Game of Thrones finale review The Iron Throne: A disappointing end as all prophecies, secrets, plotlines are set on fire
Game of Thrones S08E06
Directors: David Benioff and DB Weiss
Cast: Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams
A Song of Ice and Fire writer George RR Martin had forever said that he aims for a bittersweet ending for his story, something on the lines of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books. It was also heard that Martin had given notes to David Benioff and DB Weiss about the ending. But after what we have just witnessed in Game of Thrones finale titled The Iron Throne, either Martin’s idea of bittersweet is very, very sweet for my taste, or D&D literally threw those notes out the window like several other things. ‘If you thought this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention,’ Ramsay said a few seasons ago... so many seasons ago, in fact, that even the show has forgotten all about it.
Watch the trailer for Game of Thrones series finale here:
The final episode of Game of Thrones, arguably the world’s most popular show, went out with a whimper. With a fascist to kill, a new ruler to choose and several beloved characters to say goodbye to in just a span of one hour, the show still finds time to waste on fixing chairs and building brothels. But when has wasting people’s time not been option for David and Dan? A full season’s worth of prophecies and the fight for the ‘true heir’ was apparently all for nothing anyway.
The conversation between Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow should not have arrived 10 minutes before the Daenerys Targaryen’s tyrannicide. It should have been peppered over two seasons of Game of Thrones so we could watch her turn from a queen who liberates the weak to one that murders them. Sure it made sense when Tyrion tells us how she no longer realises right from wrong but only that she is on the side of the good, so all those against her must perish for the ultimate good of mankind. But I still wish they showed it rather than spell it out to me. Game of Thrones needed at least four more seasons to continue on the same pace as season one and also be the same quality as it. Perhaps then--definitely then--it would have been the greatest show we had ever witnessed.
But the pacing and the hurry to get to the finish line are not the only issues. There are large, gaping holes in the fabric of logic that one just cannot ignore anymore. How could Dany not realise Jon is a threat? That he would kill her after all she had done? His righteousness was what she fell for. She knew he is all for duty and not one for the thirst for power. So how could she not see it coming?
And are we to blame if after all the hue and cry about Jon’s true parentage, we really expected it to amount to something? From the first season to the final, characters, flashbacks, conversations made innumerable references to Jon being a Targaryen but after watching the Game of Thrones season finale, it makes me wonder if there was a point or purpose to any of it. Would the story have been any different if we had not known it at all? Would Jon being a bastard of Ned Stark cause any changes to the story we have just witnessed? Dany didn’t think him a threat enough even as he plunged a dagger in her heart and the other lords and ladies do not seem to care about it either. Bran called him the ‘true heir’ of the Iron Throne but ended up sitting on it himself--well only metaphorically now that Drogon has melted it to ground. While I am happy for Jon that he finally gets to while away his time beyond The Wall and with his Wildling friends, away from the throne he never wanted, I am not so sure if I could say the same about the millions who rooted for him, or even for a more logical end to the story.
As depressing as this may sound, after last week’s shocking abomination of an episode, the finale was still saved from being the show’s worst ever. As my anger cooled over the last week and I came to realise that this is just the end to Game of Thrones that we will have to live with, I tried really hard to find things I actually liked about the episode. While in the last episode, finding those moments was as difficult as finding a living being in King’s Landing, this time, things did not look so bleak.
Tyrion’s agony at finding his brother and sister entombed in the dungeons gave us a couple of harrowing moments. While you may feel that Cersei deserved much worse, to see Jaime lie there by her side was still not easy. In the scene that followed soon after it, the makers were tasked with showing Dany as the true symbol of fear and evil and they managed that even before they could get her to deliver that fascism 101 speech. As she walks to her army, for a short second, she gains the wings of a dragon and we know her transformation is now complete. The brilliant shot is awesome and fearsome all at the same time and it was shown at just the right juncture after she had become the Mad Queen.
After she is killed, as hurried and anticlimactic as all of it was, watching Drogon nudge her tenderly and then melting the Iron Throne, also served as a good send-off for the dragon. He may have been a beast, but he was always her child. He doesn’t kill Jon, the one who drove a dagger into his mother’s heart but the throne that was the reason behind all her ambition and ultimately her death. In that moment, it felt as if even Drogon knew what she did was wrong.
The second act was awkward as it could be with lord and ladies laughing at the idea of a democracy and uncles making fools of themselves. Grey Worm was insufferable and Bran looked too cocky for a tree who has just been crowned king. The final moments are saved again as Sansa wears her crown as the Queen in the North, a reward that she always deserved. And finally, Ghost got the goodbye he deserved.
Too bad we did not get the same.
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