It’s 6:30 am the Monday morning after the Game of Thrones series finale. Yes, I stayed up to watch and yes, I made it into work by 6 am.
I have two thoughts that I want to discuss about this. I have not read any other opinions on these subjects yet and I promise no spoilers.
First, congratulations to the cast and crew of this series; I feel the end went well. I can say I’m satisfied with the conclusions of the many story arcs that needed to be tied up with all the characters.
I know that there have been complaints that this season’s been rushed and not as well-written. However, this final season only had six episodes. That’s roughly six hours to finish nearly eight years of a story with numerous story lines and characters dashing towards the final battle for the Iron Throne. Moreover, in those six hours, we had final two major showdowns: between men and the Night King and between Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister.
The battle with the Night King was less exciting than I had hoped. I understand taking a full sixty minutes for the battle was a way to show just how important the outcome was to the survival of men. However, I personally enjoyed the time the show spent on moving the characters into place for the battle and felt it was a better way to spend the limited time. It once again proved the show knows how to develop the characters, each individually, and then integrate them with each other. We got to see reunions, both good and bad. We got to see first meetings, good and bad. It was almost like a class reunion with the entire student population finally acknowledging each other, regardless of their popularity standing. They all have one goal: survive through the night. Until then, let’s drink and tell stories around a warm fireplace.
Now the showdown between Dany and Cersei; that’s another story. I do wish there had been more screen time with the two women together. This was a moment that the show has been building up to for so long, and it was kind of a letdown. Dany did lose her mind during the battle, destroying King’s Landing, and I wish we could have seen more of dive into her instability. There definitely have been glimpses of it in the past seasons and maybe the sudden ‘flip of a mental switch’ was simply more dramatic. I also felt that Cersei failed at having a contingency plan for the final battle like she usually does. She simply stood there, watching her city burn.
I think my only other complaint in how the story ended was the lack of development between Jon Snow and Daenerys. They hooked up at the end of last season after the building tension between them, and then just as suddenly they’re in love when they reach Winterfell? So when their story came to an end, it was hard to feel sympathetic towards Jon’s inner turmoil on his decision to do what he did. My brain says, OK, I get it but my heart was simply not into it, not caring one way or another, which is sad with how much the show has invested in the other relationships.
There was not going to be any way to satisfy all the GoT fans. But for this girl, I’m OK with how it ended and this is a big turnaround from how I used to feel about the show. I love the books. I was excited when they announced the series. And then I hated the show. I felt they failed the books. Anyone who knows me knows I feel the same about the Harry Potter books versus the movies. I didn’t begin to enjoy GoT until the show announced they were going to veer off course from the books because they were running out of the source material.
Now this where I come to my second thought: Star Wars.
It’s well known that GoT creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are doing the first movie trilogy after the Skywalker saga. When this was announced last year, fans went nuts. They have done a fantastic job with GoT; think of how they can pump new life in the galaxy far, far away, especially after The Last Jedi and the caution around The Rise of Skywalker. Now, in doing my material research for our Star Wars show, Salacious Crumbs, lately there have been some worries about Benioff and Weiss and their ability to pull off a successful trilogy with the fan’s disappointment in season 8. Shoot, there’s even a petition with over a million signatures now to have HBO redo this season “with competent writers”. My opinion on that? Let it go. Kind of like the season finales of Lost, Chuck, and The Sopranos: satisfying enough to let my imagination run with it.
But what about Star Wars? Will they ‘mess’ it up like they have GoT? No. I don’t think they will.
Look at what these two have managed to do with George R.R. Martin’s books. Martin wrote the books so each chapter followed only one character at a time. This allowed the readers to really get into the mind of the character, on how they act or base their decisions. So as these people interact with each other, you have a good understanding of their actions. Benioff and Weiss have managed develop the characters on the show in the same fashion at the same time while weaving their different stories together. They worked well with what Martin did in his books until they ran out of his books. Then, they jumped and succeeded to land running.
I believe this is what they will do with Star Wars. They have proven they can stay true-ish to the source material and continue to build on it without too much disruption on their story-telling path. There’s speculation that these these two will be diving into the world of the Knights of the Old Republic, and if that’s true, they’ll have a guideline for where to start, but what they choose to do with it will be their creation. They’ll be able to set the pace of their story from beginning to end. They know they have three movies to tell their story; no waiting for the higher-ups to give them an episode count.
The true test will be how loosely Disney will hold the reins on Benioff and Weiss. We saw what happened with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with the Solo Solo film, with the co-directors not sticking to Disney’s game plan and filming the script written by Johnathan and Lawrence Kasdan “word for word”. Benioff and Weiss will have it a bit easier since they’re writing their story instead of basing it off someone else’s work. Not so many people who may have a problem with how the duo are presenting it. Disney has seen what they are capable of and need to allow it to happen. Let them create and develop regardless of how dark or light the story gets. Write a good story and let the other pieces fall in line with that organically, not because we said so to appease others.
So, can Disney let them do their job with writing and producing a work that is as good and complicated as GoT? And, can Benioff and Weiss do the same amazing job in just six to eight hours? Time will tell, but I think there is a good chance these two can pull it off and keep Star Wars fans happy.
But this is just my two credits or gold coin, whichever way your wallet of opinion drops. I’m happy with the finale and am excited to see what happens next for Star Wars.