Is it true that everyone hates the end of a great show at first? The famous cut-to-black ending of The Sopranos was criticized and talked about for years after it first aired in 2007. However, now that some time has passed, the show has reclaimed its rightful place as the gold standard for modern television drama. Will Game of Thrones, which was pitched to HBO as “The Sopranos meets Middle-earth,” go through the same ups and downs? Even though it’s only been two years since the last season of the fantasy epic, which made many people sad, a lot has happened in that time. The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones holds up a lot better than you probably remember. This is because it takes place in a world full of fire and pain and isn’t trying to change the world by showing its ending in real time.
It’s all about “The Bells.” One of the most important creative decisions made for the last season of Game of Thrones was to ditch the show’s usual 10-episode format in favor of six extra-long episodes. Not all hour-and-a-half episodes are the same, though, and the final season depends on two in particular: “The Long Night,” which shows the last stand of the living humans against the undead forces of the Night King, and “The Bells,” which shows Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) long-awaited conquest of King’s Landing. Most of the other four episodes are about getting to and from these two key confrontations, so the success or failure of season 8 depends on how well these two episodes work.
Some viewers complained about plot shortcuts or sped-up time that made it possible to travel long distances in a single episode instead of taking an entire season to get from King’s Landing to Riverrun. However, if you enjoy the impact of those chapters, it’s easy to let the show off the hook to get where it needed to go. We’re not in the business of giving out participation trophies, but it’s worth pointing out that the saga of Westeros is so long, complicated, and vast that the original author, George R.R. Martin, still hasn’t finished it. This may be because he won’t take shortcuts himself and is still painfully working through all the plot twists needed to get to his endgame. Some of us still think he’ll get there eventually, but the people who make Game of Thrones didn’t have the time or money to wait until they had the perfect answer. HBO doesn’t have an endless supply of money or viewers’ attention.
“The Long Night” had the most battles of any episode of Game of Thrones, which says a lot. It was made to be even better than “Hardhome” and “The Battle of the Bastards” by the same director, Miguel Sapochnik, who also made those movies. But while those battles happened in the cold light of day, Sapochnik and his team made the most important creative choice for “The Long Night” by putting viewers and actors in the same darkness as the characters they were watching the fight. The flames that the living used as their main weapon against the dead were the only source of light. As James Hibberd wrote in EW’s cover story on the last season, this made filming “The Long Night” almost unbearably hellish, with actors and crew members choking on smoke and working through their long nights. It also made it hard for viewers to follow the action at times, which hurt how well the episode was received at first.
Filmmakers like cinematographer Fabian Wagner said that viewers didn’t have their TVs set up right, but the episode is just very chaotic. Every time I watch it again, I like it more. Once you know how the story ends, it’s easier to enjoy the best parts. The Lord of the Rings has always been a big inspiration for Game of Thrones, but this time the show didn’t follow the way Peter Jackson filmed the nighttime siege of Helm’s Deep, where all the fighting is clear because of the blue light. Sapochnik and the showrunners of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, wanted to show a battle between life and death, darkness and light, and ice and fire. This approach does lead to some spectacular scenes, like when Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Dany chase the Night King on dragonback above the clouds, or when the Dothraki ride out with their flaming scimitars to face the horde, only for their torches to go out one by one in the overwhelming darkness.
But there’s a reason why Martin’s books are called A Song of Ice and Fire and the show is called Game of Thrones. The TV show has always been much better at human drama, which is why Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) desperate attempt to hide from a group of zombies who have broken into the Winterfell library is the most interesting scene in “The Long Night.” As she sneaks between the bookcases and throws books across the room to distract him, the episode expertly changes from a fantasy epic to survival horror. This is another part that gets better the more times you watch it. When you realize that Arya is the one who will finally kill the Night King, the stakes of this cat-and-mouse game couldn’t be higher.
The episode isn’t perfect, but it’s not terrible either. As you might expect, there are several deaths, but they all seem a little too easy. Some of the most important characters in the story, like Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) and Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), were killed off in the first season of Game of Thrones. On the other hand, killing characters like Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) after it was clear that their stories were over just didn’t have the same effect. The most important characters to die at the hands of the White Walkers, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), both got to go out on a heroic note, while the best Game of Thrones deaths was sudden and humiliating.
Some characters’ survival, on the other hand, was just hard to understand. Famous warriors like Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) making it through the zombie horde is one thing, but the only way Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) could have made it through a bunch of monsters trying to eat his face is because of plot armor. If Sam had to be there for the end of the show, they should have found a way to take him out of the fight. His survival against impossible odds takes away from the realism that Sapochnik was trying to show with his hands-on filmmaking and fire and brimstone in your face.
The green dragon Rhaegal should have died in “The Long Night,” too. There’s already a scene where he crashes to the ground in a crowd of zombies, leaving his rider, Jon, to finally join the battle on foot. It wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to say Rhaegal died from his injuries. This would have solved one of the biggest problems fans had with the last season: Rhaegal’s shameful death at the hands of the Iron Fleet in the next episode. Rhaegal’s death was a key part of Dany’s descent into madness, but its placement in “The Last of the Starks” seems to have been done mostly to add some action to an episode where characters mostly just talk about things viewers already know and to give the impression that Dany’s attack on Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) might be a fair fight.
Filmmakers like cinematographer Fabian Wagner said that viewers didn’t have their TVs set up right, but the episode is just very confusing. for more updates follow our site dailyrealtime.com dailyrealtime.com.