Scott D. Pierce: Watching 'Game of Thrones' is an emotional experience

<b>Television • </b>But it will be most wrenching if we have to wait until 2019 for the final season.

(Courtesy of HBO) The Night King (Vladimir Furdik) takes aim at Viserion in “Game of Thrones."

The best television dramas evoke an emotional response from viewers. And by that measure — as well as many others — “Game of Thrones” remains one of the best shows on TV.

I’m sort of embarrassed about how upset I was after watching the most recent episode.

(SPOILER ALERT — now we’re going to discuss that episode, titled “Beyond the Wall.”)

A whole lot of characters have died on “GoT,” including many we liked. Admired. Rooted for.

After Robb, Catelyn and Talisa Stark were murdered at the Red Wedding (along with thousands of their troops), I could only sit numbly as the credits rolled. It was years before I could watch that scene again.

After adding the accompanying clip to this column, it may be years before I can watch the most recent episode again because of the death of Viserion the dragon. It was no more surprising than the Red Wedding deaths, but at the same time it was a terrible shock. Just as the show’s writers/producers intended.

“We knew that killing the dragon was going to have a tremendous emotional impact, ’cause over the seasons and seasons of the show it’s really been emphasized what they are to Dany,” executive producer D.B. Weiss said in the “Inside the Episode” feature HBO released.

To Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), the dragons are her children. And just wait until she finds out that after he killed Viserion, the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) resurrected him as a zombie ice dragon.

“The Night King has finally gotten his own weapon of mass destruction,” said executive producer David Benioff.

Logically, it had to happen. If Daenerys had three dragons to none when the battle with the army of the dead begins, the odds would be too much in her favor. That would be bad storytelling.

But “Game of Thrones” isn’t just about our heads, it’s about our hearts. And the show made us take the dragons into our hearts.

Hey, it was tough to see three of the direwolves killed. We’d probably still be obsessed with Ghost … if the writers hadn’t pretty much forgotten about that animal.

Yes, I could sit here and nitpick “GoT” for hours on end. I could let the fact that the ship Daenerys and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) were sailing on after Viserion’s death didn’t pitch or roll — at all — ruin that scene for me.

But I won’t. That would be missing the forest for the trees.

I can’t wait for Sunday’s season finale (10 p.m. HBO), even though I’m certain it will upset me. Although not nearly as much as if we have to wait until 2019 for the eighth and final season.

That’s a possibility. But we could see Season 8 in 2018, according to HBO’s head of programming, Casey Bloys. The scripts have been written, and Benioff and Weiss are “boarding it all out to get a sense” of when to go into production on what will be a “very complicated” shoot.

“So I don’t have the answer yet,” Bloys said.

Please let it be 2018. Please.

Comments:  (0)