"There was also the weird pacing that has marred much of the past two seasons, since the show cut from 10 episodes a season to seven last season and then six in this one."
"It was clumsy and frustrating, especially because if you squinted, you could see how the outcomes could have been powerful if the lead-ups hadn't been mismanaged."
"It all could have worked better if the past two seasons had felt less like headlong rushes toward predetermined outcomes, at the expense of character and story believability. (Whatever that means in a dragon epic.) I might have even accepted King Bran the Broken and his "everything happens for a reason" rhetoric if the show had just ... nah, actually, I probably wouldn't have. But so many of the things that drove fans loudly crazy this season most likely wouldn't have if they'd been given more room to breathe. (More on this in a minute.)"
"And it's partly because the things that established "Game of Thrones" as a phenomenon -- the epic scale, the shocking twists -- began to work against it. Plot swerves got more abrupt as the writers tried to stay ahead of the obsessive audience -- without the benefit of a blueprint, once the show surpassed the books -- and story was sacrificed at the altar of spectacle as the series strove to top itself over and over.
And it's partly because Benioff and Weiss failed to anticipate the ways in which dramatically abbreviating the last two seasons would exacerbate all of the above."
I liked the Battle of Winterfell more than most people, but would it have felt less abrupt spread over two episodes? Would Jaime or Dany's turns have felt more natural if they'd been given time to more gradually unfold? Yes, yes and yes.
But now I worry that I'm starting to sound nit-picky again. And listen: For all of my kvetching, am I saying the show has been ruined, as so many former fans claim? Not at all. (I'm certainly not signing any goofy petitions.)
"I will always admire "Game of Thrones" and never forget the wonder of its most provocative moments -- Hardhome, Hodor, the Red Wedding, Cersei's coup, Arya's killing of the Night King -- and the beauty of its quieter ones. I was frequently astounded that such stunning and audacious artistry could be delivered into my living room.
I kvetch because I care. I care because at its best, there was nothing else like "Game of Thrones" on TV or any other medium."
Lots more at the link.
To me the entire series was like a great 3 week vacation trip that you had to cut short because you found out you were going to direct the next Star Wars epi, or something.
So you crammed the last week in NZ into one day. It was still a great trip, and you still got to see most of the sights, but it would have been a better experience had you not had to rush. Just sayin'.