WARNING: This article includes spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, Season Eight, Episode Five (S08E05). If you haven't seen this most recent episode, you have been warned!
The final season of Game of Thrones has been controversial, to say the least.
Though the final episodes of the popular drama took two years to make, fans and critics are so far largely disappointed with the final product.
Excellent performances by the cast aside, showrunners have made some embarrassing mistakes.
Below, we've compiled some of the sloppiest moments and developments in the current season.
I cannot get over how the makers of #GameOfThrones put fans on blast for not having expensive enough TVs to fully a… https://t.co/l9MiyKDhUC— Jillian Sederholm (@Jillian Sederholm) 1557126081.0
The already-infamous coffee cup accidentally left on a table during in a scene at Winterfell has become a symbol of the sloppy storyline of the last season of Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, showrunners have tried to laugh it off.
“We kind of forgot Jaime lost his right hand in s3” https://t.co/jEuPI4GY2Q— Tati 🇵🇪 (@Tati 🇵🇪) 1557746779.0
Keen-eyed fans noticed that Jaime was without his golden hand in a preview of this past week's episode. As the Red Keep falls around them, Jaime and Cersei hug, revealing a miraculously restored hand behind Cersei's back.
This scene in the actual episode was more zoomed in on their embrace, hiding the hand out of the frame. But this mistake still betrays rushed editing.
No one expects the final season to wrap all dangling plot points into a neat bow. Variables are intriguing and complicate the narrative. But Game of Thrones has a proclivity for abandoning once-critical characters.
Though there is still once episode left, for example, Yara Greyjoy has all but disappeared from the show. Varys informs us that she retakes the Iron Islands but that's it. Many fans were hoping that she would be the one to take down her uncle Euron.
Then there are all these characters that are gone with little explanation:
Come to think of it, the show has not offered any clarity as to what's going on outside of the North and King's Landing. There are six other kingdoms on this continent...
Poor character development
Vox explained this point well. The show wants viewers to understand Daenerys' actions as an inevitable surrender to her family's "madness." But this development was clunky. In fact, as Vox points out, the most explicit indication that Dany was suffering came in a recap of last week's episode, when the voice of her brother played over her reaction to the death of Missandei.
The showrunners attempted to better explain this characrer arc, but whatever their intentions, it was not believable.
Jaime and Cersei's (likely) death
Jaime and Cersei presumably met their fate as the Red Keep collapsed onto them. We haven't seen any bodies, so there's a small chance at least one of them survived. But right now, we can assume the incestuous twins are dead.
This was a disappointing end for two of Game of Thrones' most compelling figures. Both were detestable but highly sympathetic characters.
Many had hoped for a more dramatic death — perhaps in a scenario in which an enlightened Kingslayer becomes the Queenslayer.
Cersei, in particular, should not have died this way. She was always one of the most interesting people on the show with one of the most developed psychologies.
This season, the queen consort turned monarch has had only a handful of lines. She deserved more.
The improbable survival of critical characters
When so many core characters survived the Battle of Winterfell, the show had officially given up on adhering to believable storytelling in favour of fan satisfaction.
For instance, the last time we see Sam Tarly before the battle's end, he is lying on his back with multiple wights on top of him. Somehow, he survives.
Sansa, Tyrion, Gilly, and Varys all survived despite being defenseless and locked in the Winterfell crypts with dozens of wights.
Huge edits to satisfy plot points
Showrunners appear to have moved the entire city of King's Landing to a desert landscape just to stage the dramatic confrontation between Cersei and Daenerys that ended in Missandei's death.
Even the city's location in the animated opening sequence has changed.
Poor war strategy
Battle strategy has been questionable this season. The Battle of Winterfell was especially confusing. Daenerys and Jon are also not great at protecting their critical resources. After the death of Rhaegal, for example, Daenerys decided to attempt to confront Euron's fleet head on with her one remaining dragon instead of... flying behind them and forcing them into a position in which they couldn't use the scorpions?
For more insight on the Battle of Winterfell, read Wired's "tactical analysis."
A quick end to the greatest threat to ever face humanity
The threat of the army of the dead was literally the very first concept the show introduced — in the first scene of season one, episode one.
For seven years, this was the threat that loomed over the core political and personal drama.
Then, in the span of a single episode, that threat was nullified, it seems, so that the show could quickly turn back to the conflict between Cersei and Daenerys. Many critics have asked: what was the point?
Eagerness just to bring this whole mess to an end
A popular Reddit post suggests that HBO had offered Game of Thrones showrunners a larger budget to produce two more episodes. They declined, at least according to rumours.
The Reddit post has since been "locked" by moderators.
Everyone just seems ready to produce an expedited conclusion. That would explain why the show has stuffed so many developments into single episodes.
Game of Thrones has set itself up for a disappointing end, no matter what. Fans in every camp are bound to be upset.
There's still one episode left. Maybe all these seemingly sloppy mistakes are in service to a single, dramatic end. Probably not.