Endings are hard. Several writers I follow on Twitter said that after the 5th episode of Game of Thrones and it was reiterated after the finale. Endings ARE hard. Creating an ending that is pleasing or fulfilling to everyone isn’t possible. All a writer, reader, viewer, etc. can hope for is that what is given or provided will be received well. The final episode of Game of Thrones for me was Okay. I didn’t hate it but didn’t love it either. It definitely didn’t have the impact it needed to make it feel like it was ending but I was Okay how it ended.
First off, Jon needed to kill Dany – I think it was set up to seem like someone else would do so but Jon is the only one that would have made sense. When Tyrion asked “what about your sisters” Jon knew he’d have to do something because there’d be no way Sansa would ever bend the knee to Dany. Dany believed her way of forced acquiesce was the best way, but that is just as bad as previous kings and she would not have been giving people the choice she claimed to be offering. The show did a bad job of conveying that. The scene with Dorgon melting the throne was cool – he’s like this damn thing is useless and it clearly corrupted my mother. It was super sad and sweet to see him nudge her to try and see would get up and then flying off with her was a nice visual.
Bran being king. I’m ambivalent about this. Why was he the best choice? We were offered no real reason why he was the best choice. Yes Tyrion had that nice speech but it wasn’t enough. The meeting at the end was so rushed and no debate. Why would a decision like king be made and agreed upon by all in a matter of minutes. Bran is King – Okay so give us more than Tyrion’s speech to convince us. Explain why – he knows all the stories and given he’s seen the mistake that were made he knows acting upon self-interest is a fatal flaw – show that debate as to why this makes sense, not just have everyone be all like ‘yeah cool we have no one else’. Too glossed over and didn’t provide the needed weight. It was still unexpected, which is a core theme for GOT – it’s not the Hollywood ending, it’s real life and you don’t get the ideal ending.
I don’t know who would have made a good king/queen. Sansa seemed like a fan choice, but she would have been the wrong one. Her loyalties lie with the North and she would have always put the north first. Queen of the North is the perfect outcome for her. Arya’s ending felt a little too open ended. I liked the idea but her assassin skills seemed to no longer be important.
Jon going to live with the Wildlings was a good choice. Though not touching on his heritage and what it meant for the final outcome was confusing. He clearly did not want to be king and a life far from all that has made him miserable is the best for Jon.
I think the main issue is the lack of source material and that Weiss and Benioff were the final story writers. In my opinion they are script writers, not story writers. They focused on who wins the throne rather than the nuances of how the characters would act/think/react to the events that happened. Dany’s descent into a tyrant made sense but that was rushed. W & B wanted it to have a certain number of episodes – which was fine really – but they weren’t able to tell the story like it needed to be told. They focused on the battles, but offered no real impact or consequences that lead up to the next thing. Why not have Brienne die saving Jamie during the battle of Winterfell. That would have made sense and been more of a believable plot line for what comes next. Jamie returning to Cersei the next episode would seem plausible given he would have been inspired by Brienne’s valor to be with Cersei at the end. He knew Cersei was not going to make it out alive. Character development was tossed to the side in favor of the action sequences. Which were good visuals but dismissing one for the other wasn’t the best way to go.
Overall I was okay with the episode, and this season as a whole, but they could have done a better job with staying true to the spirit of the show and providing a more thought out progression to get to the points they did. I will miss this show quite a lot. It’s one of my all time favorites and I’m happy to have watched it and will watch it again and again. Not all shows end like a viewer wants. Some shows go out with a bang, some with a whimper, and some with an Eh.
And that’s Okay.