With Game of Thrones being such an epic series with so many characters and storylines, wrapping up the series in a way that would leave fans satisfied was a daunting task. Unfortunately, fans and critics have largely agreed that the show-runners dropped the ball. While “The Iron Throne” will likely be remembered among TV’s worst series finales alongside Dexter and Lost, the season as a whole suffered.
Jon Snow was pushed to the side for much of the season and other major characters saw their endings unfold without enough explanation. The end result, was a finale and season that left fans throwing up their arms in frustration and some even petitioning HBO to redo the entire season (Sorry, not gonna happen.).
As the graphs below show, season eight of GOT suffered like no other season before it. Whereas other seasons had fresh ratings with Rotten Tomatoes, season eight smelled worse than the rotting corpse of a white walker.
This first graph shows just how much the audience loathed season eight compared to earlier seasons.
The second graph tacks on which episodes in season eight received the lowest RT scores with audiences. “The Long Night” was one of the season’s few highlights.
While season eight may have left a bad taste in the mouths of GOT fans, that’s only because they know how fantastic earlier seasons were. Eight of the show’s 73 episodes received a 100% fresh rating. It’s almost difficult to believe a series that delivered episodes like “The Rains of Castamere” and “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” could churn out a disappointment like “The Bells.”
Even with season eight getting so much hate from fans, let us not forget, GOT had its share of disappointing episodes before “Winterfell.” Season five was an overall great season with highlights like “Hardhome” that made up for earlier disappointments such as “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.”
As these final two graphs show, critics were somewhat kinder to GOT in season eight than the fans. While fans’ ratings and critics’ ratings seemed relatively even-keeled throughout season six, fans felt the show was slipping by the end of season seven, whereas critics overall were still on-board. By season eight though, all bets were off and GOT had slipped 23 points with the critics.
So was GOT’s final season really as bad as all the media headlines and tweets made it out to be? Well, the data seems to back up all the internet outrage. Sorry, Jon Snow, the truth can sting sometimes.