Mass Effect 3 and Game Of Thrones season 8: How not to end a series

Mass Effect 3 Ending

BioWare's Mass Effect 3 and HBO's Game Of Thrones season 8 are both disastrous finales that resulted in their fanbases creating petitions.

David Benioff and Daniel Weiss’ Game Of Thrones season 8 shares one thing in common with EA and BioWare’s Mass Effect 3: it’s a finale that has resulted in its fanbase creating a petition for the action to be remade with competent writers.

As if you don’t already know, a petition has been made for HBO to remake Game Of Thrones season 8. It’s gathered over 750,000 signatures, and it’s a clear indicator that the vocal community isn’t happy with Benioff and Weiss’ handling of the series’ finale.

Cast your mind back to 2012, and you’ll remember that BioWare faced similar outrage because of Mass Effect 3’s terrible conclusion. Gamers created a petition for the ending to be redone, and BioWare caved in by giving fans a free alternative that fixed some of the biggest issues.

It’s highly unlikely HBO will redo season 8, but the similarities between Game Of Thrones and Mass Effect 3 are undeniable. Season 8 is currently a nonsensical betrayal of the series’ lore and characterisations, while Mass Effect 3 ended on an insulting downer that didn’t make any sense.

BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 and Game Of Thrones season 8 are as bad as each other

Game Of Thrones Season 8 Daenerys Mad Queen

© HBO

Regardless if you think fan petitions are examples of audiences being entitled and not having their priorities right, it’s understandable why the world is so vexed about Game Of Thrones season 8. The drop in quality isn’t surprising as season 7 was the beginning of the series’ steep decline, but season 8 is when it fell off the cliff and became a shattered corpse that is no longer recognisable.

And something similar happened with BioWare and EA’s Mass Effect 3.

The biggest issue with Game Of Thrones season 8 is that it feels rushed. As someone who loathes Star Wars, it infuriates me that the series’ showrunners - dumb and dumber - insisted on 6 episodes only because they wanted to be done with Game Of Thrones as quickly as possible so they could further destroy another adored franchise.

Not only does everything feel rushed, but the resolutions aren’t true to the series’ lore and history. Arya killing the Night King is stupid and was simply done to “subvert expectations”, Tyrion ratting Varys out to Daenerys is untrue to their friendship and bond, Jaime saying he never cared about the innocents conflicts with how he became the infamous kingslayer, and Daenerys suddenly burning innocent men, women, and children has come out-of-nowhere (yes, there were signs she was the Mad Queen, but her shift to villainhood feels rushed and like a whole season is missing).

Back in 2012, BioWare had similarly ruined the Mass Effect series; the original conclusion to Mass Effect 3 is infamous for how it made everything that happened in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 pointless. Similar to how Arya killing the Nights King ruined Jon Snow, Mass Effect 3’s original three endings ruined the franchise. Regardless if players chose green, blue, or red, the Reapers simply won. None of the choices players made and none of the preparation for the final war mattered as the Reapers were an immovable force thanks to ill-thought-out writing.

And the Reapers winning regardless wasn’t the only issue. The original endings concluded with some of the Mass Effect crew being stranded on an Adam and Eve planet, and this didn’t make any sense as there was no explanation for why Joker and the likes of Liara and Garrus had abandoned Shepard. It was a kick to the nuts for gamers who had spent nearly a hundred hours in the Mass Effect universe romancing and befriending their squad, just like Game Of Thrones season 8 is an insulting reward for audiences who have been with Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion, and others for 80 hours (way more if you consider fans of the books).

BioWare deserves mad respect for how they resolved the ending’s biggest faults for free by adding scenes and concept art that provided context and bright futures for the Mass Effect universe, but there was no escaping the fact that fan theories made more sense and were truer to the franchise. Like Game Of Thrones with the dozens of fan theories surrounding the Night’s King and how the series should end, the indoctrination theory was ten-times better than how BioWare finished Mass Effect 3. The indoctrination theory and the Game Of Thrones fan theories are examples of audiences understanding their favourite series more than the creators.

Game Of Thrones season 8 is a disaster, and Mass Effect 3 was the gaming industry’s equivalent back in 2012. BioWare did their best to Sellotape Mass Effect’s broken corpse back together, but the series is still broken and Andromeda just made things worse. Game Of Thrones season 8 is already an unrecognisable corpse that can’t be resurrected, but it’s possible the prequels HBO have in mind will just further ruin the property as Andromeda did for Mass Effect.

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