The Winter that never came

Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones.

My thoughts went too far to comprehend whenever anyone said ‘Winter is coming’. I waited for eight years for that Winter in humid weather of Chennai, but that Winter never came.

Game of Thrones has carved the mightiest fan base ever for any TV show from the charisma of its fascinating characters. First five seasons were blockbuster, the next two were average, and the final one proved to be a damp squib devoid of any jaw-dropping moments.

The conclusion given to the most excellent TV show ever is disliked by many of the audience. Several plot holes and the abrupt end of many important characters without a convincing narration pissed off many fans. Many of us are blaming the writers, David Benioff and DB Weiss, for the lacklustre ending of the show. But, I feel that they did the best what they could, in the limit of everything HBO gave them. They ran out of reliable content after season 5, and it was not surprising to see them fail in reaching the grandeur of storytelling, which was the highlight in the first five seasons.

According to Scientific American’s blog post on why fans hated the last season of Game of Thrones, the sociological and psychological aspects of the show’s storytelling impacted the experience of the audience, and divergence from the narration based on these two critical factors killed the show in the end. The major pulling factor for the audience interest towards Game of Thrones was the unexpected killing of its important characters. None would have expected the fate of Ned Stark and no one liked his death either, but the show moved on because there were several other characters which provided us with what we needed from the show.

Each character from the Lannister and Stark family was developed so meticulously from the beginning only to squeeze them and throw away in the final season. Danareys Targeriyan’s character arc reached the highest levels of stupidity when she destroyed the Kings Landing. Her anger for the loss of friend and children, and her desire for power can support her barbarous act, but the events that led to this episode is not a characteristic feature of excellent writing, and this is the reason why GoT fans were unable to digest what she did.

Ned Stark’s beheading showed the audience that GoT is not going to be a regular fantasy drama. The Red Wedding spoiled my sleep the night I watched it. I was very eager to know what Winter meant in this show.

The evolution of Jamie Lannister’s character into the seasons intrigued me a lot and taught many budding writers how to develop a great character and ruin it at one go. Why did Jamie travel to Winterfell and why the hell did he go back to Kings Landing later? To give the knighthood to Brienne or to do something else with her virginity?

Tyrion Lannister was loved by many, and he proved himself dumb in the end by failing many times, and this is not a great way to conclude his character, which gave Peter Dinklage two Emmys for his portrayal of Tyrion.

Cersei Lannister’s death was the most anticipated one in the final season, and in spite of all the sins she committed, many rooted for her. Every character has a reason for what they become eventually. Her love for her children and the Walk of Atonement made her what she has become at the end. Her incestuous relationship made her the villain, but very few acknowledged how poorly her husband Robert Baratheon, treated her. She gave more importance to her children than anyone else, yet she lost every one of them. She was a cruel woman and exacted revenge whenever she wanted. And finally, she gets killed by bricks. Hmm.

‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’. I can’t say anything more about the bastard. The Night Watch has become the Andaman Jail of Westeros.

Arya Stark can go to the Olympics. How did she jump from nowhere to stab the Night King? Her list is longer than the monthly grocery list my mom gives me and both the lists never got fulfilled. What happened to her many faces in the final season? She travels to explore the West of Westeros. Oh God! Someone should tell her that the earth is round and she would reach the same place where she started. Did she take that horse along with her to explore the West, which she found amidst the rumbles of Kings Landing?

Sansa Stark is a brilliant woman who searches for logic, but a slow learner. The most interesting character ever endured many blows and was crowned as the queen. Happy ending. However, there was a moment where the audience was given a hint in the final season that she might reconcile with Tyrion, her former husband. What happened to that relationship?

Bran Stark is the luckiest person I have ever come across in fiction and reality. ‘Who has got a great story among us other than Bran Stark?’ Bran, the broken, broke the souls of many GoT fans with his poor story.

Arya went West, Sansa went North, Jon went deep North, Bran went South, and finally, the fame of GoT went deep South. The final season deviated from the narrative path which was typical for Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones popularity rested on their characters and their evolution for the past seven seasons. The writers strived hard to give an epic conclusion to the show, but never cared about the conclusion of the characters, which is what all of us had anticipated.

If there was any person who deserves to sit on the Iron Throne, it is Ramin Djawadi, the music composer for the entire show. His music got better with every episode. Title music at the beginning of every episode just silenced our minds to concentrate on what followed. The Rains of Castamere chilled the bones of Lannister enemies at the Red Wedding, The Winds of Winter gave us goosebumps, the keys of the piano in The Light of Seven when Cersei blasts the Sept of High Sparrow sounded the fierceness of perfect revenge.

The final season’s Long Night battle still rings in my ears, especially during the Night King’s approach towards Bran. The montage of music in the last episode is the only saving grace for the mediocre conclusion.

However, it was the Jenney of Old Stones, that struck my heart, which never wanted to leave the Winter that never came.

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