Before you start reading, this post is dark and full of spoilers!!! Close it and come back after you have seen the episode if you don’t want to see anything before watching!
After eight seasons, numerous battles and many a political power play, the sun has finally set on Game of Thrones, with the crowning of not just a new king, but a new queen as well!
For me, this much anticipated series finale was just….fine! I don’t think it was a particularly bad ending, nor do I think it was amazing either. I think I’ll be taking the final two books as the true ending though – if George RR Martin ever actually gets around to releasing them. Seriously, get a move on!!
Anyway, for the last time, here’s this weeks talking points:
Daenerys’ fate was completely foreshadowed back in Season 2 and 4
She claimed the throne through fire and blood in episode five, slaughtering thousands of innocents in King’s Landing before she was done. And yet, Daenerys Targaryen never even gets to sit on the seat she had coveted for so long, before Jon Snow plunged a dagger into her heart.
Many are likely going to be shocked by how it happened, but Daenerys’ death shouldn’t come as a surprise…it was heavily foreshadowed in previous seasons. This occurred most notably in season two when she has a vision in the House of the Undying. During the vision, Daenerys walks through the ruined Great Hall of the Red Keep, as snow and ash fall all around. As she is about to touch the Iron Throne, the vision changes, and she enters a tent to find her dead husband Khal Drogo and their unborn child waiting for her there.
This vision basically eluded to her fate for years. She was the reason for the Red Keep being destroyed and covered in ash, after her rampage through King’s Landing. Then when it seems she had finally gained power and the throne, Jon Snow kills her (hence the falling snow in the vision). And although we didn’t see it in the finally episode, presumable the part of the vision where she encounters Drogo and their son was a nod to her joining them in the after life.
There is also a call back to season four in this episode when Jon reveals to Tyrion what Maester Aemon once told him at Castle Black during his first stint in the Night’s Watch: “Love is the death of duty.” Which then prompts Tyrion to remark: “Sometimes, duty is the death of love.” Which reminds Jon that sometimes doing the right thing means making a heartbreaking decision, and ultimately seals Daenerys’ fate.
King Bran? Really?
Not even going to lie, my jaw feel open during that scene where the lords and ladies of Westeros chose a new sovereign…and the camera panned around to Bran. While I’m not going to start a petition to try and change this development like those crazy people that take things too seriously, I do think Bran was a s**t choice for king. And I think it was done more to subvert expectations than anything else.
What I don’t get is, in the space of a few episodes, Bran went from saying he didn’t really want anything anymore because he lived in the past now and couldn’t even be Lord of Winterfell because he is now the Three-Eyed Raven, to happily accepting the kingship. As well as eluding to that being his plan all along.
I’m not one to trash the writing of this season, but I definitely think this was a case of bad writing. For one thing, it was common knowledge that Bran is only able to see the present and the past, not the future, so how could he have foreseen becoming king and letting things play out the way they did so that would happen? And, as mentioned, he already said he couldn’t accept a position of power due to being the Three-Eyed Raven, so why the sudden change of heart? Honestly, I think it was just a case of David Benioff and D. B. Weiss trying to shock everyone by having the one person nobody really expected becoming the new king.
Why didn’t the other lords & ladies of Westeros declare their independence as well?
Bran’s crowing led to another odd plot twist. Sansa, having reclaimed her home in Winterfell supports Bran becoming king, but says that the North had been through enough and should remain an independent kingdom rather than bending the knee to another king. Bran agrees, and Sansa is crowned Queen in the North, which is all well and good and I was happy to see that ending for Sansa, who has had one of the best character developments over the course of the show.
But, why the hell didn’t any of the other lords and ladies demand their own independence as well? After all, they have all suffered greatly over the years as well, so it seems a bit odd to me. A better decision would have been to declare Sansa Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and she could move the seat of power in Westeros to Winterfell. The way it stands, it leaves you wondering why the others didn’t also demand their own independence as well, and instead of having six separate kingdoms all under Bran’s rule, they could have all been independent rulers and coexist in peace in some sort of European Union type situation.
How do they know Bran can’t father heirs?
One last point on Bran…Sansa initially remarks that Bran might not be the best choice to rule because he can’t father an heir. But, how does she know that? After all, Bran is paralysed from the waist down, but there was never any indication that other “things” weren’t working, was there? Granted, he’s incredibly weird now that he is the Three-Eyed Raven and doesn’t seem to have any interest in marrying anyone, but how can any of them make the assumption that he can’t have children just because he lost the use of his legs? Plenty of people who end up in the same condition as Bran are capable of producing children, so it was an odd comment to make with no basis.
Did Brienne forget she swore a vow to protect & serve Sansa until the day she died?
At the close of the episode we see Brienne emotionally updating Jaime’s story in The Book of Brothers, the book that records the deeds of every knight who has served in the Kingsguard. And she has been appointed Lady Commander of the Kingsguard, which is a great moment for the character for sure, as she achieved her life ambition.
But, how does that play into the vow she made to Sansa? After all, Sansa is Queen in the North now, so why didn’t she stay up there with her and act as leader of her forces, and honour the vow to protect and serve her until the day she dies?
It was a great moment for Brienne, but was a bit weird too considering!
Will Arya be getting her own spinoff?
After the way episode five ended, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Arya was to play a big part in the finale, but she ended up doing nothing at all. Not even crossing the last name off her kill list. I know that it seemed like she had decided to give up her quest for revenge after that pep talk before parting ways with the Hound while Daenerys and Drogon were destroying King’s Landing.
But, Melisandre told Arya that she would close brown, blue and green eyes forever earlier in the season. The brown and blue are thought to have belonged to Walder Frey and the Night King, and the green eyes were thought to have belonged to either Cersei or Daenerys, but as we know now, she killed neither of those.
I’d assumed that Arya remaining in King’s Landing during the events of episode six would mean that she would kill Ilyn Payne, the royal executioner who took her father’s head, but he didn’t even show up once.
So, who do the green eyes belong to? Or was that little plot point just completely forgotten about? The show ended with Arya boarding a ship to go find out “what’s west of Westeros”. So my money is one of those three spin offs in development being about Arya traveling the world, and that she hasn’t even met the person with the green eyes yet who she is supposed to kill.
Do the Stark children not know the meaning of “stick together”?
Numerous times this season, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Jon have spoken about how they are the last of the Starks and have to stick together…”the pack survives” and all that. Weeeeelll, they forgot that quickly didn’t they! Sansa is now in the north of the country, Bran in the south, Jon is gone hundreds of miles beyond the wall and Arya is sailing across the oceans. So much for sticking together!
“Ask me again in ten years”
In his final goodbye with Tyrion, Jon Snow asks him if he did the right thing in killing Daenerys. Tyrion responds by telling him to ask him that question again in ten years. A throw away comment perhaps…or does it sound like the writers have planted the seed for the show to return down the line, and pick up where it left off?
How amazing was that shot of Daenerys walking out to address her army with Drogon’s wings spread out behind her? People can complain about the story and writing, but season eight was beautifully shot!
So that’s it. And now our watch has ended.
What ever will we obsess over now? What did you think of the final episode? Are you happy with the season as a whole? As always, let me know below.
This is the last GOT talking post, but once the dust settles from this season, I plan on doing some posts about the top ten moments, characters, etc. from the past eight seasons, so keep an eye out for those.