No, I didn't watch the finale. I've read the synopsis and intend to take a look at some point, but I don't think it really matters.
As the lawyer types would say: the facts are not in dispute.
I'm the last one to minimize the complexity of writing a multi-volume story that covers dozens of characters over two decades, but I also know my limits.
That's why I waited to publish the first volume. My story was far less ambitious than George R.R. Martin's and my inspiration was clear (insofar as I knew what I did not want to write), but even so, I doubted my ability to adjust on the fly.
Everything had to fit together and that meant changing things on the front end to make sure they fit on the back end.
This wasn't an exercise in ego, it was a service to my readers. I wonder if that's part of what's going on - writers so full of themselves they think they can handle things they clearly can't.
I'm still a relative novice, but trying to keep 1,000 pages of text and a quarter of a million words straight was pretty tough. And that's what, just one of Martin's books?
He bit off more than he could chew.
And there lies my criticism.
He didn't need to go so big to have a good story. Dial it down a little, be humble, and take the win.
I freely admit that I decided to follow the example of J.R.R. Tolkien in making sure everything worked before publishing. Lord of the Rings is a single, unified book published in three volumes. It is a seamless masterpiece. I knew I wasn't even approaching it's level of greatness, but I'd rather turn in a serviceable story than a flawed would-be epic.
To be sure, Martin has more stature and money than I do. On the other hand, I like to think I'm just getting started.