Why It’s Very Rare for a Series Finale To Go Well

Game of Thrones

I might have said this in another article, but people actually seem to need counseling following the Game of Thrones finale. Emily McCain of ABC Action News is just one of many to report on this turn of events that has seen people moaning and groaning over the ending of their favorite show, and it’s enough to make many of us laugh and others simply roll their eyes since the truth is that many finales don’t go the way that people want them to. This is a common misconception that the showrunners of any program are going to listen to the people and give them exactly what they want, when in truth if they did that the show would be even worse and more disjointed than people already think it is. The fact that GoT has sparked such a debate is a bit saddening only because people have been arguing over the show for years now when quite honestly it’s been one of the only shows in recent times to really hold onto its origins tighter than most. If you want disappointing look to comic book movies and TV shows. They might be highly satisfying in some regards, but when it comes time to wrap them up or tally up all the ‘mistakes’ that people notice there are few other projects in all of Hollywood that would be criticized as heavily.

Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture puts it very well when he states that there are several reasons why the ending of any series is no longer as important as it used to be. With some shows we have the knowledge that it’s not really the end, that it will continue in some way, shape, or form. With others there’s the idea that the bulk of the story leading up to the finale is going to remembered far more than the finale ever will. Then of course there’s the denial phase in which people don’t want to admit that they’re going to miss a show and they attempt to forget about why they loved it so much. Some do this quite easily and actually forget the show entirely after a while, but some at least remember the show but with a hint of bitterness. It’s amusing really to watch people nearly break down when their favorite shows go off the air, as though the idea that the shows could last forever was something that they figured should have been factored into the contracts of those that made the show special. It’s almost as though they expect the actors to simply take up the role one season after another and continue forward despite the passing of the years.

Some stories do last for a very long time, while others falter early. A finale is supposed to be a fitting end to a show that has reached a culmination point that cannot be easily breached or improved upon, hence the need for Game of Thrones to finally move on as its characters go their separate ways to lead their own lives. It is very interesting though that the Starks ended up coming out of the war on top while the other houses were either brought close to destruction or were forced to bend the knee at one point after realizing the wisdom of Tyrion’s words. In terms of whether or not the GoT finale was really that great you would have to ask each individual fan their opinion, and chances are you would get a lot of differing viewpoints with only a couple of different core answers. It was either great or it was horrible.

Ben Kesslen of ABC News has it right as well when he says that for many people a finale is like a breakup with someone that you really cared about, though still, it’s easy to laugh at such folks that find it so hard to let go of a TV show. The constant presence of their favorite characters, the story lines that might change but still have to do with the overall show, and the feeling that people get when their favorite characters experience triumph or loss is something that drives a lot of people and becomes a part of their life. It’s actually hard to type this and not want to laugh since like so many I enjoy a great story and have thrust myself as deep into them as many folks, but finding your way back to your life is just as important as realizing that no show is going to last forever. If there’s anything to be learned from this matter it’s that the words spoken by many, that we’ve allowed ourselves to be distracted from life by the very entertainment we cherish so much, are all too true. Seriously, if you get that busted up about a show’s ending you might need to seek real help, not just therapy.


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