The 7 Worst Things About Game Of Thrones
There is no denying the impact of Game of Thrones as a television show. It pushed the limits of what the small screen could achieve, helped fantasy fiction smash its way back into the mainstream, launched the careers of a great many actors, and became a near-instant pop-culture touchstone.
Despite all of this, and the undeniably quality of some of the show's seasons, Game of Thronesisn't without its flaws. Even its well-received seasons make mistakes or indulge in habits that can make the watching unpleasant for some, and the show has never been a stranger to criticism, including during its initial run.
7 The Female Nudity Is Constant And Unnecessary
One of the most notorious elements of Game of Thrones, and one that is frequently lampooned in pop culture, is its relentless female nudity. Nearly every episode involves at least partial frontal nudity, with many extras being in the show for the sole purpose of appearing nude.
There are some occasions where nudity is called for in fiction. However, in Game of Thrones, the showrunners openly admit that its purpose is to draw viewers in and spice up boring scenes with so-called 'sexposition' to keep viewers' attention. Particularly when taken with the sheer disparity between male and female nude scenes, it can come across as gratuitous and make uncomfortable viewing for some.
6 Many Sympathetic Characters Simply Become Unlikable
Part of the unique atmosphere of Game of Thrones comes from its tendency to kill off major or seemingly-important characters, leaving audiences tense that their favorites may be lost at any second. A worse fate, however, is that those favorites suddenly become unlikable, often with little build-up.
One of the most infamous moments in the show is Stannis Baratheon burning his daughter Shireen alive to try and appease his god, something that he explicitly refuses to even consider in the books. Fans were left disgusted by the sudden villainous act, but it's not the only case. Daenerys, after being one of the show's most iconic protagonists for seven seasons, suddenly snaps and begins a massacre in King's Landing, and Jaime undoes all of his character development to return to Cersei, with fans resenting both writing choices.
5 The Show Drops Or Rushes Storylines Frequently
Much of the early plotting in Game of Thrones is acclaimed, and it has long-running plotlines that hold up despite the fierce scrutiny the show's final seasons face. However, fans find some other plotlines much less satisfactory, with some being abandoned, forgotten about, or rushed to a conclusion.
The most notorious case is the seasons-long build-up to Jon Snow being a Targaryen, only for its sole plot impact to be Daenerys having another reason to turn evil. There are others, such as Tyrion abandoning his quest to learn who framed him, most of Daenerys' allies being lost in a single episode after seasons spent gathering them, and Daenerys leaving the notoriously ungovernable Meereen to a council of her followers and never hearing from it again.
4 Its Fight Scenes Are Very Inconsistent In Quality
Some fights in Game of Thrones are iconic and considered some of the finest action to appear on television – particularly the vast land battles between armies. The Battle of the Blackwater and the Battle of the Bastards are some of the most popular moments in the entire show and are considered near-miraculous in their scope and quality.
There are smaller fight scenes as well that fans love, such as Syrio Forel's takedown of several Lannister guardsmen, or the Mountain and the Red Viper battling for Tyrion's life. However, other scenes have faced severe criticism, including Jaime and Bronn facing off with the Sand Snakes in a poorly-choreographed scuffle, or the murky and indecipherable darkness of the Battle of Winterfell. The show isn't consistent in its quality, leaving viewers uncertain if they are to see an epic high or a crushing low.
3 Several Characters Become Less Impressive In Later Seasons
Even when characters don't undergo a sudden turn to villainy that makes them unsympathetic, many fan favorites become less popular as the series goes on due to a perceived decline in writing. In many cases, intelligent and proactive characters are viewed as becoming far less witty, engaging, or enjoyable to watch.
Tyrion and Varys both face accusations of this. Their early, philosophical exchanges laced with barbs and hidden respect are considered some of the most entertaining interactions in the show; their later banter consisting primarily of eunuch jokes less so. Similarly, Jon Snow is mocked for going from an active and engaging character to one who spends much of his time blindly following Daenerys' lead and repeating a handful of phrases to different characters.
2 The Show Has Handles Assault Scenes Poorly
Sexual assault is a difficult topic to write about sensitively, and it is the opinion of many that Game of Thrones fails in that regard. Set in a heavily-misogynistic medieval-style world, sexual assault is a frequent topic, with a great many of the show's female characters being subjected to it or threatened with it – to an extent many found unrealistic.
Although the show sometimes condemns it, there are scenes where the inclusion or mention of sexual assault is considered gratuitous or even sexualized. Notorious instances include changing Daenerys' wedding night to a brutal, traumatic experience, having Jaime assault Cersei next to their son's corpse and then continuing to redeem Jaime, and changing Sansa Stark's storyline so instead of becoming a political schemer in the Vale, she spends a season being sexually tormented by Ramsay Bolton.
1 Its Harsh Fall From Grace
Ever since Game of Thrones' final season in 2019, most discussion about the show has been about the perceived sharp drop in quality of the show's latter half. Its first four seasons are considered excellent TV, with brilliant characters, meticulous plotting, and an indescribable atmosphere that made it unlike anything else on television.
Its latter half is less applauded. Season 5 is continued a sharp step down, and although season 6 is widely-liked, the show's final two seasons are now infamous. Fans accuse them of feeling rushed, lazy, and suffering from worse writing in nearly every way. In particular, the finale is notorious, with some considering it to tarnish the show's legacy as a whole.