So the day has finally arrived: As of last Sunday, the eight-season "Game of Thrones" watch is finally over.
For those of you unfamiliar with what "Game of Thrones" is, it's "That Dragon Show With The Naughty Bits and Bloody Bits." For everyone else, the HBO series has been a phenomenon for television these last nine years, and absolutely a part of weekly chatter on social media with each season.
And what a ride this last season has been.
Season seven wrapped up in 2017, so "Thrones" fans had two wait for two years before seeing the fates of their favorite characters. From the Starks to the Lannisters, to the Targaryen bloodline, the battle to see who would end up on the Iron Throne took a detour when the undead army of the White Walkers threaten to wipe out humanity with no political allegiances involved.
And how did that go over this season? Eh.
I'll keep a little spoiler free for those that didn't wrap up those final six episodes, but there was a lot that was glossed over in that rush to the finale. Character arcs remain unresolved. Prophecies and skills and wisdoms that characters picked up along the way are largely disregarded. There were some leaps of logic about how main characters could travel to the other side of the world to meet with other main characters no matter what time they left. What was the white horse about? How are armies that are essentially wiped out in one episode back in full force the next? Why are characters regressing and losing years worth of character development? Is Jon Snow ever going to pet his dog?
Ironically, the largest killings on the show were from Starbucks and the bottled water companies, as those contemporary "artifacts" popped into frame more often than your average "Where's Waldo" page. ProTip: Pockets. Pockets are marvelous for hiding wayward water bottles.
Come on, HBO: I know it's the last season, but did you have to wrap this thing up in such a messy manner?
Still, the final season had its moments: If you want to watch 99 percent of Westeros fighting off marauding ice zombies, you got it. If you want to watch dragons flambé a city to the ground, you got it. If you want to watch Cersei Lannister look out of a window and drink wine for almost the entire season, you got. If you want to see of the biggest heel-turns ever from a major character, that's in there as well.
Sure, season eight had some issues, and honestly, two more episodes of transitional plot developments and a few more skill callbacks and resolutions would have only helped, but we as fans got what we did, and now it's on to the next thing.
Does this ending tarnish the series as whole? Certainly not.
I personally enjoyed years of chessmaster level political intrigue, movie-quality battles, characters that I grew to enjoy and care about, cheers, gasps, boos, and everything else that comes from a good drama.
I loved the discussions with friends about each meticulous plot point, character reveals, and who was going to make it out of these situations alive. The cast was excellent, all the way to the end, though my personal favorite was Tyrion Lannister. This show was a brilliant showcase for Peter Dinklage's talent. I did cheer in seeing him headline the credits for this season.
And who finally got the throne? Let me put it this way: Had I put money down for a bet, I would hope that I had wagered only a small amount in advance.
While "Game of Thrones" may be over, there's still prequels, spin-offs and more projects down the pipeline. Who knows? Maybe George R. R. Martin will finally get around to finishing that next book....
And now I really am getting into a fantasy-based discussion.