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Why it's good that Game of Thrones is coming to an end

Wednesday 14th November 2018

The wild winds of Westeros will finally stop blowing when Game of Thrones comes to an end in 2019. For the past seven years, HBO has turned George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga into one of the most epic TV events of the 21st Century.

With Martin already revealing to Variety that Game of Thrones could’ve run for 13 seasons, execs had the chance to milk the cash cow for all it’s worth. However, with just six episodes of the fiery fantasy left, here’s why it’s good Game of Thrones is coming to an end when it is.

Looking at it, Game of Thrones has had a pretty good run and outlasted other fan-favourite shows like Lost, Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos. Continuously ruling it over the network ratings, the fantasy epic has never dropped the ball. Game of Thrones has not (yet) had a bad season, but if HBO had dragged the show out simply to make more money, there is every chance that the essence of what made it great in the first place would be diluted.

Season 3 and 4 split A Storm of Swords across 20 episodes, but considering the amount of action that happened in that book, it makes sense. As the show has continued, showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have diverted away from Martin’s material.

Game of Thrones odds

Despite the protests of fans, notable storylines and characters like Lady Stoneheart (see video above), Victarion Greyjoy, and Arianne Martell have been axed to make room for a more streamlined version of Thrones. If HBO had planned to make a supersized show across 10+ seasons, it would’ve been easy to slowly weave these characters into the plot and follow the books more closely.

Elsewhere, while Game of Thrones has one of the biggest casts around, we’ve lost a lot of big characters along the way. Even in Season 7, long-running characters like Olenna Tyrell, Thoros of Myr, Benjen Stark and Petyr Baelish all met their maker. Thrones would never run out of characters, but it already feels like we’re heading into the show’s swansong.

As the Season 7 finale saw the Wall tumble to the ground and Cersei double-cross the heroes of the show, it seems only right that the various villains put their endgame into play. The Starks were finally reunited at Winterfell, Jon Snow met with Daenerys Targaryen, and the long-held R+L=J theory (see video below) was finally confirmed.

Bearing in mind that the whole premise of the first few seasons of Game of Thrones was the War of the Five Kings and race for the Iron Throne, even audiences have stopped worrying who gets to sit on that pointy throne.

The White Walkers have always been a credible threat in the background, but only since Season 5’s “Hardhome” has anyone started to take them seriously. It has already become a running joke that it has taken the Night King this long to crawl along the North, so just imagine if the showrunners had tried to play this out over another five seasons.

If Game of Thrones had gone on for longer, the show might’ve been completely unrecognisable compared to the novels. Fans are waiting for Martin’s sixth book after the release of A Dance with Dragons in 2011 and there is still no sign of The Winds of Winter. If Martin continued at the same pace, the final book (A Dream of Spring) likely won’t be out until 2025 or beyond.

Finally, Game of Thrones ending in 2019 paves the way for those prequel spin-offs. Although HBO is still being cagey about its plans for the spin-offs, it opens the door to an unlimited amount of potential and the chance to explore more of Martin’s imagination. So far, only one prequel series has been officially greenlit, but HBO clearly has plans for more. It may be tragic that Game of Thrones is coming to an end already, it’s a case of watch this space.

Game of Thrones odds: Who will rule Westeros?

Bran Stark 1/1
Daenerys Targaryen 3/1
Any Child Of Daenerys Targaryen 3/1
Any Child Of Jon Snow 3/1
Jon Snow 7/2
Tyrion Lannister 11/2
Cersei Lannister 9/1
Nights King (Current Leader Of The White Walkers) 10/1
Sansa Stark 12/1
Arya Stark 16/1
Gendry 16/1
Any Child Of Cersei 20/1
Samwell Tarly 33/1
Jaime Lannister 33/1
Lord Varys 50/1
Euron Greyjoy (Crows Eye) 50/1
The Children Of The Forest 66/1
Ser Davos 80/1
Podrick Payne 80/1
Jaqen H'ghar 100/1
Bronn Of The Blackwater 100/1
Grey Worm 100/1
Missandei 100/1
Brienne Of Tarth 100/1
Lyanna Mormont 100/1
Jorah Mormont 100/1
Victarion Greyjoy 100/1
Tycho Nestoris 100/1
Beric Dondarrion 100/1
Tormund Giantsbane 100/1
Theon Greyjoy 125/1
Yara Greyjoy 125/1
Catelyn Stark (Lady Stoneheart) 150/1
Eddison Tollett (Dolorous Edd) 150/1
Meera Reed 250/1
Ellaria Sand 250/1
Ser Pounce 250/1
Illyrio Mopatis 250/1
Hot Pie 325/1
Gilly 325/1
Ed Sheeran 325/1

Game of Thrones odds: Who will rule Westeros?

3. Any Child Of Daenerys Targaryen
8. Nights King (Current Leader Of The White Walkers)
16. Euron Greyjoy (Crows Eye)
17. The Children Of The Forest
33. Catelyn Stark (Lady Stoneheart)
34. Eddison Tollett (Dolorous Edd)
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 15:37 . Odds are subject to change.
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