TV Review: Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 6, Series Finale!

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

EPISODE 8.6: The End!

THE LOWDOWN (SPOILERS!):  Wow. I can't believe we're here. Eight years, Eight Seasons and it's all lead to this!

Last episode saw a stunningly dark turn from Daenerys, which was more stunning due to the fact that we were all as bamboozled as the rest of the characters to The Mother of Dragons and her influence. With love robbed from her heart and the only ones who could speak reason to her dead (with one of them literally using her last words to tell her to burn it all down), Daenerys went full Mad Queen and burnt King's Landing to a crisp, roasting men, women and children in her path of destruction (made all the better with Metallica tunes). For many it was a shocking twist and for just as many an unfolding of the inevitable. Either way, it was a divisive "turn" that left many that were hoping for a "cherry on top" happy ending that would have Jon and Daenerys ruling together in perfect harmony in shambles. Still, that doesn't negate any genuine criticism, which is certainly fair (and warranted in many places).

*The following recaps the key moments (with commentary, of course), seeing as this is such a monumental episode, so if you just want the full-on reaction/review, skip to the FINAL THOUGHTS portion.*

Tyrion, walking amongst the burned city. Surveying the dead. Women. Children. Everyone. People walking about, burnt. Lives destroyed. A city in ruins. This is everything Tyrion didn't want. Jon Snow and Ser Davos walk behind him. They come upon the mother and daughter that Arya tried to save. Tyrion tells Jon Snow he'll find him later, deciding to walk alone. Jon wants to send some men with him, but Tyrion wants to go alone. The city is quiet. Nothing moves. It's the absolute darkest moment for Tyrion, as everything he's fought against has come home to roost (or roast, if you will allow the pun).


Greyworm has a bunch of the King's Men lined up for execution. Jon Snow and Ser Davos try to stop him. Jon grabs Greyworm by the arm to stop him from executing them and The Unsullied prepare to square off, Greyworm telling Jon that the Queen's orders are to kill all that serve Cercei Lannister. "These are free men. They chose to fight for her." It's a tense moment and I thought for sure we'd see a Jon vs. Greyworm battle. Alas, it was not to be. Jon walks away as Greyworm starts slashing throats. He has truly lost his way. Rage and loss have robbed him of any sense of who he was becoming with Messandai in his corner. It's hard not to see him as just a savage without a moral compass at this juncture, but war does strange things to men (and women, for that matter). Either way you slice it, it's a dark moment for Greyworm and one I won't suspect he'd brush off in the future when thinking back on it. Or, perhaps he would.

Tyrion walks the small council room and the halls of King's Landing, searching for some sign of life of his brother and sister. Covered in ash and empty, he grabs a torch and heads to the crypt, seeing that it's covered in rocks. He desperately wants to see if Jamie and Cersei made it out alive, as per his plan. We know they didn't, since we saw how they ended last episode, but this is news for Tyrion. He finds his brother's golden hand peeking out of the rubble and begins to unbury him, uncovering the bodies of his brother and sister, Cersei. They lay, dead and in each other's grasp, the final throes of death spent together, as they did in life. We see Tyrion lose it. He's at his most emotional, after all that's happened in his journey. The loss of his brother and sister is his biggest tragedy and another notch on the belt of his many failures. How to redeem yourself when you've lost everything you've cared about? Besides burning an entire city to the ground, that is…

tyrion, cersei, jamie

We see Arya, walking outside the walls. I don't really understand why she's still there when they made such a big scene of her riding off on a horse in the last episode, but it feels a little strange given that big moment at the end. She sees Jon walking amongst the Dothraki, pushing forward and heading to the top of the staircase. Greyworm waits there and they share an awdward moment. A giant Targaryan banner hangs outside the destroyed castle. It's nothing but dread at this point. We're interrupted by the screech of Drogon as Daenerys sweeps in. She lands and walks out ot face the troops and in a gorgeous shot of her walking forward as Drogon's wings spread out behind her, signifying her full embrace of the dragon. They are one and the same.

"Blood of my blood. You kept all of your promises to me. You killed all my enemies in iron suits. You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms." The Dothraki cheer (how are so many left, I wonder?).  She turns to Greywrom and names him commander of her forces, The Queen's Master of War (love him or hate him, he's pretty well earned it). "You have freed the people of King's Landing from the grip of a Tyrant!" she says. "We will not lay down our spears until we have liberated all the people of the world!" At this point (unless the burning of thousands of innocents wasn't enough) you know you are hearing the words of exactly what the pretends not to be. Tyrion approaches from behind them and I fully expected that he'd shank her right then and there. Instead, he walks to her, broken, sad, angry. Arya looks on from the crowd, pure anger on her face. For all the love Daenerys is commanding, there's some seriously hateful stares cutting into her face at the moment.

daenerys, drogon

Tyrion stands by her, looking up sullenly. Daenerys doesn't miss a beat. "You freed your brother. You committed treason." Tyrion, broken, says, "I freed my brother. And you slaughtered a city." Tyrion takes off his Hand badge and tosses it to the steps. It's a face off. You know Tyrion doesn't really care if he lives or dies. She tells the Unsullied to take him and they march him away. I honestly expected some instant justice, as has been her way. What does she gain in keeping Tyrion alive, especially after promising him death if he failed her again? It's a weird move, but she's not exactly in the best place, y'know, mentally. Jon looks on with that same sad sack gaze. Daenerys returns the look. She's cold. Nothing. She looks away and marches off without a word. Suddenly, Arya is next to him. Jon asks her what she's doing there.

"I came to kill Cersei. Your Queen got their first." Jon "corrects her". "She's everyone's Queen now," he says, dutifully. Arya isn't having it. "Try telling Sansa. Jon, she knows who you are. Who you really are. You'll always be a threat to her. I know a killer when I see one." Arya is right and all I can think is when in the hell will Jon see the light?

He goes to see Tyrion, surrendering his sword to the guards before going into Tyrion's room. Tyrion promptly asks for wine. "Now Varys ashes can tell my ashes, See? Told you." Tyrion asks Jon if there is life after death, seeing as he's been there. He asks if there's life after death. "Not that I've seen," Jon replies, which was always a thread I thought we'd explore further. It was in this moment I realized how much that bit of dialogue from seasons ago hasn't paid off.

Tyrion begins to list off all the ills he's done, from killing Shae to killing his own father. "I chose my fate. The people of King's Landing did not." Jon is basically the kid in the playground, kicking rocks while being scolded by a teacher. "I can't justify what happened. I won't try. But, the war is over now." How can Jon be this dense? This is a man that's fought many wars and battles. Surely, he can't be THAT blinded by his Aunt's pull?

"When you heard her talking to her soldiers, did she sound like someone who was done fighting? She liberated the people of Slaver's Bay. She liberated the people of King's Landing. And she'll go on liberating until the people of the world are free and she rules them all." Jon fires back that Tyrion is every bit as implicit in supporting her. "It was vanity to think I could guide her. Our Queen's nature is fire and blood."

"She's not her father, no more than you're Tywin Lannister." Jon fights back, still trying to defend Daenerys. But, his very presence there denotes that he doesn't really believe she's in the right. In fact, I think Jon shows up to talk to Tyrion for COUNSEL, more than anything. He's not paying a visit to Tyrion to make him feel better. He's actually fishing for advice.

Tyrion asks Jon point blank. "Would you have done it?" Having known what it's like to fly atop a dragon and to harness that power, Tyrion prompts the obvious question. Jon says he doesn't know what he'd do, but Tyrion knows better. He knows Jon would never have done such a thing. And, if you think about it, we, as the audience, know he wouldn't as well. But, if someone asked us if we thought Daenerys could do it, regardless of how much you love her, would you doubt it? I wouldn't. Tyrion continues his "counsel."

"Everywhere she goes, evil men die and we cheer for it. And she grows more powerful and more sure that she's good and right. She believes her destiny is to build a better world for everyone."

Jon is conflicted, but I don't know why. He's always been so righteous and quick to decide on that righteousness. If it were Ygritte, I'd be more prone to believing his sense of duty to her. He truly loved that woman.

"I know you love her. I love her, too. Not as successfully as you. But, I believed in her, with all my heart. Love is more powerful than reason. We all know that. Look at my brother."

"Love is the death of duty. " Jon says. "Maester Aemon said it a long time ago." Tyrion counters with "Sometimes, duty is the death of love," Tyrion says. "You are the shield that guards the realms of men. You've always tried to do the right thing, no matter the cost. You've tried to protect people. Who is the greatest threat to the people now?"

Tyrion, in his last efforts, is asking for Jon to stop Daenerys. "It's a terrible thing I'm asking. It's also the right thing. Do you think I'm the last man she'll execute? Who's more dangerous than the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?" Jon's face is all sour and defeated. The battle between dutiful soldier and righteous soldier are in direct conflict. The teachings of Ned Stark pump through his blood and his brain. They're his lifeblood and, when you break it all down, exactly what's kept him alive.

Jon seems absolutely, stupidly lost here, though. "That's her decision. She is the Queen." He puts his arm on Tyrion's shoulder. "I'm sorry it came to this." Tyrion makes a last grab. "And your sisters. Do you see them bending the knee? Why do you think Sansa told me the truth about you? Because she doesn't want Dany to be Queen!" Jon fires back, "She doesn't get to choose!"

"No, but you do. And you have to choose now."

jon, drogon

Tyrion is right. And, really, we've all seen this coming. All of this was going to come down to Jon having to make a choice and it was either going to be for or against Daenerys. Jon storms off, walking toward the throne room. All is quiet around King's Landing. A city burnt to shreds, wounded, covered in ash (maybe some snow? It's still not really clear). Suddenly, the ground shakes and something stirs from within at the entrance. It's Drogon, who gets face-to-face with Jon. After a short stare down, Drogon backs away and lays back down. It's a great, iconic shot and the second of the show. They're definitely leaving us with some cool imagery, if nothing else. Anyway, how can he deny entrance to a Targaryan? And, it's at this moment that I realize that if anyone could get close enough to take out Daenerys, it would be Jon. But, will he make that choice?

Inside, we see Daenerys approach the throne. It's the moment we've seen teased from various visions in season's past, the snow/ash trickling in the broken roof, covering The Iron Throne. The visions have become reality. Daenerys is in the throes of destiny. How can she not be totally mezmerized? This is what was promised. An Iron Throne made of burnt down swords, forged by a dragon and fought over by many a king, including her own father. She approaches it, touching it, looking proud and righteous. It's a beautiful shot, compounded by Ramin Djawadi's always reliable score. It's the culmination of a journey and that's no small thing. She turns to sit when she's suddenly confronted by Jon.

daenerys, throne

She's much more calm at this point, seeing as they're both alone. Also, why the hell is she alone? Look, I get that Drogon just burnt a city to the ground, but he's tired and napping and Daenerys is just roaming around while all her soldiers just celebrate? This is a hard moment to resolve without some kind of reasoning that she'd be alone. I don't really see Greyworm letting that happen, especially as her new War Master. I'm sure the resolve would be that something happened off-camera to justify it, but that's not good storytelling, so I have to take issue to the fact that the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is left alone to roam free in a ruined castle that's been falling down around their ears.

She talks of how she always dreamed of seeing the throne, hearing her brother talk of how it was built of a thousand swords of Aegon's fallen enemies. She imagined it would be bigger (Hey, that's what she said) and it's kind of a nod to author George R.R. Martin's books, which DO describe the throne as being this massively tall, imposing death trap of a throne, like a trap from a SAW movie. Jon isn't having it. He starts yelling about how Greyworm is assassinating prisoners in the street and how there are burning children among the dead. Daenerys is suddenly calm and cool about it all. And we know, right now, this conversation is EVERYTHING.

"I tried to make peace with Cersei. She used their innocence as a weapon against me. She thought it would cripple me." Dany is cold. Too cold.

"And Tyrion?" Jon practically pleads.

"He conspired behind my back with my enemies. How have you treated people who did the same to you, even when it broke your heart?" Fuck. She has a point. A damn good one at that. Still, Jon can't help but try to save the man. He pleads that she can forgive him. She says she can't. He pleads harder. "You can. You can make them see. You can make them understand." Jon, still wrapped up in the influence of Daenerys, even at this bottomless pit of despair, wants to believe in her.

"You can't hide behind small mercies. The world we need won't be built by men loyal to the world we have." Again, this feels cold, but if you think back to all the speeches she ever gave after killing slavers or Dothraki Lords, this is EXACTLY how she sounds. The only difference is that we cheered for her then. "The world we need is a world of mercy, it has to be!" Jon is practically in tears. Wounded. Fighting to break through."It will be. It's not easy to see something that's never been before. A good world."

"How do you know? How do you know it will be good?" Jon is almost like a child, asking a parent to asuage his greatest fears. "Because I know what is good. And so do you." Jon says he doesn't, but Daenerys assures him he does. "What about everyone else. All the other people that think they know what's good?" Like Ned Stark? Like Robert Baratheon? Like Aegon Targaryan? You see where Jon's going. This is the quintessential question for Daenerys. Her response means everything.

"They don't get to choose. Be with me. Build the new world with me. This is our reason. It has been from the beginning. Daenerys holds him. "We do it togethere. We break the wheel. Together."

"You are my Queen. Now, and always." They kiss and for a moment I think that we've lost Jon. He's become so clouded with the influence of Dany that he's actually going to relent and give in. He'll forsake everything he ever fought for, every moral right he stood and died for, he's tossed to the side.

jon, daenerys

And then Jon stabs her. She failed his test. Her answer said everything. She was no different than any of the others. He lowers her back, blood running from her mouth. Jon cries, distraught and wounded over his decision in only the way Jon Snow can be. Drogon can be heard screaming in the distance, before he lands near them. We walks up to Jon and Dany. Jon stands and faces Drogon, who sniffs his mom, trying to awaken her. He reels back, screeching in agony. We see that he wants to kill. But, can he? He unleashes his flames, but can't kill Jon, directing it away from him. He then unleashes on the Iron Throne, melting it to a pile of molten steel and so ends the symbolic chair. The battle to sit there, literally, is now over. And, I think we all saw it coming. The second that dragons were introduced in the series you could easily surmise that one of them would melt that fucking awful thing and thankfully that came to pass.

This also brings up the intelligence and awarness of the dragons, particularly drogon. Their intuitiveness to what's going on is at play here. They may be "animals", but they see what's happening, what their Queen is fighting for. Was it worth it? Drogon burning it to a puddle is almost his way of saying that such a thing shouldn't exist. A symbolic gesture, for sure, and one that will surely be dissected in the weeks to come.

Drogon then, in a surprising move, reaches out and picks Daenerys up, flying off with her, disappearing into the clouds. I did not see that aspect coming and it brought a lot of questions to mind right off the bat. Drogon, out of all the dragons, spent a lot of time fling around, including at Valyria, where the Targaryans originate. Could he know a secret to her resurrection? Ahhhh, I'm clenching my fists with the fact that this does NOT feel like the end!

drogon, throne

We next see Tyrion, once again in chains, being led to the old fighting pits in King's Landing. Greyworm escorts him to a council, made up of of all the Seven Kingdoms. Yara Greyjoy, the new Prince of Dorne, Robyn Aryn, Samwell Tarly, Ser Davos, Brienne, Arya, Bran and Sansa, Edmure Tully. Sansa wants to know where Jon Snow is, as it appears he's a prison of The Unsullied. This is where I can agree with folks that complain about the rush of storytelling, as this is a big jump after the throne is burned and Daenerys is killed. We saw Ned Stark in how many episodes chained in a dungeon before his demise? There was a build up there. At any rate, we're here now and there's much to resolve.

Yara Greyjoy, presumably now Queen of the Iron Island after Euron went to his happy death last episode, is still loyal to Daenerys and says that Jon Snow should be given to The Unsullied to do what they want with him. Arya speaks up on his behalf, saying "Say another word about killing my brother and I'll cut your throat." Ha! Man, I love Arya. Mostly, because I believe she'd do it. Ser Davos, however, is ever the reasonable one and stands up, telling The Unsullied they'll be given lands to the North to start over if they can end this standoff. But, Greyworm says they don't want payment, they want justice.

Tyrion tells him it's not for him to decide, which prompts him to tell Tyrion to shut up. Greyworm has certainly stood buy listening to all manner of counsel throughout the years, but Tyrion persists. Jon suggests it's up to a King (or Queen) to decide. He suggests they choose a new ruler, here and now. Greyworm tells them to make a choice as well.  They all look around, reluctantly, before Edmure Tully stands, trying to make his case for the throne, rambling off a bunch of bullshit, before Sansa speaks up. "Please sit." No one disagrees with her and it's a beautiful own of ol' Edmure Tully who is lucky to have survived The Red Wedding. Someone suggests they must choose someone. Samwell suggests *gasp* the people! There's a long beat as I thought this would be the moment that they endorse democracy and set up voting booths. Everyone begins to laugh at the notion. They ask Tyrion who he would choose.

Tyrion says he thought of it a lot. He asks what it is that unites people, settling on "stories". "There's nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a better story than Bran The Broken?" He knew he'd never walk again, so he learned to fly. A crippled boy who crossed The Wall to become the Three-Eyed Raven. He is our memory. The keeper of all our stories. The wars, weddings, births, massacres…our past. Who better to lead us into the future?"

Sansa takes issue, rather matter of factly: "Bran has no interest in ruling and he can't father children." This does not deter Tyrion's point. "Good. Sons of kings can be cruel and stupid, as you well know. His will never torment us." A worthy nod to the absolute hell that everyone was put through in dealing with Joffrey, surely the worst King that Westeros ever endured. Tyrion turns to Greyworm. "That is the wheel our Queen wanted to break."

"From now on, rulers will not be born. They will be chosen. On this spot by the Lords and Ladies of Westeros to serve the realm." He approaches Bran. "I know you don't want it. I know you don't care about power. But, I ask you now, if we choose you, will you wear the crown? Will you lead the Seven Kingdoms to the best of your abilities from this day until your last day? Bran stares on for a moment, then answers in a very Bran-like way.

"Why do you think I came all this way?"

Samwell agrees. Close enough for what he was suggesting, I guess. Everyone else soon follows with their "aye" to the recommendation. Sansa, is the one outlier, however, staying true to Ned (and Caitlyn Stark's feelings), saying "The North will remain an independent kingdom, as it was for thousands of years." seeing as The North has already sacrificed so much to that point to ever bend the knee to another ruler. And, really, can you blame her? It's the right call and, really, a hell of a power play by Sansa. She basically Queen's herself. Man, she has come a long way.

"All hail, Bran The Broken, First of his name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm."

bran the broken

Bran names Tyrion as his Hand, but Tyrion says no and that he doesn't want it. Greyworm is against it, but he has no choice. But, Bran has a compromise. "He's made many terrible mistakes. He's going to spend the rest of his life fixing them."

Tyrion confronts Jon, locked up, giving him the lowdown. He tells him he will serve for The Night's Watch, which Jon is shocked to hear there still is one. It's enough to satisfy Greyworm, which makes me wonder why anyone gives a shit if Greyworm is satisfied with such a thing. Feels like a pretty messed up way to treat Jon Snow, who has done more for The Seven Kingdoms than any other person still breathing. And still, the poor guy is conflicted. "Was it right? What I did?" Tyrion corrects him. "What we did." It's good to hear Tyrion accept his role in Jon's decision (after all, as I said earlier, it felt more like a counseling session for Jon than anything else), but I still feel like he hasn't done enough to set things right for Jon. Taking the black, once again, is an insult.

"It doesn't feel right." Jon relents. There's a beat. "Ask me again in ten years." Tyrion starts to leave, putting his hand on Jon's shoulder. "I don't expect we'll ever see each other again." Tyrion stops and turns. "Don't be so sure. A few years as Hand of the King will make anyone want to piss off the edge of the world." A perfect nod to when Tyrion came to visit him and did just that when Jon first got to Castle Black. It feels like forever ago, doesn't it?

Jon later starts to exit King's landing, escorted by members of The Night's Watch. He has a stare off with Greyworm as he leaves (Could there be a face off in their future? One never knows). One of the men come to Greyworm and tell him all the men are boarded. He says good and that they are sailing for Naath. So, it appears that Greyworm is keeping his faith with Missandei in that way, but it's hard to feel good for him about it, given his dark turn alongside Daenerys in the last few episodes.

The Starks are waiting for Jon as he goes to leave. Arya, Sansa and Bran. Sansa expresses her regret to not have been able to do more for Jon. He tells her the North is free because of her and they embrace. He knows she will represent Winterfell proudly. Jon tells Arya she can come visit him. She says she can't, but he reminds her that no one would dare tell her a girl can't visit Castle Black. But, Arya has other plans, saying she's not going back to The North. They ask where.

"What's west of Westeros? No one knows. It's where all the maps stop. That's where I'm going." My heart breaks at this scene. Even as few scenes as Jon and Arya shared throughout the series their bond felt so strong and true. "You have your Needle?" he asks. "Right here." They embrace and man, are my allergies acting up or what? Jon bends the knee to Bran. "Your Grace. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me." Bran smiles in that non-smiling kind of way, saying "You were exactly where you were supposed to be." Fucking Bran. Always the all-knowing smug son of a bitch. I mean, he's right, of course, but still. Can't he just say it without that damn smirk? Jon walks off to board the boat to Castle Black and you know that, once again, it will be a long time before those Starks are reunited again, if ever.

Later, we see Brienne looking through the book of The Kingsguard. She turns to Jamie's page, which is decidedly bare. Shepulls out a pen and begins to fill in an entirety of his accomplishments, ending with: "Died protecting his Queen." It's a bitter favor, made of love. No doubt she'll always love Jamie and toil with the fact that he chose Cersei over a life with her. But, she still shared that time with him and their bond was real.

Tyrion, once again wearing the Hand of the King pin, sits down in his chair at the small councel. He gets up and straightens the chairs. He's been here many times before. What does he see differently? What does he see the same? Bronn enters, moving the carefully placed chair. Then Archmaester Samwell (you heard me) enters with a giant tome, titled "A Song of Ice and Fire" which chronicles the events following the Death of Robert Baratheon. Tyrion suggests he likely comes into some criticism in the manuscript. Samwell is reluctant. "I…don't believe you're mentioned." Tyrion reads a bit and pushes the book aside, obviously not pleased with what's there. Bran is wheeled in by Brienne, who looks to be the new head of The Kingsguard (with Podrick).

Bran asks about word of Drogon, which Maester Tarley says he was last spotted heading East. Bran suggests that perhaps he can find him and tells the rest of the council to carry on with what they were discussing. They all begin to do the work of the small council, trying to rebuild the kingdom, squabbling over what needs to be done next to restructure King's Landing, which, to be honest, I'm wondering where on Westeros there are people to even populate the place. I mean, would YOU move there after what happened? Shiiiiit.

Back at the wall, we see Jon Snow, once again heading to the place he once wanted to be at the most, now the least. There he sees Tormund Giantsbane awaiting him as he heads in. Jon almost smiles as we fade out with the gate closing. Later, we see Jon sheathing Longclaw, Arya sheathing Needle, Sansa getting dressed and the three of them preparing for their next steps in the world of Westeros. Sansa heads to court, the men of Westeros bowing to her. Jon walks amongst his men at Castle Black, which is more Wildlings than anything, and Arya sails, headed west of Westeros, wherever that may lead.

Jon, walking amongst the people, suddenly sees Ghost and gets his motherfucking PET ON! This may be the best moment of the finale to me, I shit you not. It was something that irked many of us the last time he interacted with Ghost, turning him loose to Tormund and it's actually a pretty profound moment (more on that later). Arya smiles as she sails on, the Stark banner on the sails. Sansa is crowned and begins to rule as the men shout, "The Queen of the North!" Jon and Tormund head out into the wild, the wildlings in tow. He stops and takes one last look as the gate closes. It looks like he's heading out with them to live out his days beyond the wall, into the forest that was fraught with so much fear before. The Wildling's return to the wild and Jon goes with them.


I mean, WOW. It's the end. There's so much to take in and it's near impossible to have a complete sense of all of it so close to finishing, but I'll try. Ultimately, I found this to be a satisfying conclusion, given the journey we've taken and the way things have unfolded. There have been a lot of cries for a "redo" with someone else other than David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (or D&D, as they're called), which is just nonsense to me. "I don't like the way the creators created their thing, so get a new creator to make some other version of their creation" is a petty, entitled and downright ugly way to look at the creation of art and I think that fandom often loses the pulse of the fact that they aren't "owed" any particular resolution to a story, stroke of a brush or flourish on a design to appease what someone has made. However, that doesn't negate criticsim, of which we're all entitled to have, based solely on our own perception, opinions, etc. That's a fair thing and, well, why I'm here.

This episode feels almost completely bookended by the last, making it the kind of "Kill Bill Vol. 2" to last episodes "Kill Bill Vol. 1" as I don't see how you watch one without immediately watching the other at this juncture. Dealing with the rage-filled murder that Daenerys unleashes in the last episode, we finally get a moment to find out why she did what she did and the meaning behind it is not quite as easy as we'd expect. She's no longer mad with rage. In fact, she's cold as ice, which makes it even more troubling. When finally seeing and touching The Iron Throne, she's downright possessed by it. Everything in her life has been about that moment. But, Jon Snow is there to rob her of it and ends up taking her life as well. It's a hard decision for Jon, a little too hard, in my opinion, but ultimately he was the only one that could've made it. No one else could've stopped her so early and many more cities would've burned had he not acted. It was the last redemptive act Jon could make and, if you think long and hard about it, you can see why it was so hard. Not only did she love him, she saved his life, saved his home and, ultimately, saved the Seven Kingdoms from a great threat. Unfortunately, she turned out to be a greater threat that the White Walkers, which says a lot about her power and influence.

There's a lot of debate, which will continue for a long time, about whether Daenerys turn, her arc, was earned. People will be revisiting from season 1, episode 1 and drawing the line between events to see if it all adds up. And, that's the fun of this kind of thing. The discussions, the debate, the differences; there's so much for us to peel apart now. The end, as they say, is a new beginning, and I think that's very true of this show. Remember when you saw The Sixth Sense for the first time? Now, remember the second time you watched it? That's what's going to happen here and that makes for a wonderful celebration of the show and what it's meant to so many for the last eight years. We've conspired our own theories and built our own endings and it's near impossible to please everyone with what they ultimately choose. Many hoped we'd get the Disney ending of Dany and Jon ruling as King and Queen and ride dragons and be adored and Happily ever after, but as that dirty son of a bitch Ramsay Bolton put it, "If you think this story has a happy ending then you haven't been paying attention."

He was right. But, it's not so much that the ending isn't happy. It doesn't have to be. It shouldn't be, really. It's not a "happy" show. What we got was a fulfilling ending and that's far more important. It felt real to the characters, real to their situations and real to the build up that got us there. Rushed? Maybe (and certainly in some respects). Bran as King? Yeah, I get it. Daenerys dead? It was either her or Jon. Tyrion as Hand (again)? Duh. Makes sense. Arya taking off for more adventures? That's my girl. Sansa as Queen of The North? Poetic. Jon running off to live out his days with The Wildlings and PETTING GHOST? Perfect. In truth, this finale was far less bittersweet and far more fulfilling than I anticipated. I expected more death, more blood and more upsets (and was kind of rooting for one more trial by combat for Tyrion between Jon and Greyworm, but I digress). While it tells the full Song of Ice and Fire tale, it still leaves room for us to hope and dream for some of our favorite characters and, unless they continue those in a future series (and, oh yes, I'd watch in a heartbeat), then we get to take the reins and make it our own from here on out. Beyond that, we have the last two books from George R.R. Martin's series (The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring), that will hopefully see the light of day before we all croak. So, take that as a gift and enjoy the process of loving, hating, debating, scrutinizing, dissecting and reliving this monumental show for years to come. It's ultimately one of the most rewarding we've ever had and sets a bar that would require scaling a wall of ice to beat.


SEX/NUDITY: Those days are behind us…

BEST SCENE: Once again, I simply can't choose one. We're at the end and when you get this far the best moments tend to fall on the viewer. There's just too much to absorb and draw meaning from at this juncture, so it's up to you. Jon killing Daenerys? Tyrion and Jon's meeting? Bran becoming King? Jon petting Ghost (it's okay, I'm with you)? Sansa becoming Queen of The North? Again, so many moments, many of which we'll wrestle with as we soak in this show for weeks to come now that it's over.


WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINAL EPISODE? Let us know in the comments below!


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