According to a helpful online Binge Clock, I’d already spent two days and 17 hours of my life watching Game of Thrones when I decided not to waste one minute more by watching this week’s series-finale episode because I’d had a glut-full.
But I am, of course, merely a weak human and, like watching your favourite pub burn to the ground, somehow I couldn’t look away, so I did watch the final, movie-length episode and, like many other people on the planet, I wish I hadn’t.
TV critics are claiming that GoT has “jumped the dragon”, a hilarious piss-take on the original Happy Days “jumping the shark”, but the fact is it’s more like it’s been jumped by dragons, and royally fucked by them.
I was ready to give up on what had long been my third favourite show of all time (The West Wing and Breaking Bad just pip it) about two minutes into episode five when Jaime Lannister somehow managed to turn into Aquaman.
You might recall that his trusty mercenary Bronn threw him into a lake to stop him being toasted by a dragon at the end of episode four, which ended with him sinking under the weight of his very pretty and deadly heavy armour.
You might have presumed that his enemies, seeing him fall in right in front of them, would have made pretty damn sure the Kingslayer was dead, but no. He and Bronn both grew gills and turned up miles downstream, safely out of sight of the people who wanted to kill them.
There had been plot holes in GoT before, but in this last series – with the show’s writers overtaking the ponderously slow work of the series’ ballooning creator George RR Martin – they’ve grown so wide it’s starting to make The A Team look like a reality show (for those who don’t recall, check out the video below, this was a show in which the main characters would get locked in a barn, only to blast their way out with a tank they’d built out of bailing wire, fence palings and large loads of horse shit).
Yes, it does seem picky to start pointing out that a show that has previously brought back characters from the dead, allowed others to “warg” into animals and suggested that dwarves are insatiable sex machines lacks realism, but there’s a difference between being asked to suspend disbelief and being treated like fools, and episode six went past that point of no return.
Time has always been fluid on GoT, but last week’s episode stretched the concept beyond what even the writers of Dr Who would attempt, asking us to believe that a bloke could run, without pausing – through snow, in a blizzard – a distance that had taken a day or more to hike. And that ravens can fly faster than the speed of light, and that even ravens aren’t as fast as dragons.
Ah, yes, dragons. Leaving aside the point that Daenerys could have just fact-checked Jon Snow’s White Walker stories by doing a fly by over the wall, I think dragons are to blame for all this lazy and crazy garbage we’ve been served up recently.
Ever since we first saw them being wheeled out as weapons of war, the show’s creators seem to think we’ll all be so wowed by the spectacle of their fiery fury that we won’t notice that there’s no hardcore sex in this series. Or that characters are behaving in ways that contradict the previous 60-plus hours we’ve spent with them. Or that the White Walkers didn’t have any huge fucking chains with them a minute ago, but they somehow magicked some up, out of the snow, when they needed to drag a dead dragon out of a frozen puddle.
Look! Dragons! And now a Zombie Dragon!
And sure enough, that stupid Zombie Dragon was back at the end of a confusing, piddling, muddling final episode, where it had turned into a flying bunsen burner; not just melting bits of snow with its mysterious blue flame but knocking half the bloody thing down.
If the Night King is so powerful, why is he bothering to walk all his zombies south? Why doesn’t he just magic them there? And what was his plan for getting past the wall before he killed that dragon that he surely didn’t know was going to turn up?
It would have been the stupidest part of the finale if it weren’t for Theon Greyjoy’s cringe-worthily shit fight scene. What is the point of his character still being alive, honestly?
What made Game of Thrones great – aside from its inherent and unsettling unpredictability, created by the fact that anyone could die, at any time – was that it was believable. That somehow, no matter how absurd its more far-fetched flights of fantasy fiction were, it still made sense, and hung together as a believable, almost Homeric epic.
But not anymore. Game of Thrones has gone to the dogs. Or the Direwolves. It’s certainly dire.
And no, I don’t care what happens next series, I’ve seen The Walking Dead before, thanks. So I’m done. I’m off to binge watch the first six seasons again.