It's part of the zeitgeist, so let me add my two pennies to the discussion about Game of Thrones.
I have not read the novels. In fact, I have not even been watching from the beginning. I picked up the series around the third season. I suppose this classifies me more as a casual rather than hardcore super fan.
I appreciate Game of Thrones for what it has been. It's delivered complex characters and storylines, rich cinematography, and surprises and brutality that are pretty much unmatched in a mainstream series.
Unfortunately, the series has fallen into the trap of so many series with the best days behind it. So many series start out great or they start out slow and get great, but then they stay around too long or they botch the ending. A few series that have succumbed to this phenomenon are The Sopranos, Dexter, and Mad Men.
I understand the show runners were the only ones wanting to wrap up the series with this season and this many episodes. Maybe the idea was to not overstay the welcome. Maybe they had Michael Jordan syndrome and were tired of winning and want to move on to baseball (Star Wars??)
The problem is that the end feels rushed to me. The last season and the finale do not feel true to the spirit of the storytelling that the show has demonstrated in previous seasons. The finale had some cool moments, but where was the shock and awe? And really..Bran as King??
I enjoyed the ride. The last turn left me disappointed.
But they can't all be Breaking Bad.