Game of Thrones Postmortem – How it could go so wrong, so fast Explained

  • Published: 20 May 2019
  • May 19th of 2019 saw the release of the final episode of Game of Thrones, concluding its eight season run. Even without going into spoilers, we can safely say it did NOT go out on a high note. On the contrary, not just the final episode, but the entire final season, may be among the most disappointing and least satisfying series endings of all time.

    In this postmortem, @AndreEinherjar will explore how even before they ran out of books to adapt, George RR Martin’s writing style provided challenges for both himself and the showrunners, and how the decisions made in concluding the series turned disastrous, Before rounding out with what this could mean for the future spinoffs, one of which is already filming.

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Comments • 3 291

  • Timberhawk
    Timberhawk  3 weeks back

    Benioff & Weiss formula for success:
    1. Wrap things *fast* in GoT, so we can focus on Star Wars
    2. Get fired from the Star Wars series
    3. Profit

    • David Andersen
      David Andersen  4 weeks back

      You bring a very balanced analysis. I have read all the books. You're right. Martin is a bad gardener.

      What annoys me about him is his greed. When he published his first volume of Song of Ice and Fire he was a newbie to epic scaled fantasy. He had come from a background of film and television writing. He did so honestly at first. He is a gifted genre writer. And his characters and stories are noble in their scope. But I am almost certain he was tempted by an editor early on. This was about profit.

      And it is today, too. He still hasn't published vol. 6. But he has written prequels and inked deals for other shows. I feel bad for his loyal fans. They are his base, and they have been let down.

      • Arthur
        Arthur  1 months back

        I am part of the statistics that is not longer interested in finishing the series. I stopped watching since season 5, and at the time I was so frustrated there was still over 1 year of waiting to see it through.

        The last season came out and I don’t care anymore.

        • Alexandre Oliveira
          Alexandre Oliveira  1 months back

          After those months, I still believe the destruction of GoT was intentional.

          • Jack Cade
            Jack Cade  1 months back

            This generation of "content creators" within movies & TV (both traditional and streaming, with a few exceptions) are decidedly UN-CREATIVE, in fact, CREATIVELY-CHALLENGED: the retread, rehash, recycle, repeat, reboot, remake, etc. ideas so regularly and constantly that it this self-referentiality has become the intellectual air we breath.

            Rian Johnson's failure, because he didn't have a scaffolding upon which to paste the moving parts of his ideological driven film making ( bad move, NEVER make art that is purely ideological-driven, that is the kiss of death; see Clint Eastwood for an example from the right).

            GoT was CHEAP from the start, in part because R.R. Martin is a bit of a hack--and he knows it--which is fine, Faulkner could also be a hack and, hell, I aspire to be a bit of a hack. But the main problem with Thrones was that it had high EVERYTHING talent EXCEPT film making and show running. So, when they were revising or sticking to an original world, they were simply making something good or solid (if a bit hacky) better.

            The interesting thing about this is that these guys didn't get any better, that is amazing to me. You'd think after 7 seasons they would have become capable of producing their own ideas; although, and defending the original-creator Martin, creation is HARD!
            (Open up a word document and tell me an interesting story for 5 pages, with at least one ACTUAL character and something of a plot, now do it in an imagined universe that is not everyday life. Some can do this, if they give themselves some time to think about it, some of us can do it on demand right now--I have and could, if I had time, but I have a PhD and nothing to prove so, I'm not going to. I'd bet that the GoT guys couldn't, Martin could, I'm sure, Stephen King could, and most prolific novelists can, as well as most Hollywood script writers.)

            After 7 years of making GoT, if you have the ability to do it, you would have developed it, these guys didn't and don't.

            This ability, btw, is very rare. Thought, it used to be more common, our educational emphasis on STEM means we're getting less and less people with this ability and the other skills. It is sad and IT IS a sign of cultural decline.

            • Gordon Davis
              Gordon Davis  1 months back

              Final damnation: the battle of the bastards was much more thrilling and cinematic than the final battle against the Night King. There were about five episodes that built up the golden army and the bank of davros, which then just disappeared. Danny and the dragons are cruising at 1,000 feet and do not see a whole navy, which then kills a dragon with one shot because we gotta get the number of dragons down.

              • Gordon Davis
                Gordon Davis  1 months back

                When no one cares, the balloon deflates quickly. Dumb and dumber did not care, G.R.R. Martin did not care, last one out turn off the lights. The wheels on the karmic bus go round and round; dumb and dumber lost their Star Wars trilogy due to fan backlash. They became damaged goods, and Disney does not want hated show runners for Star Wars.

                • ShadeRunner
                  ShadeRunner  2 months back

                  A song of fire and ice huh, a storm of shadows? Wtf you talking about. Fact check your work. You sound like an amateur.

                  • SuperStar 64
                    SuperStar 64  2 months back

                    I'd say westros actully grew

                    • Zeupater
                      Zeupater  2 months back

                      The whys and reasons are fine, but maybe the outcome was likely, if not inevitable. Many popular shows disappoint at the ending. The most popular show ever might have been doomed to also have the most disappointing ending ever.

                      • cortedemico
                        cortedemico  2 months back

                        i watched the first season and thought it was terrific when it came out. catch wind of the proposed length of it and i said "one and done". not investing my time in that. then come to find out they screwed up the ending (and like you and others say, screwed up even before that), that will cinch it for me. never will i even watch the "good" seasons... or buy it. like star wars, i will just hold the good memories. penis. penis, penis....

                        • Shadow Hedgehog
                          Shadow Hedgehog  2 months back

                          Never watched the show. Now I never will knowing how stupidly and abruptly it ends.
                          And having this experience, I will be wary of new shows and possibly only waiting till its successfully and satisfyingly concluded before I decide to spend my time and money on it.

                          • Buster Brown07
                            Buster Brown07  2 months back


                            • The Man
                              The Man  2 months back

                              Worst ending Ever

                              • King Karate
                                King Karate  3 months back

                                I will remember Season 8 it as a massive pile of 💩! I absolutely agree it was rushed and George RR Martin's team of GOT minions who have been helping him write the novel's for years and know the character arcs better than he does should have helped Benioff & Weiss write the scripts for at least a 10 season release! The long Night should have been Season 8 & 9 at least! The raising of the dead all over Westeros, the Night Kings history and motivations being revealed, the children working with Bran to find a army of the dead solution and him worging a dragon, past characters killed in battle, Sam leads the old literary bastards to hatch a plan other than the dragons being the only solution to win battles! Cercei's character being killed by a pile of bricks was sooo wrong, along with every other characters story arc, I hate Benioff & Weiss for what they did, hope Netflix dump them and they never get another gig ever again!

                                • Cristiano Pruneri
                                  Cristiano Pruneri  3 months back

                                  40 episodes instead of 13, feels about right.

                                  A "general rule of story telling" - insofar as such a thing exist - is the "1-2-1" division for stories.
                                  1 quarter of the space used to introduce characters, two quarters for the action, a final quarter for the denouement and thing up all the knots.

                                  Of course, it is not mandatory, and the use of anachronic order narration means that introduction of characters, action and denouement can be mixed in any way... But as we go through the story, we keep track of how it's time is invested, and we notice when these proportions are violated.

                                  At season six, GoT had still quite a lot to go on the central action, at least a season to set up properly "the others" and the war against them, at which point another 20+ episodes would have been good to give a proper end to the series.

                                  Instead we've got nine episodes to see the end of the others' war, and four (?!) for the final wrap-up.

                                  No wonder it fel horribly contrived - it was.

                                  As for why they decided to speed up things so much, I suspect that some of the actors started feeling restless: after seven, right years in a principal role, permanent typecasting is almost inevitable.

                                  It may suit a middle aged actor, say one like Mark Harmon, to continue a series for twelve or more years, and then essentially retire, but I suspect the various Maeve Williams, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington or Peter Dinklage may had a fleeting wish to let GoT behind, and do something else in the future.

                                  That would made B&B decision to rush things somewhat understandable.

                                  • Jeczman
                                    Jeczman  3 months back

                                    How GOT will be remembered? This words come to my mind, and this is how it will be remembered: "what do you know about pain, if you've never lose a war that was practically won" ........................ Fucking idiots, Dumb and Dumber suck balls.

                                    • MyMagnificentOctopus
                                      MyMagnificentOctopus  3 months back

                                      Caprica was almost the opposite of GoT. It started weak, and managed to get itself cancelled before it found its footing and actually put in some interesting content. Watching it now on DVD, it is almost disappointing, as by the end, it is an interesting show. Maybe not at BSG level, but the last several episodes really did hold my attention in a way the earlier ones didn't, and the next season previews (for a season that never was) looked quite interesting.

                                      • James Lee
                                        James Lee  3 months back

                                        Where the fuck is Hollywood finding these hacks Dumb and dumber, jj Abrams, zack Snyder, rian Johnson, etc...

                                        • Katherine Ann
                                          Katherine Ann  5 months back

                                          I think what's so sad about it for me is that I don't even feel any desire to rewatch the show ever again, not even the earlier seasons that I loved. Knowing how it all spoils the entire show for me. I cannot even begin to describe how empty I felt after watching the final episode. I felt like I wasted ten years of my life watching the characters grow and the story develop, only for it all to end like THAT. Easily one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I know I for one don't give a shit about the spinoffs, and somehow I doubt they're going to be as successful as everyone is counting on. It's just such a goddamn shame.

                                          • Josh Neito
                                            Josh Neito  5 months back

                                            Yea cause the way he writes and the twist and turns he does was the ultimate downfall of it all

                                            • stilldownwiththemutantunderground

                                              Not entirely relevant, but any actor, producer, or casting director who takes part in a project where a character is supposed to have a Scandinavian accent should be forced to subscribe to this channel. I'm a native Swede myself, yet this is a better more authentic accent than even I could do.

                                            • Gaudia Certaminis
                                              Gaudia Certaminis  6 months back

                                              I watched up to, and including, Season 6 to watch Ramsey Bolton get his comeuppance and see what happened to Jon Snow, but gave up after that. Once you start resurrecting characters, what’s the point? There are no longer any meaningful stakes. It’s one of the reasons I stopped watching Heroes.

                                              • Aaren J
                                                Aaren J  6 months back

                                                what's an eye-ron throne?

                                                • PlasmaPower
                                                  PlasmaPower  6 months back

                                                  I might as well just stick to the books if I ever wanted to find out about the story...

                                                  • Michael D
                                                    Michael D  6 months back

                                                    Honestly, the stupidest part of all this is that they get away with excuse of "My job is hard." . . . . No, it's truly not.

                                                    • Sean Cartaya
                                                      Sean Cartaya  6 months back

                                                      While I mostly agree with your points, and the final season as a whole was terrible, I must disagree that every episode of the last season was worse than the last. Personally, I think the second episode was one of the best of the whole series, and maybe my favorite! It was the one bright spot in season 8.

                                                      • Phil Giles
                                                        Phil Giles  7 months back

                                                        It would be great if they would redo...say 6-8 the right way. I would pay to watch a good remake.

                                                        • Robert Charles
                                                          Robert Charles  7 months back

                                                          You are mistaken the bottom line is the COST of keeping the actors and yes it was a kings ransom as it was to do another season was not possible 🤗🤗🤗😃😃😃😎😎😎

                                                          • RL Barnes
                                                            RL Barnes  7 months back

                                                            But D&D were good show runners, just not writers... right?

                                                            • BrianRDub
                                                              BrianRDub  7 months back

                                                              I don't know how the writers live with themselves after this epic F up!?!? If they think the way they ended it was fine, then their careers will end soon enough. If they know they ended it very badly but don't care, their careers will end soon enough. Their futures depend on paying viewers. How stupid can they be? The evidence throughout at least half of seasons 7 and all of season 8 PLUS nearly unanimous concensus from viewers suggest they are about as stupid as stupid can get. They must think the paying audience are just dummies with money. What a waste! Sad for the actors, especially the ones who got big from GOT. Some may have been done with it but really who matters? Its called the entertainment business, right? That means we are supposed to matter. I guess we don't anymore. Like patients don't matter to some doctors. In it for the money and prestige. But I digress. I applaud HBO for trying to get them to go 10 seasons.

                                                              • Dianne Dowler
                                                                Dianne Dowler  7 months back

                                                                You said it right. Couldn’t agree more.

                                                                • Kenabi San
                                                                  Kenabi San  7 months back

                                                                  I wanted to buy all seasons on itunes until i saw the finale. Now i wont even watch the next star wars movie bc of this dumbfks.

                                                                  • The Dawn of Vanlife
                                                                    The Dawn of Vanlife  7 months back

                                                                    It's interesting how much better YouTubers understand story arc then the stories writers.

                                                                    • HuntingViolets
                                                                      HuntingViolets  7 months back

                                                                      A Storm of Swords, not Shadows.

                                                                      • d21rich
                                                                        d21rich  7 months back

                                                                        I had every episode on my pc, don't ask how, and I've deleted it because I'll never start it again. Now I know that the journey ends so badly why bother starting it again?
                                                                        Deadwood and The Sopranos on the other hand? I've watched them both multiple times over the years.
                                                                        GoT? Died a few weeks ago.

                                                                        • Andrew
                                                                          Andrew  7 months back

                                                                          Pretty much everyone has the same opinion about the final season. It was rushed, and it sucked.

                                                                          • Shannon Reynolds
                                                                            Shannon Reynolds  7 months back

                                                                            Go to The Dragon Demands and hear what he has to say. He has actual quotes and things the directors said about the unrealistic expectations of filming episodes, lack of their writing and placing non verbal cues, emoting faces and facial expressions in place of actual writing.

                                                                            But, d&d are all like "Boats and Hoes" as they have basically disappeared.

                                                                            • Shannon Reynolds
                                                                              Shannon Reynolds  7 months back

                                                                              You forgot the conventions he went to and cameos on Z Nation and Sharknado while editing a couple of series of short stories. I will say that d&d and Martin did have a falling out and he became less and less involved. They got lazy because they wanted to move on SW and we all know it. Even some of the actors had a hard time figuring out why their characters would do some of the things they were doing.

                                                                              It came down to Friedman aka Benioff being a perv and gender swapping many characters, having sex, rape and full frontal nudity for sake of representing the perv population and this is what he has been quoted as saying.

                                                                              They didn't just "subvert" expectations, they completely ignored the story altogether.

                                                                              • Nick Molnar
                                                                                Nick Molnar  7 months back

                                                                                The intro looks like despicable me

                                                                                • Messiah de jude
                                                                                  Messiah de jude  7 months back

                                                                                  I'm personally insulted by having to see the two morons' smirking faces

                                                                                  • coolbanana165
                                                                                    coolbanana165  7 months back

                                                                                    So basically the creators gave up and rushed it after they were offered a Star War trilogy? And HBO let them and screwed themselves?

                                                                                    • Sai vamshi
                                                                                      Sai vamshi  7 months back

                                                                                      Everytime D&D write a script, gods flip a coin and the audience hold their breath.

                                                                                    • Ookami
                                                                                      Ookami  7 months back

                                                                                      Nah the issues seem to have been:
                                                                                      -That they wanted to finish and move on (this is why we now have teleportation and things like daenerys flipping out without a believable transition/buildup)
                                                                                      -That and the absolutely lazy writing with not an ounce of constructive thought put into the scenes (in episode 3: no ditches dug, Trebuchets placed in front of the army and walls...etc)
                                                                                      -As well as prioritizing visuals over logic on the most fundamental levels (Episode 3: sending dothraki cavalry to on a frontal charge, any of the main characters on the front line surviving the undead charge/tidal wave, the army being in front of the walls to begin with, realism was thrown down the window in favor of making the preparations for battle look more epic and spread out, it just looked stupid and went against the points that GoT was loved for)

                                                                                      There is no excuse for any of this, the last season is neglected on the most basic and fundamental elements of storytelling, this indicates one of three things:
                                                                                      1 Complete and utter incompetence on multiple fronts.
                                                                                      2 THEY DIDN"T CARE AND WANTED TO MOVE ON.
                                                                                      3 1+2.
                                                                                      I'm for 3 personally.

                                                                                      • Radioactive Dick
                                                                                        Radioactive Dick  7 months back

                                                                                        8:48 A Storm of Shadows? You mean a Storm of Swords right?

                                                                                        • mattwho81
                                                                                          mattwho81  7 months back

                                                                                          So sad, this Series could have stood as one of the great TV triumphs of the century. Now it will be one more disappointment.

                                                                                          • ajax201
                                                                                            ajax201  7 months back

                                                                                            This signature petition is pointless. When has this ever worked? What about all the actors whos contract is now over? How would they return? What a pointless endevour

                                                                                            • SammySamuelSam
                                                                                              SammySamuelSam  7 months back

                                                                                              Imagine now how D&D are going to approach to the old republic in their Star Wars trilogy.

                                                                                              Keep your hand away from Bastila, you suckers!