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There have been goodbyes aplenty at miscellaneous points in this eighth season of Game that Thrones. Old friends parting through the expertise that they might never view each other again. The deaths of so plenty of whose story we followed devotedly for eight years now. Journeys that will certainly lead people — who as soon as fought, loved, lived, functioned together — in an extremely different directions. Divisions are wrought by geography. Divisions are wrought through fate. And still, the farewells that this finale feel remarkably poignant.

We begin in the results of Daenerys" strike on King"s Landing: walking with a surreal see of ash, rubble and charred bones. Tyrion and also Jon challenge what their assistance for Daenerys has actually meant — this really devastation that they see before them. And their Queen has no intentionally of stopping; she speak her militaries that she will certainly liberate civilization all end the human being from tyrants. The they will certainly strive to develop a good world, a much better world. The setup is very third Reich-like.


Still from video game of Thrones season 8 illustration 6. Helen Sloan/HBO

Tyrion, imprisoned because that his treason of Daenerys, is visited by Jon. They space bound in their love of Daenerys, and in their fear of what she has unleashed. Tyrion understands that there is just one way to end the opportunity of future wars; the reminds Jon of his vow to be the shield the guards the kingdom of men.

Jon then recalls Maester Aemon"s native at lock Black — made all the more far-reaching now because that they were ceded by his great-great-grand uncle, even though Jon didn"t know it then — "Love is the death of duty."

"Sometimes, duty is the fatality of love," Tyrion replies.

Jon knows in that minute what he must do. We understand in that moment what he must do. As soon as he takes Daenerys — flush from her victory, in touching distance the the stole Throne — into his arms, because that a brief 2nd you wonder if Jon will have actually the strength to perform what must be done. But he does.

The rest is simply picking up the pieces.

Recent objections of Game of Thrones have dwelt on just how the series has forgotten the dictum of "show, don"t tell". It to be a sad development for a production that previously had actually such wealthy symbology: witness Tywin Lannister skinning and gutting a dead stag while talking to Jaime around safeguarding the family legacy, earlier in season 1. However over episodes 5 and 6 of season 8, there has been a compelling visual statement made about Daenerys" finish acceptance of she Dragon Queen persona. As soon as Varys is to it is in executed, Drogon rises up from behind her, previously surprise by the darkness. As soon as she alights amid the damages of the Red Keep, Drogon when again is directly placed behind her, the span of his wing projecting from her sides, so it is together though she and he space one.


Still from video game of Thrones season 8 illustration 6. Helen Sloan/HBO

When v Jon in the Throne Room, however — a Throne Room that looks precisely as it did in her visions in the residence of the Undying — Daenerys is transformed back into the young woman we first knew. She speak Jon about the story Viserys would certainly narrate to her in your childhood, the the steel Throne gift forged indigenous the thousands swords that Aegon"s enemies. A little girl who might count only up come 20 trying come imagine what a throne make of a thousands swords watch like, and failing. She exhorts Jon to it is in by she side; he guarantees her the she will constantly be his Queen — and also in the an extremely next moment, takes she life.

As Daenerys bleeds to fatality in Jon"s arms, Drogon melts down the iron Throne through his wrath — the object the pulled his mother to she doom. And so ends Daenerys Stormborn of home Targaryen, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, Khaleesi that the an excellent Grass Sea, Queen that the Andals, Rhoynar and also the very first Men, Protector of the seven Kingdoms. Drogon carries she away — presumably to Valyria, wherein her ancestors reigned prior to their ambitions finished their an excellent civilisation.

The survivors must uncover a method to relocate forward, and they do.

Tyrion speaks the end at his trial because that treason and a new King is liked for Westeros. He renders a case for stories being what hold world together, and also he might be echoing the indigenous of modern day intellectuals like Yuval young name Harari in doing so.

Bran stark — the Three-Eyed Raven that knows the 7 Kingdoms" history much better than any kind of other individual living — is preferred to lead. The new world won"t have a hereditary monarchy, however. This, Tyrion believes was the wheel that tyranny Daenerys wished to break.

Bran anoints Tyrion his new Hand, and they begin the painful task of rebuilding a war-ravaged Westeros. Things change but they also stay the same. Life comes full circle.

The critical of the personalities still standing in ~ the finish of this journey acquire their own conclusions, huge and small.

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Podrick — the many loyal squire that ever before lived — is now a knight. Gendry appears to have actually made tranquility with his new station in life. Bronn too has actually been granted the castle he was long owed through the Lannisters. Davos and also Sam offer on the tiny council with Tyrion. Brienne bring away a moment to to fill in the pages the the Kingsguard"s book, through the details that Jaime"s deeds. She end it with: "Died protecting his Queen." It"s a tiny gesture, yet one that honours Jaime in the ideal possible means (and calls ago to the minute Joffrey taunted him about his remarkably blank pages in the book).

And the making it through Starks, castle all must go their different ways. Bran stays in the South, Sansa becomes the Queen in the North, Arya takes turn off for the west the Westeros to discover out what lies past where the maps end, and also Jon -- Jon returns to the Wall. Tormund and Ghost wait for him there.

A montage stitches with each other the separate destinies the the Starks. No "happily ever after" for any kind of of them, and possibly the last generation of Starks to carry the family members name, but leading resides that would carry out Ned and also Catelyn proud.

Little is stated as Jon rides through the Wildlings beyond the wall and the entrances of Castle black close behind him. The story ends where it began — in ~ the furthest northern reaches that Westeros. But this is not now a place of terror; death no much longer holds dominion over this lands.

A lone blade of grass pushes up v the snow.

Winter has finally passed.

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Rating: ★★★★ and a 1/2

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