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Mixed Reviews of the Final Season of Game of Thrones

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.

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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.

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Game Of Thrones – Series recap

HBO’s wildly popular Game of Thrones has resumed for its final season.  The television series has spanned for nearly a decade and has closely followed the stories of George Martin’s book the Song of Fire and Ice and subsequent sequels, says Gaurav Mohindra.

As the series comes to an end, here’s a quick recap to catch up on past seasons.

Winter Is Here. The White Walkers have converted a dragon to their side and have effectively taken down the “wall”.  In doing so, they have been able to pass into Westeros and into the North.  While there are a number of houses in the North, there will likely be a big battle in Winterfell, says Gaurav Mohindra from Chicago, Illinois.

Jon Snow.  The series’ protagonist is Jon Snow.  One may imagine that he will clearly win the throne, it is after all – A Game of Thrones – and someone has to win.  But, it’s not that clear cut. Jon’s parentage was kept secret throughout his life, for his own safety.  He was raised as a Stark, but he is actually a Targaryen.  This has significant ramifications as he is the true heir to the throne.  However, this also complicates the plot as his aunt (and romantic interest) Daenerys is keen on capturing the throne for herself.  So it will be interesting to see how Jon reacts when he learns of his true identity, and how Daenerys reacts to the same.

Cersei.  Cersei Lannister is currently the Queen of the 7 Kingdoms.  Although she has seen what the White Walkers are – first hand.  She still scheming to retain control.  She has pledged her allegiance to fight the White Walkers but is also preparing to take control after the aftermath, much to the dismay of her brother, Jamie – who indicated that he will travel to the North and fight with the others. 

Starks.  The Starks of Winterfell seems to be the key around any upcoming fight – White Walker or otherwise.  It will be interesting to see Arya, Sansa, Bran, and Jon – together after so many seasons apart.

Regardless of what happens, Season 8 will fun ride.  The episodes will be longer, but there are fewer episodes in total.  There are a lot of loose ends that need to be wrapped up this season – who is the Night King, what does want? What will happen to all the key players – Tyrion, The Hound, Starks, etc?  Who gets the Throne…..

Stay tuned, and enjoy!