Series: Is The Final Destination What Really Matters?

lets do this reactions liz lemon its onLet's do this! It's time for a discussion. I hope. Or more likely just me spewing my thoughts out into the interwebs, as I often do. So a question I have asked before on this blog is this: When it comes to series is it the final destination what matters most, or the journey to get there? So, what I really mean is, does the end of a series matter more than anything that precedes it. Does the ending make or break the series? If a series has been nothing but phenomenal up until the final book, do you then disregard the rest of the series because you weren't satisfied with how it ended? This questions comes back to me constantly because sometimes, the end of a series truly ruins something I once loved.

If you are quite new to my blog, you probably haven't heard me moan endlessly about Dexter before. It's okay though, you about to get it all over again in this post. So, don't worry, you haven't missed out. Essentially, Dexter used to be one of my favourite series OF ALL TIME! That show was the absolute shit, it was a great love of my life and I'd praise it endlessly. But then that last series happened. And it was all ruined. So Dexter was probably what showed me that the way something ends, whether it be a book, TV show or movie series, can actually make and break it. It can change my opinion about that thing as a whole. It can ruin or redeem everything that came before it. A disappointing ending can leave me so disheartened, so that I just feel bad that I ever bothered to get that far. But sometimes you have  those final books, seasons or movies that redeem a series. It can blow you away, and make you glad you didn't give up on it. Then we have those mediocre endings, that aren't bad, but aren't good. The ones you don't really know how to feel about.

Are endings THE MOST important thing? I mean, I don't really want to read a series where the only decent book is the final one. But then I equally don't want to read a series where there only decent book is the first one. But the ending is still crucial to me, it has to be satisfying to me, otherwise I feel I have wasted my time following that series. In my opinion, a series ender should be out of this world amazing. If it can't be that then it needs to at least be good or okay. If it is anything below that, then it usually ruins the series for me.

So let me get to my examples, I will try to keep them short (I have hundreds!):



Ones with series-ruining endings:

dexter dexter morgan stab fabulousness
Me watching the final episode of Dexter
Dexter - For anyone lucky enough to not have watched this, was a TV show that, in its prime, was one of the greatest things on television. It was fucking brilliant. It's main character is a serial killer who only kills bad guys, basically other killers, rapists and so on. It had a genius premise, the characters were brilliant and it could make you laugh, even when it probably shouldn't have. And you can't seem to help but root for Dexter most of the time, and then feel like you might be a bit of a psychopath as you sit there rooting for a killer. This show wasn't all shining brilliance though, it was very up and down. It had amazing seasons and mediocre seasons. Overall though, I had always loved this series and considered it one of my favourites. Until the final season. Us fans were excited to see how they would end this show, but I don't think any of us were expecting the season that we go. It is one of the worst things I have ever had to make myself watch. Watching the final episode actually made me throw one of my books across the room in sheer fucking frustration - that's a big deal, I never mistreat my babies like that! DEXTER MADE ME DO IT! It was such a bad series ending that it actually ruined the whole series for me. I can't bring myself to ever rewatch it, and I don't think I ever will. You know an ending is awful when it manages to ruin your love for a series that you have followed for eight years.

How I Met Your Mother - This was a series that started so well but, like a lot of series, got worse the longer it went on. The last few series weren't quite as funny, but my love of the series and the characters kept me watching. The last series though, I don't even know how that got made. It was awful. The worst series ending since Dexter. It's not that soul-crushingly awful, but it was still really bad. I finished the season and wish I'd never watched the last season. Now, if you have never watched it, stop reading now. Now. Seriously, stop. Spoilers be coming! I never wanted Ted with Robin. NEVER! I was so fed up of their stupid will they, won't they storyline. I hate those, I get sick of them. Go The Office route, put them together or let it go. Don't drag it on for 9 fucking seasons. So, yeah, I was happy with Robin and Barney. It worked and made way more sense. They even spent a whole series on their fucking wedding. Only to have her then end up with Ted?!?! Seriously?!?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?! Not fucking cool.

wtf what the fuck parks and recreation amy poehler
Me during that last episode of HIMYM

The show that got it right:

Breaking Bad - This was a show that managed to be almost perfect from the very beginning, right up until the very end. It honestly has one of greatest series endings I have ever seen, and I mean the entirety of the season and not just the final episode. The reason Breaking Bad managed to do this so perfectly is because they learnt a lesson that other series didn't: Don't drag on a series just for the purpose of making money. Breaking Bad could have gone on and on, people would've watched it. They ended it when they needed to, in order to tell the best story.


The ending that ruined the series:

X-Men The Last Stand - This movie was just awful and so not the way that series should have ended. I am so grateful  that they decided to reboot the series with the prequels, and especially loved that the second movie in the reboot basically undid all of The Last Stand. Thank fuck for that, is all I can say.

My thoughts after X-Men The Last Stand

The series that shouldn't have even been a series:

Pirates of the Caribbean - I really feel like Pirates should have just ended at The Curse of the Black Pearl. The second movie wasn't bad, but it wasn't brilliant either. Then there was the third one which was just completely disappointing and lacked all of the humour I had come to love this series for. And I thought that would be it but, no, they had to go and drag it out even more. I watched the fourth one, but it was so awful and contained the most pointless mermaid subplot ever. I gave up on it after that and don't plan to watch any more.

Me, every single time they release a new Pirates film:

The series so good a bad ending can't ruin it:

The Return of the King: This is an amazing movie, it truly is... Until it gets to the end. It's problem is one that has been joked about a million times. And that is the fact that it has a million endings. One thing you should probably do when ending a film is actually end it. Don't end it and then end it again and again and again. Just pick one ending and stick to it. What Return of the King had on its side is the fact every movie in that series was brilliant, practically flawless in fact. One small hickup of an ending just isn't enough to ruin that. Personally, I will always believe that film should have ended with the crowning of the King and everyone bowing to the hobbits. That's it. The End!


How to end a book series:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - This book was a lesson in how to successfully end a series. Everyone had ridiculously high expectations for the final book, and I was not left disappointed. J.K. Rowling broke my heart a million times over in this book, but the book left me completely satisfied. She hits you straight in the feels, makes you sob like a baby an even hate her a little bit. And yet I loved her even more for it. I know others hated the epilogue, but I enjoyed seeing our characters years later and knowing that they were all okay.

Morning Star - Pierce Brown really blew me away with the final book in the Red Rising trilogy. It was a completely satisfying ending and there wasn't one thing that I didn't like about that book. He gave me action and heartbreaking moments, shocking twists I never saw coming.

Me by the end of Morning Star:
Except it'd be a book, not a castle!

The okay ending:

Champion - Some people absolutely loved this ending, but it was just okay for me. I think that was because the ending to this series was a bit too soap-opera like in how utterly ridiculous it got. The majority of the book was solid and I enjoyed the series overall, I just wish it hadn't got so utterly ridiculous at the end.

The worst final book in a series... ever

Allegiant - This is one of the worst books I have ever had to sit and read. When I review a book, I try to be fair and not be too harsh... unless that book is Allegiant. I still can't comprehend how that book ever got published. I get annoyed by those who go on and on about the ending of that book, particularly one event. I didn't even care by the time I got till the end. Why are people forgetting everything that came before the end? (Probably because nothing much of anything came before it!) The whole book was bad. Badly plotted. Poorly paced. Terrible dual POVs that were identical. And basically reused the storyline from a previous book. I don't want to bore you with all the reasons that Allegiant is the most disappointing and series-ruining book of all time.

My thoughts exactly!

Allegiant and Dexter are definitely the two finales that proved to me the important of a good ending. Both of those managed to ruin the whole series for me. Why would I want to watch or reread either of them, knowing I'd just be horribly disappointed by the end? The ending of a book/movie/tv show isn't all that matters, but it is still important. For me, a book doesn't have to be out of this world incredible, but it has to be satisfying. Tie up loose ends, give us closure. I don't want an ending to ever leave me feeling disappointing and wondering why I bothered to get that far in the first place.

Do you have an examples of endings in books/television/movies that made or broke a series for you? Or does a bad ending not matter too much for you, as long as the rest is good? 


  1. This is such an interesting topic, I never even think about it until now. I think the ending is as important as the journey, because we spend so much time invested in the series. I spend 9 years of my life watching HIMYM for that ending? I spend years waiting and reading Divergent only for Allegiant to be that awful? I prefer series that gets better and better and end with a bang, rather that amazing series with lousy ending! :D

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

  2. Ahhhh this is SO SO HARD. Because I feel like the journey should be the important part?!? But for me, the ending is what flavours the whole thing for me. *nods* So the ending is VERY important to me, I think...and this is why I procrastinate series finales like nothing else.😂 I DON'T WANT IT TO BE RUINED!! I love love loved Morning Star. <3 It got it perfectly right, with enough heartbreak and terror and enough triumph and winning. (Although honestly I thought more people would die.😂) and I actually LIKE total heartshredding endings where everything dies?? hehe. So Allegiant worked 100% for me and also a few others THAT I WON'T NAME BECAUSE YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE READ THEM ERGO SPOILERS.
    I also think the Raven King was perfection. <33 But then I'm doomed to love everything by Maggie Stiefvater.
    I was not a fan of the end of The Infernal Devices. :( And Ruin and Rising ruined (hhahhah) the ENTIRE series for me. Like I gave it 3-stars, but sheesh, it's like 2 or less. *cries* So despite loving the first two books...yes. Bad series finales can ruin everything for me.

  3. This is a great subject. TV shows, I try not to let the end ruin it, I have rewatched Dexter so many times (missing out the last season). So in that instance I can still enjoy the show and story for what it is.
    Books are different, you identify with the characters, you are actually going on these journeys with them. I personally have found the endings of some series so disappointing, Harry Potter and Hunger Games spring straight to mind. I have re-read them though, with the same love and just skipped the last chapters. It did take a while before I could read them though, Hunger Games in particular made me angry and I couldn't re-read the series for quite a while.

  4. Thinking about Dexter still makes my heart bleed. NOT OKAY, TV SHOW MAKES, NOT OKAY. I still think it's a really good series, but darn that ending.

    I liked Breaking Bad, although one season made me yawn a little.

    HP is simply perfection.

    Series that made me want to throw a book across the rome: RUIN AND RISING. DAMN. YOU.

  5. Endings are so important but also very hard because it's impossible to please everyone. I wasn't bothered by the ending of HIMYM, but I can see why others are. Book endings I loved are Winter by Marissa Meyer, Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo and the last HP book. Just on top of my head. :P

  6. I heard they were going to bring Dexter back?? Maybe they'll redeem themselves? I must say, I was satisfied w/ the final HP book until I reread the whole series this year. Now I'm like--HUH, that's it Ms. Rowling?? That's all you give us after all we've been through with these characters??? It just felt a little lazy/rushed (even though it's a ton of pages, the beginning 1/2 of the book is largely them wandering around the woods). Great discussion topic... endings can totally ruin the feeling of the series if they epically fail. If they're just MEH, I can usually block them out :)

  7. Thanks for raising what I believe to be the very interesting issue about "writer's block" in the last segment of a series. My feeling is, once a decision is made to pull the plug on a series, the truly gifted writers get dropped from the payroll and there's a default to a cookie cutter wrap-up episode written as an afterthought.

    I loved the ending of Breaking Bad because I think Jesse was more of a son to Walt than his own flesh and blood had ever been, and Walt realized he needed to perform some act of contrition at the end of his life. I'd like to believe there was still enough humanity left in Walt that he knew Jesse deserved to be saved, and that Walt was responsible for Jesse's imprisonment and pain. I'd like to think that it was Walt's pathetic way to begin to start paying back his own debt to the Universe for what he did, and did not do. Walt sowed a whole lot of hate and discontent in this world, and that series was stellar in showing that hurtfulness in living color. I just couldn't look away, even when I wanted to. That's great writing, people.

    I still don't understand why so many fussed about that series ending. Made perfect sense to me. Be well.

  8. I have to say that I think the ending is not the most important part. I think it does hold a lot of power because essentially, it can ruin a lot of things. You may have a brilliant journey but the ending has the power to ruin it. But the most important thing is the journey. It's like how in life, your achievements usually don't end up being the most important thing to you. What matters is how you got there, the people you met along the way and how much you enjoyed yourself. I think that same thing applies to books!

  9. This is such an interesting discussion! Series finales are such a tricky thing, because you’ve already invested so much time in the series and thus you have high expectations for what you want the book to be like. It’s always disappointing when a finale doesn’t live up to your expectations though, especially because a bad finale can ruin the entire series (*coughs* Allegiant) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

  10. Great discusion! I love your examples and agree with all of them (well those I've seen/read anyway - I still need to read the Red Rising series, but I'm happy to hear the ending is done right)
    Endings and series finales are super important, because they can really make or break an entire series. Allegiant for example really broke down my love for Divergent and Insurgent and that's such a pity. I know, the journey should be important too, but I feel like the whole should still be good. An average ending does not ruin an amazing series. But a terrible ending unfrotunately can. That's why endings are scary :)

  11. This is something to really think about! I have not come across many books/movies/etc. with horrible endings to know which part I find most important. I have a feeling a bad ending COULD ruin something for me. I heard the ending of Dexter from a friend, only saw a couple episodes, personally, and thought it was horrendous. But I didn't actually watch the show myself.
    I will have to figure this out!
    I just finished Golden Son, so I can't wait to read Morning Star, see how it ends!
    And I was so surprised with the ending of Allegiant, but in a good way! Not expected, not cliche. *claps* But I personally didn't care much for the whole journey in that one. It was OK.

  12. I love this discussion as it's basically an opportunity to rave and rage about different series and their endings. I am completely with you on Allegiant (as every other reader I think. I have yet to find someone who liked that book) I wish that book hadn't happened and I would have been content.

    I think series endings are difficult. When they are weaker than other books but not bad that is fine, but when they are just plain old bad then you can't help but find it affecting your thoughts on all the other books. You will want to reread and then find that you don't want to because you know it all ends horribly. It's bad that I would prefer a lacklustre ending than a rage inducing one, but at least with a lacklustre one I would probably revisit a series again.

  13. I agree, the ending is crucial and can make or break it for me. I may still recommend a particular book but not the series, if that makes sense. So yes, I would recommend Divergent and Insurgent and not Allegiant because I HATED THAT BOOK SO MUCH. And talk about a bad ending to the series, I recently read a series, loved the first book, the second book was okay, more filler than anything, and then at the end of the series, EVERYONE DIED. EVERYONE. WHAT?????? I got totally invested in the series and then the main characters died and then the other characters may have died but you don't know for sure. That ending made me like Allegiant. Ha ha. More and more lately I keep getting disappointed with endings to series. Authors keep pulling a Game of Thrones, but that only works when you have a huge cast of characters, not when you have two main characters. Maybe there's a goodreads list of series that end well and I should only read those books. Great discussion! ~Pam

  14. My answer is "maybe." A disappointing ending doesn't necessarily ruin a series for me, unless it does. So to clarify. In general a simply disappointing ending doesn't ruin a series. However, sometimes information is given or a twist happens that changes the meaning of everything that came before and that can absolutely ruin it.

    My Most Recent Discussion: Panning for Gold: Living with Chronic TBR Overflow Pt 2


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