Back in the day, I would have been chomping-at-the-bit to bash out a feverish blog post about the latest season of Game of Thrones… but this time around, ehhh, not so much. According to the notes I made after each episode, there were a handful of highlights in every feature-length instalment that I was eager to jot down, but now the afterglow has worn off, I feel very little impetus to compile them. To be fair, it’s still probably the greatest live-action Fantasy production I’m ever likely to see in my lifetime, but the fact remains that this eighth/final season was extremely diluted and dumbed-down compared to the earlier years. Although there were several “twists” and surprises along the way, nothing truly shocking or upsetting or exhilarating happened, and I never felt particularly moved one way or the other (either to grief or joy), because the characters just seemed to be pale shadows of their former selves. Of course, the action sequences were awesome (as long as you didn’t think about them too much/at all), and the performances were heartfelt, but the script was painfully superficial, and the plotting prosaic. Granted, nothing that happened here was as frustrating/disappointing as the whole “Sand Snake” fiasco/fade-away, but that’s a very low bar to clear!* I used to passionately love this show, but now I’m just going to have to file it away with Buffy and Lost and The Killing in a cabinet marked “diminishing returns”. Meh.
That said, I’m still kinda excited about the prospect of a prequel series overseen by Jane Goldman (with George R.R. Martin attached as a co-producer), tentatively titled GoT: The Long Night: “Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.” Yay?
Fun fact: After the finale had aired, ace singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor revealed that she and her hubby Richard Jones were northern army extras during the (strategically shambolic) Battle of Winterfell (ep #8.3): “We fought the white walkers!! It was SO FUN. You couldn’t see us on the telly… but I can assure you we gave it our all. R was very jealous of my armour but then again, he had dragon glass.” Considering the backlash over Ed Sheeran’s (fairly inoffensive) onscreen appearance in S7, she should probably be glad she wasn’t featured too heavily…?
* I like to imagine that Ellaria managed to escape the dungeon in all the confusion/crumbling, and she’s currently off having kick-ass adventures, somewhere warmer, where she’s better appreciated… if I was prone to writing fanfic, I think that would be a good jumping-off point…