Spoilers through S8E3.
I am not owed a certain number of main character deaths per episode, but Westeros feels less and less dangerous for the most important characters. Had I been watching any other show last night, I would have gone into it thinking “I know these main characters can’t die because they’re important.” Because I was watching Game of Thrones, my thoughts were the opposite: “what would happen if Jon and Dany both die in the fight against the Night King?” But nobody did die. All the main characters with a bone to pick against Cersie make it through the night so that they can now wage war to dethrone her. On one hand, it’s not what I expected, so I can’t complain about the show being becoming predictable. On the other hand, every time Jon or Jaime do something senseless (like fighting a dragon or fighting a dragon) I am less and less invested in what’s happening because I know they are Important Characters.
That was a long-winded way to say that I feel a little let down by the last night’s conclusion. I don’t feel let down by the visuals - Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 is another fantastic episode wholly devoted to a horrifying battle. The army of the dead poured into Winterfell and the adrenaline-sick feeling sat in the pit of my stomach until the very last moment. Unfortunately, as soon as the episode was over, that feeling of dread and anticipation felt unjustified. The fact that every battle mattered and any decision could get you killed was what got me hooked on the show, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case anymore. I feel like I’m watching a different show now. I still like it, but it’s not the same.
There’s a youtube video that addresses a lot of the underlying issues behind how the show has changed since the movie departed from GRRM’s material. I recommend watching it so that you too can be frustrated with the plot even as you appreciate the rest of the show.