Spoilers for GoT, Season 8, Episode 5 ahead.
Well, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’ve joined the group of people who genuinely believe that the writers have ruined Game of Thrones. And honestly, there have been several mistakes that I’ve been overlooking recently (e.g. Rhaegal specifically comes to mind) that just did a disservice to the show entirely. But it all culminated, for me at least, in the plot regarding both Jaime and Cersei Lannister. And it’s not so much that I felt emotionally hurt by the deaths because, honestly, I’d have preferred to have felt sadness rather than annoyance, because the truth is that the decisions made by the show’s writers were incredibly poor decisions and did a disservice to the show and characters.
Now, I fully respect most of the decisions made regarding Daenerys in an attempt to position her in a descent toward madness. In the grand scheme of things, considering everything that Dany has been through, I can almost buy into it. What I cannot buy into, however, is the idea that she would simply go on a random rampage burning thousands of innocent people without a justifiable, by her standards, reason for doing so. And I think the bad writing in this instance comes from trying to do too much too quickly. Instead of realistically and methodically portraying what a real descent into a madness that will spurn the act of killing innocent people when once Daenerys was the champion for those people would look like, the writers decided to skip all that in the interest of time. And thus, they completely did a massive disservice to the show and to her character. Then, of course, there’s my issue with the ease that Euron was able to kill Rhaegal–unrealistic at best and ridiculous at worst–while Dany and Drogon were able to decimate the armies within Kings Landing in little more than five minutes. I’m sorry, but there’s no reason for that amount of laziness in writing.
But, regardless of all that, the thing that infuriated me the most was Jaime and the decision to simply throw every ounce of his character development out the window in order to have him return and die with Cersei. He didn’t die trying to kill her, something that actually would have made for a decent end to the Kingslayer and one I could have respected, but rather he died trying to save her…what? And I’m left just feeling extremely disappointed, unimpressed, and annoyed. And up until this point, I generally respected–though much of it made me sad–the decisions made by the show runners. But the truth I’ve come to realize is that I have little respect for a large number of the decisions made within the second half of the final season. It’s all, frankly, just rather dumb.
And I think what gets me about the Jaime/Cersei situation is the fact that he went back to her in the first place and that she was able to pull some pathetic sob story after all the horrors she’d wrought on the world and die with the man she loved. First of all, what was the point of developing Jaime’s character at all if this was how it would end for him? What was the point in portraying how fully he and Cersei had changed, how far apart they had grown as a result of their own personal experiences if they were going to die on “equal footing”? Jaime’s entire character arc was one of redemption whereas Cersei’s was one of descending into evil. And somehow they both earn the same end? It makes little sense in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately, it’s poor writing.
Frankly, I don’t have the words to fully express how poorly this was done, but I think this Vox article does a fantastic job of it. But, at the end of the day, Cersei deserved a villain’s death…alone and isolated as she made herself and as painful as possible. She needed to burn or be executed publicly the same way she had Missandei murdered. Cersei did not earn, in any way, the forgiveness of the brother she eventually betrayed. And the fact that she got it made the episode rather pathetic as a result. The writers screwed up, plain and simple. A finale that was meant to be thoroughly epic has completely fallen apart for me. And while I can say that I did enjoy, feel for, and respect the first three episodes, I unfortunately cannot say the same for the last two. And if the final episode goes as poorly as the recent two have, I’ll be sad to say that Game of Thrones went out with a pathetic little fizzle. What an unfortunate end to what was once the most impressive show I’d ever seen.