After watching the Game of Thrones series finale, I felt it was only fair to let it breathe for a few days before I made my final judgment. It’s been five days and after thinking it through, I’m mostly satisfied with the ending. I have no problem with how the show ended. However, I have a lot of problems with how the show got to its ending. Here is what I loved and what I hated from the series finale of Game of Thrones.
Loved: Tyrion, Jon, and Davos Walking The Desolate Streets Of King’s Landing
This was a very powerful opening scene. Tyrion, Jon, and Davos walking the streets of a desolate King’s Landing emphasized the destruction caused by Daenerys and Drogon. Everything in King’s Landing was destroyed. The streets were lined with dead men, women, and children. The ash, not snow, blowing in the wind was the perfect ode to the Queen of the Ashes. The horrors on the faces of Tyrion, Jon, and Davos said it all. At that moment, they knew that their Queen was not who she said she was. The merciful Queen who wanted to liberate people died and the Queen of fire and ash was born.
Loved: Daenerys Speech To Her Army
First of all, the imagery in this scene was incredible. When Daenerys walked to the top of the steps, Drogon flapped his wings and it gave the illusion that Daenerys spawned dragon wings. Daenerys became a dragon, who rules by fire and terror. It’s like she became a demon.
Then, Daenerys gave a truly spine-tingling and chilling speech about the future of the world to the Unsullied and Dothraki. Jon, Tyrion, and Arya no longer believed that Daenerys was going to stop the destruction. Daenerys preached about liberating the world and breaking the wheel. Not once did she say that she would give innocent people a chance to live. With an army and Drogon by her side, Daenerys would destroy every city in the world until there were no more cities left to liberate. Also, her speech was similar to one a fascist leader like Hitler used to give to his Nazi army. It reminded me of General Hux’s speech to The First Order in The Force Awakens.
Loved: Jon And Tyrion’s Meeting
“Love is the death of duty. Sometimes, duty is the death of love.” The theme of the series finale revolved around duty. The idea of duty and love dates all the way back to Season 1 when Maester Aemon’s conversation with Jon at Castle Black. When the time comes to make a decision, will you choose duty or love? That is the concept that both Tyrion and Jon debated while Tyrion was in captivity. Tyrion realized that Daenerys was a lost cause. Tyrion believed she would not stop the fire and destruction. The more cities she conquers, the more innocent people die. For the second time of the episode, someone suggests that Jon has to make a decision to kill Daenerys. Arya implied this as well when Jon spoke with her earlier in the day. This scene set the groundwork for what Jon was about to do next.
Loved: Jon Kills Daenerys
With all of the foreshadowing taken into account in Season 8, Jon killing Daenerys was the logical move. From “love is the death of duty” to both Arya and Tyrion’s warning about Daenerys, Jon killing Daenerys makes sense. Jon Snow is Azor Ahai aka the Prince That Was Promised. Time and time again, Jon thought that killing the white walkers would save the world, but it turned out that killing Daenerys and her version of the Iron Throne was how the world needed to be saved. Daenerys showed Jon her true colors in their final moments. As Jon is in tears thinking about the destruction of King’s Landing, Daenerys is smiling and reliving her childhood about how she always dreamed of this moment. Daenerys always stated that she wanted to break the wheel, but in actuality, she wanted to control the wheel by herself and conquer foreign lands. Even if she tried to be a merciful Queen, she has Targaryen blood and couldn’t fit her urge to rule by fire and fear. Jon brought up a good point by saying what if they’re not the only people who know what’s right for the world. What if there are other people who believe they know what’s good just like Daenerys? Daenerys said that she would be the judge of that. Daenerys became an all-powerful and ruthless ruler, which is the opposite of what she promised to be.
In the battle of love and duty, Jon was always going to choose duty. No matter how much he loved Daenerys, he would always choose his family and his duty over Daenerys. Jon always tried to do the right thing. Jon is a Targaryen and in the end, he chose to be a Stark. He was similar to his adopted father, Ned Stark, when he chose duty over love. Ned chose to pretend Jon was a bastard and jeopardize his relationship with his wife, Catelyn, in order to honor the wishes of his sister. Jon killed the woman he loves in order to protect the world and in particular, his sisters and brother, from Daenerys’s destruction.
Hated: The Time Jump
In general, I enjoyed the first half of the episode while having little to no problems. It all made sense. However, after Drogon flew away with Daenerys’s body, my major problems began and it all started with the time jump. A time jump occurred when Tyrion was brought in front of the lords and ladies of Westeros in order to determine his fate. Since when did Game of Thrones jump forward in time without any explanation? Instead, Tyrion’s beard length gave it away that a few weeks had passed since Daenerys’s death. Here’s where I also have a problem. What happened when Grey Worm walked into the Throne Room and learned that Jon killed Dany? I’m expected to believe that Grey Worm, a man who slit the throats of soldiers who surrendered and would do anything for Daenerys, took Jon into custody peacefully as his prisoner? That’s not believable.
Hated: The Entire Scene Where Bran Became The New King
Where do I even begin? Let’s start with Tyrion. Tyrion, who was in shackles the entire time, convinced an entire panel of lords and ladies that BRAN STARK should be the new King because people love stories and nobody has a better story than Bran the Broken. First of all, Tyrion, who once again was in shackles because he was a PRISONER WHO BETRAYED THE PREVIOUS QUEEN, ended up being the person to convince the panel to elect Bran as King. How does that make sense? Why should anyone trust Tryion at that point? Tyrion should be dead, not alive with political influence.
Then, there’s Bran Stark. He would not have been my first choice for King. If Tyrion only mentioned that Bran should be King because he was the Three-Eyed Raven and the only person who contained the past and future memories of Westeros, I’ll buy that explanation. I don’t particularly like it, but I can at least rationalize that thought process. However, to say that Bran should be King because he had the best story is not entirely true. Bran has a better story than Arya, who traveled all throughout Westeros and became an assassin? He has a better story than Sansa, who went from a meek girl to a powerful, impactful female leader in the North? Bran has a better story than Jon Snow, who died and was resurrected (!!!) and went toe-to-toe with the Army of the Dead? You can’t say that Bran had the best story when all of these other stories are just as good, if not better.
Finally, Tyrion’s punishment for his crimes was to serve as Bran’s hand. So Jon was shipped to the Night’s Watch for his punishment while Tyrion gets to live in King’s Landing with all of the wine and women in the world? Seems like a fair trade.
Hated: Jon Was Banished To The North Instead Of Choosing To Live There
I am fine with Jon heading North to live out the rest of his life. Ever since Tormund told Jon that he would enjoy the North just like Ghost in “The Last of the Starks,” the show was leaning towards Jon ending up in the North to end the series. Jon said countless times that he never wanted to take the throne so living his remaining years in the North made complete sense. However, Jon needed to make the choice for himself to live in the North. If Jon had the chance to turn down the crown and choose to live in the North, this would have been much more powerful and impactful to his storyline than what transpired onscreen. Jon’s entire life can be summed up in two words: choices and identity. Jon never felt like he belonged because he never knew his true identity. However, Jon consistently made choices to do what he felt was right despite not knowing he truly was. (Letting the Wildlings pass through the wall, showing mercy towards his enemies, etc.) These two themes collided when Jon made the choice to side with the Starks and choose duty over love when he killed Daenerys. This is why Jon needed to decide his own fate. Tyrion was able to bargain his way out of a true punishment in front of the council. Why didn’t Jon get that same opportunity? In a perfect world, Jon should have turned down the throne and to prove how much he didn’t want to be King, Jon would move North and stay there. That is how I wanted Jon to end up North.
Loved: Jon, Arya, and Sansa’s endings
Hated: Bran’s ending
Jon living in the North, Arya exploring the world, and Sansa as Queen in the North all made sense. Bran as the King of Westeros did not.
Hated: Sacrificing Storytelling For Time
This is by far my biggest complaint about not only the series finale but the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. Storytelling was sacrificed for time due to the shortened seasons. Here’s a perfect example. Daenerys burned down all of King’s Landing, killing most of its inhabitants. After this destruction, do you want to know how many scenes Daenerys was in after that? Two. Two scenes for her character arc to end after burning down an entire city and becoming a fascist Queen that leads by fear. Two scenes are not enough time to explain why one, Daenerys snapped and went scorched Earth on King’s Landing and two, the consequences of her actions and how it affects those around her. The last two seasons felt sped up because of the lack of episodes. Had Daenerys’s actions to become the Mad Queen been given time to simmer over a few episodes, Jon’s decision to kill Daenerys would have made more sense than how it transpired in the show. I firmly believe that if both seasons 7 and 8 had 10 episodes each, there would have been less complaints from the fans about the ending.
There you have it. That’s what I loved and what I hated from the Game of Thrones Series Finale. Do you agree, disagree, or have anything to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.