So Game of Thrones has now finished and the final episode is out there for all to see. Last night’s episode was called “The Iron Throne” and that’s a fitting title to cover this episode.
Honestly, nothing surprised me too much from The Iron Throne, because I kinda saw most of this coming. I feel like the writing was on the wall after last week’s episode, and there remained very few possibilities as to how all this would go down. However, I actually really enjoyed this ending. In fact, had the lead up to ending been better structured over a longer period of time, then I’d be even happier right now. So what happened?
After burning most of King’s Landing, this episode begins with primarily Tyrion and Jon walking through the devastation of Dany’s destruction, both clearly perturbed by what they’ve witnessed. Tyrion goes looking for his siblings and finds their dead bodies under a pile of rubble. This causes him to seek out Dany. Jon witnesses Grey Worm and some Unsullied trying to execute Lannister soldiers and, unable to stop them, also seeks out Dany.
There’s a great shot of Dany walking out over her followers, with Drogon’s wings spreading behind her, framing her as the dragon. Dany then addresses the crowd and fires them up for more destruction as she tells them they will ‘liberate’ everyone from Winterfell to Dorne and from Lannisport to Qarth. Dany will go on to bring the whole world to heel under her voice, and this is too much for Tyrion.
Tyrion admits to betraying Dany by freeing his brother, but hits back with the fact she burned thousands of innocents, before removing his badge as Hand of the Queen and casting it down the steps. He is arrested and imprisoned for the moment, but is visited by Jon Snow.
Probably this scene between Jon and Tyrion was one of the best scenes in this season as Tyrion uses logic and reasoning to convince Jon that there is only one course of action left, and that it must be he who takes it. So Jon makes his way to see Dany, and brilliantly for me appears before her just before she can actually sit on the Iron Throne she so covets. Dany tries to convince Jon that what she did was necessary and that together they will rule the world and enforce their version of good upon all of its denizens. Jon kisses her, tells her that he loves her and that she will always be his Queen and then stabs her through the heart.
Cradling Dany’s lifeless body, Drogon comes up to see what’s going on and finds Dany already dead. Drogon gets angry and Jon thinks that he is about to be deep-fried Targaryen, but Drogon instead takes his anger out on the Iron Throne itself, melting it and removing its pull forever more. As someone who has continually predicted there will be no Iron Throne by the end, it was satisfying to me to see it melted, plus it fitted the symbolism enough to make the Azor Ahaia prophecy really stand out and clarify Jon as Azor Ahai reborn, but I’ll get to that later. Drogon then lifts the body of Dany and flies away to who knows where?
The next thing we see is Tyrion, even more heavily bearded being taken from his cell by Unsullied and led out to the dragon pit where we see various lord and ladies representing the great houses of Westeros. Tyrion appears to not know much, here, but one assumes he has been made aware of Dany’s death at Jon’s hands. One of the things I disliked was the various unknown Lords and ladies and I think that’s again a reflection on how quickly the show moved through these past two seasons, we should have gotten to meet these people, even if momentarily prior.
Grey Worm wants to execute Tyrion and Jon, Sansa clearly threatens Grey Worm against this by pointing out her Northern Army is outside awaiting the command to attack, and the forces of Dany don’t have any more dragons. They make it clear that they need to choose a new King, and everyone shoots down Sam’s idea of democracy, because to be fair, this is not a society ready for democracy, as it would be open to as much corruption if not more than what they have. They decide they should choose a king from among them, who would be the best person to rule them all and for some reason which I don’t think was properly explained they all choose Bran.
Now, last week I actually said Bran would be a terrible choice for King and I stick by it. Perhaps Bran in the books will be a good choice for king, but the show just hasn’t given us any reason to think that. If we look at the last two seasons, Bran has done two or three things which helped or hindered. Bran helped catch out Littlefinger, he told everyone about Jon’s true parentage, and he suggested using himself as bait for the Night King. Other than that he has sat about looking glum and not really doing anything of note. I do get the feeling that George R.R. Martin has told them Bran would be the King, but they had no idea how to make Bran the best choice for this, so they just kinda rushed it, like everything this season.
Also, why was Jon not also brought out along with Tyrion? It would have been even more powerful for him to absolutely refuse the Kingship and suggest he take the black and go back North. We also get Sansa essentially demanding that she gets to be queen of the North without having to worry about the other six kingdoms, and the rest of the lords just kinda let her get on with it. Wouldn’t Dorne be like “Hey we were independent even longer than the North, can we go free as well?”
So, Bran chooses Tyrion as his hand, Sansa is Queen of the North, Jon is essentially King beyond the Wall as he has gone North again where he was happiest with people who love and respect him as a leader. Arya decided to see what’s West of Westeros and if we go by the books, it seems highly likely she will just appear in the East at Ashai, because of course, the world is round. Samwell, is a Maester, Bronn is Lord of Highgarden, Brienne is Kingsguard along with Pod, Davos is in charge of the fleet, and Bran leaves them to it while he pops off to see what Drogon is up to away East. The end!
Now, I’ve heard a bit of hate for this online, but as I said above, for me the ending works fine. The problem is the execution of the story to get to that point. Dany going a bit mad should have been drawn out more, the story with the dead should have been drawn out more and Bran should have had far more to do to show us why he would actually make a perfect King. But actually the ending itself I don’t have an issue with. I’ve also heard people say the ending was too happy for Game of Thrones, but I mean come on, it was hardly a big happy ending, and it falls perfectly in line with George R.R. Martin’s idea of a bittersweet ending for me. We just needed to slow the hell down and get to this point with a little more character building.
Finally, if people are wondering whether the Azor Ahai prophecy was even alluded to in this entire season it was. Just not literally.
Azor Ahia wanted to make a sword of heroes, so he labored and labored, and then when he tried to temper the steel in water is cracked. Then he tried again by thrusting it into a Lion and again it cracked, finally he asked his lover Nissa Nissa to bear her breast and he plunged the sword through her heart, forging Lightbringer and merging her soul with the blade. This entire season has been that story of Azor Ahai, who was a Prince in the end and never a King.
Jon tempered against the water/ice with the dead, he then defeated the Lion (Lannisters/Cersei) and then after all that had to stab his love in the heart to bring peace and order to the world. Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, it’s just allegorical, like all myths.
Later in the week, I’ll be detailing out exactly where Game of Thrones went wrong and what the likely cause of this rush to finish was, but the ending itself wasn’t one of my major issues.
What did you think of “The Iron Throne,” how do you feel now that Game of Thrones has ended forever? Leave your lightbringing thoughts in the beating heart of fandom in the usual place below. As for me?
And Now My Watch Has Ended!