Warning! The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8! Read at your own risk!
To say Game of Thrones Season 8 has been the most divisive season of the series is a gross understatement. It was always going to be impossible to please the multitude of fans, but this season has brought on many criticisms that have divided the fanbase, and may have successfully tainted the series for some.
So, what are those who are displeased saying? Here’s a compilation of some of the more commonly stated issues disgruntled audiences have had with Season 8, for those that don’t understand why folks are complaining, or for those merely looking for validation in their belief that Season 8 is one of the weaker seasons in Game of Thrones. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The Pacing Of Game Of Thrones Season 8 Is Bad
The pacing of Game of Thrones Season 8 has been pretty bad. The action has been broken up by long pauses of discussion in between, and there’s even a difference at this point between meaningful discussion that advances the plot and just general discussion that took place without much purpose. Seriously, how many penis jokes did Tyrion need this season?
It’s led some to call the final season boring, as episodes have come and gone without so much as a sword being drawn. The action eventually came in a couple segments, but that hasn’t always made up for the long stretch of time that the audience had to hang on and wait for it. This is especially true when the consequences of said battle aren’t as significant as fans thought they would be. We’ll get into that later.
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Has Had Unsatisfying Action
For a season that featured two of Game of Thrones‘ biggest battles, Season 8 has been surprisingly devoid of action. Each battle was confined to its own episode, and while those episodes were longer than usual, the action so far accounts for a third of the final season. Also, don’t forget to take into account one of those battles wasn’t easily seen by many viewers.
It’s surely a bit of a let down for those that expected the Night King’s run to last a bit longer, or even the battle to decide the fate of Westeros. Now, there’s still a solid chance some big battles happen in the finale, which may make the balance between fighting and dialogue a bit more equal, but even still, this hasn’t been the most action-packed season in Game of Thrones history.
Some Episodes Of Game Of Thrones Season 8 Are Too Dark
Game of Thrones‘ fans waited 8 seasons to see the Night King attack the living, and when the big night finally came, a fair few viewers couldn’t see the invasion of Winterfell at all. The complaints were so numerous that Fabian Wagner, the cinematographer of the episode, felt compelled to speak on the issue.
This wasn’t the first time Game of Thrones came under fire for dimly lit visuals, but obviously this was an episode many were less forgiving for. “The Long Night” was effectively the end of the Night King’s run, so it was a battle fans should feel particularly invested in. Luckily, all battles since then have taken place during the day, so provided the season finale doesn’t take place at night, this controversy will fade in time.
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Has Many People Acting Out Of Character
There are plenty of moments in Season 8 in which characters suddenly switched personalities or their usual tendencies, simply for the sake of plot. Varys is the latest example of this, as the “Master of Whispers” had his treason discovered rather easily. He’s done far harder tasks with relative ease, so how did he suddenly trip up now?
There’s plenty of other examples, but another glaring character shift is Jaime Lannister, who decided the people of King’s Landing suddenly didn’t matter despite him explicitly stating in earlier seasons he cared for them so much that he became the Kingslayer. His whole motive for returning was confusing, especially when it seemed he found happiness with Brienne. It just didn’t make much sense given how far his redemptive arc had come, and the same can be said for each character in some regard. What’s the deal?
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Deaths Have Been Underwhelming
Game of Thrones‘ showrunners and HBO executives promised a lot of our favorite characters would die, and while there’s been a few major casualties, it hasn’t been quite the heartbreaking bloodbath for some as it has been for others. This is a show that’s earned a reputation for emotionally devastating deaths, and thus far, there hasn’t been many that have elicited that strong of a reaction.
Additionally, the deaths have been subdued considering the reputation the HBO series has. Qyburn and Lyanna Mormont’s deaths were hard to watch, but not gut-wrenching as when Catelyn Stark’s throat was slit, or as brutal as when Viserys got his golden crown. This is especially true in Cersei’s case, whose death was one of the tamest exits of the series. She deserved far more, and Game of Thrones missed an opportunity to honor her and reward fans with a brutal exit.
Game Of Thrones Season 8 Needed More Episodes
When it was announced Game of Thrones was going to have a shortened Season 8, there was a legitimate fear that six episodes was not enough time to conclusively wrap the story. For some, that assessment feels spot on as the series appears to be sprinting towards a finish and shoving through character and plot developments at a breakneck pace.
A few more episodes would’ve perhaps given a chance to give a bit more context to explain what’s happening with these characters. Then we could’ve seen how Missandei’s death hurt Dany, or how Jaime realized he still felt obligated to his sister, or what Sansa has been doing up in Winterfell. There’s no knowing for sure, but one would think a couple more episodes would’ve allowed for a bit more story we’ve had to skip for bigger moments..
These are just a few of the things fans are saying, and doesn’t include some of the various sloppy errors that dissatisfied readers can expound on in the comments below. Game of Thrones‘ finale airs on HBO Sunday, May 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for all the analysis and news on the upcoming prequel series after, as well as news on all things in the world of movies, television, and pop culture.