The morning after Game of Thrones.

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett and sponsored by the Westeros Tourism Board

Last night Game of Thrones aired its final episode. Maybe you’ve heard. Like so many TV show finales, it annoyed a whole lot of people - just as this final season has been for the past few weeks.

The thing with serialised TV is that it is ultimately about the journey and not the destination. TV thrives when you spend time with beloved characters and join them on their quests of discovery. It isn’t really built to end with a definitive statement. This is why the final episode of almost every show has a very different feel to the series as a whole. It’s the only episode of a show that is built to have an actual ending.

Is The Game of Thrones final episode one of the all-time great episodes of TV? I don’t think it joins the list - if only because there was no real iconic moment in the episode. Last week’s thunderous destruction of Kings Landing will likely be better remembered - it was a visceral powerhouse of an episode. Though, there were some stunning shots in this final episode.

Before I launch into a lengthy list of interesting articles about Game of Thrones, can I make some viewing suggestions for people looking to dive into a meaty TV show?

  • You have a subscription to watch Game of Thrones already set up - why not sample a few other HBO shows while you have it? I’d recommend giving The Leftovers a look. It’s a lot more somber than Game of Thrones and that first season is a really tough watch. But it’s probably the most rewarding show I’ve seen since Mad Men finished. Also maybe try the Murdoch-inspired family comedy-drama Succession, western Deadwood, or 1930’s period circus drama Carnivale.

  • If you haven’t watched Mad Men, what are you waiting for? It is, in my opinion, the best TV drama of all time. You should be able to find that streaming via Netflix.


Game of Thrones

The show acknowledged Ghost as being the very good boy that he is. Source: Vox

13.6 million people tuned in for the 9pm Game of Thrones broadcast in the US, which makes it the most watched HBO telecast in the networks history. But, that doesn’t include everyone who watched last night via streaming platforms, bringing the figure up to 19.3 million viewers. Source: Variety

Game of Thrones didn’t air/stream in China due to the US-China trade war. Source: Complex

Vanity Fair has all of the easter eggs from the final episode. Source: Vanity Fair

Who were all of the Lords making the decision on who shall be King? Here’s your guide. Source: Vanity Fair

Much like the much-discussed cup of coffee, the series finale was not without a beverage-based gaffe. One tense scene involved bottles of plastic water in the background. Source: The Verge

Did Game of Thrones betray its central themes with its final episode? Here’s a rant on that subject. Source: Vox

Twitter’s reaction to Sansa slamming her uncle Edmure Tully. Source: Uproxx

Last week’s destruction of Kings Landing is why the production of Game of Thrones moved from Dubrovnik to Belfast. Source: RTE

No culture writer working on Game of Thrones coverage has been more revered than Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson. If you’re going to read one piece today, make it this one: “Our Unforgettable, Uncontrollable Ride”.

It starts:

When they first pitched HBO on the concept of Game of Thrones in 2006, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had never written a single second of TV and I had never written a single word professionally. But as a bookseller in an independent shop in Northern California I knew the same thing they did: George R.R. Martin had written a series of doorstopper novels that were popular, dense, and, according to anyone who knew anything about it, completely unfilmable. But none of us, not even Martin himself, knew where all of this would lead.

Source: Vanity Fair


Other TV

There was a Happy Endings reunion hosted by Vulture. And the good news is that the audio for that is available as a podcast. So shimmy on over to the Vulture site for info on listening to that.

Source: Vulture


Daniel D’addario at Variety has his review of new Amazon series Good Omens up - he calls it a ‘missed opportunity’.

Source: Variety


Humans has been cancelled by AMC after 3 seasons.

Source: Variety


As per director McG, a True Lies TV series is in the works for Disney+.


And finally…

In an effort to try to catch some “What will I watch now that Game of Thrones is over” chatter, Netflix dropped some Stranger Things posters online (*yawn*) and a pretty fun teaser trailer: