Ok… Game of Thrones. Like just about everyone else on the internet I have a lot of thoughts about how this epic series arrived at it’s conclusion. A lot of thoughts, to help myself organize these thoughts I’m going to write three different posts over the next couple of weeks. Today we’ll just talk about the series finale that aired this past Sunday. Next I’ll address the elephant in the room that is Season 8 as a whole, and then finally reflect on the show in it’s entirety and what made is some of the best television I’ve ever seen, despite a totally botched ending.
In case your reading comprehension is somewhat lacking, there are going to be loads of spoilers in these posts so if you have not seen Game of Thrones but might watch it later don’t spoil it for yourself and just stop reading now. You have been warned.
I don’t think the finale was as bad as many people are making it out to be. I actually find myself in a similar boat as I did when How I Met Your Mother finally came to an end, except Game of Thrones was a better overall show with a worse ending. I think I’m fine with the broad strokes of the ending but the journey to get there was such a dumpster fire that I feel like it kind of undermines the whole ending. No payoffs feel justified in the slightest.
So let’s just go point by point as things come up throughout the episode. First off, Jon Snow wanders through King’s Landing stunned by all the destruction until he and Ser Davos come upon Grey Worm and some Unsullied murdering Lannister troops that have already surrendered. It seems really messed up, but Grey Worm and the Unsullied already sacked a city that had surrendered just last episode so is Jon really that shocked by it all? Who cares, he protests the executions and Grey Worm basically threatens to kill Jon if he interferes. There is apparently a large rift between these two characters that feels entirely artificial but again, it’s whatever. Jon leaves in a huff with the intention of speaking with Dany about maybe not committing more war crimes now that the war is over and she won. This didn’t really make much sense to me because part of Jon’s whole character is that he stands up for what is right even if it puts him in a whole lot of trouble, but I guess he’s got other stuff to do so he just takes off looking conflicted and confused.
While all this is happening Tyrion goes looking through the Red Keep to see if Jamie and Cersei escaped. He finds their dead bodies and we get one of the only legitimately good scenes of the whole episode. Even with the dumpster fire he’s presented with, Peter Dinklage manages to give a compelling performance.
Jon gets to the Red Keep, is all ready to give Dany a stern talking to when she appear with this real neat looking shot.
I guess Jon got all scared because rather than talk to Dany about the whole “maybe we shouldn’t kill everyone anymore” thing he just stands there while she delivers possibly the stupidest speech in all of Game of Thrones. I’m not trying to bash on Emilia Clarke, she brought some great energy to it, but the whole speech was basically her spelling out how super evil she was now just in case you were too dim-witted to have figured that out yet. Tyrion again enters frame, Dany accuses him of treason and he basically goes, “yeah I did it, but at least it wasn’t genocide” Dany then commands the Unsullied to imprison him. Why? I don’t know, Dany historically hasn’t really done the whole imprisonment thing, rather she prefers to let her dragon burn her enemies alive, but I guess we need Tyrion to give a speech later so he gets to live.
Jon looks really confused and conflicted and that’s pretty much been his whole character this final season so whatever. Arya shows up for no particular reason and tells Jon, “Yo Dany is real evil you need to do something about that.” Nevermind the fact that Arya is a trained assassin that can basically shapeshift into whatever person she wants to, she obviously needs Jon to kill Dany because she’s too freaking lazy to do it herself or something.
Jon then goes to talk to Tyrion who gives him the same kind of, “Dany is evil and she’s going to kill you at some point.” thing that Arya did only he adds the caveat that Dany will also kill both her sisters. Jon continues to look confused and conflicted.
Jon heads over to the throne room where Dany is touching, but not sitting on the iron throne. She’s all like, “are you ready to get down with your aunt yet?” but Jon’s pissed about her slaughtering children. The real shocker here is that it took two other people pointing out how messed up that is for Jon to realize it or care enough to actually address it. Dany tells him all about how she knows right from wrong because of course she does and when Jon asks what if other people think you’re wrong and she just says screw them I call the shots. Jon stabs Dany as they make out which should tell all women out there to never kiss boys because they’ll murder you, and sadly that’s more true that we’d all care to admit.
Drogon shows up and is pissed because mommy is dead, rather than kill Jon though he makes a political statement and melts the throne itself and then just flys off with Dany’s body. I guess Dragon’s are smart enough to understand concepts like how power corrupts even the most noble of spirits or something. I don’t know, I think they just did it to have a cool shot of the throne melting honestly.
We time skip several weeks ahead to a bunch of random lords and ladies meeting to negotiate for Jon Snow’s life or something, I don’t know it’s dumb. Tyrion is brought out because even though earlier in the episode Grey Worm was more than happy to execute anyone Tyrion gets a pass. Good lord Grey Worm really is like the stupidest character in the whole show. Grey Worm yells at Tyrion about not talking and then lets me give a speech for like 5 whole minutes because why not?
Samwell also gives a speech about implementing democracy into their feudal society and is laughed down because why would a group of like 15 people who control the world turn it over to the masses?
They all decide instead that Bran, the all knowing and totally emotion-less cripple will be king of the 6 kingdoms, because apparently the North just gets to peace out because wish fulfillment or something stupid. (ok maybe this finale is as bad as people say) Seriously though, there are at least two other kingdoms represented here that have wanted independence that don’t even bother to ask for it because I guess they’re not important enough. Bran names Tyrion his hand because again why not grant wish fulfillment to Tyrion if were doing it for Sansa? The only other take-away is how kind puberty was to Robyn Arryn.
They then decide that Jon won’t be executed but rather sent North to serve with the Night’s Watch which exists for some reason still.
Grey Worm and the Unsullied/Dothraki (seriously why are they still alive?) decide to peace out, probably because they realized how screwed they got with the whole Jon Snow situation.
Tyrion preps for a small council meeting, Samwell is now grand maester, Ser Davos is master of ships and probably the only character ending I liked. Brianne is now Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and show up to the meeting after engaging in some serious historical revision about Jaime. Ser Bronn is now Lord of Highgarden and master of coin, because a sell sword who became a Lord is exactly who should be managing the kingdoms finances. I get wanting to put him and Tyrion back together, but couldn’t you just make him master of war or something that actually made sense? Of course not because we want to have him make a joke about using the crown’s money to rebuild brothels. Just please make it stop. Bran shows up for a whole 10 seconds to ask if anyone has seen Drogon since he peaced out and that’s a legit concern because he’s basically a wandering weapon of mass destruction and you want to at least try and keep tabs on that. Otherwise were not shown in any respect to how Bran will rule the kingdoms. He probably just stares at people awkwardly until they leave and ask Tyrion to solve problems.
Arya goes sailing because she’s apparently too cool for everyone now.
Jon arrives at the wall and then immediately leaves to go live north of the wall with the free folk because again, wish fulfillment. He pets Ghost this time though so that’s a small win.
Then it’s over. The only real silver-lining to how bad the ending was is that I’m not deeply upset that the show is over now, I’m kind of relieved that they can’t butcher these beloved characters anymore then they already have. I’ll get more into all the character assassination that took place throughout season 8 next time. Later.