Not impressed by the Games of Thrones finale? Read this. Watch

University of East Anglia
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*SPOILER ALERT* Not impressed by the Game Of Thrones finale? :crown:

UEA Senior Lecturer in Scriptwriting, Steve Waters, shared his thoughts in Wired UK on why that might be...

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Steve Waters, senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, says this sort of dissonance in storytelling is often the result of a disjuncture between set-up and pay-off. “These are fundamental tools in dramatic storytelling to prevent the impression of arbitrariness,” he says. “We want to have the sense that the foundations are laid subtly that then yield a given event – if it happens randomly, the whole story is threatened and we sense contrivance and failure of craft.”

Game of Thrones asked us to believe in a Walter White-esque descent into evil, but justified by just a few pages of script. The moment left us with no choice but to conclude that Daenerys had simply gone mad, or, as Maureen Ryan points out in The Hollywood Reporter, that “*****es are crazy”.

This kind of event, Waters says, violates the principle of Chekhov’s Gun – the idea that if a gun appears on the wall in the first act of play then it must go off in the third. There was no such gun for Daenerys’s sudden change in mental state. “The story tools must be inherent in the world of the story and not imposed from without,” he says. “If it’s not there, its sudden appearance feels like the writer panicked and has reached for closure by some sort of random means – the so-called ‘Deus ex Machina’, something lobbed in to wrap things up.” This could also explain our sense that Daenerys’s transformation was unearned. “It feels imposed rather than something immanent in the character and the story – so it feels like the writer’s cheating, skipping crucial cues, to reach a preconceived outcome,” says Waters. “Ultimately stories, even gory ones, are relatively moral affairs: we want to know why people act as they do, and if the reason is set aside for contrivance it’s a let-down.”

Full article here

What are your thoughts on the writing/story-telling of Season 8? Do you agree with Waters?
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Court Jester
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I somewhat disagree. Chekhov's Gun was certainly in place here it just ended up misfiring. Dany has always relied on "fire and blood" to achieve her goals; she burns Miri Maz Durr alive to get her dragons, she threatens the 13 to gain access to Qarth, she sets the Unsullied army on Slavers Bay to avoid paying for them, she crucifies the masters to conquer Mereen, she murders the Khals to take control of the Dothraki, she burns part of the fleet attacking Mereen to regain control and she forces the people of Westeros to choose between joining her or being executed (The Tarlys).

Ultimately Daenerys destroying Kings Landing to take control is very fitting; the problem here is the circumstances under which it happened.

In the show we see Dany destroy the opposing army and compel the remaining troops to surrender without shedding much (if any) innocent life. She's already won in this scenario, nothing stands between her and her opponent, the commoners generally hate Cersei so she's pretty much the bad guy here. We just have another case of Dany taking the aggressive approach to rooting out evil. Her going on to kill the innocent civilians is now out of place because it doesn't help her accomplish her goal anymore.

As a hypothetical let's change the scenario a little; Instead of Cersei ruling Kings Landing let's put Margaery and Tommen in charge. Decent rulers who are loved by the common people. Let the rest play out much the same way; Dany kills the army/fleet and awaits the surrender of the people inside the city....who don't surrender because they love their rulers and Dany is the bad guy in this scenario. Here it would be totally in-character for her to burn the city, she gave them the opportunity to surrender and they declined thus they face execution. Chekhov's Gun would have been set up and fired perfectly under this scenario.

Why didn't we get scenario #2? Likely because the showrunners decided to cut season 7/8 short as well as omit important characters from the books such as fAegon. Our Chekhov's Gun ended up firing off in act 2 rather than act 3.
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Guru Jason
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Far too many characters acted out of character in the final season due to poor writing and a rush for it to all be over.

This includes, Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Jamie and Greyworm. Only Arya and Hound really remained true to their story are.
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University of East Anglia
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(Original post by Court Jester)
As a hypothetical let's change the scenario a little; Instead of Cersei ruling Kings Landing let's put Margaery and Tommen in charge. Decent rulers who are loved by the common people. Let the rest play out much the same way; Dany kills the army/fleet and awaits the surrender of the people inside the city....who don't surrender because they love their rulers and Dany is the bad guy in this scenario. Here it would be totally in-character for her to burn the city, she gave them the opportunity to surrender and they declined thus they face execution. Chekhov's Gun would have been set up and fired perfectly under this scenario.
I haven't contemplated this scenario before now. Margaery was a classic GOT schemer but equally adored by the people - and would have been an excellent adversary to Daenerys' and her plans for conquest. The whole 'saviour' / 'breaker of chains' complex would have been really thrown into question. I question whether Tommen would have refused to surrender knowing the potential for the loss of life, but Margaery would have likely been able to persuade him to fight. It would have been an ideal set up of love vs fear / good vs evil for the throne. As you said, Chekhov's Gun would have also been set up and fired perfectly.

The whole 'mad queens' showdown of Daenerys vs. Cersei was also incredibly disappointing. Cersei's lack of decisive action and quick admittance of defeat was completely out of character - this is a woman who has schemed and outsmarted every opponent, even when it looked virtually impossible.

NB. I'm not a scriptwriting expert like Steve Waters is - simply a GOT fan!

- Laura, UEA Official TSR Rep
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Leviathan1611
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a crappy ending, I'm glad I didn't waste my time watching the last season.
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Gent2324
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i think what GOT fans are most annoyed about is that they rushed it because there were only 6 episodes... even though hbo offered d&d more seasons
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Leviathan1611
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(Original post by Gent2324)
i think what GOT fans are most annoyed about is that they rushed it because there were only 6 episodes... even though hbo offered d&d more seasons
and that no one actually 'won' the Game of Thrones, they just received the dang thing
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Court Jester
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(Original post by University of East Anglia)
The whole 'mad queens' showdown of Daenerys vs. Cersei was also incredibly disappointing. Cersei's lack of decisive action and quick admittance of defeat was completely out of character - this is a woman who has schemed and outsmarted every opponent, even when it looked virtually impossible.
This is where the show annoyed me; Cersei is by far the least intelligent Lannister, the writers just refused to have her suffer any consequences for her actions at the end of season 6. When Tywin organised the red wedding he set it up so that the Freys took the fall for killing the Starks, any retribution for that event would have fallen straight on their heads instead of the Lannisters. Cersei on the other hand just blows up the sept of Baelor in a blatantly obvious "It was me" way and then doesn't face any retribution for that. If she'd done that in season 1-4 then the other 6 kingdoms would have her dethroned within 5 episodes.

Instead we got a mess of a season 7 with teleporting Lannister troops, teleporting Euron's and mysteriously ineffectual armies (Highgarden is supposed to be one of the strongest/largest armies but apparently the Lannisters rolled through them with ease).

To be honest I feel like a lot of the bad writing in season 7 and 8 was D&D trying to justify having Cersei around still.
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