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Dethroning Moment / Game of Thrones

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"Shame. Shame. Shame."
Septa Unella

Based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones has become the most quintessential HBO show of all time, alongside its really huge fanbase. Still, like every TV show and movie, it was only a couple of minutes before Benioff & Weiss activated the dethroning dragon.

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  • Yumny: During the third season, there are a few moments that really make you realize that this is an adaptation meant to draw in male viewers, thus constantly sidelining and/or changing the female characters that aren't traditionally "badass" (e.g. Arya) because they'd be too boring or unlikable for the audience. One of the moments that best exemplifies this is Catelyn Stark's speech about Jon Snow. She apologizes for her mistreatment of Jon Snow? She blames everything that happened on her own treatment of Jon Snow? Not only is it grossly out of character, it also makes Catelyn into so many archetypes (Wicked Stepmother, everyone?) that George R. R. Martin was trying to subvert in the books. Very annoying, B&W.
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  • Charleston Man: The horrific Character Derailment of Doreah and Daenerys in the second season finale. Doreah is derailed by betraying Daenerys and sleeping with Xaro (in the books, Doreah died loyal to the end, and Xaro was Camp Gay), while in response Daenerys is derailed by locking Doreah in a vault to die even as Doreah cries and begs for mercy. No... just no. Daenerys can be ruthless, but she would never be so deranged and tyrannical, especially to someone she previously was shown to care about. She would hear Doreah out and accept her back if she believes she's remorseful or simply banish her if she is not, as she does with Jorah later. The whole made-up story for Daenerys this season was crap, but this ending took it to a whole new level of suck.
  • Red Wright: Theon Greyjoy saying his real father died at King's Landing was this for me. Seriously? They already went out of their way to make him a pathetic failure in every area of life, but this takes the cake. It's like Jon Snow saying that his mother died at the Twins.
  • Iron Lion: Jaime's rape of Cersei at the Great Sept of Baelor, a scene which was disturbing but consensual in the books. By this point in the series Jaime is firmly established as a likable character, and to make him a rapist undoes all the Character Development he's been through. Not only that, but there's an unfortunate element of the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization at work in the scene.
    • Caellach Tiger Eye: That so many people producing the episodes - including the director himself - seemed oblivious to this is what gets me. How can you change a scene so much from the books and not realise the vast difference in depiction? How is Cersei's "consent" supposed to be clear to the audience if everything we see - save for very subtle hints that few people would be focusing on anyway - is her pleading for Jaime to stop? Really, was adding a little bit of dialogue for her that showed explicitly that she wanted it and consented to it that much to ask for?
  • Samadhir: The scene with Littlefinger instructing two prostitutes how pleasure each other in "You Win or You Die". While the series, particularly the first season, is rather infamous for its Sexposition scenes, this one definitely feels like the worst it ever put out and comes across like something edited out of a soft-core porn movie rather than something that belongs in such a well-written and masterfully crafted series. There's no reason for it whatsoever except as a blatant excuse for fanservice; the only narrative purpose it serves is to let Littlefinger describe some of his backstory and motivations, but 1. You can easily infer those things from his other scenes in the series and 2. Even if it is necessary to have them spelled out to the audience, did the writers honestly think anyone would pay attention to his monologue when there are two naked, moaning prostitutes finger-banging each other in the foreground?! For a series with a lot of gut-wrenching and horrifying scenes, this is the only one I have serious trouble re-watching due to how poorly done, borderline-misogynistic and insulting to the audience's intelligence it is.
  • Julian Lapostat: I am totally fed up with the show after the general Jumping the Shark quality of Season 5, compromising Barristan's skill and Unsullied tactics, and the whole Dornish story, but to me the showrunners (I am not blaming anyone specific here but a collective of them) have crossed the Moral Event Horizon as far as adaptations go with the Sansa-Jeyne Poole story. I cannot fathom how any producer accepted this and thought this was even remotely a good idea. Illogical, contrived, insulting to the intelligence, demeaning to the characters, a humiliation to the eyes and a total betrayal of confidence, undoing and compromising the very foundation of the characters, all so that the Villain Sue Ramsay Bolton (a minor dude who was mostly Offscreen Villainy until Book 5 who mainly picked on people weaker than him and specialized in sneak attacks) can be built into a bigger threat. At this point, I will do my best to avoid seeing the show in the future, at least if I can manage it. Out of Bile Fascination I might see the last three episodes but the show as a whole has entirely lost its legitimacy as an adaptation of the books.
  • Larkmarn: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" was thoroughly insulting in how it treats female characters. No, not the Sansa scene. The Sand Snakes. The combination of Idiot Plot and Fight Scene Failure completely shook my faith in the show. The Snakes were awfully written, horribly acted, and their choreography was even worse. And it was simply amazing how stupid every single person involved had to be in order to be rewarded with this climactic scene. Forget what happened to Sansa, that was the real offensive scene. Later episodes actually make it retroactively worse: "Hardhome" introduces the female wildling chief Karsi, showing that the writers are capable of handling new action girls. And "Mother's Mercy" revealed that the (already stupid) poisoning of Bronn was foreshadowing of Myrcella's poisoning, which makes no sense on many levels.
  • Bastard1: "The Dance of Dragons" is just the inevitable exclamation point of a series-wide mishandling of source material by the show's creators. Namely, the entire character and arc of Stannis Baratheon, the rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot doesn't do it justice. They've made absolutely no secret of having—intentionally or otherwise—monstrously underplayed and streamlined his complexities, writing him off as a generic Principles Zealot who would sacrifice everything to achieve his rightful destiny. The source material equivalent would be in a definite moral quandary about his situation, make no mistake. But he would accept death and defeat long before he would even dream of sacrificing an innocent life for his own benefit. Even without the show's poor build-up, Stannis' sacrifice of his own daughter is completely out-of-character for a man who, only a few episodes before, resolutely claimed that, victorious or vanquished, he would surrender his lot to the vicissitudes of fate. And then we have Selyse, who's shown to have less love for her daughter than for a speck of dirt on her shoe, as the one who shows any sort of remorse. The final insult is merely making this a footnote to the episode's subsequent scenes of poorly-choreographed fighting, questionable casting choices, and draconis ex machina. As a result of turning one of the great gray-area characters in contemporary fiction into an irredeemable monster, for no apparent reason whatsoever aside from the creators' pettiness, the show has incontrovertibly sacrificed its right to call itself "morally complex" beyond the norm. The amount of poor choices made have grown incalculably as the series has grown farther and farther away from the source material, and this latest mistake, though not interest-killing by any means, causes me to greatly fear for the series' future. And this is coming from a guy who views the source material as good at best, give or take a few truly superlative characters and arcs. I truly cannot blame people who've turned their backs on the series as a result of this snafu.
  • Troll Brutal: The character assassination of Stannis Baratheon, not so much the actual Bait the Dog used to sway sympathies but the poor way it's implemented. The campaign of one of the finest commanders of Westeros, on paper, is derailed by Ramsay the bastard and his 20 ninjas in a single flawless move, offscreen, an sleazy Diabolus ex Machina that beggars belief. Then the resourceful man who held Storm's End eating rats because Robert told him so, decides to burn his daughter in one quick scene without much conflict because Melisandre, the woman who barely has a 66% record of accuracy (2 of 3, since Balon Greyjoy is still alive) tells him it's the only path to victory. Cheap drama, and internally demeaned at that, because after it we are immediately treated to a Draconis Ex Machina around Daenerys. Word of God then makes it worse claiming that "Stannis was ambitious", something that goes against his very Resigned to the Call story arc. It's a moment when you can't help to realize you are watching a product and you start seeing and thinking about the contrived strings and the men behind the curtain instead of enjoying the puppets.
    • Mr Thorfan 64: I am really upset at how one of my favorite characters, in my opinion one of the most interesting characters in literature, is derailed. It gets to the point where the writer's criticism of Stannis becomes inconsistent, saying he is ambitious when he keeps saying he is claiming the throne out of a sense of duty. In the books, even after Balon and Robb have died (I won't go into how I feel the Ironborn storyline is being dragged out) he still won't burn his brother's bastard, saying it could be coincidence, and seems only prepared to do it after Joffrey's death and it is clear he would only do it as a last resort. The burning of Lord Axell Florent for refusing to stop worshipping the Seven is another poor moment, as Book Stannis only burns people who have been condemned to death for other charges, like the Lord Florent in the books. One of the themes with Stannis is that he is someone who is disliked by most people but actually shows many qualities that would probably make him a better King than his more popular brothers. Also, within GOT's shocking terms, it would have been better to have him defeated without trying to make him unlikeable. There was even a way out; they could have had Melissandre, Shireen and Selyse stay at Castle Black and Melissandre burn her on hearing of Stannis' problems, without that contrived Ramsay attack. Also, though things will have to be moved forward, couldn't the producers have waited another season before giving such a massive spoiler?
  • sayaleviathan: The Dorne plotline in Season 5 is the worst. It's more of a derailment from the books. Seriously, I think it's a mistake for DwD to have Adapted Out Arianne and make Trystane the heir and possibly the only child of Doran because, come on, at the end of the season, Myrcella's dead and Jaime would probably use Trystane as a hostage to demand Doran on his daughter's murderer. The reason why the Dorne plotline in the books is very interesting despite that it ends flat is because of the primogeniture culture of Dorne. Instead, the show made it looked like Dorne has Eternal Sexual Freedom. There's also the waste on Alexander Siddig's talent as Doran because he only said a few lines and is a Adaptational Wimp. Even though he might reveal his "Fire and Blood" plan in the next season, it's already too late because Myrcella's dead. He could have said it earlier to his family before sending Myrcella back to King's Landing. But nope, it created more complicated problems in the future. And then, the Sand Snakes which is a waste of talent for the actresses and their badly choreographed fight and poorly written lines. I think it's a bad idea to have their War Hawk attitudes merge with Ellaria Sand and make the girls Stupid Evil. Their way of announcing their war plans to Doran in the books is their Establishing Character Moment. But instead they're like the show's version of Darkstar from the books. And finally, what the hell are the writers smoking when they wrote this line, "You want a proper girl, but you need a bad pussy"?
    • culturalrebel: It's not just that the Dorne plotline was badly mishandled. It's the fact that this misstep happened to one of the few non-white countries/cultures in the series. In the books, characters make Dornish seem like savages that just like to have sex and fight, but when we get to Dorne itself, we see that's obviously not the case, and that the country is in some ways a lot more advanced and liberal than Westeros. What's seen in the show just seems to reinforce the negative stereotypes, on top of the Idiot Plot and OOC characters.
  • Magus X: The absolute insanity that is the Dorne scene from "The Red Woman". In rapid succession the Prince of Dorne, the heir and his body guard are all killed. The acting was terrible, the characters' actions make no sense at all, and it further derails the character of Ellaria Sand. She avenges the man she loved by murdering her lover's brother and nephew, and ending their family line. It doesn't make sense, it wasn't set up, it derails characterization. Personally, it's one of the worst things that's ever happened on the show.
  • Thornfield13713: The fact that the Sand Snakes are still around and in power after murdering Doran and Trystane. Because... seriously, wiping out an entire Great House is such a monumentally stupid move that it's no wonder Doran never saw it coming. Ellaria has no legitimate claim on the rule of Dorne or even Sunspear or the Water Gardens (which... appear to have been conflated into one here), nor do the Sand Snakes, and any one of the Dornish noble families now has every reason to seize the capital on the pretext of avenging the murdered Prince (even if he was unpopular, it's a solid pretext) and name themselves the new Princes of Dorne and, just to cap it all off, having the murderers of the previous Prince and his son publicly executed to cement their legitimacy. In a sane and rational world, Ellaria would be dead by now. Instead, possibly because she's cheaper than Alexander Siddig, the writers have chosen to keep her around.
  • MotiveFan: There's so many little things in "The Queen's Justice", from stupid out-of-character decisions, nonsensical tactical maneuvers that bend the laws of reality, and pointless Retcons of the established lore of Westeros. But really, it all boils down to a single bad idea: A flimsy attempt to 'even the odds' and make Cersei seem like a genuine threat to Daenerys. There are multiple reasons this is dumb: The Season 6 finale has more than demonstrated that Cersei is at her most dangerous when she's a Cornered Rattlesnake with nothing left to lose, and giving her multiple advantages undercuts this. Furthermore, it's painfully obvious that she's the season's Disk-One Final Boss who'll be pushed aside for the fight against the Night's King... that IS the 'one war that matters' all the promos have been talking about, right?
  • hegelvonaxel: The House Frey massacre. It looks like pure fanservice. Arya criticizes the Freys for not killing all Starks, yet she only kills the adult men.
  • embala: The growing Creator's Pet-ness of both Jon and Daenerys, culminating in the last two episodes of Season 7. During Season 7, Jon led possibly the stupidest and most incompetent goose chase that has ever happened on the show - and he got away with it. Ned and Robb paid for much smaller missteps with their lives, but the writers are bending over backwards to keep Jon alive, no matter what tomfoolery he gets up to. Daenerys, in the meantime, is constantly being surrounded by fawning toadies telling her how great she is all the time, while she hasn't actually done anything of note other than be the owner of dragons for goodness only knows how long now. More interesting characters are constantly being sidelined to make room for more Jon and Daenerys drama. And the cherry on top, of course, is that horrible squicky sex scene that wrapped up the most recent episode. I have been growing weary of Game of Thrones ever since it transformed into the Targaryens Show, and it's gotten to the point where I'm rooting against them both out of spite.
  • Gess: During her self-aggrandizing speech to Jon at their first meeting Daenerys mentiones how she was "raped and defiled". Not to downplay any of the hardships she'd endured, but the only thing that even theoretically matches these terrible words is... her relationships with Khal Drogo. You know, her "Sun and Stars", the man who was going to cross the sea and conquer the kingdom for her, the man she sacrificed everything to try to save, and whom she imagined loved her so much that even after he died he would "tell the Great Stallionnote  to go fuck himself" just to be with her - that man was nothing but a rapist to her all along. What's even more despicable is that the only reason she has any excuse to say that, is that the show creators made a change from the books where Drogo was much more gentle and considerate to Dany. In the show he's indeed rather rough with her in the beginning, but this quickly changes and Dany clearly doesn't hold it against him.
  • Cheedo: My problem goes back to the first episode. We see the Starks throwing the royal family, the Baratheons, a big fine feast. Arya decides to throw food at her sister in front of everyone for no good reason. This is treated as a funny joke done by a spunky little girl to mean old Sansa- but it isn't. Sansa wasn't doing anything wrong. She had been minding her own business and Arya behaved like a Spoiled Brat and got no worse punishment than being carried away by her laughing big brother. Worse, her whole family but Cat laughs. Even Jeyne does (which makes no sense, since in the books Jeyne hates Arya's guts)! Arya has just made her entire House look bad and they laugh about it. Sansa doing such a thing to Arya would definitely be portrayed as wrong. On top of that, Sansa was proud of Cersei complimenting her gown, and you must remember sewing clothes by hand back then was painstaking work. It's like the show wanted you to know right off the bat who the Creator's Pet here is. I don't blame Sansa for wanting to leave these people for the South if this is how she's regularly treated.
  • DiogoSalazar: For me it started early in Season 2 with the feeling that the show began to consider that Viewers Are Morons. Then, Robb Stark decided to marry a landless, titheless foreigner instead of a Frey girl because of The Power of Love or something. In the books, he did it behind his mother's back and he knew it was a stupid thing, specially because she was a minor noble from a house vassal to the Lannisters instead of a foreigner nurse, but at least the argument could be made that he married a Westerosi noble woman. Given the whole story is to be set on The Dung Ages and every aristocracy of every nation thinks of themselves as the only civilized people and the others nothing but barbarians or upstarters, even his most loyal vassals would never agree to that. To add salt to injury, his mother shows all these arguments and he goes through anyway? Too Dumb to Live indeed.
  • Overlord347: I've given a pass to a lot of things that the series has done, but my dethroning moment came during the third episode of season 8. It starts off good enough, with the White Walkers besieging Winterfell with their undead army, killing lots of people, some of them main characters (though none of the major ones), and it looks as if the Night King is going to win. Then, right at the very end when he is about to kill Bran, Arya comes out of nowhere and manages to kill him, destroying his army in the process. Now, the dethroning moment isn't Arya killing the Night King; it's the fact that, after nearly 8 years of buildup, showing the White Walkers as a nigh-unstoppable horde bent on the total extermination of humanity, the Night King in particular (for God's sake, he shrugged off dragon fire!), it all gets put to an end with one stab from a Valyrian steel dagger. This was supposed to be the fight for the very survival of mankind, against a foe that was completely implacable in its desire to destroy all of them, and with only the barest chance to eke out a victory. Instead, this apocalyptic horde of White Walkers and wights doesn't even manage to get past Winterfell and is destroyed in the most anticlimactic way possible. I've rarely felt so disappointed; all that hype was apparently for nothing and now all I get to look forward to is Daenerys and Cersei duke it out for the Iron Throne.
    • Elysium94: For this troper, the problems began long before the Night King's untimely death. In the weeks leading up to it, the entire third episode of this season was hyped as the greatest battle in the history of television, even the most epic episode of the series. With that in mind, one can expect the utmost care to be put into the writing and editing on this episode. With such high expectations on the cast, crew and the writers, surely we can expect nothing but the best. Unfortunately, we got The Long Night. This episode was riddled with continuity issues, lousy battle strategies on the part of the heroes and villains, and plot armor thicker than damned dragon scales. The controversial 'Arya kills the Night King' plot itself is made all the more ludicrous by Benioff and Weiss admitting they chose her simply because everyone expected Jon. Such a choice comes across as painting the audience as idiots for assuming Jon would face the Night King, despite him being the logical choice based on an entire saga's worth of buildup. From beginning to end The Long Night makes a mockery of Game of Thrones as one of the great television series of our time, and as it limps toward the finish line this final season will have its shadow hanging over it to the bitter end.
    • Shadow 200: Removed my first one to replace it with this. I literally felt like banging my head against something after this episode. Jon Snow has been built up all the series as the one who faces The Night King as it being his Destiny. And yet, everything he's been through, all the trials and challenges he's faced, including dying and coming back to life, winds up being for nothing. Just because Benioff and Weiss cannot stop gushing over how cool and awesome Arya is. Could they possibly kiss her ass any harder? And it's not some epic battle where many face the Night King slowly cutting him down from wounds and she lands the final blow; she literally pops out of nowhere, pokes him with a dagger and he falls over dead. It's bad enough they let her have the fan favorite House Manderly scene with The Frey Pies. I'm not even going to bother with the last three episodes of this damn series as it'll all be a waste of time.
    • Dr Zulu 2010: For me, this episode fails due the sheer amount of Plot Armor the characters got; thicker than Bobby B's belly and harder than the scales of a dragon even. So, it's the battle to decide the fate of Westeros, in a series where Anyone Can Die is in full effect. And, excluding the Night's King, only five named characters are dead at the end. Even more insulting, many of the shots in the episode seems to lead to each of those characters to die somewhere only to be alright the next time we saw them... to seemingly die again. (Samwell was the biggest offender, pun unintended, since the shots where he got attacked seems to let us think that he died four times) The Battle of Hogwarts, The Second Titan War and The Battle of the Capitol all have bigger body counts and they are aimed at teenagers. This is a series based on a book for adults. Why!?


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