Over 16 million people tuned in to witness the epic season finale of HBO’s original series, “Game of Thrones.” The season finale was the most watched episode of the series to date, beating out season six’s finale—the original titleholder—by almost double the number of viewers.
This number doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the status of “Game of Thrones,” since it is one of the world’s most popular TV shows, continuously exceeding expectations and breaking records.
Although high in viewing numbers, the entirety of season seven appears to be lackluster in comparison to the show’s past seasons. Season seven is not only the shortest of the seasons of “Game of Thrones” with only seven episodes, but also one of the biggest disappointments.
Even though season one is arguably the worst season—as is the case for many series that don’t possess a large budget from the get-go—season seven turned out to be a major cop-out for fans. Nevertheless, the final episode of season seven successfully concluded all major story arcs and tied up many loose ends.
The most prominent story arc for season seven is the romance between actress Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington’s character Jon Snow. While arguably a fan favorite, this couple was one of the most awkward pairs in “Game of Thrones” history. There is not only an incredible lack of chemistry between the actors, but additionally the entire viewing audience is aware that Jon and Daenerys are blood related.
This is not the first time “Game of Thrones” has dipped into the controversial topic of incest, as they have done so with characters Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Incest was a common practice between royal families during—and even after—the medieval ages.
Given the fact that “Game of Thrones” is inspired by the medieval ages, it’s no surprise that incest has made an appearance—or two—in the show. In fact, many fans are supportive of the romance between Jon and Daenerys, which was finally consummated at the end of season seven.
Due to the headlining faulty romance, the conflict between the living and the undead White Walkers north of the wall took a backseat this season. The undead were apparently kind enough to take their sweet time crossing the tundra to the wall in Northern Westeros, allowing everyone to figure out their new roles and purposes in the great war that was slowly encroaching upon them.
“Game of Thrones” is a master at producing so many plots, motives and story arcs for every individual character, which all end up connected in one way or another to the greater plot of the season. For season seven, however, the writers seemed to have gone on holiday and decided to give the interns an opportunity to write for a change—specifically episode six, “Beyond the Wall,” where almost the entirety of the episode was devoted to the relationships between characters.
“Game of Thrones” seems to have lost its sense of unpredictability, as well as its mosaic of interrelated characters and stories and its faithfulness to its own iconic characters. Regardless, HBO’s writers delivered an entertaining season seven finale. It surely made fans around the world lament the over-year long wait for the series conclusion.
Though captivating, the season did not meet expectations that past installments have worked so hard to create. Season seven, as well as the season finale, threw away the iconic writing tropes that make “Game of Thrones” such a powerhouse, catering instead to fan service that reads more like fan fiction than an epic form of entertainment.