When it comes to a TV show finale, there is so much on the line. The show’s creators need to hit a lot of checkmarks to make sure fans walk away happy and the program can go off the air with style and grace. There’s an unbelievable amount of pressure and when it comes to fan reactions, the stakes are really never higher than the finale. Which is likely why so many finales ending up being disappointments. It is going to be hard meeting lofty expectations. And though a lot of finales have been panned by fans and critics alike, we now know what show had the most hated one of all-time. Congratulations Game of Thrones, people hated your last episode the most.
Looper ran a poll among its readers to try and judge fan reaction over the most reviled TV show finale. They included a number of different choices, some of which finished not too far behind. But when it was all said and done, HBO’s final episode of Game of Thrones took home the *top* prize among fans. Now, it’s important to note that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. So to be among the group of finalists here, your show had to be pretty darn popular to begin with or no one would care. The group in Seven Kingdoms of Westeros definitely fit the bill there, but man did fans ever hate how it all ended.
Game of Thrones ran for eight, zeitgeist-leading seasons on HBO before finally signing off the air on May 19, 2019, with the episode “The Iron Throne”. As far as a TV show finale went, it tried to wrap up an incredible amount of storytelling and character development they’d done over the years, helping to make it one of the most popular shows ever. It likely was never going to wrap up into a tidy bow or fulfill all fans’ wishes when it came to the story, but it also ended up being a clunky mess that saw character heel turns and a relative sprint to the finish that felt avoidable. When it was all said and done, fans were right to be annoyed with the ending and how much of the finale went about undoing a better part of the show’s storytelling over the years.
Among the many issues for this TV show finale, in particular, was the way the character of Daenerys was handled and how her story culminated. For someone who’d become among the more popular and powerful characters we’d seen in some time, her 11th-hour shift to the dark side made almost no sense at all. And while the set pieces were huge and awe-inspiring, too much of the show was spent laying waste to everything it had built over the years. I’m not surprised this topped the list.
But again, you don’t make the group of most-hated unless at one time you were among the most-loved. Other finales that made Looper’s list include Lost with Jack laying in the field (Heaven?) staring up at the sky, Dexter getting in one last killing, and even Gossip Girl with a bummer of a reveal at the end. One show I was surprised to no be on the list was The Sopranos considering the amount of controversy that cropped up over the final scene alone. But when it’s all said done, Game of Thrones tops the list, and rightfully so.