Well, folks. That’s a wrap on another cultural phenomenon. The final Game of Thrones episode has aired and naturally people are losing their minds. Have we really reached a point where if things don’t turn out exactly the way we want, that we demand rewrites and complain about every little thing? I’m not one of those who is complaining about the finale. In fact, I happen to love this episode.
Kit Harrington gives his best performance of the series, and that alone is worthy of appreciation. There are other reasons I’m completely satisfied with the ending, but first I want to share the minor issues I have with it, which really amount to nothing more than a couple comedic observations.
Last week an entire building collapsed on Jamie and Cersei Lannister, killing them both. This week Tyrion is able to move a few stones and find them easily. From the looks of how they were found, if they’d just covered their heads they probably both would have survived. If you take nothing else away from this, know the importance of protecting your heads when rocks are falling on you. (It’s also not a bad idea to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle.)
My other amusing observation is how quickly some of the buildings have been restored. Maybe the Lord of Light helped with that. He’s been absent since the Night King was defeated, but surely he’s lurking about doing some good somewhere.
So what else happens this week? Jon confronts Grey Worm and attempts to prevent him from executing several soldiers. Grey Worm claims he’s just following orders, but we all know he takes a certain vengeful pleasure in killing them. Cersei should never have killed Missandei.
We witness Daenerys appearing to have dragon wings of her own as Drogon spreads his to fly off from behind her. She appoints Grey Worm as the Queen’s Master of War, the commander of all her forces, and calls The Unsullied liberators, for “liberating” the people of King’s Landing. I suppose death is one way to liberate someone. It’s not the way I think most people would prefer to be liberated, but it’s a way. She asks the troops if they will help her continue to break the wheel in all parts of the Seven Kingdoms. Despite the fact that the Starks probably have no idea what she’s saying, they all seem concerned by the crowd’s reaction to her speech.
Tyrion has the perfect opportunity to take out Daenerys, but he doesn’t. It seems that as passionate as he is about how dangerous she is, he would’ve sacrificed himself and done it, so I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t. Instead of a quick kill, he chooses to denounce her in front of everyone and throw the Hand of the Queen pin down the stairs. She has her men take him into custody.
Jon attempts to convince Arya that Dany is everyone’s queen now, but Arya’s not biting. She adds that she knows a killer when she sees one, but really all of us know Daenerys is a killer by now, don’t we? That bit of dialogue feels so unnecessary.
Jon visits Tyrion in custody and claims that the war is over, but Tyrion points out Dany doesn’t sound like she’s done fighting. In a surprising moment, Jon still defends her and claims she is still his queen. It’s clear he’s still in love with her, which I find kind of sweet, but kind of stupid. Tyrion confesses to also loving Daenerys, although not as successfully as Jon. Poor guy! Tyrion tries to convince Jon what must be done, but Jon doesn’t seem completely convinced. Again, Tyrion had the perfect opportunity to take her out, but he didn’t.
Jon leaves Tyrion and goes to see his queen. He scolds her for burning children in the streets, while she defends her actions saying that Cersei would have used their innocence against her. The discussion turns to how she wants to make the world good, and he questions how she knows what good is. She responds stating she knows. He asks about all the other people who think they know what’s good. She replies, “They don’t get to choose.” She proposes they break the wheel together. Jon replies, “You are my queen, now and always.” He kisses her passionately, then promptly kills her. I actually don’t expect this. I mean, sure, I expected Jon would be the one to kill her at some point, but after the way he defended her to Tyrion and Arya, I didn’t think he's mentally ready yet. I assumed something else would have to happen before he destroys the woman he loves, so that moment draws a gasp from me.
Upon finding Daenerys dead, Drogon attempts to revive her by nudging her body in a somewhat sweet moment. He realizes she’s not waking up and takes his rage out on the Iron Throne, melting it so now no one will sit on it. I’m not sure why he doesn’t also melt Jon Snow for killing her, but I guess he has his reasons. It’s hard to figure out dragons. Instead of roasting Jon, Drogon grabs Daenerys’ body and flies away.
We jump to Tyrion being taken before several of the houses of the Seven Kingdoms. Grey Worm appears to be in charge although Sansa acts as though she is, demanding that Jon Snow be brought before them as well. Grey Worm states that Jon is his prisoner and he’ll decide what to do with him. Tyrion speaks to everyone gathered and claims Jon’s fate should be in the hands of the king. Since Westeros has no king, the noble houses should choose a king or queen. Grey Worm allows this. Edmure Tully starts to make a self-promoting speech, but gets quickly shut down by Sansa. This makes for one of the episode’s best moments.
Eventually, Tyrion suggests Bran the Broken be the king since he has the best stories. Sansa points out that he cannot have an heir, and Tyrion claims that’s a good thing. He proposes that instead of by birthright, future leaders be chosen by the Houses of Westeros. This will help to break the wheel as Daenerys often wanted, so Grey Worm seems satisfied with the proposal. The houses of Westeros agree, except Sansa, who claims the North wants its independence. Bran allows this, and becomes the King of the Six Kingdoms. While I appreciate that I didn’t see this coming at all, I don’t know how I feel about Bran becoming the ruler of the Six Kingdoms. I suppose it makes sense because as the three-eyed raven he has access to knowledge about everything, but how would people feel knowing their king could so easily spy on them?
Bran requests Tyrion be his hand. Tyrion objects. Grey Worm scowls and claims Tyrion deserves justice. Bran says that he is getting justice by having to fix the mistakes he’s made. Tyrion reluctantly takes the job.
Tyrion later informs Jon that Jon has received a life sentence to the Night’s Watch, claiming that because no one is particularly happy with the deal, it must be a good compromise.
In the historical book, Brienne adds all the heroic things Jamie Lannister did after becoming the King Slayer. This is the most touching moment of the episode for me, and the only one that requires tissues. Some of the best women are often overlooked, and Brienne shows she’s the better person, not just because she’s still alive, but because she’s willing to say something nice about the guy who broke her heart.
The Small Council meet for the first time. Bronn who is now Lord of Highgarden, Ser Davos, Brienne, Tyrion, and Samwell Tarly are joined briefly by King Bran. Being a first meeting, it’s both hilarious and ineffective, as the discussion moves to brothels once Bran leaves.
Grey Worm takes the Unsullied to Narth. Sansa becomes Queen in the North. Arya goes off to see what’s west of Westeros, which makes sense to me. What else is she going to do? She’s not going to get married or sit around watching Sansa be queen. She’s been traveling for a while now, it’s in her blood. Of course, she’s going to explore. Jon rejoins the Wildlings at the Night’s Watch. And they all seemingly live happily ever after. While I expected a lot more tears and loss in the final season, I’m satisfied with how things played out.
I’d love to see a spin-off on Arya and her adventures in the West, or maybe a buddy comedy with Tormund and Jon north of the wall. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to this show, but since I don’t have a choice, I guess I will. Thanks HBO! It’s been fun.