So that's the plan for today but here we go on my (hopefully but not likely succinct) rant about Game of Thrones' final episode and season as well as a mini rant about the nature of spoilers in modern culture.
So, back at the end of April/beginning of May there was a LOT of guff about Avengers: Endgame spoilers. Now, my basic thought on spoilers is a live and let live mentality. You know? If you don't want it spoiled, don't seek out spoilers and make an effort to see the show/movie in question before the assholes of the internet spoil it for you. Contrary to my actions last night (We'll get to that), I actually respect this mentality and try my best to not ruin things for others. Most of the time.
What I don't respect is how aggressive people are about spoilers in virtually every way.
Like, I get that you want to enjoy your media the way you best enjoy it and many people prefer to not have major plot points dealt to them before they're ready to take them in. I get that the suspense of a scene and watching things play out in 'real time' is a major element to what makes movies and TV shows and games important, but I think it has gone entirely too far and people take them way, WAY too seriously. As in, it actually makes me angry any time I witness a conversation where someone feels the need to blurt out 'NO SPOILERS' as soon as someone mentions Game of Thrones or Endgame or whatever. Like, the default is not to spoil things. I get that.
People care more about spoilers than they do local politics, and that's disheartening on multiple levels.
It gets so bad that I can't even seek out spoilers without being chastised for it. I personally like knowing things before I watch a TV show or movie or play a game because I don't like suspense and I care more about the journey than the destination so spoilers actually enhance my entertainment. And yet, if I ask for spoilers, people are derisive, I've had people berate me for 'ruining it' for myself, and my brother has on multiple occasions threatened to not watch movies with me if I seek out spoilers.
I get that other people prefer to watch things in the manner that they enjoy, and that's fine, but the moment you get mad at someone else doing the same but in a different way in my case, by seeking out spoilers you can go fuck yourself. Seriously, this pisses me off to no end and I honestly just want to blurt out spoilers to anyone who gives me a hard time about it. I'm good about keeping shit to myself for the most part (Again, aside from last night's Game of Thrones spoilers, we're still coming to that story), so it's not like I'm an asshole who goes and blurts things out. I'm just enjoying my entertainment the way I enjoy it the most. It shouldn't ruin your experience to know that I know more than you.
The fact that I see more hate for spoilers than I do all the shitty politics out there shows a major disconnect in terms of what's important in the world. The culture surrounding the sanctity of spoilers is infuriating not only because it's remarkably unimportant and treated as dire but also like a cult that demands others adhere to what makes them happy.
Which brings me to Game of Thrones. More specifically seasons 7 and 8. Many spoilers ahead. If you don't want to hear them or discuss them, then do not read beyond this point.
So, I have a bit of a history with this show, a history I'll very briefly run down. When the show first came out I didn't like it. I heard about Ned Stark being beheaded followed by Joffrey's reign as King of the Seven Kingdoms and eventually the Red Wedding. I hated it because I didn't like the idea of villains winning and actively spoke out against it because the trope of 'the good guys win in the end' is a trope for a reason; Good guys winning feels good and instills a sense of satisfaction. The idea that a show could buck that trend just as a generic 'fuck you' angered me more than it should, I saw it not as what it was but a show that was breaking trends for the sake of breaking trends.
But then I heard about The Purple Wedding (which was like two or three episodes after The Red Wedding) where Joffrey is poisoned and dies. It was then that I 'got it' and the show clicked for me. My perception of it was completely wrong; I had assumed the show was being shitty for the sake of being shitty. In reality, it was adhering to Dark Souls Logic, where everything's oppressive but the same rules apply to everyone good or bad. Plot armour didn't exist on the side of good or bad, anyone could be killed no matter what family or house they belonged to, and the fate of every character was determined by their personality and skillset, not the whims of the writer doing Deus Ex Machina bullshit to get their heroes out of a bind.
It took me three and a half years, but I ended up getting it and Game of Thrones became quite possibly my favourite television drama of all time, competing with The Simpsons as a lifelong favourite overall.
The point is, it took a lot of work but I fell in love with the show and ended up being a huge fan. I bought all the books, I read all the backstory stuff, I got caught up on the lore (Well, the interesting stuff), and decided to wait to read the books until the show had concluded.
But somewhere in the middle of season 5 I started to realize things were a little bit off. I knew that some of the plot threads were running ahead of where the books had gotten to, but many of the stories were still fairly grounded and reasonable. However, as time went on I was noticing that things weren't feeling right more and more, characters had plot armour all of a sudden, many characters were doing things that seemed out of character, and the densely woven plot lines and character arcs were being distilled into something simpler and a bit more streamlined.
This continued well into season 6, but I was more or less okay with it because plot armour was still fairly rare and there were still many interwoven plot lines and character arcs. I justified it internally by assuring myself that fewer characters meant fewer plot lines (since, you know, they kept killing characters off, as was tradition in Westeros).
But then, after the Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter, something went totally wrong.
Seasons 5 and 6 felt a little off, a little less rich, and a bit more Hollywood, but I was expecting that. It made perfect sense that, eventually, the conflicts would converge between progressively fewer and fewer theaters of war, culminating in a 3-way final confrontation between the good guys, the bad guys, and the dead guys. We all knew that it'd be Kings Landing vs The White Walkers, vs, Danaerys and The north. We all knew that's where it was going, but once season 7 started everything just got dumb.
I cannot stress enough how much I wanted to like the final two seasons of Game of Thrones. I spent the past few years (and especially the past few weeks) struggling to convince myself that we were simply in act 3 of one overarching narrative structure and that the finale was just a fireworks explosion in much the same way The Avengers movies are the big victory laps of their respective Marvel Phases. In my mind, and the way I justified this mentality, was that Act I comprised of seasons 1-4 and introduced all the characters and conflicts and the world, Act II was seasons 5 and 6 where people's arcs were converged and characters brought together, and Act III was where all the components ignited in a climax 13 episodes in the making.
And honestly, it sort of worked. The overall narrative structure of the show filled that in quite well and it fit the structure I had in my head. The first four seasons were plucked directly from the books, so the world was incredibly rich, the characters delightfully nuanced, and the lore so deep that even the most ardent fans couldn't fathom it all. Then, once the phenomenal groundwork was laid, seasons 5 and 6 did what they were supposed to by developing the characters in way befitting their eventual conflict, setting up the franchise villains, and giving people something to chew on. The lore was less present, the fewer characters and plot lines made sense, and some of the rules got bent in the name of expectation subversion, of which I am often a fan (I loved The Last Jedi, to be clear).
But then everything went to shit in seasons 7 and 8, and I think the lack of episodes was what did it in. I say this because upon reflection I don't mind much of WHAT happened, but the nature of HOW it happened was completely out of character and made no sense. I honestly feel like virtually everything that happened in seasons 7 and 8 would have been a lot better if we saw the characters travelling, if we experienced the strife that came with what happened, and maybe were granted a bit more perspective on why characters did what they did.
Major spoilers for season 7 and 8 from here on out.
All through the final two seasons I found myself pointing out the contradictions, but here are some of my major grievances that I am picking from a hat concerning season 7 and 8 (mostly 8).
Season 7. Jon Snow goes north to prove the dead are walking and that all the Seven Kingdoms need to band together to stop them. Makes sense. There's a lot of internal logic that makes no sense, but the overall logic as to what needs to be done makes sense. Except once they go north the entire situation goes tits up and it's stupid. Jon and his band of merry men catch a wight....but then are caught by the entire White Walker army and this is where I lost my shit.
Why did the army stop to kill a handful of men? Why did they surround the island they were on? Why didn't the Night King use that spear to kill them if they were so important? He couldn't have known that Danaerys was coming with dragons, nothing in the show made that clear. Then, the entire episode (and season) people teleport all over the place, travel time seems negated all of a sudden, and none of the internal logic is staying consistent. I have so many questions about their stranding up north, but then I get particularly confused about the 'romance' between Jon and Dany.
Like, I'm going back and wondering how the fuck those two fell in love. At the end of season 7 they are in love, but they haven't done anything to BE in love. Where's their shared experiences or chemistry? There's none of either, but the fans were okay with it because the idea of their two favourite characters getting it on was appealing. There was no logic to it, but the showrunners did it because it was 'crowd pleasing'. Which became the shitty mantra of pretty much everything from this point forward.
Season 8 starts with two episodes I outright love. I was entirely okay with there being no action in episodes 1 and 2 because we got so many amazing character moments that reminded me of the show's best days and the many years of character development we've witnessed. I was completely on board with the idea of taking some time to get all the pieces into position and episode 2 might have been one of my all-time favourite TV episodes. I loved it.
But then we got to episode 3 and shit hit the fan.
To be clear, I'm going to complain a lot about the next four episodes in terms of writing and character work and overall show mentality, but I actually thing that everything this episode was impressive from a technical standpoint. The filmmaking on display was top notch, the cinematography was artist and beautiful and the visual effects were stunning. The actual talent behind and in front of the camera was impeccable...it was just the writing that I felt didn't work. All the kudos to the actors and most of the rest of the cast and crew, it was the writing that failed the season.
So, the battle of winterfell started with what appeared to be the dothraki running headlong into darkness with flaming blades only to be snuffed out within seconds. This made for an interesting visual and did a great job setting the tone for the rest of the battle...but it made no fucking sense whatsoever from any perspective. Yes, the Dothraki horse warriors are known to be barbarian like, running and screaming into battle, but they can't possibly be this dumb. Why did they run headlong into an army they couldn't even see? They knew going into the fight that they fought the dead and the dead feared nothing so why did they think they could do their usual tactic of scaring the enemy? Furthermore, why did nobody else aside from Ghost and Jorah join them? The rest of the army mostly the unsullied stayed back at the castle and watched.
This is bad strategy and pretty much every character had to become a dunce to make it happen all in the name of having a cool visual and an oppressive tone. This is against everything else the show had spent 7 seasons making its mantra. This is a betrayal of everything we've seen so far.
Then the rest of the fight happens and...most of it is pretty great. The siege is intense, the CG is great, the fighting is good, I like a large majority of it and the choreography is great. However, by the end I was absolutely certain that everyone died. Like, they spent 15-20 minutes where the only good guys that appeared to be left alive were in the catacombs or fighting off 1000 wights each. Brienne, Jaime, Grey Worm, and Sam (?) were all shown in the courtyard, each of them overrun by literally dozens of dead enemies and they somehow survive?
Like, I get these are some skilled warriors (Aside from Sam), but this show went from not believing in plot armour to basically making a handful of characters invincible for the sake of the feeling of dread. It felt like someone playing an RPG and saving all the megalixirs for the final battle or something. Sure, people still died but it was all for the sake of drama, not any sort of realism. I can get behind drama, but not at the expense of the character work.
It barely makes sense for Black Panther to survive being swarmed by that many enemies and he literally has an invulnerable, impenetrable suit. Why the hell would Jaime Lannister survive with only one hand his weak hand? I like a bit of plot armour from time to time, but this betrays everything that made the show great.
Then Jon Snow has a moment like this later in the episode as well. It's just he and the Night King with a field of the dead between them. Dead who have died, been reborn, and then died again at the hands of the Northmen. So Jon goes after the Night King and then the Night King just....raises the double-dead again? He can do that? If that's the case, why not just hold back, keep his arms up to raise the dead, and let the undying kill the living while being constantly resurrected? The dude literally had an invincibility cheat and chose not to use it for some reason.
Oh, and then as Jon gets swarmed by what looked more than a hundred dead-squared reanimated corpses, he somehow survives? What? More plot armour!
Oh, then these corpses wash over Danaerys and Drogon....and while it's clear they're all stabbing the fuck out of that dragon, he seems fine in the next scene? I mean, I know he's a dragon and thus resistant to stabs, and the blades would be more like salad forks poking him, but blood is still finite and a swarm of zombies stabbing you is still gonna drain you.
Why did Arya leap at the Night King? She was so smart, so stealthy, and so good at what she did that she slipped past the entire regime of white walkers...but she leapt at the Night King, screaming and revealing her location? That's just dumb. Yes, she won, but with her skill and that much preparation it made a whole lot more sense to keep her feet on the ground, she's nimble and could dodge his grab.
I still love that shot and Arya is the best. But just like so much else this season, I'm okay with how things ended but hated how we got there.
Then with episode 4...I just felt like everything was dumb. I don't wanna go too much into it but like, Danaerys knows about the Iron Fleet and the Scorpions and all that shit...they even made a point to show her this on the map before heading south but she still got somehow caught by surprise when her dragon gets shot? I wasn't a fan of her second dragon dying but I hated how it happened because it was clear that the only way it was made possible by was inexplicable character stupidity. They needed to kill a dragon and the only way they did it was by fucking with the character rather than by writing a reasonable foil for her power and supposed skill.
And why the fuck would Missandei get caught? Why would the iron fleet OR the Golden Company focus on her? She's not ACTUALLY anyone important we like her because she's a great character and a partner to the otherwise stoic Grey Worm at least not as far as the enemies are concerned. This entire episode only existed to fuck shit up, piss Dany and Grey worm off so that they have another excuse to be shitty in the next episode.
Because as soon as Episode 5 starts, it's clear that Danaerys has won. It's obvious from the get-go. The second she regains her composure and intelligence and actually uses strategy, the battle is so ridiculously onesided it could have been done in 5 minutes. She uses Drogon to destroy all the scorpions and the ships in about thirty seconds, and that was really the end of the fight. There was no tension.
And this is where I'll half defend her becoming the mad queen.
See, throughout the majority of the show the fans have LOVED Danaerys because of the things she did, the people she freed, and her apparent adherence to doing the right thing. It all made her almost an antihero because of what she accomplished. She survived abuse and violence against herself, rose from the ashes to command armies, and genuinely liberated people in multiple cities, freeing slave armies and being pretty badass.
But as early as season 2 it was clear she wasn't stable. Sure, she was doing things with a good cause, but she was also kind of psychotic and dangerous. She wanted to burn cities to the ground, she wanted to execute people, she wanted to make examples of people. She had a bloodlust borne of her perceived destiny, doing terrible things everyone cheered for because she felt she was doing them for the right reason. The only reason she wasn't a tyrant in Mereen or Qarth or anywhere else was that she was still building her power and listening to her advisers. She got talked down from the really nasty stuff so she managed a balance of doing the right thing and doing terrible things.
So when, in season 8, everything was crumbling around her and she felt betrayed by everyone and many of her closest friends and advisers were either killed or executed for treason, she had nobody except Tyrion someone she'd been losing faith in for the entirety of the season and beyond to tell her 'no'. It made perfect sense that she went ballistic and the show had been building to that for a long while. I liked where they went with her character, but I really don't like how they got there.
Because, although her heel turn made sense, how she got there didn't. She only lost people because she was being inexplicably stupid, she was being needlessly paranoid, and she went from a 25 on the psycho scale to 110 over the course of literally about thirty seconds. Yes, her madness had been percolating about in the back of her mind for 6 seasons, but it was triggered with such intensity and abruptness that it still felt out of place. That's why some people were shocked but others saw it coming. It was terrible writing from both sides of the discussion, they were either doing a slow build or having her snap, the middle ground between those two didn't work.
Had she snapped right when Missandei was killed, that would have made sense. Doing so thirty seconds after she won the war did not. The timing, the trigger point, and everything after that fact was way, WAY too much. It was just irreconcilably stupid on her part and made no sense the way they did it. This is why I feel having more episodes could have helped. If they spent some time really diving into her burgeoning madness it wouldn't have pissed so many people off. As it stands, it felt like they were building to it then were like 'shit, we've only got an episode and a half left! Execute order Mad Queen!
And this is a fantasy minor quibble but it still made me want to strangle someone, but how much fucking fire can one dragon hold?! There's a finite quantity of the fuel inside a dragon's body that can be used to create fire and that assault on King's Landing just went on forever and he never once showed any signs of stopping! HE didn't have to stop to replenish, he didn't need to take a break, he just kept burninating everything! I know it's fantasy but it's fantasy with elements of realism involved, this one thing just made no goddamn sense to me.
Then, in the following episode he was still going!
Oh, and for some reason she has a fully decked out Unsullied army and what looks like hundreds maybe thousands of Dothraki again. The Battle of Winterfell made it clear that almost nobody survived but she somehow has an army still? One capable of sacking the most fortified and well defended cities in the world? Even in the end of episode 4 when Missandei was killed (Also, why the fuck did they not fire the scorpions? They were within shooting distance) there appeared to be maybe 50 unsullied left. That's about what I figured, but two episodes later there's an army of thousands.
Were the unsullied and Dothraki like, held back from the battle of winterfell just in case? Like, were they the reserves? Again, nothing seemed to make sense.
And then we get to the dumbest episode of the show. The Finale. I loved some things about it but it really brought so many of the biggest complaints to the forefront of my mind and basically everything in the episode had me completely baffled at the character motivations to the point I spent most of it ranting to my roommate (I kept pausing the episode to rant every 20-30 seconds) about how nothing fucking made sense.
Again, so, SO many spoilers for the season finale. Series finale. And again, there are a lot of things I liked in theory but felt they either didn't work in the context of what we saw or were just dumb or were poorly explained or out of character.
So, Dany shows up, declares the war won but that she's gonna keep liberating the fuck out of the world, and Tyrion shows up and is like 'yeah, you slaughtered the people here', and throws his hand of the queen pin down the steps in front of that miraculously not-dead army of the Unsullied and Dothraki. Dany then reveals she knows he let Jaime go and that he was treasonous and has him imprisoned.
Why? Why the fuck would she imprison him? She's had people executed then and there for little to no reason before, and now she has all the power so why not execute him there? HE can't do anything, Drogon's chilling on the ruins of King's Landing right next to her, and she definitely wants him dead. Did she suddenly gain a conscience and decide mercy is for her? Nope. She imprisons him, which makes no sense in the context of her recent character development.
Furthermore, she torched an entire city and not only feels no remorse but her army still stands by her for some reason? She might be mad, how are the entire Unsullied Army okay with this? They can't all be stupid enough to not see they helped a tyrant into power. And she seems of sound mind about the whole thing so she can't get away with 'crime of passion' in that she snapped. No, she wanted this, she's fucking psycho, and yet people still support her?
Jon still supports her? I know he was probably hedging his bets and all but everything he said in his discussion with Tyrion in the holding cell infuriated me. Jon Snow truly knows nothing at all. I can kinda explain this one away with fear or whatever since he sees there's nothing to do against someone so powerful, but it still angered me that he'd be so ineffectual about the whole situation.
So he does the right thing by tricking Dany into a kiss and stabbing her. For some reason she's completely alone in the throne room, not so much as a single guard watching by, and she is still delusional and he kills her. Again, awesome. This makes perfect sense in a vaccuum but nothing really led to this and much of the logic was twisted to make it work.
She dies, Drogon comes in and sees the dead body, melts the iron throne, and takes off with Dany's body. This is sweet, it's touching, and I genuinely liked it. But I hated virtually everything that came after this because none of it made sense, it was all profoundly stupid, and I hated it. So much. I'm going to express my disgust and disbelief in the form of a series of rapidfire questions:
Who was there to witness Jon killing Dany? How would anyone know it was him if Drogon took her body with his blade still in her? How did anyone even know Danaerys was dead if Drogon fucked off and never returned? How did that apprehension go? The very next scene is weeks/months later and both Tyrion and Jon are imprisoned. If they had enough to imprison him, why didn't they kill him then and there if that's what the Queen would do? Why the fuck was Tyrion still alive weeks later? What happened in King's Landing for the duration of that time skip? That's a whole lot of story I would REALLY like to have witnessed.
I can't find any defenses or answers for any of this within the context of the show. Real life logic, sure we don't just execute people who are accused of murder but within the context of the show it made no damn sense to keep Tyrion or Jon alive for long enough for Tyrion's beard to grow that ragged.
Then we come to the meeting where Tyrion is....present for some reason. Again, I have so, SO many questions about what happened here that are integral but never explored. I will once again express my discontent and confusion via a string of incredulous questions.
What was Tyrion even doing there? What was the point of this whole meeting from the get go? He wasn't there to be tried, he wasn't there to be traded as far as I can tell. I can think of two potential options but neither work because they contradict one another. If he was there to be tried, why were the others there? If it was a meeting between the remaining heads of the families, what the fuck was Tyrion doing there if he was a war criminal?
If Tyrion wasn't allowed to speak, why was he allowed to speak? Why was he allowed to have a say in what happened if he was a prisoner and to be killed for treason? Why did anyone listen to him? Why didn't Grey Worm shut him up? Again, what was the initial point of the meeting? Why wasn't Jon Snow there? If Tyrion is the last of the Lannisters, isn't Jon the last of the Targaryans? Why did everyone laugh at the idea of Sam inventing Democracy but then voted anyway?
What in the world makes Bran the most qualified to be King? He's all-seeing, but cold and lacks charisma and even said he isn't fit for ruling. Does anyone even know he's the Three-eyed raven aside from a handful of blokes? Does anyone believe it to be true? Does anyone in that meeting even know the character aside from his siblings and Brienne? What about 'having a good story' makes for a good leader? Why did Tyrion get to have that 'rousing' speech to convince everyone else that Bran was ideal? What about the speech made people change their mind and vote Bran in as king unanimously? Can Sansa just secede like that? Weren't wars fought over less? Why didn't anyone even do so much as propose a counter-argument or do the Pirate King thing and have everyone vote for themselves?
Why did anyone vote for Bran at all given the fact that the last 8 seasons was all about everyone fighting for the throne? Did they all just sorta tire themselves out on war and suddenly didn't care anymore? Who decided these people spoke for all of the Seven (now Six) Kingdoms? And again, why the fuck was Tyrion both the instigator of all this and simultaneously a prisoner of the Unsullied and why was he left alive for so long?!
And once the meeting was adjourned, why the fuck did things end the way they did? Arya exploring made sense, Sansa being queen of the North made sense....but two things made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Why would the unsullied just accept that Bran was the king after weeks/months of occupying King's Landing? If they're so angry about what happened what is their plan and why is Grey Worm not doing anything? If their terms were that Jon Snow be given a life sentence on The Wall at Castle Black instead of being executed, just...why? If they're so angry, why let that happen at all? Furthermore, if they agreed to leave King's Landing, then why do they care anymore? They're seen leaving to go south of Westeros and Essos, so they no longer have a stake in what happens here.
Why did they agree to that? And if they did, why would anyone adhere to making Jon Snow go to the Night's Watch? Isn't the Wall in the North, which is now Sansa's Kingdom independent from the others? Why is there even a wall anymore if the Night King was defeated and the Wildlings are now allies to the north? Why is there even a night's watch at all? Wasn't the wall destroyed at the end of season 7? And if the unsullied are leaving Westeros, who the fuck is going to enforce Jon's exile? Why would any of his siblings do so knowing that he's the one true king and the last Targaryan?
Oh, and this leads me to a few over-arching complaints. Again, a bunch of questions.
What was the point of making such a big deal about what bloodlines rule if they were going to just turn it into an election instead? The entire show was about who was 'rightful' king and they just do nothing with it. I get that, in the real world, Democracy makes sense and a monarchy is stupid, but this sort of thing doesn't just change at some random meeting in the ruins of a city, ESPECIALLY not with a Lannister, a Baratheon, a Stark, and a Targaryan all alive and with claim to the throne. I get they were trying to subvert expectations and do something different, I respect that, but it felt so unearned! Nothing in this final half of the final episode worked in the context of the show as it had been established, and that was my problem.
Why put such a focus on prophecy and the like if you're not going to do anything with any of it? I'm okay with Arya killing men with brown eyes and blue eyes but failing to kill anyone with green eyes, but why did any of the prophecies exist? So, SO many things in this series were set up without any payoff, which makes no sense given how 'fanservice' the final seasons became. I like subverting expectations in that I love storytellying that deals in twists...but this went way, way off the wrong end and didn't do anything with any of it!
Yeah, there were a lot of parts of the final season that were awesome from the standpoint of spectacle, but so much felt so wrong. Like, take Cleganebowl, for instance. That was about as fanservice as you get and the ending with Sandor (hound) tackling Gregor (Mountain) into the fire was beautiful and poetic but how they got there was so dumb! Why could Gregor suddenly break the zombie spell put upon him by Qyburn? I get that the two wanted to fight but he went from mindless zombie to 'yeah, no, I kill you now, gotta fight brother' in no time with no explanation!
The scene, though beautifully staged, lit, shot, and paid off, was fundamentally broken because it didn't make sense in the context of what we saw. It's a good way to show everything about seasons 7 and 8.
Extending these seasons to full 10-episode runs would have fixed a lot. Instead of rushing through and ignoring logic because 'lolfanservice', we could have kept the depth established by the prior 6 seasons. I liked so many of the broad strokes of this season, but every one of them was undermined by how they got there. I loved Dany's heel turn but she just seemed to do it with no impetus. I loved cleganebowl but it made no sense. I loved Jaime's complicated plot but it felt like half of his turns were just because and not for any real reason. The entire meeting with the heads of the families and Tyrion could have made sense if I understood why any of it was happening or how we got there.
There's a whole gap of weeks or months between the death of Danaerys and the election of Bran, I want to know what the fuck happened in that time because it's all so very, very important and it's not even touched upon. Without that context none of the rest of the episode makes sense and that, like so much else in the final two seasons, undermines and disrespects everything that made the show great.
I hate being cynical, I hate being hateful, and I don't like feeling like the bad guy because there is/was still so much to love about the show. The writing is STILL good for what it is, Game of Thrones at its worst is still wonderfully made...but its final seasons betray the spirit of Game of Thrones. Without the lore and the history and internal logic built up over the prior seasons much of the weird shit that happens in this final episode is fine. In a vacuum much of what happens makes sense.
But we don't live in a vacuum, we live in Westeros, and the Song of Ice and Fire deserved better