It’s all over. Most people hated the ending, I thought it was alright. If you want a full, hour-long, spoiler filled review of the final episode and final season of the show, the Jox Entertainment Crew did a final review podcast that can be listened to here:

Let’s just say this – my final grade for the season as a whole, and the final episode is a solid B. Were there issues? Of course there were. Did it go the way I thought it would? Of course not.

But there are two thoughts I have about this show. One is something I say about every show:

“I don’t care as much about what your story is – it’s your story, not mine. Just tell me your story in the best way possible.”

Whether you agreed or disagreed with the direction of the show, I think they told their story the best way they could. When I say that, I mean that the acting was phenomenal, the cinematography was exquisite, the music from Ramin Djawadi was outstanding. To me, all of that factors in to a final grade as much as the choices that were made narratively.

My second thought is this – the show set itself up to fail. It was a show that built so many story lines in that it couldn’t possibly satisfy them all. Let’s not forget, that Bran Stark – the man who ultimately won the game of thrones and became king – spent an ENTIRE SEASON away from the show. He was not even in season 5.

The show made us care about every character on it, and we would go episodes without seeing any of the major characters because there were just too many stories to tell about all of the characters we loved. Cersei has been the ultimate villain this entire series, yet she wasn’t even on every episode of the final season.

The show could not adequately satisfy every character’s story arc and with that, we are disappointed when we don’t get an answer to the massive list of questions we had coming into the final season. People everywhere are crying out about certain plot points that didn’t seem to have any affect on the show like Jon’s Targaryen heritage, Bran’s warging powers, and Arya’s face swapping abilities. Could those have played better into the final episodes we saw on TV and the ultimate outcome of everything? Of course they could, but I also think everything can be pointing out as simple a device to lead to the final moments, not the focus of things. Jon’s heritage was what pushed Dany over the edge, Arya’s face swapping was how she could work her way back to Winterfell (and to avenge the Red Wedding) and Bran’s warging means he can keep an eye on Drogon now (as he mentioned at the end).

However, I do understand those gripes. At the end of the day – Game of Thrones’ ultimate success was also it’s ultimate downfall.

In my mind, I don’t view this season as a failure. It’s definitely not the worst ending of all-time to an amazing show (I’m looking at you The Leftovers), but it definitely could have been done better. In the podcast review above I argue that my biggest complaint about the final season (really the final two seasons) was the passage of time. So many times, the time skips didn’t make sense, but it’s something you have to do when doing a shortened season. I hate these final seasons that have less episodes than the others. I’d rather them do like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos did and make a legitimate final season spread out over two years with more episodes. Even though the final two seasons kind of did that, they didn’t label it as such and did them differently.

Things have definitely been left where Westeros can be revisited in the future or go to the past and do prequels like have already been discussed. I honestly think the best way to approach future Game of Thrones stories would be to do it True Detective style – each season is a new story.

For example:

Season 1 is all about Arya and her travels west of Westeros. We can get a whole new world basically from her adventures and she can be the main character surrounding by new characters and plenty of references back to Westeros and Bran/Sansa/Jon/Dany, etc.

Season 2 can be about Jon Snow finding a new home for himself north of the wall with Tormund and Ghost. Maybe there is a new enemy even further north in territory that had never been seen before.

Season 3 can be about Grey Worm traveling to a new home and dealing with the loss of the love of his life and the queen he devoted everything to.

So on and so forth.

We’ll see what ultimately becomes of Game of Thrones and if it’s legacy of being such an epic show remains over time as we get newer shows and all of the networks and streaming services look to up their game to compete with what Game of Thrones did. I think HBO is already close to Game of Thrones levels with Westworld, Netflix has gotten close with everything they put into shows like Altered Carbon and Stranger Things and so on.

Game of Thrones entered the final season at #5 on my “Greatest TV Shows of All-Time” list, and that is where it remains after it’s all said and done.

Death Pool Update – FINAL

If you’ve missed it, we have a little death pool going among Jox Primetime and a few other people around the office.

The rules are simple:

– If someone/something dies and then come back as a wight, they still count as DEAD.

– Only the Night King and Viserion are eligible from the dead side of things, but they have to be permanently dead (aka killed with dragonglass) to count.

– If a character dies and is brought back by the Lord of Light (such as Melisandre bringing someone back), then they are counted as ALIVE.

There is also a bonus of five points to whoever correctly guesses which character dies first starting with the beginning of Episode 3. All other deaths are worth one point.

The tiebreaker is who kills Thanos, which I think it’s now safe to admit that Tony Stark/Iron Man killed Thanos. However, we also gave credit for Thor since he killed Thanos also in the movie in the first timeline.

The contestants:

Jon Lunceford – Host of Jox Primetime
Tim Melton – Host of Jox Primetime
Conrad VanOrder – Producer of Jox Primetime
Aaron Daniel – Cumulus Traffic Director
Laurel Taylor – Producer of Jox Roundtable
John Saberre – Producer of 3 Man Front
Felecia Melton – Tim’s Wife

Here are the current standings:

– There are a total of EIGHTEEN (18) dead “main” characters after the final episode. The only addition this week was:

Daenerys Targaryen – Stabbed by Jon Snow

– Eddison Tollet was the first character dead (Jon correctly predicted)

Name # Correct # Wrong Dies First? Total
Jon 12 9 Eddison Tollett 8
Laurel 15 8 Euron Greyjoy 7
Saberre 14 7 Grey Worm 7
Aaron 12 6 Tormund Giantsbane 6
Conrad 14 9 Davos Seaworth 5
Tim 14 10 Grey Worm 4
Felecia 9 9 Theon Greyjoy 0

Jon wins the death pool because of correctly guessing Eddison Tollett would be the first character dead in episode 3 and got 5 bonus points. Laurel finishes second due to winning the tiebreaker after correctly guessing who would kill Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Jon, Laurel and Conrad all guess Iron Man correctly while Felecia guessed Thor and was also considered correct (but there was no tie to break other than Laurel over Saberre).

The ones we all predicted would die correctly:

– Cersei Lannister
– Euron Greyjoy
– Gregor Clegane (The Mountain)
– Qyburn
– The Night King
– Viserion
– Jorah Mormont

The ones we all thought would die but didn’t:

– Tormund Giantsbane

Full Death Pool Picks

Aaron Daniel

Conrad VanOrder

Felecia Melton

Jon Lunceford

Laurel Taylor

John Saberre

Tim Melton