Love it or hate it, Game of Thrones has come to an end. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
Last night brought the series finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The series ended in ways which almost no one saw coming. There was only one major death this episode, and it was pretty major. But overall, every other element of the finale likely couldn’t have been predicted. Check out the details of the episode below followed by our thoughts on how it all wrapped up.
- John Snow, Davos Seaworth and Tyrion Lannister survey the destruction of King’s Landing.
- Tyrion goes alone to find Jaime and Cersei’s corpses in the ruins of the Red Keep.
- Daenerys celebrates her victory over King’s Landing, telling her army that they will liberate all of Westeros.
- Tyrion gives up his role as Hand of the Queen and is imprisoned.
- Arya warns Jon that Daenerys will kill him and Sansa. Tyrion then warns Jon as well when Jon visits him in his “cell.”
- Jon kills Daenerys in the Throne Room of the Red Keep.
- Upon discovering his mother is dead Drogon melts down the Iron Throne and grabs Daenerys body and flies off towards the sea.
- Weeks pass and the Lords of Westeros meet to pick their next ruler, Tyrion, who is still a prisoner, suggest Bran Stark. In doing so they could “break the wheel” as Bran can not have children and so any successor would have to be named.
- All but Sansa agree to name Bran King of Westeros. Sansa asks that Winterfell become its own independent kingdom. Bran obliges.
- Jon is sentenced to join the Night’s Watch once more, a punishment to appease Daenerys followers.
- Grey Worm leads the Unsullied to Naarth.
- Brienne finds the book which lists the accomplishments of the Knights of Westeros and fills in Jaime’s pages stating he died for his Queen.
- Tyrion has his first meeting with the small council which includes Ser Bronn of Blackwater as the Master of Coin, Ser Birenne of Tarth as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Davos as Master of Ships, and Samwell Tarly as Grand Maester.
- Bran joins the council asking who will be the Masters of War, Laws and Whispers, and Tyrion promises to find suitable prospects. Bran leaves with Ser Podrick Payne, stating he will try to find Drogon himself as they don’t know where he has gone.
- Arya sails west of Westeros.
- Sansa is appointed Queen of the North.
- Jon reunites with Tormund and Snow and together they lead the free folk north of the wall.
Kill Count: 6(?)
- 5 Lannister soldiers are executed by Grey Worm under command of Daenerys. (Possibly more offscreen.)
- Daenerys Targaryen is killed by Jon Snow.
“Ask me again in 10 years.” – Tyrion Lannister
Where do we even begin.
There have been excellent series finales. There have been horrible series finales. There have been series finales that leave everyone wondering how it truly ends. There have been series finales that play out like any other episode of a series. But usually a series finale is meant to mean something. The culmination of all the hard work and effort put in by thousands of people over the course of years. Most finales find a way to do that in some form. Most finales give an end that’s worthy of the journey that took place before. Game of Thrones did not.
There have been missteps this season. Some of which could be overlooked if the ends justified the means. Some which couldn’t be accepted no matter what. But the finale did very little to make up for anything. It gave us a conclusion that felt like the end of a show that should have gone on for two more seasons. None of it felt earned. None of it felt as though it made sense. There are logistical reasons why things worked in the world of the characters. Bran being made king makes sense for the reason they say it does. To break the wheel. But otherwise it’s batshit crazy.
Winterfell becoming its own independent land felt earned. Tyrion becoming Hand of the King felt earned. Podrick becoming a Knight felt earned. Very little else was.
The show spent years building up Arya to be this ruthless killer out for revenge. That storyline helped carry the weight of a lot of lackluster elements of the show. Then we get an indication in the penultimate episode of the entire series that “hey maybe she’s about to do something amazing as she rides off on this horse.” And all she does is tell Jon he’s being an idiot and sail West.
The show spent years building up Jon Snow to be something more. To have this insanely heroic arc, and then he’s just sent off to live in the North with Tormund and the Free Folk. With the only precursor to it being a line from Tormund two episodes before saying he’s got the “True North” in him. That’s it?
Daenerys had a clear line to becoming what she did at the end of the series. With her constantly finding it hard to rule without “fire and blood.” But this final season did NOTHING to prove that her turn at the end made sense. It gave her a few moments with Jon and the threat of who he truly was, to help say, this could go wrong between them. But it wasn’t ever a “she is about to murder millions” thing.
Brienne becoming a Knight was earned and was one of the best moments of the entire series. Having Jaime leave her for Cersei. Having him die with Cersei. Having her write the end of his story to help give him an ounce of redemption. Is the shittiest way to end Brienne’s arc. It’s as if they said, “how can we ruin the ONE GOOD THING we accomplished thoroughly this season?”
So many of the elements of the finale, and this final season, would have worked better if the show didn’t end here. The show did so much this season without earning any of it. It’s literally as if David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said, “we just have this outline for the final two books, with all the major plot points. Let’s just turn this bulleted list into a 6 episode season.”
I had high hopes that the final episode would make this season worthwhile. That the finale would find a way to bring justice to these characters. But it didn’t. It gave us a lackluster episode, that meant nothing, after nearly ten years of becoming emotionally invested in these characters. I hoped for more. I expected more. But this is what happens when we get a TV show from the guy that wrote X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his college buddy.