Game of Thrones ended about a year ago. I was aware the anniversary of the finale was approaching and considered rewatching the season. The original plan was to potentially recap episodes and see how I felt a year later. I made it approximately 10 minutes into the first episode of the season and had to turn off the television and go for a walk.
I watched the Previously On and was reminded of the many storylines that did not matter because when it came down to it, this was about the ultimate battle between the living and the dead. It didn't matter which side you were on, everyone needed to band together and fight a common enemy and thought that sounded pretty darn relevant. Then, the more I thought about it as clips continued to roll showing old characters and plots I realized Game of Thrones is not a metaphor or an allegory. It's just a stupid story about zombies and dragons in the woods. Bill Simmons was right all along.
From the initial glimpse of Arya in the season premiere, I just started to get angry. With every shot of someone arriving at Winterfell I was reminded of their fate and how stupidly it all turned out. Everyone was awful. I don't need to watch it again to know that. Game of Thrones is dead to me.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were originally responsible for a great show. I remember watching the first episode alone and then immediately making my friends watch it. Game of Thrones was one of those shows that you pushed on people and they immediately got into. I bought the DVD of the first season, gave it to a friend and she ended up binging eight episodes in a night.
But then there were the final season(s). Season 7 was split into two short seasons where too much story was crammed into too few episodes that were too long individually. They had a winning formula and threw it out the window because Benioff and Weiss were offered things they cared more about. They blew a 3-1 lead. Assistants ended up writing episodes as they took a hands-off approach. Having their Star Wars movies taken away is the closest we may ever get to justice.
Game of Thrones should probably still be on. There were enough characters and story that it didn't even have to be dragged out. It's pointless to guess how many more episodes it would have taken, but it couldn't have been that many to just make the least bit of sense. Every character's story ended in an unsatisfactory or stupid way.
And if that's the end of the books... why would anyone read that? I'm sure George R.R. Martin is making progress on some epic literature, but the television show is canon. Nothing he wrote after the series finale matters. If he writes a better, more satisfying ending, it doesn't matter. It's no more relevant than fan fiction. We saw how the story ended and it was a horrible disappointment. That will never change. What a disappointment.