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Game of Thrones: A Huge Misstep

Over the Christmas break, I found myself scrolling through my recommended tab on Crave. I knew that over the break I wanted to binge watch a new television show (as I do not watch many television shows), and I wished to challenge myself by finishing one in its entirety.

One of my top recommended shows was Game of Thrones. Being a big fan of The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, I knew this would be right up my alley. Furthermore, I had heard from others that they had enjoyed the show thoroughly throughout its nearly 10-year runtime. After finishing one episode and becoming hooked, I decided to commit and watch it all.

Seasons 1-5 were incredible. Excellent writing and acting were present. The show felt like a labour of love – all of those involved seemed to be dedicated and focused on worldbuilding. I made my way through these seasons quickly, invested in all the different story lines and wondering what would happen to characters who I found intriguing (Brienne and Jamie in particular)!

Going into season 6, I felt the same optimism I had felt when starting previous seasons. By this point, I felt as if the writing and character development would hold up. After all, I had nearly made my way through the entire show. It could not possibly get worse from here, right?

How wrong I was.

Seasons 6-8 of Game of Thrones have terrible writing, leaving the likability and emotional core to the actors who are clearly struggling to bring depth and emotion to lines that are fruitless and hollow. I recognize that the later seasons of this show are not based on the novels (as the original creator, George R. R. Martin, has not completed the series to this day). However, I would believe that at this point in the creative process, the creators of the TV series would have had a good grasp on the characters they had been working with for years.

This was not the case.

Without going into spoiler territory (for those who have yet to finish the series), the ending of Game of Thrones destroyed what earlier seasons of the show worked hard to showcase. Characters that are known fan-favourites (such as Jon, Tyrion and Daenerys), have their arcs destroyed by creators that are in too deep.

This case for the downfall of Game of Thrones displays what can happen when the creators of a show think that they are in high enough of a place to (essentially) write the last books of a beloved series by themselves.

When reading the extensive backlash from fans in reaction to the final season of the show, I feel as if the best decision to save the good core that originally existed for this show would have been to end the series back at the end of season 5.

While George R.R. Martin has not finished the book series, I feel like this would have been the proper decision as it would not have led to poor writing decisions that will now have to make their way into the book series as well.

After all, isn’t ending a show early better than finishing it and disappointing everyone in your fanbase?

Time may render this article embarrassing, and if George R. R. Martin finishes the series (as I hope he does), it may come across better than the ending of the show. After all, he is the reason that the first few seasons were so good and beloved.

Until then, we will have to wait and see. For now, I recommend watching seasons 1-5 and having that be your canonical ending for the time being – you are not missing anything by forgoing seasons 6-8.

Bronte Behling

Wilfrid Laurier '23

A second year Cultural Studies and Film Studies double major student at Wilfrid Laurier University, Bronte has had a passion for creative writing since middle school where she took an online summer course about J.R.R Tolkien's the Silmarillion. A cat lover, Star Wars fan and podcast enthusiast she aims to gain more writing experience through this publication in order to pursue her post-degree goal of becoming a journalist.
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