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22 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Fiery and icy feelings from fans as ‘Game of Thrones’ ends

AP, LOS ANGELES
Fiery and icy feelings from fans as ‘Game of Thrones’ ends
This image released by HBO shows from left to right Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright and Sophie Turner in a scene from the final episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ that aired Sunday, May 19, 2019.

Fire rained down and heads came off. There was punishment, banishment and retribution. And that was just from the fans.

‘Game of Thrones’ aired its 73rd and final episode Sunday night, showing its gift for drawing record-setting numbers of viewers and for leaving those viewers deeply divided about the results, as they have been for finales from “Seinfeld” to “The Sopranos” to “Lost.”

The final episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ at least brought some clear winners, at least one clear loser and a major upset.

Brandon Stark, who until recently appeared happy to remain a mystic philosopher forever, instead becomes philosopher-king, Bran the Broken.

Yet he doesn’t get to sit on the Iron Throne (a dragon melted that) or rule the Seven Kingdoms (his sister Sansa broke one off to become queen of an independent North.)

And Daenerys Targaryen became the last of the show’s many, many major character deaths, given a Shakespearean send-off by Jon Snow, who watched her burn thousands of innocents and believed she had become a mad tyrant.  

“You are my queen, now and always,” Jon says to Daenerys as he shoves a dagger into her, giving her what may have been the shortest reign of any monarch in Westeros.

It was the endgame of a heel-turn from a week earlier that brought more fan outrage than any other moment in the always provocative show.

Actress Emilia Clarke, who plays the role of Daenerys, told Entertainment Weekly that she cried when she first read the script in 2017 but defended the arc in the end, saying it was true to the character and she found her final moments “beautiful and touching.”

“Hopefully, what you’ll see in that last moment as she’s dying is: There’s the vulnerability — there’s the little girl you met in season 1,” Clarke said.

The negative reaction spilled into the finale, with fans on Twitter in particular expressing outrage about the outcome, even if many agreed it was reflective of the way the unjust real world works.

“Good morning to everybody except Bran,” columnist Jemele Hill tweeted Monday, “who despite being a wack archer, sending Hodor and Theon to their deaths and chilling next to a fire while everybody was fighting, got to the king.”

The episode’s leaps from big event to big event to tie up its many plot threads did nothing to quiet criticism that the show that made its name on carefully meandering storytelling had given that up in the final two seasons in favor of attempts to please.

“Like most of Season 8, it felt like a Wikipedia summary more than a full story being told,” Gina Carbone of CinemaBlend wrote.

Critics were genuinely divided. The episode had a 57 percent fresh score among reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes, and even positive reviews acknowledged the impossibility of pulling off an ending that would be broadly satisfying.

“It was everything nobody wanted, but it was still quite a thing: adequately just, narratively symmetrical and sufficiently poignant,” Hank Stuever wrote in the Washington Post.

Regardless of how fans felt about the final season, they never stopped watching.

The finale brought in 19.3 million viewers across HBO’s platforms, topping the previous episode’s 18.4 million to make it the most-viewed episode of any kind in the channel’s history.

Just after it aired on the East Coast, nine of Twitter’s top 10 trending topics were related to the show.

Fans also noticed another gaffe, a plastic water bottle at the feet of Samwell Tarly, like the paper coffee cup clearly visible on a table next to Daenerys earlier in the season.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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