The incredible and epic journey of Game of Thrones came to an abrupt end with 2019’s series finale, Season 8 and not only did it not break hearts but left the fans shattered with the controversial ending of it all. Although the characters followed through on the path best suited to their narrative, the accelerated and maddening end that redeemed the war and all its chess-board pawns felt somewhat inevitable and yet hollow.
The author and the creator of the epic fantasy, George R.R. Martin has an opinion resounding the same, and given he is the godly hand that birthed, shaped, guided, and scripted the characters and their stories, Martin’s words hold above all the rest when he says he is unsatisfied with a particular aspect of his work’s adaptation.
Game of Thrones Fails to Live Up to the Vision of its Creator
The HBO adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire was undertaken by David Benioff and Dan Weiss and thus was born one of the most brilliant cinematic storytelling in the history of television to date. Every character cast was perfect on their part and no matter how redundant, played a role that lingered till the end. But what started off great failed to match up to the genesis of the saga in the vision of the author, George R.R. Martin.
In a recent interview with The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon, the author reminisced about his perception of how the series had progressed from “exciting” to “frustrating”.
“I remember… I came to visit the set and they were still working on the first episode, the pilot. And David Benioff showed me a clip of the scene with Arya and her father Ned on the stairs where she was standing on one foot trying to balance. And it was great. I had seen rehearsals with these actors but I hadn’t seen them in character and seen them do it. It was my scene come alive. These were my characters. And nothing felt better than to see that happen.
But of course there’s always the flip side of that is where suddenly you’re seeing a scene and saying, what the hell have they done here, that’s not how it’s supposed to go. My character would never do that. My character would never say that. And that can be frustrating. So like anything else in life, it’s complicated.”
George R.R. Martin Mirrors Audience Reception of GoT Finale
With what went down in the final run of the HBO series, there can only be a handful of arcs that can match the disappointment in Martin’s tone. Perhaps it would be Jon Snow’s sudden rejection of righteousness in the company of Daenerys Targaryen or it could be an experienced Littlefinger falling prey to the manipulations of Sansa Stark. It could also be the self-sacrificial end of Cersei Lannister since she is one to never go down without a fight.
Whatever the scenario might be (and there could be thousands considering it is Game of Thrones, after all), the disappointment of the author at his character’s sudden incompatibility with the source is what contributed to the generic feeling of criticism and disappointment that followed in the aftermath of the series’s controversial ending. It remains to be seen whether the author can redeem the televised ending with his closure of the saga of A Song of Ice and Fire.