May 19, 2019 marked the season finale of HBO’s hit series Game Of Thrones. As the sixth episode of season 8, Game Of Thrones fans could only surmise what dreadful, or perhaps joyous, surprises awaited them. Depends on how you look at it. Spoilers ahead . . .
If you were like me, you faithfully watched every one hour long episode for the past few years. You watched as the Stark children grew into adults. Heads rolled, bodies burning, poison consumed by the pints, swords and arrows through the heart, and multiple body parts lopped off. Incest seemed to run amok, and just when you thought your favorite characters were safe, another one bit the dust. This season had a particularly rapid rate of mortality. Considering there were only six episodes this season, it’s no wonder.
What we expected to happen did, and what we hoped would not happen, did. At the beginning of the season, the white walkers were the biggest enemies, and all the kingdoms were bonding together to fight these evil frozen zombies. In the infamous third episode, it was truly an epic battle as most of the many kingdoms banded together. Unfortunately, many of our fave characters were also killed. Even with two dragons, it was a losing battle. Then the Night King finds his target Bran who would be the key to ultimate power. Just when it seemed like all was lost, Arya Stark saved the day, and her brother, as she plunged a knife into the icy belly of the king of the night walkers.
You would think that would have been the biggest battle of the series, considering the pilot episode started with white walkers, but it wasn’t. As Daenerys Targaryen made plans to bring down the oppression by Cersei Lannister, you couldn’t help but wonder if Jon Snow would ever be king and if his affair with Daenerys is even sustainable. Of course, those thoughts were cut short when the once prim and proper white haired queen suddenly metamorphised into a madwoman in the fifth episode. She flew through King’s Landing on her dragon Drogon, ignoring a plea by Tyrion Lannister to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and disregarding an obvious surrender by her enemies, She accomplished her goal of killing Cersei and gaining control of the crown – all at the cost of thousands of innocent people.
In the end, all the royal love affairs came to an end when Cersei and Jamie get crushed under the weight of falling rubble and Daenerys received the kiss of death by the man she was in love with. Under advice of Tyrion, Jon plunged a dagger into Daenerys and miraculously does not get burned alive by her distraught dragon. Sadly, the queen of dragons never realized her desire to unite the kingdoms was an affront to the need for power. We watched as Drogon melts the iron throne in a fit of rage and flies away with its dead mother to an unknown land. In the end, Sansa became queen of the north. Arya decided to set forth discover new lands. Jon Snow was forced to return to the Night Watch. Tyrion Lannister became the hand to the new king. And Bran Stark became the new king at King’s Landing.
There are things that I wish happened. I wish Arya could have gotten more credit for killing the Night King. There were more white walkers than all the population of the seven kingdoms put together! Next, does Bran not get an official ceremony as king the way his sister did? Plus, too bad we don’t ever see what the three eyed raven saw as to what happened with the dragon and its beloved mother. Did they really have to relegate Jon Snow to the Night Watch instead of living next to his royal family? And finally, I would have liked to see more of an slower arc into Daenerys turn to the dark side. It was bound to happen, but with such a swift, drastic change, that’s probably why it was so jarring to fans. She’ll never know what it feels like to sit on the Iron Throne. I guess we will always have to wonder what if.
The season finale initially seemed to have a take on morals with pride and incest. All the siblings who had affairs saw their demises. Through pride, everybody who ever sat on the iron throne, or almost sat on the iron throne, ended up dead. Yet, there were talk of rebuilding brothels. In the end, there were no perfectly moral characters. Everyone was flawed, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. No character was left without pain or heartache. It was just a matter if you could stay alive long enough. As writer George R.R. Martin has said, “When you play a game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Before I end my recap, I do want to give thanks where it is due. I thank the showrunners D.B. Weiss and and David Benioff, along with the writers for taking the book series A Song Of Fire And Ice and converting it into HBO’s biggest show. I thank the crew for direction, cinematography, visual effects, wardrobe, makeup, music, sound, etc. With 47 Primetime Emmy Awards (the most by a drama series) including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, and 2018, 5 nominations for Gold Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama in 2012 and 2015-2018, and several other awards and nominations, clearly the vision of the creators of the show connected with audiences, and critics, worldwide.
I thank the actors for doing a brilliant job in taking words on a page and bringing these characters to life. Actor Peter Dinklage won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2011, 2015, 2018) and the Gold Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Tyrion Lannister. Other actors who were also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Awards included Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Diana Rigg, and Max Von Sydow. It takes the best actors to be able to do it as well as they did.
And finally I thank George R.R. Martin for creating the world of “Game Of Thrones”. Without his book, which has sold 90 million copies worldwide as of April 2019, there would be no “Game Of Thrones”.
I end my final article on “Game Of Thrones” with this quote by Tyrion Lannister as the new ruler of the seven kingdoms is about to be chosen: “What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story. ”
Game Of Thrones web site: https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season-8
Courtesy of Game Of Thrones/HBO