A Hopeless Defence – Debunking Common Arguments in Defence of Season 8 of Game of Thrones


Really my best fashion choice ever.

Analyze watching season 8 episode 6, hoping to get a message out to HBO to make the pain stop.

Season 8 of Game of Thrones, what can I say about it other than that it was wonderous. A true marvel to behold. Never have I seen such expertly crafted melodrama. Such a complete subversion of expectations. I mean, I thought it might be good. They showed me! Where else would you see a character completely unrelated to a plotline magically catapulted like a unicorn shitting rainbows out of its arse to completely shatter all hopes of ever seeing a satisfying conclusion. That takes guts. That takes balls. That takes a severe case of Alzheimer’s. At some point you just have to sit down and admire their willingness to experiment in bold new ways with the very concept of the character arc. Writers from that peasant Shakespeare to George R.R. Martin himself, may god rest his soul after this season, would have had Jaime’s journey amount to something. But not here. So strap in as me and Maddius sit here for 2 hours simply awestruck by the majesty with neary a negative comment to make!

Maddy: “I won’t lie, season 8-“

Analyze: “…was complete, total, utter, outright, pure, decided, thorough, thoroughgoing, undivided, unqualified, unadulterated, unalloyed, unmodified, unreserved, downright, undiluted, solid, consummate, unmitigated, sheer, arrant, rank, dyed-in-the-wool shit!”

Maddy: “Now now, don’t sell these episodes short just yet. I think it had some truly inspiring scenes.”

Analyze: “Inspiring me to suicide!”

Maddy: “No. No, I would argue tha-“

Analyze: “Yes, you’re completely right. It’s truly inspiring to know that this shit can make millions, nay billions, of dollars. It reaffirms my true and unwavering faith in my own ability to succeed without even the slightest bit of effort.”

Maddy: “Well yes, because you, my beloved best buddy, have seen the brilliance of this season. Like the brilliance of the character arc of Daenerys Targaryen, first of her name and the queen of ashes. Analyze-chan, did you see her going insane actually coming?”

Analyze: “I’m not on enough drugs for that.”

Maddy: “Since the last surfing accident, I’ve been keeping them away from you.”

Analyze: “Hey! That wasn’t my fault, I didn’t know keyboards had such sharp edges.”

The White Knight Always Triumphs!

Maddy: “Little did you know you didn’t need look up any information to learn of all the foreshadowing in the show that Dany may be as bloodthirsty and violent as her beloved daddy. The Dragon Queen always had a dark side to her, a sense of ruthless ruthlessness. Remember how she burned Mirri Maz Durr? How she let Drogon burn Dickon and Randyll Tarly alive? How she crucified 163 slavers?”

Analyze: “Yes, but the point was the balance between her ruthlessness and mercy. Dickon and Randy Tarly were executed for being unwilling to bow like the puny minor characters they are. Ruthless, yes. But fairly common in the world of Westeros. Nothing that made her stand out. When she killed the slavers she was seeking justice for the innocent children they’d killed. She wasn’t just having them draw lots and randomly stabbing them to death. Nothing established she’d kill innocents for shits and giggles. That’s more of a me thing.”

Maddy: “The reason she chose to burn down King’s Landing was partially motivated by the fact that Westerosi people, despite her saving their arses from the Night King, refused to love her. Daenerys was rejected from the moment her pretty little feet stepped on Westerosi soil, all for the crime of not being raised in Westeros. It was clear she was heavily affected by it. Along with Jon’s rejection of her love it drove her into full Mad Queendom.”

I know a killer when I see one. Mostly after they kill lots of people.

Daenerys smugly smiling at the soaring serpents.

Analyze: “Mayhaps, but if this was the intent it was poorly executed. All we had to set that up were a few shots of her looking at Jon as he’s being praised. And, arguably, her fairly cold reception when arriving at Winterfell. Then again, she was smirking all the while so it didn’t seem to bother her much then. Maybe instead of pointlessly parallelling Robert’s entrance into Winterfell they should’ve created a parallel to a moment where Daenerys enters Meereen in triumph to cheering crowds and contrasted it with the moment she enters Winterfell to complete silence. Instead of smirking while her dragons soar above her gloriously, visually growing insecure. Then they could’ve built on that with other similar moments to climax in her madness exploding on our faces.”

Maddy: “It wasn’t just that though. It was also the case that Daenerys kept losing people close to her. She lost Viserion last season, she lost her beloved ser Jorah during the Battle of Winterfell while he was protecting her-“

Analyze: “Like the beta bitch he is!”

Maddy: “Wouldn’t that be ‘the beta bitch he was?'”

Analyze: “No, even in death he’s still a beta bitch.”

Maddy: “…And, never forget, she also lost her dearest Rhaegal, the beta dragon, after the Battle of Winterfell. And right as he was starting to feel better too! Then she loses her bestest friend a few scenes later. It’s understandable all of that would grow her madness tree until it blossomed with poisonous flowers.”

Analyze: “It didn’t grow her into madness, it catapulted her madness into our faces. Most people, when they lose someone, don’t go burning down a city. In addition, all these losses were crammed into 4 episodes. You don’t want a character to go from 0 to 11 immediately. It also wasn’t shown clearly how those losses affected her. This is another time when parallels would’ve helped. If she’d had a scene where she was going to kill Tyrion for his failure, then Jorah stopped her and then she didn’t, then later this season she decides she wants to kill Tyrion, nobody’s around and she looks at something Jorah gave her, a big dildo or whatever, and then she does kill Tyrion. That would’ve at least given some life to it. Some sense of causality.”

Poor old dead Ned.

What Game of Thrones looked like before the Ultimate Plot Armour patch.

Maddy: “She couldn’t kill Tyrion! He’s a fan favourite!”

Analyze: “Tell that to Dear Old Neddard of House 2Dumb2Live. Who did she kill now? Peasants. Who cares about peasants anyway? They’re there to die pathetically. Just like you, Maddius. Her killing Tyrion would sure as hell have had more of an impact than that. Although, after the last few seasons, I absolutely wouldn’t have blamed her. He’s been more useless than Gilly and that’s really saying something.”

I’m Chained and I Say Things, In Fact I Won’t Shut Up

Maddy: “Nu-uh! Tyrion goes through an extensive character arc this season. You see dear Analyze, the other characters finally gathered the courage to tell Tyrion-

Analyze: “The courage? Yes, real intimidating guy, that Tyrion. Catelyn Stark nearly wet her panties when she took him captive with barely any effort.”

Maddy: “-in no uncertain terms, that he has, maybe, when seen in a certain light, when you line up all the facts, been rather a bit underperforming as of late. Tyrion takes that to heart, spends several scenes contemplating everything around him, demonstrated by the many close-ups we get of him, and comes to the perfect solution we’ve all been searching for. It’s Tyrion who finally changes the system, breaks the wheel, and presents the next system: an elective monarchy!”

Analyze: “He takes it to heart? Takes it to heart?! He sure as shit doesn’t take it to the brain. Except if ‘it’ is referring to a baseball bat. Afterwards he continues to make completely nonsensical decisions that backfire constantly, like freeing Jaime. That worked out.”

Maddy: “That was true brotherly love. <3”

Seeing Tyrion backhanded after this season would've been so satisfying.

Grey Worm’s scowl says enough.

Analyze: “That was a bunch of fucking bullshit. And why did Grey Worm even let him speak? He told him to shut the fuck up like 2 times. Then he didn’t follow through on it at all, despite the fact that the little pipsqueak had a major role in having his beloved queen killed. He should’ve backhanded him to the floor. For an angry Unsullied he’s remarkably fucking tolerant of Tyrion running his mouth.”

Maddy: “He spent time practicing yoga and meditation with Missandei. After the war was over he’d spend the rest of his life sharing bed-time stories with his new fiancé.”

Analyze: “And another thing. Tyrion’s explanation… Stories? These people have been stabbing each other in the back, sending armies of men to die for their selfish power grabs and what convinces them to put Bran on the throne is that he has a pretty good story? And how does he have a better story than anyone else? All he did was sit on his whacked out ass while the Night King slaughtered everyone.”

Bran’s Brilliant Blueprint for a Better Besteros

Maddy: “Now hold on there Analyze-chan, I don’t think you understood the finer nuances of what Bran was doing. You see, Bran was a clever little twat who tricked the Naughty Night King into thinking he’d killed all the people at Winterfell. That was the point. The Night King needed to think he had won and that he had the helpless Bran in his grasp. That way Nighty was too distracted to notice Arya STABBING HIM IN THE BACK, THE NECK, THE LEG AND THE ARMS! >:D”

Look at the pretty lights though. The Dothraki dying really was worth it for this romantic Jaime Brienne shot.

Bran’s incredible strategy of tiring out the untiring undead by throwing as many Dothraki corpses at them as possible.

Analyze: “So you’re saying… with all of the knowledge of the entire world at his disposal. All of the history of Westeros grafted into his tiny little mind and all of the best commanders from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond at his beck and call the amazing Three-Eyed Crow, the boy who would be king, the eye in the sky, could not figure out any other way to win than recklessly throwing as many men at the Night King as he could making them die so pathetically that the Night King thought they were a fucking joke and just sauntered right on in as if he were walking down a boulevard?”

Maddy: “It worked…”

Analyze: “Yes, he heroically saved the North by sacrificing every last one of them!”

Maddy: “Aye! And then he handed it over to the capable administration of his beloved red-haired sister.”

Analyze: “Yes, right in front of the face of Lord Plot of House Convenience from Dorne and Yara who specifically made a deal with Daenerys for independence before she handed over her fleet. Our brilliant new king’s first act on the job was possibly the most destabilizing thing that has happened in Westeros since Dany burned down King’s Landing.”

Maddy: “So like three hours ago?”

Analyze: “A lot of destabilizing things happen in Westeros, okay. They really tried to cram in as much as they could.”

Sansa Queen of Sots

Maddy: “Awktually, Bran’s first act as king is very stabilising for the North. Sansa has proven over and over again that she’s a very capable administrator. She knows how to rule, she knows the value of warm clothing in the North and she solved the coming famine before Dany arrived. Seems like the perfect time for her to take the reigns in Wintafell.”

Analyze: “Proven to be? By what? Telling some random bloke that he should put leather on armour? You don’t even do that. You’d wear something warm underneath it instead. We barely get Sansa ruling, at best we get a few throwaway lines of her saying shit that’s supposed to make her look smart that had no noticeable impact on anything.”

Maddy: “She did far more than that, my beloved bestie. Thanks to her the North was even able to become independent in the first place. She did all the politicking necessary to get Ramsay Bolton killed so the Starks could reclaim the North. After all, she managed to slyly and craftily use the sly and crafty Littlefinger to her advantage and managed to sic the Vale army on Bolton right before she sics his hungry bitches on him. She does a lot of siccin’, this one.”

Analyze: “Sly and crafty? He literally went and offered them to her. If I go and offer someone a free sundae and they say yes, did they slyly and craftily manipulate me into it? No, they just took what I fucking offered. The very fact that the North becomes independent also happens to be, I would say, pretty contradictory to the themes of unity that Martin espouses. It’s rather nationalist and isolationist, actually.”

Maddy: “But Analyze, don’t you agree that after all she went through she deserves the crown and the ability to rule justly over the North? Just look at her! She looks so regal!”

Analyze: “She doesn’t deserve to rule just because she’s had a shit life. I’ve spent a shitton of time around you and I don’t get a pretty gown.”

Maddy: “I’m working on it.”

Let's be honest, we really just wanted to see Arya and Sansa kiss.

Master schemer Sansa Stark in a pointless conflict with Arya because of Littlefinger’s manipulation.

Analyze: “She’s supposed to have become this magnificent schemer, but she spends season 7 being manipulated by Littlefinger into almost killing her sister in the most obvious ploy in history and only gets her ass saved by the deus ex arbor. Then in season 8 she sits around looking pissed off at Dany, doesn’t contribute at all to the battle for the dawn and in the end tells Tyrion something that she couldn’t have predicted would’ve backfired on Dany unless she managed to account for Tyrion’s extreme stupidity when he’s supposed to be one of the smartest people she knows.”

Maddy: “But she looks so regal!”

Stabbing Your Problems Away

Analyze: “Looking regal is not a job qualification! They might as well have given the job to Arya. At least she actually fucking saved the North.”

Maddy: “Which Oh My God, that was the BEST part of the season!”

Analyze: “You’re mocking me. You’re taking the corpse of the show I once loved most and making it do a little skippy dance in front of my face.”

Maddy: “Not at all, Analyze! How she jumped in to the save the day and then the Night King grabbed her by the neck and she has an adamantium skeleton and doesn’t break her neck and then her hand does the whish and the blade does the woosh and she hits the Nighty King’s weak spot in the obsidian stomach for massive damage and it was nighty night for the Night King and Arya saved the world. :D”

Analyze: “/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




Maddy: “And it was so well foreshadowed! When I think about it, it all makes sense.”

Analyze: “Yeah, when YOU think about it.”

This was TOTALLY about the Night King, guys.

“Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever.”

Maddy: “She was trained as an assassin, to use stealth to kill her enemies. We get an entire scene where she evades the zombi-wights to demonstrate this fact. She had the Valyrian dagger Bran gave her, which he did because he knew she was meant to kill the Great Ice Stick. In season 3 Melisandre-sama said she’d close ‘brown eyes, green eyes, and blue eyes’ forever and she did my dear Analyze. She certainly did in a most spectacular fashion!”

Analyze: “Actually, she originally said ‘brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes.’ But they couldn’t stick with that order because it made it too fucking obvious to even the most retarded of viewers-“

Maddy: “Hello there.”

Analyze: “-that they clumsily repurposed this line. In fact they have specifically said that they did not plan on Arya killing the Night King until season 6! On top of that, it thematically makes no fucking sense whatsoever.”

Maddy: “Let’s agree to disagree.”

Analyze: “Never! I’m right and you’re gonna sit down and fucking listen to me prove how right I am!”

Maddy: “I do like sitting.”

Analyze: “I’ll grant, unless they were going to end up helping the Night King free himself and his fellow walkers from their bondage, the ending was going to be fucked up anyway. But at least they could’ve made it a clear team effort where everyone’s contribution was crucial to his death. You know, overcoming our petty squabbles to defeat the larger threat. The point of the whole thing. As it is everyone else was just pointless cannon fodder.”

Maddy: “But at least you agree Jon killing the Night King would’ve been a big no-no, right? In a normal fantasy story, that would’ve worked. But Game of Thrones is a tale of subversions and breaking fantasy tropes. Jon was set up to deal the killing blow to the Night King, but that’s what we would expect. He’s the shining hero, the King Arthur slowly set up to rule a troubled land in a just and merciful way. And that doesn’t work for Game of Thrones.”

Vengeance makes you ugly, but it sure as hell looks awesome kicking the Night King's ass.

The Hound tells Arya vengeance is bad, a message just slightly diluted by the fact that her quest for vengeance is what turned her into the assassin that managed to save everyone.

Analyze: “So instead what we get thematically from the climax of this arc is ‘there is no problem so bad you can’t stab it away?’ Arya going down this dark path was supposed to be bad, m’kay. It was supposed to show the horror of becoming a murderous assassin and how war, trauma and vengeance can fuck someone up. I can certainly relate. Making her the answer to all of the world’s problems is the most slap in the face, kick in the pants, spit in your eye climax to that ever. It also happens to completely subvert the later ‘vengeance is bad message’ which forms the climax for her character arc. Because without her descent into violence they’d all be bloody strawberry popsicle sticks at this point! Themes and characterization should never be subservient to simple surprise!”

Maddy: “But it had to be realistic. That’s why the big bad died randomly, because that’s realistic. On a battlefield people just die, realistically. It’s almost never an epic battle between two people, with the one we’re rooting for winning. Sometimes it’s a lucky shot, a stab in the kidney or wherever Arya stabbed him. Sometimes it isn’t glorious. Sometimes it’s simply anti-climactic.”

Analyze: “You want to know something Maddius? I’m impressed.”

Maddy: “Really, Analyze?”

Analyze: “I’m impressed that you managed to fit so much bullshit into such a small space. If the Night King had been killed by some random peasant, maybe I would’ve bought that. Perhaps that would’ve embodied the idea that on a battlefield these things happen and you don’t need a famous name or to be a protagonist to make a difference. But that’s not what happened. Arya is a protagonist, just like Jon, with a famous name. In fact, she’s a fan favourite. And it’s not like they cleverly set this up to happen, Arya wasn’t squatting in the Weirwood taking a shit, she just happened to get there in time and magically get passed every single wight and walker despite the fact that in the library they could hear her blood drip.”


Maddy: “But Analyze, Jaime’s character arc this season perfectly explains whatever it is you just said. Those two characters are parallel characters and at this point in their arc of the season they’re at the opposite end of the spectrum.”

Analyze: “That explains a lot! What does that explain?”

Maddy: “It explains that both Jaime and Arya are on a path of redemption. Arya is on a dark side, leaving corpses and ice puddles wherever she goes, but ultimately manages to redeem herself after one stern conversation with dr. PhD mrs. Ser Sandor Clegane and ultimately swears off vengeance to live a life of adrenaline in a healthy way. Jaime, on the other hand, was slowly redeeming himself and repairing his repusensation. He’s finding new love in Brienne, but he just can’t get away from Cersei. He needs her, like an addiction, and therefore he throws away his redemption arc to be with her again. And that’s always been the way of it.”

Analyze: “There are no parallels whatsoever between the two. Also, Arya’s bad behaviour gets rewarded! And when she swears off vengeance the only reward she gets is seeing the people she protects die! As for Jaime, that could’ve worked if they’d set up that pattern. But they didn’t. They didn’t have him get away from Cersei, then get back, then get away from Cersei, then get back.

Maddy: “But they did. He went to the Riverlands and then he came back, he went to Dorne and then he came back, then he went to the Riverlands again, and he came back and then finally he went to the Reach and he came back. He’s been coming and going.”

Peekaboo, Starbucks lady sees you.

Jaime’s big moment, if only we knew what it was “building up” to.

Analyze: “Yes, he’s a regular ol’ boomerang. But I meant emotionally, dumbass. They just had him stick by Cersei’s side like a muppet for 7 seasons, then had him suddenly realize she’s a bitch, go away in this big epic moment where he chooses his oath above her and then suddenly in one episode he goes from that to immediately rushing back to her side. Brienne should’ve knocked him off that horse, dragged him into the bedroom and slapped him in the face until he came to his senses!”

Maddy: “You know, you’re right. Listening to you, while sitting in this comfortable chair as I am, has made me realise that maybe… Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about here. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two. Or actually a lot. You taught me a lot here. I need to contemplate all this, connect the facts. But honestly, despite our disagreements, I respect you as a person and I think you know what you’re talking about.”

Analyze: “Well… I… didn’t know you felt that way. I suppose I’ve… not been the best roommate. I suppose maybe… maybe I can change. Maybe I can be a better person. I can march into this room head held high tomorrow and tell you that I honestly-“

Maddy: “Sikes! I actually haven’t heard a word you said.”

Analyze: “You will rue the day… rue the day you did this to me!”

Maddy from the Future: “But I never would.”

Author’s Note: All of the arguments Maddy uses in this article are ones that have actually been used by real people to defend the show based on many minutes of research. Sadly, we are not shitting you.

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Copyright: The images used in this article are screenshots taken from the episodes of the show. We are allowed to use them under section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. Game of Thrones is created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, belongs to HBO and was inspired by the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.

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