LOS ANGELES - Mixed reviews, a stray water bottle and pleas for a spinoff for feisty teen assassin Arya Stark marked the end of "Game of Thrones," which came to a close on Sunday with one more shocking demise and an unlikely character named as king.
The 80-minute series finale of HBO's medieval fantasy series proved as divisive as Season 8 itself, with the hard fought Iron Throne burned to the ground and the saga ending in what some called an anti-climax.
USA Today's Kelly Lawler called the finale "a disaster ending that fans didn't deserve," adding that it was "hacky; it was cliched."
Britain's Radio Times was kinder, with blogger Huw Fullerton writing there were "some bits I liked, one or two I loved, an awful lot that leaves me scratching my head. But I will say, it ended better than I expected given the last two episodes."
According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the finale got 59 % approval from television critics, compared with 92 % for the Season 8 premiere on April 14.
Television series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were silent on Monday. The executive producers had said they planned to go offline when the finale aired.
"We'll be in an undisclosed location, turning off our phones and opening various bottles," Weiss told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.
Many fans were more upset about the series coming to an end after eight seasons.
"I thought it would be more of a dramatic ending," healthcare worker Christine Lethune told Reuters at a viewing party in New York. "I'm mad, I'm mad that this is the last episode. I wish that there was more after this."
Eagle eyed fans spotted another modern prop that made its way on camera.
On Sunday. it was a plastic water bottle seen partly hidden behind the boot of character Samwell Tarly. The sighting followed dismay and jokes over the sighting of a stray paper coffee cup glimpsed during episode 4, aired two weeks ago.
HBO last year ordered a prequel, co-written by author George R.R. Martin, that is set thousands of years before the events of "Game of Thrones."
But on Monday, many fans wanted a sequel based around Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who is last seen aboard a ship to explore lands unknown.
"Arya was the only good part of Season 8. Give us the spinoff," tweeted Riley McAtee, an associate editor at sports and pop culture website The Ringer.com