‘Game of Thrones’ Series Finale: ‘The Iron Throne’ – What We Learned [Spoilers]

From My Soapbox:

To say that Season 8 of Game of Thrones has been controversial is an understatement. It has been proven the unimpeachable truth, you will NEVER make everyone happy. It has gone so far that fans have started a petition to hire new writers to redo the entire last season. The chances of that are none and noner.

No amount of signatures will make HBO, or any other studio spend millions of dollars above the money they already spent. Especially to completely redo a finished series just to make a segment of the fans happy. That is unrealistic in the extreme. Not to be outdone, some fans are calling for a boycott of the series final. If you feel you have to do that, by all means, do you. It will not stop this episode of Game of Thrones from being the most watched in the series history. It is almost a Guarantee.

There Have Been Problems

Now that is not to say that this season has not been without its problems. It absolutely has. A main part of the issue was the Weiss and Benioff’s decision to try to pigeonhole 20 episodes of shows into 13. It has lead to unrealistic time shifts, instantaneous travel, and characters making decisions without having the time to explain the rationale. One can only wonder how well received it might have been if given the full 20 episodes for the last two seasons. In hindsight, it was a bad decision. Especially since HBO offered them all the episodes they needed. Regardless, this is where we are and we have reached the end. Did it reach it in a satisfactory conclusion? Lets explore and see what we learned in the The Iron Throne.

Peter Dinklage IS Tyrion Lannister

1) This just in: Peter Dinklage is a tremendous actor. Tyrion was a major player in this final. He carried the weight of finding his deceased siblings and your heart broke for him. His confrontation with Denaerys with the discarding of his symbol of the Queen’s Hand, and his persuasive plea to Jon were handled with the skill he has shown throughout the series. That being said, the plausibility of the situation he found himself in at the council meeting was stretching belief. More on that in a bit.

Greyworm and the Unsullied

2) Greyworm and the Unsullied consider themselves free men. They chose to follow Denaerys. The question might be how does that make you any less a slave? Of course, they were bred and trained to do just that. Follow orders, without hesitation. Basically, it is just a matter of what title they choose. Free or Slave, the job is the same. Good or bad. All that changed was who was giving the orders.

Another question might be, why did Greyworm believe that they had any say on what was to happen to anyone. Their status ended when Denaerys died. The only power they had was the size of their army. Speaking of which, how many of them were there? They lost a large number fighting the dead but it looked like they lost nothing at all. Same with the Dothraki. Thought the majority of them died in the initial charge against the dead. We’re they just “mostly dead?” (Stealing a line from The Princess Bride) Just a thought.

The Other Denaerys Targaryen 

3) In the end, I felt bad for Denaerys. Not the burn the city down to the ground version that was presented in the last two episodes. But the Denaerys that we watched grow from a naive young girl, to a take charge ruler who really wanted to make things better for her people. The appearance of this sudden flipping of the script was not impossible to believe, if it was given the time needed to explore.

Instead they just had her head spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. It makes one wonder if just a few things had been different would any of this had happened? If Ser Jorah were still alive, chances are she would have done things differently. Same with Missandei although, she was the one who made her last word be “Drecarys.” Basically to Burn it all. Greyworm might have also not been so blood thirsty if Missandei had not died.

Denaerys Death

What does that lead to? I am a firm believer that her heredity had nothing to do with her decisions. The famous Targaryen “flip of a coin” had nothing to do with what transpired. It was the culmination of the tragic events in her life that lead up to them. If any one of the recent circumstances had been altered, there might have been a drastically different outcome.

Perhaps it would have just taken Jon to have not been told about his lineage. His love might have made a difference. Instead, the reality of his relationship with Dany made it impossible for Jon to look beyond it. Instead, He makes the ultimate decision to kill Denaerys rather than let her attempt to put the whole world under heel.

That’s NOT the Denaerys that was presented through most of the series. A glimpse of that girl was seen when describing how she thought the Iron Throne would look. It was also evident in her impassioned plea for Jon to join her. What happened to THAT Denaerys? This is where the real tragedy lies.

Drogon makes his thoughts known

4) After Jon kills Denaerys, it didn’t take long for Drogon to make his appearance. He must have sensed that something had happened to his Mother. The interesting part was he didn’t punish Jon for it. Jon certainly expected him to. He braced for it. Instead, Drogon decided to rid the world of that ugly, sword laden monstrosity. Good riddance. He then gently scooped up his Mother and flew off to Eastern parts unknown. Knowing Jon, after Drogon left, he probably turned himself in to Greyworm. He’s stupid that way.

How Does a Prisoner Make Policy?

5) It was mentioned earlier about the Lords of Westeros and their council meeting. This is where the wheels kind of came off the wagon. They are gathered together to make a decision about the fate of Tyrion and for Jon. Tyrion is brought before the council but Jon is not. Sansa asks why Jon is not present and Greyworm tells her he is THEIR prisoner and basically, you can’t have him. Tyrion tells Greyworm that it is not his place to decide. The King or Queen makes those decisions. Since they are fresh out of Queens and Kings, they need to chose one. Greyworm, with his righteous authority, which he has none, tells them to chose.

That is when the long missing Edmure Tully decides to speak up. He starts to explain how his experience could prove useful when Sansa shuts him down, HARD! For the first time in a while, I’m on Sansa’s side. SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! The last person they need as a King is the guy that opened his Castle up to the Enemy and surrendered it, only to be thrown back into a cell for it. Not to mention he meant to give up their Uncle “The Blackfish” to the Lannisters.

 

Tyrion Holds Court

So that is when Tyrion goes into a long speech about what they might want in a King and talks about the stories of the Kingdom. His belief (and he had thought about it a lot while being locked up) was that Bran “The Broken” should be selected as King. Who better to make wise decisions than the man who knows the mistakes that were made in the past. In addition, has the foresight to see what may come in the future. The logic of this is sound. The reason the prisoner is the one presenting it is not. By all rights, he should not being heard from at all. Even Greyworm knows that.

Yet, there Tyrion is. Selecting the next King, gathering votes on it, and making it so (As Captain Picard might say). Of course, none of this would make a difference if Bran refused the position. But, as Bran does, he stated it was the reason he was there in the first place. That statement opens a whole OTHER can of worms which will be discussed momentarily. In the meantime, Bran makes Tyrion his Hand. Much to the dismay of both Tyrion and Greyworm who wants Tyrion punished. Bran, for his part, says Tyrion is being punished. He will spend the rest of his life making good on his past mistakes. Must be nice to be Tyrion.

The Power and Traps of Foresight

6) So Bran says to be King was the reason he was there. That opens the discussion: How much did he know and how much did he manipulate events to make them turn out as they did? For example, the reasoning behind why Bran felt it necessary to tell Jon about his lineage was an unknown.

As aforementioned, if Jon had been kept in the dark about his actual birthright, perhaps his and Dany’s relationship might have stayed like it was. He could have then persuaded her to take another course of action. Jon would have not told Sansa. She would not have told Tyrion. He would not have told Varys, and perhaps still been alive. That one piece of information set in motion a domino effect of tragic proportions. All because Bran decided Jon needed to know. WHY?? What else did he see that he felt the need to steer events in a certain direction? This not to say that he did. But the conversation is there for the taking.

Jon and the Night’s Watch

7) So Tyrion’s fate is decided but what about Jon? Sansa, Arya and Bran want him set free. Yara and Greyworm want him executed for killing their Queen. The fact remains that Jon is STILL next in line for the Throne. The reality that he killed the present Queen does not change that fact. Monarchy’s changed hands by murder quite frequently in past histories. (Ask Robert Targaryen…if he were still alive).  Jon has said numerous times that he does not want the throne. I believe that. However, for future reference, he might have publicly denounced his claim to the Throne. Apparently, Prisoners holding Court is a “thing” now.

The decision comes down that Jon will be sent to the wall as a member of the Night’s Watch…again. If I’m Jon, I say: “No Thanks. Been There. Done That. Got the Shirt.” Besides, who is left at the Wall anyway? This was the compromise they made with Greyworm. Again…why are they negotiating with him? He has no authority, no title, nothing. Tyrion tells Jon he will hold no titles, father no children, yadada. Bullshit. You can say that, but he didn’t. He took that oath before and died for it. Nope. If I was him, I’d go North, but it won’t be to serve at the wall with the giant hole in it. Just so you know.

The Six Kingdoms

8) Thanks to Tyrion, Bran is King and now rules the Seven Kingdoms…almost. With Bran on the Throne, or chair, or whatever they are using now, Sansa was able to do what she dared not with Denaerys. Assert that the North is a separate Kingdom, apart from the rest. It is the same reason she pushed for Jon instead of Denaerys. She knew he would agree to the separation. Never has anyone taken such power with so little effort. She went through some real hardships during her life. However, after her return to Winterfell, she showed how much she had learned from those around her and those hardships. With just a drop of a secret, she allowed Tyrion, Varys and others to do the heavy lifting while she had benefitted from their predictability. As Jaqen H’ghar would say, “ A girl is pretty darn smart.”

The Aftermath

9) When the smoke and the ashes have cleared, what do we have: Bran as King of the Six Kingdoms. Tyrion as his hand. Bronn as Master of Coin and Lord of High Garden. Samwell as Grand Maester (How he achieved that title so quickly is a mystery). Maybe he took the Grand Maester home study course. Ser Davos, who survived the whole thing with hardly EVER using his sword as Master of Ships.  Brienne as Lord Commander of the King’s Guard. Ser Poderick (Nice touch) as a member of the King’s Guard. Other positions to be filled at a later time. Although, why would a person who can see what’s going on everywhere NEED a spy?

The Starks

10) Arya has decided to move on and see what is west of Westeros. That is so like her and a fitting conclusion to her story (while leaving room for a possible sequel later on).

Sansa, with her new found independence, is made Queen of the North. Just as she always wanted. A chance to be a Queen and without the burden of some “Man” messing things up.

Jon returns to the wall, gathers up the Wilding’s and Ghost and keeps on going North. Just as I imagined he would. Will he return to the wall? Why the hell should he? He made no such oaths to do so. Go North, young man. Go North!

The Armies without a Queen

The Unsullied and the Dothraki have boarded ships to set sail for Naath. Why? Other than because that is what Greyworm promised Missandei they would do. I’m sure Naath is really looking forward to ship loads of Unsullied and Dothraki with no leadership arriving on their shore. Yayyyyyy!

Conclusion

8 seasons, 72 episodes of quite frankly, some of the best that television has to offer. Regardless if you believe that the last season was a let down, and it could be understood if you did. As a whole it was one of the most watched, most debated, talked about, blogged about, tweeted about shows in history. It is quite possible we will “Not See it’s Like Again.”At least until the “prequel” comes out. What did you think of the Game of Thrones series final? Did it, for good or bad, erase the previous seven seasons great work? Share your evaluations with us at GVNation. The Realm is waiting…One last Time.