And here we are….a place we have always known we would get to…the end. I’ve written the start of this multiple times and I think we just jump right in to it.
We begin in the ruins of the city, Tyrion and Jon, much like us, still shellshocked from what they have just witnessed. The tone right off the bat never lets us forget we are living in a horror that we never expected. While Dany’s turn had leadup I think one of the hardest hits is Grey Worm’s. Grey Worm believes what he’s doing is for the Queen but we know the queen he’s doing this for is Missandei. I felt they were setting up a fight between him and Jon that we never got. That’s fine but it would have been epic.
Epicness came in the form of Dany’s arrival into the Red Keep. This entire sequence was shot so well. I’ve said it before and I am gonna say it one more time and louder:
EMILIA CLARKE’S ACTING THIS SEASON IS NEXT LEVEL AND MATCHED BY NO ONE ELSE IN A TV DRAMA THIS YEAR.
She has so clearly lived this character and constantly found new ways to breath life into her until the character had no more breath. Dany has never been my favorite character, but Emilia Clarke has always been one of my favorites to watch.
There was a lot of emotion in the silence of King’s Landing but the true hurt came when Tyrion found his brother and sister. Tyrion’s relationship with his family was always a key conflict of this show, what made it so interesting is that even at their worst, he still tried to do what is right for his family, even if his family wasn’t doing what was right. I believe he cried not just for Jamie but also Cersei. He cried for the person she could have been and mourned the relationship they could never have. I think plenty of people can relate to that family dynamic. This scene was very much for emotional effect vs story logic, but I’m glad we got this closure for Tyrion as a character.
Tyrion has served many royals before and knows what the most brutal of them look like and he finally made the choice to no longer serve them. Dany without question felt just but if Tyrion knows anything it’s that people can mask injustice as justice. He ends up imprisoned for his “treason” against the queen for understanding the difference. The scene with him and Jon is one of the most remarkable scenes in the show’s run. He doesn’t just recount the injustices Dany has done while she called it justice but spoke of all he’s done along the same lines. I loved this scene because it narrows the conflict of the show to the question of, “What would you do with power?” That question has been what this show is ultimately about. How we use the power we have and is it truly for the betterment of the world. Jon has been faced with this question before but he now must answer it and never before has his answer been more important.
After a decade’s long journey Dany makes it to the Iron Throne. The journey we’ve seen her make is nearly over but there is…another who has had a journey to that throne. Jon is by blood a Targaryen but is also a Stark in more ways than one. Being a Stark has always been about doing the right thing and never being able to take an easy road to get there, there is only risk and never a reward. I never expected Dany’s story to end this way. I thought she would realize that being queen over all would be no different than being a master. I thought upon this realization she would take her people to rebuild Valaryia but the corruptive nature of power was to great and that meant finishing her journey was never to be possible. We knew it and Jon knew it. Jon did what he had to do. In the end, duty truly was the death of love. The scene was dramatic for a great many reasons, we lost who we thought was the most important character in the show….and Drogon lost his mother. He felt it and came to her. What I loved about Drogon burning the Iron Throne is that there is no true way to tell if he knew what he was doing or not. Drogon was so hurt with grief he could have just been lost in emotion or, on some level, knew that had it not been for that ugly, uncomfortable chair, the reason so many have died, he would still have his family. He took Dany never to be seen again but in my head I will believe that he took her to Valayria and they could both finally be home.
Ok, I can forgive a lot in this show, and have, but fade to blacks that are supposed to be time jumps are not one of them when done to the frequency this show has used them lately. It’s lazy and requires too much exposition to justify why they happened. We find our remaining heroes all in King’s Landing, where the Unsullied have taken over the city and left Tyrion and Jon alive. Not just that, are allowing Tyrion to make judgments on who should rule. At first I thought it was a dream sequence. All that aside, I enjoyed seeing these characters one last time. Especially Yara, who this show has repeatedly never a proper chance to let her character thrive. This scene had plenty of funny moments, Arya threatening Yara, Sansa telling her uncle to take a seat, the notion of democracy. But while it was entertaining I kinda hoped that in the end, there would not be a king or queen since nothing good has ever come from it. Did Bran make sense? Yes, but a monarchy continuing didn’t.
What follows here is a nice wrapping up of characters we love. I loved that Brienne was able to give Jamie’s story in the histories the closure of protecting a queen. I loved who ended up being on the Small Council and how they worked the name of they finally were able to bring the book series into it. If you loved the show, I truly suggest giving the books a chance. They are long but they do tell a different story and it is very interesting to see what the show was able to do.
Ned and Cat would be so proud of their children. This was not the road either of them could have imagined nor wanted but it they should be proud. I won’t lie, I do kind of wish were got an appearance from Ned, one last glance.
If you love Arya then you should be happy, she gots to go do what she’s always wanted, never having to compromise on being who she is or who she wanted to be. She had a hard road but she should be an inspiration to all those who don’t see themselves fitting a mold and wanting to find their own journey.
Sansa, my favorite character, all I have ever wanted for her was to get to complete her arc and they did it. This show didn’t wrap everything up perfectly, but they did with Sansa. When we first meet Sansa she only wants to be the Queen of the Realm, but as the King’s wife. She viewed the name Stark as a burden more than anything else. Her Journey has always been about finding her way back home not only does she do that, but she makes her home better than it was before.
Jon gets to the Wall to be greeted by his other family: The Wildlings. The more I think about Jon going there the more I believe that was merely a ploy to get him out of the city safely. They knew Jon would never stay there. More importantly, Jon was reunited with Ghost, see, I told y’all that wasn’t gonna be it. The more I think about this end the more I like it. Jon was always most at home with the Wildlings, he got a freedom there that the kingdoms never offered. It was the only place we saw him feel happiness and this was ultimately where he was meant to be.
The show ends where it began, beyond the wall,.
The Iron Throne, in Summation
“Jamie and Cersei could have lived if they didn’t just stand still and moved like five feet. No one can make an entrance like Dany. Jon is never not creeped out by how Arya sneaks up on him. Dany is literally the only person who didn’t see Jon shanking her coming. Drogon needs a lozenge real bad. Robin Aryn went from Breast Milk to Bel Ami and I would like him to slide in each and every one of my DMs. Democracy is as much a joke in the fantasy world as it is in the real one. The Three Eyed Raven is basically immortal so they installed and apathetic dictator. Brienne has more grace when talking about her ex than most of us ever will. Olenna Tyrell would for sure approve of Bronn as Lord of Highgarden. Bran clearly enjoys “Executive time” more than actually working. The seamstress of Winterfell survived and was READY for Inauguration Day, honey. The name Arya Stark to replace all mentions of Christopher Columbus. Game of Thrones will be viewed as one of television’s greatest achievements.”
In 2010 I finished college with a one month program called “Semester in LA.” Every morning we had one hour to read the industry trade papers (i.e Variety and/or The Hollywood Reporter). Everyone in the class each had an article we had to read, sum up, and report back to the class. One morning I was given a very short one. It was about How HBO cast Sean Bean in a new “cloak and dagger” series in development called Game of Thrones. The following year it premiered and ever since, Game of Thrones has been tied to my entire life in LA. It’s been with me in so many ways the nearly ten years I’ve lived here. It’s helped me make friends and grow closer with the ones I have in the hours we’d spend talking about it. Around season 3 Chiffon created WERRRK.com, we wanted to have weekly content and just like that “Sidney’s Game Guide” was born. It was my first recurring article for this website. While I had many other articles and opportunities to contribute to WERRRK, I loved, every year, I could come back to the Game Guide as I have truly loved writing about this show and exploring it beyond just what we all see. I wanna thank Chiffon for allowing me to have this year after year, to Spencer Williams who would not just co-author some Game Guides but would brilliantly write a few when I was not able to. Lastly, and most importantly, I wanna thank all of you who given any of your time, even if it’s just to read one of them. There are so many articles, recaps, and reviews for this show so the fact that any of you have glanced at mine means more to me than I could possibly say.
This has been one great journey and while we have prequels and spinoffs in the future, this series, throughout the best and worst, will always be one of a kind. Game of Thrones is a story about the return of magic to a world that had forgotten about it, but Game of Throne the series brought TV magic back to our lives, week after week, and there is no way we will ever forget it.