Game of Thrones—Season 8

game of thrones season 8 poster episode guide
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Still worlds above most TV series, a conclusion

Clunky season, can't satisfy everyone, too much compression of story

 
game of thrones season 8 episode 3 the long night king fire

Is the Night King going to be the downfall of Westeros?

The end is coming!  As the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) and his Army of the Undead moves in from the North, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) return to Winterfell in an attempt to defend it.  In King’s Landing, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) has her own plans for the Iron Throne, and the Night King could just be part of her bigger plan…who will claim the throne and rule Westeros?

Game of Thrones—Season 8 aired from April 14, 2019 to May 19, 2019 on HBO.  The series premiered to massive numbers.  Released before the novels by George R. R. Martin, the showrunners incorporated aspects of The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring as revealed to them by Martin.  The season was met with complaints from fans and critics and some calls that it should be remade.

game of thrones season 8 episode 4 the last of the starks jon snow daenerys kit harington emilia clarke

TV’s new power couple…or not

Game of Thrones—Season 8 was in a lose-lose situation.  With a year of build-up, fan theories were clever and thought out, and the real storyline could never live up to their dreams.  Fans of the books weren’t going to be happy to see a potential ending to the saga before the books were finished…and a short season didn’t help flesh out some questionable storytelling choices.  Though I think it is par with Season 7 or maybe slightly better,  Game of Thrones—Season 8 has some insurmountable struggles.  A ******Spoiler Alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

Despite all the complaints of characterization, I feel that the story essentially went where it was supposed to go.  The problem is that the story (like the last season) feels compressed.  You don’t get the breathing time between events, and besides the “so-and-so reunites with so-and-so”, it doesn’t feel like true reunion because it cuts to another scene.  The characters rightfully seem to develop and evolve where they should develop (even Daenerys), but we don’t get the path to this conclusion shown on screen…and that is the problem.

game of thrones season 8 episode 5 the bells arya maisie williams white horse

Can anyone ride away from this on a white horse?

The pacing of the story also is at fault.  The first two episodes could have been one episode and the last episodes could have been expanded.  The Night King’s rather quick demise feels a bit of a letdown in the terms of there seemed to be no master plan…from a character who always seemed to plot and plan.  Daenerys’ madness seemed a bit more real due to her past.  She had been betrayed so many times and feared she was being betrayed again…her “children” were murdered and she broke.  The last episode helps flesh that out her actions, and it was alluded to the whole season.  The series was about revenge…not redemption.  A few characters sought redemption (and generally paid for it).  Daenerys stayed true to her character and goals, but they didn’t align with the society that was being formed and perpetuated a cycle of death and destruction that had to be broken.

The acting for the series remains strong though like season seven, it feels like some characters didn’t get their due with the short season despite longer than normal running lengths.  The final two episodes really showed who the “stars” of the series were and gave their future as the story drew to a conclusion.

game of throne season 8 episode 6 final episode daenerys wings emilia clarke

Daenerys discovers Red Bull does give you wings!

The visuals for the series continue to be excellent.  They are as good as any major motion picture and have a grand feel to them.  The ending sequence alone shows the scope of the show and with the scope promises that the world of Westeros will continue, and the world itself will grow as people like Arya continue to explore.

Game of Thrones was a pretty remarkable series even if this season wasn’t its high point.  The series still finished strong and many of the season’s misgivings are righted storywise.  There gets to be a bit of a Star Wars:  Attack of the Clones political talking as the series should be ramping up for the conclusion, but it does round out the story and kind of explain what has happened…but the season’s lack of explanation in other areas is not balanced.  The series still stands worlds above many other mainstream series, but the show peaked around season 5…and satisfying the masses wasn’t possible.

Game of Thrones—Season 8 Complete Episode Guide:

game of thrones season 8 episode 1 winterfell dragons jon snow daenerys emilia clarke kit harington

“Winterfell”

8.1       Winterfell Airdate:  04/14/19

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) return to Winterfell to prepare to face the White Walkers but learn not everyone is happy about the new queen.  Jon butts heads with Sansa (Sophie Turner) over joining Daenerys, and Sansa questions Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) on the ability to trust his sister Cersei (Lena Headey).  Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) sets out to free his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) and makes a decision about his future.  Arya (Maisie Williams) is reunited with Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and the Hound (Rory McCann) and has to defend her actions.  Cersei learns of the fall of the Wall and is joined by Euron (Pilou Asbaek) who has his own plans for Cersei.  Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) learns the fate of his family and reveals the great secret of Jon’s past.  Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) arrives in Winterfell to discover Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is there.

game of thrones season 8 episode 2 a knight of the seven kingdoms jaime knights brienne gwendoline christie nikolaj coster waldau

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

8.2       A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Airdate:  04/21/19

The people of Winterfeld await the arrival of the White Walkers and question how to draw out the Night King (Vladimir Furdik).  Jaime finds himself arguing for his life and trying to gain the trust of Jon and Daenerys while revealing Cersei’s true plans.  Arya makes a decision involving Gendry.  Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) finds herself receiving an honor she never expect while Jon reviews the truth of their relationship to Daenerys.

game of thrones season 8 episode 3 the long night king vladimir furdik

“The Long Night”

8.3       The Long Night Airdate:  04/28/19

The Army of the Dead has arrived at Winterfell and the battle is at hand.  With the Night King leading the attack on Viserion, the battle is fierce and heroes will be made and heroes will die.

game of thrones season 8 episode 4 the last of the starks jon arya bran sansa kit harington maisie williams sophie turner isaac hempstead wright

“The Last of the Starks”

8.4       The Last of the Starks Airdate:  05/05/19

The Night King has been defeated at the hands of Arya Stark, but now the battle is just beginning.  With the threat from the North eliminated, Cersei is set to make her move.  Daenerys begins to fear that Jon’s popularity among the people and his true heritage could swing her followers toward him…as the information slowly begins to get out.  Daenerys’ army faces a crushing blow at the hands of Euron.

game of thrones season 8 episode 5 the bells jaime cersei die lena headey nikolaj coster waldau

“The Bells”

8.5       The Bells Airdate:  05/12/19

With Rhaegal dead and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) captured by Cersei and Euron, the destruction of King’s Landing seems a possibility.  The secret of Daenerys and Jon’s true relationship leads to questions by Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) about the future of the Iron Throne…with tragic consequences.  Jaime decides to return to Cersei against Brianne’s wishes, but Tyrion offers a means of escape.  The Hound sets off to have a final confrontation with the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), and Arya questions if she’ll finally have her vengeance on Cersei.

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“The Iron Throne”

8.6       The Iron Throne Airdate:  05/19/19

Daenerys has razed Westeros and begin slaying its people for being traitors.  With her power growing and the threat to the people and the future of Westeros in danger, Jon Snow realizes that he might have to act…even if it costs him everything.  Westeros needs a ruler and a new ruler will be chosen.  The battle for the Iron Throne could be seeing the end!

Related Links:

Game of Thrones—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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