FULL SPOILERS BELOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
And now my watch is ended.
I think it would be fair to say that there has never been a show on television like Game of Thrones, and it’s possible there never will be again. I have to admit, I am incredibly conflicted right now. On one hand, I am thoroughly satisfied with the outcome of my favorite show, while simultaneously wishing that is wasn’t over. The ending was as satisfying as one could hope for, and yet selfishly I still want more.
I have to admit, I struggled to even start writing this, as I knew the final period would mark the end of my Game of Thrones viewing experience, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that. If you’re reading this, it means everything worked out.
Where do I begin with this episode? That opening scene of almost absolute silence as Tyrion explores the rubble of King’s Landing is one of the best sequences the show has ever done. Ramin Djawadi’s score is often the unsung hero of many, many episodes in seasons past, but here it is the utter silence that does the bulk of the work. In a way, it feels as though are traversing the city with Tyrion, and the silence is indicative of the screams that were silenced by Daenerys’ dragon fire in the previous episode. Peter Dinklage proves yet again that he is one of the finest actors working today during this scene, which culminates with the absolutely heartbreaking discovery of the lifeless bodies of his brother and sister still holding each other in a final embrace. In the hands of a lesser actor, it would have been easy to go overboard with emotion (the ugly cry), and yet Dinklage chooses to do less (as he often does) and still accomplish so much. I know I will miss him most of all.
"They started off fine, showing her (Daenerys) as the Westeros version of Hitler, and then she’s dead a scene later."
So Jon kills Daenerys. Let’s just get that right out there. This was the only part of the episode that I felt lacked a bit. I knew that it had to happen, but I felt like they could have built up to it some more. They started off fine, showing her as the Westeros version of Hitler, and then she’s dead a scene later. I realize that to tie up all of the storylines, they had to move the plot forward, but I think this more than anything is an argument that another episode was needed. But I digress. So Jon kills her and then her dragon shows up and incinerates the Iron Throne, thus insuring that no one will sit on it (more on that later), and then grabs her body and flies off with it. He doesn’t kill Jon because… I don’t know why. Maybe because he’s a Targaryen and he can’t harm him. This whole scene felt like a quick, sloppy way to get rid of both Daenerys and the throne in one shot. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, just that it was a bit rushed for my taste.
Now to the denouement of the show. This part is David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ masterpiece. The show runners and directors of this episode leave no stone unturned. Bran is the King, The North stays free with Sansa as their Queen, Jon is headed back to the wall, Arya is headed to unknown territory, and Tyrion is reluctantly named Hand of the King. I can’t think of a better outcome for any of these characters, and it was incredibly satisfying to watch each of these characters embark on their new journey. There has been a lot of talk about multiple GOT spinoff shows coming to HBO and I left this episode feeling like any of these storylines could be a worth follow up. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to watch Arya exploring the unknown as a cold blooded assassin or Tyrion headlining the Westeros version of The West Wing. Seriously, sign me up for any of these storylines.
Final thoughts: pretty convenient that the throne got destroyed so they gave the title to the only character who brings his own chair everywhere. Why the hell did Daenerys not have any guards around her when she was in the throne room? All the people bitching about Jon not being able to give Ghost a proper goodbye a couple episodes ago must feel like assholes now. Definitely one of the more touching moments this season. That new small council is the supergroup that we have been waiting for. Somehow the melting pot of Sam, Bronn, Brienne, and Davos could be exactly what Westeros needs. Also, the confirmation of Brienne and Podrick as members of the King’s Guard was a nice touch (even if Pod’s main role is pushing the king’s wheelchair around). Finally, Jon being reunited with Tormund and the rest of the wildlings as they march north of the wall was such a fitting ending for the show. There’s no way Jon is coming back, and honestly I think it’s better that way. He can lead the wildlings in a way they haven’t been since they lost Mance Rayder.
All in all, I felt that this was a fitting ending to the show. It did nothing to diminish it as my favorite show of all time, and it even surprised me a couple times. For me, it’s up there with some of the greatest finales ever (Breaking Bad, Parks and Rec, etc). I can’t wait to start it over again.