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Our Watch Has Ended

Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne” Series Finale Review

After eight years, 73 episodes, and too many deaths to count, Game of Thrones is over, and our watch has ended. It redefined what can we can do with a TV show, influenced a decade of pop culture, and became the most popular show in the world.

It’s so popular, that economic experts are saying that millions of people will either were going to call out sick on Monday or be less productive. It’s going to cost the economy millions.

I’m going to write something that looks back on the series as a whole, but this will focus on the finale. So, did it end up being everything we hoped for? Laura Prudom of IGN noted that it ended up being as bittersweet as George R.R. Martin said it would. The end of a good story’s often bittersweet, though it feels more bitter than sweet, in this case.

Picking up after Daenerys has burned King’s Landing, Jon and Tyrion try to come to terms with what they saw. They’re both wracked with guilt and grief, but it’s Tyrion who gets the message across. Peter Dinklage gave his last performance as Tyrion everything he had, the grief he feels very visible. It’s not until he gets to the crypts that we see his best performance. Digging through the rubble until he finds the bodies of Jaime and Cersei, Tyrion breaks down in tears.

No matter how much she hated him, Tyrion could never bring himself to hate his sister. The bitter irony to this scene is that, despite all the times his father and sister tried to get rid of him, Tyrion was the last one standing. The last of the Lannisters; he was alone.

And now the rains weep o’er his halls, and only one soul to hear.

Daenerys, meanwhile, revels in her victory. In the Red Keep, she tells the Unsullied and Dothraki that they’ve “liberated” King’s Landing. Now, she intends to do the same to the rest of the world.

Say what you will about the story, but everything about this scene was flawless. The cinematography was perfect, Emilia Clarke was giving her all, and the whole thing drove home the fact that Dany has become that which she swore to destroy. The fact that it reminded me of a Nazi rally only drives that fact home.

When Tyrion resigns as Hand in disgust, Daenerys arrests him for treason, and he spends what he thinks are his last hours trying to convince Jon that she must be stopped. Jon tries to remain stoic and say that she’s his queen, but we know he’s lying to himself. He still wants to see the good in her, but Arya and Tyrion point out that if he does nothing, then Daenerys will eventually kill him and Sansa.

Even though Jon knows he has to do it, he makes it a point to ask Daenerys one last time to stop this madness. It’s who he is. But this is what Daenerys has become. The Game has corrupted her, twisted her good intentions. The only reason people let her get away with it, us included, is because we saw the people she burned as jerks. The Warlocks, the Slavemasters, the Khals.

I had made peace with what happened next, but on the inside, it still broke my heart when Jon stabbed Daenerys in the heart. Sensing his mother’s death, Drogon comes in the throne room and tries to nudge her lifeless body in vain. Everyone expected that he would try to kill Jon, but instead, he turned his on something else: the Iron Throne. Where Balerion the Black Dread forged the Iron Throne, Drogon the Winged Shadow reduced it to molten metal.

This was a powerful moment for me, one of the best in the series. People have said dragons are as smart as humans, if not smarter. And in this moment, Drogon was smart enough to realize that while Jon may have been the one to do it, it was the Iron Throne and all it stood for that killed his mother. It was like a curse that had torn Westeros apart, and the carnage we’d seen in the show was only a fraction of the bloodshed. Homes plundered, dominions in ruin, all to grasp at the Throne. Drogon made the smartest decision out of anyone in the show, and decided that no one should have that power. Then, he took his mother’s body, and flew away from Westeros, never to return.

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