i wish the ravens had sent far better news. Ns wish us were all sitting here glowing in the after-effects of Queen Sansa’s well-deserved ascension come the stole Throne or smarting native the unforeseen deus ex machina the the Westerosi lords’ riding in to depose Daenerys and also launch some unanticipated gentry onto the cold metal seat. Instead, that grim news the end of Westeros—pseudo-democracy it is in damned—and the only person wise enough to skedaddle off that continent to be Arya, a woman who willingly wash dead bodies for a year together an assassin intern but isn’t willing to pole it out in a nation run by her very own brother.

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The finale, which had to live approximately the impossible demand of encompassing both the sweeping and also the personal, did sell some the both. The succinct lines of the Unsullied and the draped red banner of residence Targaryen in a blasted amphitheater to be chilling echoes of Hitler’s unsubtle third Reich rallies: a massive set piece that hammered house the truth of Daenerys’s dedication come her own tyranny. On the intimate side, Jon and also Tyrion’s scene in their corresponding dungeons, while far too compressed for a display that has actually locked increase Tyrion prior to for whole seasons, delivered heartfelt performances. Sansa’s crown to be elegant and also refined, and also every last inch of me cheered that she finally bowed to no man.

But in the end, i couldn’t assist but feel that the display gave increase on the magic the the books due to the fact that its writers didn’t have the puzzle skills to really work-related through them. (I know, i know, the books and show are now two separate entities, yet it’s impossible to completely separate them.) The religious fervor of the books, and of the collection up to this point, was completely zapped the end of the finale. The Prince who Was Promised — come Melisandre, to pendant of the lord of Light, and also to us, dammit — was never ever revealed. (Was that Arya, that lived as much as the agreement by death the Night King? Or possibly Jon, because that bringing with each other fire and ice in that Throne Room scene? We’ll never know, and also that is maddening.) Daenerys’s prophecy native the witch who eliminated Drogo — the she’d bear youngsters only “when the sun rises in the west and also sets in the east. Once the seas walk dry and mountains blow in the wind choose leaves” — to be left unfulfilled and also unexplained. Every lingering supernatural facet of the display — Bran’s link to the Weirwood trees, Kinvara the Red Priestess’s relevance — flew away lengthy before poor grieving Drogon flapped on out of king’s Landing. I beg your pardon left us through a video game of mere politics and also a show missing the special chemical reaction that made it such an original when it broke out in 2011.

Had Game the Thrones given itself more time — an added season, perhaps, or even just a couple of more episodes — it might have functioned its method to a comparable place but laid the bread-crumb trail more effectively, so the we might all follow along and the best kind of closure might be achieved. Instead, a display that’s had quite a little of trouble through time (Varys zipping throughout the small Sea choose he’s headed to a weekend house in Hudson, Jaime riding several thousand miles north in as much time as it takes come say “Azor Ahai”) stuffed therefore much into the finale but timed it all so bizarrely the our only clue regarding how lot time to be passing to be the progressively sorry states of Jon’s and Tyrion’s beards.

Ultimately, there space two major questions about how Game the Thrones concluded. Go it do what fans wanted it to? And, an ext important, walk it do what made sense? Well, yes and also no.

If friend turned against the show last mainly after foolish Queen Daenerys gritted she teeth and zoomed roughly the sky above King’s Landing lighting up the city like Oprah on she worst giveaway work (“You obtain some fire! and you get some fire! and you obtain some fire!”), nothing was going to make you happy. However if friend made room in your narrative heart for the reality that Dany’s revolve toward the darkness had actually been unavoidable for many seasons, the an initial third that the episode was gorgeously placed together, and a haunting reminder of George R.R. Martin’s long-standing commitment come demonstrating that the glory of war is a lie our governments feed us. (Remember: He was a conscientious objector during Vietnam.)


The resemblance in between King’s Landing’s shelled state and the bombed-out urban in the wake of people War II to be uncanny. Daenerys’s speech (damn, the girl deserve to project!) was together deluded together one could expect. (“You room liberators … You have actually freed the civilization of king’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant.”) The sight of those dragon wings spreading behind Dany together if an expansion of her own body underlined the level to which she’d surrendered to base pet instinct. Also her outfit, a black color bodice cut quite literally indigenous the very same leather fabric as Cersei’s battle gear, was a flashing arrowhead pointing at her greed because that power.

Tyrion’s sense of honor, that course, demanded the he walk away from that self-hoodwinked destroyer (even if it to be a case of quitting before you’re fired). We’d known for awhile that he would certainly toss that little hand it is graced his jerkin at Daenerys’s feet the moment he had a chance. There was part nice pattern work in placing Tyrion, a male whose an individual morality is imperfect however deeply felt, on trial however again — 3rd time’s a charm? — and also a graceful parallel in between the conversation in i beg your pardon Varys check to persuade him come ditch Dany and his attempt to execute the same with Jon. That conversation between two guys in Tyrion’s “cripples, bastards, and broken things” society sounded prefer a ring defense, and a well-argued one, that the show’s (or George R.R. Martin’s) decision come send Daenerys ’round the bend. Haters will certainly argue that handing all that strength to Jon Snow and also thereby put the fate the the continent in Mr. Emo’s hand is lazy storytelling. And also yes, that is basic to develop a personality up right into an automaton that honor and also dignity, to placed a strong, confident male in the spotlight indigenous the beginning and also then rotate him right into the decider of all things.

But ultimately, Jon end up in a installation place. It can be a tired trope, but he needs to choose between the woman he loves and what he to know is right. Once again, a woman he betrayed for a good reason die in his arms. (Mercifully, he no rewarded because that his act and installed on the throne as Aegon Targaryen.) and in her final moment, together Daenerys grow feverish with excitement about how she and also Jon will preeminence together, prior to he stabs her through the heart, Jon’s fear ends up acting together the arbiter of his morality. The has always questioned his very own choices, wonder if killing Qhorin Halfhand, and betraying Ygritte and the Freefolk, and also letting the Wildlings with the Wall, and also taking on the mantle that King in the North, to be the ideal things to do. His self-doubt to be what made the so cursed annoying sometimes, yet it was likewise the sign of a an excellent leader, someone who never stops fretting over the countless lives that are shed in the battle for peace. Daenerys long back gave increase on the questioning — she left the somewhere earlier in Meereen. (Who have the right to blame her? That location was a doozy.) and also now she provides the reasonable of all dictators: that she has to do this one, very, very bad point to make a “good world.” After which Jon’s selection is clear.

Then unexpectedly … in go democracy! HAHA NO WAY, SIT under SAM. This second annual Dragon Pit meeting — ostensibly a trial because that Tyrion, a attempt in absentia for Jon, and also the most ragtag, high-drama co-op-board conference you’ve ever attended — is a stare … well, I believe the best word is clusterfuck. Logic completely breaks under in what appears to be Benioff and also Weiss’s desperate effort to pull every the A-listers right into a heist scene wherein the just thing castle steal is factor itself.

Before we talk about the minute from this meeting, however, stop note just how abysmal a decision it was no to display anyone’s reactions to Daenerys’s death. Or not to define exactly exactly how Jon readily available up all the information surrounding stated death. (Did he shot to kick part snow over the blood puddle and pretend nothing had happened? it is what i would have actually done. No body, no conviction.) Or come act together if Jon’s stabbing the queen in the chest and also then letting her dragon fly off with her wouldn’t have actually provoked a bloody battle between the Unsullied/Dothraki and also the Northerners. Battles have been combated over much less in Westeros, and yet regicide apparently encourages sensible meetings under thoughtfully set up cabanas in old gladiatorial theaters.

Now, who are all these persons in the Dragon Pit? yes sir a many GoT trivia to keep straight in mine head, but I’m certain we’ve never met the fella sitting next to Edmure “I nominate myself to be king that the world” Tully. The brand-new Prince that Dorne has sauntered in sporting an Oberyn robe, however nobody ever before introduces that or defines how the crap he’s pertained to Prince Doran. The people of the Vale, including what absolutely can not be yet must it is in a freshly warm Robyn Arryn, have lugged along one more anonymous white dude, because clearly there weren’t enough of those here.

In this disastrously plotted sophisticated folks’ convention, Game of Thrones topples all of its closely crafted credibility together a drama the understands the insidiousness and also long-con nature that politics, through bringing together a team of human being with insanity at-odds desires and weaknesses and then, ~ a nice small speech celebrating the glories that ye olde stories, has them unanimously elect a demigod with significant interpersonal-skill deficits and also literally no a goddamn point to market as a ruler.

Bran? Really? Him? the a galling moment for women almost everywhere as Tyrion launches into a speech around how story is the most crucial thing (okay?) and how nobody has lived a an ext intriguing story 보다 … <Camera pans end Arya and Sansa, arguably the two most fascinating characters in the totality show, and also slides ideal to Bran, who has actually been high for the previous two years.> as a Tyrion worshipper, ns pooh-poohed people’s claims that the slid into foolishness, making bad decision after bad decision. Yet alas, it’s true. The “cleverest man in Westeros” nominated a glorified tree root to it is in king at a minute when public to trust in the monarchy should be at all-time short (and grounding him with a cruel moniker come boot).

Some the the trouble below is through the means directors enabled Isaac Hempstead Wright to play Bran because that the past couple of seasons. The Three-Eyed Raven who Bran very first meets past the wall was mystical, yes, but warm and also inviting. But when Bran took up the mantle he shed every shred of humanity, constantly solving his gaze just past everyone’s heads like he was too high to focus. This qualities, apparently, were intended to endear the to us as a candidate because that the place — someone that would never abuse his strength because, as he said earlier this season, “I don’t really desire it anymore.” Instead, his lifelessness drives residence the article that gift a wade textbook of Westerosi truth is a much more important quality in a king or queen than, say, a crawl desire to do the job well, or probably some tiny amount of management experience

What’s more, the showrunners never fixed the gaping, Bran-shaped feet in the plot within Bran could see precisely what was happening around the world and also yet never warned or guided the north troops. Whoops!

So, where perform all our (living) Westerosi end up?

The Unsullied set sail because that Naath, wherein Grey Worm will certainly presumably free slaves. Tyrion is sentenced come clean up his messes together Hand the the King. At his side space Maester Sam, who might or might not have actually abandoned his girlfriend, her child, and also their fetus, however sorry, Gilly and also Baby Sam, this present needed to do a couple of more jokes around brothels and also couldn’t be bothered to tell us where girlfriend are. Bronn is understand of Coin, an absurd promo earned only via blackmail. Davos, grasp of Ships, quiet doesn’t acquire to sail home to his wife. Pod is, blessedly, a knight, but also Bran’s caretaker because the king can not be bothered to to visit meetings when there’s fun warging to do!

Arya is cruising west right into what much better be a spinoff. Sansa has claimed herself Queen the the North, the right duty for her and also a tribute to the fact that only Sansa ever before remembered to feed troops or uncover backup armies to save the day, however it felt favor a scrap the writers tossed come fans knowing they to be rooting difficult for Sansa to take it the throne. The said, her chic crown far surpasses any of the other royal regalia we’ve checked out on this show. Brienne is commander of the Kingsguard, one honorable and also well-deserved position. Others might disagree, yet I found her (beautifully calligraphed) list of honorifics because that Jaime sweet and fitting. She loved Jaime and knew just how deeply he’d internalized the reputation he’d unfairly obtained for taking under a raging madman. And also yet, given the minute for Brienne come literally turn the page and also write her very own story, instead she simply glops over his devotion come Cersei. Wrong.

Finally yes Jon, exiled to the Night’s Watch, a ar that does no exist anymore and whose raison d’être has actually vanished since the hazard from beyond the wall has been vanquished. No wonder that loops earlier up v the Freefolk (and Tormund! and Ghost!) and also just keeps top top walking, right by the one tender small green sprout advertise up towards the sky choose a authorize of spring.

And therefore we end up whereby we started, essentially, through Jon kissing his loved ones goodbye and ending up in ~ the edge of the world. With a doubtfully capable small Council bickering over the affairs of the common people. With a Westerosi male presiding over Westeros. Has actually there been any change? Is the wheel damaged simply since a group of lords and also ladies poll in a member the one rich residence over another?

In the end, Cersei Lannister was wrong. She binary wasn’t accurate: girlfriend don’t victory or die in the game of thrones. Yes, many human being died, yet nobody won a cursed thing, and also thankfully that a totality hell that a lot messier than an excellent guys and bad guys. Some characters float off right into the ether through no clear future in sight. Others, prefer Jon and Tyrion, finish up hacked right into emotional bits. Part land v crowns on their heads, however only after sacrifice every oz of their humanity.

The journey to tie up every the ends, to death or marry turn off or steady ensconce the personalities we’ve watched cross the continent and also love and also screw and also bleed — is powerful. No matter exactly how much we inured ourselves to the Game of Thrones method of chopping off heads in ~ a moment’s an alert or poisoning a king in ~ his wedding feast, we still wanted to believe that there would certainly be victors at the end and also we would certainly cheer lock on. However in this last season there to be too tiny surprise, too numerous high-dollar digital theatrics, and less drive to really drill down right into the essence of what make Westeros a place where so many civilization wanted to spend their Sunday nights.

Then again, any kind of last bits can have feeling meager. Any type of resolution might have felt wrong. Any kind of end to something us all stepped within of so delightedly could have left united state unhappy. Game the Thrones is over. We shall never see its like again.


From the Ravens

• as Daenerys treads the Throne Room, fulfilling Bran’s and her own vision the the demolished room spanned in snow, she lightly touches one handle on the chair itself. But you’ll notification she never ever gets to sit ~ above the stole Throne.

• negative Grey Worm fell down the honor hole with Daenerys. I’m very meh on the decision.

• whereby did Arya’s white horse go? Last we saw, she was fairly showily barebacking it with the city ~ above an pet straight from the publication of Revelation, and then here she was ago on foot.

• The episode’s hairstyles were really a point to watch: Daenerys shows up v a new braid together a sign of she victory; Sansa then steals the look and also makes that her own with two long hanging braids at the Dragon Pit; and also Arya stop wearing the signature half-up look she mutual with she father and Jon and pulls her hair right into a tight bun, a look entirely her own and ideal because that sword-fighting.

• together unlikely together it would be the Tyrion would certainly wander the severely damaged Red keep (which no crew of designers had asserted structurally sound), uncover his method to the precise spot wherein his brother and also sister died, and then uncover Jaime’s bright hand difficult out, the scene was vital. The Lannister siblings and their consistent push-pull of emotions to be a piece of crucial connective tissue throughout the show’s countless seasons.

• ~ above his way into the Red Keep, Tyrion start Cersei’s map room (map atrium? Map patio?) and walks right throughout the department between North and also South, from his birthplace of Casterly absent to Dragonstone, wherein he last stood v Daenerys.

• If you wondered why in hell the showrunners spent so lot time sending out Dany and Jon on a dragon joyride in “Winterfell,” this was why: Drogon would permit Jon—a Targaryen and someone who loves Daenerys—to go into the Throne Room alone.

• Why is Bran attract a mozzetta (that little half-cape thing) and dressed choose the pope in his last scene?

• Shaking my head so hard at the Song of Ice and also Fire meta-scene in which Sam shows up v a (gorgeously illuminated) manuscript detailing the utter shitshow of the past several years and also they all kinda longingly giggle in ~ the truth that, oops, among the most crucial pieces of the story isn’t mentioned. Note to authors: This is tacky and also hideous; you re welcome don’t execute it.

• Nobody confirm on Septa Unella or Ellaria Sand in the black Cells.

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• One loosened end that is really bugging me: Why did Melisandre leave Westeros and also return come Essos, just to display up again at the fight of Winterfell? walk she perform anything if she to be abroad? Rally some followers the the lord of Light? Visit a couple of favorite childhood landmarks? What was that all about? We’ll never know.