As surely the majority of you already know, over the last couple of days — in a span of less than twenty hours — the humble little world of internet movie/television news was slammed with two major, high-profile announcements: the first coming from Disney declaring that Avengers: Infinity War would now be a standalone film (instead of a two-part saga), and the second from HBO confirming that Season 8 of Game of Thrones would be the last in the series.
Now, while I'm sure both proclamations can and will be unpacked and analyzed countless times in their own right over the next week or so (as well they should be), the rapid fire succession of each has prompted me to view them instead as one grand event. As such, this monumental situation has led to what I truly feel can be the only real question worth asking: Whose announcement won?
The Case For Infinity War
Infinity War should win because the original Part One/Part Two design of it reflected the sheer magnitude of the MCU's entire, decade-long creative venture. Since 2008's Iron Man, fans were taken on a multiple phase journey to some gigantic finale and, after 2012's The Avengers, we were under the impression that Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Gauntlet would be that gigantic finale. With this in mind, shifting it to a single movie, in a way, deemphasizes the scale of the undertaking; it makes Infinity War feel less significant.
And more importantly, it means that the widely assumed finale is no longer the finale, which means fans are now getting an entirely new story that, moreover, they finally know absolutely nothing about. In other words, everything that once felt sequentially built up to is now totally up in the air, in ways both deflating and mysterious. That is one helluva announcement there, boys and girls.
The Case Against Infinity War
But it's still the same amount of content, once you get past the reshuffling. At the end of the day, fans of the MCU were promised two more movies with these characters coming out in successive years, and we're going to get two more movies with these characters coming out in successive years.
It also means that what we once thought was the end isn't actually; there's still more time to ponder/pontificate about what comes next, after the events of Infinity War. For this world and group of characters, a sense of new life has been instilled, which cannot be said for our second contestant.
The Case For Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones will now definitely end in two seasons. It will end. It will formally be over. There will be no more after that, because it will have ceased in being a TV show, for sure now. As in, there will be no more episodes of GoT once Season 8 has concluded... officially.
This is bigger than switching movies around. This is more important than shortening a saga to an epic.
This is Game of Thrones no longer producing new shows, and having that be a certainty now. This is us inevitably referring to it in the past tense after two more seasons. Forever.
How can that not win?
The Case Against Game of Thrones
But on the other hand, all things end. Something ending is not really crazy news, because that has literally never not happened in the history of film and television. Being official or not, and no matter how heavy it feels, we all kind of knew this was coming, while having no idea about the Infinity War announcement.
And oh by the way? Just like GoT ending in two seasons, The Avengers (as we know them at least) are also ending in two more movies. Did you miss that part? While this report makes it feel like The Avengers have new life, audiences will still only have two more chances to partake in this cherished world, just like we only have with The Seven Kingdoms. The repackaging doesn't change that part either.
So that's why I gotta give the game to The Avengers and their Infinity War. Though the official report of our entry into the twilight of Game of Thrones is certainly of tremendous importance to so many fans, it's not actually anything we can consider new, unlike its counterpart.
And I guess you can't really call a report huge "news" without that part.