Game of thrones finale review: it was actually pretty good

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Warning: contains spoilersIn Westeros, you win or you die. For all this final season’s faults, the last episode won over the doubters – and it did right by those left standing



Spoiler warning: this article is for people who have sầu watched the Game of Thrones finale. Do not read on unless you have sầu watched season eight, episode six: The Iron Throne.

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And so, at last, after 73 episodes, untold millions of dollars and an estimated 200,000 slayings, it is all over – bar the shouting on the mạng internet. Death came to lớn Game of Thrones & everyone involved in its making threw up their hands và shouted “Yes! Finally! Today!”

We began the finale with Tyrion wandering the ash-strewn ruins of King’s Landing, scene of Daenerys’ handbrake turn inlớn full-blown lunacy last week, lifting fallen bricks và confirming for himself, and viewers still clinging to lớn hope, that the Lannister twins were indeed deceased beneath them. Having the Imp cry “This is an ex-Lannister! If it wasn’t buried under rubble it would be pushing up daisies!” would have been only fractionally less subtle a way khổng lồ confirm what we all needed confirming before we could get on with the true business of the day; deciding who gets the Iron Throne, who gets to lớn die and who gets a spin-off series.

Daenerys was looking confident about her position, with a jaunty speech khổng lồ her followers (“Blood of my blood! You have given me the Seven Kingdoms!”) & the speedy arrest of Tyrion for treason. Jon looks pained. Possibly because of the mindless destruction and mass murder carried out by his lover-aunt. Possibly because he’s trying khổng lồ vày a sum involving odd numbers in his head. Dear, sweet, useless Jon. People have sầu berated the writers for many things over the show’s run, but they surely deserve sầu some recognition for managing lớn sell Kit Harington as a convincing candidate for kingship.


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The Targaryen flag flies over the ash-strewn ruins of King’s Landing. Photograph: Courtesy of HBOJon visits Tyrion in prison, where the Last Lannister tries – as Arya does just before – khổng lồ convince Jon that as a fellow Targaryen with a clayên to the throne, the woman atop the dragon might just attempt to lớn vị hyên harm in the near-future. “That’s her decision,” says Dumbo. “She is the queen.” Tyrion adds that she’ll probably go after Sansa & Arya, too, which seems to cause scales to lớn fall from Jon’s eyes, & prompts just about the only bit of action in the finale.

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In this generation’s Buffy/Angel moment, Jon kills Daenerys for the greater good. Drogon makes his feelings about this development clear by melting the Iron Throne with rồng fire & flying off with her corpse. “That’s no good!” shouts Jon after hyên. “T’throne’s just a symbol. Tha’s got a lot more work to vày before tha can usher in an age of representative sầu democracy!” No, he doesn’t. But the actual script doesn’t try much harder. After Jon is arrested offscreen by the Unsullied, the lords & ladies of Westeros convene to decide what must be done. They decide lớn … choose a ruler from aý muốn them. Just like that. Grey Worm, made Dany’s Commander of All War Things in the wake of her Long nuking King’s Landing, makes no objection. No word on who gets to tell the Dothraki. Bagsy not me.

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Samwell wonders whether the people should have a say in who gets to lớn govern them. Oh, but the guffaws can be heard across the Narrow Sea! So that’s that possibility as dead as a White Walker run through with Valyrian steel.


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‘Bran the Broken’, with Arya and Sansa. Photograph: Courtesy of HBOTyrion nominates –

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Bran. Or Bran the Broken, as he is dubbed. Westeros is very ableist, as you might have suspected after the six seasons it took for anyone khổng lồ cobble together a wheelchair for hlặng. It’s a callbaông chồng to lớn the ancient figure of Bran the Builder, who raised The Wall, founded Winterfell & was the first King of the North, but still. Bran. Bloody Bran. He will rule over only six kingdoms, because Sansa declares the North will become independent once more. Which again, everyone seems fine with. Tyrion becomes Bran’s Hvà but Grey Worm insists that Jon be punished by returning to lớn the Night’s Watch. Fair does. Might as well look permanently pained somewhere; it makes sense. And he’ll never realise there’s no reason for the Night’s Watch khổng lồ exist any more.

Arya is taking a gap year khổng lồ go travelling “west of Westeros”, an unmapped region rumoured to contain the Mountains of Spin-Off Potential. Our last sight of the whole shebang is Jon setting off inkhổng lồ the super-north with the Free Folk.

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There’s no doubt this season has been a rushed business. It has wasted opportunities, squandered goodwill and failed to lớn vì chưng justice to its characters or its actors. But the finale just about delivered. It was true khổng lồ the series’ overall subject – war, & the pity of war – &, after doing a lot of wrong to several protagonists last week, did right by those left standing. Whether the million signatories to lớn the petition khổng lồ remake the entire final season, or the majority of the estimated 45 million around the world due to lớn watch the last episode, will agree – who knows. When you play the trò chơi of Thrones, you win or you die. Overall, I think, it won.


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