I'm deliberately late to the party here. Going against what the Fern is based on I decided to wait until the dust settles and try and post with reason and logic instead of pure emotion... I think some of my initial disappointment was actually just because the series is ending rather than anything to do with the shortcomings of the show/writers.
Overall I am... very happy with how it ended up. Although it did seem a bit rushed, that was hard to avoid given how many story lines the show ended up running with. It was always going to be very difficult to tie them all away nicely - as mentioned in this thread even in the books fantasy novels do struggle to finish given the complexity of the plot.
Anyway some random thoughts:
- There were some absolutely epic scenes in the final episode. Dani walking out to address her army with the dragon wings coming out was sensational. Drogon melting the throne was also absolutely awesome. I suspected he wouldn't incinerate Jon as he is a Targaryen, but destroying the throne was brilliant - in the end it was the throne and the power it symbolized that drove his mother mad. Brilliant stuff.
- My only real criticism of the episode was the jump from Dani dying to the council a month later. Threw me out for a while, and there was plenty of action that I thought was going to follow immediately after her death. Could have split that into two episodes IMO - that would have been a great way to finish leading up to the finale.
- Bran was always the best option for King. Unemotional, no desire for power, can see the wider picture better than anyone. I'm pleased they went with him in the end.
- A little surprised Jon and Greyworm both survived, thought they were both done after their actions (Greyworm slaughtering innocents and Jon slaying Dani).
- Love that it ended with the Starks to go full circle on where the series started. No doubt there is plenty of scope to do some spin off series - people already calling for Arya the Adventurer.
Overall I feel privileged to have been able to watch such an incredible series; at home with surround sound and in high definition to boot. Fark we live in great times. The show has been running for as long as I've been with my wife, and for someone that disliked fantasy when I met her she is now absolutely enamoured with it and wants to read more. I watched the first series without her, and when Ned died I immediately knew I had to force her to watch it just to see her reaction to that, which didn't disappoint. I've successfully turned her into a fantasy geek.
This show has really set the standard, and I'm super excited about what is to come now that the bar has been set so high.