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I can give the perspective of one hater, namely myself. To me, the problems with the season are nothing new. Rushed or skipped character development, sloppy plotting, bafflingly weak executions of beats that could have been infinitely better had they been given a few minutes more thought - these are just exaggerations of flaws that were already present in season 7, and really going all the way back to when D&D first started to run out of book to adapt. I think season 8 is a mess of a season of television, but I don't think it's that much worse than season 7 or season 5 (although the reduced episode count certainly didn't help, and maybe a 10-episode run could've made some of this a bit cleaner).
The biggest difference, and the reason why I think people are so annoyed, is because we're at the end now. There's nothing left after this, no light at the end of the tunnel, no last-minute turn around. It was easy in the past to justify stuff like the botched wight hunt from season 7 - I did plenty of it myself when those episodes were airing, saying stuff like "well, let's be fair to D&D, they didn't sign up to finish this series, and they're having to work with a complex story that even GRRM himself hasn't figured out how to bring together - if they have to take some shortcuts that don't make much sense, it'll be worth it as long as they get where they need to go." Problem is, now we're here, and it isn't worth it. There's no hidden depth to the White Walkers - they're just generic villains that anticlimactically drop dead when you kill their leader, like in a video game. There's no character depth in the battle for King's Landing - Dany just abruptly decides to burn the city even though she's already won, with no discernible motivation beyond "lol them crazy Targaryens", with a dash of "I'm sad because my nephew doesn't want to fuck me anymore". Every prophecy from the books that suggested compelling twists and turns at the end of the story was ignored entirely, in favour of the least interesting version of the ending, executed poorly. If these really are the broad strokes of what GRRM planned 30 years ago, then my excitement for the remaining two books has taken a big hit, although I think he'd sell this material a hell of a lot better by way of the internal character POVs and by way of just being a much better writer than Dan Weiss and David "themes are for eighth-grade book reports" Benioff.
I don't think "The Bells" is the worst episode of Game of Thrones, as many are claiming. There was good stuff in there! It looked amazing, with Sapochnik delivering the kind of quality he should have delivered with "The Long Night". The stuff with Arya in the streets was solid. Cleganebowl was the dumbest thing in the world, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Everyone acted the hell out of what they were given. The problem is, this episode (and this season in general) marks the point where we can no longer tell ourselves there's something better or more interesting coming, that all of this messiness is leading to something worthwhile - and it makes the last four seasons seem worse in retrospect, because we can see that there's nothing behind the curtain, and there never was.
huge said:...and now to sit back and watch the slow motion train wreak of what has become a free folk twitter rant, my job here is done. Please plan to return next week for the Game of Thrones episode two spoiler preview, review if I an fortunate to get an advance viewing. That should be really fun.
Alright, been putting together some theories as to the true identity of Huge, here's what I've got so far:
a) A.Ron, under an alt account, as an elaborate troll
b) Jim, under an alt account, as an elaborate troll
c) A certain banned user of this forum, under an alt account, being completely serious
d) The butcher
e) The baker
f) The candlestick maker
g) Just some random person we don't know
h) George R. R. Martin
It's worth nothing how Kang has learned from Gimple's mistakes. The heads on the spikes is a huge moment from the comics, and Gimple always strained to shove the big moments into premieres or finales at any cost, even if it made the rest of the season a horribly-paced drag. Under him, this would have been the final scene of the season, if we'd even gotten to see which people had been killed at all.