I decided to rewatch all of the Game of Thrones episodes again because it once used to be my favorite show, and here is what I found about each season from the perspective of someone who knew what was coming and from someone who read the The Song of Ice and Fire Book series before doing the rewatch.
Even in the rewatch, while knowing everything that happened, I could discern what made GOT so special.
Why its writing and character development were as good as they were.
It also still hurts how bad these last seasons turned out to be, with them failing where they didn't have to!
Reading the books before doing the rewatch helped me understand how the story developed and why certain characters acted in specific ways.
Having seen both versions of events, one unfold on the screen, and the other, reading about them in detail in the books has given me an opinion about why the show ended the way it did and why the showrunners could have taken a different path to its ending.
Season 1 of Game of Thrones is rather grim and dark. It feels so grayish, misty- something very accurate to the vibe of the books.
It feels very accurate to the tone of the books in terms of grimy, gritty realism. It's not as fantastical as the other seasons.
I mean, we do not even anticipate seeing a dragon this season. From the first episodes, all we expect are that there is plenty of medieval politics, and it's good.
The first season has this personal and watered-down tone that sets up everything so well.
Sean Bean plays Ned Stark so well. He was so incredible. I loved watching him go through the whole emotions of his stoic character performance and the way he portrays Ned's honor and those traits that get him killed in the end.
The story of the Starks and the King Baratheon are shown in parallel to the story of the beginnings of Daenerys Targaryen.
The actress Emilia Clarke provided an excellent performance as Daenerys Targaryen. She made a remarkable transition from being a shy, introverted, scared girl to becoming this powerful woman who killed her cruel brother Viserys and slowly gained control over the whole Dothraki army.
The way Season 1 develops the characters of Tyrion, Cersei, Jamie, Arya, Sansa, and Rob is incredible. In a way, it's not revealing much as to how they would become later in the seasons but intriguing enough to keep us guessing even when doing a rewatch of the show.
And of course, I can't forget the incredible performance by Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon. He is one of the most underrated actors in Game of Thrones, but he nailed it as we find him in books. Addy was the perfect actor to play Robert. I couldn't imagine anyone better!
Season one sets the tone for what's coming perfectly and is one of my favorite seasons of Game of Thrones.
Season two is quite interesting. It's a bit of a mixed bag for people, but personally, it's my favorite because of the politics and the little details that are introduced to us in that season.
When looking at how it compares to the books, I must say Season 2 matches up with plot trajectory more than other seasons do.
I can't talk about Season 2 without talking in detail about Tyrion. As my favorite character in the show and those of the books, Tyrion shows great development as the Hand of King Joffrey from his initial introduction as a sexually promiscuous man who is always in a drunken stupor. His arc has been very interesting to watch, getting involved with everything that is happening in King's Landing and maneuvering his way through different characters' schemes, his wit is accurately portrayed in season 2, and he stands out for me!
I felt like Season 2 was just great because it introduced a lot of new characters and showed those intricate political machinations that were happening in the world. I think that Season 2 is the most detailed season when it comes to politics.
Season 2 of the show had top-notch writing, and most people don't talk about it as much. If you go back to season two and listen to the dialogues, you'll find that it's incredible how suspenseful every line is while being able to deliver all the theatrics this show needs.
Season three is the most interesting, in my opinion, for a lot of people. It's their favorite season because I think that it just has this great adventure vibe and also challenges to overcome.
I love Season 3 of Game of Thrones for a few reasons. First, it marked such a change in tone from the first two seasons. It became much more mystical and epic as opposed to the gritty and realistic earlier seasons.
Second, I am a huge fan of the character Arya and how her character develops in Season 3 with the episodes with the brotherhood, Gendry, and the Hound. I think she's the main hero of the show, which is finally proven to be true in season 8.
Season 3 just nails it again with Jamie Lannister because from early on, we hate him, only to come around to love him by the end of this incredible series. Season 3 is where the redemption of his character arc starts.
My favorite part is when he begins his journey towards King's Landing alongside Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), where they get caught and then how his hand gets cut, and then the scene where he reveals why he became the infamous 'Kingslayer.'
Many power-plays were going on throughout Season 3, which makes it feel like it's the densest and most intense season yet!
And it ends with the Red Wedding. It's tough to go there.
The Red Wedding is still my favorite scene on television. The impact it had on the viewers was incredible, and I don't think any scene from any show will top that anytime soon. It's one thing to read about in a book or have time to process what happened, but the way they did it on tv outdid how it was done in the books for me.
I loved season four. It took the show to a whole new level-in fact; it was almost like an ascension from where the series reached in Season 3 after what happened at Red Wedding to where it got with Tyrion's story and how heartbreaking that was (considering he didn't deserve any of this).
Peter Dinklage delivered some incredible acting that I've never seen before. The way he reacted when Shay betrayed him or how he ended his story with Tywin is just astonishing!
And then Arya's adventures and the darkening of her character arc were a treat to watch. We've all felt that relief when she took her first revenge on the Lannister soldiers after the Red Wedding. Season 4 had the best balance between epic ness and suspense, grandeur mixed with those darker moments.
Jon Snow's character arc becomes complete by the end of season four. In this season, he and his relationship with Ygritte were discussed in detail and how it affected him on a personal level.
The episode also included scenes from Castle Black where Jon became friendlier to Wildlings - which all lead up to complications between himself and other members of the Night's Watch because they don't want any man living north of the Wall.
Season 4 might be the most entertaining of the seasons, and that's saying a lot because this is Game of Thrones.
I was delighted to be introduced to Oberyn Martell this season. I'm still upset that Oberyn died without getting his revenge. He was such a great character in the show and even the books, and it's really saddening that he had to die so soon! It's amazing how Pedro Pascal played him almost flawlessly. If I had to rate, Pedro's portrayal of Oberyn is near perfection as to how he was depicted in the books.
Season 5 was one of the beginnings of the decline for me. It was a very slow season, which made it not as compelling and inviting to watch as Season 4 or 3.
I think that ultimately this is where cracks began to form in the series because even though it had excellent writing, directing, acting, etc., when compared with Seasons 1-4's incredible episodes, Season 5 just seemed lackluster.
In particular, it's the first half leading up to "Hardhome," which pretty much lost points due to how mediocre everything felt there. But then suddenly, at "Hardhome," Season 5 came back and showed us the Night King, and things started to get interesting from thereon.
For many fans of the show, Hardhome is their favorite episode of the series, and the reason is the eerie uneasy feeling it brings to the show. Up till then, Cersei and Joffrey seemed to be the main villains of the show. But the introduction of Night Kind took things to another level of grim.
Season 6 just completely saved this show. I mean, think about it - the final two episodes were amazing, intense, and enjoyable. The first few episodes weren't as good as the later ones. They were more or less similar to the episodes of Season 5 with some less than stellar content, but then John came back to life which was so exciting.
Season 6 is where we see Tyrion become pretty useless for most of the season.
Tyrion's storyline was fairly disappointing in season 6. He became useless for the most part and did not do much other than being a counselor to Daenerys Targaryen, who he failed to impress many times with his misjudgment.
I hate this version of Tyrion portrayed in the show because, in the books, he is often witty, cunning, and charismatic. He is always thinking one step ahead of his rivals, much like how we saw him in Season 2, but in Season 6, his interactions with Dany were mostly awkward or followed by him making bad decisions that put his role as a counselor in question.
Now let's talk about the best part of Season 6: Episode 9 from "The Battle Of The Bastards."
The Battle of Bastards, where the forces of Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton met in the field near Winterfell. The Stark men(mostly northerners) and the Wildlings who joined forces are led by House Stark's heir apparent, Jon Snow, while Ramsay is leading his own forces gathered from other Northern houses.
Jon has drawn up a plan to take back Winterfell as it is currently held by Ramsay's army. It's incredible to see Giants and the wildlings joining causes with Jon Snow as their own and fighting alongside Stark Bannermen.
In terms of cinematography, these are some of the best scenes I have ever seen on television, it rivals scenes from most big-budget movies.
Season 7 tries to do something that feels a little bit like Hollywood in the sense of it feeling too big and grand. I think they realized how much we loved them by then, so they could really go as big as they wanted.
The change in writing is evident when you look at Season Seven's characterization because there just isn't enough of it- even though you get some cool moments like Daenerys reaching Westeros and finally meeting Jon Snow and how she flies beyond the wall to save Jon Snow and fight off white walkers.
Arya is finally reunited with Sansa (which were beautiful moments).
Littlefinger had his demise despite his schemes to get Arya killed by Sansa; instead, Sansa used his own tricks against him and cornered him, and he got killed by Arya herself.
The writing, in my opinion, was rushed. It felt like the showrunners were trying to fit in as many episodes as possible into 7 jam-packed episodes. It didn't feel true to the show and seemed more like a Hollywood version of Game of Thrones rather than something that was actually being produced as part of the show.
Season 8 really confirmed my worries from Season 7 about the show in general. It's just a big explosion and a lot of it and the characters not making sense and even the writing, which is so important to me. I mean, they had to have a freaking Starbucks cup in one of her Dany's scenes! It seemed so weird that it was very hard for me to believe.
This season did not give much time for Daenerys's character development into the darker version that she ended up as.
Don't get me wrong, I agree how she went mad just like her father. I understand how her character had it coming, but the descent into madness could have been done better. We see she changed too fast and suddenly just doesn't seem like herself anymore.
Even watching the show a second time, knowing about how it ends did not help in justifying how it all ended so quickly and badly.
I did want another Cersei storyline as an ending where she gets the death she deserved and not under the rubble of bricks with her lover.
I think the biggest problem for the last seasons of Game of Thrones's bad writing was simply the fact that George didn't finish the books. I don't want to pass the blame on George. He had nothing to do with destroying this.
The show and the books had similar directions or destinations, but they got there quite differently. The problem is the showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, had strayed from George's vision far enough in the show, so it really became their own thing from season five, where George always remained consistent for his books. But because of this discrepancy between what was shown on tv vs. what was in George's notes for how he thought things would end, which you know would have been through his book rather than just a finale idea given by him to HBO.
I think they were kind of stuck without knowing how to make up an ending without being disrespectful towards the author.
I feel they were confused about how they could interpret George's vision of an ending, as later, George himself revealed that they had quite a different interpretation of events while writing his story and crafting his ideas into completed episodes.
Should you rewatch Game Of Thrones- the whole series again?
I think there's a lot of merit in going back and watching the whole show, especially after reading the books, because I think there is a lot of mirroring from the books to the show, which allows you to watch it from a different perspective and you are going to like it.
Going back and watching it again, you can see what made it so great again.
Despite its flaws in the later seasons, GOT is still my favorite show ever!
The highs they achieved are too big for me to ignore. I don't know if we've had anything like that before or if we'll have anything like that again, seriously!
So with all these thoughts in mind, people should start showing Game Of Thrones more love.
Don't let its flaws take away from how great this show used to be, and this is exactly why I wrote this post.
Watch Game of Thrones again.