This might be getting a little off topic but I can't resist Game of Thrones/ASOIAF discourse.
To be fair, it’s really, REALLY hard to drop the ball as hard as GOT did with its last two seasons. The higher they fly, the harder they fall, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything fall quite so hard and fast as GOT did.
What makes the situation interesting to me is the divide in the fanbase between book readers and the more general audience. Whereas many book readers could diagnose adaptational issues that were cropping up very early on and were in the process of snowballing into something much larger, the majority of the audience remained completely ignorant of these. Most people seem to characterize what happened with the show as only a case of a disappointing final season, but I see it very differently.
Usually disappointing endings are preceded by a long, slow decline where the show’s already kinda lost its way and has been on life support for a while
To me, Game of Thrones was a show that had been on a steady decline as far back as, like, Season 2. Not that the show was absolutely awful that early on, but it was steadily getting worse and by Season 5 I honestly think that it had become pretty terrible. But the vast majority of viewers didn't see it that way at all, and the show was still on the top of its game in Season 6 and even 7 in terms of audience goodwill and overall popularity.
while GOT undeniably declined in its later seasons, I believe the fanbase would’ve cut them some slack for it had the ending delivered.
That's what I find so interesting. I think the show was more or less doomed from the start. Season 8 is such a bizarre creature to me because it's continuing a story that, by this point, has morphed into trite fantasy rubbish that is in no way faithful to the spirit of the original narrative, but then it takes a U-Turn and attempts to stitch onto this bastardized, degenerated version of the story conclusions that only work in the context of that original narrative. So it's this weird Frankenstein's monster which no one is really satisfied with. Like, the general audience is enraged that they didn't get Jon and Dany Sue on the Iron Throne, ruling a prosperous Seven Kingdoms through the power of Targaryen incest
, while book readers are upset at how terribly built up and written the whole thing is. I guess a way of looking at it is that the general audience is angry about the destination, while the readers are angry about the journey (though even that is an overly simplistic perspective, in general GOT is just a clusterfuck and the discourse surrounding it is appropriately deranged).