‘Game of Thrones’ finale review from someone who’s never watched the show

Sometime in 2013, I wandered in while some friends were watching a show with a lot of snow, some medieval armor and no small measure of yelling and death. I stood for about 90 seconds, trying to figure out what was happening, and bailed. I haven’t seen anything more than an internet GIF’s worth of “Game of Thrones” since.

But whenever they announced the final couple seasons of the biggest current piece of pop culture would be coming down, I pitched the idea to my editors: What if I don’t watch at all, until the series finale, then write a review? And here we are.

It’s taken no small measure of diligence on my end to avoid learning too much. Yes, I’ve seen your Crying Jordan memes spliced with the creepy, white-skinned demon giant dude. I’ve seen the countless Sunday night Twitter jokes that I’m sure are all very clever. They have been, unfortunately, wasted on me.

But now I have seen the end, and I’m ready to provide a review of the entire series, based on exactly 85 minutes of viewing, including the credits.

A few quick notes before we begin:

First: Please note the title above. This is not a comprehensive review. It is the very opposite of that. While I appreciate the time investment an eight-season television run requires, your emails to me trying to explain the show will, I assure you, be in vain.

Second: There will be spoilers. Obviously? We’re talking about the finale.

Alright, let’s get to it.

So …

Huh. Here’s the thing. Almost nothing happened? Kit Harington killed the dragon queen (Dani? Dany? Not going to bother Googling her full character name, the blonde one, you know who I’m talking about) and then Peter Dinklage helped engineer a kingship for the weirdo with the bowl cut, and … that’s it? I mean, really, 85 minutes for that?

I’ve seen Adam Sandler movies that go through a full arc of a disrespected man-child earning all that respect from his family and peers, while still remaining a man-child and somehow snagging a girl in that kind of running time. “Before Sunset” is 80 minutes of mostly just two people talking and I still think about it like once a month. (Seriously, go watch that movie and its predecessor and follow-up)

And dude gets to be king, but they’re still calling him Bran the Broken? He didn’t make not getting called that out loud by everyone in the kingdom his first order of business?

Also, seriously, the dragon’s name is Drogon? Maybe the most successful thing this show ever pulled off was getting otherwise serious people to tweet earnestly about a Drogon.

When Dinklage dropped the “there’s nothing more powerful than a story” line, I cackled out loud. Oh, really, like this story? An epic, nay, a song, perhaps, of ice and fire? Not sure how that made it out of the writer’s room.

There were some pretty leaden-handed plot points. The idea that empire building ambition of bringing liberation by force, war without end, might be bad? You don’t say. And yet, there was no real solution, or at least not one that anyone seemed to take seriously.

I mean, really, can we talk about the humor for a minute? Not only did it feel bizarre and forced in the middle of this episode, but other than a little slapstick, the only real joke was … laughing off the idea of a direct democracy? Ha? Ha ha? The dragon (sorry, Drogon) melted the throne in firestorm of Lord Acton metaphors and everyone was just like, yeah, no, monarchy still sounds good.

Clearly, I must have missed a lot of actual story and character development. But none of that really matters unless it’s in service of some final goal. After a solid hour of denouement — really, nearly the entire episode — I’m left with no real desire to go back and figure out what led up to it, which feels like a damning indictment.

Again, I didn’t see the previous episodes, but based on the charred corpses in the streets and the overwrought language, thousands upon thousands of people died, right? All only to return to this flawed arrangement so that some of our main characters could take a gap year sailing or orienteering (or whatever Jon was off to do in the woods)? It sure feels like the moral in the end is essentially the shrug emoji.

So, that’s my review. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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