Why you do this, Game of Thrones makers?
Well, to start with. I have apologised to my buddies for declaring Game of Thrones "superior" to Breaking Bad on our WhatsApp group even before watching the medieval epic fantasy's final season. I had to. I was wrong.
If you're going to make a show that has dragons spitting fire, CGI direwolves, zombie humans riding zombie horses, humans resurrecting from the dead, men (and women) changing their faces at whim AND restricting audience below 18 from viewing it, you've got to come up with something special. And Game of Thrones was special. Game of Thrones was superior to anything we had ever witnessed on television. In case you missed it, I am emphasising on the word WAS.
The show, an adaptation from George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy novels - was set on the continents of Westeros and Essos with an ensemble cast, larger-than-life production, and several plots and story arcs set across the seven kingdoms.
GoT creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss took up the enormous task and weaved the epic drama in a way that kept me engrossed for the first seven seasons. But it all boiled down to the last chapter and once D&D ran out of GRMM's source material, the fate of my beloved characters was left in the hands of the show's masterminds.
Did D&D mess things up in the finale? Most definitely yes, to put it mildly.
Those goof-ups can easily be given a pass when you think of the enormity of Battle of the Bastards, the painstakingly designed frozen lake for the sequence with the dead beyond the Wall, the prosthetics put together to give us the convincing Night King. Of course, how can I forget the sheer awesomeness of background score by Ramin Djawadi? Cersei Lannister, Light of the Seven, and the destruction of Sept of Baelor. You remember.
Wasn't the show's backbone its complex storylines and the conflicted characters stitched into it? Why were there too many loose threads, rushed sequences, no epic build-ups, abrupt ends, and so many unanswered questions?
What was the point of Jamie Lannister's incredible character arc? Which green eyes was Arya Stark prophesied to shut? Why is there still a Night's watch? Did Bran know he'd be the king? If yes, why did he not tell Jon Snow about Daenerys turning into Mad Queen and killing thousands of innocents? How did the Dothraki magically appear in the final attack? Most importantly, who cleaned up King's Landing so fast after all that destruction? Surf Excel, you have competition.
Bear with me. Just one more time.
Why did the evilest character, probably in television history, Cersei Lannister, die under bricks and cement?
And now I have to admit, Breaking Bad did a far better job. Well at least, Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, wasn't Lost while shooting the show's finale and had things figured out.
"All the things I did, you need to understand. I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was alive," the under-achieving Chemistry teacher turned cancer-stricken "crystal blue" methamphetamine maker Walter White confesses to his wife Skyler.
The scene was, in many ways, more satisfying than Heisenberg actually riding in his remote-controlled machine gun-fitted Cadillac (Yeah, Science!) and killing the Aryan Brotherhood for double-crossing him, killing his brother-in-law Hank and keeping Jesse Pinkman captive.
Because it was in this scene, Walter finally comes to terms and perhaps realization, that it was his own greed, thrill, and desire for power that drove him into all the terrible things he did. Even the decision to confess to his wife, whom he had lied to throughout, was a selfish one.
"I'm doing it for family," was just an excuse for him to pursue his motives and when he finally tells "I did it for me," he liberates himself and the viewers from his cooked-up lie.
I missed that level of satisfaction while watching the Game of Thrones finale. Was I was wrong when I called it the GO(A)T? Yep.
That title is still held by Breaking Bad for the show wasn't on meth. Game of Thrones was.