The final episode of Game Of Thrones has been perhaps one of the most divisive TV finales of all time, with fans torn between loving and feeling disappointed by the ending.
The epic fantasy drama came to a close in America on Sunday evening after 73 episodes, with UK-based fans able to watch the finale at 2am on Monday.
Initial reaction to the feature-length episode – which included a controversial plot twist before the fate of the Iron Throne and who would rule over Westeros was revealed – is very mixed.
Internet personality Tim the Tat Man tweeted that Game Of Thrones “will go down as one of my favourite series ever”, before adding: “That being said… I am STRUGGLING with the past couple episodes.
“Love the show, love the series, but I can’t help but feel disappointed.”
Stranger Things actress Shannon Purser said she was “at a loss for words” over the finale.
One fan joked that the programme’s writers David Benioff and DB Weiss were the “true villains of season 8”, echoing a sentiment felt by many on social media that the writing had been a disaster.
American civil rights activist and podcaster DeRay Mckesson tweeted: “Now, I didn’t want to be one of the people disappointed in the finale. But I legit don’t know what’s happening. It’s like they just gave up on a storyline. #DemThrones.”
However, American drag queen and performer Katya Zamo was among the supporters, tweeting: “Well, okay, wow. I actually really enjoyed the #GOTFinale.”
Former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Kendra Wilkinson wrote that it was a “very politically correct ending”.
She added: “Was waiting for some twist but then again it’s like done done. Not mad at all Lol. #got.”
American rapper T-Pain was supportive of the final episode, and criticised those who thought they could do better.
He tweeted: “I’d love to see the scripts to these shows that all these ppl that are criticizing GoT wrote. We might be able to get some money if you’re that much better of a writer than the ones that kept you hype for 8 years.”
He added: “Thank you guys for all the hard work and dedication to Game of Thrones. All the time spent away from your families and loved ones. All the shit we give you for just trying to please us all. Until next time.”
Overall, many viewers have declared their gratitude to the programme’s writers, creators and cast for their work over the past eight years.
Comic book writer Saladin Ahmed said there was “lots to be rightly mad about” with the ending, but that he is “choosing to walk away remembering all of the thrilling, previously unthinkable-for-TV things this show did right over the years.”
“Many people working hard to give us many deeply satisfying hours, despite all the flaws! #GameOfThrones,” he added.
Actor Dan Murrell said: “I’m alright with it. Definitely a bumpy final season but I’m content with how it ended. Would perfection have been nice? Absolutely.
“But I’m light years from the ‘it’s a flaming disaster’ train. It was, at times, spectacular TV. Thanks for years of entertainment.”
The show, starring the likes of Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage, debuted in 2011.
It is based on George RR Martin’s series of fantasy novels, A Song Of Ice And Fire, and adapted for television by Benioff and Weiss.
The critically-acclaimed fantasy drama has picked up dozens of awards over the years, and is the most-awarded TV series in Emmy Awards history.
However, despite being one of the most popular programmes of a generation and one of the most talked-about on social media, the final season has encountered criticism, and a petition demanding a remake of series eight “with competent writers” gathered a million signatures ahead of the show’s finale.
A prequel to Game Of Thrones, reportedly titled Bloodmoon, is rumoured to be in the works, and there are also calls from fans for a spin-off focused on Arya Stark, played by Williams.
The Game Of Thrones finale will be repeated in the UK at 9pm on Monday on Sky Atlantic and Now TV.