Say what you will about the ending of Game of Thrones, and plenty have, but it had a very clear message: Fate is bullshit. Prophecy means nothing except the meaning you give it. Azor Ahai was either not real or badly misinterpreted because the one who "defeated the darkness" met none of the criteria. Cersei spent her whole life in fear the "valonquar" when it was a dang rock that brought her down. (Arguably also Daenerys, who was indeed a younger sibling, with a helping hand Cersei's own pride, but mostly the rock.) It's a pretty powerful message in a world of magic and fire gods: Those gods don't give a shit about you, there's no reason for anything, and you have to decide for yourself who you'll be in the world. Upending fantasy tropes like that to reflect a more profound truth was exactly what the show did best when it did it. Naturally, everyone hated it.
There are plenty of valid reasons to be unhappy about the last episodes of Game of Thrones, but anyone who was upset that all these seemingly carefully hung Chekhov's guns never went off shouldn't have been surprised. It was all explained in a scene in one of the show's most infamous episodes, "The Mountain and the Viper," where the Lannister Bois discuss their "simple" cousin and his favorite hobby, beetle-smashing.
On its face, it seems to be a rumination on the senseless cruelty of mankind by a person whose life or death is about to be decided by a violent coin toss. Still, that speech contained the whole show in a nutshell: The gods, or simple cousins, smash the people, or the beetles, and everyone makes everything worse for themselves by trying to figure out why. It was also regarded as such a waste of time in a season (and series, if we're being honest) that badly needed more of it that it's been called out for posterity on the Wikia page for the character Tysha. (Remember her? That's the problem.) Here's hoping your night vision is good enough to read through all this shade:
We were prepared for the reveal of the meaninglessness of prophecy four seasons before it happened, but we were just mad that four minutes was spent on a scene that wasn't even in the books at the expense of seemingly more important storylines, and people still complain that the prophecies didn't end up meaning anything. We didn't and don't deserve this show.
Manna is still enraged about Tysha and willing to go off about it at the slightest provocation on Twitter.
Top image: HBO