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Over the course of its epic six season run, Game of Thrones has received a near endless amount of praise for its bold storytelling and intricate, but compelling characters. The adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, Game of Thrones has racked up 110 Emmy Award nominations and 38 wins, including six straight nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Series’ star Peter Dinklage alone has received 45 award nominations for his performance as Tyrian Lannister. Yes, it seems that everyone loves them some Game of Thrones. That is, except for a growing number of discontented fans who’ve accused the show of some pretty terrible crimes (not least of all dragging out the plot). If you’re a fan of HBO’s flagship series, some of these critiques might surprise you. SPOILERS AHEAD.

1. Can We Just End It Already?

People, how many times does Dany have to lose and retake her own slave kingdom? The story would have lost nothing putting the young queen in firm control of her land and sending her across the open ocean by the end of the fourth season. What’s more, the Lannisters languishing in the lap of power in the capital has been extended far beyond its enjoyment. Like the series of novels on which it’s based, Game of Thrones is increasingly viewed as being overly dragged out.

End It

2. Even When It Ends, the Larger Story is Pointless

Perhaps even worse than that, it would appear that the series’ grim tone and cutthroat ethos serve no larger narrative purpose other than “George R.R. Martin thinks it’s cool.” There is a growing section of fantasy fans who find Martin’s storytelling and the series, by extension, increasingly “manipulative, foolish, and overrated.” Characters are killed off to stall or forego entire plot threads, shocking scenes of brutality are meant to count for substance, and there’s essentially no governing philosophy for the work beyond: “life is horrible.”


3. There’s Basically No Character Interaction Anymore

Thanks to the fact that most of season one’s players are now six feet under (if they’re lucky), and the rest of the cast have spread out across the known world, some fans accuse Game of Thrones of lacking good character interaction. No one is gathered around anymore, so there’s no good dialogue. Instead, the characters are silent, or nearly silent chess pieces, moving mysteriously around the board. What was once a show of artful interaction, has become a bleak end game.


4. ‘Game of Thrones’ Makes People Turn into Jerks

Seriously, the next time you’re in a somewhat social situation, just go trolling the people around you and mention that you don’t like Game of Thrones. The fan base are aggressive about their passion for the show, and some will get really heated when they discover you simply aren’t a fan. It’s one of those shows like Sex in the City, with a rabid fan base that can really ruin the experience.


5. Several Scenes in the Show Have a Really Offensive ‘White Savior’ Vibe

Hey, how do you liberate an entire population of brown people from the bonds of their evil oppressors? If you ask the showrunners at Game of Thrones, the answer is “Throw a white woman at the problem.” Mother of Dragons, Daenerys’ entire story has devolved into her traveling from slave-ridden city to slave-ridden city freeing the poor, afflicted, and super grateful minorities. It’s a shallow characterization that the show has employed ever since Khal Drogo’s barbaric Dothraki showed up cutting each other and raping anything that moved.

White Savior

6. The Good Guys Always Lose And They Die Terrible, Terrible Deaths

Okay, so last season, the demented Ramsay Bolton was eaten by dogs, and the season before that, sadistic boy king Joffrey Baratheon was poisoned pretty grotesquely. For the most part though, nothing life-threatening happens to bad people in Game of Thrones. The good people though, get mowed down like there’s no tomorrow. At this point in the series, essentially all but three Starks are left alive, and anyone else who’s shown a hint of nobility throughout the series gets swiftly cut down, and typically before they’re able to achieve any measure of revenge. When the good guys are finally thrown just the tiniest bone, they typically have to walk through hell just to get there. Who doesn’t remember the time Jon Snow had to literally fight his way out of a pile of corpses to beat the Bolton army?

Good Guys

7. The Show is Exceptionally Misogynistic

If you want proof of that fact, look no further than the extremely long and horrible scene in which Cersei Lannister was paraded through the town completely naked, while being pelted with feces and cursed by the townspeople. It was not pleasant, and there was little artistic merit to the whole thing, if any. Before that, she was raped by her own brother (a vast departure from the story woven by Martin). Then there’s the extremely graphic defiling of a Northerner’s daughters, by a rampaging bunch of members of the Night’s Watch (another scene that’s not found in the books). That’s just two examples of the myriad ways in which women are reduced to sexual stereotypes, or otherwise denigrated on a regular basis on the show.


8. The Acting Sucks (a Lot)

Okay, let’s start this section by excluding actor Peter Dinklage, who is a consistent high point throughout the series. Outside Dinklage though, several of the series’ actors have been accused of hamming it up to a distressing degree. Littlefinger’s accent is atrocious, Arya Stark is inconsistent, Sansa Stark is wooden, and Jon Snow is basically just playing a less vanilla version of himself. The attacks on the show’s acting talent are plentiful.


9. The Whole Show is Boring Now

When things got started on Game of Thrones, every death was shocking, every line of dialogue razor sharp. In the intervening seasons, the show hasn’t produced any truly unique new characters, and its focus has shifted from story, to gratuitous scenes of violence and sex. At some point, audiences became immune to the shock, almost coming to expect a growing slew of degradation and hopelessness. We expect the awful, so it’s not a shock, which robs Game of Thrones of one of its biggest thrills.


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