'Game of Thrones' season 8 finale ends with a new ruler on the Iron Throne and a death which no one saw coming
Spoiler for 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 6 ahead
In 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 6, the characters bowed to their new Grace, the ruler of six kingdoms and bid goodbye to the old one amid death, destruction and betrayal. All the wars, the killings, the plotting culminated in a dramatic climax for the show. Just as the previous episodes had a fair share of flaws, this episode contained a few plot holes as well, but at this point, the ending of the show weighs heavy on your mind as you see the new King take the throne. Is this what we waited for? Is this the ending that we expected and was it just me who was underwhelmed by this episode?
In hindsight, it could be because of a certain redditor who accurately guessed the proceedings of this season. I knew beforehand that Daenerys Targaryen would be betrayed and that Bran Stark would be elected the king even as the Lords and Ladies of Seven Kingdoms laughed off Maestor Sam Tully's suggestion of a democracy. That, of course, affected how I viewed the episode. Beyond that, however, the episode was just about tying up loose ends together. We saw the Queen of Dragons attack the city of King's Landing, using Dragon fire to wreak havoc. It was the city of ashes that we saw in this episode and it would have remained so if Daenerys were to continue ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Tyrion, heartbroken by the loss of his beloved brother, in front of the queen's army, accepts his treasonous act. But before she could sentence him, he throws away his post of being 'The hand' to the queen. This marks the beginning of a rebellion that Daenerys is truly blind to.
When Daenerys walks away leaving Jon and Arya to contemplate what lies ahead, it is a metaphor of all that she is leaving behind in the name of 'breaking the wheel'. Love and allies. What she did, and what she continues to do to the men who have surrendered tortures, Jon. It is this conflict within him that Tyrion addresses when he tries to convince Jon of what could really happen as Daenerys continues to tread the path for a better world, not through mercy but through fear. Throughout the episode, there is a duality - in tones and emotions. Beginning with the solemn Unsullied in the same frame as the unruly Dothraki celebrating victory, to Daenerys' jubilant speech about changing the world vs Tyrion's heartbreak over an entire city slaughtered. The duality, the conflict within and without becomes the main theme of the episode.
When Tyrion and Jon discuss what is right and how Daenerys' belief that she is always right might lead to greater destruction, Jon recalls Maestor Aemon's words. "Love is the duty of death," but Tyrion turns back to say that sometimes, it could be "Duty that is the death of love". This whole scenario that plays out between Tyrion and Jon followed by Jon and Daenerys is the heart of the episode and the rest of it is just mere dressing. The fact that Jon is not convinced by Tyrion's words, but the reflection of the same in Daenerys worries him when he tries to convince her that there is a better way to achieve what she aims for. He says, "You will always be my Queen, now and forever," before stabbing her to death. This reminds us of when Jon had to face the death of Ygritte in the initial seasons. That was a lot more innocent and free of conflict than what Jon feels for Daenerys.
Following the death of Daenerys, everything that occurs including Bran taking the throne comes across as something that has to be dealt with to put an end to this story. It is only Tyrion's character and to a certain extent, Sansa's that seems fulfilled as the others are left unexplored. Sansa freeing the North from the Seven Kingdoms, Arya forging her own path Jon living the rest of his life where his heart truly lies - the real North as Tormund put it, doesn't really tug at your heart as one would've expected. The one scene that did make an impact, though, was when Ser Brienne of Tarth sat down to write Ser Jaime Lannister's life account in the book of knights.
The Watch has come to an end, but we are not done with the world of 'Game of Thrones'. Not in the least, what with all the spin-off series that has been planned.
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