So I just finished binging this. I read through this thread along the way too. (Some of everyones takes were...great...good and bad).
Liked season 1. It was a great story to tell. My wife spoiled the end for me though. She watched the show live, I never got into it. She walks in the door from work one night I'm on episode 5 she's like "Did Ned die yet?" "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I replied. No warm up questions. just "did the climax, the holy shit moment happen yet?" FFS.
Season 2 and 3 dragged. A lot. I didn't even get a "holy shit" feel from the red wedding like some did. I guess I wasn't emotionally invested because I was mainly bored for these seasons. As soon as the big doors closed at the wedding, I knew something bad was about to go down. Out of boredom I wasn't emotionally tied to Rob, his baby mama, or Cat. I was kinda like, "damn, that sucks." Instead of "OH MY GOD!!!!". I was more invested in Arya and the Hound being so close to getting back to her family, as they were two of my favorite characters. I think this was where Jon Snow and Bran were dangerously close to reuniting and that didn't happen either.
Season 4 was a good one to get things rolling at a quicker pace and paying off some of what they built up. Could you imagine if Walter White waited 4 seasons to start cooking meth? Get on with it already! That douche Joffery finally gets whats coming to him. Sansa bolts. Dany and her army getting stronger and bigger. I think I would have been most pissed If I watched this week to week when the episode comes that Tyrion is sentenced to death at the end. Wait a week to see how that plays out, and the next episode is just a long battle with no Tyrion at all. So you have to wait another week. I would have been pissed as a viewer.
Season 5 it slowed back down, until the end. The faith militia stuff was interesting, and putting Cersi in her place. The walk of atonement, just, wow. I feel like Peter Angelos should have to do this down Pratt Street with someone ringing the bell and shouting "shame" at him. I don't wish harm upon anyone. Just a walk of atonement and we throw tomatoes and eggs at him. Too much to ask?
Season 6 was easily the best. Battle of the Bastards was easily the best episode of the whole series. I was waiting to play the "most overrated program in tv history" card once I finished the series. But season 6 it finally got to great television status, and I was fully invested in getting to the end and seeing what happens next as fast as I could. Prior to season 6 though, I did not get the hype, and the endless analyzation that only the very best shows get. If I had watched this week to week, I would have given up at some point before this for sure. No surprise that business in the series picked up apparently when the books came to end. No, I'm not ever going to read the books. 1500 pages and 90% of it is people roaming the land? Not a chance.
Season 7, the plot holes and time frames been have discussed ad nauseam. Still entertaining television. Dany. Fly a dragon beyond the wall and see what is really up there. Sending Jon on that mission to bring back a white walker was the dumbest thing on the whole show. Again, ad nauseam. They mention at some point it's a thousand miles from Winterfell to Kings Landing. According to the map on the opening credits, it's about that far up to the wall too. March a 1000 miles, or fly something up there. Hmmmm... Carcetti biting the dust was great. I know why they needed 18 months to release season 8. New opening credits sequence to make!
Season 8, Battle of Winterfell could have been better. My gripe was that Jon and Dany flew around at about 30,000 feet up in the clouds for way too long and couldn't see anything...instead of like 30 feet up laying waste to the WWs in the way she later laid waste to KL. I thought the faces of Arya would pay off more. But I guess her fight training as a "no one" was the bigger payoff in the way she was able to assassinate the Night King. Her time spent at the house of Black and White was akin to "The Bride's" time spent with Pai Mei in Kill Bill. Really liked S8 E2 and S8 E4 where many characters united to prepare for the battle, then the celebratory post battle reunions. Jamie and Brianne. Although Brianne left out the part in the book where Jamie PUSHED A KID OUT A WINDOW SO HE COULD BANG HIS SISTER!! Jamie's moral compass is all over the place in this series. It's like the writers get real bipolar with him. Being a binger, I still by season 8 associated Arya as a little girl, and kinda turned my head a little when she got naked. I was like, please be 18. Thought the ending was pretty good, just wish Bran was a better character overall. Makes sense having him become King though for the reasons laid out at the end. Learn from histories mistakes and all.
Favorite character: Tywin Lannister. The Lannisters are the bad guys, but Charles Dance has such a commanding screen presence, I wanted to see more and more and more of him. He's also the villain in Last Action Hero, which is probably my favorite bad movie, and he kills it in there too. Most of his lines in Last Action Hero could have fit in GOT too. Says to the kid, "I'll have you know I have killed people smarter, and younger, than, you." I was upset when they killed Tywin off because I just loved his character. At that point in the show, Tywin, as well as Tyrion, the Hound, and Arya, was the glue keeping me watching.
Least favorite character: Bran Stark.
"I'm not a Stark, I'm something else."
"I'm not a Stark, I'm something else."
"I'm not a Stark, I'm something else."
"Bran Stark, you should be King"
Even when he tells people of his powers NO ONE ASKS HIM ANY QUESTIONS!!! He has so much information he's probably with holding, partly cause he's an emo adolescent teenager that wants to be left alone. But partly because NO ONE ASKS HIM ANYTHING.
Also, he lets Jamie live instead being mad at him pushing him out of the window because Jamie could be an asset in the battle. You have like 200,000 guys, dragons, witches, one Jamie Lannister makes zero difference. And Theon, he looked out for Sansa, which acquits him of burning and stringing up two little kids, who he thought were Bran and Rickon, I guess.
Cersei knew she could push Dany to insanity, and doesn't care about the people of KL. She knew Dany would lay waste to all the innocent people and if she did take the throne, she would do it as the mad queen, and have no supporters if she got there. She got to the throne with nothing left to rule and I think that was Cersei's intent.
Thought before the finale that with KL leveled to the ground, nothing there to rule anymore, that Winterfell would become the new capital, and Jon Snow the King of the 7 kingdoms, ruling from Winterfell. But since he doesn't want to be king, appoints Arya because she was the hero who killed the night king.
Sansa mentions I think in season 5, that she is 14 years old. She's the biggest 14 year old in the world. I think in a GOT set in the future she is a giant. Like a 30 foot giant.
Arya is a flat earther. Said she wanted to get to the edge of the map.
Thought of some other stuff along the way, but can't remember it all.
Ranking the seasons: 6, 8, 1, 4, 7, 5, 3, 2.
I get all the hype for the last couple of years, because you want to see the big battles and who is the last person on the throne when the music stops is a big deal with so many hands in the pot. But I don't get all the hype the show got 4+ years ago. I know you have to develop characters and plots, but that should take maximum one season, then a payoff season to follow. Not 3-5 years with a couple of "moments" in there.
I'd give the series a grade of C. But I'm gonna bump it up to a B for things like cinematography and music being really great. Not an A at all though because too much of the development was boring. Too many plot holes later on. Acting was meh.