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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

‘Game of Thrones’ Review

A Series that (almost) Deserves the Iron Throne
Photo Courtesy of IMDb
Photo Courtesy of IMDb

This past summer, I eagerly anticipated the release of Final Fantasy XVI. When a demo was released a few weeks prior to the game’s release, I couldn’t help but play it the day it was released. I found myself infatuated with the opening moments, specifically the story that was being set up. Upon finishing the demo, I immediately joined the discourse surrounding what had been released so far. Almost every website I visited compared the demo’s story to one thing: Game of Thrones. Having been so invested in the demo and learning that it took inspiration from Game of Thrones, I decided it was time I sat down to finally watch it.

I’m going to get this out of the way now: the amount of sex in this show is immense. In pretty much every episode, there is some form of intercourse or nudity. This is especially true for season one, which is basically indistinguishable from something you’d find on an adult website. That being said, the writing and visuals are insanely good so it’s worth it.

Game of Thrones is by no means a bad show. Yes, it has its questionable moments (season 8), but overall it is really solid. The series takes a unique form of storytelling, where multiple stories are being told at once. You’ll constantly be switching back and forth between characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Arya Stark. Every character is dealing with their own scenarios while also being affected by the larger world. Sometimes these stories overlap, causing changes to occur in both. In situations like this, other shows can cause confusion and clunk. Luckily, Game of Thrones almost never suffers from this problem.

I think that these individual character stories work very well. It provides development for every major player, while also serving as a part of the larger narrative. That being said, some stories are better than others. For example, Jon’s story starts off pretty boring but gets increasingly better as time goes on. On the other hand, Arya’s story starts off pretty strong, but is fairly boring towards the end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. With all the stories going on, it’s very easy for you to get right back into the action of the narrative.

The show revolves around the continent of Westeros, and the seven kingdoms contained within. The one who rules this continent sits on the Iron Throne, which is made out of swords in the capital of King’s Landing. There is corruption, with some characters abusing their power while others strive to sit on the throne. After an execution by the king, the world is thrown in disarray and war. This occurs at the end of the first season, and it’s when the show becomes a masterpiece. 

Every character works towards their own goals; one character is fueled by revenge whereas another is preparing for an eventual zombie apocalypse. What I really like about the show is how well acted the characters are. I don’t really have a problem with the way that anyone plays their characters, and I think that they all do a fantastic job. A real standout here is Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (at least until season eight). He does a great job in his performance and makes you understand his worldview. 

This show is also expertly shot. I am thoroughly impressed by how the CGI looks and how beautiful many of the camera angles and lighting make scenes appear. It just adds to the overall engagement of the show, which was already pretty engaging to begin with. I also love the choreography of most fights within the series. The movements of characters reflect their motivations and desires quite well, and it’s nice to see how different characters fight based on their writing. 

Another aspect of the show that deserves praise are the gut-wrenching moments that occur within the story. Standouts include the execution of — (if you know, you know), the red wedding, and the King’s Landing murder trial. Moments like these had my jaw on the floor with how well placed they were in the narrative and how they completely twist your perception of characters. With the acting, writing, and placement of these scenes in the plot, it inflates these moments to some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

From seasons one all the way to six, not many shows come close to the amazing writing, acting, and visuals (although seasons five and six start to falter a bit in their writing). Even season seven, though severely flawed, is still very engaging and worthy of some praise. Don’t get me wrong, the series does get progressively worse starting with season five, but I’d still say it’s watchable. Season eight is a much different story though…

Season eight is awful. Actually, that’s being too generous. It’s so much worse than you can imagine. Part of me just wants to tell you to not watch the show at all because of what you’ll see in the ending. It mainly comes down to the writing, which is worse than a third-grade book report. I’m convinced that they hired people who hated the show to write the final season. I’m even sure that I could’ve written a better finale with two semesters of creative writing courses under my belt and no experience writing for television.

First off, the character writing is terrible. They took all the development and everything you liked about every character and beat it into a bloody pulp. There is no character that survives and isn’t completely ruined (except for one). There’s one in particular who just gets obliterated right in front of you. I won’t spoil anything, but he has, in my opinion, the best character development in the entire show. He’s written as such a jerk in the beginning, but he slowly becomes one of the best characters in the series. However, the person who wrote his character for season eight must’ve only watched the first episode because he regresses back to that person FOR LITERALLY NO REASON! It goes against everything that the series had built up for him, and there is no narrative reason that it makes sense.

That was just one example, but every character gets their time to shine. Even characters that seem impossible to ruin get somehow steamrolled. I can’t fathom how the writers managed to do everything wrong. It seems like they actively had to try in order to screw everything up the way they did.

Next, let me talk a bit about the story. This season is the culmination of everyone’s journeys and development, and it’s extremely underwhelming. The first two episodes are mind-numbingly boring and are a good way to take a nap. The third episode is something you’d expect to be intense, but it consists of characters doing the same thing for an hour with nobody getting anywhere. 

The final three episodes are a mixed bag of boring dialogue and characters making the stupidest decisions possible. The second to last episode is probably my least favorite, because it not only ruins one of the main characters, but it’s also incredibly stale. The final episode ends the series in a way that nobody expected…and that’s not a good thing. In a series that is meant to keep you guessing regarding who lives and dies with very mature themes, they decided to end it like a fairy tale.

Finally, I want to touch on the acting. The actors probably got their scripts and stopped caring after they read how bad it was. I don’t think anyone really delivers a good performance in the final season. The actors looked like they were done with everything because they knew how it would turn out. I know that if I were an actor and they ruined a character I played for years, I’d probably stop trying too.

So half of this was a review, and the other half was a rant on the final season. If you know what I’m talking about regarding the last season though, you’d understand why. To go from seasons that were nine and 10 out of 10s to the garbage that was season eight is saddening. Do I recommend the show? Yes. Do I recommend watching season eight? Also yes, but be warned that it’s worse than your sleep paralysis demon. The show was so close to being a masterpiece but fails to claim its throne right at the end.

Score for seasons one through seven: 9/10

Score for season eight: 2/10

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    Trevor LawMay 31, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    No real character or plot development beyond rape and killing, intensive and unnecessary cruelty to animals. This show is for psychopaths only