No one can deny that Game of Thrones was the pinnacle of fantasy television for its time, surpassing any similar shows that had come before in terms of popularity and production value. It defined an entire era of television and helped bring the genre into the mainstream.
Yet, the series was not without its faults. While there are plenty of excellent moments to look back upon, there are also many that fans would rather forget as well, and the contentious conclusion to the series is still something debated to this day.
8 The Books Might Never Be Finished
While there is not necessarily a complete crossover between fans of the show and fans of the books, the HBO series did keep viewers interested in getting even more depth and lore out of the stories, reason to pick up the novels. There is plenty of content in the books that never made it into the show, including entire characters and plotlines.
Sadly, it appears that the books might never reach a conclusion. With no firm release date on any of the sequels beyond the fifth book, many fans have given up hope that George R.R. Martin will ever complete the series. While many fans will be disappointed in this, it’s important to remember how much time the author has put into the series, and with the conclusion of the show, fans may have to be satisfied that this is the only ending they will get.
7 They Watch Their Favorite Characters Suffer
No show does suffering quite like Game of Thrones. From the very first season, viewers quickly discover that nobody is safe, not even their favorite characters. Especially not their favorite characters.
Ned Stark’s execution was just the tip of the iceberg. Fans had to watch as the Red Wedding massacred characters many saw as the heroes of the story, new players such as the Red Viper were introduced only to meet brutal ends, and even the ones who did survive had to suffer through horrific punishment along the way.
6 The Final Seasons Couldn’t Hold Up Against The Earlier Ones
When a show hits the ground with the level of popularity Game of Thrones did, it sets the bar extremely high for itself. For the first several seasons of the series, the show managed to match that bar, even exceeding it at times. That was not to last, however.
This is not to say there was a significant drop-off in quality in the later series, which had some of the best battles and special effects of the series. Instead, it was the storytelling that suffered from a rushed ending, which lacked the source material of the earlier seasons, and thus was unable to maintain such a consistently satisfying narrative.
5 The Ending Of Some Major Characters Troubled Many Fans
Throughout the series, fans were given plenty of evidence that Game of Thrones was not a show that followed the expected tropes, where the good guys won after some suitable hardship, ultimately defeating the bad guys and saving the day. That was not the case here.
While many fans had grown accustomed to this by the time the final seasons aired, the way certain characters’ stories ended was a large part of the discontent many fans felt at the ending. Stories of hope such as those Daenarys sought to bring, or heroic characters like Jon Snow taking a back seat towards the end did not sit well with fans who hoped for much more from their favorites.
4 Many Of The Spin-Offs Won’t See The Light Of Day
At the height of Game of Thrones’ popularity, there were plans for several spin-off series, covering many different points of time in the well-developed history of Westeros and beyond. Unfortunately, it appears that many of them have either been canceled or shelved for the time being.
There is one bright spot of hope, however. House of the Dragon is moving forward and set to be released in 2022, giving fans plenty of reason to get excited. Should the show manage to attain enough positive reception, it’s entirely possible it might be able to reinvigorate interest in other spin-off series as well.
3 The Inconsistencies Can Be Irritating
Game of Thrones was a series that always thrived on having a certain level of realism. It helped bring in fans who may not have originally been interested in the genre, as the tales being told were relatable despite the fantastical setting.
That level of realism slowly dropped off in the later seasons. Not necessarily in regards to the supernatural elements of the series, which has always been there, though they did become more important in later seasons, but in the small details. Things such as a teleporting Petyr Baelish, or armies moving across the world as if by magic, certainly bothered fans who expected a certain level of consistency to the show.
2 The Show Is Remembered For The Way It Ended
In its first few seasons, Game of Thrones awed fans with its grand storytelling, breathtaking visuals, and characters fans couldn’t help but get invested in. It was the beginning of an era of fantasy television that continues to this day with shows like The Witcher and Wheel of Time. It was a cultural phenomenon, a show that everyone was talking about at the time.
Yet now, many people only remember it for the way it ended. While the final seasons had plenty of amazing character moments, battles, and twists, overall reception by the fans was mixed. Many felt the final seasons were rushed, or that the conclusion to certain stories did not make sense. While these criticisms may or may not be valid, what is certain is that Game of Thrones did not end on the high note it came in on.
1 House Of The Dragon Has To Earn Back Fans’ Trust
When House of the Dragon was announced, there was both jubilation and skepticism among fans of the series. However, with a new team working on the project, plenty of source material available to draw upon, and enough time between the ending of the original and beginning of this, the stage is set for a return to form for fans of George R.R. Martin’s world.
That said, the new show will have plenty of disgruntled fans to win over. In addition, the competition is much fiercer now, with shows like The Witcher, Wheel of Time, and a new Lord of the Rings show, fantasy lovers will have plenty of options. House of the Dragon has the tools to succeed and a chance to win back fans of the original series, and in 2022 they will get that opportunity.