season 8 is defended by Matt Shakman, who directed 2 episodes of season 7. Based on the acclaimed fantasy novels by author George R.R. Martin, first premiered in 2011, with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss serving as showrunners. The show, which was a massive hit for HBO, came to an end in 2019 with season 8, but the final batch of episodes wasn't particularly well-received by viewers.
Now, in a recent interview with , Shakman, who is best known for directing most of the episodes of and who serves as one of the directors and executive producers for , addresses the . The filmmaker defends not only the show itself, but also Benioff and Weiss. Check out Shakman's full comment below:
Steadily gaining steam since its premiere in 2011, would eventually become one of the most popular shows on television, following a large and diverse group of characters as they battled over control of the Iron Throne of Westeros. The show wasn't just popular with audiences, with critics also praising the show for its ability to balance so many characters and storylines. This balancing act, however, would take some serious hits in season 7 and, especially, in season 8.
A major source of stems from its reduced episode count. While a typical season ran 10 episodes long, season 7 was only 7 episodes long, and season 8 was only 6. This meant that sprawling storylines and character arcs, some of which had been set up back in season 1, were wrapped up far too quickly. The invasion of the White Walkers, for example, which had long been teased as the real threat while various parties battled for the Iron Throne, was essentially wrapped up with a bow in a single episode.
This reduced episode count resulted in the arc for Danaerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) feeling especially rushed, with her transformation into the Mad Queen, which included the slaughtering of innocent civilians in King's Landing, coming on jarringly quickly. There are also specific story decisions in the that proved divisive, such as Bran becoming King, or the conclusion of Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) story, but it's the compressed nature of the final 2 seasons where most of season 8's problems truly lie.