This review is spoiler-filled; so proceed at your own risk. Alternatively you can see my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame here. Or you can see my other Game of Thrones reviews or my new Game of Thrones season 8 predictions for the rest of the season.
After last weeks episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the finale of Game of Thrones arrived – and it was definitely an ending. The episode picks up of the back of last weeks, as we see Daenerys stand in front of her soldiers victorious. Jon Snow walks the streets of Kings Landing and sees the damage she brought, he sees Grey Worm execute surrendered soldiers. Tyrion knows what he must do, he travels into the Red Keep to find his siblings, and is distraught when he sees them buried under the rubble. As Daenerys makes her victory speech, Tyrion discards his title of Hand and is imprisoned awaiting his fate. He knows he made a mistake by backing his Queen and the last hope of the seven kingdoms fall upon Jon Snow. After Tyrion discusses this with him – he tells Jon he must make his choice, Jon Snow pledges his allegiance to Daenerys knowing full well what that might mean. But later, Jon cannot forgive nor forget what Daenerys has done – leading to a powerful end for Daenerys – as Jon makes his choice which gives us one of the best interactions we have had with Drogon throughout the entire show. It is now left to the Lords and Ladies to decide what is to be done next.
So; this is the end of Game of Thrones! (I will be reviewing every moment in order but first wanted to share my initial thoughts on the episode). Maybe it is a little too soon for me to fully gather my thoughts and decide on it, but the episode was as enjoyable as it could be! It isn’t a great finale but I’m satisfied with this ending and it is far from the disaster I expected. Maybe that is because of how bad I felt after watching the last episode, or maybe it is because season 8’s quality hasn’t been up to standard, but the finale is fulfilling, bringing closure to these characters. As I have said before, I will say again, in the last episode, I wasn’t upset by what became of certain characters but rather the journey and speed of which it took for them to get there. It was just about getting these characters to their end, not taking us through it with them. The finale (at the very least) made sense and it gave us closure for every character and it tied up every plot-line well (the ones the show hadn’t already tied up that is – I was upset there was no Night King but I will get onto that later, and the end for the Lannisters were so dumb) and was still true to their characters. This entire season however has been so rushed and the writing so poor, it led to so much of the story being useless. The Greyjoys were irrelevant Jon Snow being a Targaryen was just a plot device, Bran being the Night King is again a plot device. At times it has felt as if there hasn’t been a point of the last seven seasons. There could have been a whole season just on the events that transpired after Daenerys died. And, before I start – I think I need to point out that it’s not fair to assume everyone was going to be satisfied with this conclusion. I think it was still good enough especially comparing it to what I thought we would’ve got. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t what you expected nor if Bran deserved it (because we know he is useless) but there is no denying it was a satisfying resolution and it made sense to their characters. Alot of people will be upset about Jon Snow (he had the birth-right and was billed as the King) but it is true to his character because he didn’t want to be King, he got the ending he wanted, to live with his people and protect the Wildlings, although I am not happy he was banished. Arya wanted to be an explorer, Sansa wanted to be Queen. And the whole story starts with Bran, and it is fitting it ends with him too, he doesn’t want to be King either (but is happy to accept which again I found weird), but as the three-eyed raven he knows it is what he must do. There are many questionable elements as well in the episode; which we will get into later.
I actually loved the beginning of the episode leading into Daenerys dying and was so hopeful that the rest of the episode would follow in the same tone. We got some amazing shots; like Daenerys walking towards the steps with the dragon behind her, Tyrion finding the dead corpses of his siblings and knowing he made a mistake. I really loved Tyrion in the episode (even though I didn’t like how everyone listened to him when he was the prisoner), the conversation he had with Jon Snow was probably the first big one the two have shared alone and it was a delight. We finally got to see into Jon’s mind-space (something the season has forgotten), and his emotional well-being as he loves Daenerys but knows it isn’t that simple, and we got to see him make his choice. Arya’s scene with Jon was a delight as it was all building up to him betraying her and killing her. If you had asked me how I envisioned her death; it would’ve gone along those lines but that doesn’t take anything away from it. The death itself, the fact she got so close to the chair but never actually sat on the throne, the way Drogon responded to her death was incredible – seeing him carry her away and cry over her whilst knowing he can’t do anything to change or avenge it was fantastic. I think that scene with Drogon is probably the best effects I have seen in GoT. I didn’t particularity like that he didn’t burn Jon and don’t understand how he knew to go for the throne; plus I had hoped it was Arya instead of Jon– but again; I don’t think you should let your expectations affect your judgement. I also, really liked Grey Worm in the episode but he leads into some of the problems I have later.
For, me most the problems start after this, not in the sense of what happened but rather the amount of time dedicated to explaining what will happen. As I said earlier, we could have had a whole season, I didn’t like that there was a three-week time jump straight after her death, I don’t understand why Grey Worm (who is killing everyone) didn’t kill Jon Snow who was there alone straight away! Plus, I didn’t understand why the only people left who could be king or queen were listening to the prisoner who had just managed to get Grey Worm (the only person who wanted him dead) to agree the King should choose his fate! And essentially pick the leader. That being said, I was glad Tyrion was the one that got to essentially choose and explain it all to us – just wish he wasn’t put in that position, I like how he said ‘who better than the boy who started this all’ to be king. They decide to choose Bran, but Sansa (his sister) decides not to allow anyone to rule over her – even though Bran is from Winterfell and would’ve had the northerners best interests in mind. Like I said earlier it was an end that made sense for the characters, they even managed to serve some justice to Jaimie, as his story is updated to show his change from being the Kingslayer to the honourable (?) soldier we got to see, and I love how it was Brienne who wrote it. She still honours Lady Stark by protecting her children as she and Ser Podrick look after King Bran “The Broken” (I mean, I can’t be the only one not okay with the title). But the one thing that annoyed me the most, was probably the way all the Starks did little to nothing to ensure Jon Snow was safe. They failed him when he needed them most; he went from just feeling like the lonely bastard, to being banished with Arya not even visiting him. All the work the past few seasons did, growing these characters resulted in nothing in the end; Jon would never have allowed his family to result in the same fate. Plus; Grey Worm was the only one who had such strong feelings towards Jon; and Grey Worm leaves forever. So why didn’t Bran just go “changed my mind”?!
Ahhh, I need a whole other post for Bran. If you have ready any of my stuff; you’ll know I always had faith in and liked Bran (👀). I don’t think he deserves to be King, but it was definitely a surprise, and one that I liked. I had hoped Bran would be important in another way (Night King way) but I am happy his story wasn’t just eye-rolls, even if he really didn’t do anything for five seasons. I like Arya’s end; it was always going to be the case and I like how Sansa became the Queen she wanted to be; and instead of being the King’s wife. She is the Queen. And when it comes to the who wins the throne; I quite like that no-one did and that those that sacrificed the most to win (Jon and Daenerys) ended up with the worse fates – even if it wasn’t what I necessarily wanted to see. I also liked Jon’s end to the story, like I said earlier it is too soon for me to have a concrete opinion on how I feel about Jon’s ending but on one hand I like how he didn’t take the throne and went and lived with the Wildlings. But on another hand – man HE IS THE FRICKING heir. Damn you Bran; say something. But on the other other hand, it would have been too obvious for it too be Jon Snow and I would’ve been upset that there was nothing special about the end and I would be saying I didn’t like it because of that. So ultimately it was the right choice. And we got to see the scene we had all been waiting for with Ghost.