For a while it had been making a decent fist of rescuing a disastrous last season and thereby avoid being remembered as one of those shows that ‘Jumped The Shark.’
(The TV term for irredeemably losing all credibility, named after The Fonz doing it in Happy Days — while water-skiing, over a large, laughably fake, plastic prop.)
‘All hail Bran The Broken’, Arya’s sex scene with Gendry, and Cersei being killed by ROCKS…10 moments that Season Eight ‘jumped the shark’ in Game Of Thrones, by Jim Shelley
At first, the finale was brilliant, even beautiful, then sentimental, just terrible, and well, bonkers mostly.
Not necessarily what fans were looking for, but very GoT.
By the end there were six kingdoms not seven, the Iron Throne had melted, and not a single dragon in it. Drogon had swooped up into the sky and no one had seen him since. Impressively inept considering the size of him!
Bad moments: For a while it had been making a decent fist of rescuing a disastrous last season and thereby avoid being remembered as one of those shows that ‘Jumped The Shark’
To the writers credit it wrapped up the plot quite tidily. (And then didn’t.)
Bran was king, Sansa queen (of the North), and Jon banished to the Knight’s Watch, sentenced to ‘take no wife and father no children.’
Of course his bloodline meant he superseded both Bran and Sansa, in theory anyway. The fact that this had been the core of the storyline for several series had been deemed a minor detail now, apparently.
Daenerys was dead, murdered by her lover/nephew/rival heir.
He stabbed her to thwart her power-crazed blood lust, to spare the lives of more innocent civilians, although he still wasn’t sure if he actually should have.
Happy ever after: By the end there were six kingdoms not seven, the Iron Throne had melted, and not a single dragon in it
‘Was it right – what I did? It doesn’t feel right.’ ‘Ask me in ten years,’ said Tyrion who was back as a ‘Hand.’
He didn’t want the job he’d insisted only to be over-ruled by Bran who hadn’t wanted to wear the crown either. (Not a problem Sansa had.)
Only recently Bran had eschewed the idea of becoming even Lord of Winterfell, pointing out: ‘I live in the past mostly.’
But, perhaps surprisingly, he’d accepted the bigger role, thereby revealing that the moral of the story in Game Of Thrones after all that time was: ‘it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch.’
It was Tyrion who put Bran’s name forward to a council comprised of the Stark sisters, Brienne, Edmure Tully, Robin Arryn, and others.
After all, Daenerys was dead and Jon in prison for the murder, facing demands for his execution from her supporters like Unsullied commander Grey Worm, amongst others.
The charmless Yara Greyjoy pointed out, not unreasonably, that they’d spent the whole series being told (by Tyrion) to endorse and fight for Dany’s candidacy as their rightful queen.
Farewell: Drogon had swooped up into the sky and no one had seen him since. Impressively inept considering the size of him
Not real love: Daenerys was dead, murdered by her lover/nephew/rival heir. He stabbed her to thwart her power-crazed blood lust, to spare the lives of more innocent civilians
It was probably at this meeting where the finale started to unravel.
The opening fifteen minutes were as strong and spectacular as Game Of Thrones had been for some time.
Tyrion’s grief (and Peter Dinklage’s face) as he walked through the charred remains of King’s Landing was genuinely moving.
The entrance by Daenerys, with Drogon’s wings framed behind her, was stunningly cinematic – like something from Wings Of Desire or Kubrick.
The passion/fanaticism of her speech recalled Stalin or Orwell’s 1984.
‘Will you break the wheel with me?’ she cried to the massed ranks of troops who stomped their lances in support.
The way her face lit up when she saw the Iron Throne for the first time was quite something: fascinated, thrilled, and sporting a fantastic new look befitting her accession: a cross between Thierry Mugler and Space 1999.
On the throne: It was Tyrion who put Bran’s name forward to a council comprised of the Stark sisters, Brienne, Edmure Tully, Robin Arryn, and others
Heart-shattering: Tyrion’s grief (and Peter Dinklage’s face) as he walked through the charred remains of King’s Landing was genuinely moving
Jon joined her, begging her to forgive/release Tyrion (who had betrayed her helping Jaime to escape with Cersei) and beseech to recognise she had become a power-crazed genocidal maniac. (Not in so many words, obviously.)
The look of evangelical rapture on her face when she stated there was no place in her regime for ‘hiding behind small mercies’, imploring Jon to join her quest, told us (and him) she was mad.
The thought of claiming the Iron Throne and liberating more enslaved civilians (sometimes by killing them in the necessary battles) clearly made her ecstatic. So turned on in fact, she snogged Jon as feverishly as someone who wasn’t his Auntie at all.
Outrage: As luck would have it Jon had Targaryen blood, which was presumably why Drogon vented his rage by torching the Iron Throne instead of his mother’s killer
That was when he stabbed her: a nifty solution to the problem of how Jon and the Starks could prevail over Daenerys and her massive dragon.
As luck would have it Jon had Targaryen blood, which was presumably why Drogon vented his rage by torching the Iron Throne instead of his mother’s killer.
This was one of several questionable, hasty, shifts in the plot.
Grey Worm suddenly, meekly, accepted that Jon should be neither executed or even keep him in prison, as did Yara Greyjoy.
Arya, superbly, threatened her – ‘say another word about him and I’ll cut your threat’ – but then, sadly, put it behind her.
Even though assassinating Dany was the best thing he had done for some time, Jon continued to be consumed by doubts about it and belief in her.
He had berated Daenerys for ‘burning little children.’
But when Tyrion implored him to act, pointing out she had ‘slaughtered a city’ Jon defended her actions on the grounds ‘she had no choice! She saw her friend (Missandei) beheaded. She saw her dragon shot down from the sky.’
How come? Incredibly, she and Sansa agreed with the decision to send Jon into exile
We all love our pets but still…
However articulate Tyrion’s reason, Jon doggedly stuck to his view ‘she is our queen.’
Luckily, seemingly, he didn’t mean it.
Incredibly, she and Sansa agreed with the decision to send Jon into exile.
‘I wish there’d be another way,’ Sansa told him not particularly convincingly – glad perhaps to be rid of a potential rival to reign in the North wildly more popular than her. (Not difficult admittedly.)
The council’s vote on Tyrion’s proposal that Bran should take Jon’s place as King was hilarious.
‘Aye!’ concurred Samwell Tarly, followed by Brienne, Yara, Edmund etc all declaring ‘Aye!’, ‘Aye!’, ‘Aye!’, ‘Aye!’ until it was Sansa’s turn.
‘The thing is’ she practically demurred. ‘I love you little brother. I always will.’
Tense: Sansa on the other hand, disgracefully, used it against her brother, blurting out her objection on the grounds ‘he can’t have children!’
‘BUT…’ we all thought.
She had probably not expected Bran to state he was prepared to accept the position of Monarch.
‘Why do you think I came all this way?’ he purred.
Sansa had to content herself with negotiating he be King of six territories not the traditional seven.
‘The North will remain an independent kingdom,’ she announced and – inexplicably – none of the other families demanded the same concession.
Tyrion had argued that Bran’s fate (crippled as a boy – pushed out of a tower by Jaime Lannister) was the type of powerful ‘story’ to merit becoming King.
Sansa on the other hand, disgracefully, used it against her brother, blurting out her objection on the grounds ‘he can’t have children!’
Thanks sis ! His humiliation went on when Tyrion proclaimed that their new ruler would be known as ‘Bran The Broken !’ This seemed a bit…harsh.
Inner strength: ‘ALL HAIL BRAN THE BROKEN!’ everyone chanted
You waited for him to point out that these days ‘handicapped’ and ‘disabled’ were frowned upon.
‘Bran The Broken’ definitely wouldn’t be, um, stood for.
‘King Brandon the 1st’ is more regal surely?’ he might have suggested.
‘We serve at your pleasure Bran The Broken!’ Tyrion continued.
‘ALL HAIL BRAN THE BROKEN!’ everyone chanted.
The majestic, almost poetic, qualities earlier that was Game Of Thrones at its best suddenly seemed a long time ago.
Last week’s ridiculous fight between The Hound and his brother had been reminiscent of Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
‘Tis but a scratch!’ The Mountain might have said as he pulled another sword out of his heart/head/eye.
The new saviour’s name had taken it to another level and was the point when Game Of Thrones really had ‘jumped the shark.’
It had turned into The Life Of Brian.
The Life Of Bran.
10 moments in the final season when Game Of Thrones ‘jumped the shark’
1. Cersei being killed by…rocks
Knocked down: Cersei being killed by…rocks
GoT no longer had a source – having used up all the material in George RR Martin’s books. So writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss could have disposed of Cersei any way they wanted. Viewers had been watching an array of enemies circling for years. So surely entitled to expect something more exciting than Cersei’s executioner being… a load of rocks. Her final contribution being a soppy scene with Jaime made it worse. As did the fact that Faceless Ninja assassin, Arya Stark, was in King’s Landing at the time having ridden all the way down from Winterfell specifically to kill Cersei – only to blithely turn round and go home when The Hound told her to. Murdering Cersei would surely have been more satisfying – for Arya and us.
2. The Night King being killed by Arya Stark
Dead: The Night King being killed by Arya Stark
Obviously it would have been tricky plot-wise if The Night King had won ‘The Great War.’ And his death was sensational/surprising/out of nowhere. Whether he would really have walked straight into Bran’s trap, failed to see Arya leap at him, or let her destroy him and his army by being stabbed by a dagger is another matter.
3. Rhaegal being killed by Euron Greyjoy
Shock death: Rhaegal being killed by Euron Greyjoy
‘To lose one dragon may be regarded as misfortune. To lose both like carelessness’, as Oscar Wilde would have said. Having just survived ‘The Great War’ and so much else besides, Rhaegal being felled so simply, with one shot, was not just galling but ridiculous.
4. Jon and Daenerys turning GoT into The Polar Express with dragons
Flying high: Jon and Daenerys turning GoT into The Polar Express with dragons
‘You’ve ruined horses for me!’ he trilled after their Disney-type ride through the sky. And they had ruined Thrones for us.
5. ‘The Great War’ turning out more like ‘The Great Anti-Climax’
Awkward: ‘The Great War’ turning out more like ‘The Great Anti-Climax’
Irritatingly, unnecessarily, murky the long-awaited Battle For Winterfell was billed as ‘The Apocalypse’ not least by some of the characters fighting in it. The show badly needed a good cull and at times the likes of Ser Jorah, Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, and Samwell all looked like goners only to miraculously re-appear again unscathed later. The loss of small fry such as Lyanna Mormont, Eddison Tollett, and Beric Dondarrion hardly merited the wailing and sobbing that followed.
6. Jon informing Sansa, Arya and Brandon that his father was a Targaryen – making Daenerys his Auntie
Not in his blood: Jon informing Sansa, Arya and Brandon that his father was a Targaryen – making Daenerys his Auntie
‘I need to tell you something but you need to swear you’ll never tell another soul !’ Jon began, about the biggest revelation in the series, but sounding as if he was seven. The way that Sansa eventually promised – with her fingers crossed behind her back (also as if she were a little kid) – was actually fitting but didn’t make it any better.
7. Sansa virtually welcoming the abuse she suffered from Ramsey Bolton, Littlefinger, and Joffrey
She’s moved on: Sansa virtually welcoming the abuse she suffered from Ramsey Bolton, Littlefinger, and Joffrey
‘Without them,’ she told The Hound. ‘I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life.’
Not only did this simplistic view fail to justify what they did, thinking back to the nature of their torture, staying a little bird still seemed preferable. Being ‘a little bird’ was hardly that bad.
8. Arya being trampled underfoot by peasants and then deciding not to pursue her plan to assassinate Cersei
Oh dear: Arya being trampled underfoot by peasants and then deciding not to pursue her plan to assassinate Cersei
Despite having displaying incredible Ninja qualities when she evaded the wights in Winterfell – not to mention when she killed The Night King – Arja bizarrely found herself being knocked down and in danger of being crushed by revolting peasants. Then, when The Hound advised/ordered her that it wasn’t safe and to go home, she did!
9. Tyrion turning from the smartest man in Game Of Thrones to the most naive
Shock: Tyrion turning from the smartest man in Game Of Thrones to the most naive
The way that Tyron trusted Cersei’s pledge to join the fight against the Army Of The Dead, continued to believe in Dany’s ideals (despite Varys’ counsel to the contrary), and failed to foresee that she would break her promise not to go on the rampage in King’s Landing once the opposition had surrendered was woefully inconsistent with the man we knew from the early series.
10. Arya Stark’s sex scene with Gendry
Surprise: Arya Stark’s sex scene with Gendry