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Thoughts before Game of Thrones: Season 8

Unless you have been living under a mountain of dragonglass, you likely know that Game of Thrones is returning this weekend. I can hardly believe that it has been almost two years since we have had a new episode, but I am very ready to see how this goes.

Of course, spoiler alert for everything ahead. I will also disclaim that as a very average fan, my ideas are at best common or at worst plagiarized from others without citation.

Only one more season?

First, I am very curious to see how they wrap up this entire story. Game of Thrones has progressed slowly, and I’m not sure that the writers knew what they were trying to accomplish. It feels like there’s more to wrap up than can be accomplished in only six episodes at their current pace. Hopefully the writing is tighter than before.

I think that George R. R. Martin didn’t know how this story would end. He had a general direction, but as the books got longer, it became harder and harder to wrap up the loose ends. Once the TV show took on a life of its own, he left up it up to the TV writers to figure out how to cobble it all together. I doubt he will even bother finishing the books at this point since expectations are too high to deliver something satisfying.

I don’t know and haven’t guessed about what will happen and who will live and die. Guessing the ending is almost as hard as writing the ending, and the writers have plenty to figure out.

What do I want to happen?

Given that disclaimer, here are some things I have in mind.

First, I hope that they can finish up the conflict between the houses quickly and focus on the White Walkers. After spending 8 years mostly not dealing with it, the big battle is coming, and I want to know how dragonglass, wildfire, premonitions, warging, Valyrian steel, reincarnation by the lord of light, dragons, the free folk, Jaime Lannister, and who knows what else all contributes to the fight.

Second, I want to see a lot of Samwell Tarly. He’s fantastic, and his scenes are always refreshing. Unfortunately, he is sufficiently well-liked that he will probably have a brutal death under traditional Martin rules, so I hope that he at least goes out well.

Finally, I’m kind of on Team White Walker. Everyone (other than Samwell) has given me reasons to dislike them. Of course, Cersei Lannister is at the top of the hate list, and I hope she loses the throne soon. Even for the best of them, Jon Snow was painfully naive and stubborn while coming to power, and Daenerys did some awful stuff in Essos, too. I get that it creates drama and perhaps is more honest to how imperialism and modern history was built. However, I think I prefer the typical “the ends don’t justify the means” moral in my entertainment, so I think everyone deserves to lose.

Would I watch more?

Game of Thrones is a typical HBO show with gratuitous nudity and gore. I was never super-comfortable with it, but I found the story compelling enough to get through those parts. However, I think my sensibilities changed, and I wonder how I will regard the final season.

Since the last season, HBO has been pushing Westworld as their big production. I watched season 1 and really enjoyed it. I was pitching to everyone that they must watch this show just like Game of Thrones was must-watch TV. When season 2 came out, I got two episodes in before I quit.

I don’t think the show changed: I think I changed. I get the impact of something more visceral and graphic to truly drive home the meaning of something. I also get how it can be characteristic of a genre that the creator is trying to convey. However, maybe it’s just not the sort of show I want to watch any more.

After we quit Westworld, I took Julie along on a quest to find a cartoon like Avatar: The Last Airbender or Futurama to watch instead. Unlike Game of Thrones, I don’t need eye bleach afterwards, and I felt like animated shows could deliver the balance of humor, character development, action, and drama that I was looking for. We ended up watching Young Justice and really enjoyed it.

I heard that they are planning to make Game of Thrones prequel series, and I probably will skip those. However, maybe the last season will change my mind and bring me back for more.

Happy viewing, and remember to watch quickly and together!

One reply on “Thoughts before Game of Thrones: Season 8”

the opening episode did not disappoint. waited with abated breath until Jon Snow was told of his true heritage. while waiting for this series to start, David recommended Ray Donovan which is like a modern day GoT. Where there is family conflict, sex, nudity and someone dies during every episode. Yes, we all love to hate Cersi but I’m glad to see how the Stark sisters matured. and who wouldn’t want to ride a dragon?

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