Every week, I have waited like a kid at Christmas for the Game of Thrones live-tweet session with other blerds and GOT fans. The finale alone spawned such incredible gems as:
This retelling of Euron Greyjoy’s hasty exit from King’s Landing after seeing what the Winter is really bringing.
— Clay West (@clay_H_west) August 28, 2017
When two things that fans have been waiting for since reading the last book happened, but at the same time. EWWW!
— Alyssa Doyle Labare (@lysslabare) August 28, 2017
When one of my fave acting duos are the only ones to illustrate how over one another the two Queens are.
— Kayla Maria Giesela Margarita Camilia (@Maria_Giesela) August 28, 2017
There were tons more. In fact, every week fans, turned on Game of Thrones and turned out on Twitter making more than an hour of fun for me. It was like watching the show with millions of friends. Yes, it was about that many. The “Game of Thrones” hashtags like #ThronesYall, #GOT, #NoConfederate #GameofThronesHBO took the top of the Twitter trending list during that hour and sometimes for hours afterward. Sure, not all were positive tweets. Some showed a disappointment at a storyline, but overall, the fans live-tweeting were satisfied, ecstatic even, over every episode.
While fans were having fun with memes, critics had a more mixed view of the season.
The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg voiced one of the more negative reviews.
It was the fitting conclusion to a frustrating season of this series, which pulled far-flung characters together, dispersed them again to confusing effect and dropped plenty of tantalizing information, only to treat us as if we weren’t smart enough to figure it all out for ourselves. I felt horribly tense throughout this episode of Game of Thrones, but for the first time, I felt as though the series was undermining the potential of George R.R. Martin’s novels rather than giving them the lean, mean edit that was revealing their best qualities.
No such thing! This season was giving us everything we wanted since the books. It confirmed fan theories and killed Littlefinger. What more could you want?
The New York Times’ Jeremy Egner gave a more tepid review.
But while Sunday’s very busy episode had plenty of enjoyable moments and blue fire-fueled spectacle, and effectively set up next season’s culminating clashes of the living, the dead and the old venal forces of cyclical destruction, it didn’t offer much in the way of surprise. Indeed, the finale largely checked off boxes that have been broadly telegraphed throughout the season.
I think you guys are missing the importance of the confirmed fan theories. And did you even see the Wight Dragon? Seriously, it was more than a spectacle. It was damn amazing!
But the negative reviews about disappointed fans goes back to the season premiere. Take Jaime Conlon’s review for example:
Winter is here, but the premiere of season seven was less about the coming winter and more about playing catch-up with the characters. Maybe Game of Thrones is just choosing to ease us into the season and refresh our memories. With only seven episodes in season seven, however, I expected more.
Well, I disagree. I think we got what we needed.
I must take a moment here to point out that most blogs and critics were excited like the rest of the fandom, after all, they are big fans as well.
I do have to say that both the fans and the critics polarized a bit too much on a season that seemed to be meant to tie up loose ends before the finale. One issue was the passage of time between scenes. The ravens from Jon North of the Wall to Dany Dragonstone was an exhaustive conversation that should have only been a footnote. Yes, it was hinky, but we realize from the reading of the first book that the timing between scenes was never going to make any sense. So, joking about the speedy ravens is one thing, constructing whole think pieces is going a bit overboard.
Another issue I had is with the expectations from every meeting. People, we are never going to be satisfied with the way in which showrunners bring together two or more people when have always wanted to see together. As I said previously this season if the show gave fans what they wanted, then we might end up with a hot mess of a storyline that ruins the show we love. Let the writers make a natural meetup that fits the story.
Despite the issues, I do have to say that I love the way the fan fiction and theories were coming true or feeding the rumor mills between each episode. I loved being immersed in the fandom and learning more about the people behind the biggest theories. I also had so much fun debating these theories with other Game of Thrones fans. The community really seemed to come alive and actually began to interact with the world standing at the periphery trying to see what all the fuss was about. This fandom’s interactions are some of the things I will miss once the show finally ends.
I think both fans and critics can agree that Season 7 is meant for the fans who were there from Season 1, read the books, and shared the theories. It’s for all those who gathered around watercolors every spring to discuss what’s going to happen on Thrones. This summer was for those who took a sick day after the Red Wedding, protested when it became apparent the Lady Stoneheart would not make the show, and said silent prayers every week that Sansa was in Ramsey Bolton’s clutches. Season 7 is for the fandom, who are hilarious, analytical, and care about the world of Westeros. That may mean memes and it may mean critical break downs of raven flight patterns. It’s all part of being a fan of Game of Thrones.
So, when you binge between now and next summer, tweet about it using the hashtags. You may find others out doing the same. With the way the Game of Thrones fandom works, you may even start live tweet session that gets everyone excited about the show and books for one hour on social media.
Jonita Davis loves, reads, studies, and writes about comics, books, TV, culture, and more. You can usually find her in a corner somewhere, dragging a pen across paper in an effort to make sense of the world.