Spoilers. I actually really enjoyed the finale of Game of Thrones. After spending so many years on this show I felt the story concluded in an incredibly satisfying way and other than an epilogue episode that takes place in ten years (how long Tyrion said Jon should ask him if it was worth it) I don’t know what more I could ask for.
I was overjoyed to see all of remaining Stark children remain alive and each on their own path. The final shot of each of the Stark’s walking towards their end goal was amazing. Sansa gets to be Queen in the North, Arya gets to figure out what’s west of Westeros and Jon returns to where he has always belonged … the Real North. Each of these actors, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington have performed tremendously over the years. I will miss seeing their interactions.
While this final season has been highly criticized for everything happening so quickly, I would argue that everything has been set up for these characters paths and turns for years. I enjoyed watching one of my favorite characters in Dany make a truly tragic turn in the last couple episodes. This turn has been teased and without those around her that she trusts, she makes choices from within. I even wondered as she was talking to Jon if the world she envisions could be better than the one the show received. This makes the question Jon asks Tyrion even more meaningful. Will this all have been worth it? Emilia Clarke has done a fantastic job with this character and I am very happy with what we have been given. She was powerful, complicated and had a vision of her destiny.
I really really wanted Dany and Jon to rule together at the end of this series. I loved both characters and wanted a fairy tale ending. Unfortunately this is Game of Thrones and that was never going to happen. So once I truly excepted that I thought, “Well, at least Jon will be on the throne”, but that didn’t happen either. It wasn’t until the episode ended that I realized that the journey of Jon Snow was never meant to be a true Hero’s Journey. Instead, it was one of loyalty and duty. Jon is the embodiment of the “Shield that guards the realms of men”. Without Jon’s loyalty and duty, which he learned throughout the series, Westeros would not be standing and I’m very satisfied with how his arc ended.
Tyrion was by far the MVP of this final episode. His painful reaction to finding his siblings beneath the keep, his defiance of Dany’s decisions and throwing his Hand of the Queen pin, his last desperate plea to Jon, his speech to the leaders of the realm , and ultimately his fixing the chairs of the table after he is made Hand of the King. Peter Dinklage was given the role of a lifetime in Tyrion Lannister and they gave him a fitting farewell.
I loved that Brienne was able to give Jaime the legacy of the knight he truly was. Gwendoline Christie has owned this role for years and it was bitter sweet watching her write Jaime’s deeds in the White Book. I was glad to see her given the role of commander of the Kingsguard, which she above all others deserves. It was great seeing Podrick serve the new king in Bran the Broken. Speaking of Bran, I was surprised that he was made king, but also loved the explanation Tyrion gave and feel that he truly is the best choice. It was nice seeing Bron as the Master of Coin and Sam as the Maester of Kings Landing. He will surely be the most honorable Maester for quite some time.
The last two seasons of Game of Thrones have been a lot more cinematic than the first six. I understand the criticism that it has been quicker, that background story was left behind and there has been less build up for arcs. It would have been great to have more, but I’m very satisfied with what we have been given. I have always loved movies more than television and ultimately the last couple season have felt more like movies than television. The last two season do feel different, but I enjoy the difference and love the quicker pace. I know many won’t agree with me and that’s ok. As I’ve said before, I can only express my thoughts and not yours.