Game of Thrones’ ending was mostly bitter, somewhat sweet | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 24, 2019

Game of Thrones’ ending was mostly bitter, somewhat sweet

I saw a tweet soon after I finished watching Game of Thrones’ series finale—it said that those who still haven’t watched the show have proved that they never succumb to any sort of peer pressure. It reminded me of myself two years ago, and I thought, “What have I become, how could I let this show have such an impact on me after avoiding it for seven years?”

I first watched Game of Thrones in 2017, right after season seven came out. It wasn’t peer pressure that got to me; I downloaded it because I was going through a difficult time and I wanted something immersive to watch. The show did not disappoint. It took me less than a week to watch every episode, read every fan theory, and discuss with every one of my friends who had watched it. If I were living in a TV series, this would be my character arc—I went from co-writing a Rantages article with my best friend on why we don’t watch Game of Thrones, to finally falling in love with the show.

I have always been a big fan of the fantasy genre, but the reason I had been turned off of Game of Thrones was its fanbase. I did not get how these people had nothing else to talk about other than one TV show. It is ironic that I am now one of these people, and I do not understand how anyone can voluntarily deprive themselves of the brilliance of this show.

After its final season, the fanbase is divided on whether it can still be called brilliant. I did not enjoy the last season as much I had hoped to. While I do not mind where the character ended up, my problem is with their journey towards that fate. For example, Daenerys Targaryen’s descent into madness was perhaps inevitable, but it felt rushed.

There was a time when every character’s actions had consequences, and every little plot point made a difference in the endgame, or we thought that it would. But very little mattered in the final season of Game of Thrones. Arya had trained as a faceless assassin for an entire season, but it turned out to be as useless to the final plot as the treadmill at my house. In episode three, it is suggested that Beric Dondarrion was resurrected so many times because his purpose was to help Arya. Well then, what was Jon Snow’s purpose? Why was he resurrected, and most importantly, what role did his true lineage play in the story?

These are not questions that fans can answer any more. Asking questions and crafting theories is futile—and that is the saddest part for me. While the show was running, Game of Thrones’ subreddits had something new for me every day. The memes on the subreddit freefolk was better than the show itself, at one point. My least favourite theory was that of Bran being the Night King. Surprisingly, that theory turned out half-right, after all Bran became some kind of king.

While I cannot say that I spent a big chunk of my life following this series, I can feel the tremendous nostalgia that it triggers. There has not been another show of this scale in my generation, and no matter how it has ended, the mere fact that this is the last time I saw that amazing cast giving life to equally amazing characters, makes me feel a pang of sadness.

I do not regret investing so much time into a show despite avoiding it for so long, but I sometimes wonder if I would be a different person if I didn’t go through the heartbreak over Daenerys’ tragic fate and Jaime Lannister’s botched character arc if I had just maintained my anti-GoT stance. Once again, it is ironic that I watched Game of Thrones to get over a heartbreak, but the show ended up making me feel worse.

Game of Thrones had become a sort of addiction for us. Those who watched it since the first season waited every year for new episodes. Everyone rooted for someone, most popularly the Starks. I must say that it makes me happy to see the Stark children surviving, and in Bran and Sansa’s case, thriving, but the ending of the show turned out bittersweet, just as the showrunners and the cast had said. Yet it is not bittersweet because of where the characters ended up, the bitterness comes from the rushed storytelling and corny dialogues.

Everything aside, Game of Thrones has been a true spectacle, and I am glad to have lived in a time when almost everyone had this one interest in common. As the days go by, this show will not disappear from modern pop culture discourse. Conversations will continue starting with “Hey have you watched GoT?” Debates on who should have been the ruler will go on, and the show will forever have place in our hearts.

 

The writer has petted Ghost 185 times using an app. She still believes he deserved more hugs and cuddles than he got in the final episode. Her favourite character is Ramin Djawadi. You can reach her at

aanila.tarannum27@gmail.com.b

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