May 232019

Please put down the tomatoes and hear me out for a sec. :)

Season 8 was, I believe we all agree, even worse than anyone had anticipated (and I had anticipated something pretty bad). But if you can overlook everything that was built up before in the series and then shat on, the last episode was pretty good.

I know that is a lot of sin to overlook. One doesn’t build up something this beautiful and then murder it (in the artistic sense) and get off without a lot of anger. And I realize that if it was evaluated purely on its own merits without that series-murder for context, the final episode is still bad. Anyone who hadn’t watched any other GoT would just see idiot characters making stupid choices to drive a bad narrative. Characters who contradict themselves and make nonsensical arguments, which no one else seems to notice.

But when you take it all together–the amazing series, the precipitous decline, and the absolute travesty of Season Eight… it final episode comes through as a good mood piece. This episode was the final death rattle of a show we once loved. It was a funeral for vision and beauty. Everything was dark and dreary and awful, and even the sunny day at the end was basically a spiteful sun-god laughing at all men’s follies; rather than cheerful.

In form and structure, it followed what we’ve been conditioned to accept from Season Eight. Failure and despair at something once-great reduced to ash by inhuman callousness. The audience is feeling this emotion one level up, despairing for a show they used to love, reduced to crap by writers who just don’t care anymore.

So it didn’t matter that characters acted idiotically and contradicted themselves. This episode was about us as modern viewers, being sad about a show destroyed… rather than us as vicarious participants being sad that a family/city was destroyed. The contradictions and nonsense arguments are par for the course at this point. That only drives in the point that all is lost.

But it’s not just that I was sad because the series had died. Many series have done the same. Phantom Menace did it to a cultural institution. Why don’t I say those things were “good” in their way? Well… the final GoT episode was, itself, all about the aesthetic of despair. We were sad for different reasons, yes. Nonetheless, this episode gave us all the visuals, music, pacing, and depressed acting to revel in that emotion. I wouldn’t have said it was a good final episode if it had been like ep 5, with all the explosions and fights-to-the-death, or the frantic idiocy of ep 3. Those were also bad episodes that nailed this coffin shut. But only this episode had the proper aesthetic of loss and despair. I liked that.

Good bye, show that I used to know. All is mourning.

  4 Responses to “Final Episode of Game of Thrones was kinda good, in a way”

  1. This is unrelated but its hard to find good information. Imagine you had a powerful need to consult an intelligent person but had nobody on hand irl to help. Said undertaking would probably fail to be fun for person in question. I know if I was able to diconnect myself entirely emotionally from my situation that a carbon copy of me would be ideal to help me with this.

    So basically I need to turn off me in the moment either using a person I don’t know irl or by myself. If you have any hints it’d be neat.

    • I had to think on this for a bit.
      The answer I think most likely to give optimal results (given condition*) is to submit an Ask to The Unit of Caring.
      It’s an awesome rationalist advice blog, which sorta came into being just by the author being thoughtful and awesome in general, so people sent her questions, and overtime it sorta became The Thing there. The condition* is that she gets a LOT of asks and does not have time to respond to even a large fraction of them. So while help there is The Best IMHO, it’s also a gamble.
      Not sure about the next-best option. Generally people like being asked for advice… so… maybe ask someone who’s judgement you trust, and who you don’t think would have an emotional stake in this? If I come up with something else I’ll reply again.

      • Hey thanks. It definitely wasn’t a throw a written question at a board type thing. I think just filling in the context in the shortest possible way would leave the longest email I ever sent you looking small. Definitely way longer than short story length.

        What I ended up doing was getting away from the world (my PC and phone) and just being alive and doing things which didn’t involve talking to anyone. After feeling comparatively emotionally settled I just relied on the more settled me to come up with the answers. I did the uh… idk what to call it. I did that thing that Potter does in HPMOR where you work out what you will decide given certain results in advance. I did this to avoid changing the goal posts on myself later rather than to commit to a course of action but I think it works either way. For anyone worried about their own emotional state getting in the way of responses on the spot I can definitely recommend trying out pre-commiting to responses. Calming down enough to make unemotional commitments was the hard part but I just hid for a few days to get that done.

        There isn’t anyone who’s judgment I really trust that I know irl. I trust your judgement in the areas I trust it because you are fairly open with how you think in public places where I can analyse what you have thought (and I can even challenge you and get responses). I’ve yet to meet anyone in the real world who was even remotely this interested in communicating openly.

        I think just committing to dealing with it rationally and talking to someone I think is in favour of being rational helped me. Or it felt like it helped. I really have no way of knowing whether the soothing effect was all in my mind really. It was the mind that needed soothing so it is hard to tell. So I read your post late but I think it was helpful anway.

        I’ll be using BernieWorm as my handle from now on. I’ve decided to stop being a worthless liar. (old handle tool lyrics)

        • Well damn, that sounds intense! I am happy to hear that you have come to a realization, and have taken effective steps to steer your life to a better place. :) And if I was in some small way helpful to that process, I’m very glad of it.

          Also, I didn’t realize that’s what IAJAWL stood for. I love Tool, and that song accompanied me through dark times as well. I am in full support of your decision, it sounds like a very good one.

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