Game of Thrones ends tonight, May 19. After eight seasons, we’ve reached the last episode ever. Why is there so little to talk about?
It’s fair to say that Season 8 has not gone very well, whether you’re a fan or someone with a professional connection to the show. Fans expected more from what has until the past two seasons been a deeply layered story of court intrigue and bloody revenge. And while we don’t know what HBO and company expected, it certainly wasn’t… this.
The sense of disappointment has upended a fan community that has been propelled for almost a decade by a commitment to crafting theories about where things are headed. Where once the Game of Thrones subreddit bustled with plot speculation, now it vacillates between relentless dragging, heartfelt goodbyes, internet weirdness, and fan creations.
Some of this is to be expected of course. Collider’s Jolie Lash talked to the Thrones cast in April, and in separate interviews she dug into their various last days on set and stories from that period. You’ll read about tearful goodbyes and heartfelt speeches. No big surprises, but a welcome look behind the camera for fans.
Why is there so little to talk about?
Over at Rolling Stone, there’s a report on a poll that asked fans who they’d like to see on the Iron Throne when it’s all over. But there’s a twist: the polling firm differentiated between Democrats and Republicans in the results. And as we learned, the majority across the political spectrum holds a bad opinion.
According to the poll, 47 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans are rooting for Jon Snow to be crowned king in the end. The next highest vote goes to Arya Stark, with 14 percent. Sansa Stark is tied with Daenerys Targaryen at 11 percent; yes, the woman who may be most deserving of the throne is also tied with the one who burnt King’s Landing to a cinder.
Perhaps most relevant to lingering HBO subscribers: Bloomberg ran down the cable network’s upcoming television slate. Game of Thrones is a once-in-a-generation success story and it’s about to leave a very large hole in HBO’s programming schedule.
Most eyes seem to be on Watchmen, a re-imagining of the famed comic book series written by Alan Moore that’s coming in fall 2018. Some are pinning their hopes on His Dark Materials, coming later in 2019, to scratch the lingering Thrones itch.
Bloomberg’s report acknowledges the challenges HBO faces in a post-Thrones world, and explores some of the road ahead for the business side of the network. Interestingly, the article has very little to say about the importance — or lack thereof — placed upon upcoming Thrones spin-offs.
For theory fiends, one of the more helpful rundowns comes from The New York Times. This sprawling article runs through which big fan theories are still in play as we move toward the final episode and ranks them according to how likely they are to be real.
It all ends on Sunday night, so enjoy the discourse while you can.