Game of Thrones is legendary for many reasons; one being that it kills off its main characters. This trend was started by The Walking Dead in 2010. Not being a fan of gory series and movies, I refrained from giving in to watching GoT. Instead, I took relief in watching the series, Grimm, which I now consider a prep/warm-up series for actual gore. My first attempt to watch GoT was back in 2013. By the end of it, I had the same feeling that Drogon had in the last episode.
Come March 2019 and the GoT fever in the air was stronger than ever. It was hard not to feel left out. So, finally giving in, I sat down with a stone on my heart, to watch Game of Thrones.
With all the hue and cry about how an epic series ended on a crap note, I tried not to let the Internet colour my judgment. And once I tuned out the noise, I'm going to have to say, I did not hate the last season. There are some loose ends and yes it felt rushed, but the ending itself wasn't the worst. Not popular opinion, I know. Here are my thoughts on the various subjects:
Redemption Of Theon Greyjoy
When he attempted to prove himself as a Greyjoy by attacking Winterfell, he got captured and tortured by Ramsay Bolton. Since the time he became ‘Reek’ (a name given by Ramsay) and had lost all his identity of being an Ironborn or a Stark, that is when he was able to assume his true identity, and of course, he could not have done it without a little help from Sansa. After Theon’s ‘turning over a new leaf’, he went around saving the ladies of both the houses. First, he saved Sansa from Ramsay's clutches and then later, his own sister, Yara, from Euron Greyjoy. In this season, it was the last step of his redemption where he sacrificed his life to protect Bran from the Night King. Bran, in turn, restores his identity and says, “Theon, you are a good man. Thank you!” Now, Bran saying ‘thank you’ must mean something as he is not the type of a guy who drops ‘thank you’ left and right. He didn’t even say “thank you” to Meera Reed for saving his life. So, What was so bad about this season where we got to see Theon redeem himself and die as a good man?
End Of The Night King
The Night King
This season would have turned into a nightmare if the Night King hadn’t died by the end of the long night. The Night King was created by the children of the forest to defend them against the first men who were cutting down their sacred trees and harming the nature in general, but that move backfired when the Night King aimed to take over all living creatures. The audience was made aware of the threat of the Night King from the opening scene of the first episode of this series. I don’t think, throughout the history of serials, there has been any villain so aloof as the Night King that the other villains in the same serial make jokes about his existence. Further, a character who sees him as a real threat is mocked at by saying, “You know nothing, Jon Snow”. In the last season, he was proved real, and this season, he was killed when he tried to erase the collective memory of the human kind by killed Bran. By season seven, we all knew that the Night King was going to die, but what we didn’t know was: how will he die and who will kill him? The Night King made Arya Stark's solo journey to Braavos worthwhile. She silently sneaked up from behind, took the Valyrian steel dagger that Bran had given her and stabbed the Night King. Further, I liked how every action in that scene was clearly shot. The Night King holding Arya’s neck with one hand and with the other, holding her left hand which was holding the dagger. While she had the Night King’s both the hands occupied, she drops the dragger from her left hand to her free right hand and stabs him. What was not to like about seeing the Night King who had once shot down a full-grown dragon being killed by a mere young girl?
Jorah Mormont's Love Being Answered
Daenerys and Jorah Mormont
Jorah initially made an entry into Daenerys’ life to spy on her on the commands of Tywin Lannister, but he truly fell in love with her. When the reality was discovered, Daenerys banished him. After his banishment in season four, he kept on finding ways to win back Daenerys in his favour. He kidnapped Tyrion to prove his loyalty, but when he did, the disease greyscale scaled him. On the orders of Daenerys, he fought the greyscale disease, and ultimately, died in the lap of his love, Daenerys. This scene was the most romantic scene of all for me. What was not to be liked about seeing Jorah die in the arm of the women he loved? However, I doubt he would have loved her any longer after seeing her in the next few episodes.
Arya’s Friendship With The Hound
The Hound and Arya
If anyone truly understood Arya, it was Sandor Clegane aka The Hound, who was once on Arya’s list of people she would kill. The Hound has always been like a Guardian Angel for the Stark daughters, but the most important relationship that he developed was with Arya. He understood and empathised with her fears, her motives and her intentions more than anyone. Further, they were also a travelling companion for the longest of times. They had faced and seen death, dangers, poverty in their journeys together, until, The Hound lost the battle against Brienne and was left wounded, on the edge of death by Arya. So by the end of the Great War, Arya and The Hound again sets on a journey together to King’s Landing with their respective motives: Arya to kill Cersei and The Hound, his brother ‘The Mountain’. However, when they reached the castle in King’s Landing, Sandor Clegane stops her from taking the path of revenge. He re-awakens and calls for her true identity as Arya Stark and urges her not to kill herself in the fire of rage/revenge as he had already done. Sandor reminds her that there is more to her than just avenging her family. This was the last time he saves her before he takes his own life along with his brother's. What was not to like about seeing a friendship mature between The Hound and Arya?
The Beautiful Revenge of the Hound
The fight between 'The Hound' and his brother, The Mountain started when they were just kids. The Mountain thought The Hound had stolen his toy, so he burned half of his brother’s face. The fight between these brothers was inevitable, but more than the fight what impressed me was the setting of their fight scene. On the edge of the King Landing’s trembling castle with the dragon blowing fire over them, these two brothers get on with their fight that started in their childhood. What was not fun about seeing two monstrous men fighting on the edge of a castle?
The Fall Of Cersei
Cersei and Jaime Lannister
I know Cersei’s death was not as brutal as we expected, but personally, I was quite content with how it happened. Cersei did evil things, but only with the motive to protect her family. I wouldn't deny that she was a horrible queen. She killed Ellaria Sand's daughter like, Ellaria had killed her daughter. Further, she had also sent Bronn to kill Tyrion with a crossbow, the weapon he used to kill their father. So, her death in the arms of her brother/lover, Jaime, while carrying their baby in her belly seemed like a correct sort of poetic justice given to end her life. However, if there is anything that I feel bad about is that Jaime died in the process. He had possibilities of a better life with Brienne, but he left it all to die with his sister. Either way, what was not likeable about seeing Cersei receive her poetic justice?
Breaking Of The Wheel
Daenerys and Drogon
Daenerys wanted two things: first, she wanted to sit on the iron throne and second, she wanted to break the wheel of succession. However, whenever Tyrion raised the subject of succession, she lashed out at him. She said that she would not talk about the system until she gets the iron throne. Though she said that she wanted to break the wheel, but her actions were very much following the conventions. In fact, she became the queen of the wheel and acted just like her father, the mad king by burning the whole city of King’s Landing where millions of people lived. Further, she proved that the rule of Baratheon or Lannisters were a much better option than the rule of a Targaryen. She made Cersei seem like a good person after her merciless act of burning the city. The best part is that, in the end, the wheel was broken and that would have not been possible without Tyrion’s persuasion and Jon’s act of killing Daenerys. After her death, Tyrion made sure that the wheel remains that way. Tyrion suggested that from then on all the powerful families of the six-kingdom (As Sansa requested to declare the North as a separate Kingdom.) will choose a rightful heir to the throne, and everyone on the panel agreed to his suggestion. What a beautiful way to end the Game of Throne series by breaking the wheel which promoted power hungry rulers?
Drogon Stays Alive
Drogon burns the throne
I feel like Drogon is the true hero of the series. He was the only wise creature after Tyrion who understood the scheme of things. He understood that his mother was not truly killed by Jon, but by her hunger for power and the throne. So, he burned the throne to the ground in a rage against the symbol of power. Drogon, after burning the symbol of power, picks up Daenerys and simply, flies away. What was not to like about seeing the rarest of the creature, the dragon, become the hero of this series?
Sansa: The Queen In The North
Sansa learnt her lessons well. Even though her own brother became the king, she requests to declare the North as a separate kingdom. She knew that after so many wars that have been fought in the north, the northern people have lost trust in foreigners and their rules. This was not only reflective of northern people's perspective but was also her own personal experience. She was an impressionable little girl when we were introduced to her in season one. Back then, she only wanted to marry the prince and live out her dreams of happily ever after. However, she was continuously betrayed, used and manipulated by Cersei, Littlefinger, Joffrey, Ramsay, Theon (for a short while) and Daenerys to realise that she can’t any longer trust any ruler. What was not to like about seeing a girl mature into a woman and taking responsibility for her own self and her kingdom?
Bran As King
Bran the Broken
I know Bran didn’t do much throughout the season to deserve to be the king of the six kingdoms. However, Tyrion’s explanation wasn’t completely crazy. “I had nothing to do but think these past few weeks about our bloody history, about the mistakes we have made. What unites people? Army(s)? Gold? Flags? (Nod of the head in disapproval) Stories? There is nothing more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And, who has a better story than Bran the broken.” Bran has been shown to be the collective memory of all the people alive. I suspect that this concept of a person carrying the collective memory of all is inspired by a children’s book called ‘The Giver’ and is added to the plot of GoT beautifully by G.R.R.Martin. I think just because Bran didn’t contribute anything substantial in the previous episodes, the name ‘Bran the Broken’ as his king name compensates for it. So, what was not to like about seeing 'Bran the Broken' rule the six-kingdom?
Jon Knows Everything
Aegon and Daenerys Targaryen
I too, like many, wanted Jon, to become the king of seven kingdoms. Now, even though he did not become the king, my love for this character didn’t shake for a bit as he remained true to his character till the end and didn’t change even after knowing the truth about his birth. In fact, his main concerns also remained intact, that is, to be the protector of the seven realms. He protected the seven realms even if that meant that he had to kill his lover, Daenerys. Further, it is hilarious to see how Jon always ended up in a cave with his women who always desire to stay with him there, hidden from the rest of the world. So, what was not to like about Jon finally knowing about his true identity and yet remaining true to his character?
I acknowledge that the buildup of a few characters and the development of some scenes could have been way better, but I have no complaints regarding the plot of the series. I think David Benioff and D. B. Weiss wrote this season to the best of their capabilities, especially without having the original source material to guide them. Further, I think because of these narrative flaws in season eight, the final book of G.R.R Martin will make a good read for the fans. Moreover, don't be disheartened with the end of this series as HBO has declared to release Game of Thrones Prequel which will be out in 2020. So, guys cross your fingers for the upcoming series and books, as I will. For more entertaining topics and discussion keep following Daily Poutine.