The final episode of the final season of Game of Thrones aired on May 19 setting a record of 13.6 million viewers for its initial airing. The show also has a winner, the Starks.
Almost like a circular ending, the season finale gave the Stark kids the justice that they deserved. But it would have been better had the show creators agreed to HBO’s offer of adding more episodes to the last two final seasons and giving the audience and moreover the characters, an opportunity to explain what drove them to do what they did.
The episode begins with Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister observing the aftermath of Daenerys’s dracarys spree in King’s Landing. Tyrion goes to look for Jaime and Cersei into the Red Keep’s dungeons. He discovers their corpses buried under the debris and is seen repenting for siding with Daenerys. Lannister siblings in one last shot makes us even sympathise with Cersei.
In the next scene Dothrakis are celebrating their victory and the army of Unsullied is assembled before Daenerys takes stage and addresses her army. The scene defines a complete transformation of Daenerys who has become an evil queen blinded by her greed for the Iron Throne. She has successfully broken the wheel and wishes to go on to “liberate” other kingdoms like Winterfell. Jon Snow and Arya Stark are bewildered and uncertain about her plans and then comes Tyrion, the hand of the Queen.
Grief-stricken at the loss of his only family, guilty for not believing in Varys, shocked at the mass-scale destruction at King’s Landing, Tyrion walks up to Daenerys and tells her “And you slaughtered a city” throwing off the badge of The Hand. Daenerys is mad and she orders his arrest. Jon Snow is confused because there is duty and honour on one side and there is love and promise on the other. “Try telling Sansa,” says Arya when Jon tells her she is their Queen.
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Oh #daenerystargaryen – Oh @emilia_clarke – how I love you both! It’s not over for me yet, as I still sit here editing together my book. Ten years of memories and moments on set. Ten years of stories behind and in front of the camera. Ten years of being the luckiest set photographer – with such a wonderful generous cast. Always understanding what is required. I honest to goodness, will NEVER see your like again – and that’s a blooming fact. 🖤#hbo #gameofthrones #thefinalseason #emiliaclarke #smpsp
Jon meets Tyrion where the last Lannister tells him only he could save the realms of men and Westeros from a mad dictator. He is asking Jon to kill Daenerys, the woman he loves because, “Sometimes duty is the death of love.”
Daenerys’s vision is realised when she finally sees the Iron Throne with a greedy madness in her eyes and this time, she gets to touch it. She turns to find Jon looking at her and asking her to make her see the good that only she can see in the middle of a catastrophe. Daenerys asks him to stay with her and to break the wheel together. Jon realises that Daenerys cannot be convinced so he kisses his lover and draws a dagger straight into the mad queen’s heart. In a Shakespearean tragedy meets Greek tragedy, Jon kills Daenerys.
Drogon finds his mother lying dead and his failed attempts at reviving her makes him breathe fire straight at that one object that brought her demise. Delivering poetic justice to his mother, Drogon melts the Iron Throne. The scene also symbolises the end of this epic drama series.
The scene then cuts to a meeting of all the Lords and Ladies of Westeros where Tyrion, who is still held captive by the Unsullied, is brought. Greyworm is furious at Jon for killing Daenerys hence he is not brought in the meeting. The meeting’s aim is to decide the future of Westeros and more specifically the future ruler of the seven kingdoms.
Edmure Tully delivers comic relief when he stands up to deliver a speech on how he could be the next King, but before that Sansa tells her uncle to sit down. Samwell Tarly suggests a democratic rule and unsurprisingly the suggestion is mocked by everyone. Then we have Tyrion’s very moving speech where he tells us that it is stories that unites people and not gold, armies or flags. He tells us how Bran having one of the most inspiring and fighting-against-all-odds stories deserves to rule. This is how Tyrion wants to continue Daenerys’s idea of breaking the wheel, by electing the ruler, a crude idea of democracy.
— Isaac.H.Wright (@Isaac_H_Wright) May 20, 2019
And this is how the Game of Thrones end. Jon is told to go to the Night’s Watch and father no children and take no wife. Arya goes to discover what is west of Westeros, something she had been planning to do since season six. Sansa becomes the queen in the North after declaring Winterfell an independent kingdom. The most emotional scene comes when the Stark kids bid adieu to each other one last time and Jon asks Arya, “You have your needle?” reminding us of the first episode of the series.
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#queeninthenorth #sansastark beautifully portrayed by @sophiet over 8 seasons. I really miss your hugs, you’re the best craic. And so incredibly giving. Very moving to see your final scenes and think of all the memories and moments across the decade. 🖤 #SMPSP #NIKON #hbo #gameofthrones #thefinalepisode #forthethrone #got #sophieturner
Are we happy the way television’s most spectacular, magnum opus drama series spanning over ten years ended? Well, yes and no.
The first time you watch the episode you are overwhelmed. The second time you watch it, you have questions. There are deliberate loose endings suggesting future spin-offs. Like how Arya becomes an explorer or Sansa rules an independent Winterfell or Jon Snow lives as a Wildling.
There are scenes which would have required an episode of there own, like that of choosing the king or the Queen after Daenerys dies. Scenes that failed to justify the political science of Westeros. How come everyone was fine with Sansa asking for an independent state? Why didn’t Yara Greyjoy ask for an independent state for Iron Islands? They are not even connected to Westeros. How come everyone just agreed to Bran becoming the King with Tyrion’s speech? Tyrion, who has been made fun of in the previous seasons, now suddenly manages to convince everyone that Bran has a story that would bind them.
Bran becoming the King is one of the best things in this episode but had the creators David Benioff and DB Weiss not made it look so easy for the council to vote ”Aye” in his favour the scene would have made more sense.
But as King Bran, played by Isaac Wright writes, “In that lies the cleverness of Thrones: Nothing is tied up neatly, and we are instead forced to ponder what the fate of this once great kingdom will be after everything has gone so wrong. Nothing sums it up better than Tyrion’s line to Jon Snow when asked if he had done the right thing, which I have been covertly using in interview questions to answer how I feel about the years I have given to Thrones: “Ask me in 10 years.”
Also, disappointed fans can depend on George RR Martin to write an alternative ending in his last two books which are yet to be released. Now that he knows what not to do.
Also watch: In Conversation With Tanuj Virwani And Freddy Daruwala