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Alright, with some time to think here's how I can make sense of the differences of opinion on this episode and season:
The biggest problem with GoT the last two seasons is there are too few episodes. The showrunners were wrong: this is not a 73 hour story.
We may never know exactly why they decided to reduce the episode count. I've seen a lot of guesses here including budget considerations, actors' contracts, showrunner fatigue, and even the suggestion that HBO is intentionally trying to screw over the fans. It may be one, some, or none of these but in the end it doesn't really matter. The decision was made and it was never going to change once decided.
If you take the time allotted and look at how it was spent, I think it was divided up fairly well. There are a few exceptions. A good example is the lack of Dany & Missandei scenes. I think they overestimated how much the fans would recognize the value of that relationship. Curiously, they spent this time connecting Missandei to Grey Worm instead. In most cases though, if there was 30-40% more time and each plot point's share increased proportionally I think the show's in pretty good shape.
Joanna Robinson has talked a lot about how the actors had to do off-screen work to establish their characters' state of mind as the show rushed through the last two seasons. Emilia Clarke and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau have both made this explicit in interviews. This should have been a red flag to the producers and showrunners. In general I think the actors did a fine job showing the emotions they're meant to feel in the moment, but many watchers tended to second-guess the performance because the character development had to be internalized instead of demonstrated. For example, I never thought Jaime was leaving Brienne to kill Cersei, but many fans did.
So, in general I think most of the dissatisfaction is rooted in the choice to shorten the last seasons. Even if the running time is increased, only so much can be accomplished within a single episode because an episode needs a beginning, middle and end just like the overall story.
Personally I don't share the opinion that Dany and Jaime's actions (for example) were out-of-character. Knowing what I know about them, I thought their choices were well-within the realm of possibility. That said, the backlash would be significantly reduced if there was time to show just how precarious their positions were. I don't think the plot points are invalid or untrue to the characters - we just got there too quickly. This is especially evident if you contrast the velocity of the last two seasons with the first two.
I don't know what to tell the people who think Danys turn was unearned and out-of-nowhere.
They put the words right in the character's mouth and the show has been raising and re-raising this concern for years. Just because we didn't want it to happen, doesn't mean it's not a valid story.
What did you think she meant when she said her mercy would be for the next generation and she was opting for fear? How many times does Tyrion have to talk about bells before it's obvious what's going to happen? The loooooong close up of a sleep-deprived half-mad Dany was a pretty good peak into her state of mind.
She ends-justify-the-means'd the shit out of this so she could give in to her darker tendencies.
I felt sick watching this because it was all so unnecessary, but that doesn't mean it came out of left field. I didn't want this to happen, but that's GoT for you.