So yes, I was one of the 13 plus million people who watched the series finale of Game of Thrones. Having gotten into the series late, I can’t really call myself a devoted fan, but once I got caught up, I never missed an episode over the last 3 seasons. Was I happy with how it turned out? I have to say, yes. But as soon as it finished, my first thought was that half of those who watched would also like it, half would hate it.
I was right about the 50/50 split, but I’m also amazed at the extremes the haters have gone to. It actually started after the penultimate episode, when Daenerys barbecues Kings Landing. Fans were so upset with this that petitions were circulated demanding the storylines be changed and the entire season re-shot. It was no wonder then that the finale was met with outright scorn and disappointment. Fans reacting with fire and rage of their own online, along with countless memes. Even Aaron Rodgers…yes, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, ranted about how bad it was. Other online articles called it ‘cheesy’ and ‘setting back the fantasy genre.’ You can also go online to a website that offers therapy and counselling for those fans distraught that the show is now over and came to a somewhat dissatisfying conclusion.
Petitions? Shoot a new season? Online therapy? Really?
Relax people, it’s only a TV show.
Granted, not just any TV show. It was well acted, beautifully shot, high quality special effects and certainly redefined series television even more. So when you set the bar that high, the expectations get even higher. Even though I had no problem with it, I can understand some would feel the conclusion was either rushed along (as evident from cameo appearances by coffee cups and water bottles) or just wrapped up conveniently by declaring ‘the guy with the best story wins!’ But would anyone believe that HBO would actually consider spending another gazillion dollars of your hard earned subscription money because half the audience wanted a happier ending? Or maybe a more dramatic one?
Game Of Thrones is not the first series where a finale has been seen as a disappointment. All you Sopranos fans know what I’m talking about. I can remember being somewhat let down by the finale of Seinfeld. Ending with the first lines from the first episode might have made sense to Jerry, but having never seen the very first episode, it made no sense to me. Yes, we watch the shows, we love the shows, we get involved with the characters, the stories, the situations. But we don’t write them or decide how long they continue or how they end. For every one that gets a final episode, there are hundreds more who never got past one season. It’s a rare feat to create a series of any genre that’s not only consistently entertaining and compelling, but also ends with a satisfying and compelling ending.
So, which series have done that? Well, here’s my list of the ones I’ve followed, in no particular order. M*A*S*H, The Larry Sanders Show, Newhart ( his second show), Frasier and Breaking Bad.
I’m sure the debate will rage on, but in the end, we shouldn’t take it too seriously. You laughed, you cried, you were entertained when you needed to be entertained. And in the case of Game Of Thrones, I’m sure all the planned prequels and spin offs will be on before you know it. So don’t cancel your HBO just yet.
Now I can catch up on Billions!