Warning: This article is dark and full of Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers.
It’s been nearly a decade. Innumerable deaths. Many, many moments of highly questionable moral relativity. But we made it, fandom — tonight, Game of Thrones took its final bow in a finale that may go down in history as the most-hyped episode of television ever. Whether you’ve loved the final season so far or, like an outspoken contingent of viewers, feel like HBO could have done better justice to the characters who inhabit the Seven Kingdoms is irrelevant now. At this point, all that matters is how the series ended and who sits upon the Iron Throne.
So, let’s get into it, shall we? The episode starts with Tyrion morosely wandering the still-smoldering wreckage of King’s Landing. It’s quite literally a hot mess, and Tyrion is quite clearly heartbroken (especially when he has to uncover his dead siblings from the rubble that crushed them). He sets off to find Daenerys and presumably try to reason with her, but he isn’t the only one. As Tyrion, Jon Snow and Arya Stark look on, Daenerys makes Greyworm the Master of the Queen’s Army. She then essentially lays out her plans to go all scorched earth on every other city in the realm. Tyrion dramatically resigns, and so the now-Mad Queen has him arrested and carted off.
It’s all very Anakin-when-he-goes-to-the-dark-side in Star Wars.
It’s short-lived, though. After an inspiring chat with Tyrion about love and the death of duty, Jon goes to implore Dany to rule with mercy. She tells him there is no place for small mercies in the new world they will build together. They embrace with a passionate kiss… during which her nephew-slash-former-lover stabs her. The Mother of Dragons is dead. And if you thought that was a shocker, you clearly weren’t prepared for what came next. Upon seeing Dany’s lifeless body, Drogon spews flames and melts the Iron Throne. He then gently lifts her lifeless body and flies away.
After a short time jump, Jon has been arrested. Tyrion is led out in shackles to stand before a communal of the Starks, Brienne, Yara and more. And somehow, as a prisoner, he convinces them all to name a king. He nominates Bran Stark, the boy with the most compelling story. And he even decrees that, henceforth, rulers will be chosen by the Lords and Ladies of Westeros to serve the realm. Only Sansa declines “Bran the Broken” as her king — the North will remain an independent kingdom. Oh, and Bran chooses Tyrion as his right-hand man. Do the damn thing, Tyrion! Best parole board hearing ever.
Back in prison, Tyrion informs Jon that he’s been banished to the Night’s Watch. It wasn’t a unanimous vote, but something had to be done and this is it. Like the dutiful Stark (and recently revealed Targaryen) he is, Jon does what he’s told, stopping briefly beforehand to bid a tearful goodbye to Sansa, Arya and Bran.
The first official meeting with Bran at the head of the table is held, albeit a brief one with people speaking of themselves in third person and squabbling over grammar.
Samwell presents Tyrion with the book A Song of Fire and Ice. Bran goes off to “find” Drogon. Jon reunites with Ghost. Sansa outlives her abusers, takes her place on the throne of the North and becomes the proper royal badass we all knew she was destined to become. Arya goes off in search of whatever is west of Westeros, setting the stage for the real spinoff of our heart’s desire.
And that, dear friends, is how GoT ended, in a nutshell. Are you happy with how the series ended? Do you feel as though your favorite characters met a fitting fate? Feel free to sound off with a comment below.