Lindsey Ellis:The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes

kiguel182

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,502
Sometimes when I think about it I still can’t believe the show introduced time travel and a character that could influence the past to explain the name and disability of a minor character and to have a big reveal regarding Jons parentage that doesn’t have that big of an impact and that Sam discovered the same info by reading with no need for the time travel stuff.

I just don’t understand it.
 

Metal B

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,248
Sometimes when I think about it I still can’t believe the show introduced time travel and a character that could influence the past to explain the name and disability of a minor character and to have a big reveal regarding Jons parentage that doesn’t have that big of an impact and that Sam discovered the same info by reading with no need for the time travel stuff.

I just don’t understand it.
On top of that Sam also has legitim proof for Snow's claim. Bram only has a crazy time travel story.
At least Bram should have influence Sam to look for the information in the first place!
 

kiguel182

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,502
On top of that Sam also has legitim proof for Snow's claim. Bram only has a crazy time travel story.
At least Bram should have influence Sam to look for the information in the first place!
Exactly. Who would believe Bram anyway? Sam is way more important without having to time travel. It’s one of those things that I just don’t understand.

Bran giving a clue to Sam or whatever would at least make Bran finding about it make sense. The whole “influencing the past” would still be baffling to introduce and then only use it for Hodor but at least the time travel itself would have a point.

The whole Bran plot line is baffling to me.
 

steejee

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,627
Exactly. Who would believe Bram anyway? Sam is way more important without having to time travel. It’s one of those things that I just don’t understand.

Bran giving a clue to Sam or whatever would at least make Bran finding about it make sense. The whole “influencing the past” would still be baffling to introduce and then only use it for Hodor but at least the time travel itself would have a point.

The whole Bran plot line is baffling to me.
The whole plotline ends up being pretty stupid in the end and kinda pissed me off as a book reader - all that buildup, digging, hype when the clues for Jon's parentage showed up, we were finally going to see the payoff, even if it was going to be the show instead of book! Instead it's nothing more than an excuse to make Dany go cray cray because Jon won't boink her anymore. Varys does some treason for ... reasons (early onset dementia? Might explain some stuff), sends off a bunch of letters to apparently no one, then gets burned.

To boot Sam telling everyone "Jon is totes a Targaryan" based on one journal entry only works when combined with what Bran says. By itself it's just a historical footnote since the journal doesn't mention a baby IIRC and the story of what happened is so ingrained in the common folk's head at this point that no amount of effort by Sam or Bran is going to change that. You could easily just write off remarriage as 'Well he forced her to'. Without Howland Reed (seriously where the fuck was he or Meera in S8) or Ned to back up the story there's fuck all to say that Jon was the result of the marriage. Add that Sam is his best friend and Bran his brother and suddenly it's all suspicious they're telling the world Jon is the true heir to the throne.

Frankly it's not like the common people would give a shit if Jon was a Targaryan instead of a bastard anyways. The Mad King was Mad, Dany has dragons, and they're all tired of war. One Targaryan or another. They'd probably all go 'Well they'll just marry each other anyways?' like every goddamn viewer did, but people in the North suddenly have an issue with that. At least Dany and Jon didn't blow up the Great Sept, right?

Dany during the good seasons was repeatedly told by her competent advisors that the average folk don't really give a shit who rules as long as they have a reasonably happy life. Of course like a lot of things Dany forgot that too.

Just...UGH. I could seriously rant for hours about how fucking bad they screwed up that storyline. At least it all would have made a little sense if this really was all about the Three Eye Raven trying to crown itself king via Bran. Too bad Jon survived somehow, I would have liked to see Drogon eat him as a final period on his endless stupidity and uselessness.
 

ascagnel

Member
Mar 29, 2018
218
It will join the ranks of How I met Your Mother in "shows which finales utterly ruin the entire show".
I think the finale of HIMYM would've made a good final season. The wedding should've been done by November sweeps, and the rest of the show telling the story before and after
the mother dies
.

The big issue with Game of Thrones is that each character had goals in the early seasons -- goals that were defined by their upbringing and experiences. D&D kept that until they ran out of book material, and then got to be obsessed with violating users' expectations -- even though those expectations were exactly where all the writing was leading.
 

Naijaboy

The Fallen
Mar 13, 2018
2,483
It will join the ranks of How I met Your Mother in "shows which finales utterly ruin the entire show".
I was able to enjoy the first four seasons despite watching the finale first. At least that show had one of the most hilarious first halves in comedic history that the finale can't take away.

It helps that I was one of the few people that figured the Robin/Barney relationship to be unstable. Still, Ted going back to her after everything was bullshit.
 
Last edited:

Blade Runner

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,876
Hot take: Game of Thrones was always bad but the earlier seasons get a pass from the fans because they’re closer to the source material.
 

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
524
^^^^
Edit- Absolutely. The reveal about Jon's parentage doesn't hold up under any scrutiny. There is literally zero proof of the claim, the only proof that may exist is in the head of a person that NO ONE would believe, and on paper that only tells half the story, is easily refutable based on the commonly-held understanding, and exists in a world where the vast majority of people are illiterate. Without the narrative filling in all of the gaps for the viewer (and thus giving us knowledge that would otherwise be impossible to achieve) there is no veracity to Jon's claim. This uncertainty would have been an interesting way to take the story, but again that would have taken slightly more effort than D&D wanted to put into the show.

I think the finale of HIMYM would've made a good final season. The wedding should've been done by November sweeps, and the rest of the show telling the story before and after
the mother dies
.

The big issue with Game of Thrones is that each character had goals in the early seasons -- goals that were defined by their upbringing and experiences. D&D kept that until they ran out of book material, and then got to be obsessed with violating users' expectations -- even though those expectations were exactly where all the writing was leading.
I was always unclear on what Littlefinger's goal was. After his escape from Kings Landing, I felt like his story fell apart and was aimless. I guess he was trying to build alliances and gain control of the North so that he could put pressure of Cersei and become king? Whatever it was I don't feel like it was ever very well explained. If he did indeed want to become king, that to me doesn't fit with the character. Littlefinger may have wanted power, but he was always more of a puppet master, a behind the scenes guy. Becoming Master of Coin struck me as a position that was perfect for him. It put him into the inner circle, gave him immense influence, while still being under the radar and out of the spotlight. But instead he makes a play at King which is absolutely hopeless. He has no claim to the throne, no natural powerbase from which to start, and in order to succeed would need an insane number of events to go PERFECTLY his way in order to win. He was reaching Joker levels of omniscience already, and it made it clear that he was never going to succeed.

Frankly, of all the characters that survived, he should have been one of them. Most of the characters showed time and again that they were dumb, Littlefinger just suddenly became dumb because....reasons. As he was written from Season 1-3, he would have known when to bail on his hopeless plan and settle in on a more modest one.
 
Last edited:

Joeku

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,524

In my very, very brief meeting with George RR Martin I told him I’d just lost my first Hugo and he gave me this.


Good job, Lindsay!
 

Kin5290

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,593
I hadn't seen the script excerpt where Arya first sees the cool dragon warrior princess from her favorite childhood stories come to life and goes "Yep, tyrant!" and now I'm offended all over again.

In the lead-up to season 8 i used to tell myself that now with more time to prepare and a clear plan ahead maybe the writing will be better, but no, there was never any hope. Even being granted an extra decade to get this right wouldn't have saved anyone who writes that and thinks it's totally in character.
Do you have a link? Hadn’t seen that one.
 

lorddarkflare

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,765
I was able to enjoy the first four seasons despite watching the finale first. At least that show had one of the most hilarious first halves in comedic history that the finale can't take away.

It helps that I was one of the few people that figured the Robin/Barney relationship to be unstable. Still, Ted going back to her after everything was bullshit.
I think everyone saw it as unstable, we just did not think the writers would go BACK to it after breaking them up and repeat it all over.
 

Rodney McKay

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,482
Hot take: Game of Thrones was always bad but the earlier seasons get a pass from the fans because they’re closer to the source material.
Nah, I'd never even heard of the books (and honestly probably a lot of the fan base too) when I first watched it and I loved the first few seasons.

The "1-3-5 years earlier" bits in Lindsey's video make me so sad seeing how much better the show used to be. The world building it was doing, the characters it was growing, the story lines that were starting.
And then we're back to the last season and it's like someone just sat in a whoopy cushion.
 

steejee

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,627
I was always unclear on what Littlefinger's goal was. After his escape from Kings Landing, I felt like his story fell apart and was aimless. I guess he was trying to build alliances and gain control of the North so that he could put pressure of Cersei and become king? Whatever it was I don't feel like it was ever very well explained. If he did indeed want to become king, that to me doesn't fit with the character. Littlefinger may have wanted power, but he was always more of a puppet master, a behind the scenes guy. Becoming Master of Coin struck me as a position that was perfect for him. It put him into the inner circle, gave him immense influence, while still being under the radar and out of the spotlight. But instead he makes a play at King which is absolutely hopeless. He has no claim to the throne, no natural powerbase from which to start, and in order to succeed would need an insane number of events to go PERFECTLY his way in order to win. He was reaching Joker levels of omniscience already, and it made it clear that he was never going to succeed.

Frankly, of all the characters that survived, he should have been one of them. Most of the characters showed time and again that they were dumb, Littlefinger just suddenly became dumb because....reasons. As he was written from Season 1-3, he would have known when to bail on his hopeless plan and settle in on a more modest one.
I don't know who pointed it out, but someone somewhere pointed out that Littlefinger marrying off Sansa made no sense no matter what his goal was, and he had no clear goal to begin with. As it was he knew Stannis was coming and could potentially win at Winterfell, so why rush in? Why wouldn't he just make a secret pact to marry Sansa off, but wait until Stannis wins or loses by slow walking bringing Sansa, then execute his plan after the battle? Sansa is still untouched at this point and trusts him. He knows what sort of monster Ramsay is. Sansa is the only card he has to play once he leaves King's Landing and he basically throws it away.

If he waits and Stannis wins at Winterfell he comes to Stannis bearing the key to the North and declares his loyalty with the Vale in tow. Yeah Stannis hates him, but Littlefinger coming to him saying he saved Sansa (and her at this point trusting him would vouch for him) would probably keep his head on his shoulders. Stannis loses, he can then proceed with the marriage. Even then marrying Sansa to the Boltons achieves basically nothing. It gives the Boltons a better grip on the North but basically makes him a marked man to Cersei and the Lannisters. So he just traded down position for no discernible reason.

The whole thing seemed like D&D trying to take the book storyline for Sansa and Littlefinger and tie it into the bigger picture without understanding where it was going.
 

lorddarkflare

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,765
Season 1 - 4, Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards, Tower of Joy and The Winds of Winter are such good pieces of television that I can't just write them off because the show's ending.

But yeah, I think I will always just stop at Season 8 episode 2.
 

Jer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
870
I enjoyed this greatly. Really laid out the case well for how ridiculous Dany's arc was, especially how all the "troublesome" things she did that supposedly built to the heel turn were just completely normal in universe compared to everyone else.

The "1-3-5 years earlier" bits in Lindsey's video make me so sad seeing how much better the show used to be. The world building it was doing, the characters it was growing, the story lines that were starting.
And then we're back to the last season and it's like someone just sat in a whoopy cushion.
Yeah, it really was jarring just how much better it was. Tyrion especially. His season 4 trial speech was fire, so infinitely better than anything he did the last three seasons.
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,215
This video is considerably better than her first, and she's right about many points, but it's still too soon. People are not ready to revisit this show yet. Most would rather pretend it never existed, which is pretty much where I'm at. People who I used to discuss it with for hours won't even talk about it. It's like a family member who committed a crime.

With that said, I'm so glad she finally went in on how problematic this show's handling of the characters was. Future adaptations should come with a contractual clause between screenwriter and original creator to have a detailed plot roadmap.
 

anamika

Member
May 18, 2018
585
The whole thing seemed like D&D trying to take the book storyline for Sansa and Littlefinger and tie it into the bigger picture without understanding where it was going.
I think they understood very well, but just did not care in any way. They did not want to do the Vale plot separately with a dozen extra side characters, did not want to do the North plot with a dozen side North characters and instead just messily combined both plots to save time. As we saw with the last season - D&D's goal was to get to the finish line as fast possible and use the characters as plot devices, to hell with making sense.

Season 1 - 4, Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards, Tower of Joy and The Winds of Winter are such good pieces of television that I can't just write them off because the show's ending.

But yeah, I think I will always just stop at Season 8 episode 2.
While the spectacle/action/cinematography was great for the Battle of the Bastards, the writing for that episode was so bad, that I can't rewatch it. Sansa lies to Jon and keeps important information from him about the Vale army leading to the needless deaths of thousands of loyal allies and all Jon does is kiss her on the forehead and say 'No worries!'.

And no one in the North has an issue that she pretty much killed many of them with her pettiness. But hey, Dany coming to help the North? The North just really dislikes that and hates her for some reason.

The last episode I really enjoyed was Hardhome - sensible writing and damn good filming. That was more terrifying than episode 3 in season 8. We got to see how much of a threat the Army of the Dead really was. And then we get to season 8 and apparently the big bad all along was Cersei and Dany - the two lead female characters of the show. Not this existential apocalyptic threat we were warned of in the first 5 minutes of the show.
 

steejee

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,627
I think they understood very well, but just did not care in any way. They did not want to do the Vale plot separately with a dozen extra side characters, did not want to do the North plot with a dozen side North characters and instead just messily combined both plots to save time. As we saw with the last season - D&D's goal was to get to the finish line as fast possible and use the characters as plot devices, to hell with making sense.
I meant more Littlefinger's long term plan, but yeah probably more an issue they wanted to take a hatchet to things they didn't want to film without any care of the impacts. At the time I had just written off the Sansa/Littlefinger rewrite of them just trying to get free of the loose ends the books left. In retrospect it was that and just being bad at writing.

While the spectacle/action/cinematography was great for the Battle of the Bastards, the writing for that episode was so bad, that I can't rewatch it. Sansa lies to Jon and keeps important information from him about the Vale army leading to the needless deaths of thousands of loyal allies and all Jon does is kiss her on the forehead and say 'No worries!'.

And no one in the North has an issue that she pretty much killed many of them with her pettiness. But hey, Dany coming to help the North? The North just really dislikes that and hates her for some reason.
Same take as me - visually spectacular, amazing directing and the sense of claustrophobia it gave as it progressed was fantastic. Wunwun forgetting how to hold a weapon was dumb but everything else about the battle itself was great. The Vale Knights thing....ugh. I get what they were trying to say - Sansa doesn't feel she's taken seriously, she doesn't fully trust Jon's judgement, and she doesn't want to explain who would be bringing the knights. As you note, though, it amounts to basically nothing in the end.

Just like S8 though they just ignored far better/simpler ways to achieve the same effect - she could have told him they were on the way but still had Ramsay force Jon's hand, perhaps by trotting out the civilians in Winterfell and executing them one by one. Then Jon's rush would have been less him failing upwards and more desperation to save the innocent.

The last episode I really enjoyed was Hardhome - sensible writing and damn good filming. That was more terrifying than episode 3 in season 8. We got to see how much of a threat the Army of the Dead really was. And then we get to season 8 and apparently the big bad all along was Cersei and Dany - the two lead female characters of the show. Not this existential apocalyptic threat we were warned of in the first 5 minutes of the show.
While it wasn't the last episode I really enjoyed (S8E2 was better than S7/S8, S8E3 was still a damn fine spectacle but retroactively made worse again by the aftermath), I do agree it was the best episode of the last few seasons. No stupid decisions to move along the plot, clear character motivations and reasoning, and new minor character that lasted all of part of one episode but was still more interesting than most everyone else at that point, and a terrifying wakeup call to the power of the Night King's army.
 

Brock Reiher

Member
Oct 25, 2017
30,570
Hardhome is one of the worst episodes of the series and a bigger marker of what's wrong with the show than anything in Season 8. It's a completely worthless exercise that exists just to have a big fight like its some sort of Marvel movie, and it ends with all the characters you care about just being allowed to leave because the Night King wanted to Perfect Cell pose.

At least the big dumb fights in Season 8 had consequences.

Basically if you're a book reader, the end of season 4 should be your first hint that the show is going to be really bad with how they handle Tyrion, and then Hardhome is the point of no return. It just took a lot of people until season 8 to realize how bad the show was by season 5. Since I realized it early on I was able to enjoy season 8 more because the stakes were so low and I got to be right about where characters ended up lol

Hot take: Game of Thrones was always bad but the earlier seasons get a pass from the fans because they’re closer to the source material.
nahhh, think of how good the baelor scene in season 1 is done
 
Last edited: