The Goal and the Way – Game of Thrones Finale Review

One of the most important lessons that every person learns is that not only is the goal important but also the way reaching it.

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.

Game of Thrones S08E03 – The Battle of Winterfell – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Long Night / Battle of Winterfell, episode 3, season 8 of Game of Thrones

The last episode of Game of Thrones was an episode with mixed feelings for me; There were a lot of moments that I loved, perhaps even more so that I didn’t like, and one that stands out that really harm the whole episode, and on that later on.

The Good

The battle. I must admit I enjoyed it. It was the longest battle ever filmed, in terms of shooting days (11 weeks of night shots) and in terms of the final cut – between 67 minutes net and close to 82 gross devoted entirely to the Battle of Winterfell. Before that, the longest battle belonged to the lord of the rings, the battle of Helm’s Deep, Which lasted 40 minutes.
From a purely artistic point of view, it was a good epic battle, one of the memorable moments, for example, are the Dothraki fire swords fading away in the distance.

lights out

The ominous feeling that accompanied it for the viewers and the warriors waiting for their turn to fight was of pure terror, of death reaping the best cavalry in Westeros, sheer horror that caused Khaleesi to abandon the glorious battle plan ambush with dragons to the Night King to reach Bran, but to join the battle prematurely.

the dead are here







Other memorable and wonderful Hollywood style moments, are the lying on the fence of the living dead for the greater bad,

The great despair among us the viewers and the warriors in the fortifications as the Night King resurrected all the dead

dragons diving


The dragons’ dive into the clouds





David and Goliath Tale of sticking the dagger in the eye of the biggest giant in the battle by Lyanna Mormont the youngest woman in the field



And finally, the enormous tension built at the end of the battle when the Night King walks slowly toward Bran.

His walk in slow motion while a wonderful original melody plays, perhaps one of the best in the series, accompanies him, a melody that squeezes your throat as you know that all bets are off, there is a slim chance if any that anyone is getting out of this alive, and only two choices remain -Kill the Night King, or everyone dies.

And this is the moment to move to the second part

The Bad

The Battle. Yes, again the battle because what else do we have in this episode?
Artistically it was already said to be overwhelming, but otherwise it was simply bad.
Let’s think about what forces we had and how each one of them “scriptly” harms the battle.

We’ll start with the dead – can you please decide what you are? Are you the dumb zombies of The Walking Dead hanging around in the library, slowly walking down the corridors, frightening little girls to death? Or you are the undead from World War Z (The movie, not the book) that sprint madly, and climb like ants on the walls of Jerusalem, sorry Winterfell?

jumping wallwalking dead

This ambivalence which first describes them as such and later as something completely different, in the very same chapter, just to combine different genres of cinema in a single battle, harms IMO the experience.
And if there are already The Waking Dead zombies, and if you have already awaken dead in the catacombs, then frighten the whole shebang, awake familiar dead! Maybe Rickon, or Liana, or even Ned Stark (a little Sleepy Hollow there but what the heck :)), and create horror in the viewers eyes and those who have to kill their brother or father, something that the Walking Dead do every episode and a half.

Let’s continue with the living – why don’t you die already?!? Why was it that only the red shirts , except for Theon and a half Jorah who are not really interest anyone, died?
Where, excuse me for the phrase, the screenwriters’ balls? Why not kill Brienne? She got her knighthood; she’d can put the keys on the table and leave. Why not Grey Worm? What more can he contribute? Why not kill Davos the poor soup dispenser? And who the hell is Ed? I had to scratch my head and resort to google to remember who was the man killed guarding Sam. The same Sam that in all respects was supposed to be with the children and the dwarf in the burial caves and not wildly and miraculously survive while numerous zombies trying their best at him.

sam and ed

In short, it seems that ever since the spirit of Martin’s command has left us at the end of the fifth season, the screenwriters of the series have chosen typical Hollywood cowardice and preserve the main characters of the series which is ending soon, so for what? It’s not The Games of Thrones we are used too unfortunately.

Another central figure who remained alive, and maybe it’s a pity, is Bran. Bran, maybe you’ll want to explain to all of us what on earth you did in battle? How exactly did you help? How is “Warging” into the ravens contribute in any way to the success of the battle? Perhaps you heated, not just your chair but also the Night King on your ass? Or it was just fun for you to fly and laugh at all us from above?


It is simply unbelievable how they took one of the most mysterious and powerful characters in the series and all they gave him to do in the final battle between light and dark is to act as bait in the shape of a scarecrow for the Night King. I am sure that each and every one of the viewers expected that Bran would do something, use his powers, serve as some kind of a twist to the defeat of evil, but no, we received dumb, blind and meaningless looks from him. It was simply a scriptical failure. Perhaps the only good thing that came out of this is that he would continue with us for the next few episodes which he contributes in them from his power and wisdom, but I doubt it, because the time for mystical wars had ended and given way to the political warfare .

We can also talk about the interruptions in the battle that were mainly the futile talks in the burial caves, tops them is the kitsch conversation between Sansa and Tyrion.
We can also talk about the bad tactics in the battle, about the squalid waste of the cavalry – why did Khaleesi suffer so much all the seasons and brought them over the sea? To be used cannons fodder? really?
We can talk about the misuse of excess air support on the side of Jon and Daenerys (as opposed to the excellent use of the Night King), about no use of maneuvers, no flanking, no brilliance in the fortifications, a real battle plan of ten-year-olds in a sandbox. With the insane budget they got to shoot his, how difficult was it to bring a military adviser who would have made it clear to them the proper use of the forces they had?
But they apparently preferred “coolness” over combat readiness and it’s a pity.

And finally let’s talk about the ending of the episode and actually ending the arc of the War of Ice and Fire.
It was a surprise, I admit, that Arya was the one who finally killed the Night King, despite the Deus Ex Machina of the thing, but it also felt an anti-climactic and another scriptical miss and I’ll explain why.
As mentioned above, the course of the battle eventually led us to realize that there were only two options left – to kill the Night King or they all die.
When we know that the courage of the Screenwriters long ago left the series, there was actually a single reasonable possibility in our head which eventually came true – the Night King must die.
The surprise was not the “If” he would die but “how” he will die, and this is a much more minor surprise.
This is in contrast to Ned Stark, who is facing the guillotine at the end of the first season, when we are certain (well, those who did not read the books) that there is no possibility of killing the main character in the series, and bam he dies.
This is also unlike the Red Wedding, where no one was prepared for the main characters dying in Crazy betrayal, and when it did happen our shock was complete and whole.
But perhaps even the “how” was a miss, as for two episodes Arya reminds Gendry, like a stressed Amazon customer, to prepare her already the weapon she designed herself. And aside for some glimmers, again “cool,” of that sword in battle, it did not help forward the plot in any way.
Would not it be wiser that that mysterious weapon would have been used to kill the Night King as some premonition of Arya?
For example, if the Night King instead of grabbing her by the hand would had grab the weapon itself, but since Gendry had built it with a blade from each side at her request, one blade would have mechanically fall off from the other end, and with it Arya would stabbed the Night King instead of pulling a Michael Jordan hand replacement on us?








I do not know, it’s a pity again.

Perhaps we can take comfort in that she did use her faceless ability to hide as a White Walker…

white walker.gif

And now it is  time to move on to the third part, on which the entire internet was churning and frothing

The Ugly

The Darkness. How many people talked about how dark the episode was, how bad it was to watch it, so bad that in whole parts of the battle one could not figure out who was against whom, who was dead, who was alive, what was going on in the clouds and mist (Which can be seen clearly in all the posts attached to this post)
The MVPs of the episode were clearly Melisandre and the Dragons for lighting the scene a bit.

I think the problem was twofold – on the one hand the directors, it may not be their fault, but it is their responsibility to examine how this episode is seen by the viewers on television, a basic thing to do after investing so much time and money to create such a dim atmosphere .
And if you do not know how to make a dark episode that looks good too (see Battle of Helms Deep Which took place at night but was still seen as excellent even in ancient DVD,


Or the mind mind blowing episode 8 of Twin Peaks 2017 , where the darkness in it intensifies the terror and malice and not overshadowed it)


just don’t do it, or at least increase the brightness for God’s sake!

On the other hand, the problem was with the television providers, who were not prepared for the quality that would be required of them, compressed the picture to the point of pixelation and blackening of large parts of the battle to keep the load on their streaming servers.

And maybe the blame is on the viewers that we did not buy OLED screens beforehand, extinguished every possible source of light in the house, and stood with narrowed eyes in front of the screen? 🙂

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪game of thrones brightness increase‬‏


So, in conclusion, what’s left? One Night King Arc is over, and we were left with a final Arc of Games of Thrones.
I wonder if they could end these two arcs in the last chapter and not leave us with only those who claim the crown.
After all, even the plot line of the Night King has not really finished – what about the Azor Ahai? The promised Prince? What is the background of the Night King? How did all the prophecies concerning him come true if at all? How did Bran and the three-eyed raven play a role in that?
Perhaps they left all these questions open to answer in the series prequel coming hopefully soon starring Naomi Watts .
And maybe it’s good that we stayed with three episodes dedicated only to the political games of the throne, that’s the series name after all, but as one who read the books long before the series aired, I will always think of it as “A Song of Ice and Fire“…

Games of Thrones S08E03 body count prediction

[Edit: out of the below prediction only Theon and Jorah came true. Wanna know why? Read The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Battle of Winterfell].

The last episode S08E02 was one of farewells before the big battle, and to all of us I think it’s quite clear that many of the characters we love (or hate) are going to die in the upcoming episode – the battle of Winterfell.
I will try to enumerate those characters and the probability of losing their lives:

Brienne – very likely after being called a knight to become a martyr and die on the battlefield.

Tyrion – there is almost no way he will die because his lost honor must be restored after he has missed out on his assumption on his sister, Cersei. A premonition of his comeback as the wise advisor can be seen in his conversation with Bran to obtain information that will no doubt help to save the day, and in what Mormont says to Daenerys about she trusting him again.

Arya said she is not afraid of death in the last episode, had lost her virginity before the battle, and now has a pretty good chance of dying an heroic death, but we need to remember that she did not complete her killing list, so maybe it would save her from dying just yet.

Jaime – still has the need to confront his sister (and probably kill her according to the prophecy of the Maggy the Frog given to Cersei) So I would give him a low chance of dying.

Jon / Daenerys – the two main characters, almost certain that will live up to the last episode, and the last confrontation between them.

Tormund – it seems to me that he and his Giant tales are a goner, I don’t see any need of him in any arc, and will probably die an heroic but useless death defending Brienne.

The little girl from the soup – she’s a goner. No seriously, why does the Onion Knight need to hand out soup before the battle? Doesn’t he have more important things to do? Polish some sword? Help with the fortifications? something?

So his end is Nigh, I don’t see any future that needs his help, maybe if the Night King can be killed by a bowl of soup to the head, but I doubt that.

who else? Sansa? I do not think she should die in the next episode; she has another role to play probably in times to come.

Sandor the Hound Clegane still needs to meet his brother for a final showdown so there’s no way he’s dying on us here.

Podrick probably sang his last song.

Gray worm I believe will turn to a white worm.

Jorah Mormont wobbles for me, because he might have given his Tyrion deathbed advice to Daenerys.

Samwell Tarly most certainly will not die, as he has much to contribute with all his gathered wisdom, if you count the number of episodes left (3) the end of the Night King will not happen here, so his future is quite assured, especially that he is the incarnation of GRRM, and we do not want to kill him yet (before he completes his series, What’s up with that Martin, don’t do Robert Jordan on us, you hear me?)

Bran, Bran is really hard to guess if he lives or die, because everything falls on his shoulders. If he falls now it’s a completely new roll of a dice for everyone on Westeros with quit certainly a sour outcome in the end. King’s Landing which didn’t appear in the last episode, cannot vanish from the next one also IMO, and my bet on a twist in which the Night King continues to Kings Landing alone, leaving his troops to handle Winterfell. But if I’m wrong and the Night King does fight Bran, the chances of Bran coming out of this alive are pretty low (with a Theon guarding him, which regarding him I’m sure will finish his role in the upcoming battle, maybe even while defending Sansa).

So, let’s summarize?

Dead for sure: Brienne, Tormund, Theon

Almost certain death: The Onion Knight, Podrick

Swinging: Arya, Bran, Jorah, Gray Worm

Low chance of becoming dead: Sansa

Most certainly not gonna die: Jon / Daenerys, Tyrion, Jaime, The Hound

Forgot someone? What’s your prediction?

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