When Game of Thrones first started, back in 2011, it was unexpected, edgy, dramatic, and most importantly, had us completely invested in all the characters - good or evil.
Eight years later, as the series comes to an end, the last season feels like a shadow of series we grew up loving. It may still deliver on shock value, but logic is definitely missing. And it's difficult to watch our favourite characters fall prey to something worse than death - incomplete character arcs and rushed storylines.
Simply put, it does not 'feel' like Game of Thrones anymore. And Twitter user Daniel Silvermint's explanation - which he provided in a Twitter thread and has no spoilers - makes complete sense.
Daniel, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is employed as an Assistant Professor in the University of Connecticut, attributed the change in the show to 'behind-the-scenes process of plotters vs. pantsers'.
According to Silvermint, pantsers are creators who 'discover the story as they write it', while plotters created 'detailed outline before committing a word to the paper'.
The problem that GoT is facing is that though Martin - the original author of the series - is one of the most 'epic pantsers', his books suffered from a natural drawback of being a pantser. There were far too many character arcs, seeds of stories, and plot points that emerged, which could not be tied together in time and delayed the final books.
The showrunners thus tried to 'take over management of GRRM’s sprawling garden, with understandably mixed results.' However, the showrunners could also not stray away from the ending that they already had in place as per their discussion with Martin.
They essentially started a backwards approach, where they were aware of the big moments they wanted to deliver, and the end they wanted to approach, to stay true to Game of Thrones.
What big moments did they want to deliver? Where should the characters end up? What did they think we, the audience, wanted to see on screen before the show came to an end? It was a Game of Thrones bucket list. /18— Daniel Silvermint (@DSilvermint) May 7, 2019
And that's exactly where the show went wrong - by trying to cater to a fixed future, rather than allowing the characters to naturally make their way to an ending that felt more plausible.
No one’s to blame. Keeping a million plates spinning the way GRRM did is hard. And setting those plates down without breaking too many, which the showrunners had to do, is also really hard. Creation in general is hard. /23— Daniel Silvermint (@DSilvermint) May 7, 2019
Simply put, the characters now making the decisions don't have the depth of the characters we've seen grow over an 8-year-eight-seasons long period.
That’s why no amount of spectacle or fan service can make this ending as satisfying as it should be. Resolutions invite us to consider the story as a whole; where it all started, where it all ended up. And we can feel the discontinuity in this one. /29— Daniel Silvermint (@DSilvermint) May 7, 2019
Silvermint clarifies that it's not about one approach being better than the other, but about the fact that the approach to the series' development changed mid-series. And that has made all the difference.
You can read the complete thread here.