What Happened? “Game Of Thrones” Dominated Pop Culture, Then Disappeared Entirely

Strap in, folks. It’s gonna be a long one. This perhaps the biggest undertaking I’ve attempted thus far. The topic isn’t necessarily difficult as much as it seeks to answer a a question that hasn’t been explored in depth. Yes, there are tons of videos, interviews and hot takes about what went wrong with “Game of Thrones,” but the majority of them focus on how bad Season 8 was and not the bigger, more critical question: just how did Game Thrones dominate pop culture for close to a decade and then, in less than a year, disappear entirely from it?

Think about it. We went from naming our children Daenarys to not even admitting we were fans of the show in the first place in a span of 12 months. We went from begging our friends and family and co-workers to obsess over the show with us so we could discuss each episode, to never bring it up again after it ended. It went from the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist to not even a blip on the radar 365 days later.

Sure, season 8 (and some would argue 6 and 7) was really, really bad, but tons of shows have botched their finales that left fans outraged. But almost all of those examples still warrant a discussion months, even years after the show’s conclusion. You still WANT to discuss your outrage with other fans. You still cling to the fond memories of when the show was still good. You may even watch your favorite episodes or seasons over and over again. Not “Game of Thrones.”

It just disappeared, the good and the bad, no one even wondering if what they remembered fondly was even worth it in the first place. The entirety of the series and its relevance and legacy on pop culture for the better part of decade was thrown out. Nothing was salvaged and no one sifted through the dumpster fire for keepsakes. We all just collectively walked away from one of the biggest shows in the last 30 years, and that is absolutely worth exploring. No other show in history has ever achieved both sides of the spectrum to such extremes. “Game of Thrones” is unique for so many reasons, and I want to try and get to the bottom of just how the greatest television blunder in the world did irreparable damages to every facet of “Game of Thrones’” entire existence.

Before We Get Started

Let’s establish a few key points to help provide the framework with which we’ll be operating in. First, I am aware that HBO has gone into production on some Game of Thrones” prequels, AND that someday George R.R. Martin will finally release the “Winds of Winter.” The jury is still out on the latter, but to say that there is nothing new for “Game of Thrones” fans isn’t entirely true. BUT- these prequels aren’t relevant to the larger conversation at hand. Furthermore, I doubt either will have the desired cultural impact that is expected since it is that very culture that is the subject of our analysis in the first place.

Second, I am aware that there are people who very much still enjoy the show (season 8 and all) and still crack open their complete series box sets. This analysis will cover things in the broader sense of the culture and the shows’ overall impact on it.

Third, while I have done my best to collect data and research that supports my position and analysis, I am also aware that some of my conclusions will be based on personal bias and interpretation of circumstantial evidence. The subject matter is vast, and I am simply presenting my own conclusion based on the evidence at hand.

Fourth, this is going to be primarily an analysis of the television show, and not the source material. I know the source material matters, but most of the fans of the novels are largely unfazed by the disasters of the show. [Editor’s note: yeah, but, the majority of “Song of Ice and Fire” fans are really pissed off with how bad the show got.] While there will be some book references later, in the larger scheme of things, the books have very little baring on the successes and failures of show. I know that the books and show are different, and while we will address some of them, it won’t be primary topic of discussion here.

And lastly, some of the examples I am going to use to illustrate certain differences and similarities may be a little uncomfortable to get into, as they deal with strong stances from some of the creators and artists themselves. These things merely need to be addressed based on their relevance to the overall understanding of the show’s relationship to film and television in pop culture. Spoiler alert: we’re gonna have to talk about J.K Rowling and it’s probably not going to be a section everyone is going to be ok with. I will do my best not to harp on the worst of it, but it is simply impossible to discuss what actually happened to “Game of Thrones” without addressing other, similar gigantic elephants in the room.

“Game of Thrones”: Cultural Domination

It’s probably best to establish just HOW big of a deal the show actually was during its tenure in order to begin painting the picture of just how far from grace it ultimately fell and to put into perspective just how integral it was to the cultural zeitgeist thus making its disappearance from it all the more intriguing. Make no mistake, “Game of Thrones” is an anomaly both for its unimaginable success and unmitigated disaster. Entering all of GOT accolades would honestly leave no more room for anything else. Even Wikipedia has a completely separate link for the shows years and years of rewards during its dominating run.

For the sake of time, let’s do speed round of some of its highlights. it won 59 Emmys and received 161 nominations, shattering all previous records set by “Frasier” and “NYPD Blue.” By season 7, it reached 32 million viewers, shattering the previous record of 18.4 set by the “Sopranos.” It holds the World Record for the largest simulcast episode, streamed in 173 countries. 4% of all Americans watched the show. It was the most liked show on all social media platforms.

In 2012, the name Arya went from 711 to 413 as the fastest rising girls name. Still, as of this writing, the show is ranked in the top 50 greatest TV shows of all time on any list that matters.

It’s important to examine why this show garnered so much praise and so many accolades. Obviously, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if its success rested with the solid writing and narrative. Clearly those things have contributed immensely more to its downfall, and we will talk about that later. For now, let’s take a quick look at just what made the show so successful. There’s probably a multitude of factors here, from the culture at the time, the voids in television it filled, the rebirth of HBO as the frontrunner of show making, and obscure to mainstream transition of high fantasy soaked in blood and boobs.

For the sake of not spinning too big of a web, let’s focus on two things that arguably are the biggest factors to the success of the show itself: the actors and visual masterminds. A good actor can elevate a bad script beyond its errors, even allowing the viewer to overlook flawed narratives in lieu of a great performance. I won’t even site additional examples here. Whatever performance you’ve conjured in your mind is exactly who I’m talking about, and Game of Thrones is no exception.

There is some superb acting going on here, and some of the best of them shouldered the heavy burden of illogical character shifts from episode to episode with astounding professionalism and grandeur. Their abilities and genuine love for what and who their characters SHOULD be outshine whatever was written for them. There is not better example of this than Jack Gleason‘s Joffrey, who was so good he all but retired from acting because of the inescapable weight of being the most hated onscreen presence of the millennium. That’s not good writing, that is simply phenomenal performing.

Secondly, the show brought a visceral vision to the screen unlike anything before it, and the technical achievements of the show are a major contributing factor to its success. It’s one thing to write “giant dragon breaths fire” or “huge undead army raid a village.” It’s quite another to bring that to life in a way that set the television world ablaze with amazement. A prime example of just how good the show is technically and visually is “Hardhome.” Given what we know about the writers (and will learn much more about later), it’s safe to assume that what was written on paper wasn’t what we saw on screen, and that was a good thing. Breathing life into dead words and immortalizing them into action sequences teeming with life is some true Night King magic and a testament to the creators (excluding the writers, of course).

Everything from set design to costumes to visual effects to practical effects to cinematography to scoring and yes even directors all contribute to creating a larger than life and paper spectacle that, regardless of the narrative, conjures a genuine emotional response both during and after viewings. Considering what we know about what they had to work with, this is an incredible achievement and deserves to be recognize as one of the key components to the shows ultimate success. In short, “Game of Thrones” LOOKS great even if its narrative composition doesn’t.

Who Got Us in To this Mess

Ok, “Game of Thrones” was a big deal. So who or what made it fall from grace so hard? It is here we have to dig into the writers themselves, their relationship to HBO, the source materials, their credentials (or lack their of), and ultimately their interviews after the show had concluded and how that perspective will eventually lead to our own perceptions of the show as a whole. It’s not going to answer the bigger question at hand, but everything here (and the section after it) will all come back around in the end. This is the “Order of the Phoenix” part of the essay where it’s gonna feel more like a history lesson than a compelling analysis. I promise it matters.

Ok *loud sigh, cracks knuckles*. Let’s get into D.B Weiss and Dave Benioff, or as the internet has aptly named them, Dumb and Dumber. D.B Weiss is probably easier to cover because, well, he doesn’t really have anything to his name to begin with. He did some PA work, wrote a novel, met Benioff and that’s really it. Seriously, that’s it. For all in intents and purposes, Weiss was given the opportunity of a lifetime because he happened to have befriend Benioff a few years prior.

Photo courtesy of HBO Media

Now, it would be unfair to assume that simply because you have no prior experience to your name, it automatically disqualifies you from the ability to create culturally relevant masterpieces. Countless artists, musicians, actors, and writers have been given their one shot and nail it, rising to the challenge and proving that all it takes is the right opportunity at the right time. And to be fair, up until someone pulled back the curtain to reveal the wizard was really from Kansas (in this case, Chicago) all along, most of us were duped into thinking that that is exactly what happened. And even if that were case and it did disqualify him, he has his trusted and skilled friend Benioff to rely on, right?

Wrong. Benioff is a little more tricky to understand, because despite most people’s initial instinct to berate him for the abysmal “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and side eye him for the mixed reviewed “Troy,” Benioff is not without some success as a competent writer. He wrote the screenplay for “The 25th Hour” and the screenplay adaption of the “Kite Runner,” based on the critically acclaimed novel. With some generally well received screenplays and some not so well received ones, Benioff wasn’t the worst choice to pen the beloved fantasy series on paper.

In hindsight, we tend to point to the worst of his works (again, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine“) as the red flag everyone ignored, particularly HBO, but I’m inclined to believe that while not prolific, Benioff wasn’t the dud maker everyone paints him to be. He certainly had the ability and confidence to walk into a pitch meeting, if for nothing else equipped with the most basic knowledge of how to do so. No, the boys weren’t flying completely blind, at least not when comes to Benioff. He wasn’t a stranger to screenwriting or Hollywood like his counterpart D.B. Weiss.

Armed with an idea and the ability to make the right people listen, D&D headed into the HBO and pitched their idea. They were given the go ahead from George R.R. Martin to adapt it, all they needed was money and HBO happily turned it over and ordered a pilot. In Hollywood, it’s not uncommon to have a largely unknown writer with a few notable projects under his belt be given the chance to explore a new adaption with a completely unknown collaborator. The high risk higher reward model of Hollywood greenlighting happens all the time. Hollywood is also all about second, SECOND chances. Quick example: M. Night Shamalan made “The Last Airbender” and still manages to get funding for new projects. Case in point: it takes a LOT to be run out of tinsel town.

By now, we all know the “Game of Thrones” origin story: D n D made a pilot episode for an hour long show that topped out 37 minutes. It was so convoluted and narratively messy that test audiences walked away not knowing Jaime and Cersi Lannister were brother and sister. $10 million and they came in 23 minutes short of a full pilot episode, and the most basic premise that literally kicks off the entire story wasn’t clear enough to viewers. That should have signified that D n D needed a little extra help if they were going to stick with project. High risk high reward, second SECOND chances going full steam ahead.

For all the reasons it shouldn’t have, it DID work. “Game of Thrones” caught fire, D n D had their show while HBO and George R.R. Martin skipped joyfully all the way to the bank. The show became unstoppable and D n D began to get offers most writers would kill for. Funding for any new project at HBO, a $200 million Netflix deal, and the jackpot a “Star Wars” project. Anything and everything you could want as a writer offered up on a silver platter, the literal keys to the kingdom. And somehow at the height of their power, D n D locked themselves out.

The Blame Game [Of Thrones]

With everything at thier fingertips, we should talk about HOW D n D lost it all. This is where everyone usually points to how D n D lost their “Star Wars” deal because Season 8 was bad and it exposed them for the frauds that they were. Their interviews after the finale furthered the notion that they were incapable of pitching new ideas (which is widely believed to be why they lost Star Wars]. A record setting 1.5 million people signed a petition to have competent writers rewrite the entire series finale. D n D disappeared into obscurity and because of their blunders and response to them, that’s why “Game of Thrones” sucked.

And to that extent, you’d be kind of right. But all of that are minor fractures to the larger issue at hand. See, they weren’t necessarily frauds as much as they were simply ill equipped to handle the sprawling narrative nuances required to adapt a dense fantasy novel series. Which would be fine if they had help crafting the series from other writers, you know, like a writers room that MOST television shows have. But they didn’t, and never did. HBO left them alone because, as we’ve already established, the show was doing gangbuster viewership numbers and the actors and visuals were so blinding that whatever misgivings anyone could have with the writing was overlooked.

Yes, season 8 was REALLY bad, but it’s not the cause of everything. A catalyst, sure. But it’s important to remember that despite the outcry from fans, season 8 STILL earned awards that year and D&D STILL had their Star Wars and Netflix deal. This is important, because even though people had been discussing the writing taking dip around season 6 (which is the time D&D started writing for themselves rather than adapting novels into teleplays) it wasn’t enough to stop anything during or after for them. Even missing the Comic Con panel and being publicly mocked by Seth Rogen wasn’t enough to derail their potential new ventures.

What WAS enough was D n D’s interview at the Austin Film Festival in October 2019, months removed from the series finale. The statements made during this interview are simply mind boggling, the implications of which directly resulted in the impending fallout with just about every other working human being imaginable. The pair pretty much admitted they had absolutely idea what they were doing, and phoned most of their part of the series in. It is inexplicably tied to the descent of “Game of Thrones” as a whole.

Within a week of the interview, it was announced that D n D would no longer be helming a new “Star Wars” trilogy. The one new idea they had pitched to HBO was a show idea called “Confederate-” a show about the Civil War ending in a stalemate and slavery never ending- got put on hold (thankfully since that is a terrible idea even on paper) indefinitely. The only thing that stood was their Netflix deal, and that was only because they had signed on the dotted line and were already paid for their potential.

The effects of this interview on “Game of Thrones” and its writers cannot be overstated. They admitted to purposefully rushing Season 8 to move on to other projects more quickly, despite HBO wanting 13 seasons out of them. They could have left the show and handed it off to someone else to pick up the mantel, but they didn’t want to do that either. In the immortal words of Michael Scott, they wanted “all of the credit and none of the blame.”

They admit to having no idea what they were doing, with one of them calling “Game of Thrones” the most expensive film school ever. They said that they have no idea why George gave them go ahead to adapt his life’s work and go all in on them despite having little to no credentials to speak to. There’s much, much more there, and I encourage you to watch it for yourself. There are countless critiques and analysis’ videos to watch about it, but you can watch a quick excerpt from it below to paint a picture of just how bad the interview actually is.

D n D adapted something they didn’t fully understand, rushed its ending to move on to bigger projects, then lost all of them in a matter of weeks by trying to justify it in the most ambivalent way possible. Since “GoT” ending, they’ve had an entire year to create literally anything they want at Netflix, and all they’ve done is direct a comedy special. That’s right, D n D went from writing one of the most watched shows in the entire world to directing a comedy special for Netflix starring “Saturday Night Live” alum Leslie Jones.

This is where most people analyzing the downfall of “Game of Thrones” stop. They admitted they were bad at their jobs, season 8 proved it, so we’re all done right? Well, no. While these two things are major contributing factors, they only explain that two bad writers made a bad season (or show depending on how you interpret previous events) and everyone got mad about it. The thing is, this kind of thing happens all the time. None of this kind of outcry is new or even out of the norm for beloved pop culture icons. Two major culturally impactful behemoths have had similar run ins with fans and still live on to this day.

That’s right, George Lucas of Star Wars and J.K Rowling of Harry Potter. See? I told you we’d talk about it, and yes that Order of the Phoenix joke was foreshadowing. These two entities and their creators have far more in common with “Game of Thrones” on both sides of the spectrum than we realize, and it’s worth exploring how in order to finally reach our conclusion. I’ll go ahead and ease everyone into this by starting with *probably* the least hated of the two [right now], George Lucas.

George Lucas and a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Here’s the startling thing about George Lucas and “Star Wars” as it compares to D n D and “Game of Thrones“: they are almost identical on paper. Aside from his creation being an original piece vs an adaption, their beginnings are as close to a Pepsi/Coke challenge as you can get in terms of similarities. A relatively unknown filmmaker with almost no experience gets an opportunity to make his own film, and the script is so bad it has to go through several rewrites before ever getting approved. He too gets a second SECOND chance and even with budget constraints, completes the first Star Wars. However, his original edit of the film was so narratively confusing it had to be re-edited by someone else entirely just to give some semblance of a cohesive story. In fact, some would argue that some of the best parts OF Star Wars are where its own creator is entirely absent from its creation, existing as a story by credit only.

Once we get to the prequels and the remastered versions of his previous trilogy, the exposure of Lucas as a filmmaker became even more glaring. Sure, we all watched them, but we were angry about having to because they were so bad. The prequels were the first new “Star Wars” films in 20 years and Lucas did not stick the landing. There’s no need to start defending them. Remember, we’re talking about the prequels in the broad cultural realm and not personal preference. In that sense, the prequels are begrudgingly included into the pantheon of the “Star Wars” universe, and many turned on Lucas himself for ruining something so beloved and cherished for so long.

The prequels ostensibly exposed Lucas as a bad writer and director, incapable of telling a complete and cohesive narrative, understanding basic human dialogue and interactions, and even missed the nuances of all the things that made Star Wars great in the first place. Sound familiar? And yes, just like “Game of Thrones,” even the actors in the prequels spoke of the finished product with the disdain or indifference. In addition, there are countless interviews of Lucas defending not just the prequels but the dumb remastered additions to the original trilogy.

Despite being a mirror image of D n D and “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars” lives on. Cartoons, movies, television shows, merchandising, and Star Wars Day. A creator who ruined his own creation then doubled down on it is still revered to some degree AND his work has never been far from the forefront of cultural relevance. Even with all of the blunders and failed outings, both past and present, people still can’t get enough Star Wars. All the petitions and discussions and fan fervor all inadvertently achieve the same goal: keeping Star Wars alive indefinitely.

JK Rowling and the Wizarding World

Some of you may be thinking, well I don’t *HATE* George Lucas. Sure, he’s not a good writer or director, but he’s not really a bad person and we still have Star Wars so he gets a pass. Which brings us to J.K Rowling. Certainly the more controversial of the two, Rowling also commits the same follies of our primary antagonists D&D. In the same way as the aforementioned filmmakers, Rowling mirrors them more so because she too began writing as a novelist, garnered massive success, then began writing films too.

While Rowling may be a bit more likened to George R.R. Martin seeing as how it’s her original work that was adapted and not the other way around, what IS similar to D n D is everything she’s done since Harry Potter reached its conclusion. From the “Cursed Child,” to “Fantastic Beasts,” and the string of tweets that essentially functioned as Lucas’s remastered editions, Rowling’s downfall mirrors the GoT tv writers pretty well.

The difference is twofold, with Rowling being even WORSE and still somehow managing to have her creation live on. Rowling not only ostracized her fan base by starting to add random tidbits to the wizarding world (that seemed just as bizarre as say, a series called “Confederate“) but then, like Lucas, she attempted to expand the story with prequels. And despite having no experience writing screenplays, she was given the keys to the Warner Bros. kingdom to make and write as many films a she wanted. I mean, c’mon, she wrote Harry Potter, what could go wrong? Of course, they turned out to be narrative disasters, desperately trying to pack the world with connecting nonsense that left most fans more confused than excited for more Hogwarts.

Again, we have a creator who ruined their own creation by somehow missing the nuances and magic of their original work, and demonstrating that they weren’t as adept at telling good, iconic stories as we may have once thought. It’s also worth mentioning that a large part of Harry Potter’s success can be attributed to skilled writers and directors who adapted her work in a way that made the story accessible and enjoyed by millions. That’s not to say Rowling is an observer of her own success story, just that there are elements to that success that she did not have a direct hand in creating.

Unlike Lucas and D n D, Rowling took it one step further. As if her wizarding tweets and bad forays into screenwriting wasn’t enough, she tripled down on her transphobic stances, quite publicly at that. She consistently tweeted about transgender issues, often disparagingly. She fought with fans defending her offensive comments, and even wrote a [fucking awful] massive essay which she released that dug her toes in the sand and solidified it. And if anyone was unclear about where she stood, she wrote a new novel unrelated to the Wizarding World that was largely received as a blatant composition of transphobic sentiment. By all accounts, if there was ever anyone who deserved to be cancelled along with all of her work, it’s J.K Rowling.

But the Wizarding World theme parks across the country still stand. The “Harry Potter” series can be rewatched every single weekend on whichever network has the rights at the time. People still cosplay characters, take Potter challenges, even still enjoy some things from Fantastic Beasts. If you were to ask any random person on the street what house they belong to, chances are they’ll know immediately and tell you where the sorting hat placed them. Rowling is a controversial and polarizing figure, one who has not only exposed her shortcomings as a writer and storyteller, but as a generally unfavorable person. And yet, the Wizarding World lives on, and it really hasn’t missed a beat. It remains one of the most iconic fantasy, pop culture worlds of all time.

You see, bad iterations from sometimes even worse people rarely remove the icon from its cultural pedestal. Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Zack Snyder, and on and on, the list of iconic characters, filmmakers, writers and stories that have had unwatchable products still live on to this day in spite of all of it. Sure, you could argue that all of the aforementioned examples existed far longer in our culture, therefore solidified their place among the greats and thus impossible to be removed. But frankly, that’s a cop out. “Game of Thrones” reached every level of pop culture success, so much so that its very disappearance from the throne room is baffling enough to warrant this essay. If that were really true, we wouldn’t be talking about it. Something is different here. Despite all the similarities to other creators, something caused us to turn not just on the creators themselves, but throw out the entire product along with them. So what was it? If it wasn’t Season 8 and it wasn’t the D&D interview, just what the hell have we been talking about for this long?

What Does it All Mean, Basil?

As we’ve discussed, there’s a lot of things that contributed to “Game of Thrones” ending poorly, and (as the article has sought to prove) the writers were primarily to blame. We’ve also examined examples of other culturally relevant creators and creations who have had similar rises and falls, so as to demonstrate that that alone does not necessarily determine the longevity of pop culture iconography. What it all boils down to is intent. I don’t just mean in how the viewer interprets the vision or the artist’s idealized vision of how said media should be consumed. I mean the overall intention of the writers themselves. From book to page, it is the definitive difference here, and D&D’s intent was misplaced narcissism, selfishness and complete disregard from the start.

At the core of most if not all film and television, no one sets out to make a bad movie or show. That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad ones, just that no one in the making of the film intentionally set out to make it so. No writer has sought to torpedo their project unless you’re “The Producers,” which was already a meta narrative critique of Hollywood filmmaking to begin with. George Lucas is a great example for this, too. See, Lucas didn’t set out to make bad “Star Wars” films. The prequels weren’t bad on purpose, they were bad because Lucas wasn’t capable of making them any better.

In fact, Lucas didn’t even want to direct the prequels himself. He approached numerous directors that could’ve done better to helm the project, but none of them wanted to take up the mantle so he was left with directorial duties once again. Even in his first Star Wars trilogy, Lucas admitted his shortcomings and handed off writing and directing duties to more capable hands which ended up giving us the near perfect “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Lucas may be a bad writer and director, but he never intended for any of his films to show that. Even the Disney trilogy, for all its polarization of the fan base generally intended to usher in new Star Wars for a new generation. Regardless of how you feel about this one, Even the controversial “The Last Jedi” was still trying to be a good “ film, and many can admit now that Johnson isn’t a bad writer or bad filmmaker, he was just wrong for a Star Wars trilogy that he didn’t start or finish. Intention matters, and D n D’s more than lackluster season 8 and there ambivalence, indifference, and condescending attitude afterwards proves that they didn’t have good intentions to begin with.

Not showing up to their Comic Con panel isn’t simply avoiding backlash from fans- it’s knowing you made a terrible season just to get out of the show and you don’t care enough to own up to it. Admitting that you had no idea what you were doing but still refusing to ask for help that HBO would’ve absolutely provided them is not owning up to your own shortcomings, its knowing you have them and not caring enough to do anything about it. Being candidly open about not wanting to do the show anymore despite fans and HBO wanting more so you can move on to other things while also refusing to hand off the show to others isn’t just negligent and selfish, it’s downright unforgivable. Admitting that you didn’t understand the nuances of the source material and that you purposefully downplayed the fantasy elements of the books to appeal to “jocks and soccer moms” goes beyond incapable of doing so, it means you really didn’t care about what you were doing from the start. That it was a smash hit is a byproduct of timing, acting, visuals and HBO’s initial reach, not D n D.

And that is where everyone got off the “Game of Thrones” train. That’s why we all stuck it out through thick and thin with Star Wars but walked away from Westeros for good. If the writers themselves don’t care, why the hell should we? Nothing else in the general cultural zeitgeist of film and television has ever reached the peak of fandom with so much intentional disruption behind it, and when the dust finally settled and curtain was pulled back, D&D’s intentions ended up being more everlasting than the show itself. All the awards and critical acclaim and cultural conversion meant nothing in the end because the writers weren’t just exposed as frauds, they were exposed as not caring enough to give you anything worth it all in the first place.

The break up with “Game of Thrones” was a bad one. The discovery that the relationship was toxic from the start was exacerbated by the gaslighting afterwards, causing us to go through all of our shared belongings and give away anything that ever reminded us of our time together. And, we probably made the right choice. In hindsight, we don’t go back to the time when we thought the show was a good time because even when it was, it wasn’t intentionally as good as we thought.

I hate to say this, because I hate comparing mediums, but the book readers were right. “Game of Thrones” isn’t as good as the books because the writers didn’t care if it was or not. D n D got the opportunity of a lifetime on privilege not merit, squandered that opportunity by carelessly leaning on the privilege to get them to other things and in the end, lost everything for it. Unfortunately, we lost too.

D n D owe us a better show and a better ending, but seeing as how all they’ve done since hastily exiting “Game of Thrones” to direct a comedy special on Netflix, that probably isn’t happening any time soon. As it turns out, D n D are probably more House Targaryen than Lannister, opting to burn them all rather than pay back their debts. So, instead of trying to cling to the good in Westeros, it’s easier to just break out the wildfire and watch it burn.

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