I think the argument that Game of Thrones is on a downhill run heading into its final seasons is far from controversial. While we’ll miss the show, we also feel that the show has had a great run and needs to wrap this story up. The show seems to be pretty impatient as well and this season saw a lot of fast moving stories (even if, arguably, the season ended with most all of the characters in the same position they were at the start of the season). We didn’t much mind the pacing, but we hated the inconsistent characterization, bizarre stories, and terrible ideas that permeated the season. Here are the four biggest problems we had with this season of Game of Thrones.
I didn’t even mention this ridiculous mustache-twirling villain who apparently wandered in from a WWE title match.
Tyrion was wrong about everything
Like everyone else who watches this show, Tyrion has long been our favorite character. And never have we been more punished for liking a character than this season. Seriously, this season Tyrion was wrong about everything. He was wrong about sending soldiers to Casterly Rock. He was wrong about sending Yara to Dorne. His plan kidnap a zombie to convince Cersei to join them cost them a dragon and didn’t seem to win them any converts (maybe Jaime but that remains to be seen). His one-on-one with Cersei also doesn’t appear to have changed her mind about anything. Literally everything Tyrion attempted this season backfired. At this point, I think any other character would make a better Hand of the Queen, and I’m including Theon, the reanimated bear, and the dead corpse of Hodor in that calculation. Worse, he never seems to receive any punishment for being wrong, he just keeps failing upward and making worst mistakes that get other likeable characters killed. If Tyrion wasn’t played by Peter Dinklage, we’d be sick of this character by now.
Stealing a zombie was the stupidest plan ever
It’s hard to imagine a plan more misguided than the plan to kidnap a zombie and use that zombie to convince Cersei of the upcoming attack. Surely it would have been easier to send Jaime north with a team to see a zombie for himself. Or Daenerys could have flown north and spotted the army from the air. Or they could have sent scouts to locate the army (which they probably should have done anyhow) and then sent Jaime or Bron to see the army himself. Seriously, almost anything else makes more sense than sending all of your most essential characters (save always-wrong Tyrion) into the north against the entire army of the dead. It was such a poor plan that the heroes lost a dragon and failed to gain any ground with Cersei (again, a typical Tyrion plan). For what it’s worth, at least this plotline had the Night King gain a dragon, which was an essential plot point. Watching the dragons obliterate every other army this season made the Night King’s shambling force look pretty pathetic; he’s gaining a dragon somewhat evens the odds and gives us a dragon battle to look forward to in the last six episodes.
The Sansa/Arya conflict was just weird
One of the most difficult things for a series to do is convince the audience that two lovable characters are going to fight to the death. Breaking Bad managed to do it with a lot of ground work in its fourth and fifth seasons. Angel and Buffy tried a few times but these adventures weren’t as convincing, and this kind of thing happened all the time on Star Trek and it never worked. The idea that two sisters separated for five seasons would quickly turn on each other was always a bit of a stretch. For what it’s worth, I’m grateful the series didn’t try to actually make a character do something unforgivable or implausible. Having the whole feud turn out to be simply a trick to trap Littlefinger was gratifying but not terrible logical. Did they really need to fool him for so long when they had all of the evidence they needed? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Arya to simply kill him, adopt his identity, and ride out of Winterfell? Well, at least this bizarre conflict was brief and the characters reverted to type by the end of the season. Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are great actors but even they couldn’t sell such an out-of-character feud for long.
We learn Jon’s heritage while he has sex with his aunt
There must have been a time between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when everyone assumed Luke would eventually hook up with Princess Leia. If fan fiction had been as big a thing back then as it is now, people would have written tons of romantic storiess for the characters assuming that Luke would win his romantic rivalry with Han Solo. Then Return of the Jedi appeared and we learned the two were siblings and Jedi, to its great credit, reassured us that nothing ever happened between the characters when Leia says that she always felt sibling feelings towards Luke. Game of Thrones, on the other hand, took the other approach. Just as the audience is learning of Jon’s heritage, we see Jon and Daenerys hooking up. In other circumstances, this might have been a powerful moment as two of the fans favorite characters finally connected, but now we know that this is just a really twisted family reunion. Maybe we’ll learn that she is somehow not his aunt (?) in the next season but, until then, yuck.