The Biggest Mistake the ‘Game of Thrones’ Writers Made in Season 8

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is very controversial among fans. The highly anticipated final season of the HBO show failed to please many people, and one of the most popular shows on TV seemed to become the most disliked.

So what caused this fall from grace? Fans felt the writers made many mistakes, including one that stands out among the rest.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ writers blundered character development in season 8

One mistake the Game of Thrones writers made in season 8 was with character development. According to Insider, the end of the arcs for many characters left fans “feeling shocked, confused and even betrayed.” This is most clear with the character of Daenerys Targaryen. Her transformation from somewhat heroic to tyrannical left many viewers upset.

This character development, which occurred over only three episodes, was extremely quick and hard to digest for many fans. Her decision to slaughter the people of King’s Landing was especially shocking. “It just didn’t feel like the decision that the Daenerys we’d followed for eight seasons would make,” Insider says.

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Daenerys was not the only character to suffer from unsatisfying character development. Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister also had upsetting endings to their arcs. Jon ended up killing Daenerys and was later banished to the Night’s Watch. But would Jon really have killed the queen he was loyal to, who also happened to be the woman he loved?

Jaime Lannister, too, seemed to regress. He left his sister/lover Cersei at the end of season 7 to help fight the Night King and the White Walkers, only to go back to Cersei and die with her at the end of season 8.

What was the most significant mistake the writers made with ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8?

DB Weiss, Emilia Clarke, and David Benioff at the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere
D.B. Weiss, Emilia Clarke, and David Benioff at the premiere for Game of Thrones season 8 | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO/Getty Images

The character development was not the only thing to suffer in season 8. The plot did, as well. To put it simply, season 8 of Game of Thrones was really rushed. Scenes that would have had a lot of buildup in past seasons just kind of happened.

When Daenerys first rode her dragon Drogon, it was the end of a satisfying scene where Drogon rescues his mother from the Sons of the Harpy in the fighting pits of Meereen. In comparison, the scene where Jon rides Rhaegal just happened without much fuss made about it. 

There was so much going on in season 8 that the writers didn’t have time to make the big moments feel big. The episode where Jon rode Rhaegal also featured him reuniting with Arya and Bran, Theon Greyjoy saving his sister Yara, Jaime Lannister arriving at Winterfell, and Jon learning about his true parentage.

In an episode so crowded, it’s somewhat understandable that Jon riding a dragon got lost in the shuffle. However, the writers probably shouldn’t have made the episodes so stuffed. With more time and space to digest all of these revelations, fans might have accepted the show’s conclusion more readily.