6 Takeaways from the Game of Thrones Series Finale

May 20, 2019
Broken Wheel

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Game of Thrones didn't have an entirely happy ending, as predicted, but it was happier than expected. The tone of the finale really did a 180 from the opening scene to the last moment. Remember all the carnage? The charred bodies and devastation? All forgotten in a haze of feel-good Stark montage and Tyrion’s forever-unfinished story about the jackass and a honeycomb in a brothel. But you know what... I’m satisfied. It wasn’t perfect. But I won’t regret a minute of watching this show - and I would do it again. 

1) Dany’s speech to her army echoed the speech she gave in Season 6, almost 3 real-time years ago. I cheered for it then, when it was an abstract thought, not the reality of dead families in the street. And of course, when she sees the Throne for the first time, it's just like her vision from the House of the Undying - that single flake melting on her cheek proved that it was both snow and ashes that blanketed the city. I do truly believe that Dany thought she would have built a better world. To paraphrase the man who killed her: she did what she thought was right... and she got MURDERED for it. And then she too bled out in the snow, only there was no red ​priestess around to bring her back.​ Maybe Dany's last child is taking her to find one. I legit cried when Drogon mourned her, then SCREAMED with glee when he torched the Throne (more on that later), then cried again when he gently lifted Dany away from the land that never really loved her, back to the east and her ancestral home: the Mother of Dragons until the end. 

2) Jon has the North in him - the real North - and that's where he belongs. I will say that his extremely long talk with Tyrion about Dany's previous actions (8 minutes out of 80!) felt as much like justification of the showrunners' choices as anything. Love is more powerful than reason, says Tyrion. Love is the death of duty, Jon responds, and Tyrion looks SHOCKED that Jon said something so profound...which of course, he didn't. The other Targaryen who didn't want the Throne did. Jon is a man of action, and act he does, even though Dany will always be his queen. This was why Melisandre brought Jon back to life  - and maybe he fulfilled a prophecy in the process. Even though Jon ostensibly will live out his life in exile, at least he’ll be with his doggo! (Also HI TORMUND MISSED YOU.) As for Jon actually being a Targaryen - the biggest mystery of the show - that meant the last human dragon could look the last REAL dragon in the eye and live. Maybe they'll meet again someday.

3) As for the once-again Hand of the King: it wasn’t so much that I felt sad at Tyrion seeing Jaime and Cersei dead. It was the tremendous weight of Tyrion realizing that Jaime (and maybe Cersei) would have been alive if not for him that got me. I am glad he didn’t die and gets to atone for his mistakes: the wisest people are the ones who recognize when they've made them. I am glad he admitted to loving Dany - though not as successfully as Jon - because maybe that explains some of his temporary dumbness around her for the past few years. Men do stupid things for women!!! It comes up so often. Sansa really is the smartest.

4) Speaking of Sansa - ever since the Battle of the Bastards, it has been Sansa who has looked out for her people, who listened to her advisers but made her own choices, who time and again did what had to be done for the North. She deserved to wear a crown at the end of all this, and now she will do what queens do: she will rule. And for now, Sansa will be the only Stark in Winterfell. I was wrong to think that Arya was a pale rider on a pale horse, ready to bring more death. She really did look around King's Landing and see what revenge gets you. I remember how free Arya looked when she boarded that ship to Braavos at the end of season 4. Now she gets to write her own story, and she’ll always have Stark sails. And maybe a spinoff???

5) Hey remember when the Battle of Winterfell was going on and this happened: 

My guess is there will be much more of that with Bran as king! I’ll be honest, I did not see the Bran twist coming - mostly because I was so hellbent on the Iron Throne being destroyed I couldn’t see anyone sitting on it. And Bran won't! In hindsight, the Three-Eyed Raven is a fine choice and will mostly be a symbol of leadership in this Brave New Six Kingdoms World. Hopefully he can work on saying toneless inappropriate things in public. Mostly I’m just amused that Tyrion essentially called him The Boy Who Lived in his nomination speech. You’re a wizard, Bran! 

6) My final takeaway is more of a gloat. I predicted the end of the Iron Throne, and I am beyond glad that it's gone: if there’s no more Throne, there’s no more Game to play, and no more winning it or dying for it. Even if democracy is hilarious to these people at this point - the wheel is finally broken. It's not the way Dany hoped to break it. But she helped it break nonetheless. 

A few final thoughts: my favorite memes have spawned from Brienne doing right by Jaime, but I would have rather she stayed by Sansa's side to be Queensguard instead of Kingsguard. I got misty-eyed to learn that Grey Worm is honoring Missandei by sailing to Naath to protect her people. If Sam is a maester, what does that mean for Gilly, little Sam and the baby - thought maesters couldn't get married?!? And I guess that clumsy Bronn scene earlier in the season was all so Tyrion would pay his debts, as Lannisters always do, and then Bronn would be on the small council to set up the jackass and honeycomb joke. Callbacks, callbacks as far as the eye can see. 

And finally, this is obviously the more pure and wholesome moment in the entire damn show:

Thanks for reading and watching these recaps! Here's one more look at "The Bells" while we put together the final episode of Sock Puppet Theatre.