Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.
Season 8 Episode 5 was masterful, but it won't get that credit because the tide has turned with fans; Season 8 won't be perceived as good because hardcore fans have decided so.
This season was never going to end satisfyingly, so we should shut up and try to enjoy the end to a series we've been with so long.
I once overheard the saying, "happiness is reality minus expectations," and I can't help but think it applies to the dissatisfaction fans all over the world seem to have with the ending of "Game of Thrones." We, as a fan base, fell in love with our theories and when the canonical story unfolded in front of our eyes and lacked what we wished it didn't, we're all left with the taste of wildfire in our mouths. I know it's cool to hate GoT right now, but don't miss the chance to appreciate this show, and the spectacle it creates so incredibly before it's gone.
The decision to make Thrones have shortened seasons and longer episodes were single-handedly the worst choices the show could make. Fitting that a show with Jaime Lannister has a single-handed reason for anything. You can't replace the real-time, week-to-week, break that helps aid character development. Simply making episodes longer doesn't replace that, in fact, it makes the story feel even more rushed.
The number of episodes in Season 7 and 8 and their respective duration were released well before the episodes aired. In some ways, this was the original sin of trying to end Thrones. It annoyed fans who grew accustomed to 10 episodes a season. That length makes sense when you consider how much world building and storylines need to be fleshed out each year.
However, fans realized were told just how little screen time was left in the series virtually right after the series wrapped up Season 6 — arguably the greatest stretch of episodes by any show in TV history — the realization became apparent: Whoever is running the show wants to be done with it.
It's actually pretty obvious why they would want to be done with it as well, and I'm not even factoring in the bullshit internet outrage the entire cast & crew has had to deal with for the entire duration of the show.
D&D (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners) couldn't handle the weight of this epic saga. Their imaginations crushed under the climactic pressure of George R. R. Martin's brainchild like the Mountain and the Viper.
In the beginning, the Thrones writing staff had an abundance of source material at their disposal. The promise of "The Winds of Winter" being finished before the show was over seemed like a sure thing, but it never happened. G.R.R.M. never really upheld his end of the bargain. He recently admitted he hasn't even started the last book, "A Dream of Spring."
To the defense of D&D, they never signed up to create fan-fiction. There is a discernible difference in quality when the show has source material to work with and when they have the Spark Notes to work with. As a fan, I knew going into this newest season of Thrones that it would be a diminished product.
The show showed a lack of convictions in Season 7 and some rushed storytelling, too. This isn't to say the season was utter garbage overall (though it was pretty bad). The actors, writers like Bryan Cogman, and production designers did everything in their power to deliver a great show.
No matter how silly it was that nearly everyone survived that encounter beyond the wall with the Night King, it will never take away some of the iconic moments Season 7 was able to produce.
The TV show, whether they think it's what fans want or not, has chiseled down the cast to a handful with two main focuses. Essentially this has been the Dany and Jon show for the past 12 episodes. Us fans got used to losing important characters at the drop of a hat, but when season 7 didn't much deliver, it pointed toward the show following a more formulaic route. Thrones decided to save most of those deaths for the endgame. Which is honestly fine with me.
I am confident the novels (if they're ever finished) will be much more fulfilling and will end in a completely different manner. The novels won't be afraid to make us hurt, and George R. R. Martin is fine with taking his time — a luxury the show doesn't have.
This show was never gonna end 'well,' but it does have to end. The 'Cleganebowl' was everything I could've hoped for. The way Jaime and Cersei ended their Shakespearean romance was tragic and beautiful. The goodbye between Tyrion and Jaime may be my favorite moment of S8 so far. Let's not allow our own fallible hopes for more, ruin what we had in front of us.
After all, Ramsay Bolton said it best.