In my (unpopular) opinion, the show can be fixed and made a hundred times more powerful by simply re-writing and re-filming episode five (The Bells) alone. But that's most probably not going to happen. The rest of this season was quite strong despite some flaws and despite the hordes of disappointed 'fans'.
The show broke in the previous episode, not only because of how it killed its own careful building of Daenerys's character, but, in my opinion, because of a general flaw of misanthropy throughout the show where characters were twisted around by the writers to fit a worldview of general fatalistic bestial behaviour, and characters were always destined to failure, death, bad choices or evil, no matter what they did in the past. The writers contradicted years of their own careful character building just in order to arrive at the desired conclusion, in line with their very low opinion of humanity. But I will not repeat what I wrote about the previous episode. My review for that episode is the critical one for the whole show and it both expands and demonstrates my thesis that I summarized in this paragraph in much more detail, whereas this review is merely to organize my thoughts about the finale.
Of course the hordes of 'fans' are continuing to flood this site with ridiculous one star 'reviews' just because the show didn't go as they expected. These people have a very serious problem with separating their own fantasies and illogical expectations from the actual flaws or merits of each episode. The writers and cast of this show must be flabbergasted and heart-broken by their fickle, brainless and whining fan-base, especially after ten years of hard work.
On to the specifics of this episode (spoilers):
- Daenerys's death by Snow was expected and powerfully heart-breaking. I just wish that the previous episode had been much more subtle and realistic about Daenerys's fatal personality flaws.
- Drogon's reaction to his mother's death was very strong and well handled as well. Don't forget that Snow is also a Targaryen, heir to the throne, and also rode the dragon, so Drogon's reaction (almost, but not quite burning Snow) is not necessarily illogical. I liked it.
- The burning of the throne, the symbol and cause of so much evil in Westeros, was a powerful scene.
- The fact that Grey Worm and the rest of the soldiers of Daenerys's army didn't instantly kill Snow does not make sense however. Nor does it feel right that they should step down and submit to the council so easily after the loss of their leader, especially since they were portrayed in the last episode as going along with Daenerys's brutal policies. These are the biggest flaws in this episode.
- Tyrion's finding of Jamie and Cersei in the rubble seemed a bit too convenient but the scene was strong nevertheless. The rest of his character development and final new position and outlook in this episode was all very very good.
- The humorous nod towards democracy as an impractical joke was a nice touch. I admit that the establishment of the council was a more realistic outcome. I liked it.
- Bran as new king was slightly strange but not unrealistic. He was obviously more objective and suitably less prone to human flaws than the rest (in line with the show's despicable viewpoint of humanity as evil). On the other hand he isn't exactly human anymore so what kind of leader would that make? A mixed bag of a development.
- Sansa seceding the North didn't seem necessary anymore so it was a little weird, but it made sense for the future.
- Arya becoming an explorer was very strange. One the one hand she took the lesson from Sandor to heart about not being obsessed with killing and revenge, and it fit with her anti-social character needing a strong and outgoing occupation, but it felt like it came out of nowhere. We didn't see this side of her before.
In summary, a flawed episode, but there is a lot to like here as well. Altogether, this show qualifies as a staggeringly epic, dark and fascinating but flawed 70-hour fantasy movie. As mentioned, the primary problem that broke the show was in the previous episode. I wish there was a way to fix that. But I don't regret watching the whole thing at all and I still think it is a strong show.