Who could watch House of the Dragon after such a betrayal?
May 19, 2019. HBO turned me into Reek — the not-so-cocky Theon Greyjoy, emasculated and enslaved by Ramsay Bolton. And I will never forgive that.
For eight years. There we were, faithful, waiting week after week to get the fresh episode. Who would end up with a busted head? What incredible adventures awaited us in Westeros? What twist would keep us glued to the couch? That was the time of the anti-spoil delirium. We would knock the teeth out of that first spoiler person daring to divulge the slightest clue about the episode we missed the day before.
73 episodes. We went through everything. Murders, rapes, incest, mutilations. From the Red Wedding to the Great Sept Explosion. After all we went through, what for? Was it all good for a barely-worth-watching ending as sloppy as that of the Love Boat? No. It is unacceptable. Because this ending is not only bad, it is not only rushed and implausible: this ending is a betrayal.
There is a tacit agreement in the fiction universe. We, the viewers (or readers), accept all the lies, all the fantasies, all the delusions of the creator, as long as he sticks to the original deal. Whether it’s bad, boring, or poorly acted, whether the costumes are made up from old Ikea rugs — that’s OK.
Our part of this contract is the willing suspension of disbelief. We agree to accept this world, these cities, these houses, these lineages, their flags, and their mottos. We agree to see the main characters die one by one, in shocking and spectacular scenes. We agree with the magic, with the dragons. It’s okay to accept just about anything, as long as the spirit and tone of the show are respected. However, breaking the rules is out of the question, and not sticking to the rules set in stone goes beyond unacceptable.
This grotesque and half-baked ending, wannabe comedy, overly sugar-coated with a syrup of moralistic hints was a full-speed car meant to crash into a wall. When seeing this shipwreck, my mind brought me back to 1986, when I was a child watching the Challenger take off. I almost peed my pants.
So one could say it was not all that bad. After all the great things this show gave us, we may pretend those last minutes never happened. But no. This ending betrays the whole creation and its fans. It sours everything we used to love and taints black the quality of the previous seasons — which makes the crime even worse.
I am surprised that fan groups have not sued HBO for this matter. It took me a while to get over it. To stomach it. To tell me that I have to live with this, without getting any kind of settlement.
So, I was about to make peace with this unfortunate story when I got slapped in the face by the House of the Dragon trailer. Are you kidding me? I mean, do you really think we’re going to fall for it twice? No. Once bitten, twice shy.
“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”
UPDATE: After publicly spitting out my rage and disappointment after A Song of Ice and Fire that turned into more of A Soup of Lukewarm Water, I realised I was surrounded by traitors! It’s always our close ones who throw the first stone. I was called a grouchy. Even worse, compared to Abraham Simpson always writing complaint letters! And you know what? Tonight, my in-laws gather at their in-condo movie theatre. And guess what they are going to watch…