After 8 seasons and 73 episodes, the curtain has fallen on Game of Thrones. The show oddly went out the same way it started, on a very quiet note, as many of the characters found themselves in either new territory, destined positions, or returning to familiar stomping grounds as the fight for the Iron Throne came to end at last.
So who did get the Iron Throne? The short answer, as it turns out, is no one did really, thanks to one major player meeting their maker just as the ashes began to settle all over Kings Landing. The old ways that ruled Westeros also came to an end in the finale as well as a new way of governing the masses was paved by the surviving parties of the game for the throne.
In lieu of a regular recap, given that this is the series finale, let’s find out how each of the major characters ended their run at the conclusion of this polarizing series.
Gather ’round one more time to breakdown everyone’s fate for Game of Thrones last episode, aptly titled “The Iron Throne.”
Daenerys starts off the episode by surveying her damage to Kings Landing. She isn’t quite done with the people of the city as Grey Worm executes Lannister soldiers, saying Daenerys ordered it. Daenerys goes on to declare to the Unsullied and Dothraki that she will liberate not only Westeros, but the entire world. Later on, as Daenerys is admiring the Iron Throne, Jon appears to confront her, trying to convince her to stop fighting. When she refuses and asks him to join her instead in “breaking the wheel”, they kiss before Jon stabs and kills her. Drogon, heartbroken by the death of his “mom”, melts the Iron Throne with dragon fire and carries Daenerys’ body away.
But what led Jon to kill his queen, you might ask…
Jon, at the start of the episode, is in shock at the destruction Daenerys wrought on King’s Landing. Both Arya and Tyrion warn Jon that Daenerys will have him and Sansa Stark killed and the fate of Westeros is in his hands. After those heavy conversations, Jon goes onto confront Daenerys and ends up killing her to stop her. After bearing witness to Drogon’s melting of the Iron Throne, Jon is arrested. Weeks later, the new ruler of Westeros sentences Jon to rejoin the Night’s Watch as penance for killing Daenerys to appease those loyal to her. After saying goodbye to his siblings, on, reunited with Tormund Giantsbane, Ghost, and the Wildlings, heads beyond the Wall.
As for this new ruler of Westeros…
Tyrion and Bran
Tyrion’s journey in this episode starts off in the most heartbreaking of ways as he finds Jaime and Cersei’ss corpses in the ruins of the Red Keep. After Daenerys makes her plans for world domination known, Tyrion publicly resigns as Daenerys’ Hand in protest to her rule and is arrested for treason. Weeks later, after Daenerys’ death and Jon’s arrest, the lords of Westeros convene to decide who will be the next ruler. Tyrion, still a prisoner, suggests that future kings be elected by the lords of Westeros rather than inheriting the crown.
Tyrion nominates Bran Stark; the rest agree. Bran appoints Tyrion to be his Hand as punishment. Tyrion reorganizes the Small Council to include Bronn (Lord of Highgarden and Master of Coin), Brienne of Tarth (Lord Commander of the Kingsguard), Davos (Master of Ships), and Samwell Tarly (Grand Maester), and they begin planning to rebuild King’s Landing. Sam presents A Song of Ice and Fire, a history book of Westeros following the death of Robert Baratheon written by Archmaester Ebrose, noting that Tyrion is omitted. Bran briefly meets with the Council, which has yet to fill the positions of Masters of Whisperers, Laws, and War. Bran says he may be able to find Drogon.
Arya and Sansa
As for the two remaining Stark ladies, the sisters decided their fates are to mark new beginnings versus endings. While the rest of the lords agreed to appoint Bran as the new ruler, Sansa refuses to bend the knee to her brother and instead declares the North’s secession from the Seven Kingdoms, which Bran accepts. Arya, on the other hand, decides to explore the uncharted seas west of Westeros instead of going back home. By the end of the episode, Sansa is appointed Queen in the North by the local lords while Arya is last seen commanding her ship, heading towards adventure.
- Brienne finishes Jaime’s story in the book of knights, ending his tale with the truths of his bravery. “Died protecting his queen,” she pens.
- Grey Worm leads the Unsullied to Naath, Missandei’s homeland.
Quotes of the Night
- “Love is more powerful than reason. We all know that. Look at my brother.” – Tyrion
- “Love is the death of duty.” – Jon
- “The North will remain an independent kingdom, as it was for thousands of years.” – Sansa
Thank you for joining us for the past 5 years in discussing Game of Thrones. While the series finale was underwhelming in many ways and the delivery and pacing of the storylines felt rushed and lacking in certain areas, the endings of the characters were the right ones for each of them and truly marked the end of an era.
Thank you, Game of Thrones, for 8 seasons of twists, heartbreak, and epic battles.