Why Game of Thrones Let Us Down

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead* 

If you’re a Game of Thrones enthusiast, chances are you screamed angrily at the penultimate episode on Sunday and thought about how mad you were for hours or days (probably will end up being weeks) after.

I have spent the last few days trying to justify in my mind why the writers made the decisions they did, but I have not been able to. This particular episode had incredible acting and beautiful cinematography; it really was amazing to watch. However, my biggest issue with this episode was the writing.

One of the best things about the past seasons of Game of Thrones was its writing. Specifically, its ability, through careful and clever character development throughout seasons and episodes, to get you to love characters you used to despise. However, this episode completely burned all developments away. Jamie turned back into his old Cerci obsessed self, Tyrion lost all his wit, Arya seemed to forget all her faceless assassin training, and Dany turned into the Mad Queen much too quickly. I wouldn’t have an issue with her becoming mad like her father, my problem with it is that it happened over the course of two episodes after she spent all the others fighting for the innocent. This is an issue that comes out of only having six episodes in the season. It makes everything seem rushed no matter how long the episodes themselves are. For a show that was extremely intricate and interesting, this episode stood out negatively because the writing seemed to have forgotten how to build things up and take its time with the details.

Game of Thrones is known for its shock value and its willingness to kill main characters at the blink of an eye. However, this episode went for shock value without checking to see if it actually made sense. For example, we all expected Cerci to be killed by Jamie, so it was horribly shocking and unsatisfying to see her crushed by a pile of bricks. I can see why people think this death fits her better; she was crushed in a place she thought she would never see fall from her rule, begging for her life. But I just really wanted to see her stabbed by her twin/lover (this show has really made me pretty violent).

What bothered me the most was Arya’s plot. She has grown into a badass assassin, and even though she is still a young woman, and surely, seeing innocent people burn to death would mess up anyone, this does not fit in with her character arc from the past seasons. She has seen innocents die and has always reacted to it by adding someone to her list or just ending them immediately. The Arya we have gotten to know, would have gotten up, found her way to Dany and fought her. If they wanted to go with the freak-out route with her there should have been more buildup and illusions to this change. While half of me does not even want to watch next week’s episode, because I don’t want to see if they ruin such an overall amazing show, I need to see if the series finale redeems itself and I can end the show satisfied. I hope the characters start to remember where they came from. Any bets on what will happen?