"The reaction to Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones was over the top even by reaction-to-Game of Thrones standards," says Mary McNamara, who still considers the HBO drama, with one epsiode remaining, TV's greatest show of all time. "When Daenerys decided to raze King’s Landing after the city’s surrender and in spite of her counselor’s advice, many people decided to raze Game of Thrones," adds McNamara. "In an avalanche of outraged tweets, creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were accused of misogyny, laziness, character abandonment, nihilism, preoccupation with their next project and a disregard for their audience or the show’s legacy. It was glorious, a symphony of angry superfans." She adds: "For many superfans, and quite a few critics, the show they hoped to see is over, because, alas, it never existed — they are left instead with the one written by the writers who made them superfans in the first place. This doesn’t mean that criticism isn’t deserved or that reaction isn’t important — the conversations sparked by Game of Thrones and other shows are wonderful and necessary because they reflect issues that are far larger than any particular story. Any television show that provokes this depth of feeling about topics including pacing, character development, inclusivity and the depiction of women is a win no matter how it ends. Also, I am a big fan of outrage when warranted, but even though things are not going at all the way I had 'planned' this season, I am more happy that we still don’t know how this wildly anticipated, highly parsed show is going to end."
Why Daenerys' attack on King's Landing makes historic sense: "What Dany did to King’s Landing is completely consistent with what almost every army does at the end of almost every war," says Tim Molloy. "Because history is a series of overreactions. Killing civilians is obviously wrong. But Daenerys Targaryen was considerably more restrained than, oh, let’s say… the United States at the end of World War II. Japan killed 2,403 Americans, mostly military, in the Pearl Harbor attack that forced the United States into the war. The United States killed at least 129,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, in the atomic bombings that forced Japan out of the war. It’s a horrific, real-life example of how actual war works."
Why Jon Snow must die in the series finale: "If Game of Thrones wants to end its eight seasons in a way that does justice to a series that shocked and horrified and angered its fans, Jon Snow must die," says Matt Miller. "If Game of Thrones wants this finale to satisfy, to challenge, to surprise its millions of die-hard viewers, Jon Snow must die. If Game of Thrones wants to avoid cliche and provide an emotionally gratifying experience, Jon Snow must die. If Game of Thrones wants to pay off two decades of books and TV and intricate writing, of prophecies, of clues, of vision—Jon Snow must die."
In defense of the "legendary" Euron Greyjoy: "In only nine total episodes of screen time on Game of Thrones, Euron Greyjoy became king of the Iron Islands, slept with the queen, destroyed his niece’s fleet, killed a dragon, and killed Jaime Lannister," says Derek Lawrence. "Oh, and also was the one-liner king...Long live the hilarious, psychotic, legendary king that was promised."