One of the most important lessons that every person learns during his lifetime is that not only is the goal important but also the way to reaching this goal.
It’s this lesson that D&D, the creators of the series, did not internalize, but after the angry fan responses around the world and a negative record of 4.3 in imdb, they will soon learn.
And what do I mean?
It all starts with a meeting of the author George Martin with the creators of the series in his home, way before they began filming the last two seasons, and over coffee and pastries told them what’s the end he is aiming for in his books, an end to which he wants to arrive and they should arrive there as well.
But what he did not explain to them, or did not adequately explain, was the way to reach that longed-for goal, to that spectacular ending that would leave shocked, surprised but satisfied audience.
And that’s exactly where our pair of creators sinned, because for all their glory they are not George rrrr Martin, not David Lynch nor the Cohen brothers, they are just a great “coverists” but uninspired ones.
And the goal was, as in the army, divided into three – to turn Daenerys into the mad queen, to exile Jon beyond the wall, and to crown Bran.
Let’s see how they destroyed every fertile field of the road leading to the three goals that Martin had set for them.
We’ll begin with Daenerys for starters.
If you would ask anyone watching the series what Daenerys represents for them up until the fourth episode of the eighth and final season, they would tell you without hesitation that Daenerys, like Jon, is a representation of the good vs evil, the liberator vs the occupier, of life vs the cold death.
And, quite suddenly, for the average viewer, the fourth episode shown sparks of something else. Daenerys part gives an ultimatum to Jon, part begging him as if she were in a scene from a telenovela, that he must keep his dynasty a secret or else he would not be with her, as her only aspire in the whole world is to sit on the Iron Throne.
Mmm something is a little rotten in the state of Denmark, but okay, we keep going, it is still our beloved Dany isn’t it?
Then in episode 5, in a sharp transition of only one episode from sparks of a power craven she becomes a full blown Genghis Khan in his worst days and decides to burn an entire city on its citizens! The innocent! After they surrendered!
I still tried to defend her motivation as fear, that she wanted to create a balance of terror so that they would not try to overthrow her, that for her it was a tactical move necessary to preserve the iron throne. So I said.
And there comes episode 6, and what do we discover? That our beloved Dany did not undergo a momentary nervous breakdown, yet undergone a personal transformation, quite overnight, from a tactical crazy to the Wicked Witch of the West who wants to destroy the whole world, not just King’s Landing, starting tomorrow.
The disappointment of the fans, not just Daenerys biggest admirers, was tremendous, and quite understandable as how can you watch seven and a half seasons of a character with a certain nature that makes a 180 degree personality transformation to the dark side in only one and a half episodes?
Again why is that? Because Martin told them she had to go crazy at the end, that’s the goal, that’s how it must end, but they don’t have the way, they know they have to come up with a logical route from point A to point B. But instead they come up with a crooked, clumsy line, which lost itself somewhere along the road and somehow reached the not awaited end which is the finale.
When you make such a radical change in a character, you have to provide enough foreshadowing so that you do not reveal what’s going to happen, yet slowly lead the viewers toward the recognition of the change that occurred in her, and here it simply was not. There was a single iron bat blow to a character to bend her to the scriptwriters’ wishes and their ultimate goal.
*** Breaking Bad Spoiler ***
Remember Walt’s wife telling him in season 4 episode 6, “You’re not some hardened criminal, Walt, you’re in over your head” and “A school teacher cancer desperate for money?”
Then remember Walt replies in the unforgettable phrase “I am the one who knocks!”?
This phrase is the ultimate foreshadowing that revealed to us what is really happening in the soul of Walter White, that there is a situation we do not read correctly, and he is not a good person who happens to be drug trafficking following the discovery of his cancer. And in the next seven episodes of this season and another 16 (!) in the next one this character will gradually be morphed to a narcissistic, megalomaniac, and greedy personality.
This is exactly how a change in a character and the attitude of viewers to it should be built, and because of that Breaking Bad will be remembered as an excellent series in every aspect and Game of the Thrones will be remembered as an excellent series until it went downhill.
* Till here Breaking Bad Spoiler *
Let’s continue with Jon – how reliable was it for you that Tyrion should convince him in length that Daenerys is an evil tyrant that should be assassinated? As Jon saw in his own eyes the destruction of an entire city with no provocation, and he heard Saruman’s speech in front of the Dark Armies (with the Babel fish in his ear probably because the speech was in Dothraki) how Dany was going to destroy every town in Westeros as she did in King’s Landing!
How reliable was it that Jon was in love with her? Where is the love story built between them? In a single sex scene last season? In some Disney’s Dragon’s flight they have taken together? After all, if he had really loved her, Dany would not have gone ballistic and thought that only fear was the right way. So please decide D&D, he loves her, and it makes it harder for him to assassinate her, or does not love her and that is not an issue for him.
How reliable was Arya saying to Jon: “I know a killer when I see one.”
Oh, really Sherlock? really? Not anyone with eyes in his head sees an insane killer in front of him now?
credibility level: your blind date is really as cute as you were told.
There’s a concept when you see a series or a movie called “Suspension of Disbelief”, that’s the space where the viewer is, as long as he manages to hold his mistrust of watching just tv, and still believes that that the things he sees on his screen are happening now. As long as the viewer is in this space, he can relate to what is happening on the screen, even when he knows that what he sees is fantastic and does not exist in our reality.
But there is a limit to this space. If you cross it the viewer’s mind stops believing what it sees on the screen, and in response any dialogue and scene seems to him unreliable, not as if he sees things that could have existed somehow, but sees actors, however good they are, who simply recite a script in front of a theatrical scenery and maybe some CGI effects and nothing more.
And that’s exactly how it felt in each of the scenes in the finale, some more and some less absurd, because this barrier is broken to pieces, when the characters do not act the way we expect them to behave, as we know them, and as we know the world works.
After all, how reasonable it sounds that Jon is removed from King’s Landing, and from the life of the Seven Kingdoms, after all the “he’s a Targaryen and a Stark” buildup, how the kingdom loves him, and how great a leader he is, and how he’s next in line to inherit the throne, while doesn’t even want it which means (according to Tyrian saying it later on Bran) he deserves to sit on it.
What a crazy eight seasons buildup of a character, and for what? So that in the end he would be sent to join the Night Watch, impotent now that there is no Night King, but it just existing, and Jon was going to join the free folk with his wolf, who quite frankly if I was her I would lift one leg and leave after his attitude at their last meeting? That’s what Jon deserves after he saved the entire kingdom from total destruction of a crazy queen, because one Grey Worm wanted his head and a second later left for Naath? How all of that supposed to connect in our heads?
A total script disaster.
And finally, the most horrific part of the episode, and perhaps of the entire series, the Dragonpit Summit, which chose Bran as the next king of Westeros.
First, what’s with the Comedians Club atmosphere guys?
Edmure Tully peaching while abruptly silenced and hit his sword in a chair as if we are watching Kramer in the Seinfeld Finale.
And then Sam proposes democracy and everyone laughs at him, which is clearly happened at a screenwriters’ meeting where one offered this solution and everyone was crack laughing, and some other Incompetent scriptwriter said – oh let’s put this In the script, it’ll be cool! Well, it’s not, it’s weird and shameful.
And finally Tyrion decides to do “King’s speech” of his own, designed to convince us viewers that Bran must sit on the (nonexistent) Iron Throne, because he has the best story of them all.
Here they just gone too far, this is a point where D&D told us, go to hell! We want to end this farce Martin stuck us with, he told us the goal is for Bran to rule the seven kingdoms, that’s what you’re getting, and dammit if the way there sounds illogical to you!
Bran says, why do you think I come this far? I’ll tell you why Bran, because Martin told you to come! And nothing else makes sense.
What a good story has the one who sat on his ass all season, literally, did not use a bit of all the abilities they gave him, and at the most critical moment for him, the Battle of Winterfel, the only thing the unsuccessful scriptwriters managed to let him do, is warg into ravens, gather intelligence and keep it to himself.
What did you do to deserve this Bran?!?
Remember that Tyrion told Bran in episode 4 this season that he is now the legal heir as Ned Stark’s only eldest son, but Bran says that “he will never be a Lord now,” and we get it as he is the three-eyed raven who removed himself from all human matters.
And Tyrion says he is jealous of him for his powers, but Bran says he is not – because he lives only in memories of the past.
So where does this dialogue work out with what happened at the summit? How can they think that we will not cross our barrier of disbelief and cry shame for making a fool out of us? I just do not understand what they had in mind in episode 4 with this dialogue when they already know the end game? Why do you include this contradictory dialogue? Only God knows.
If anything, Jon has the best and logical story – a Targaryen, who was raised as a bastard, was exiled to the Night Watch and eventually commanded them, resurrected by the god of light, fought great battles, risen to prominence till becoming king of the north, The queen’s hand, and finally the saver of the kingdom from her!
Who can compete with this story Tyrion? Really Bran? Or is the only story that competes with Jon’s story is the one Martin sold to D&D that Bran should be the King Of Westeros and they ate it and in a transitive way they tried to feed us with it too?
Because this is the true story of everything that happened behind the screen of the last two seasons, a story of no story, because there are no books of Martin, and we only have to hope that perhaps one day when they are published, they will do justice to this farce called Game of Thrones, as it deserves far more than the notorious David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.
Now after we had a good laugh we’ll move on to the artistic part, bonus holes in the plot:
How do you know that Jon killed Daenerys with a dagger? The Dragon took her, so who told about it?
How can grey worm and all the Unsullied kill anyone who opposes their queen, but take her murderer captive and not kill him on the spot?
How can it be that Tyrion does not appear in the (ridiculous) book song of ice and fire when he was the hand of the king, the king’s slayer, the Kin’s slayer, battles commander, etc, etc, etc? It’s a joke so not funny that it’s just plain sad.
Why does Sansa think the North should remain an independent kingdom as it was for thousands of years under Stark when the King now is Stark himself?!? What is the logic in that? And how is it that all the other lords beside her do not raise their voice and demand an independent kingdom too? Didn’t they not suffer in a war as her people? Is it so much joy for them to be under Bran the broken when even his sister does not want to?
And how and how and how … but I’m tired of this series, I no longer have the strength to continue digging where everything is already hollow below, so So Long, and Thanks for All the Dragons.