Entertainment TV How Game of Thrones fans and stars reacted to the final episode
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How Game of Thrones fans and stars reacted to the final episode

Daenerys Game of Thrones
Daenerys Stormborn before her Unsullied troops in the finale episode of Game of Thrones. Photo: HBO
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Their watch is over. The final play in the game of Game of Thrones has been done and won, with the world’s biggest TV show finishing on Monday after eight seasons.

When it was done, star Kit Harington (Jon Snow) posted to Instagram to ask fans what they thought of the finale. Their answers – more than 3400 in the first two hours – mostly weren’t kind.

“Disappointed,” was a common refrain. “Horrible,” said one viewer. “The worst possible finale ever,” decreed another.

Twitter also lit up with unhappy fans giving their verdict.

“I do kind of regret ever watching this show,” typed one disgruntled fan. “This is dismal. Eight years wait for this,” wrote another.

“Anyone but [the winner],” tweeted a third. And, “Worst episode ever … what a disappointment. All these years watching such an amazing show to end like this? I give up.”

Others – although they were thin on the ground – were more grateful for the whole rollercoaster adventure.

“I thought it was perfect,” said one fan. “Everyone ended up where they belonged.”

Game of Thrones positive tweet

That drew a stinging reply from another viewer: “The only lesson I learned was never to waste my time with an HBO series. Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and now Game of Thrones. Simply just lazy.”

In the final episode, one pivotal scene showed a character pleading the eventual winner’s case by asking, “And who has a better story?”

Well. According to fans, plenty of others.

One viewer reacted to the ‘better story’ question by posting photos of 20 other characters ranging from the hated King Joffrey to Khal Drogo and Littlefinger.

Another suggested it would have been preferable to see the undead Night King on the Iron Throne:

The suggestion was met with varied responses from other viewers:

Game of Thrones tweet

Much of the blame for viewer dissatisfaction was laid at the feet of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. “Shame! Shame! Shame!” wrote one unhappy fan, calling them out.

Game of Thrones tweet

But others thought author George RR Martin, whose A Song of Fire and Ice books inspired Game of Thrones has something to answer for.

According to Business Insider, Martin sat down with the show’s writers in 2013 after it was realised Game of Thrones might soon outpace the original material. At the meeting, he revealed the “broad strokes” for his planned ending.

Certainly, he was held to account by the Twittersphere:

Regardless of the fan disappointment which has dogged the final series, Game of Thrones’ stars took to social media to farewell the show and thank audiences for their loyalty.

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) said her Mother of Dragons character “has taken up the whole of my heart. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being.”

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Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended. @gameofthrones @hbo #love #motherofdragonsoverandout

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Gwendoline Christie (Ser Brienne of Tarth) shared an on-set photo with  Harington and made a joke about the last episode:

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BEING TOLD THE ENDING TO @gameofthrones 🖤⚔️

A post shared by Gwendoline Christie (@gwendolineuniverse) on

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) posted a similar photo to cast mate Clarke, thanking her fictional alter ego “for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength is.”

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Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength really is. Thank you teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love. I grew up with you. I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me. To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago. And finally to the fans. Thank you for falling in love with these characters and supporting this show right through till the end. I’ll miss this more than anything.

A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on

John Bradley West (Samwell Tarley) said goodbye with a photo of his first ever Game of Thrones rehearsal schedule from 2010: “I met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me.”

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So tonight we have our very last episode. It’s the final step of a long and wonderful journey. A journey that, for me, started at 10am on Monday 19th of July 2010. I know this because recently I found my rehearsal and prep schedule for season 1, week 1. This was given to me when I landed in Belfast for the first time, weeks before we even started shooting. Listed here is the rehearsal where I first met Kit, and the first time I wore the costume that’s seen me through 8 seasons. I’m glad I kept this. I met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me. Back then we couldn’t have known the journey we’d go on together. I wouldn’t swap that experience, or those people, for the world. Enjoy the episode and thanks for everything. ❤️❤️❤️ @gameofthrones @hbo #GOT 👋

A post shared by John Bradley (@johnbradleywest) on

And Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) noted that his character “went from a robot to a real boy” during Game of Thrones, and thanked fans for supporting the Unsullied leader’s arc: “You made him feel loved. He appreciates it. I asked him.”

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1. First Day. 2. Last Day. GoT was like the craziest school trip ever. A 6 year Adventure Weekend. Grey Worm. You went from a robot to a real boy. I’m proud of you. I’ll miss you bud. Thank you to everybody that cared about him and rooted for him. He was really scared at first, but you made him feel loved. He appreciates it. I asked him. Huge shout out to the Targs team: Nats, Emilia, Conleth, Peter, Iain, Ian, Michiel, Reece, Ed, Kit, Liam. Thank you for making the days so fun. Here’s to every single department behind the scenes that worked to the bone to make this show. They worked tirelessly everyday to make this thing, and they never get shout outs and they know that but they do it anyway. Here’s to you, you ragtag bunch of talented clever rascals. I love ya’ll. Thank you. Game of Thrones ENDS tonight on @hbo AT 9pm and @skyatlanticuk at 2am. I hope you enjoy it.

A post shared by Raleigh Ritchie (@raleighritchie) on

The New Daily will run a review of the final episode on Tuesday.