Game of Thrones Season 8: Poetic Justice or Writer's Block?
Jon Snow holding Daenerys Targaryen after stabbing her
Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen: Modern Fiction Romeo & Juliet
Warning! Spoilers ahead! The entire HBO series is based on critically acclaimed fictional novel, "A Song of Ice & Fire" written by George R.R. Martin. It successfully encompasses many fictional archetypes such as the hero's journey, familial love and bonding, romantic love, political feudalism, duality between femininity and masculinity among other themes. Since the beginning of the show, we, the audience, have grown to adore both the hero and heroine of the show: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. They are both the same age, come from well-known, powerful families, strong-headed, and have the ability to lead and influence the other characters with ease.
It becomes apparent that these two would somehow end up together since they are both single (both their partner/lovers) either die or disappear from the show altogether. The screenwriters and directors were obviously pushing for romantic love to blossom in both their fiery and icy hearts; hence "A Song of Ice & Fire" as a symbolic representation of both their familial background and upbringing. Targaryens are well-known fire-breathing dragon breeders and their family motto is "Fire & Blood"; whereas Jon is a hybrid of both Targaryen blood and Stark blood---the Starks come from a freezing climate north of Westeros. Before he discovered his true parentage, he was known to be Ned Stark's bastard son and that is why he is baptized 'Snow' just like every other bastard in the north is named after.
What happens when ice and fire mix together anyway? Well, they are opposing forces and when they meet, one of nature's most beautiful artworks happens: complete solidification. In the case of lava colliding with an icy glacier, the rock bubbles and solidifies forming a solid and parts of it becomes steam. This is what many fans wanted solidification, bringing together both these beloved characters as one joint force. Both could have been just and passionate rulers of Westeros; instead the finale melted this vision and gave a replay of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, tragic.
Daenerys being called Mhysa or 'Mother by former slaves
Screenwriters Cheated Character Development from Seasons 1-7
The root of the problem of the final season is its awkwardly executed character actions. From the beginning of the show, the audience knows that Jon Snow is a just leader and the hero of the entire series; yet he kills his beloved and is therefore sentenced to exile. WHAT. Similarly, Daenerys is not given a satisfying end to her character arc. From the start of the series, Daenerys has one true purpose: to liberate those who are enslaved and punish tyrannical leaders. She has always protected the meek and poor; yet in the penultimate episode, she burns King's Landing and all of its citizens including women and children. HUH?
The show's directors have given insight on why they steered the finale in such a way and basically admitted to cheating the audience's perspective. The directors knew that Jon and Daenerys is both sides of the same coin: hero and heroine; however, they felt that it would be best not to end the series with them together ruling side by side simply because it was too aligned with fan's perception.
There are parts in the final season that is not poorly written such as the epic battle between the living and the dead. Arya Stark ultimately fulfilling her 'faceless men' training to defeat the Night King was shocking and awe-fulfilling at the same time. But the execution of the story-telling completely missed the bull's eye. Again, messing with the audience's perception of the how the story will end is not the best way to end a series that so many fans have longed for. This change in character perception could be rewarding at times such as when the Hound tells Arya to look at him and rethink her choice of wanting revenge on Cersei Lannister; he convinces her to flee King's Landing and forget about killing the Mad Queen. Arya, by far the best fighter in the entire series, agrees with the Hound and leaves him in the Red Keep choosing to live and let bygones be bygones. Not exactly what a stubborn, head-strong girl like Arya would do, but the audience is satisfied because she does not willingly go to her ashy death in the Red Keep.
So who was the villain of season 8---the Night King, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen. None of these characters but the people behind the scenes who changed what their character morale is all about. The Night King should have lasted a little bit longer than episode 2; Cersei Lannister's death by getting crushed from a pile of rocks is so unsatisfying it needs a better rewrite, and Daenerys Targaryen (excuse me?) was never a villain to begin with. She cared about protecting those who did not have a voice in society mostly slaves, women, children, imps, eunochs, outsiders, basically anyone who cannot fend for themselves. She burns down an entire city, but the audience should be okay with that because after all she is the daughter of the Mad King (has tendencies to go crazy), has been saying that she will burn down cities to get what she wants (but never actually does it in seven seasons), and she felt lonely and betrayed by her confidantes. Complete cop-out. Foreshadowing does not wipe out character development. The 'Dany' I know does not kill innocents, HBO, she liberates them with 'Fire and Blood' of those who enslaved them in the first place.
Even some of the Actors/Actresses are not satisfied with Season 8
Being HBO's most hyped series at the moment, all the main characters have been invited to different talk shows. Kit Harrington, actor who plays Jon Snow, openly admitted on Late Night with Seth Meyers that the final season is terrible. Well, at least he warned us. Emilia Clarke, actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen, was asked how she felt with the ending, and she sarcastically replies "Best season ever!" with nervous laughter and giggles. Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, actresses who plays Arya and Sansa Stark respectfully, say that audience will be shocked and some will be pleased with the ending but others will not.