Type keyword(s) to search


Game of Thrones' "Iron Anniversary" seems aimed at rehabilitating its reputation after hated finale

  • While HBO's month-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of its biggest hit has drawn complaints of too much too soon, the Iron Anniversary may be an attempt to reverse the bitter taste the series finale left fans two years ago. "Does the biggest TV drama of the last decade need such a huge PR push?" asks Graeme Virtue. "Bizarrely, it seems the answer is yes. The Iron Anniversary may initially sound like a self-aggrandizing flex – commissioning a dragon-themed Fabergé egg isn’t cheap – but it also feels like a conscious attempt to draw a line under the unfortunate way GoT wrapped up in 2019. What should have been a victory lap somehow turned into a car crash, tainting the legacy of the most Emmy-garlanded TV drama in history. That wobbly eighth season – with on-screen storylines and behind-the-scenes rumors endlessly analyzed by hungry fans and media – caused a passionate and vitriolic backlash, with more than a million viewers signing a petition calling for an alternative ending by 'competent writers.' When the compromised ending finally arrived, complete with a personality transplant for Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys, it seemed to snuff out Thrones-mania at a stroke, an unwelcome final twist in a rug-pulling franchise built on them. This very messy, public breakup between a fantasy juggernaut and its fanbase is why there is no real GoT conversation in 2021. What else is there to say? From the third season onwards, the coverage was so intense that every conceivable theory was aired and exhausted. Any new discussion is still likely colored by the oversized reaction to the ending. But give it a few years and opinions will likely soften, new generations will discover the show and the great reassessment will begin. With that endgame in mind, the Iron Anniversary seems like a strategic attempt at reputation management, smoothing out some of GoT’s critical wrinkles by encouraging fans to appreciate the whole grand tale rather than just the flame-out at the end." As Virtue points out, it would be a good idea to rehabilitate Game of Thrones' reputation ahead of House of the Dragon and a slew of other spinoffs HBO has planned. "Ironically, the fact that the original series is streamable and so more accessible than ever means GoT may always require some sort of PR stunt to offer viewers a pressing reason to click play," Virtue adds. "Technically, the next Iron Anniversary should not be until 2031, but expect other wheezes in the meantime. A promo blowout in June 2023 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the notorious Red Wedding? It would certainly make for a memorable Fabergé egg."

    TOPICS: Game of Thrones, HBO, Retro TV