POLL: Which was better – Westworld or Game of Thrones?

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Westworld Game of Thrones collage

So many readers have made the comparison in our various comments sections, we thought we’d go ahead and make the matchup official: which season of television was better – Westworld’s recently-completed season one, or Game of Thrones’s sixth season, which finished up back in June?

There’s obviously an unfair element involved here, as one series has been on the air for five years longer than the other, allowing for a greater level of dramatic payoff to be achieved and future setup to be introduced. Still, the freshman show has had more than its fair share of narrative buildup and revelation across its singular season – particularly in the last three or so episodes, which are choke full of twists and ramifications and emotional fallout – and, moreover, many viewers have had made the (natural, we think) comparison between the two HBO series since Westworld’s very first installment in October, thanks either to the sheer cinematic impressiveness of both productions or the internal effect that both pilots had on audiences.

So, let’s have at it, then, no punches pulled. You can cast your vote on any criteria you wish – shock value, narrative resolution, thematic development, cast performances, the best action sequences or musical scores, the season finale specifically – so long as you let us know which you used in the comments below.

29 responses to “POLL: Which was better – Westworld or Game of Thrones?”

  1. I think it’s unfair to compare them, but Game of Thrones wins for me so far. I think they stand equal in terms of plot etc, but Westworld fell short for me in character development. They killed off a ton of people in the finale, but I found myself not caring about any of them. Most of the behind the scenes characters (Charlotte, Felix, Theresa, etc) felt one dimensional to the point where I wasn’t that invested in their storylines except for the effect it had on the characters in the park. Even Ford wasn’t given enough backstory to make him sympathetic as a character. Contrast that to GOT – where I loved to hate Cersei from the beginning, and I had many other favorites I was invested in from the first season – and Westworld just doesn’t do it for me yet. I think it definitely has potential to develop the character element in future seasons though. Dolores, Maeve, and Teddy in particular could be developed into great, lovable characters.

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  2. I have a really hard time comparing the two, because they’re like apples and oranges. I think both seasons were strong, but I agree that character development could’ve been stronger in Westworld. For the first half of the season, that was my major complaint. I was digging the mysterious elements of the show, the music and the actors, and oh the visuals, but the deeper meaning was lacking. I felt detached from it. Luckily in the second half of the season, they started to deliver on the potential of the character setups and then I felt really invested.

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  3. Game of Thrones will always be my favorite show; but, in my opinion, Westworld was really consistent in contrast. GoT Season 6, while it’s overall great; isn’t one of my favorites; it did have it’s issues (a lot of people will have different opinions about those) but the thing is it gave me three of my favorite episodes of the show and two of the best episodes of TV I’ve seen (Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter). Yet, Westworld was really great as well in terms of writing and performances (the performances were spectacular) and in giving us a great mystery. It wasn’t perfect, I still think it has its own issues, but it might’ve been better. I’d choose Westworld Season 1 over GoT Season 6.

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  4. I chose GOT because I loved S6. However, Westworld was incredible; I can’t wait to see what happens in S2.

    There are so many wonderful shows on TV right now that I hate to choose one over the other. I recently finished Stranger Things, The Crown and Mr. Robot and enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to the start of The Americans. Lots of great entertainment.

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    • mariamb:
      I chose GOT because I loved S6. However, Westworld was incredible; I can’t wait to see what happens in S2.

      There are so many wonderful shows on TV right now that I hate to choose one over the other. I recently finished Stranger Things, The Crown and Mr. Robot and enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to the start of The Americans. Lots of great entertainment.

      Yes. In my opinion it’s obvious that TV it’s just plain better than movies right now, hands down.

      I still like GOT better overall, but I must confess that I liked the Bicameral Mind, the season finale, better than any individual episode of GOT so far…(maybe Hardhome excepted?)

      I was deeply sceptical about this show, because of the rumors of production troubles, the fact that I don’t like Westerns all that much, and the fact that Westworld and Futureworld, while they are sort of OK movies, they are really not all that great?

      On second thought, I shouldn’t have been…It’s basically philosophical discussions about the nature of robots and AI and humanity mixed with sci-fi action beats…

      It’s basically Battlestar Galactica all over again…

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  5. I voted from the heart instead of the head, so I went for GOT. I think Westworld was the better written and better plotted show, but it still did not affect me the way GOT did. The biggest reason for this was the same one others have pointed out, the lack of character development. Other than Dolores, Maeve, Bernard and Ford i could not really bring myself to care for anyone else. And even these 4 characters only grew on me near the end of the season, I spent a big part of the season not really relating to any of them. Whereas GOT had made me love it’s characters from the very beginning.
    Having said that, I still loved Westworld a lot. It’s the kind of show that makes you really think. The writing was excellent, the attention that was paid to small details was very commendable (there is much new stuff that I am discovering on my second watch) and any awards they win are well deserved. Of course the acting was out of this world as well. Can’t wait for S2.

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    • ghost of winterfell,

      I’m with you… although I voted for Westworld, that is I voted from my brain. If characters won me at GOT from the beginning, with Westworld it was like a revelation of human condition. Besides Maeve and Bernard, I felt for Elsie and even Felix, I was intrigued by Ford and Man in Black, was repulsed by Logan, Sizemore and Charlotte. I didn’t know why, but I disliked William from the very start. I felt the hosts’ pain and dispair when they were abused.
      But GOT is my beloved show… and if Westworld can’t move it from the first place in my heart, no show can.

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  6. I don’t think this is a fair comparison.

    Though I really enjoyed WW, I am not attached to it in anyway. And S6 of GOT being one of my faves, its obvious what I picked.

    What WW is lacking for me after season 1 is what GOT gave me in SEASON 1…. emotional attachment, character development… I mean… Jesus, season 1 is the reason everyone is a STARK fan… Season 1 is the reason why EVERYONE despises Joffrey… and loves to hate Cersei…

    I think that would have been a better comparison, though I think the budgets the respective shows were provided were a bit different.

    I don’t know… I mean, I was sad to see Ford go, but only because I love Hopkins… not cause I was attached to Ford.

    I also felt confused during the season many times, and though I love mystery and deep shows like WW… I don’t like to feel confused while I watch. Ultimately I figured things out. hahaha.

    WW was fantastic, but GOT > WW , and its going to take A LOT to change that.

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  7. To me there is no contest. The quality of the writing on Game of Thrones is simply no longer anywhere near the level of prestige shows like the Americans, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and now, Westworld.

    Yes Game of Thrones is the most epic show ever, yes season six was hugely exciting, and yes Game of Thrones will always have a special place in my heart because the story it tells is probably my favorite fictional tale of all time, but we’re talking about quality here.

    If we were talking about the first season of GoT versus the first season of WW, GoT would have won for me. But we’re talking about season six, and unfortunately, that season mainly offered us spectacle and dramatic payoffs to long-running stories. Season six did not however make any sense in terms of story logic or character development, there were gaping plot holes in nearly every scene, and many characters were written completely out of line with who they’re supposed to be. Too many story contrivances, character assassinations, and illogical/clumsy plotting for it to even be in the same league as Westworld in terms of writing.

    And yes, I know BoB won the Emmy for writing, and I don’t care.

    In my opinion, many shows are currently far ahead of GoT as far as quality of the writing is concerned, and Westworld was certainly amazing in that respect.

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  8. Unfair to compare GoT s6 and Westworld s1. In that case Westworld hands down comes out on top for me. GoT s6 had terrible writing, illogical or incomplete character motivations. Westworld in contrast was beautifully written. No dialogue was out of place. A better comparison would be GoT s1 and Westworld s1. Then GoT s1 wins in my opinion. The way the show grabbed my attention and took me on this wild ride through the season I can say not even Westworld has managed. I remember going out to buy the books after epi 1 ended it was so thrilling, and when episode 10 finished could not wait for more. In contrast the 2018 premiere for s2 of Westworld is not a problem.

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  9. I have to be honest here.I will always love GOT for the story and the characters,no matter if the quality of the show drops.But if we are talking about quality here,then Westworld is the winner.WW’s writing,acting,directing are just superior to GOT.I know many will disagree here simply because GOT will forever be their favourite story.

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  10. For me GOT season 6 wins because I’m more invested in the characters and the plot. But the first season of Westworld was better than the first season of GOT.

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