I think we can all wholeheartedly agree that this season of Game of Thrones was the most rushed, poorly written ending to a series since Lost. It inspired rage that hearkened back to the “Don’t Stop Believin'” ending for Tony and The Sopranos. At least while George “I can’t finish a book” RR Martin was providing source material, DB and David could keep our characters and story lines on an acceptable, timely track. This season, we had a woman make a split-second decision to kill literally everyone, Jon Snow suddenly know how to ride a dragon, Varys suddenly forget how to be the sneaky bitch he was for 10 years (RIP tho), and Jamie go all the way through his character arc just to do a total 180 and end up right where he was before—banging his sister.
A few good things to come of this season include Ghost surviving, Sansa becoming the true boss bitch she is (and staying independent in her fashionable winter wardrobe), and Robin Arryn getting REALLY HOT since we last saw him. Even though the series is over, we have a LOT of questions that demand answers regarding this entire season and series, into which I have poured countless hours crying, reading Reddit theories, and arguing about predictability via Instagram. Shall we?
What Happens When Drogon Comes Back?
I have a LOT of questions pertaining to Drogon, who I incorrectly predicted would die by the end of this season. As a note, I think I felt more feelings for this dragon than any human-related plot or interaction in the last six episodes, which is saying something, and that something ain’t great. Who else had major Lion King flashbacks when Drogon gently nudged a v dead Dany to get up cause “we gotta go home, mom”? I thought I’d gotten past that as an adult, but apparently not. More importantly, once Drogon picked up his mommy and flew off, where’d he go? What happens when he comes back? Is he going to destroy a different city in the meantime? Do dragons have a grasp on death? Can they feel feelings? Additionally, why did Drogon burn the throne and not the dude who clearly JUST STABBED HIS MOM? Does he have something against swords? Thrones? Sword thrones? Maybe DB and David read him the script ahead of time? I demand a dedicated series to Drogon and his fun-filled exploits around the world.
Or does she found the flat earth movement? That honestly seems like something she’d do. I can’t even truly express how much I don’t give a sh*t about Arya’s exploits. But I do have a few questions about her entire character arc that led up to her conquistador moment. What’s going to happen to all the faces in her bag? Is she going to entertain the crew with a one-woman puppet show? F*ck if I know (or care). Additionally, where’d she get that boat? What happens when there is no land West of Westeros? Where’d she find a crew willing to sail under someone with little to no exploratory experience? Is she going to eventually go back to Winterfell to piss Sansa off? Stay tuned, I guess.
Will Jon Snow Ever Be Happy?
This poor f*cking guy has been stabbed, had to watch two girlfriends die, never had a mommy, and definitely has some deep-seated psychological issues after what he’s been through. He has a handful of friends who tend to die, and when he finally has a cause to rally behind, said cause ends up being a genocidal maniac who dabbles in incest. So, what? Now he’s going to f*ck off up north with a bunch of questionably-fashioned homeless folks, a heartbroken ginger, and his CGI good boi for the rest of forever? Justice for Jon Snow. Also, why is there even a Night’s Watch? I’m pretty sure we killed all the dead things in episode 3, made peace with the Wildlings several episodes (seasons?) ago, and have no threat looming north of the wall except for hypothermia.
When Did Dany Lose Her Sh*t?
This has been a question floating around since episode 5 when Dany decided to unleash Drogon’s fire breath on the entirety of King’s Landing. What, exactly, set Dany off course from white savior of Essos and Breaker of Chains to blathering psycho intent on burning cities, banging nephews, and becoming a more attractive medieval Hitler? I have a hard time believing that Jon refusing to make out with her was the straw that broke the Khaleesi’s back. Missandei dying, Rhaegal dying, and her nephew refusing to snuggle—all combined—make for a pretty sh*tty week, but, again, it seems like a stretch that a few sad events caused Dany to have a true mental break and lecture Jon about what’s good vs. what isn’t good.
Will Grey Worm Captain An Award-Winning Volleyball Team On Naath?
Grey Worm pissed me (and the rest of the internet) off this episode, but at least he’s out of Westeros on his way to a very odd beach retreat with the boys. Part of me is happy for him and his newfound peace in Naath, but I’m slightly incensed that this guy that helped kill innocents in King’s Landing gets a happier ending than Jon Snow. Grey Worm, I was rooting for you and Missandei, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Here’s hoping you get a stellar tan and find a great piña colada stand in Naath, though.
Is Bran’s Wheelchair The New Throne?
F*ck Bran and f*ck everyone that voted him into office. Let’s backtrack: if Bran hadn’t been climbing that f*cking tower way back in season 1, he would have been able to mind his own goddamn business and let Jamie and Cersei get their freak on in peace, erasing the need for the war of the five kings,, allowing Robert’s dudes to successfully kill Dany, and letting this whole series never consume my life only to disappoint me and let me down like everything else I’ve ever loved. I mean, Robb would still be alive with a kid and gorgeous wife! So would Joffrey, but, you know, we gotta take the good with the bad, fam. Anyway, f*ck you, Bran, and your weird staring. I hope Drogon comes back and snacks on your crunchy little legs. Speaking of Bran…
Did Bran Know Everything The Whole Time?
…and just piss everyone off with his white Walker hunts and three-eyed-raven bullsh*t and long, lingering stares? What an asshole. So you can see into the future? Why the f*ck didn’t you tell Jon to be more sneaky about killing Dany? Maybe he could have been happy for once in his life! Does that mean nothing to you? Why didn’t you stop Dany from killing millions of innocent people? Was that not on your to-do list for the week? Where do you get off, Bran? Oh, wait—you don’t. You knew that this whole thing ended up with you on the throne, and yet you continued to f*ck around with everyone’s thoughts and feelings for several seasons while we all waited for you to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING worthwhile. What was the actual point of revealing that Jon was a Targaryen? I’m glad Tyrion christened you “Bran the Broken” cause it’s not even a cool nickname and, honestly, you don’t deserve anything cool anymore.
Does Ghost Know He’s A Good Boy?
…and is he getting enough pets up north? Even if the entire rest of the episode (and season) was a dumpster fire, the fact that Jon gave Ghost pets and snuggles made everything kind of okay. I’m willing to overlook the absolute piss writing just for the good boi moment in the gif above. Further, I’m really glad to see that this season’s entire budget went to CGI Ghost and CGI not-such-a-good-boi Drogon instead of character development. I’ll miss you both; keep it real.
Do The Unsullied Moonlight As Civil Engineers?
…cause that Hand of the King room looked like it definitely didn’t get blown to sh*t a few weeks prior. I know it takes roughly six months to address the potholes on my road, so, just saying. In the beginning of this episode, I’m 90% sure that roughly 75% of King’s Landing—especially the Red Keep—was beat to sh*t. Are we to assume that instead of getting right on building a hospital (and burn ward), the carpenters, stone masons, and civil engineers of Westeros went right the f*ck to town on the room where rulers can keep rulin’? I mean, maybe there’s literally no one left, so, ya know, no real need for a medical unit at this point. I guess I’m just kind of surprised at the level of priorities here.
Who Was Braiding Dany’s Hair After Missandei Died?
I know from rewatching this series several times that Dany’s elaborate Coachella-worthy braid crowns were the handiwork of our fav multilingual betch, Missandei (RIP). So, once The Mountain and Cersei decided to make the former citizen of Naath a head shorter, who was doing Dany’s hair? It looked pretty fetch while she stood and addressed the Dothraki and Unsullied in episode 6. More so, it looked super grool while she rode Drogon and destroyed King’s Landing in episode 5. Are we to believe that Jon’s talents include hair plaiting and accessorizing? Seems like more of a Varys thing, but whatever. Or maybe it was Pod all along! Honestly, that makes the most sense to me.
Let me know in the comments any other burning questions that the Game of Thrones writers didn’t have time to answer. Other than that, it’s been real!
Images: Giphy (10)
We made it, friends.
After ten years, eight seasons, seventy-one episodes, hundreds of deaths, and countless tears, we’ve made it to the series finale of Game of Thrones. It’s a weird feeling, one I haven’t really come to terms with yet but will undoubtedly read a thousand think pieces about over the coming days. The battle for the Iron Throne has come to a close, and we’re left to sit and analyze every single second of it until the next show comes around that dominates our collective psyche for years at a time.
I like to think I’ve researched my fair share of fan theories and Reddit threads and general hysteria around this show, and yet I was still unprepared for Bran the Broken to end up King of the Six Kingdoms. That shady, psychic bird-loving bitch knew what was coming all along, but he let them all think otherwise. I can’t help but respect it.
There will be many complaints and gripes to come over the next couple days and all of them pale in comparison to mine which is this: where the hell was Daario Naharis? The man just never thought to show up? Too busy f*cking around in his haunted Hill house to come see Dany burn the world down? I demand closure.
Anyways, let’s dive in.
The episode opens on Tyrion, Jon, and Davos walking through the ash-covered remains of King’s Landing. In case you managed to forget last week—it doesn’t look good. While none of the three of them seem especially happy with the way things played out, Tyrion is taking it the hardest. I would imagine his inner monologue at this moment is just an endless loop for Varys saying “I f*cking told you so.”
Tyrion makes his way to the Red Keep alone, denying Jon’s offer of men to accompany him. He’s searching for confirmation of his worst fears and finds it almost immediately—Jaime and Cersei dead amongst the rubble in the underground cavern they tried to escape from. The internet almost tricked me into believing that Jaime Lannister was still alive, and like a fool I fell for it.
Out on the streets, Greyworm is rounding up and executing Lannister prisoners in the “name of the one true queen.” When Jon tries to intervene, the Unsullied react in a way that makes it clear that no dissent will be tolerated, even from the Queen’s nephew/boyfriend. Jon and Davos head off to try and talk some sense into Dany, a truly lost cause.
They come across the square in front of the Sept, where the Dothraki and the Unsullied have gathered for a post-siege pep talk from their Khaleesi. She wasted literally zero time in redecorating, evident by the twenty foot Targaryen banner hanging from the blown-out walls of the Sept. Where has that been stored this entire time? When did she have it made? What poor solider had the job of carrying around the giant team flag just in case they needed to make a statement? I need answers.
Arya is amongst the Dothraki watching this scene unfold, no mystical white horse in sight. No explanation there? Cool. Also worth noting that there’s about 100% more Dothraki present than you would expect after watching them fly face first into a black wall of zombies.
Jon makes his way up the many stairs of the sept as Drogon and Dany fly over. There’s a really great shot of her walking forward while Drogon’s wings unfurl behind her, a nice visual cue for anyone who maybe hadn’t picked up on the fact that Dany is in fact the Dragon now.
After naming Greyworm Master of War, she steps forward and delivers a speech to her troops that can effectively be summed up in a single statement: we’re not done yet, mofos.
Dany: My Unsullied, you have freed the people of King’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant.
Tyrion: More like freed them from life in general, but sure.
To the obvious surprise of Jon and Tyrion, Dany announces that their battle is far from done, because there are still people to “liberate” in the rest of the world. King’s Landing was merely a starting point, and Winterfell is named as being one of the next stops. The look on Arya’s face at the mention of anyone traveling North in the name of “liberation” can be found in the dictionary next to the word “murder.”
Tyrion steps forward at this point and delivers his resignation by taking off his hand pin and tossing it down the steps in front of them. He was going to be roasted for treason anyway, but it was a nice statement. The guy is nothing if not prone to dramatics. He’s carried away by guards under Dany’s orders but manages one last look at Jon on his way out that says “fix this.”
Dany marches past Jon next, looking at him with nothing but disdain on her face. Good to know that’s where they stand. Arya appears next to Jon, really making the most out of her super assassin sleuthing skills to warn him that he’s 100% next on the list of executions now that his aunt/girlfriend knows who he really is.
Arya: I came here to kill Cersei but your queen got there first.
Jon: She’s everyone’s queen, actually.
Arya: Sansa isn’t here but she’d want me to tell you to pull your head out of your ass.
Jon heads to see Tyrion in captivity, and they have a long, tense conversation about the fact that Dany is now certifiably insane. Tyrion is 100% on team Varys, but Jon is still in total denial.
Jon: I can’t justify what just happened, but at least the war is over now.
Tyrion: Wow I suddenly understand why you got murdered the first time around.
Listening to Jon defend Dany is giving me war flashbacks to having to watch half of Twitter defend do the same thing all week. Yes—she’s been through some sh*t. No one is arguing that point. But you know who else has been through some sh*t? Literally every single person on this show. Most of Sansa’s family was murdered and she spent her entire adolescence being mentally and physically tortured, but she has yet to murder a million innocent people because of it. It’s almost like experiencing trauma isn’t a justification for inciting a bunch more trauma.
Jon: She saw her friend beheaded!
When it becomes clear that subtleties and allusion aren’t getting them anywhere, Tyrion pretty much asks Jon to murder Dany in order to save the rest of Westeros, echoing Arya’s earlier sentiment that the true heir to the Iron Throne is likely next to be killed in the new regime. But Tyrion should have known better; the only thing Jon loves more than doing the wrong thing under the guise of being honorable is risking his life in the process.
In a last-ditch attempt at swaying him, Tyrion plays the family card. Even an idiot like Jon can predict what happens when Dany flies North: Sansa refuses to bend the knee, Winterfell is reduced to rubble, no white horse arrives to save Arya this time. Jon still doesn’t waver and instead apologizes to Tyrion before storming out to find Dany. He is surprised by an ash-covered Drogon who is guarding the door to the throne room and ultimately lets Jon pass. Big mistake, bud.
At this point I truly think Jon was hellbent on following Dany at all costs. He had yet to be confronted by her madness face to face and was still under the mistaken impression that we could talk her off the ledge. But when he finds Dany in standing in front of the Iron Throne, looking truly happy for the first time in months, ranting about building a new world together, the realization slowly starts to creep in. She’s past the point of no return.
Dany: When I was a little girl I heard stories about the throne and how it was made of 1,000—
Jon: Cute anecdote, but there are dead children littering the streets.
Jon begs Dany to forgive Tyrion, to forgive everyone and maybe not take her death tour any further than King’s Landing, and it’s a testament to how much she must love him that she actually looks conflicted for a second. But then Dany starts in on her speech about how the two of them were born for this—destined to build a new world together, deciders of what is Right and what is Wrong—and Jon knows. You can actually see him realize that Tyrion was right, that Dany truly believes she is saving the world and will burn it down to see it happen. Nothing can stop her, except him.
He tells her that she is his queen, now and always, and then stabs her in the chest during their last incestuous impassioned make out. She dies quickly and Jon proceeds to weep over her body while Drogon, who has clearly sensed some mischief in the atmosphere, starts screeching and arrives at the scene of the crime. He proceeds to nudge Dany’s lifeless body like a sad puppy in a Pixar movie and then, upon realizing that his mother is dead, turns and rains fire right past Jon and onto the Iron Throne, melting it down to nothing.
I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that Drogon understands the magnitude of this gesture. I am willing to suspend a certain amount of disbelief for this ridiculous show, but this has gone too far. You’re trying to come in at the series finale and tell me that the dragon can grasp metaphors? Did Drogon take his season-long hiatus to pick up a poli-sci degree with an emphasis on democratic power structures? Nah. Absolutely not. We all blindly accepted the fact that Arya murdered a 1,000-year-old zombie king with some cheeky knife play, but this is where I draw the line.
After singlehandedly dismantling the bourgeois, Drogon picks up Dany’s corpse and flies away with her over the ocean and into the horizon, which means there’s now a roaming, mourning, vindictive dragon on the loose. I’d be worried but he’s probably just going to post up somewhere and start his master’s thesis on Nietzsche.
Flash forward an undisclosed amount of time later, Tyrion is summoned from his cell by Greyworm, and marched outside to stand before a council of the great houses of Westeros made up of the Stark siblings, Brienne of Tarth, Davos, Sam, Gendry, Yara Greyjoy, Edmure Tully, the unnamed Prince of Dorne and a few others. This entire scene was important for a few major reasons, but first and foremost, because we got the greatest reveal in this show’s history: a suddenly hot Robyn Arryn. I’m not happy about it either, but lying about it doesn’t get us anywhere. Perhaps we should all reconsider our stance on late-adolescence breast feeding. But, I digress.
It appears that a few weeks have passed since Jon assassinated Daenerys. In that time the Unsullied have taken control of King’s Landing, and the noble families of Westeros have come together for peace negotiations. Considering the fact that Drogon literally flew into the sunset with the evidence of any crime, this means that Jon confessed to murdering his Queen/aunt/girlfriend. It’s almost impressive how obstinately dumb he remains after all this time.
The Starks demand Jon’s safe release, and Sansa has rallied an army of 1,000 Northmen outside the walls of King’s Landing who are prepared to fight if need be. The Unsullied want Jon to pay for what he did, and Yara agrees with them. Davos, ever the great mediator, offers Greyworm all of the Reach for the Unsullied to take as their own to build their house. The offer falls on deaf ears.
Tyrion has been brought forth for reasons unknown, but he suggests that only a King or Queen of Westeros can decide how to move forward, and that the families gathered should elect a new one. Edmure Tully, the most useless man in this entire show, steps forward to nominate himself before being owned by Sansa in front of all his peers. Just give her the throne already.
Sam: Hey what if we let the common people vote?
Everyone else: Poor people?? Having opinions?? What’s next, dragons grappling with complex physical metaphors??
Once it becomes clear that no one is going to make a decision, Tyrion steps forward and nominates truly the last person I expected him to: Bran. He goes on to explain that the only thing that can truly unite people after all this are stories, and that Bran has the best story of them all. Arya, who spent her entire childhood on the run and lying about her identity while training beside assassins, only to save all their lives by murdering the greatest villain Westeros has ever known, does a really good job of not choking at that statement.
Bran the Broken is potentially the worst name in a show made up almost exclusively of bad names. Like, remember that traumatic childhood event that shaped your entire life? It’s going to define you in the annals of history, you weird bird child. As if that wasn’t insulting enough, Sansa stands up and reminds everyone that Bran’s dick doesn’t even work. Like wow, maybe the kid deserves to be king after suffering all this indignity.
But Bran’s inability to produce an heir is his greatest draw, because from this moment forward the nobles of Westeros are going to start electing their leader. Can you believe that? After all this, democracy wins the Iron Throne. Somewhere in the sky, Drogon lets loose a single tear.
Tyrion: So you down or what?
Bran: Why do you think I rolled my ass all the way down here?
The council votes to make Bran king, all except for Sansa who abstains and declares that the North has dealt with enough Southern nonsense and will remain an independent state. I think the fact that Bran is king now is the only reason the rest of the houses let this fly, knowing that Sansa and Bran wouldn’t war against each other. Or the people have finally recognized that Sansa is the only person on this show who knows what she’s doing. Either way, we love it.
Bran names Tyrion his hand, who immediately attempts to refuse because the man hasn’t exactly had a successful run at it in the past.
Greyworm: Not sure if you forgot but the guy is a war criminal and needs to be punished.
Bran: His punishment will be a lifetime of trying to fix the mistakes he’s made.
Greyworm: Yeah that sounds cool but not exactly what we had in mind.
So just to summarize, Tyrion convinced someone else to assassinate the queen on his behalf, installed a half-sentient bird boy as King, is now the second most powerful man in the kingdom, and will live out a comfortable life, full of wine, without the abuse of his family constantly following him. Not sure about you guys, but I think I know who won this show.
All that’s left is to decide Jon’s fate, and it’s truly the most tragic thing to happen all episode. Tyrion visits Jon in his own captivity to tell him that council came to a compromise. After all of that—constantly risking his life to convince the world of the danger of the White Walkers, fighting countless battles and actually getting assassinated in the process, all in the name of saving Westeros—Jon is being sent back to the Night’s Watch. He will live out his days without the one thing he’s wanted his entire life: a family.
Tyrion: If it makes you feel better, no one is very happy about it.
Jon: That’s the theme of my whole life, so it checks out.
Jon is released and heads to the docks to say goodbye to his family before being shipped North. Sansa asks for his forgiveness for not being able to negotiate his freedom. Arya tells him that she’ll be leaving Westeros to sail west and discover new lands. Gendry is RIGHT THERE in his new fancy leather suits, but sure. Jon cries. Sansa cries. Arya cries. Bran does what he does best: offers up a cryptic farewell.
Jon: I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me.
Bran: You were exactly where you needed to be.
Jon: …. Goodbye to you too, I guess?
The rest of the episode wraps up all of our characters while giving us a preview into life in this new Westeros. Brienne stops by the library to finish Jaime’s entry in the book of Knights. She writes his story—their story, really—and ends it very generously by not mentioning that he spent his whole life banging his sister. She’s a better scorned woman than I could ever hope to be.
Tyrion leads the first meeting of Bran’s new small council. He’s joined by Davos; Master of Ships, Sam; Archmaester, Brienne; Captain of the Kingsguard; and Bronn, Master of Coin. Bronn is also Lord of the Reach and Highgarden, which means Tyrion came through on his promise to reward him for not assassinating them. Sam arrives with A Song of Ice and Fire, the written history of the wars after King Robert’s death. I see what you all did there. The camera pans out as the new council bickers about rebuilding the city, and the priority of brothels vs. actual infrastructure. It’s a glimpse into a hopeful future, even if Bronn is somehow meant to keep them from going bankrupt.
The episode ends with parallel shots of Jon, Sansa, and Arya embarking on their new lives set to a choral reprise of the theme song. It’s beautiful and sad and poetic and the only part of the episode that truly felt like a finale.
Arya sets sail aboard a ship under the Stark banner, because apparently the only way to come down from saving humanity is a semester abroad. Here’s hoping she spends the next six months drunk on a beach.
Sansa is crowned Queen in the North, which is all the she deserves a more. Our girl fought her way back home, fought for her people, fought for independence, and now gets to live a long happy life of peace amongst the people who adore her. I love her more than anything.
Jon arrives at the wall to be greeted by none other than Tormund and Ghost, who he actually deigns to recognize this time around. The three of them turn and immediately make their way North of the wall, leading the wildlings back to their now zombie-free homes. I’m really hoping that Jon decides to completely ignore the council’s ruling and just settles down with a nice Wildling wife in the wilderness. Or with Tormund. I’m happy either way.
And that’s it. That’s the end of Game of Thrones.
We’ve had our ups. We’ve had our downs. But through it all there’s no denying the indelible mark this show left on culture. It captivated us all, week after week, year over year, to the point that we’re now circulating unnecessary petitions about the way it’s ended. Hundreds of recaps have been written, thousands of comments have been left, and memes have truly never been stronger than during the course of Game of Thrones. For better or worse, it’s been a wild ride, and I’ve had the time of my life embarking on it with all of you.
All Time MVB: Sansa Stark
She kept her head down, suffered in silence, learned the game, stayed alive, and then came for what was rightfully hers in the end. She is the undisputed winner of this show and also my heart. Sansa Stark forever.
Until next time.
Images: Giphy (4)