While many of us have been delving deep into Reddit and Twitter to air our frustrations and try to make sense of the last we'll ever see of these beloved characters and settings, we've found similar critiques. Below are a few I've not seen discussed or that have gotten little attention but perhaps deserve more.
1. Did family matter?
Starks were fond of saying "the lone wolf dies but the pack survives." A central theme of the A Song of Ice and Fire series was family — especially when it came to everyone's favorite northerners. But the four remaining Stark children just go their separate ways in the end, presumably never to see each other again? Why would that be what they want after they worked so hard to be reunited? And if their reunification was pointless and they only wanted to hang for a few weeks and then leave forever, what was the point of Jaime and Brienne and Osha and even The Hound working so hard to get them back to each other? Did those storylines even matter?
2. The Night's Watch
Jon was sent back to the Wall to fulfill the oath he made when he joined the Night's Watch, but Samwell Tarly gets to live his best life in King's Landing, despite the fact that he broke nearly all of his oaths as well. Gilly is effectively Samwell Tarly's wife and they're about to have their second child. He's been allowed to be Grand Maester (a title, gasp!) and sit on the small council of the king of the six kingdoms. Although, what would he even go back to if he were sent to the Wall? There no longer is a wall, and there aren't monstrous ice zombies to fight, plus relations with the wildlings have never been better. When Jon showed up, the only person there was the wildling Tormund Giantsbane. Tyrion said there will always need to be a place for bastards and broken men, but there doesn't appear to be either hanging around anymore.
Arya is a highly-trained assassin who can change her face to become other people and slit their throats before they even realize she is there. But after she killed the Freys, was this insane skill put to use? Not really. There were many opportunities for her to give a major advantage to her side by using these skills, but the writers didn't deign to recognize it. And while we're on the subject, why is she suddenly just Amerigo Vespucci? That came out of nowhere.
4. Daenerys wasn't evil... yet.
Okay, okay, I know this was the most obvious one but I had to say it. The odd pacing was one of the fans' biggest complaints, alongside this one and they happen to go hand-in-hand. One of the last Targaryens, she always had the potential to become paranoid and bloodthirsty, but she wasn't. Had the seeds been properly sown and allowed to come to fruition in a way that made more sense for her character, fans would be devastated and begrudgingly impressed instead of annoyed at the showrunners. Bad writing sticks out in a narrative like a sore thumb.
5. But did they break the wheel?
Tyrion referenced how cruel sons of kings can be and the madness of the Targaryen dynasty as proof that dynasties should be ended. But what was really so unique about those cruel inheritors of the Iron Throne? They were all products of incest. In fact, the books and the show often implied that that was why Cersei's children and many Targaryens were so twisted inside - because of their unnatural origins. And hey, inheriting immense power wasn't actually ended, was it? Who will rule Highgarden, which financially owns the throne, once Brown dies? The eldest of whatever brutish children he has. This new still-flawed system brings me to my next point, in fact.
6. There is going to be so much more war!
Will lords and ladies choose wisely or be influenced by bribery and other nonsense carried over from the old systems? What happens when they take a vote and it's not unanimous? Yara sat there and watched Sansa just declare herself queen to the north. Tough ironborn Yara Greyjoy whose life has been about taking what is hers and who was only there in the first place because she declared loyalty to Daenerys really isn't going to try to do the same? This could start another avalanche of lords and ladies deciding they wish to rule their former kingdoms again. Sure, maybe Yara will take the peaceful route and content herself with being merely a lady. But will future generations? Probably not. Our first glimpse of a small council meeting was a scene of outrageous disagreement and discord. These are people who fought side-by-side, many of whom are good friends, and they can't even agree on the very important task of rebuilding the capital city in which they all live. I know this was played off as amusing, but it spells trouble once anyone becomes truly upset in the meetings.
7. Drogon can return at any time.
There is a fully-grown dragon out there, who was last seen carrying his Targaryen mother's corpse toward Volantis. For those who don't remember, Volantis is full of worshippers of the Red God (the god who allowed Melisandre to bring Jon back from the dead). Some of the Red God's priestesses have even declared their loyalty to Daenerys, leaving many to think she could yet be revived to come to destroy more than King's Landing (and with more narrative reason to do so this time)!