Game of Thrones Season 8 Pitch Meeting Revisited


  • Game of Thrones season 8 received criticism for its rushed pacing, abandonment of character setups, and unanswered questions.
  • The season’s focus on large-scale set pieces over meaningful character arcs was widely criticized.
  • The show’s departure from George R.R. Martin’s novels and the rushed development cycle also contributed to the final season’s issues.

With just over four years gone since it concluded, Screen Rant‘s Pitch Meeting series is revisiting its Game of Thrones season 8 episode. The HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels came to a close with 2019’s season 8, in which the Great War against the Nighty King and the Army of the Dead, as well as the Last War for control of the Iron Throne. With the story venturing into original material over direct adaptation of the novels, Game of Thrones season 8 became the subject of critique among longtime fans of the show, who called it a disappointing end to a once-groundbreaking show.

Screen Rant‘s Pitch Meeting series has returned, though taking a step back in time and revisiting the Game of Thrones season 8 episode. The episode, as seen at the top, took aim at the final season’s various issues, including its rushed pacing, doing away with various character setups, and unanswered questions. The video also sees Pitch Meeting host Ryan George reflecting on the original episode’s legacy, which became one of the series’ most-watched to date, and answering viewers’ questions about the making of the show.

Why Game of Thrones Season 8 Remains The Most Divisive

Daenerys Targaryen looking emotional while smoke blows behind her in Game of Thrones.

As the original Pitch Meeting episode pointed out, Game of Thrones season 8 was already faced with a number of hurdles heading into its release, the primary of which being it would feature a shortened episode count of just six episodes in comparison to the 10-episode count most prior seasons held. Season 7 did clock in with a similarly shorter count of just seven episodes, though had the benefit of prioritized development, whereas season 8 was announced during its predecessor’s development, and endured a rushed cycle.

This, in turn, led to a variety of issues throughout season 8’s run. In addition to its pacing, the focus on large-scale set pieces over meaningful character arcs became widely criticized, especially as many of the latter that were set up in prior seasons were done away with, namely Jaime Lannister’s redemption arc as he abandoned his family to be with his incestuous sister and died with her because of it. Daenerys’ villainous turn in the series finale also sparked a lot of backlash, seemingly coming out of nowhere for many viewers and undoing the rise to meaningful power the rest of the show spotlighted.

While the rushed development and production cycle could be blamed for its issues, the other major factor affecting Game of Thrones season 8 was the show no longer adapting Martin’s novels, as the story had gotten ahead of the already-published works while the wait continues for The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. Though Martin provided insight on what’s to come from the two novels, showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff’s vision looks to have deviated enough from the rest of the source material to derail the final season. Thankfully for longtime fans, House of the Dragon season 1 put the franchise back on track, and with Martin’s closer involvement on the prequel, one can hope this win streak continues.