Has winter actually come for the show itself? Once upon a time, it seemed that Hell would freeze over before Game of Thrones toppled from its pedestal. As discontent builds from followers of the TV show and original readers of the source books, do the show makers run the risk of not only failing to live up to expectations but also to ruin the legacy of one of the greatest TV cultural phenomenons of our time? If the last two episodes continue the downward spiral in critical and fan reactions, will they mean all that came before is devalued and becomes less significant and powerful? Will the ending spoil everything forever?
George RR Martin summed it all up with comparisons to two other iconic cult shows which divided fans with their controversial endings and he did not mince words.
He said: “We watched [Lost] every week trying to figure it out, and as it got deeper and deeper I kept saying, ‘They better have something good in mind for the end. This better pay off here. And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion.
“I want to give them (the fans) something terrific. What if I f**k it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they’ll come after me with pitchforks and torches.”
He then drew an even more painful parallel: “At the risk of starting another feud, let me say that I was a huge fan of Ron Moore’s revival of Battlestar Galactica (though not of the original, which most of us in the SF community still call Battlestar Ponderosa), but I hated the ending of that series even more than I hated the ending of Lost…
“The ending was terrible (though, as a caveat, I am not sure that there is ANY way to resolve that premise in a way that I’d like, and god knows the way the new show ended was infinitely preferable to what happened with the original Battlestar Ponderosa) … but those great early episodes don’t become any less great because later episodes sucked.”
Martin, then, believes whatever happens in the final episodes of a show does not necessarily ruin the show for all time, even though he also used the words “cheated” and “hated.” Incredibly he gave these comments in 2011 and 2012 and yet suddenly they send a chill up fans’ spines.
Season 8 of the show has already pulled the rug from fans with the abrupt dismissal of the Night King and all his armies followed by the death of a second dragon. If this is really A Song of Ice and Fire, there isn’t much of either left.
The HBO blockbuster has two episodes to restore the Westerosi epic to its throne in a way which honours all that came before and ensures its legacy for all that is to come in the spin-off series.