about how winter is coming and about how the dumb looking chair doesn’t matter anymore, but now they seem poised to end the series with… the dumb looking chair.

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#13

My problem with how this whole thing is going to wrap up is that any deviation or upset in the style of the early seasons will contradict the show’s ongoing themes, regardless of the narratively convenient prophecy all but dictating the outcome.

Clutch characters like Jon, Danarys, Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, Cersei etc. can’t get killed off suddenly because the show needs them all in place to deliver its long-running message about the nature of power and those who seek it.

What drew people to Got at the outset was its unpredictability. Unfortunately, that unpredictability doesn’t gel with thematic consistency beyond a certain point.

#14

I’ve been surprised to enjoy these last 2 episodes, because season 7 was such a low point. I too am confused by the pacing and curious how they intend to wrap such a popular show.

For the longest time I’ve been waiting for some deeper understanding of the Night King. Surely he’s just another king, expanding territory for his people throigh war? Could he not be treatied with or understood if they could actually converse? Increasingly it seems… No. He’s just the final boss of the upcoming battle. That feels like a very flat resolution for a series where every other person has a point of view with understandable motivations rather than fitting in a good or bad binary. Cersei and Euron aren’t just baddies, they’re people who make bad choices that hurt others but you can they do it out of a thirst for power. The Night King is portrayed as an unflinching, unthinking force that is just powerful and terrible.

Even now I hope they add some nuance, but I’m not sure where they’ll find room for that.

#15

Speak for yourself, Euron is my favorite Heel on this show now.

#16

This season has really highlighted the weakness of S7 for me. A dragon was lost to the White Walkers for no good reason as they whole treaty with Cersei was for nothing. The rush to the finish makes so many events nonsensical or under developed.

#17

I imagine the dragon will come into play but it’s super weird that nobody’s talking about it. Seems like the sort of thing you’d want to bring up at your “we’re all going to die” strategy meeting.

#18

I was thinking this the whole time. Like after the scene ended I was like REALLY WE’RE NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT THAT

#19

Let’s be honest, most of the Winterfell gang’s plan is shit, starting and ending with the fact that the so called safest place for everyone to be is a crypt and their enemy can resurrect and command the dead. At this point, the only reason I’m assuming that won’t come up is because it would point out how massively stupid they all are for missing something that glaringly obvious.

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#20

The imo best theory for how it all ends that I’ve seen, which I think is still realistic for the books at least, is that Dany, Jon, and maybe Tyrion ride the dragons in a suicide mission to the heart of winter, ending the others’ invasion for the time being. No one ends up on the iron throne, in fact it gets destroyed along with the rest of King’s Landing by the Schrodinger’s wildfire. Westeros returns to being separate regional polities.