Game of Thrones has been a widely lauded television series on HBO. It first aired on April 17, 2011 and the series finale is airing on May 19, 2019. The series quickly became one of HBO’s most successful franchises and enjoys a large viewership around the world. Numerous blogs, podcasts, reviewers, and chat rooms – provide detailed analysis of each scene and themes across the series. The series comprises 8 seasons and the final episode of the 8th season is the series finale. Most episodes last one hour long, but in the 8th season – some episodes were closer to 1.5 hours, thereby providing nearly a standalone film experience for the viewer.
While the series has received rave reviews from critics around the world, the final season has received mixed reviews. This is largely in part to unexpected behaviors by key characters, and a perceived derivation in character arc and story development from past seasons.
Gaurav Mohindra: The series is based on the books written by George RR Martin. The producers of the television series have not followed the books entirely in past seasons as television being such a different medium from print requires specific customization. But nonetheless, the producers (or show runners) did an impressive job bringing the books to life on TV.
However, the final Season, Season 8 – is airing on TV prior to the completion of the corresponding books. Having outpaced the books, the TV producers shouldered the onus of having to continue the characters’ developments while concluding the series. This may be one reason why fans are seeing such a disparate difference between the final season and past seasons, says Gaurav Mohindra.
Martin has been widely considered a master in richly weaving intriguing characters into his stories, and from their experiences illustrating the true human condition. Many critics claim that the TV producers lack Martin’s nuanced approach and simply sensationalizing the final season for ratings.
The fan outcry has become increasingly vocal, and now a Change.org petition to redo the entire final season is circulating the web. The petition has already garnered over 500,000 signatures. The fact that there is so much demand to redo the series – even before the series is concluded – is a very telling sign of fan disappointment, says Gaurav Mohindra.
Despite the outcry and vocal criticism, Season 8 has been attracting a larger audience than past seasons. And despite the criticism, there is certainty that the series finale will be a huge television event.