With the final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" commencing, I imagine most fans are harboring hopes that things will turn out well for the remaining heroes in Westeros.
A large part of me hopes for the same. But a different part of me — the part that researches the political effects of entertainment — is pulling for a final season that is as brutally unjust as the first five seasons of the series. It wants the White Walkers to overrun the North and kill Jon Snow and Daenerys, or Cersei to betray the heroes after they battle the army of the dead, leaving no opposition to her claim to the Iron Throne.
A study I recently conducted with some students on "Game of Thrones" colored my views on unhappy endings, revealing that perhaps television series and movies need more of them.