*Mild spoilers for Dexter and Game of Thrones ahead.*
If there’s one thing angry fans hate more than anything else, it’s a disappointing ending. And who can blame them? After investing potentially years in a series, it is hard not to feel betrayed when the characters they have been following season after season fail to get a proper send-off.
Let’s start with Dexter. The series started out as a fantastic story with brilliant plot twists. Towards the end of its run, however, it massively dropped in quality. Still, fans were hopeful that everything would finally come together in the final episode. Unfortunately, fans never did get closure and the ending left us with more questions than answers and a bitter sense of disappointment.
Sit-coms such as How I Met Your Mother and New Girl are also criticized for their endings. The thing about these shows is that even though the final episodes were poor, the nature of the show means rewatching the series still has us laughing and awing at all the right moments.
But can this be said of Game of Thrones? The final season of the series angered fans so much that they banded together to start a petition asking the cast and crew to remake the series. After investing just shy of a decade into the politics and characters of Westeros, the abrupt ending felt like a slap in the face.
In fact, the ending caused such a strong reaction among fans that those who have never watched the show have decided it is not worth their time. Those who were putting off watching the show until a rainy day now don’t see the point of investing in a series which leads nowhere. Angry fans have seen to that.
In total, there are 73 episodes of Game of Thrones. Of these, fans have a problem with the final three or eight at most. That’s still over 60 hours of critically acclaimed, well-written and remarkably gripping television. Should we deny ourselves the satisfaction of those 60-70 episodes just because the final 3 episodes will let us down?
It’s a tough one to call. On one hand, it seems like a far better way to live to enjoy things as they come and not let a bad ending ruin a satisfying beginning and middle. Then again, as I find myself rewatching Game of Thrones for the third time, I can’t help but feel bitter by season six as I recall that things only go down from there.
Ideally, I don’t believe that a disappointing ending should take away from the joy of watching the rest of the series. Investing in the characters is not a waste even if they don’t receive closure at the end of the final season. Realistically though, it is hard not to feel disappointed, even betrayed, when our loyalty is responded to with an ending that just doesn’t make the cut.