Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 “The Iron Throne” Written Recap Round-Up

(17) Helen Sloan - HBOWelp. It’s over. Game of Thrones has come to an end, paving the way for whatever comes next. The perpetually monumental TV event in pop culture at last has come to a close, and all was well in the world, and everyone was happy with everything! The end. Thanks for reading….But seriously, you’ve already read what your cousins and friends thought on Facebook. You’ve already seen what your favorite celebrities have said on Twitter. But you came here to get to the bottom of what’s been bugging you all day: What did the critics think of Bronn’s new castle?

Here at Watchers on the Wall, we encourage you to ‘Always Support the Bottom.’ This extends to your support of our editor-in-chief Sue the Fury, in which her background knowledge of the books informs her perspective on the episode, so please go check it out when you get a chance! Once you’ve done that, you would do well to support our peerless Oz of Thrones’s recap in which his fearless determination to avoid reading the books has outlasted all others, continuing on for 8 full seasons. After this, you can check out what these Internet critics thought of “The Iron Throne”:

Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone – In which the show ultimately betrayed its source material.

Alex McLevy, The A. V. Club – In which the lurid storytelling and expensive-looking action can’t compensate for what seems to be missing—namely, that elaborate narrative connective tissue lending emotional firmament to the strength of the separate installments.

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post – In which Benioff and Weiss’s decision to make two truncated final seasons of the show may go down as one of the worst in recent television history.

Daniel D’Addario, Variety – In which the symmetry of Bran falling out of a window in the first episode and ascending to rule in the last picked up whatever poetry Peter Dinklage could lend it through narration, but falls flat given how meager a presence Bran has been for seasons now, delivering gnomic provocations but almost no plot action.

Dave Gonzales, Thrillist – In which GOT had the difficult reality of competing with unwritten novels.

Dan Kois, Slate – In which GOT has three strengths unmatched by any other popular TV show.

David Rosenblatt, Squinty Overanalyzes Things – In which I (yes, me of me fame) unconditionally and unreservedly loved it and everyone else’s opinion is bad.

Hillary Kelly, Vulture – In which the show gave up on the magic of the books because its writers didn’t have the puzzle skills to really work through them.

Ian Thomas Malone, Personal Blog – In which the conclusion needed to honor GRRM’s original vision while still providing a sense of narrative closure for all the book’s deviations, and sort of succeeds on both fronts.

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – In which if you feel episode 5’s twist was earned, then everything that happens in the finale flows logically from that.

Jeremy Egner, New York Times – In which it was a compendium of greatest hits, with another regicide, another jailing of Tyrion, and another scattering of Starks.

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair – In which Jon killing Daenerys has long been foreshadowed.

Julia Alexander, The Verge – In which if GOT gave us anything, it was certainly great conversations in elegant rooms.

Kelly Lawler, USA Today – In which it didn’t gracefully swerve into another lane, it careened off a cliff, and looking back, the series will never be the same.

Laura Hudson, WIRED – In which it will always be replete with alternative interpretations and theories, debates about what it meant and revisionist histories that imagine it through the lens of whatever people want to see, through which it has truly come to embody stories—and histories—in all their slippery glory and their power to remake the past and shape the future.

Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which the real friends were the dragons who melted the symbols of imperialism along the way.

Lauren Sarner, New York Post – In which Jaime and Cersei actually won GOT.

Lindsey Romain, Nerdist – In which Drogon was the MVP of the episode.

Mark Perigard, Boston Herald – In which no one has a better story than George R. R. Martin.

Melanie McFarland, Salon – In which it is is an entirely predictable end to a season marred by rushed narratives and uncharacteristic U-turns in behavior that David Benioff and Dan Weiss explain away in their post-episode behind-the-scenes features.

Michal Schick, Hypable – In which it comes full circle, while stepping past a few missed opportunities.

Mike Bloom, Parade – In which the future of Westeros is reported in the Westeros World News.

Myles McNutt, The A.V. Club – In which we shouldn’t be surprised that the final season has been divisive, or that some people have gone so far as to risk the public embarrassment of signing an online petition to force HBO to change the show’s ending.

Rob Bricken, io9 – In which the finale got the important stuff right.

Ron Hogan, Den of Geek – In which rushed though the finale is, it is ultimately very satisfying, because everyone involved brought everything they had to every scene within the episode.

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian – In which it was a fantastic conclusion, melancholy and stirring in all the right places, to a show that has had to wrestle with the often unwieldy but always addictive nature of the story being told.

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which one of the series’ most unique and underrated performances reaches its zenith as Isaac Hempstead Wright accepts the crown.

Todd VanDerWerff, Vox – In which he looks at the five winners and nine losers of the episode.

Tori Preston, Pajiba – In which there was no political resolution that would satisfy all the characters, and no plot resolution that would satisfy all of the viewer.

Verne Gay, Newsday – In which maybe we should’ve seen this coming all along, except for the fact that Bran still seems a bit of a letdown.

Thanks for joining this week. Whose reviews did you love/hate, with all due respect of course, and as always?

269 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I’m still salty. The rushed ending they gave us was such a huge disservice to one of the best TV shows ever.

      I would have given away a majority of the CGI if that meant they’d take the time to actually TELL THE STORY they were wanting us to love.

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    2. David, these posts will be missed!! Always great recaps to each one.

      I like Alyssa’s Wa Post reactions although I often disagree with her. This last one is no exception but she is logical and well written so I respect that.

      And of course your review is spot on!

      Cheers!

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    3. As usual Myles McNutt has the most thoughtful review , do read his.

      “For as much as the show devolved somewhat in its final seasons, it always held onto something beyond spectacle, and its series finale asserts that in ways that reinforce Game Of Thrones’ status as a singular television experience.”

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    4. Most of the people that I know that were disappointed with the finale are using the reason that Jon didn’t deserve his ending, because they see it as a punishment. I was one of those people until I got out of my feelings and realized that we were all just being selfish.

      All of us went in looking at what we wanted for Jon, instead of actually listening to Jon when he repeatedly tells us what he wants for Jon. And it’s not the throne.

      What he actually receives is a reward and not a punishment. Jon is tasked with being the NW Lord Commander. He literally gets his own castle and gets to protect the realm of the Free Folk who are now his allies and see him as the man who saved them from the NK and honored his promise to give them lands. He’s probably unofficially their King Beyond The Wall.

      There is no AotD so the area is stabilized and at peace.

      He also has the prospect of getting visits from family and old friends.

      He gets to spend his time ranging with Ghost and Tormund. Doing what he loves.

      When you get past what you thought you wanted for Jon and what you though he deserved and think about what he really wanted, it really changes the perspective and you realize he did end up in a good place. I’m good with that.

      I’m also good with the rest of the Starks finally being able to control their own destinies and coming out on top after seasons of seeing them get tortured and betrayed.

      Queen of the North
      King of 6 Kingdoms
      King Beyond the Wall
      Queen of what’s west of Westeros lol

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    5. trarecar:
      I’m still salty. The rushed ending they gave us was such a huge disservice to one of the best TV shows ever.

      I would have given away a majority of the CGI if that meant they’d take the time to actually TELL THE STORY they were wanting us to love.

      Yup. I agree.

      There’s a lot to enjoy about what the ending itself is, unfortunately how we got there was really poorly done, in my opinion.

      But you know what, I think I could eventually accept most of the decisions the show made, even the ones I really dislike (like Jaime going back to Cersei).

      The one thing I’ll never accept or understand is how they could do Daenerys’ character such a disservice.

      You want her to be the final “villain” that Jon tragically has to kill ? Okay. I fully expect this to be a part of GRRM’s plan as well.

      But ffs, please get there in an organic way. Dany’s turn was just far too extreme and far too sudden, and her portrayal in the finale was downright cartoonish.

      She became a delusional tyrant. So delusional that it’s actually hard to believe anyone could be that far gone.

      This is the thing that ruins the ending for me. And I’ve never even liked Dany that much.
      But you can’t have a heroic young leader be a straight up protagonist for 71 episodes and then suddenly make her the most one-dimensional villain in the show.

      Yeah, she’s been flawed and doing questionable things for a while now, but the lengths she went to in Episode 5 to kill every last person she could see was just ridiculous and unbelievable.

      They just made her crazy in one episode and Jon put her down in the next one, like she was just some rabid animal, and not a deeply human, complex, tragic character.

      It’s insulting, and it taints the entirety of the show.

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    6. Forgot to add that I was happy that the stupid “Throne of Power” was destroyed, and thanks to Jon refusing to claim his birthright, it causes a change in the way Westeros is governed. Not exactly a democracy, but having representatives elect a leader of their choosing. Baby steps, but I’m ok with that.

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    7. The biggest mistake was not having the Long Night be the final battle, thus uniting all the good humans against the forces of evil, and giving a great ending to many characters. Daenerys was one of the strongest and fiercest women ever in television history, and she deserved way better than end as a mad woman after rising from the ashes, fighting for mankind and against her own worst impulses from the beginning. End the show with Jon and Daenerys as rulers. Ice and Fire. One to temper the other and live happily ever after.

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    8. Nick20,

      Fair assessment. Although I always viewed her as a colonizer with weapons of mass destruction with the potential to become a tyrant, at the end, I really didn’t see her as necessarily crazy or evil. I saw her as deluded and entitled as hell, but I didn’t think it was enough to merit the reactions of Varys and Sansa. Up until she committed mass murder of innocents, but we didn’t get from point A to point B organically enough. I also felt the love story between her and Jon wasn’t fleshed out enough either.

      If their relationship had been framed as more intense, him having to kill her would have had way more impact. Not that my heart didn’t break for him to make that choice, but having more of a build up with them, (intimate convos about their childhoods, showing us their first kiss etc,) I believe the death scene would have had more of an impact with more viewers. I feel we were cheated out of alot of that.

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    9. 6thofhisname:
      Most of the people that I know that were disappointed with the finale are using the reason that Jon didn’t deserve his ending, because they see it as a punishment. I was one of those people until I got out of my feelings and realized that we were all just being selfish.

      All of us went in looking at what we wanted for Jon, instead of actually listening to Jon when he repeatedly tells us what he wants for Jon. And it’s not the throne.

      What he actually receives is a reward and not a punishment. Jon is tasked with being the NW Lord Commander. He literally gets his own castle and gets to protect the realm of the Free Folk who are now his allies and see him as the man who saved them from the NK and honored his promise to give them lands. He’s probably unofficially their King Beyond The Wall.

      There is no AotD so the area is stabilized and at peace.

      He also has the prospect of getting visits from family and old friends.

      He gets to spend his time ranging with Ghost and Tormund. Doing what he loves.

      When you get past what you thought you wanted for Jon and what you though he deserved and think about what he really wanted, it really changes the perspective and you realize he did end up in a good place. I’m good with that.

      I’m also good with the rest of the Starks finally being able to control their own destinies and coming out on top after seasons of seeing them get tortured and betrayed.

      Queen of the North
      King of 6 Kingdoms
      King Beyond the Wall
      Queen of what’s west of Westeros lol

      Thank you. So beautifully articulated.
      Honestly, I almost feel embarrassed (not really) at how happy I was with the finale. I didn’t expect to like it at all, probably because the last two season have felt so rushed and I felt a little underwhelmed by certain aspects of episode 5, but I’m really pleased with the fate of most of our beloved characters: Jon where he is most happy; Arya exploring because “that is her”; Sansa, liberating the North because that’s what her people have wanted and this was the unique moment where she could accomplish this feat without war or bloodshed; Tyrion the compassionate, in a position of power; Brienne, Pod, Sam, Davos, all doing what they do best. And Drogon and Ghost, they’re still out there. I was pretty much convinced that all magic/mythical had to die to usher in the new age. I was charmed that this realm still gets to retain some of the magic.

      And thank you to all the contributors to this site. It has been such a pleasure to read your articles and hear your analysis all these years. Brava, bravo, Bravos!

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    10. Noirgirl,

      Agreed. I almost forgot that everyone that I wanted to make it to the end alive made it. Including Ghost and Drogon. For me, even if it was bittersweet, the finale offered closure and I see it as a win. Even Dany dying as she really did get a beautifully tragic death.

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    11. i think i am one few fans who totally got all the feels . George trying to makes us feels.

      “the only thing worth writing for is a conflict within our hearts” (might be paraphrasing)

      -Daenerys

      some people doesnt feel this, but i totally does:
      George wants us how it feels to be betrayed by someone we love and support (not by what they’ve done to us, but what they have done to themselves, real world scenario: a Significant others who got caught up in drugs addiction) he intended us to see from the lense of Jon Snow, and Tyrion. this n Queen from the other side of the world, trying to claim what all her life thought was hers. with every step and sacrfice she made, the higher it is her entitlement, yet, she always defeated whatever trying to stop her, so , maybe, she is intended to get what it is that she wants?. there is some poetic tragedy here. we see her get what she wants, but shes not really the same we used to fall in love with anymore. but does that mean she worth the killing?.

      Jon snow:

      George intention with this character is to make us support him getting someone he actually deserves , not because he wanted it. (real world scenario: parents who doesnt like their kids significant other, just because they doesnt like her/him, eventhough that person is obviously make your kids the happies) it funny alot of people complaining about how should be king where he doesnt actually wants it?. its also George trying to tell us, sometimes we hate how the royalty chosen by their bloodrights, but when that someone is someone we love, we are totally on board with it. ? (omg jon is a targaryen hes a King!!!) also we are supposed to feel bad for him for killing this amazing queen who saved him and his home from death several times. (this thing we dont get to feel quite strongly since i really think Jon and Danys first meeting should be in the middle of the whole series to make it convincing). at the end he gets what he wants ,but yet, we feel bad for him because of our “expectation what he should be”.

      ice and fire, black and white, good and evil, duty and love, life and death, bitterness and sweetness, its the theme that been repeated all along the series so many times.

      i think the show could nail it better, however after 2 days of the episode, and i still feel all of the feelings, betrayed yet relieved. sad but fulfilled, satisfied yet dissapointed.

      if this is what they intended for us to feels, then, i am clearly one of those minority who got tangled on it.

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    12. Jon did what Ned wanted Jaime to do: Take the Black to atone for slaying a monarch.

      My only beef is that Jon didn’t volunteer to do it. Ned raised him better.

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    13. Myles McNutt, Alan Sepinwall, and Sarah Hughes captured much of my concerns and appreciation for the finale. Much of how they waxed prophetic on this grand series resonates well. I will miss their reviews as well as the WotW contributions and several vlog reviewers as well.

      Surprisingly, I immensely enjoyed the unsnooty summary given by Jeremy Egner of the snooty NYT:
      This was a Shakespearean saga about power, blood and loyalty, we once told our skeptical, fantasy-averse friends. Not some show about dragons and wizards. And then in its final episode, a dragon committed the story’s most potent symbolic act and a wizard was put in charge.

      Hah! Between Jon’s stabby-stabby act of greater love and Drogon’s scouring of the throne, we got our Nissa Nissa, imho. Then as Jon returned to the wall, I, along with many others, couldn’t help but think of Aemon’s northern trek: “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.” Perhaps Jon will let those words fade away as he rides toward the Frostfang caves.

      Oh well, I thought Bran would have a darker ending and I thought Arya would provide a faceless twist, and blah, blah, blah, but I’m happy for the escape, speculation and spectacle that we were gifted for a few Sunday evenings each year since 2011.

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    14. I guess I’m one of the few people who enjoyed the finale. I’m a book reader, show watcher and obsessive fan and my only major disappointment with the show is that it’s over and we didn’t get more. Could the series have stood for more episodes? Absolutely. Were there storylines that could’ve been tied neater or explored further? Sure. Did I enjoy every moment? Absolutely.

      I keep reading reviews where I see the phrase “the finale we deserved.” Are viewers that demanding? Sure there are things I would’ve wanted differently, but my goodness I feel so fortunate to have had access to such a brilliant, moving and wildly entertaining piece of fiction in my lifetime. How lucky we have been to get this complex and well-produced, well-performed television series.

      I guess I’ve just read so many of these nasty and nitpicky reviewers I’m shocked at the sense of entitlement regarding a series that was better than anything in television history (and recent cinema history). I have loved this show and the books, and appreciate every minute I got to experience—even the boring Dorne scenes of 5 and the rushed season 8. Am I alone in this? I hope not.

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    15. Thanks David – I’ve enjoyed your posts. I’m going to miss WoW now that the shows have wrapped up. It’s been a lot of fun reading everyone’s comments and opinions.

      My feelings about the finale are mixed. I loved the first half. I hadn’t particularly predicted or wanted Jon to be the one to kill Dany, but the way they presented it, it looked inevitable. It played out as a gorgeous tragedy – Jon’s anguish was compelling, as was Drogon’s grief. (Incidentally this scene was the best acting from Kit (and Jon) all series.) I loved the image of Drogon destroying the Iron Throne and then gently lifting Dany up to take her away over the sea.
      It would have been great for the show to fade to black on that note, deliberately leaving the other story lines unresolved.

      I have many gripes about the second half of the story, mostly because it totally sacrificed the political realism that made the show great. But once I let go my need for the story to make any sense, I enjoyed the wrap ups for the characters.
      Brienne’s tribute to Jaime still makes me misty eyed.

      All in all, Game of Thrones has been a great ride. I’m going to miss it.

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    16. Nick20: This is the thing that ruins the ending for me. And I’ve never even liked Dany that much.
      But you can’t have a heroic young leader be a straight up protagonist for 71 episodes and then suddenly make her the most one-dimensional villain in the show.

      I agree with you. It was not realistic. As a woman she would not have done it. I can’t remember a female war criminal. But without much thinking everyone can name at least one male war criminal.

      And now we are left with an ending in which good, white men save the world from an evil woman and her evil horde which are all coloured people.

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    17. It was a mess, with some beautiful moments sprinkled throughout. They really did need another season to pace it more believably. Ah well. Love the series, did not love this season. Just parts.

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    18. Allie,

      You are not alone. I have enjoyed every minute of it too. Very easy for people to throw stones and criticize a work of art well done in so many levels, when they didn’t contribute one aiota and think they are entitled to do so. In a way this is just a reflection of how these haters run their own lives. Always find what’s wrong with what other people’s work/life/opinions are. Let’s see where that kind of attitude takes you…

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    19. 6thofhisname: Most of the people that I know that were disappointed with the finale are using the reason that Jon didn’t deserve his ending, because they see it as a punishment.

      This isn’t what I’m hearing in my IRL and online circles. Most people seem okay – even happy with – Jon’s ultimate fate. What they’re upset about (myself included) is how the story unfolded. It was packed with leaps of logic and time-warps skipping over crucial details that would have added context, depth, and a much deeper emotional connection to the story.

      I’m happy that Jon (my second-favorite character) is in the North with Tormund (my favorite character) and Ghost (my fourth favorite character). I’m also happy that Arya (my third favorite character) is off on an adventure for parts unknown, though I wish Gendry was in a rowboat behind her.

      But I’m not happy with what they did with Jon’s character over the past two seasons. As I’ve said a few times on this board, I never bought into his “love” with Dany, and so instead of being blinded by love I thought the character ended up weak and bleating “my queen” every 5 minutes.

      Don’t get me wrong, Jon Snow was an epic character for six seasons, and I’m happy he ended up where he is. And his last little grin restored a little of my hope for him. I also loved the show and it will always and forever be my favorite TV series.

      But that doesn’t dim my frustration with D&D for closing out GOT with a bunch of shortcuts. I’m not saying the fans deserved better. Eff the fans, including me. We don’t matter.

      The STORY, the art and genius and cultural significance deserved better.

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    20. Thank-you, Dave! And thank you for your awesome efforts in organizing these posts for so long. It must take forever.

      Team_Sansa: My feelings about the finale are mixed. I loved the first half. I hadn’t particularly predicted or wanted Jon to be the one to kill Dany, but the way they presented it, it looked inevitable. It played out as a gorgeous tragedy – Jon’s anguish was compelling, as was Drogon’s grief. (Incidentally this scene was the best acting from Kit (and Jon) all series.) I loved the image of Drogon destroying the Iron Throne and then gently lifting Dany up to take her away over the sea.

      I thought so too! I was totally heartbroken by this. I really loved the call-back to Maester Aemon, “Love is the death of duty.” Jon has always had to make those haunting choices (as said to Tyrion, “It doesn’t feel right.”) while Dany never fulfills her dream, after being so determined to realize her dream. I thought that scene was so beautifully framed too and almost mythical with her dragon coming to fly her away.

      6thofhisname,

      I tend to agree. As crestfallen as I am that R+L=J didn’t result in the epicness I had hoped, it was quietly fitting for Jon. He’s never had an inheritance to rely on, he’s always been chosen by those around him based on who he is, not a name — by adversaries-turned-friends in the Night’s Watch, as Lord Commander, as King in the North, and by the free folk who were also enemies-turned-friends. Jon’s end fits his character. He’s of the North, of two mystical blood lines, a ‘song of ice and fire’, he’s always been an outsider even when he’s in the thick of things, it makes sense that he ventures beyond those same known realms in a country he loves with a people who don’t give a crap about any of that – kind of like he doesn’t 😉

      Although, I’m also heartbroken if that family never gets to see each other again. Well, I’m sure Sansa and Bran will meet up but I hope Jon and Arya aren’t parted from each other and from Sansa and Bran forever.

      But AMAZING music.

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    21. I find it interesting that most posts criticizing the finale are focusing on why they were disappointed with the finale, while a lot of posts that loved it are focused on insulting the first people and calling them/us whingers.

      If you loved the finale, talk about why you loved the finale. Don’t worry so much about those of us who didn’t. We’re just fine.

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    22. Nick20,

      Yes, that. Dany has never been written in a way that could possibly justify her turining into a delusional tyrant. She was cursed with a draconic temper, but her story was about learning to control her dragons and harness them for a good purpose; she worked hard to establish internal and external checks and balances, even if she often failed. She was a conqueror but more in terms of conquering obstacles; she never enjoyed subjugating others to her will – she never liked to rule. Moreover, she had never been jealous or resentful: for instance, she never envied Viserys for having a better claim; she might have hated him (for a reason), but she never envied him. If GRRM really thinks that this is the type of a person that has a potential of becomming a L’Internationale-blabbing tyrant, sorry, he knows nothing (and he should do some historical studies).

      And Jon… He was built as an extremely ambitious young man who wanted to be a hero at any cost. Turning him into a mop that “doesn’t want the throne” was a U-turn even bigger than that of Dany’s personality.

      In general, for like 70 episodes the show was about was telling us that ruling (and life, and human nature) is hard; that one should find a right balance between honor and cunningness, between violence and mercy, between conflicting vows, etc. But the final message turned into a plane preaching that “throne is bad” and that the good guys should go vagabonding into the wildness, as power is seized by underserving schemers. Seriously? That was the one “simple, solid, and true” thing we were supposed to find afters “stripping all the finery”? LOL.

      If I were HBO, I would be considering remaking the ending. Seriously. And without any outlines from GRRM.

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    23. Inga: And Jon… He was built as an extremely ambitious young man who wanted to be a hero at any cost. Turning him into a mop that “doesn’t want the throne” was a U-turn even bigger than that of Dany’s personality.

      This makes sense to me. Jon dreamed of leadership and being a hero growing up and before he knew what that was like. Once Jon learned the brutal realities of it (hard choices, sacrifice, loneliness, misery), it stopped being so appealing. I remember that line from A Dance With Dragons, “Sam, you sweet fat fool, you played me a cruel jape when you made me lord commander. A lord commander has no friends.”

      I do think Jon was oddly sidelined 85% of this season and was unusually passive at times.

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    24. David, thank you for all this work you have put in for us. Your posts have always been favourites of mine.

      I think Dave Gonzalez nailed it: GoT had the impossible task of competing with GRRM’s unwritten novels. Emphasis on unwritten. Fans imagine how these books might be (if they ever get written) and of course everyone thinks the story will end how he/she wants it to end.
      I too was somewhat underwhelmed by the finale: I loved it up to Daenerys’ death, although it happened too fast, imo (and I still hurt for her and the decision to go after the Mad Queen ending for her), but the rest was weird. And I am one of those who would have wanted a more epic end for such an epic character such as Jon Snow, what with his secret parentage, dragon riding abilities, bravery, fighting skills, deep kindness… But then again, I had expected Ned Stark to be the main character of the show (I actually started watching it because Sean Bean was in it) and look what happened – and that was Martin’s choice, not the showrunners’. Then I thought Robb Stark was endgame – well, he wasn’t either. So I guess such an epic character as Jon having such an unepic ending should not surprise me.
      Still, I would like to see what happens to the 6 (one more though to swallow) kingdoms when the lords will have to choose a successor for Bran. Civil war, probably.

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    25. 6thofhisname,

      I understand this point of view but Jon certainly didn’t look happy when he arrived back there. He looked more broody than his usual self. Like, oh I’m back here where I was murdered, great. The first time he went of his own free will but now he’s literally sentenced. For what? Saving the whole damn world from a tyrant. And if he stays at CB, he will essentially be a prison warden. I’m glad it does appear he’s just going to roam free with the wildlings but it still leaves a sour taste that he ends up with just his dog and one living friend. It might have helped if we heard somebody say I’ll visit as often as I can. Oh I dunno, Sansa, Arya, Sam, Davos, Tyrion? But nothing.

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    26. Sophie Turner said in an episode that she kept a scroll from season 8 that has a big spoiler for the final season so she can’t tell the details about it.
      Does anyone have any idea what was that about now.?

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    27. Inga,

      Yes, thank you. What you said reinforces my opinion that for 7 seasons we were watching one show and then it abandoned all that it was building up to and we ended watching something completely different. The things that were important for 70 episodes and that got us invested in it were suddenly sidelined or deemed negative and unworthy.

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    28. trarecar:
      I’m still salty. The rushed ending they gave us was such a huge disservice to one of the best TV shows ever.

      I would have given away a majority of the CGI if that meant they’d take the time to actually TELL THE STORY they were wanting us to love.

      So how should it have gone hmmm?

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    29. Arianacandle,

      Sure, reality is always far less appealing than a dream. In whatever field: it can be marriage or professional career, it can be some big political thing like a country restoring independence after decades and centuries of suffering under tyrany or just a victory at war – reality always comes with problems. But geez! Responsible adults are not supposed from problems: sending the main protagonist into the wildness is not just cheesy – it’s manifests infantility of the authors. And killing the other main protagonist after abruptly turning her into a villain is infantile, too. In short, GRRM and D&D have made themselves look like a bunch of nihilistic losers. Subverted expextations, LOL.

        Quote  Reply

    30. 6thofhisname,
      “If their relationship had been framed as more intense, him having to kill her would have had way more impact.”

      Totally agree. I wish their relationship had been built up better. I don’t quite understand why something so important wouldn’t be. Though, it didn’t help that the two actors didn’t have the best chemistry together.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Hodors Bastard,

      Many thought Jon would be a goner (Like other res’d characters) once he does whatever else was needed but instead he gets to live. Jon is the song of ice and fire, as I saw some book readers speculating through the years. He saved the world from both threats, and broke the wheel, which is why he himself could not be king. I’m happy that my favorite character ended up the true hero of this story all along. That will be my positive take-away no matter how rushed or badly written the short season was 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    32. Inga,

      Yeah imagine if Tolkien had sent his main protagonist off adventuring into the wilderness of the great unknown… so he could start again after the horrors he’d seen. That would have been rubbish.

      Imagine if Anakin Skywalker had turned from the chosen one to evil

      The series was rushed yes but the endings don’t deserve that bashing

        Quote  Reply

    33. Allie,

      gods I will miss it 🙁 The GOT world felt so fully realized. As if we were watching actual history of some foreign land, yes dragons and all lol. There will never be another quite like it.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Allie:
      I guess I’m one of the few people who enjoyed the finale. I’m a book reader, show watcher and obsessive fan and my only major disappointment with the show is that it’s over and we didn’t get more. Could the series have stood for more episodes? Absolutely. Were there storylines that could’ve been tied neater or explored further? Sure. Did I enjoy every moment? Absolutely.

      I keep reading reviews where I see the phrase “the finale we deserved.” Are viewers that demanding? Sure there are things I would’ve wanted differently, but my goodness I feel so fortunate to have had access to such a brilliant, moving and wildly entertaining piece of fiction in my lifetime. How lucky we have been to get this complex and well-produced, well-performed television series.

      I guess I’ve just read so many of these nasty and nitpicky reviewers I’m shocked at the sense of entitlement regarding a series that was better than anything in television history (and recent cinema history). I have loved this show and the books, and appreciate every minute I got to experience—even the boring Dorne scenes of 5 and the rushed season 8. Am I alone in this? I hope not.

      you are not alone and comments like yours give me some faith back in audiences.

      I also agree, despite being sad at first, that Jon got the ending best for him while denying Westeros of a great leader.

        Quote  Reply

    35. ygritte,

      Yes, we might be happy for Jon going vagabonding beyond the Wall. However, who’s gonna the the prison warden in such case? Thyrion has clearly stated that they intend to keep the NW as a trash bin for all kinds of criminals and losers. Can you imagine what those criminals and loser are going to do, when brough all together with no task or purpose whatsoever? CB is doomed to turn into a den of iniquity, so Jon will be either killed or have to fight against it. And how about Sansa? How is she gonna deal with a band of robbers on her border and no-one to command her armies? Even before the war against the AOTD half of the North was ruled by children, now the situation should be even worse. And even if Sansa appoints some lord to be her battlfield commander, it won’t take long for that lord to usurp her (unless she makes that commander her lover teasing him with false marriage promises, but that’s a temporary solution). At best, she can take a husband and share power with him, but even in such case most of the power will go to the man as the battlefield commander, cause that’s the whole point of the patriarchy. Or she’ll have to plea Jon and the wildlings for help, but that will make Jon King in the North once again. In any case, there’s zero chanse that Sansa’s reign could last longer than several years.

      It’s really funny how the showrunners left Westeros with ticking bombs at every corner and pretended that this was the end of the game of thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Inga,

      I respect your opinion. The intent of my response was to comment on why Jon isn’t that same young man who wanted to lead and wanted to be a hero after experiencing what comes with those roles first-hand. There are some (a lot) of choices the writers made this season that I disagree with and really don’t understand. I’m pretty gutted over certain plots and directions. But at the end of the day, I want to find as much good in it as I can because it’s the only final season of my favourite show I’ll get. Still, thanks for responding and sharing your opinion with me 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    37. Not exactly the sort of critical reception a long-running show would want to see after the final episode, but I’m sure all those writers are just “ungrateful and petty”.

      Regarding a better name for King Bran.. how about ‘Bran the Seer’?

        Quote  Reply

    38. Milutin,

      That’s what happens with a premature resolution on the main conflict with an idee fix about “The Scouring of the Shire” in mind. Even Tolkien had problems with making “The Scouring of the Shire” appealing, even though it was about Sam getting agency and Frodo failing to re-connect with the world after the trauma of the great war and there was a good reason why “The Scouring of the Shire” didn’t make it to the screen.

      GRRM wanted to be very original and turn “The Scouring of the Shire” into the climax or the whole series. And here we are: subverted rules of storytelling backfired in the major way. The story of Daenerys breaking bad demanded a whole separate season, though even in such case it would have hardly worked.

      The only way the last 3 episodes of the GOT could work was dedicating them to dealing with Cersei and the problem of her baby solving the controversy between Jon & Dany along the road. And it’s really depressing that the creators went for a cheap shocker of Dany breaking bad, instead of answering the question of whether saving the world is worth the sacrifice of one innocent child. And that’s the fundamental question of every war or revolution or major social change and it has laready been raised in the show with Gendy and Shereen. So, really I’m now drawing the line at the end of Ep 3 and writing my own fan fiction of the endgame. Screw it.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Thanks for all your work at WotW, I spent many, many hours reading here and I will miss you.

      Personally, I loved the last season and also the finale, episode 8.02 will be one of my all time favourite episodes. I am a long-time watcher and have also read the books.

      I have always seen Daenerys as very power-hungry and with a questionable understanding of justice and a tendency for cruelty. So I was not suprised about her actions in episode 5 and 6. I was only suprised that D&D showed her downfall in this brutal way and I find this very brave. I understand people who feel betrayed but I guess that was the intention of D&D. A lot of tyrants start with good intentions and beloved by the people and problematic behaviour is accepted for the greater good. When you see their true self it is often too late.

      I am also satisfied with the end of Jon, I never saw him as king but as a very tragic hero. I agree with all what “6thofhisname” said.

      Regarding Bran I was surprised about his end. But I think he will be more a symbol, a king who personifies wisdom and justice. The main work will be done by Tyrion and his small council and I am perfectly fine with it.

      I was also surprised by Jaime’s and Cersei’s end. Yes, it is frustrating that he went back to her but that is unfortunately the reality of toxic relationships. But I loved her final scene, so much feelings. And I loved Brienne’s entry in the king’s guard book about him, really fitting for her character.

      My favourite characters were always Sansa and Arya and they ended exactly where I always thought they should end.

      I loved, loved, loved the positive note of the final scenes of Sansa, Arya and Jon, they are where they should be and where they will be happiest after all what happened.

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    40. 6thofhisname,

      And don’t forget, he can walk freely in the whole north, visiting Winterfell. Winterfell is part of the north not the six kingdoms meaning Grey worm have nothing to say about that. Sansa has.

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    41. Brilliant! I thought the end was epically brilliant! It made so much sense and every time I think about the ending I smile and the smile gets bigger and bigger.

      I’m embarrassed for those people who think, not having walked a mile in any GoTers shoes, that they deserve better.

      You get what you get and if you’re not happy well … that’s on you.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Nick20,

      Dany was never a hero, as Tyrion stated she was that Tyrant already in season 3, but how could be not cheer for her when she killed those masters, or crucified those masters, or burning the khals.

      She had always had the notion of my look at life is the only right one. Only 2 characters could change her mind and that was Jorah and Missandei.

      As for her killing civilians she even stated slaves from Mereen took their freedom, the civilians of KL did not take their freedom, they choose Cersei, so they’re guilty. They collaborated with her enemy so they were wrong to follow Cersei. If you think Dany was a Hero for 71 episodes you didn’t understand her character at all. Read Emilia Clarke interview, she even stated we should have known. She though it was brilliant, but only had one problem and that is that she wanted to have more scenes with Cersei and Missandei.

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    43. I was discussing GOT and was reflecting on my disappointment with the story, the treatment of the characters arcs, the rushed ending, lack of internal logic. I did not get much sympathy as my friend always thought it was always going to be a mess. He gave an interesting viewpoint on why he did not stay with the series. He saw the series as “basement boy torture porn” and decided he was too emotionally healthy and socially engaged for this story. He saw it would be nihilist from years back and did not need the end of the story to know that.

      A shortened version of his explanation: Today, thanks to computer games and social media, stories from the fantasy genre are enjoyed by a wide cross section of the population and considered normal stories. However, back when the GRRM series started, these stories were for a “niche” audience of mainly socially sidelined males. And some (not all!!!) are really nihilist, loser porn. He pointed out then he expected that:
      (i) The final hero would be a character that has no clear “personality” or love story. They would be without social skills or friends. They may have supportive but rather mystified family that did not really understand them. They would have suffered at the hands of an alpha male in the story. But may have gained special powers after this alpha hurt them. The family members of this socially challenged male may have decent ends if he liked them. But suffer if they were not nice to him.
      (ii) The tall, handsome, socially advantaged alpha guy would prove to be an absolute cad. He would have some terrible mental malady. He may try to become a better person but he would be denied this progression. He would die in some unheroic, humiliating way. The beautiful woman in his life would be a complete witch that would make him suffer in a twisted love story.
      (iii) The tall, unpopular, ugly girl would fall into love with the handsome guy but he would hurt and reject her due to his mental issues.
      (iv) All the beautiful and powerful women would turn out to be truly evil.
      (v) Other men with social rejection problems (such as a bastard) would probably be ok. But if they were handsome or had women then they would not have the best ending. But survival may be granted.

      I had to confess that all these features were there in the end of GOT. In fact the council at the end – the fat not-brave guy (Sam); the short, ugly, cripple (Tyrion), the ugly tall girl (Brienne), two socially disadvantaged (Davos, Bronn). And the king – the vacant personality guy that no-one understood or spoke to.

      Of course, I argued that there were many other problems – inconsistent characters, illogical inconsistent action, etc. He agreed on all that but he did have a good argument on the story being what it was intended to be.

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    44. raemontarg88,

      great post, and agree with you.

      Inga,

      Maybe read Emilia’s article, even she admits that she sees why Dany ended up this way and that it make lots of sense. She was always hard in her decisions. She always stated burning cities to the ground. She always though her way was the only way the world should look. It was not out of character it was the character that I already saw in season 3. But how could be dislike her then when her victims were evil man. How could be dislike her when she crucified those masters, we should dislike it for how she did it, but we cheered for her. But that was not a act of good, that was evil.

      In my country we have a saying, you can’t judge a person how he treats his friends and family, you can judge a person how he treats his enemies.

      And don’t forget her prohecy about Mysha, where she was told that it was about a woman that save mankind from evil. She started to believe that.

      GoT is not a simple action movie where those things are being seen as good, this is a more realistic show where such actions should never be praised. So for me how Dany end was as Dany should end and was a great ending of her character and true to what her character is since the beginning.

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    45. 6thofhisname,

      Agreed! The only thing I would differ on is that I don’t think family and friends will be able to find him! I do think it was where Jon would be the happiest. He looked back at the closing gate like he would never go back again and he was headed for his new life.
      I am sad about that he won’t get to see his family, but the Starks all went their own ways. Since they are wolves, it doesn’t quite sit well, since wolves do better as a pack. That being said, I wasn’t disappointed with Jon’s ending. Tyrion basically talked his way into giving Jon a happy life even though it sounded like he banished Jon to the wall with the non existent Night’s Watch. Ghost knew Jon was where he was supposed to be (good boy).

        Quote  Reply

    46. Arianacandle,

      Agree with you.

      ygritte,

      You know he can just visit every city in the north right? Sansa is queen there not Bran of the 6 kingdoms. He is more free now then he would be if he would be king.

      And I think he would never want to go below the twins into that hot climate. So he is in fact free as can be.

      Inga,

      The Dany is strong in you.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Thanks for the links. Hillary Kelly’s article resonated with me when she talks about the show giving up on the magic elements. D&D always decided to take the non magical route, and they are very consistent with this path once they took over the writing (post books). I’m not sure why they made that decision. As a show only watcher to this point, I look forward to getting immersed in the books. I’m asking for the entire set for father’s day. The magical elements work well for me as long as the rules of the world are followed and I can understand the rules of the world. I’m just not sure why D&D didn’t want to go there and opted for the more straightforward non magical routes. They also seemed to eliminate as many of the magical elements as possible as the series drew to a close.

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    48. I just find it amusing that after we spent so many hours and so many words arguing for the past week over whether Dany did this as a calculated military strategy or whether she just became the homicidal maniac she always truly was, the answer ends up being neither. Instead, she’s just delusional and seems to have no idea what she’s done, believing she liberated a city that now has like 13 people alive in it and that every action was necessary to defeat Cersei. We worried what she would do with Jon but her mind has so broken with reality that she doesn’t even understand why we would be bothered. She doesn’t die as a liberator or as a tyrant. She dies as a pathetic jilted woman begging her boyfriend to take her back.

      But as with a lot of things that didn’t make any sense, it sure was beautiful.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Seeing everyone shit on Season 8 has been more enjoyable than watching the season.

      Its amazing how these guys thought they could tell this story in six episodes.

      Huge misjudgment on their part. Goes to show these guys had no idea why people liked their show. They thought if they included spectacle and shocking twists people would eat it up. Nope.

        Quote  Reply

    50. ygritte,

      I though her chemistry were good enough, that scene at the end how Dany talked to Jon. That was the look of love, she really loved Jon. The way she talk about her plans in a romantic way. (which made it even more scarier)

      Tron79,

      Good boy indeed.

        Quote  Reply

    51. No, you are not alone! And you are right! Some readers react just like Daenarys, they torch the whole series because it does not exactly match their expectations, instead of judging it on its own merits. I loved the books and I love the series, and I feel thankful for all those talented people who brought so much pleasure into my life
      Allie,

        Quote  Reply

    52. House Monty,

      I agree half with you there, it should have been 10 episodes, 5 for both storylines.

      But I see why it was 6, I think D&D structured the season with every episode having something big:
      1. Revelation about Jon’s past to Jon.
      2. Ending the episode with the WW at their door.
      3. WW treat.
      4. North was nothing big (even if that was the best of the episode) so Dany part needed to happen with Cersei. Dragon gone, Missandei gone.
      5. The burning of the capitol.
      6. Dany needed to be in the final so it was made 1 huge episode.

      But I think if they split some episodes the story would be better. 1 and 2 the same with maybe a little bit of WW action. Episode 3 would be split in 2 parts with part 1 ending with a sense of doom and episode 2 victorious with the dead of the NK action in the crypts, arya in the library what action with the WW captains against Jon/Brienne etc and let Arya finishing the NK. Instead of 80 minutes, 2x 50 minutes.
      Episode 5 could have been the after party of episode 4. With a huge cliff that Dany says: I’m going to take the Seven kingdoms back with fire and blood.

      Season 8b could be:
      1. What we saw in episode 4b. The capturing of the Missandei, death of dragon. Missandei death with some scenes extra where we see Missandei talking with Cersei.
      2. Having the missing link between episode 8×04 and 8×05. Show us those 2 weeks where Dany doesn’t wan’t to eat, change further into depression. Having Varys trying to poison her. Seeing Sandor/Arya, jaime, Jon going south. Ending the episode with part 1 of episode 8×05 with Varys dead, and maybe add the scene where she tells Jon to take KL with fire and blood. Then people had 1 whole week to think about going that route.
      3. Could be what episode 5 was after that point.
      4. Defeating Dany ending the episode with her death.
      5. The final about what now? We could have had some scenes with Gilly and Sam for instance.

      So for me the ending was great the final itself. But the problem was more episode 4.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Just wanted to share this with people who care. FYI, I hated the way Jon killed Dany–saying he loved her as he stabbed her. Cowardly and cruel, seems to me. But there was a lot to like about the last episode, too. Some nice moments.

      Anyway, here’s my theory–When Tyrion and Bran had their fireside chat earlier in the season, I think Bran told Tyrion what was going to happen and they planned it all out. Except that Tyrion didn’t totally believe that Dany would go (suddenly) insane and nasty, so he stuck with her for a bit. And Tyrion is actually king now, since Bran could care less about ruling. So Tyrion is the REAL winner of the Game of Thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Adam,

      She dies as a pathetic jilted woman begging her boyfriend to take her back.

      ^I hope we all agree that is not subversive.

      But as with a lot of things that didn’t make any sense, it sure was beautiful.

      I will always appreciate Game of Thrones for visually capturing not only the locations but the characters and costumes. I don’t know that ASoIaF enhanced my show watching overall (if anything it made me too critical) but the show absolutely enhanced the reading experience with a perfect cast, costume dept, and set design.

      ETA: I am remiss I forgot to mention the swords. Those were perfect too.

        Quote  Reply

    55. kevin1989,

      Exactly. It’s not like Sansa is gonna snitch. And she’s in the neighborhood. He can visit the queen on”official business” as a cover. And when Jon tells Tyrion he thinks it would be the last he’d see of him, Tyrion said don’t be so sure, leaving it open that he’d come in for a visit. I don’t doubt people like Davos and Sam would pop in as well. He already told Arya she could come visit. The same invitation would be open for them.

      Speaking of Sam, he’s Grand Maester of the Kings Council, yet he has a woman and children at home. I think the realms are probably relaxing a lot of these rules going forward.

      I also noticed we never saw Bran wearing a crown, nor did they show his coronation. I find this significant. He doesn’t care about the pomp and circumstance. Which tells me he’s not putting himself above others despite his position.

        Quote  Reply

    56. ygritte,

      I’ve got to say, whether one thinks the show’s ending was good or bad, it did establish throughout that being king sucks.

      Robert hated it. Joffrey was hated (cowpies to the face); Tommen couldn’t deal with it.
      Warriors and conquerers especially have a tough time adapting to the administrative tedium. (Bobby’s common sense solution: drinking and whoring.)

      Maybe it really is better to go riding though the forest with your gonzo best friend and your dog.

      PS Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy! 👻

        Quote  Reply

    57. It wasn’t the best season. It wasn’t even good. But the ending for the Stark family is so beautiful. It’s truly poetic. I’d prefer Jon leaving his legacy behind – as his own decision. That would be amazing, not that he’s banished.

      As for the bad season, the ending wasn’t the worst. But ultimately the Starks got what the wanted, not whatbe they were forced to be, apart from Bran obviously.

      Sansa is the rightful Queen in the North. Daughter of Ned Stark couldn’t get more.

      Arya went for an adventure. She didn’t feel right at home. A young explorer.

      Jon, a true Heart of the North. He fought for a better world, he paid the price with his life, and now he settles behind the Wall, where people see him as his saviour.

      A simple, predictable, yet rewarding ending for these characters. A pity they didn’t show it other way, but I’m good with that.

        Quote  Reply

    58. ygritte,

      Jon cracked a slight smile at th end, telling us he was ok.

      Tyrion told him he may come up there on a sabbatical from all of the stress of being hand.

      He told Arya she was free to visit. I’m sure that invitation extended to anyone else he was close to. Sansa as QitN, well I’m sure he could see her whenever they needed to discuss “matters”.

      Also CB is now in a relatively stabilized area. No threats from AotD, and at peace with Free Folk who see Jon as their savior. Tormund commented after his resurrection that they see him as a god. I’m sure they secretly whisper he is their king beyond the wall.

      As for the Night’s Watch itself, I do have issue if they send the worst of the scum, but part of the reason that started happening is because no one wanted to voluntarily join it anymore and their numbers were dismal. The place needs re-branding. Jon Snows home for orphans, bastards, second sons with no prospects, the socially awkward and wayward lol. Build them up like a military school would. They will all see Jon as a war hero and an inspiration and want to join to make something of themselves. I’m trying to be optimistic here.

        Quote  Reply

    59. ygritte: Jon is the song of ice and fire, as I saw some book readers speculating through the years. He saved the world from both threats, and broke the wheel, which is why he himself could not be king.

      Yeah, Jon is the embodiment of ice and fire indeed, on many levels. He was a child of ice and fire. His two great lovers were ice and fire. He defended the return of ice (wildlings) and fire (Dany/Drogon) to Westeros at great cost. He lived with ice (traveling with wildlings) and lived like fire (riding Rhaegal). He was killed defending the immigration of ice and he was forced/coerced to kill the invasion of fire. He protected Westeros from ice and fire. He was born to lead, yet he disliked being a leader. He experienced cold bleak death and fiery life. He lived an ice/fire hypocrisy.

      I could never see him on the throne as well. Both leadership and love damaged him. I always thought he would make one drastic decision with fire or ice, then face another consequence or walk away and end his hypocrisy. As much as Dany’s tale was about an extreme rise to power and the ultimate corruption of power, Jon’s tale was more focused on the wariness of power and the chaos it creates.

      Hopefully, Jon finds his balance and peace with the few he saved.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Diane:
      Brilliant! I thought the end was epically brilliant! It made so much sense and every time I think about the ending I smile and the smile gets bigger and bigger.

      I’m embarrassed for those people who think, not having walked a mile in any GoTers shoes, that they deserve better.

      You get what you get and if you’re not happy well … that’s on you.

      People differ.
      Some people set high standards for themselves and want to be treated respectfully.
      Some people accept whatever they are given and are grateful.
      To each their own.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Like all those who united to defeat the army of the dead, I hope this fandom can put aside their differences and be thankful for whatever they have enjoyed all these years.

      Television is a visual medium. Can we not all appreciate the incredible images we have seen, the same images that will likely fill our minds as we read the next two books or when we reread the old ones?

      Even if you did not like the finale can’t we be excited that we will get to read those blanks that weren’t filled in? That’s what books can do more successfully than a TV show.

      Can we please embody the character traits we love to celebrate and embrace humility? We were worried we’d never make it past season one, and here we have the whole thing completed, and we are belittling the creative minds who have devoted a big chunk of their lives to pull this off. Working on movies and TV shows is not easy. It’s 16 hour days and family sacrifices. Has anyone here ever accomplished something like this? A little more common folk and a little less lords and ladies around here would lead us to a more nuanced discussion and a better community. There is much common ground to be found.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Mango,

      I watch my shows a little differently. I judge GOT based on other shows. I don’t compare it to itself, I don’t compare it to the books. There has never been anything like GOT before on television, and that’s why I love it so much. Some people like pointing out the flaws, but then ignore the flaws in shows like Breaking Bad, The Americans, etc. I don’t know why people hold GOT to a higher standard. No show can hold up under such scrutiny. The Game of Thrones finale was my second favorite finale of all, compared to other show finales, and GOT is my favorite show.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

      I’m fine with the ending as that is what GRRM is planning, it’s the getting there that was mishandled and short changed. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for people to understand. Truly, for the thousandth time – it’s not the ending, it’s the rush and how they abandoned story telling and prior storylines in the name of CGI and shocking twists that has the majority of upset fans complaining.

      So please take your sarcastic hmmmmm and shove it and perhaps truly read a critique. You loved it. Great. Many of us had higher expectations, and rightfully so, given the history of the show.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Young Dragon:
      Mango,

      I watch my shows a little differently. I judge GOT based on other shows. I don’t compare it to itself, I don’t compare it to the books. There has never been anything like GOT before on television, and that’s why I love it so much. Some peoplelike pointing out the flaws, but then ignore the flaws in shows like Breaking Bad, The Americans, etc. I don’t know why people hold GOT to a higher standard. No show can hold up under such scrutiny. The Game of Thrones finale was my second favorite finale of all, compared to other show finales, and GOT is my favorite show.

      Fair enough. I am glad you enjoyed it.

        Quote  Reply

    65. kevin1989,

      What about Tyrion then? He said that he would go to KL and murder Cersei after his death only to attempt to arrange her escape two episodes later.
      As for Emilia, with respect, she’s an actress, not an expert on political psychology.

        Quote  Reply

    66. kevin1989,

      How could be dislike her when she crucified those masters, we should dislike it for how she did it, but we cheered for her. But that was not a act of good, that was evil.

      How did you feel about Ned killing the NW deserter in the first episode? How did you feel about Sansa killing Ramsay with his own dogs? How did you feel about Jon’s words when he killed the Wildling warger in S3 or when he killed Janos Slynt in season 5? How did you feel about Bran telling Jon in the final episode that he was ‘exactly where he needed to be’ or inferring to Tyrion that he came down to KL to be king?

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    67. Grayven Reyne: Regarding a better name for King Bran.. how about ‘Bran the Seer’?

      I thought this was in line with Tyrion’s view of derogatory terms such as “bastard” or “imp.” Embrace it so others can’t use it against you.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Inga,

      For someone who seems so pissed at the show runners for being nihilistic losers, it seems that the problem is not the ending we got, but that you see the glass as not even half empty, but completely empty.

      I can already picture you with other endings:

      “The story ends with the main characters getting happily married”
      Don’t the authors know that 50% of marriages end in divorce and that marriages are filled with hardships? And one of them will probably cheat on the other with their best friend.

      “The little kid with dreams of greatness ends up going to his/her dream school”
      Way to set that kid up to face the burden of massive school debt, and don’t even get me started about the bleak employment opportunities for that career. Poor kid, how could people think that is a happy ending?

      What a way to see everything through the “what’s the worst that could happen” lens, LF would be proud.

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    69. Inga,

      I don’t think Tyrion was worried about Cersei’s escape. He wanted Jaime to live. If that meant providing an escape for Cersei too, then so be it.

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    70. Adam,

      The ending for the Stark children was beautiful, poetic, and entirely appropriate. Some are complaining that it was too happy, but I don’t think it’s quite as happy as they are making it out to be.

      Most importantly, it is heavily implied that these truly are the last of the Starks. Jon took a vow of celibacy again so he won’t father children, Bran was specifically called out for not being able to procreate, and both Arya and Sansa have had sex on the show without getting pregnant. And of course episode 4 was titled “The Last of the Starks”, so that right there is pretty bittersweet knowing that in all likelihood the family line ends here.

      Therefore I am all for these last Starks gets a relatively “happy” ending. They will still be burdened by all the trauma they have gone through, but let them live out their lives as happily as they can as the last of their family. They’ve all be heroic in their own way, so they all deserve it!

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    71. I dig Sepinwall – read him regularly, have all his books – but his butt-hurt review confuses me. He hasn’t read the books, yet he speaks with Dany-level (okay, not quite that zealous) authority about the source material.

      Sheesh, even professionals can’t let go of their personal hopes for a story others are telling…

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    72. Still thinking about it, because there were some great moments in this season and beautiful visuals. And even if it ends mostly this way in the books-that’s not what I’m sad about. And I am sad about it, because I loved the books and show for years and felt personally invested-it was that good.

      The problem is that no one had time to breathe or really flesh out their reasons for anything or reactions to anything.

      The Long Night is a great example-and it goes right through to the ending.
      Anytime there is a natural disaster or a global calamity or a baby in a darn well, there is a feeling of communion and connection from the survivors and heroes that lasts for more than a celebratory dinner. And there are people’s lives that are irrevocably changed for good and bad.

      Characters who’d never seen the dead before but were prepping on faith, were suddenly fighting armies of them. Sam caved back into himself and only survived because he was saved multiple times. We didn’t see him deal with that at all-or the loss of Ed-not even in short chat with Gilly.

      Sansa fought her dead relatives in the darn crypts-apparently-they didn’t show that but we assume. I was sure she was going to start to look at things differently after that happened. Maybe realize what her brother had been going through and cut him some slack. Maybe reevaluate her priorities.
      “We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves” “Do you have any faith in me at all?” So much build up for no closure.
      Sansa had literally no consequences for anything she did after escaping Ramsay-and I get why, but she did a lot, particularly when it came to undermining or lying to or breaking oaths to Jon.

      Also, after the Long Night, I was sure that Jon would find Arya and be like wtf? How did you kill the NK? What aren’t you telling me? It was potentially a great conversation between the closest siblings.
      Like the one that should have come after reveal, to show if Arya was maybe stunned to find out Jon wasn’t her brother.
      But then, I was also hoping he’d screamed at the dragon as a distraction instead of just a weird, frustrated death wish.

      Anyway something like that should bring everyone closer together. Facing the ultimate death to appreciate life. To hesitate before going into another war.

      Jon needed to have a little time to deal with the meaning of his life and rebirth up to that point just being gone-and now having to deal with this new secret revelation and the affect it was having on him instead of his gf and sister. Might have been a great time to have a scene with Bran and Jon, to give them both more dialogue and potentially show a flashback–it’s only been his biggest personal issue since the start of the show. Who he is, who his mother is etc.
      And tbh, he needed to be the one upset about being betrayed by his belief in Dany. Because he’d spent his life trying to save the living.

      The season was in too much of a hurry with fewer episodes, so no one could react to anything really.

      We went through 3 main enemies in 6 episodes. NK. Cersei/Euron. Dany.

      Not one single character had the chance to breathe. Not even the villains.
      We went from Dany helping to save the entire realm from the physical embodiment of Death to Dany killing off the largest population in Westeros in the blink of an eye-and then not being remotely conflicted or disturbed about it. Though she was strongly anti-innocent killing for 7 previous seasons.

      And don’t even get me started on the pointless crossbow journey, Jaime’s not caring, Euron’s convenient swim time, Cersei’s lack of a creative backup plan and Bran’s vague 8 ball dialogue that did not clarify or explain anything.
      “You’re exactly where you’re meant to be” “Why do you think I came all this way?” “I can never be lord of anything…but apparently to get the Unsullied to leave I can be king and never bring up Aegon Targaryen again”

      Yes, people all might have ended up where they were. Like I said, I can totally see it for the most part. But I still can’t get over the fact that to get there that quickly and were so focused on spectacle that they had to sacrifice so much in terms of content and character motivations.

      Thanks for letting me vent. I’ll always be glad Episode 2 exists though. And all the previous seasons of awesome, of course. So there is a bright side.

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    73. Lilian Taylor,

      Man do I have a co-worker like that this past week. He hated this season and I’m perfectly fine with him not liking it, but because I enjoyed it he feels the need to remind me everyday why he hated it, going out of his way to start the conversation. He just can’t let it go. It was at the point when he told me this season is just fan fiction that I realized he’s just repeating the internet at this point. He’s never even read any ASOIAF novels or any other book for that matter since I’ve known him. He only started binging last year. It took tornadoes in our state to finally distract him from complaining. I wish I was making this up, I really do.

      Us fans who enjoyed it do exist. I think a lot of us just aren’t very vocal. In my experience nearly everyone I knew liked it. But all of us have busy lives and don’t live on the internet and interact on that level. When I started hating The Walking Dead, I just stopped watching and moved on in life. Why be so toxic about it?

      I’m really glad to see a lot of people on here did enjoy it, and glad to see people who didn’t still being civil. But man the rudeness and childishness of others is downright embarrassing.

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    74. One thing I can’t stop thinking about… is it the end of the Starks?

      Bran won’t have kids, Jon is a Targaryen, Arya won’t marry and if she did wont she take his name?

      How does it work.. if Sansa marries again will she still be Sansa Stark?

      So is it the end of the Starks? I don’t like that thought.. even the Lannister’s, the Baratheon’s and the Aryn’s have more chance of their houses continuing.

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    75. ygritte:
      6thofhisname,
      “If their relationship had been framed as more intense, him having to kill her would have had way more impact.”

      Totally agree. I wish their relationship had been built up better. I don’t quite understand why something so important wouldn’t be. Though, it didn’t help that the two actors didn’t have the best chemistry together.

      There was also a structural limitation – they met too late in the story. The story required her to come to Westeros and Jon to go south. This did not happen until 8 (?) episodes before the relationship was in trouble. Their relationship started falling apart 2 episodes after their sex scene when we officially knew they were a couple.

      It was not convincing that they had a such great love that could support the ending we were given. They had not shared enough to be a “greek tragedy” couple.

      If Jorah has killed her then you could understand his agony. If Jaime has killed Cersei, Brienne or Tyrion then you could understand his agony.

      So many problems.

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    76. Gfx: But man the rudeness and childishness of others is downright embarrassing.

      No doubt. A lot of bitchiness in these threads lately. From both sides.

      “My opinion is better than yours!”

      “No, MY opinion is better than yours!”

      “Oh yea? Well my opinion can beat up your opinion!”

      And on and on it goes…

        Quote  Reply

    77. Mango,

      It also didn’t help that most of the audience already knew they were aunt/nephew when their relationship was just beginning. It’s hard to successfully sell a romance between an aunt/nephew in the first place. It made it a non-starter for a lot of people.

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    78. Mr Derp: No doubt.A lot of bitchiness in these threads lately.From both sides.

      “My opinion is better than yours!”

      “No, MY opinion is better than yours!”

      “Oh yea?Well my opinion can beat up your opinion!”

      And on and on it goes…

      Did you notice any of this after Tolkien’s LOTR?

      I think the majority can still watch and re-watch that saga with joy.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Mr Derp:
      Mango,

      It also didn’t help that most of the audience already knew they were aunt/nephew when their relationship was just beginning.It’s hard to successfully sell a romance between an aunt/nephew in the first place.It made it a non-starter for a lot of people.

      Exactly! So it is odd to build so much of the end on “the great love” between them that drove much of Jon’s motivation for the rest of the story.

      And for those that paid attention to the Jaime/Brienne story – many hoped that it would not end up “validating” a toxic love story with Cersei.

      So all these “love” stories may have left the viewers bruised rather than satisfied. Love stories are important to human beings whether we like to think so or not.

      And internal consistency in a story is important. If Jon is going to be motivated by love then the viewers must believe in that love based on the eralier parts of the story.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Mr Derp,

      Haha! Luckily this site has been pretty good in comparison to other sites. It’s a breath of fresh air from facebook and twitter, and my job (since my coworker just now complained again to me!)

        Quote  Reply

    81. Mr Derp,

      Right? That was the weirdest choice of editing as a watcher. First time Dany and Jon have sex, romantic music, cute butt reveal, but with voiceover from Bran about Dany’s brother and Lyanna being Jon’s legitimate parents. lol

      Though to be fair the only other main couple on the show were brother and sister…

        Quote  Reply

    82. Iceman240857:
      David, these posts will be missed!!Always great recaps to each one.

      I like Alyssa’s Wa Post reactions although I often disagree with her. This last one is no exceptionbut she is logical and well written so I respect that.

      And of course your review is spot on!

      Cheers!

      Thank you for reading them! The process of rounding up is entirely worth the fan response – Love you guys!

        Quote  Reply

    83. RG: Though to be fair the only other main couple on the show were brother and sister…

      This is true and I thought about that as I made my previous comment. I think a lot of people weren’t ok with Jaime and Cersei being together for the reason that they were brother and sister, but I also think their relationship was a bit more palatable to some because they were already in the relationship when the show began. I think it’s easier to accept it when it’s there from the start.

      Also, Cersei and Jaime were clearly villains in season 1. I think the audience generally accepts immoral choices such as incest from “bad guys” rather than “good guys”.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Team_Sansa: y reviewers I’m shocked at the sense of entitlement regarding a series that was better than anything in television history (and recent cinema history). I have loved this show and the books, and appreciate every minute I got to experience—even the boring Dorne scenes of 5 and the rushed season 8. Am I alone in this? I hope n

      Thanks, Team – Sansa, I’ve enjoyed your comments!

        Quote  Reply

    85. Arianacandle:
      Thank-you, Dave! And thank you for your awesome efforts in organizing these posts for so long. It must take forever.

      I thought so too! I was totally heartbroken by this. I really loved the call-back to Maester Aemon, “Love is the death of duty.” Jon has always had to make those haunting choices (as said to Tyrion, “It doesn’t feel right.”) while Dany never fulfills her dream, after being so determined to realize her dream. I thought that scene was so beautifully framed too and almost mythical with her dragon coming to fly her away.

      6thofhisname,

      I tend to agree. As crestfallen as I am that R+L=J didn’t result in the epicness I had hoped, it was quietly fitting for Jon. He’s never had an inheritance to rely on, he’s always been chosen by those around him based on who he is, not a name — by adversaries-turned-friends in the Night’s Watch, as Lord Commander, as King in the North, and by the free folk who were also enemies-turned-friends. Jon’s end fits his character. He’s of the North, of two mystical blood lines, a ‘song of ice and fire’, he’s always been an outsider even when he’s in the thick of things, it makes sense that he ventures beyond those same known realms in a country he loves with a people who don’t give a crap about any of that – kind of like he doesn’t 😉

      Although, I’m also heartbroken if that family never gets to see each other again. Well, I’m sure Sansa and Bran will meet up but I hope Jon and Arya aren’t parted from each other and from Sansa and Bran forever.

      But AMAZING music.

      It DOES take forever…but knowing that people are reading and enjoying the roundup is worth it. 🙂 Thanks for being you!

        Quote  Reply

    86. Sou:
      David, thank you for all this work you have put in for us. Your posts have always been favourites of mine.

      I think Dave Gonzalez nailed it: GoT had the impossible task of competing with GRRM’s unwritten novels. Emphasis on unwritten. Fans imagine how these books might be (if they ever get written) and of course everyone thinks the story will end how he/she wants it to end.
      I too was somewhat underwhelmed by the finale: I loved it up to Daenerys’ death, although it happened too fast, imo (and I still hurt for her and the decision to go after the Mad Queen ending for her), but the rest was weird. And I am one of those who would have wanted a more epic end for such an epic character such as Jon Snow, what with his secret parentage, dragon riding abilities, bravery, fighting skills, deep kindness… But then again, I had expected Ned Stark to be the main character of the show (I actually started watching it because Sean Bean was in it) and look what happened – and that was Martin’s choice, not the showrunners’. Then I thought Robb Stark was endgame – well, he wasn’t either. So I guess such an epic character as Jon having such an unepic ending should not surprise me.
      Still, I would like to see what happens to the 6 (one more though to swallow) kingdoms when the lords will have to choose a successor for Bran. Civil war, probably.

      Well thanks, Sou! Your comments have always been favourites of mine own.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Mr Derp,

      Very true. I definitely wasn’t a fan and didn’t think it was love as much as Cersei’s narcissism and their family’s dysfunction as a whole.

      I would have loved Jon to have a conversation with Dany about his issues with it instead of just pulling away and looking uncomfortable on multiple occasions.

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    88. House Monty:
      Seeing everyone shit on Season 8 has been more enjoyable than watching the season.

      Its amazing how these guys thought they could tell this story in six episodes.

      Huge misjudgment on their part. Goes to show these guys had no idea why people liked their show. They thought if they included spectacle and shocking twists people would eat it up. Nope.

      Thank you for enjoying my round up!

        Quote  Reply

    89. House Monty:
      Seeing everyone shit on Season 8 has been more enjoyable than watching the season.

      Its amazing how these guys thought they could tell this story in six episodes.

      Huge misjudgment on their part. Goes to show these guys had no idea why people liked their show. They thought if they included spectacle and shocking twists people would eat it up. Nope.

      Thank you for enjoying my roundup!

        Quote  Reply

    90. RG,

      Agreed. That needed more fleshing out. Especially if Jon’s inability to love her was one of the main reasons why Dany committed mass murder.

      I really would’ve loved to have a scene with Jon and Dany talking about Maester Aemon. It could be like a 30 second conversation for all I care, but I love those types of conversations. It enriches the story for me in a way that cgi and cock jokes can’t.

        Quote  Reply

    91. RG:
      Enharmony1625,
      I am glad the Starks made it through and have more control over their destinies, despite them being separated again. Definite silver lining.

      Yes. And though they may have different destinies and are physically separated, I choose to interpret the “pack survives” mentality as being more than just being physically together. It’s also about love, respect, and understanding with your family, which they all achieved in the end. Even though they are off on their own separate adventures, the pack still exists — they are all Starks (yes, even Bran to extent who was crowned Brandon Stark) and remain loyal to one another.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Mr Derp,

      Agreed. Aemon could have been included in any conversation with them really getting to know each other. Seriously other than “I named my dragon after my brothers, you lost two brothers too right?”
      They appear to not know anything about each other. Tyrion had to tell Jon what she did in Essos. Davos had to tell Dany what he did to earn his title.
      But they never talked.
      Robb and Talisa-who were both going to die very early in the series-had multiple conversations about their lives.
      Jaime and Brienne, Arya and Gendry, Sam and Gilly.
      Dany and Daario
      Jon and Ygritte
      Every couple had more conversation time than Jon and Dany.
      Another boat scene or traveling to Winterfell chat would not have gone amiss imo.

        Quote  Reply

    93. I also would’ve loved more scenes with Missandei and Dany in season 8. Just one more scene with them together before Missandei being captured would’ve helped articulate Dany’s descent into “madness”.

      Yes, we already knew they were close, but I don’t think they had a meaningful conversation since season 7 when Missandei briefly mentioned to Dany that she slept with Greyworm. And even that wasn’t much of a conversation anyway. They really hadn’t been shown to be besties since season 5. They barely spoke for 3 seasons.

      That relationship should’ve been revisited in season 8 if they wanted me to believe that Missandei’s death was enough to make Dany go off the deep end.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Sacred Lime,

      Speaking purely in traditional family name rules we knew it was the end of the “Stark” last name the moment Rickon died, since Arya and Sansa’s children (assuming they eventually had any) would take the name of the father, Bran wouldn’t have children, and Jon was a bastard (and later confirmed as a Targeryan and not a Stark). However in terms of actual bloodlines, the family would still live on assuming that any of Jon, Arya, or Sansa have children, since they all have 50% Stark blood in them.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Enharmony1625,

      Not sure if the phrase “The Last of the Starks” refers to the future of their family line. I think it’s more like Stark’s legacy is on their shoulder and they are the last of the Starks that stands. I don’t think Sansa and Arya are unable to have children, and I don’t think the ending for Jon is that he took vows and won’t father any children.

      He took a very different path – as some kind of Moses that led these people, Free Folk, into the future, now, that the Spring is finally here.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Adam,

      Perfectly valid interpretation, and perhaps it’s left a little open-ended for that reason. Certainly Arya and Sansa are in the best position to pass on the family name, and as Sean C. said, females can and have used their family name in the past in certain circumstances. And that would absolutely apply here: Sansa “Queen in the North and brother of the King” Stark, and Arya “Savior of Humanity and sister of the King & Queen” Stark.

      Furthermore, even though neither Arya or Sansa end the story with family prospects, it’s very possible and believable that either or both will eventually settle down with someone. But like I said, there is evidence and hints that seem to indicate that this may be the end of House Stark..

        Quote  Reply

    97. I also thought Amanda Marcotte’s recent and positive review of the episode at Salon was worthwhile (she has, in general, been IMHO an insightful commentator about the show).

        Quote  Reply

    98. Enharmony1625,

      It’s definitely the end of House Stark already for Bran. Brienne, Bran’s Commander of the Kingsguard, was wearing a House Raven sigil on her breastplate when she was filling out the White Book.

        Quote  Reply

    99. Inga:
      Milutin,

      That’s what happens with a premature resolution on the main conflict with an idee fix about “The Scouring of the Shire” in mind. Even Tolkien had problems with making “The Scouring of the Shire” appealing, even though it was about Sam getting agency and Frodo failing to re-connect with the world after the trauma of the great war and there was a good reason why “The Scouring of the Shire” didn’t make it to the screen.

      GRRM wanted to be very original and turn “The Scouring of the Shire” into the climax or the whole series. And here we are: subverted rules of storytelling backfired in the major way. The story of Daenerys breaking bad demanded a whole separate season, though even in such case it would have hardly worked.

      The only way the last 3 episodes of the GOT could work was dedicating them to dealing with Cersei and the problem of her baby solving the controversy between Jon & Dany along the road. And it’s really depressing that the creators went for a cheap shocker of Dany breaking bad, instead of answering the question of whether saving the world is worth the sacrifice of one innocent child. And that’s the fundamental question of every war or revolution or major social change and it has laready been raised in the show with Gendy and Shereen. So, really I’m now drawing the line at the end of Ep 3 and writing my own fan fiction of the endgame. Screw it.

      If you thought the story would end with Jon and Dany ruling the Seven Kingdoms together, then you’ve been watching the wrong show.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Young Dragon,

      You mentioned “The Americans” in your comment and it made me think about why I loved that ending so much and was so disappointed by the ending of GoT.

      “The Americans” was an excellent show. I liked it a lot. It broadcast parallel ti GoT but if you asked me two or three years ago which one I prefer I would say GoT without thinking. When “The Americans” ended last year with that beautiful last episode, I felt that it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. All the things I might not liked faded away compared to how effortlessly good that ending was. No one needed the showrunners to tell them what they wanted the episode to convey, what the motivations of characters were. The show spoke for itself.

      On the other hand, I still cannot recover from GoT ending a few days ago. I am not sure I will ever be able to watch the last 4 episodes ever again. I watched neither of the 4 again after they premiered. It has never happened to me with any of the previous 69 episodes. It was as if I was watching another show for the first 7 seasons and intruded into a completely different one in season 8. That is the only way I can rationalize to myself why I got invested so much for eight years for it to backfire so horribly in the last couple of weeks.

      So, to go back to comparison of two endings of before mentioned shows. I was afraid what the final episode of “The Americans” will bring. I dreaded that either Philip or Elizabeth are going to die or maybe even their daughter Paige, what their stand off with Beeman would bring. The two of them committed horrible crimes and it wouldn’t be undeserved. On the other hand, the entire series was framed so that everything we see was through their eyes, their perspective. The show made us root for them and understand what they were going through regardless of the cruelty of their job. And they didn’t die in the end which was only fair to the audience and consistent to the way they were portrayed. What’s more, the bittersweet ending was really there so expertly balanced and cutting through each character, not between them, giving each of them shades of happiness, relief and deep sadness.

      GoT had an ensemble of mostly grey characters. It decided without much nuance to divide them into two categories.

      Jon and Daenerys receieved the bitter part of the “bittersweet” (with Daenerys vilified beyond recognition in the last two episodes – a true mad heiress of her mad father, back to square one) and Jon becoming a Queenslayer and a kinslayer sent back to the Wall where he came from. Once a bastard, always a bastard, again back to square one. No matter what wondrous things happened to them both – the birth of dragons and coming back from the dead, for example, providing the world with a chance to defeat the AotD, they were back to where they were in the beginning or worse. Again a comparison with “The Americans” – for 7 seasons we were seeing Daenerys and her actions through her own eyes, she was the protagonist and look how her character was treated and how Philip and Elizabeth were treated in the end.

      The second category of characters was far numerous. Tyrion, Arya, Sansa and Bran, Bronn as well I guess, were whitewashed and rewarded the Disney outcome and received the sweet end of “bittersweet”.

      The only character I think received the truly bittersweet ending in GoT is Cersei (completely undeserved in my opinion and at the expense of Jaime’s redemption arc, whose character also fell back to where he was in the beginning after all the years and episodes of character growth).

      That is what I think was most jarring in Season 8 and its ending and why it provoked such divisions in fandom.

        Quote  Reply

    101. The finale was extremely emotional for me. I was teary-eyed throughout the episode both times I watched it, and I have been sad all week every time I think about it.

      I love Daenerys Targaryen, and what happened to her this season was one of the most tragic things I have ever seen. She is a good person. She has always been a good person. She has always tried to do the right thing, both in the books and the show. But she made a terrible mistake at her lowest point, and that cost her everything.

      Just thinking about the throne room scene brings me to tears. I have read people saying that it portrayed Dany as mad or evil. I don’t see it that way. In that throne room scene she was innocent and pure. She didn’t turn on Jon, even when Tyrion and Arya were sure that she would, even when he was her biggest threat. She just wanted to make the world a better place, like she has been doing for seasons by ending the slave trade in Essos and saving Westeros from the White Walkers. She came to believe that it was her destiny to make the world a better place. In the end she became blinded by this, but only in the end. Dany has not been mad the whole time like some fans are saying. It’s clear (both in the books and the show) that Dany has always been a good person trying her absolute hardest to the right thing in a world were the right thing is not always clear. She could see that Jon was a good person too, and knew that they would make a good team. She didn’t react with anger when Jon killed her. It was just shock.

      I still don’t know how I feel about Dany’s ending. It breaks my heart, but it was meant to. Her ending is written as a tragedy. Would I have liked for more time to be spent building up this moment? Yes. Would I have liked more explanation of why she decided to burn King’s Landing? Yes. It could have been a little better in this regard. But does that make it a bad ending? Not necessarily.

      I also love Jon Snow, and him having to kill Dany was absolutely heartbreaking. He was looking for any reason not to kill her right up until the last moment, but she was too blinded in that moment to see it. You could see that it was destroying him to do what he did, but he did it anyway because he thought that it was for the best. I feel like this scene will be a Jon POV in the books, because I was right there with him. I wanted Dany to show signs of regret. I wanted Dany to say that she would forgive Tyrion. I knew that if she didn’t, she was more likely to be a threat to the realm. But I also wanted Jon to forgive Dany and rule together, especially when she said that he had always known what it right. I felt Jon’s conflict, right up until he killed her. I believe he meant it when he said that she would always be his queen, and he cradled her as she died so that she would not be alone in that last moment.

      And Drogon… Drogon nudging his mother to wake up was the fucking tragic cherry on a tragic cake, and the way he picked up her up with such care was heartbreaking.

      The whole scene was beautiful. The acting, dialogue, set design… everything. The whole Red Keep in snow/ash has to be one of my favourite settings in the entire show. It was gorgeous. Especially when Drogon wakes up from under the snow and when he lands behind Dany giving the impression that she has wings.

      Tyrion seeing his siblings under the rubble was heartbreaking too. Dinklage killed it in this episode. His delivery of “and you burned a city” before throwing away his pin was chilling. I really felt that.

      The Dragonpit scene was OK but felt a bit off. The Edmure scene felt like out of place forced humour that made Sansa look like a bitch. I was OK with Bran being king for the reason’s Tyrion stated, and with Tyrion as Hand, the realm is under good leadership. Sansa asking for independence made sense after everything she and the North have been through.

      All of the other character’s endings were great.

      I loved Jon’s ending. Him saying bye to his siblings was very emotional. As was him reuniting with Ghost and the wildings, who clearly have a deep love and respect for him after everything he did to save them from the Night’s Watch and the White Walkers. Him leading them north of the wall to start a new life with a smile on his face was so nice and full of hope. My sad tears from the first half of the episode had turned to happy tears by this point. He definitely deserves a happy, peaceful life after all the hell he’s been through. Arya’s ending was exactly what I expected to be, and it was great, especially the ship with the Stark sails and head. Sansa being crowned Queen of the North was great too, even if she wasn’t my favourite character this season.

      So it was definitely bittersweet for me. I love Dany, she is one of my favourite characters, and her ending was very tragic. But lots of other characters that I love got relatively happy endings.

      Overall, the episode made me feel extremely strong emotions, both good and bad, for 75 solid minutes. And what is the point of fiction, if not to make us feel?

        Quote  Reply

    102. Allie:
      I guess I’m one of the few people who enjoyed the finale. I’m a book reader, show watcher and obsessive fan and my only major disappointment with the show is that it’s over and we didn’t get more. Could the series have stood for more episodes? Absolutely. Were there storylines that could’ve been tied neater or explored further? Sure. Did I enjoy every moment? Absolutely.

      I keep reading reviews where I see the phrase “the finale we deserved.” Are viewers that demanding? Sure there are things I would’ve wanted differently, but my goodness I feel so fortunate to have had access to such a brilliant, moving and wildly entertaining piece of fiction in my lifetime. How lucky we have been to get this complex and well-produced, well-performed television series.

      I guess I’ve just read so many of these nasty and nitpicky reviewers I’m shocked at the sense of entitlement regarding a series that was better than anything in television history (and recent cinema history). I have loved this show and the books, and appreciate every minute I got to experience—even the boring Dorne scenes of 5 and the rushed season 8. Am I alone in this? I hope not.

      No, you are not alone. I feel exactly the way you’ve described, and agree with your observations. I’ve loved the whole thing, including Season 8, and the finale.

      The only heartbreaking thing for me in the way GoT has ended is the ugly and undeserved attacks on Dan Weiss and Dave Benioff. Like the results or not, they poured their hearts into writing and producing this show and sacrificed over a decade of their lives sincerely trying to offer us the best that they could – only to be angrily told they’re incompetent and it’s not good enough. It’s like a virus of vitriolic groupthink has spread throughout a vocal minority who have made each other into un-fans and are determined to blame D&D and drag the rest of us into it.

      I feel nothing but gratitude to David Benioff and Dan Weiss. This was terrific. It will stand the test of time.

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    103. Mango,

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It supports one of my theories as to why so many people are unhappy or surprised at the fates of certain characters in the final episode. I remember that George asked D&D to stick to the same ending that he had envisioned for the books. This was an ending that he had created in the ’90s, and as your post pointed out, the audience for fantasy back then would have accepted and enjoyed that ending more.

      However, the audience for fantasy now is much larger and more diverse in terms of race and gender. This is why a lot of people expected something different from the ending, and they interpreted characters differently from how the smaller fantasy audience in the ’90s would have interpreted them. For example, as you mentioned, the trope that “All the beautiful and powerful women would turn out to be truly evil” is something that that smaller ’90s audience would have been fine with, but that much of today’s larger, diverse audience will have a real problem with.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Milutin,

      Jaime’s arc was bitter.

      Over the years, as it played on screen it was close to becoming one of the greatest identity/redemption character arcs ever seen in TV/fiction, one with complexity and nuance. It was played by an actor that seemed born for that role. The character’s evolution was not linear, it was backward and forward as life often can be. Then it was wiped cleaned and he was back to where we met him in Season 1. Whiplash – many critics spoke about in their recap of Epi5.

      GOT played to a very wide audience and many of the older fans and males really liked Jaime’s story of changes made in an adult’s life to become a better person. It resonated. After watching for years, then to see him fail in the last 2/3 episodes was like whiplash. Not only fail but it included him s saying bizarre things as if he lost his damn mind.

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    105. 6thofhisname,

      There was one thing I didn’t quite understand in the Starks’ farewell scene: when Jon told Arya that she could come visit him at the Wall, why did she say that she would never go back North again (or something like that)? We know that she would be exploring overseas, but many explorers do get to return to their homelands after sometime. Why couldn’t she have said something like she would certainly visit him when her travels were over (or even in between travels)? I love Jon and Arya’s sibling bond, so this last conversation between them depressed me somewhat.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Mango,

      I don’t think Jaime failed at all. He never reverted to his evil ways. He just couldn’t let his sister die alone, even if she deserved to. I think that’s it’s own type of honour.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Northern Breeze,

      I have no quarrel with anyone who finds the show’s writing satisfying, but saying that Benioff and Weiss “sacrificed over a decade of their lives” is to me a dubious framing. They were handsomely remunerated to the tune of many millions of dollars, and by their own admission it made their careers.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Undead Elephant,

      But then what are we to make of him sleeping with Brienne only to leave the next morning? What type of honour is that? Again, one of the decisions on part of the show runners I don’t understand. Why not just leave the Jaime-Brienne relationship platonic the culmination of it being the beautiful scene of knighting a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms?

        Quote  Reply

    109. Milutin,

      I don’t approve of him leaving at all, but it wasn’t just one night. Based on this season’s timeline he was there for a few weeks and planned to stay. We saw him in her room multiple times-he had a discussion with Tyrion about it in Winter town and ravens were sent about Missandei and Rhaegal.

      It just seems like a one night stand because it all happened in one episode.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Sean C.,

      True, not a selfless sacrifice or one unrewarded. But the kind of personal sacrifice any wholehearted commitment entails, this one involving 24/7 effort for years on end. They’ve given much of themselves and deserve thanks.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Undead Elephant:
      Mango,

      I don’t think Jaime failed at all. He never reverted to his evil ways. He just couldn’t let his sister die alone, even if she deserved to. I think that’s it’s own type of honour.

      You may be right….but his end was not great. Dead crushed by bricks, sigh. With his evil twin – as Tyrion would say “So final”. And the lead up to it, sigh.

        Quote  Reply

    112. RG,

      Yes, you’re right.It wasn’t a one-night stand. But does that really make a big difference? He still left her heartbroken, crying and begging him not to go.

        Quote  Reply

    113. Milutin,

      I love The Americans as well, and it’s currently my fourth favorite television show. I watch a lot of tv, so that’s not an insult. I really enjoyed the finale, but I also had some issues with it, and with the series as a whole. I won’t go into the details because this isn’t the place for it, but I will say I think one character got the shaft in the finale, and the confrontation that has been built up since episode 1, while good, could have been better.

      As for GOT’s finale, the only issue I had was Bronn. I would have been fine with him becoming a lord in the Reach, but not Lord Paramount. The ending montage with the Starks was the perfect way to end the series. Other highlights were Tyrion taking the destruction of King’s Landing and discovering Jaime and Cersei, Dany’s epic victory speech, both of Tyrion’s conversation with Jon, Jon killing Danerys, the dragonpit meeting, Brienne writing Jaime’s deeds in the White Book, and the Stark family goodbye. That’s not to say I don’t understand the criticisms people have, I just don’t agree with them. I hope Martin completes the book series so all of you can hopefully get a better ending to the characters.

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    114. Undead Elephant:
      Mango,

      I don’t think Jaime failed at all. He never reverted to his evil ways. He just couldn’t let his sister die alone, even if she deserved to. I think that’s it’s own type of honour.

      I am not a scriptwriter but I would have made him go to her. Meet with her (and perhaps Euron) – beg them to give in to save the innocents and city. They refuse. He begs her for their child – she tells him that child was lost and she is now carrying Euron’s kid. Euron threatens to kill him. He leaves, takes a detour to ring the bells of surrender and thus try to save the city by triggering the surrender. He either dies then (if they must) or better, he is able to escape into the city in melee during the destruction. Cersei and Euron are crushed in the Keep.

      But what do I know? The is GRRM’s story and D&D story.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Inga,

      You didn’t pay attention to what happen on screen is made clear to me. Yes Tyrion wants to end Cersei for her betrayal. But instead of being selfish he decide to lay his own desires down and thinks about the innocent people of KL, that needed to be saved, that means that Cersei needs to give up the throne, which only happens if Cersei is certain she will live. So he choose the innocent people of KL instead of a not so innocent dwarf.

      As for Emilia, as you saw in her interview Dany is every personal to her, she always wanted Dany to end as the hero, Dany was there when she was sick etc For her to see the truth about Dany is even harder than for us fans, she was still Dany number one fan as it comes to the character. If she can see that it made sense why can’t the fans. She even talks about noted she got while shooting that make sense know, she needed to play scenes more “dark” then was written on screen. Meaning D&D wanted to keep it a big secret for the rest of the cast.

      And your right Emilia is just an actor. So maybe we should look more to psychologist and political/ historical papers and thoughts that have happened in the past. There were even articles written by fans of the show that happened to work in those fields that didn’t spoke that positive about Dany, and that was back in season 3.

      So I can see why you can’t let go of Dany, but look back at the show the little hints, the way Dany speaks to others. That she even dismiss Baristan to crucify the masters, she didn’t listen then to Baristan. Her emotion got the better of her back then. You can see even back then that this was not a happy ending for Dany. Or how else would you look at that many fans figure that out back then? I can tell you that as far as I know people can’t look into the future to look at the last season back then, they derived that from what had happened with her character until then.

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    116. Milutin,

      I wonder if the day will come where someone on the internet doesn’t have to be thanked simply for being respectful and courteous. A man can dream. Anyway, you are very welcome.

        Quote  Reply

    117. I started playing “Reigns: Game of Thrones” around one week ago, and the funniest decision I took while playing as King Tyrion was to appoint a brothel madam as Master of Coin. 😂

      Well, when I saw Bronn named Master of Coin I had a sort of déjà-vu… I think the writers took this decision basically the same way I did: without thinking, just for fun! 😀

      Well, this could apply to many other choices they made in this season, I guess… 😀

        Quote  Reply

    118. krupke:
      kevin1989,

      How did you feel about Ned killing the NW deserter in the first episode?How did you feel about Sansa killing Ramsay with his own dogs?How did you feel about Jon’s words when he killed the Wildling warger in S3 or when he killed Janos Slynt in season 5? How did you feel about Bran telling Jon in the final episode that he was ‘exactly where he needed to be’ or inferring to Tyrion that he came down to KL to be king?

      I answer everything now instead of 2 those 2 later: Those were beheadings where the victim was death in a moment. You can’t compare that to the torture Dany put those she crucified in. (which was also layered with emotion which should never be present in giving somebody a sentence). As for the beheading of the boy by Ned. That boy was a deserter of the NW, the NW and the seven kingdoms had a rule of deserters, which is implemented for the safety of Westeros, 90% were rapists, murders etc. Their punishment was the wall and they knew that if they desert they would die. Do I think Ned should do it, yes and no, maybe the rule should be that a deserter should have been send back to the wall and let them deal with it. That wildling Warger was about to kill Jon, what a strange comparison to compare somebody who is defending himself and a civilian against somebody deciding to crucify people. Janos Slynt knew the rules of the NK. Obey the lord commander of the punishment is death. Jon didn’t kill Janos, Janos killed himself by defying those rules.

      It’s strange that people really compare those to the crucifying of the masters that was done in an emotional outburst, instead of objectively weighting out the best punishment. Where those above were known rules that may or may not be great rules that’s up to debate, were at least weighted. Instead of going the barbaric way Dany had chosen where those who she punished died maybe a week later, that’s just sadistic in my eyes. But if you think that’s normal torturing people without a trial, I will let you have that opinion. Personally I don’t condone that.

      As for Sansa: Sansa’s act was dark with the dead of Ramsay, that was not merciful and yes she should have ended her with a trial, in a less sadistic way. So yes that was evil. But still a different with the crucifying. Ramsay died 30 seconds later, instead of a week later.

      As for Bran. I can’t give a answer to that, because we are missing information. Did he saw the future back in episode 8×01. If no, he probably saw Dany being killed by Jon. Then he was not evil. If yes, it all depends. Then he saw what Dany was going to do. Was there a better option, or was the other option even worse and maybe nihilistic. Did he have the power to stop it? Or as I suspect did he warn Tyrion in episode 2.

      but if Bran knew, and let it happen so he could be king for himself, yes bran is evil. But unfortunate we are missing some information about this Bran wanting to be king.

        Quote  Reply

    119. kevin1989,

      I was not a Daenerys fan. I thought Daenerys and Cersei were similarly terrible. I knew Daenerys was a major threat to Westeros because she had weapons of mass destruction.

      But.

      Even I was surprised at how bad she turned out.

      Maybe her many fans did not have enough character information for the events in Epi 5. I am not a scriptwriter but – For example, if in Season 5 in Essos, she had heard bells and had a minor maniac episode that would be a stronger clue. If she had burned some of another the city may be under some “grey” circumstances then there would be more advance notice. But when that happens in epi 72 of 73 episodes, it feels like a bit of cruelty to fans. They now have no time to recover (perhaps find a new hero to support) and perhaps that a trick has been played.

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    120. RG,

      I agree with you, the story would have been better of if it would have been 2 seasons with a total 5/7 episodes each.

      Mr Derp,

      True I love those scenes. Like the scene with Robert en Cersei in season 1. One of the best of that season.

        Quote  Reply

    121. Milutin,

      The Americans ending was brilliant, very great emotional episode.

      Young Dragon,

      Which is your favorite show/ending?

      About Bronn, how could he become warden of the reach if he was part of the small counsel. He doesn’t have family who could keep his seat safe.

      But funny is that if he is Warden, the unsullied need to listen to him.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Mango,

      To add to that, I think Cersei and Jaime dying together is very poetic storywise. So I personally wouldn’t change that. But what if the fight between Jaime and Euron was because Jaime wanted to take Cersei, I think that would have been better. A fight over the child. Or what if Euron comes when they are fleeing, getting killed there, and that the fight with Euron made it that they couldn’t escape on time, letting the way out be crumpled the moment they set foot into the basement. That would have been better and still Euron would have killed them somehow.

        Quote  Reply

    123. Mango,

      True, I still think that the season should have been longer. I would have love to see Dany in those 2 weeks we missed between episode 4 and 5. What if we saw her mumbling in her own. “The people chose Cersei, the people chose Cersei, they will choose Jon” footsteps Grey worm walks in. And a scene with Grey worm where he talks to Dany where he gives his opinion that the people of Mereen chose their freedom, the people of KL are guilty for not taken their freedom.

      I think if we got some scenes like that it would have played out much nicer. So yes for me the last season was great, but not perfect as which I would have hoped. Many episode rank 9+ with me I think more then 50% but I don’t know if the final will even reach close to that. I think it will be around 8/8,5 meaning it will be for me in the bottom quarter. But if I compare the final to many other last seasons/ last episodes, of the many shows I watched, it’s not that low, only my expectations were high for GoT. and I decided after episode 3 to thrown my expectation out of the window and just enjoy.

        Quote  Reply

    124. kevin1989:
      Mango,

      To add to that, I think Cersei and Jaime dying together is very poetic storywise. So I personally wouldn’t change that. But what if the fight between Jaime and Euron was because Jaime wanted to take Cersei, I think that would have been better. A fight over the child. Or what if Euron comes when they are fleeing, getting killed there, and that the fight with Euron made it that they couldn’t escape on time, letting the way out be crumpled the moment they set foot into the basement. That would have been better and still Euron would have killed them somehow.

      I glad you found it poetic. Many others did, although I would argue that many of these persons were never big Jaime fans anyway.

      I also see your points on how it could be improved. And I agree the encounter with Euron was so bizarre. Your suggestion seems decent.

      I thought it betrayed everything Jaime has tried to do over the last decade. Vox had an article that discussed by both dying, in the same manner, felt so wrong. It was a good piece if you have any interest. Many critics wrote why from a story point of view it did not work for them.

        Quote  Reply

    125. Sacred Lime,

      If Sansa had a child outside of marriage, she as Queen could legitimize the child as a Stark. If she married a commoner, the name Stark would be passed on to the child. If she married someone from a smaller House, they would either take the name Stark, or allow the child to be raised as one.

        Quote  Reply

    126. Gfx,

      This so much.

      Its soooooo sad but negativity is louder than positivity. Negativity is much more contagious.
      I have an example too

      Today I met up with a friend for our usual GOT walk during lunch break.
      While we walking we ran into a someone we know. We told him we were discussing Game of Thrones. His response was, and I quote – “I wouldn’t know I haven’t seen it, but I heard it sucks now?”

      Honestly, you would have NEVER EVER heard that before this year. And you shouldn’t hear that this year. But like I said, negativity spreads like wildfire. Its so so sad.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Young Dragon,
      Which is your favorite show/ending?

      Well, GOT is my favorite show, but my favorite finale was The Shield with Michael Chiklis. That’s the only finale I thought was perfect.

      I didn’t even consider that with Bronn. Another reason not to like his new position. His banter with Davos was fun, though.

        Quote  Reply

    128. Mango,

      I’m a big Jaime fan, as you might recall, with him being tied with Brienne as my 3/4 favourite character, and I enjoyed his ending. I’m sorry you feel it was bitter; I really don’t see it that way.

      He achieved a lot of good things through his story arc, so much of what can be seen in Brienne and his relationship with Tyrion. I don’t think Brienne would be where she is at the end of the story without Jaime and what impact he had on her. The bitter part is that he was unable to break free from his love of Cersei, but I find that to be both believable and interesting. He stood by her through so much, had three children with her, and a true love affair that lasted most of their lives. It makes perfect sense that when it came down to it, this was the woman he loved.

      One thing I can agree on is that we maybe didn’t need the love scene between him and Brienne (or the fight with Euron), but it’s not enough to sour me on his arc. I find it very moving and every bit as complex as it was throughout the whole series.

      For better or worse, Cersei was his family. I find some parallels/similarities with Tyrion, because he both hated her and loved her as his family. Tyrion wanted to save her. So I think when faced with the real possibility of Cersei’s death, why wouldn’t Jaime relapse and go back to try and save her and be with her? I dunno.. it works for me. It’s tragic and beautiful, and in the end, his deeds are recorded for posterity in the Book of Brothers. That scene reduces me to copious tears every time!

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    129. Couple that with the massive backlash to Game of Thrones’ final two seasons — where shorter episode orders led to curiously rushed and truncated storytelling — and you find the two right at the cusp of their power, precisely at the moment when they need to be incredibly careful in their next steps, because their next project will be read through the lens of the problems with these final two seasons of the show.

      Todd VanDerWerff absolutely spot on about D&D & their troubled legacy.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Dee Stark,

      This is one of the reasons I’m choosing to remain far more on the positive side of things. I have my criticisms of this season and the finale, but I also loved a lot about the ending, and I feel very satisfied. As such, amidst all the hyperbolic negativity, I will remain positive. I love this show, I love many things about how it ended, and I will rewatch it for many, many, many years to come!

        Quote  Reply

    131. Mango,

      oh Jaime is my favorite character of the saga, I love his character. But for me it was more, he went back to Cersei because Brienne was too good for him, he judge himself morally very harsh, he though Cersei was on his level. For me somebody who thinks the horrors he did (Which he did) was evil and wrong, tells me his moral compas changed from bad to the best of the show. He judge his deeds with for instance pushing Bran out of the window as evil. Would it be morally right if he could forgive himself. Maybe it is, maybe not, for me him seeing it as something un-redeemable made me feel Jaime moral was even higher then before.

      I hope if good old George goes that route we will get a nice look into Jaime’s mind. I think in the books this story happen before the long night, and brienne/Jaime together will happen next book and at the end Cersei is gone and KL is in the hand of griff. So I think this story moves faster in the books.

      Dee Stark,

      Same here I had a buddy that defended last week Dany going crazy, and said things like, it was already there since seasons ago.

      This week he stated he hated the ending, it was rushed, What was the point of Aegon revelation. Bran King stupid make no sense.
      And now comes the kicker, now he stated the show destroyed Dany by showing her that evil.
      So yes he probably read to much online between episode 5 and 6. And changed his mind because of it. I didn’t say that to him, it’s his decision to change stances and not going to say he’s wrong, it’s his opinion. But it made clear that the hate is somehow a hype and you need to hate it to the core or you no part of the group or something.

      I agree that the story wasn’t perfect and there were some big mistakes in this season, even 1 episode more would have upgraded it and would have felt more natural. But still the final is far from a 1. I say a 7 is reasonable, just average with a low GoT rating.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Young Dragon,

      The shield was great, great ending indeed. One of my favorite finals.

      For me the ending of Six feet under remains my favorite.

      Enharmony1625,

      I think they should have added a scene where he looked at Brienne while she was sleeping, maybe seeing a tear in his eye. And then getting out of bed writing a letter to Brienne, where he says what he thinks, Brienne is too good for him. Then after him leaving she could find that letter read it and it add another layer.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Enharmony1625,

      I can understand how you can feel like that – but it does not work like that for me. But I can understand it.

      For me, Cersei had just placed an assassination contract of him and he was still so possessed? He must be a total idiot, almost mentally ill. I like the article written here last week that focused on the child as the cause of his concern. And of course, their shared history and twinship. He may have done similarly to help Tyrion, I suppose.

      But besides that the flow of the story for him was poor.

      I do not really care about the book. I hated seeing Brienne left exactly where we met her – we met her as guard to Renly. And at least she cared about Renly. She is the new Meera.

        Quote  Reply

    134. The question of whether Martin will ever finish the Song of Ice and Fire books that gave rise to this series has been a pretty uncertain thing for years in Game of Thrones fandom….there’s a whole TV show that gave away some of his best twists, since Benioff and Weiss adapted what amounted to his outline for his final two books.

      But — surprise! The response to Game of Thrones’ final season has been … mixed, and “mixed” is me trying to put it diplomatically. If season eight had been a massively acclaimed, deeply beloved final season of television, it’s easy to imagine that Martin might have just given up.

      But since it hasn’t been, he now has a huge opening to waltz through, which is labeled, “We, the Game of Thrones fans of the world, would like an ending that makes slightly more sense, please.” And since it’s enormously rare for the reputation of a TV show’s finale to improve over time, well … that door is only going to open wider.

      Another gem from the Vox article, on why GRRM ultimately emerges as one of the winners of the season.

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    135. 6thofhisname: Jon didn’t deserve his ending

      We are so accustomed to men killing their girlfriends/wives; it’s really so cliche. Typical man. Typical ending. How can anyone feel sympathy for him? Just because he is handsome and brooding? Where is Drogon when we need him?

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    136. The way I see this scene is that, for this moment, Jon Snow is unofficially king — because he’s the only one with the power to get by Drogon and get close enough to stop Daenerys. And Tyrion is his unofficially his Hand. Tyrion has failed at giving advice for years, but this time, when it really counts, he’s able to give both the right advice and sway his liege.

      James Hibberd on the scene between Jon and Tyrion when Jon visits Tyrion in his cell pre-stabby times. Very nicely put.

        Quote  Reply

    137. kevin1989,

      Yes, while not very original, this type of parting with Brienne would be less bitter and sadistic to both characters. instead they made him try to leave like a bat out of hell. Tell you D&D wanted him destroyed as a character after years of his evolution. Why do that to the fans of both Jaime and Brienne – was that supposed to be fun? He jumped into front of a bear protect this person, knighted her – but D&D could not find something better than ghosting?

        Quote  Reply

    138. AAuteur: Worth the read, for those that dig that kind of thing

      Definitely. The Vulture site definitely covered the spread of opinions about the finale. This essay was indeed the most resonant (yay, Sean T. Collins, Mr. Boiled Leather). I was so caught up in reading the various lengthy perspectives on the site, I was late to my gotomeeting. I blame you. 🙂

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    139. Isabelle: James Hibberd on the scene between Jon and Tyrion when Jon visits Tyrion in his cell pre-stabby times. Very nicely put.

      With GOT, Hibberd acts almost like an HBO employee. He has traded access to GOT for any real independent viewpoint.

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    140. 6thofhisname:
      Most of the people that I know that were disappointed with the finale are using the reason that Jon didn’t deserve his ending, because they see it as a punishment. I was one of those people until I got out of my feelings and realized that we were all just being selfish.

      All of us went in looking at what we wanted for Jon, instead of actually listening to Jon when he repeatedly tells us what he wants for Jon. And it’s not the throne.

      What he actually receives is a reward and not a punishment. Jon is tasked with being the NW Lord Commander. He literally gets his own castle and gets to protect the realm of the Free Folk who are now his allies and see him as the man who saved them from the NK and honored his promise to give them lands. He’s probably unofficially their King Beyond The Wall.

      There is no AotD so the area is stabilized and at peace.

      He also has the prospect of getting visits from family and old friends.

      He gets to spend his time ranging with Ghost and Tormund. Doing what he loves.

      When you get past what you thought you wanted for Jon and what you though he deserved and think about what he really wanted, it really changes the perspective and you realize he did end up in a good place. I’m good with that.

      I’m also good with the rest of the Starks finally being able to control their own destinies and coming out on top after seasons of seeing them get tortured and betrayed.

      Queen of the North
      King of 6 Kingdoms
      King Beyond the Wall
      Queen of what’s west of Westeros lol

      I completely agree. Our only difference is that this is kinda the ending I wanted for Jon all along. LOL.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Mango:

      With GOT, Hibberd acts almost like an HBO employee. He has traded access to GOT for any real independent viewpoint.

      He still does some decent writing. Look at how he describes the dragonpit scene:

      This arena once housed dragons and the ground is littered with bones from dragon skeletons — they’re basically in a Targaryen graveyard to discusses the ramifications of the death of the Mother of Dragons.

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    142. What I thought intriguing about where the author and show runners ultimately took the series was that they made the embodiment of humanity (a person completely dedicated to the understanding of the human story who possesses thorough knowledge of the vicissitudes and failures of character, ambition, self-delusion, self-sacrifice, anger, fear, corruption, love, spiritual longing to balance awe and wonder in service of everyday life, the past and the future) King of the Six Kingdoms.

      In doing so, they empowered Bran the Broken, a stand-in for the story-telling impulse which lies at the heart of humanity and the character who was the red blooded sigil of the author’s and show runners’ noble house of storytelling, to fully involve himself in the practical world of everyday life.

      How much better the world would be if its leaders were persons like Joseph Campbell or Robert Graves , or Bran the Broken. Persons who are immersed in and intimately understand the myths and stories and mental constructs which actually determine and rule the practical world of everyday life and everyone in it.

      A very interesting ending. The creative kids from high school finally got to rule the world in the show’s conclusion. No more predictable Student Council types (such types exist in all countries and in all ages) who continually fuck things up despite their best intentions because they cannot see beyond themselves and comprehend the whole.

      The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

      In time, Samwell Tarly’s suggestion that the King be elected, in part, by common folk will no doubt be implemented. The Electors of the New Holy Roman Empire, however, were a valuable first start.

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    143. I think one of the things that this show has done better than most shows is present characters that come in many shades of gray, which made it possible to cheer and root for characters that were often hard to see as either villains or heroes because depending on the circumstances they walked the line in between, or showed traits of either depending on the situation

      In a sense, the entire show was always a bit like the “blue/gold dress” photo circulating a while back where some people saw something and others a very different thing. It really always came down to perspective, and here the show intentionally skewed things by presenting us things from a certain perspective, which may cloud how we saw certain characters, and the same happened to how characters saw each other, Tyrion being the best example of this (I’ll come back to this later). That is why I think there has been a lot of outrage or criticism from some about the path of certain characters, while others have the opposite view of things.

      Personally speaking, I think that since episode 1 of the series the show established its moral code exemplified at its extremes by the two main families in the story, the Starks and the Lannisters.

      I always saw that duality something like this:

      1.
      (S) Put the interest of others ahead of yours
      (L) Put your interests above all else

      2.
      (S) Love/defend your own above all else
      (L) Love/defend your own if convenient

      3.
      (S) The right thing to do may be bad for you (the circumstances decide what is right)
      (L) The right thing to do is what is best for you (you decide what is right)

      4.
      (S) Destruction of your enemies should only be carried out when necessary
      (L) Destruction of your enemies is always necessary

      5.
      (S) Alliances and peace are based on trust
      (L) Alliances and peace are based on fear

      6.
      (S) Someone who is not your ally or supporter is not necessarily your enemy
      (L) Anyone who is not your ally is your enemy

      7.
      (S) The end doesn’t justify the means
      (L) The end justifies the means

      Ned and Tywin are the obvious extremes here, with one being pure S and the other pure L. Needless to say the Starks as a whole were mostly (S), with Sansa being the interesting one because in earlier seasons she was the one Stark with the most Lannister traits, but as she grew she became much more like the Starks.

      Tyrion is the flip side, being the most Stark like of the Lannister’s.

      Cersei is interesting because in the first few seasons the one Stark quality she was presented as having was loving her own above all else (with her own being her children and Jaime). Here is the blind spot that Tyrion had with her. From his perspective, loving/defending her own always aligned with putting her interests above all else. He noticed that for Tywin what was good for the family was always conveniently also good for him, but for Cersei he never noticed this. That is why he kept believing he could appeal to her maternal instinct. In truth, when Cersei had to pick between her interests and those of her children, she picked her own and Tommen paid with his life for it (his entire rule she put her interests over his).

      Jaime’s arc was great because he was the most 50/50 character of all, and his characteristics were often in conflict with one another, but with time he did become more Stark like too, and him going to Cersei was actually in line with that change. He wasn’t going there out of self interest to be with the person he loved, he went there thinking he could protect Cersei from an imminent destruction.

      Tormund is another interesting character because the way he was presented early on, he was basically a villain, but when you think about his own moral code, and why he did what he did, he always had a lot of the typical Stark traits. However it wasn’t until we started seeing him from Jon’s point of view as a pretend wildling that we could see that his actions after he became Jon’s friend were actually still very much in line with his actions before ever meeting him, even if before he was doing some very awful things.

      Of course the most contentious of all is Dany. From the get go she was presented as someone sympathetic so we felt attached to her, and saw her as one of the heros when perhaps whe shouldn’t have. Her very first flirtation with power was after Drogo killed her brother and then subsequently they attacked Mirri’s village. We were made to feel Dany was the victim, when in reality the victim was Mirri and Dany the tyrant. Drogo and her (since Drogo was acting on her behalf) destroyed her village, killed her loved ones, and caused her all kinds of suffering. She struck back at her captors the only way that she could, and Dany retaliated against her in the most brutal way possible. Yet I’m willing to bet most people saw it as righteous and justice being served. As she moved one, her moral code was also always very much like Tywin’s with the sole exception being that she would absolutely die to defend her own people and those she loved, and here lies the reason why she torched KL. She never saw the people there as her people.

      She always thought she was right because she said so (in some instances she actually was right, in other’s not, but up to that point, when she wasn’t she had someone to steer her away from acting like a tyrant). For those who think that her character arc this season was too rushed, or that her villain turn wasn’t developed properly, I’d ask you to go back to her beginning as a Khalessi and start comparing if on every instance she was more Ned or Tywin in her behavior, and you’ll see that from the get go, she was basically Tywin, but with a lot more firepower, and a much more open willingness for mass annihilation if it served her purposes.

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    144. Colin Dougherty,

      The trouble is that the way we saw Bran behave does not suggest any depth of wisdom, empathy, or understanding of the human heart.

      Take a look at what he did with Meera.

      Think about how he informed Jon of his parentage. Or not!

      Actually we just never saw/heard enough of Bran understand that he had the qualities you describe.

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    145. Quinton O’Connor:

      When you get past what you thought you wanted for Jon and what you though he deserved and think about what he really wanted, it really changes the perspective and you realize he did end up in a good place. I’m good with that.

      All very, very true. I think the frustration or sense of wrongness, at least for me, comes from the sense that he’s not going to be remembered as the hero and good man he is, instead as a treacherous Queenslayer and kinslayer, banished forever in punishment for his crimes. Jon may not care too much about what others think of him, but it certainly irks my little Jon-stanning heart! 😅

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    146. I have tried to post this four times, but it just keeps disappearing. I’m not sure what’s up with it, so I’ll try to split it into smaller chunks? 🤷‍♀️

      I haven’t really been able to put my thoughts into words on this episode properly till now. I hope I’m not too late to join the fray!

      At first, I thought “Okay, not what I expected, but this is good, just a few things that really annoyed me, but I can let them slide.” But now several days have passed, the things that annoyed me have been dwelling and the things I liked seem to be slipping away a bit.

      I think my Jon-megafan status is swaying my opinion to be honest. I feel his ending is such a proverbial middle-finger to the guy who has given his life and spent this entire story fighting for humanity and for people’s best interests (truthfully, only he and Dany had suffered and shared the same passion for saving people). Yet Dany is no more and Jon is shafted to the wall, or north of the wall, never to return or see his family again.

      I just feel it’s a poor ending for him. I’ve seen a lot of people saying it’s where he most wants to be and truthfully, I call bullshit on that. Wouldn’t Jon be much happier at home, in Winterfell, supporting and being there for Sansa (I know he has no desire to rule anywhere), spending the rest of his days in his childhood home – rather than wandering with nomadic wildlings north of the wall or basically just babysitting rapists and thieves at the wall? We know Jon enjoyed his time with Ygritte, but I don’t really remember seeing other times where he looked like he was saying to himself “Gee, being a wildling is so much fun!” I honestly feel he would have been happier so many other places and that ultimately, he shouldn’t have been banished back to square one of his story – back at the bloody wall, where he was murdered and where he suffered constant torment.

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    147. Part II

      I also have a huge problem with Tyrion accepting they both killed Dany- Jon being the one to draw his dagger, but Tyrion being the one to incite him to do it. Yet Tyrion gets to live out the rest of his days as Hand of the king, a position we know he loves and is good at, while Jon gets shipped off to a cold and bleak life (so they think – whether he just goes off on his own, we will never know I guess, but the point is that that is where they’re sending him). It seems so universally unfair.

      I feel a frustration that R+L=J, after decades of theorising and secrecy, in the end, just boiled down to a plot device that had absolutely no effect on Jon himself and only served as yet another nail in the Dany-going-mad coffin. At no point this season did we see the impact that had on Jon. Not once. We didn’t see it from his side whatsoever and I find that so immensely frustrating. I guess it came down to the time issue – but when one of your central characters finds out a life-altering fact about themselves, that challenges everything they ever thought about themselves and then not even once to explore how he himself feels about it, seems unforgivable. It feels so pointless, so hollow, such a waste of everybody’s time. Why include it? A slight variation could have made it somewhat worthwhile, with Jon feeling the weight of duty – he is the rightful heir to the throne, he needs to do his duty and save the realm from the woman he loves, who is sitting the throne unlawfully. If we had seen him discuss with Tyrion what it meant to him, to be Rhaegar’s son, to have this duty to the realm from birth, magnified now in adulthood by the fact that he was raised Ned’s son, who breathed duty and honour till his last, then that could have been gripping. Instead we get Jon ‘my queening’ and looking lost and, to be honest, stupid, in his last meaningful dialogue scene.

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    148. I have tried to post the last part four times or so. I don’t get why it won’t post- there’s no swear words in it, I promise 😇

      It was just to express dissatisfaction with not seeing the council discuss what happened to Jon. I imagine it’s because there was no logical way to have that discussion go. Yarn and Dornish what’s-his-face-guy have no ground to stand on because they were supporting someone who, in the end, didn’t have the best claim to the throne and then committed far more atrocities than her hated father ever did. Jon did the realm a favour (though I’m sure he wouldn’t look at it that way) and he saved everyone once before with the NK and the AOTD (even though Arya got the kill shot and Dany’s armies were the human shield- Jon can certainly claim that he also saved humanity). I am also shocked they were happy to appease Greyworm, a man who led his troops to slaughter thousands of innocent civilians on the streets of KL – so Jon’s life was the price paid to get rid of the unsullied. Doesn’t seem terribly fair.

      Anyway, maybe my dozens of post attempts will show up and drown us all in my frustrated, inane complaints. I hope not!!! Sorry for rambling.

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    149. Oh and Dee, I initially tried to post this in response to your question on the music article, but it disappeared there too.

      I hope you enjoyed it!!

        Quote  Reply

    150. Che,

      This is how I feel about Varys too. He was such an interesting character in the early seasons. Was he sinister? Was he an agent for the people? Was he magical, or blessed by the Lord of Light? What was his destiny?

      As it turned out, he was just one more person to add to a “betrayal” list to justify Dany losing her mind on the people of Kings Landing.

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    151. Che,

      I’m enjoying your posts. Not rambling at all, nor are your complaints inane. I’m finding it’s helpful to vocalize all the things that went wrong, so I can appreciate what went well :).

        Quote  Reply

    152. Che,

      And when you take into account the build-up to this revelation (it was the major event in 2 consecutive season finales, accompanied by some of the best and most uplifting scores of Ramin Djawadi – “Tower” and “Truth”), the audience was, in my opinion, cheated into believing that it would mean so much more on so many levels (and that each of those would be properly addressed in the coming final season):
      1. personal (his relations with so many characters and with himself),
      2. political (the heir to the Iron Throne),
      3. strategic (the dragon rider in the Great War – how disappointing that no one took a hint he’s a Targaryen when he mounted Rheagal, but then Daenerys would not be able to shamefully ask him to keep his true origins hidden)
      4.prophetic (The Prince That Was Promised)

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    153. Milutin:
      Che,

      And when you take into account the build-up to this revelation (it was the major event in 2 consecutive season finales, accompanied by some of the best and most uplifting scores of Ramin Djawadi– “Tower” and “Truth”), the audience was, in my opinion, cheated into believing that it would mean so much more on so many levels (and that each of those would be properly addressed in the coming final season):
      1. personal (his relations with so many characters and with himself),
      2. political (the heir to the Iron Throne),
      3. strategic (the dragon rider in the Great War – how disappointing that no one took a hint he’s a Targaryen when he mounted Rheagal, but then Daenerys would not be able to shamefully ask him to keep his true origins hidden)
      4.prophetic (The Prince That Was Promised)

      I think, perhaps, part of GRRM subverting the ‘hidden king’ trope (such as Aragorn) is to have it not come to be significant in terms of the endgame. However, considering Jon is a POV character in the books, we can be damned sure that the reveal is going to mean something to him, that it will change him, that it will alter his way of thinking in some way or change his course of action. Yet in the show, we don’t see one single conversation that Jon has about the reveal to show how he feels about it – other than ‘I don’t want the throne’, we have no clue how he felt about it. Why was he standing at Lyanna’s statue? What questions did he ask Bran about his parents? What did he tell his sisters about how he felt after they knew the news? How did it make him feel, to know Ned lied to him? How did it feel to know his parents’ union caused Robert’s Rebellion and the events that led tot he Targaryen downfall (which affected the woman he loves)? How does he feel to be in love with his aunt? Was he torn or certain that he couldn’t be with her?

      It’s apt that his direwolf is called Ghost. Jon was a ghost this season.

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    154. ThisGirlHasNoName:
      Che,

      I’m enjoying your posts. Not rambling at all, nor are your complaints inane. I’m finding it’s helpful to vocalize all the things that went wrong, so I can appreciate what went well :).

      Thanks ☺️

      I feel a bit late to the party. I have been coming to this wonderful website every day since Sunday, but I can’t bear to read too long or comment. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so sad it’s all over or that I’m so sad that’s how it ended. Probably a bit of both.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Che,

      I’m so with you here. This is one of the greatest tragedies imo. The story of Rhaegar and Lyanna, Robert’s rage and Ned’s secret and Jon’s crypt dreams and Lyanna’s darn statue being the only one in there that is a woman who wasn’t lord or king of Winterfell. From Robert’s first visit right up to the reveal this was such a vital piece of the series. Jon’s identity-which is something he struggled with.
      It mattered. Even Bran only seeing visions of everything that led to Jon’s birth (other than NK birth) emphasized how much it mattered.
      It wasn’t a theory or wish, it was show canon.

      Then it was tossed out there to be used by Bran and Sam and Sansa and Dany and Varys as a prop for the mad queen story.

      It never got to be Jon’s story. He didn’t get to really sit with it or have a conversation with anyone after Sam revealed it so abruptly. Any time anyone mentioned it we faded to black.
      Davos might have been a good listener if not Bran-who doesn’t care after reveal, or Dany-who clearly was not a good sounding board.
      Nothing.
      And then his character disappeared. His strength as a leader and fighter, his conversations with family, his discomfort with the knowledge that he was hot for his aunt or for some reason no one ever questioned could easily ride a dragon.

      He didn’t even get to make that final decision to deny leadership and head North. Which would have shown tremendous growth and made sense to everything that had come before.
      Tyrion and Bran did that instead, with the yes, very weak excuse that it was to satisfy Grey Worm. And the inferred off screen potential that it was done because they knew it would make Jon happier.

      Jon’s character survived and got to be with people who like him at the end-which, YAY-but in every other way he really got the shaft.

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    156. Che,

      I agree with you that Jon got the short end of the stick with his ending based on everything he endured and the sacrifices he had to make, but personally I do think it was fitting for him (as in I do think he would be fine with it himself).

      As for his secret heritage, I think it was GOT’s version of Dumbo’s feather. We are so used to stories where this type of discovery becomes the defining factor in the character’s story that I think the authors wanted to show that sometimes that legacy doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

      His legacy meant that he was supposed to be king one day, but the interesting thing is that he became king by his own actions. Think of Davo’s defense of him when they first met Dany, and then Tormund’s praise when they were celebrating. The parallel with Dany is that just as Dany didn’t become a tyrant because of her name, Jon didn’t become a king because of his.

      In the end the final reward for one was death, while the reward for the other was the chance to start again, which seems fitting for a man that already died once and was brought to life before. Bittersweet ending for sure.

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    157. Che,

      I would like to know the answers to all those questions as well. I also wondered why, when Sansa asked if Jon forgave her he didn’t answer because perhaps he doesn’t. Ned gave up his honor to protect Jon, he allowed his wife to think he betrayed her in order to protect Jon because he loved his sister and because he knew the secret could cost Jon his life. Yet Sansa in her quest for “Northern’ power just threw him under the bus. That part of the story bothered me, she says she doesn’t trust Dany and yet she betrays his trust knowing Jon could be killed by her. Ned did everything he could to protect Jon and yet the Stark siblings used it for their own benefit. You could argue they did it for the greater good but at what cost to Jon? Given it didn’t have much impact on the end game – I think Dany would have gone over the cliff irrespective of that knowledge given her past actions and the death of her children and Missendei . It wouldn’t have hurt anyone to keep that secret under wraps for good especially with Jon having no interest in being the heir to the Iron Throne. It will be interesting to see if Martin handles it the same way.

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    158. i swear this is the most positive fanbase site i could find. and i always gonna be thankful for that.

      i like what everyones comments ,

      especially now, after several days of the end of the show. that the negativity toxicity storm has ended.

        Quote  Reply

    159. RG: It wasn’t a theory or wish, it was show canon.

      I understand that showrunners want to surprise viewers and have unique twists. But I find that too often these twists miss the boat completely. It’s not fan service to deliver a cohesive story that builds on history, previous scenes and/or character interactions. It’s good storytelling.

      Yes, art should be surprising and interesting and unpredictable. But that doesn’t mean random. And unfortunately, while I feel like the GoT conclusion itself was okay, the path there was random, at times nonsensical, and even crossed into the ridiculous. And wasted so much great material in the process.

      I’m re-watching the entire series, and realizing that this past season is reducing its impact. For example, it’s hard to enjoy Tyrion knowing that he’s later reduced to incompetence, and rewarded for it.

      So I’ve decided to rewrite the ending in my head as I’m going along. It’s making it more fun for sure.

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    160. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      Really? You still think Tyrion was incompetent after episode 5? Every step Tyrion took, every plan he concocted since he landed in Westeros, was to stop episode 5 from happening. He tried to help Danerys take Westeros with the least amount of collateral damage as possible. Sure, he failed, but that isn’t on him. That’s on Danerys and Cersei.

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    161. Young Dragon,

      From the plan to take Casterly Rock to sending Jon on a fool’s errand to retrieve a dead person, to urging Cersei to surrender were all fatal errors. Fatal for the people of Kings Landing and ultimately fatal to Dany.

      They could have taken Kings Landing from the beginning. They wouldn’t have had to destroy the city, just the Red Keep.

      I understand what the character was trying to do, but it wasn’t done smartly. He didn’t outsmart anyone, nor were any of his plans clever.

      Tyrion was one of my favorite characters in the entire series. I think Peter Dinklage acted the hell out of what he was given (and is the kind of actor that only comes along once in a generation). I just wish Tyrion had become the Shadow King because of something he did, not because of things he failed to do.

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    162. Young Dragon:
      ThisGirlHasNoName,

      Really? You still think Tyrion was incompetent after episode 5? Every step Tyrion took, every plan he concocted since he landed in Westeros, was to stop episode 5 from happening. He tried to help Danerys take Westeros with the least amount of collateral damage as possible. Sure, he failed, but that isn’t on him. That’s on Danerys and Cersei.

      As a Tyrion lover from day one, I think he’s been incompetent since he got with Dany. His plans were so bad that there at the end I kept telling my husband, “He’s made a deal with Cersei” or “He has a plan to take them both down”
      I was sure that had to be the case because he was absolutely brilliant as stand-in hand for his father but then-
      1. He left KL telling them he wished he could kill them all, and they pretty much hated him too. Also said some pretty skeptical things about Dany on the road with Varys and the boat with Jorah.
      2. As soon as he saw her and announced himself as the gift, he separated her from Jorah first, then Daario and his second sons-with the excuse that she could make a marital alliance than never let that come up as something he’d be okay with until episode 4 of the final season.
      3. He had a bad plan in Mereen–but the slaver’s politics were unfamiliar to him so that’s not entirely his fault
      4. His plan for Dany’s allies all went so horribly wrong it was almost like someone warned their enemies ahead of time. Casterly Rock, Dorne, Yara etc.–this plan also cost Olenna as an ally. Surprising because as Tywin and Tyrion often said, Cersei was not as smart as she thought. Except she apparently was.
      5. He kept telling her not to do things. Don’t go straight to the red keep. Don’t destroy Euron’s fleet. Don’t go save Jon and Jorah. If she’d gone initially and taken Cersei the way Yara and Olenna suggested when she had all her dragons, all her allies and a fresh army, this never would have happened and the loss of life wouldn’t have been any worse than when Tywin Lannister came through the gates to hold the throne for Robert.
      6. He kept saying Cersei would come help with the NK. Cersei would listen to reason. Cersei would meet with them and give Missandei back for her freedom. No one watching believed that.
      7. He told Varys the secret Sansa shared, then told on Varys when Dany was already walking a jagged line, then right after he went against her to save his brother and sister, in spite of Cersei trying to kill him for like the zillionth time.

      He loved Dany. That’s clear. He was jealous of the other men in her life. He was worried about her safety. He believed that wheel breaking sounded good.
      But he wasn’t being smart at all. Not Tyrion, wielding his mind like a weapon smart, and he knew it. If you added up all the times he said, “I may have made a mistake” “I’m a fool” “I’m sorry”…well it happened enough to notice he was repeating himself.

      Which is why I was so sure I had to be missing something.

      But his reputation for being previously brilliant did save him on several occasions and he was smart again in the last episode. It takes skill to convince a man like Jon to kill the woman he loves and then command all the lords of Westeros to change the system and pick the king you want them too while still wearing chains at your third trial.

      With Dany, Tyrion wasn’t himself. Which in hindsight, unfortunately contributed to her doing the one thing he didn’t want her to do.

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    163. Northern Breeze: No, you are not alone. I feel exactly the way you’ve described, and agree with your observations. I’ve loved the whole thing, including Season 8, and the finale.

      I wish I was tech savvy enough to tag all the lovely people who responded to my post right now. Alas, I am not, but each response put a smile on my face. 🙂

      This show came into my life later than most of you (just at the conclusion of season 5) and I quickly became immersed/obsessed and in love with it. I devoured it, book and show, lurked on this wonderful website day in and day out. The posts here got me through a very hard time in my career, through a difficult pregnancy and becoming a mom for the first time and then through some personal triumphs and other set backs that are just part of life. GOT has been my escape and it has been my ultimate indulgence to come here on WotW to dive into this beautiful twisted world and play pretend for awhile- I’ve never really been part of a fandom before. Thank you, kind moderators for giving that to us.

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    164. RG:

      5. He kept telling her not to do things. Don’t go straight to the red keep. Don’t destroy Euron’s fleet. Don’t go save Jon and Jorah. If she’d gone initially and taken Cersei the way Yara and Olenna suggested when she had all her dragons, all her allies and a fresh army, this never would have happened and the loss of life wouldn’t have been any worse than when Tywin Lannister came through the gates to hold the throne for Robert.
      6. He kept saying Cersei would come help with the NK. Cersei would listen to reason. Cersei would meet with them and give Missandei back for her freedom. No one watching believed that.
      7. He told Varys the secret Sansa shared, then told on Varys when Dany was already walking a jagged line, then right after he went against her to save his brother and sister, in spite of Cersei trying to kill him for like the zillionth time.

      .
      .
      .

      With Dany, Tyrion wasn’t himself. Which in hindsight, unfortunately contributed to her doing the one thing he didn’t want her to do.

      Absolutely true. I still cannot find a reasonable in-universe explanation for your points 5-7. It didn’t ruin just Tyrion’s but Daenerys’s arc as well. It made it look like that everyone were saying she was going mad when she had really legitimate reasons to suspect her Hand’s loyalty or in certain cases even his common sense.

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    165. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      I’m with you. This quest for artistic originality deconstructed the entire story. Let’s look at the endgame. The whole purpose of Jon’s existance and his parentage revelation was to drive Dany mad and then kill her sentencing himself to exile/death, so that the ungrateful and trechrous diety 3-Eyed-Raven who disguises himself as Bran could seize power with the help of Tyrion who was selfishly saving his own ass and Sansa who also craved power and wanted Jon out of the way.
      The whole purpose of the AOTD was… well, it had to persuade everyone that the 3-Eyed-Raven was a good guy. But it also served the purpose of drving Dany mad, cause in fact she wasn’t necessary in the North: the army defending Winterfell was just a diversion from Arya, therefore the actual size of the army never really mattred: 10 thousand would have served the pusrpose just as good as 50 thousand.
      Jaime’s purpose was also to drive Dany mad, etc.
      But the whole story of Dany going mad was not only rushed: it was contived and unbelievable. Like, what have made her think that she was the Messiah entitled to burn everyone who doesn’t bow? Had she killed the Night King, such develompment would have been understandable (the dragonslayer turns into a dragon). But it was Arya who killed the NK and that happened mostly because she needed something to do (and the writers had no idea of what to do with her afterwards and her send-off west of westeros forever never had a proper reasoning). So, Arya who was developed as one of the main protagonists turned to be an unnecessary charracter.
      And if we start to scrutinize, 2/3 of other charracters and plotlines become irrelevant, too. Like what was the point of Stannis burning his daugter – shock value? What was the point of Robb and Red Wedding – shock value? And where is value in a shock?
      It’s sad but true: some writers really enjoy tormenting their readers. I’ve have worked with a number of them as a consultant on the matters of historical accuracy and there was a case when a writer tuned one of his main femate protagonists into an unfaithful wife, although the historical sources proved the contrary. And the answer was “I wanted drama and it’s my right as a creator”. And here I sense the same: GRRM wanted “drama” and to enjoy that “power of god” many writers feel to have towards their charracters and readers.
      So, probably fanfictioning the enyes I’m also fanfictioning and alternative ending is perfectly legit. I guess, we’ll have a lot of fanfiction endings and I would love to tead them (writing one myself).

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    166. Ten Bears,

      If you watch the Burlington bar reaction the biggest cheers were for Jon acknowledging and petting his good boi 🙂 I wonder if D&D teased us by purposely holding that for the very end.

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    167. Should I feel bad that it seemed they reverse-engineered the prophecy so that Arya was the Princess that was Promised who brought the dawn … and I was jubilant about it?

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    168. Ten Bears:
      Should I feel bad that it seemed they reverse-engineered the prophecy so that Arya was the Princess that was Promised who brought the dawn … and I was jubilant about it?

      You shouldn’t feel bad about it. Arya was bloody awesome this season.

      I personally lament the fact that all prophesies were thrown out the window in this final act and not even referred to (seeing as the PtWP prophesy is show canon, it’s sloppy to leave that hanging). It feels like being led up the garden path. If George is going to have them all be meaningless in the end as well then I’d rather he never weave them through his novels in the first place. It doesn’t feel so much subverting as it does wasting my time.

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    169. Inga:
      ygritte,

      And even if Sansa appoints some lord to be her battlfield commander, it won’t take long for that lord to usurp her (unless she makes that commander her lover teasing him with false marriage promises, but that’s a temporary solution). At best, she can take a husband and share power with him, but even in such case most of the power will go to the man as the battlefield commander, cause that’s the whole point of the patriarchy. Or she’ll have to plea Jon and the wildlings for help, but that will make Jon King in the North once again.In any case, there’s zero chanse that Sansa’s reign could last longer than several years.

      There has always been a Stark in Winterfell.

      What would make you think that Sansa’s rule is so fragile? Yes, she’s a woman, but the loyalty to Starks, as hereditary ruler, is very strong in the North.

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    170. Iceman240857: I like Alyssa’s Wa Post reactions although I often disagree with her. This last one is no exception but she is logical and well written so I respect that.

      It was hard to find a link to Alyssa Rosenberg’s review that I could read. When I did I was impressed. I thought Alyssa’s analysis was particularly clear headed. She had one point that was well put:
      ” But, oh, for a season with enough breathing room after the aftermath of the scourging of King’s Landing, for Daenerys’s death to be the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones,” and for the task of picking up the pieces to occupy a final hour. Instead, Daenerys, once the show’s ostensible hero, ended up feeling like a plot point to be dispensed with, rather than a great and tragic figure to be truly mourned and reckoned with.”

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    171. EE: There has always been a Stark in Winterfell.

      What would make you think that Sansa’s rule is so fragile? Yes, she’s a woman, but the loyalty to Starks, as hereditary ruler, is very strong in the North.

      I don’t agree Sansa will have her rule questioned. I reckon the north just want peace after the horrors they’ve seen.

      However, the northern lords have shown themselves to be the most disloyal in the show. More so than other lords because they have flipped time and time again. No one rose up against the Boltons for killing the Starks. Later, when it transpired that Sansa was still alive and well, only a few fought for her. Several northern lords also aided in or presided over the killing of Rickon. Then after that, after crowning Jon Snow, they tried to turn on him after he had gone. They are the most fickle bunch of lords we have come across in this show and all this despite “The North remembers”.

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    172. Che: However, the northern lords have shown themselves to be the most disloyal in the show.

      A good point I am glad someone made it.

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    173. Ten Bears,

      Not at all. Arya’s arc turned out awesome. I thought for sure she’d wear another face before all said and done. I AM glad one theory I heard didn’t take place and that was Arya wearing someone’s face to take out Dany only to be killed by Jon then her face gets revealed to him. Yikes.

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    174. Che: You shouldn’t feel bad about it. Arya was bloody awesome this season.

      I personally lament the fact that all prophesies were thrown out the window in this final act and not even referred to (seeing as the PtWP prophesy is show canon, it’s sloppy to leave that hanging). It feels like being led up the garden path. If George is going to have them all be meaningless in the end as well then I’d rather he never weave them through his novels in the first place. It doesn’t feel so much subverting as it does wasting my time.

      The prophecies weren’t completely thrown out the window. Jon (TPTWP) stabbed Dany (Nissa Nissa) through the heart which forged Drogon’s flames (lightbringer) to destroy the throne (the monster).

      The Valonqar prophecy also mostly came true too (with the exception that Jaime had his arms around Cersei’s neck lovingly instead of trying to strangle her).

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    175. Enharmony1625,

      I agree with this so much. Jamie is not one of my faves but I of course enjoyed his arc. And I don’t think there was any character assassination there. It made complete sense that he went back. I definitely could have done without the Jamie Brie love scene, I think his knighting of her and respect for her throughout the season was enough for me.

      Enharmony1625,

      Oh me too <3 <3 <3

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    176. ThisGirlHasNoName,

      Taking Casterley Rock was not a bad plan. It’s the seat of House Lannister and would have made Cersei look week. It was the same plan Robb had in season 3. I don’t recall anyone calling his plan stupid. Tyrion had no idea that the Lannisters ran out of gold. Ignorance does not make it a bad plan.

      The execution of the wight hunt was foolish, but the plan itself wasn’t. Tyrion believed Jon when he said Westeros was in danger and proof would be the only way to make Cersei listen. Tyrion had no way of knowing how Cersei would react as the precedent hadn’t been set yet on how Cersei would react when faced with an Ice Zombie Apocalypse. Her betrayal was incredibly stupid and short sighted on her part.

      Tyrion was also in the right about not setting Dany’s dragons on King’s Landing. Laying siege and having the people overthrow her was absolutely the better option. It’s the difference between Danerys ruling with fear and ruling with love. Monarchs who rule with love last a helluva lot longer. In hindsight, it’s easy to see Tyrion’s plans as foolish, but only if you didn’t see it from his POV. Tyrion was playing the long game.

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    177. Che:
      However, the northern lords have shown themselves to be the most disloyal in the show.

      No, that would be the Reach lords.

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    178. D&D got a shit load of money and they singlehandendly destroyed 7 seasons of build up in a single episode. The other eps of this last season were manageable, although one can always find problems (script, plot, choices of characters). But this last one that D&D wrote themselves is the worst episode of the entire series. The 73d episode is the worst episode of all 73 of them. I don’t know how else to put it. I’ve written on specific points elsewhere in this blog, so I won’t get into details here.
      It’s not even the characters’ fate; it’s how it reeks plotholes EVERYWHERE. Not one single choice in that ep is justified according to, or based on, their own plot. Forget that it is rushed; forget that you love Dany, or Jon, or Tyrion. It’s that no matter what the characters got, it makes no sense whatsoever according to their own previous development and the general plot build-up.
      It’s about betraying all the politics; its about betraying all character development. It’s about the messages they are giving the audience: they sacrificed meaning and messages to gloss over D&Ds personal faves and bring them to a position that they would be happy about, themselves and none other; they allowed other characters to be sucked in Daenerys’ plotline and disappear; nothing else existed apart from Dany.
      It’s about the double standards of treating heroes (Jon/Tyrion); of trying to justify a fucking genocide by making the ultimate white villain sympathetic to the audience; of passing the message that abuse will either make you a horrible person prone to crime or a cold ambitious bitch, or you’ll end up alone because: “character development”; that if you’re a real criminal (Bronn) or a criminal and a traitor (Tyrion) you’ll be rewarded for it; that the ultimate solution to the political problem of the world would be an emo king with magical powers while at the same time you’ve convicted other characters for their use of magic; that real people with no magical powers (see Jon/Sansa) get the short end of the stick.
      The ending they chose to give us, the way they’ve given it to us, is personally insulting to my intelligence. I feel as if I’ve been cheated; as if it was a gigantic prank at my expense. It leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth that has nothing to do with the alleged “bittersweet ending” (another joke; it was totally bitter; they intended Sansa’s coronation to be the “sweet part”, huh?), but with the fact that there are people out there who think that I am stupid. The characters may be fictional, and this is not a real story. But I am a real person and what I feel is real. So yes, when I am served something so bad after all that hype, I take issue with it, it does become personal. And it is my right to feel like that because when something is public you address me, not some zombie; that’s what public means; you get out there and you’re being criticized for your work.
      D&D could have made a rounded and well founded ending to reach the exact same points they chose, but they didn’t. It’s not just lazy writing, it’s stupidity in all its glory; its contempt for their audience; it’s insulting. It’s like justifying terrorism, injustice, imbalance of power, violence against women and children, violence against the weak and against people of color, lack of meritocracy and lack of compassion, all at once. They gave us a nihilistic ending that sends horrible messages to the audience –and most people don’t think about it this hard to reject it, they just take it in.
      So no, I for my part won’t ever watch any ep of GOT again, because now I know how it ends at a nihilistic place, and I know that 7 seasons meant nothing to the producers. And frankly I am confident that if they unscrupulously and without giving it a second thought they destroyed their own babe, then they will destroy whatever they take from now on, too, so I am not going to watch that either.
      Sry, not sry.

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    179. Che,

      Hi Che, thank you for sharing
      I am sad that you didn’t see Jon’s ending the way I did, but I appreciate your honesty, I hope you still love the show <3

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    180. ygritte,

      I also signed that petition after long consideration. As I have written in another thread, I know the case, when similar petition actually worked. And it didn’t happen in our modern world, it happened back in Soviet times when petiotioning could run you into serious trouble even when it was done for fictional charracters. So, there was a short novella published in one of the literature magazines: Romeo & Juliett type story about two teens who fall in love, but then were parted by their families, bcause girl’s mother and boy’s father were former lovers, also parted by their families. At the end the author decided to kill the boy by dropping him out of the window after he saw his girl arriving to him. The ending provoked a contraversy among both editors and readers and when the novella was turned into a movie it was changed (the boy survived after successfully landing into a pile of snow) and the movie was an absolute success and a good share of that came from the fact that people managed to make difference. The movie is called “Вам и не снилось”, 1980 (English version of the title “Love & Lies”) for those who might be interested.

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    181. Efi,

      And yet that image of Arya on the ship with the direwolf sail will stay with me for the next seven years until it’s in the opening frame of Episode 1 of “The Adventures of Arya Beyond the Western Frontier.”

      E1: “The Land of Always Chocolate”
      E2: “The Stowaway”
      E3: “It’s All About the Ingredients”

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    182. Young Dragon: kevin

      It’s an amazing show, it’s difficult at first to watch because what the show is about, death. But I think after GoT that show is not so difficult to watch. But that ending is just perfect that sums up life, what the show is about (not death but in fact living your life and follow your dreams). It was the only ending of a show where I was so overwhelmed with emotions at the ending that I needed to pause the last scene. I say, watch it only for the ending and if you like the rest, it’s worth it.

      Mango,

      I think it’s just that he didn’t find himself worthy, in his mind Brienne was good and he was bad, and I think he was afraid that if he stayed with Brienne, Brienne will turn bad too. For him moral is very important part of his journey. He finally forgave himself for killing Aerys thanks to Brienne, but he couldn’t life with himself for the things he done in his “emotionless state” for better wording. for me it upgraded the character. But I can understand that some see it differently.

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    183. Isabelle: All very, very true. I think the frustration or sense of wrongness, at least for me, comes from the sense that he’s not going to be remembered as the hero and good man he is, instead as a treacherous Queenslayer and kinslayer, banished forever in punishment for his crimes. Jon may not care too much about what others think of him, but it certainly irks my little Jon-stanning heart! 😅

      The winners write the history books. So I don’t think Jon will be remembered like that. Sam and Ebrose wrote that history book. I think Dany will be shown as she was there at the end, but her good deeds will not be named. Jon I think will be named a hero in that book for ending a tyrant. I don’t see Sam being happy about that book if Jon would be named a evil man.

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    184. Che,

      I think Bran knew Jon wanted to be there, he knew his talk with Thormund where he stated that Jon belong in the north. And I can see Jon escaping everything remotely with duty and going to the place that is the most free, his whole journey is about duty vs free folk man.

      And Jon is maybe bound to the wall by law of the 6 kingdoms, only problem is another country is between the 6 kingdoms and the north. And I don’t think either Sansa or Bran is going to make a fuss is Jon decided to roam free in the north. Only Grey worm has a problem with it and how can he know, he is off to naath. (which he probably die of the butterfly decease)

      It’s more a sentence for grey worm than it is for Jon. For me his ending is: Free at last. No more duty.

      And if you look at his last moment, you see his brooding face finally changing in a little bit more positive face, not a smile but less brooding and more free.

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    185. Enharmony1625,

      The story of Jaime’s arc was becoming a better man, making better choices, using the better parts of himself. Cersei moved in the opposite direction, becoming worse. His being unable to break away from her means his efforts to improve failed. Pretty much completely – his character arc ended in failure. It is a dark story and some like these, find them tragically beautiful. It is about failure and failed people, which is a true part of life. I still believe a better story could have been told. A more life-affirming story – but if it is a nihilist, I suppose this is the end to expect.

      The pacing was terrible – he knighted Brienne, fought beside her, slept with her, got threatened by Cersei with murder, left her, went back to the person that tried to assassinate him – in just 2 episodes.

      I am so sorry that I watched any of this -and I am still commenting on it. Even worse! (Everyone I know that watched it is still cursing!)

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    186. Che,

      I had a feeling Tyrion was not really happy about that job offering, he stated give it to somebody else, everybody else.

      And about Jon’s past I think it’s more important than we think, if Jon’s past wasn’t in play, Dany wouldn’t flip out. And was queen, it started a massacre, which is the bitter part. But now the sweet part (as far as you call it sweet), it made sure the lords of Westeros acknowledge monarchy is not the way to go. jon’s past is in fact the reason a more democratic way will be represented.

      oh and che, you always have a good eye, I had the feeling that winter seems to fade away north of the wall. And grass begin to grown. Do you think it’s possible now that the WW are gone that maybe the climate will be warmer there? Maybe less cold.

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    187. RG,

      1. He said that in a fit of rage. He calmed down and entered a state of depression after he left King’s Landing.

      2. Jorah had betrayed her and had a terrible reputation in Westeros. Having him by her side wouldn’t have done any service, at least none that he could see. As you said, the reasoning for Danerys ditching Daario was brought up, so there was no problem there. It’s not like Daario would have made a huge contribution anyway.

      3. He did very well dealing with the slavers and the plan he proposed was a good one. It was the Slavers who were being stupid, not Tyrion, and they paid the price for it.

      4. I stated in another comment why Tyrion doesn’t deserve the blame for that. His plan to conquer Westeros with Westerosi allies was a good one. Good plans sometimes fail.

      5. And he was absolutely in the right. As he said, all it would take was one lucky shot and the war would have been over. He was advising caution, nothing stupid about that.

      6. Of course he would assume that Cersei would send her army North, as that was the smart option for Cersei. Jaime laid it all out in the season 7 finale why Cersei was behaving irrationally. She didn’t listen and paid the price along with the rest of King’s Landing. I agree that Tyrion should have known that Cersei wouldn’t surrender after killing a dragon, but I don’t fault him for trying. He knew what Danerys was planning on doing, so that was a last ditch attempt to end the war peacefully.

      7. Sansa had just dropped a bombshell on him, and he knew eventually the word will get out. Sansa wouldn’t be able to keep it to herself. He went to Varys, his best friend, for advice on how to deal with the situation and bounced ideas off him.

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    188. Efi,

      You are right about everything: the last episodes (I would say the last three episodes) turned GOT into a total pranking. I feel like I’ll never watch any unfinished show or read a book until it has an ending and from now on I’ll probably watch the every show from the last episode. It minght take some exitement away, but pranking which is now called expectation subversion is so popular these days, that it’s better to take some precaution measures.

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    189. Che,

      No sorry, you have the right to express your opinion and frustrations.

      Agree with that we seems to have too little time with the new counsil and how that worked, but that’s why I already stated and I don’t know how you look at it, this final should have been 2 parter of 50/60 minutes each. Part 1 demise Dany. Part 2, weeks later, I think we could have scenes like Gilly Sam with his baby. Maybe seen Oldtown in a short scene of 3 minutes etc.

      about Grey worm, I really hate that guy at the end, hope that butterfly decease is present in the show also. bye bye grey worm. But wasn’t it to make sure there was no slaughter. Yes Sansa had his northerners with her, but I think she wouldn’t have won against the unsullied and Dothraki, I think it was this or the only living people in westeros would have been Dothraki and unsullied.

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    190. kevin1989,

      Sorry, but assumtio that winners write the history books is an absolute nonsence which has nothing to do with the reality. History is written by those who pursue the truth, and truth is impossible to hide.

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    191. Milutin,

      I react to you, because you made points which is easier to react to.

      My look on it:
      1. Personal: It did change him personal. Look how he changed after episode 1, he was happy with Dany. Laughing for a change, being in love. After it he was more depressed then ever, he was not only afraid for Dany what she will do with that information. He was afraid he was going to be forced on the throne. I think if he was ended on the throne it would end 2 ways, 1 he was depressed for his whole life more than he is now, wishing he could die in his sleep every night and never wake up. Or 2. He goes the Tommen route and end his life.
      2. Political: It changed everything, his revelation make sure full monarchy was ended. Why do you think Bran let Sam say it in episode 1, he even stated it needs to be now, it needed to happen before the WW battle. Why? because Bran knew it would made sure that after the battle with the WW Jon got the attention and Dany wouldn’t like it. I think he knew what Dany was going to do and said that to Tyrion in episode 2. Tyrion failed to stop it. But Bran knew that, he made sure that that all resulted in the end of Targ dynasty. no more full monarchy ruled by one family.
      3. I think Tyrion and Varys knew, they suspected it I think, shame we didn’t get a scene about that. Even a little strange look of them both and looking at each other and maybe mumbling, is it possible?
      4. prophetic, well it did come true in fact, Jon was the prince that was promised, but we all though it was about the White walkers, what if the darkness was not Ice but fire? Dany would have brought an even darker event, WW westeros, Dany the world.

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    192. kevin1989,

      I see what you are saying. I would believe this more if we saw Brienne starting to behave like Cersei and we could say that he was a corrupting influence. Then the storytellers would have given us a basis for concern.

      As for Jaime giving up on himself. One of the essential things about an adult is being able to accept the past, forgive yourself, try to make amends and move forward as a better person. This is learning and growth and maturity. It is a very dark story to give up on yourself – this kind of thinking is why people commit suicide.

      In terms of storytelling – look at the last few episodes. A few episodes ago, he had a mature discussion with Bran about their event and seemed to seek and receive some absolution. Bran told him they are both the persons they are now because of the journey.

      At his WF questioning, he was also fairly clear that he did not mean to apologize for his actions during the war on behalf of his family. (The worse things were done by Tywin, Cersei and Joffery, not Jaime or Tyrion). Brienne spoke up for him as a man of honour and he looked emotionally moved. Sansa and Jon were OK with him. He then joined fight against the AOTD and accepted into that fellowship.

      So when did he develop this severe crisis about “the terrible things” he did? Or that he was spoiling Brienne? I do not think how the story was told, set us up properly for the crisis.

      (I do not wish to rehash is storyline but Jaime did both good and bad things. This is what was so appealing about him. Jaime started his identify arc after he lost his arm and had a chance to rebuild himself. His admiration of Brienne led him to recover some of the better parts of himself. Even then, some of his earlier sins were to protect others. He pushed Bran – to protect others. This was terrible but it was not just for general amusement. This is part of a decision problem with a train that we all know. As Ned reflected in the book, this would be a very complex decision for any parent to make. Further, in the story, he lost his arm almost as karmic punishment. As for Riverrun, he took it without killing anyone. Blackfish was a “suicide by cop”.)

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    193. ygritte,

      I think Emilia had the most growth as an actress in GoT. I hope she get more chances and grow even further.

      Inga,

      And the truth is that Jon stabbed a Tyrant. So do you think Sam will change that that Jon was an evil killer, or tell the truth that Jon saved the realm? You know that Sam helped Embrose write it right?

      I don’t see Sam telling the story to Embrose that he was the villain. I think Sam tell him he saw Dany before and that she was already volatile and that Jon did everything to stop Dany. I think Jon will be remembered as the hero, else Sam wouldn’t be so happy to show the guys the book.

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    194. Ten Bears,

      Not at all! Arya taking out the Night King worked out beautifully, and (I’ve argued this before) even though they technically retconned the eyes prophecy, it works. And that’s all we should care about.

      This was an amazing season for ASNAWP, capping off her amazing series-long arc. I couldn’t be happier with where she ended up. I’m also rather surprised that she never used her face-swapping skills again after eradicating House Frey. You were right on that! I was wrong about a lot now that I look back on it, but I was right on the most important thing: Arya survived! 🙂

      Also, Arya killing the Night King doesn’t really make her Azor Ahai or the PtwP. I think that’s still Jon. It just subverts the idea that the hero is the one who lands the killing blow. Jon was still monumentally important in the defeat of the AotD, but they needed someone with the skills of Arya to land the killing blow.

      Lastly, in my head cannon, Arya returns years later after exploring the west and reconnects with Gendry, settles down and they have a son named Sandor.

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    195. Ten Bears:
      Should I feel bad that it seemed they reverse-engineered the prophecy so that Arya was the Princess that was Promised who brought the dawn … and I was jubilant about it?

      Arya was a very bright spot!

      The only blot on her storyline was that leap out of nowhere to kill night king. Just the leap, not the killing itself.

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    196. Mango,

      I think seeing a difference in a moral in your partner can make you think that, I think Brienne wouldn’t be affected but I can see Jaime (that I know from his inner dialogues in the books) can think that. He always saw Brienne as the most honorable person he know, honor is a part that is important for him. He sees himself as the opposite. “Cersei is hateful. And so am I”. Being with Brienne make him look at himself every day, the woman next to him, honorable to the highest standard, he himself somebody who have done many unhonorable things. That’s not something that most people can live with.

      And yes, Jaime should forgive himself. But in real life we have therapy for it, unfortunate Westeros doens’t have that, therapy there is wine. Many problems would be solved in GoT if there was a therapist helping them.

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    197. Oh one big problem I had with the episode: Why the hell did we get played wto times with the jackass and honeycomb joke. I want to know how that joke ends.

      Well it seems I off to enter that petition, that’s unacceptable.

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    198. kevin1989:
      Mango,

      I think seeing a difference in a moral in your partner can make you think that, I think Brienne wouldn’t be affected but I can see Jaime (that I know from his inner dialogues in the books) can think that. He always saw Brienne as the most honorable person he know, honor is a part that is important for him. He sees himself as the opposite. “Cersei is hateful. And so am I”. Being with Brienne make him look at himself every day, the woman next to him, honorable to the highest standard, he himself somebody who have done many unhonorable things. That’s not something that most people can live with.

      And yes, Jaime should forgive himself. But in real life we have therapy for it, unfortunate Westeros doens’t have that, therapy there is wine. Many problems would be solved in GoT if there was a therapist helping them.

      Perhaps.

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    199. Efi,

      It’s not just lazy writing, it’s stupidity in all its glory; its contempt for their audience; it’s insulting. It’s like justifying terrorism, injustice, imbalance of power, violence against women and children, violence against the weak and against people of color, lack of meritocracy and lack of compassion, all at once.

      You seem to be a bit all over the place in your entire comment, but I really would like for you to clarify how this part that I’m quoting makes sense.

      How is having the one character that committed the worst act of terrorism, injustice, with the most military power, who killed the most women, children, and weak people, and who for the entire series struggled to show compassion to her enemies, killed by characters that saw how wrong all of that was, a justification for those actions? Your comment only makes sense if Dany had ended up Queen with no repercussions.

      As for lack of meritocracy, let’s see:

      -Sansa did all the day to day work to keep the North together and independent and she ended up as Queen there.
      -Tyrion was always shown as the most capable of running the day to day matters of government and he ended up as Hand of the King
      -Sam was always shown as a bookworm, and one who actually had trained to be a maester, and he ended up as Grand Maester
      -Ser Davos was always referred as the best smuggler alive, and he ended up as Master of Ships
      -Arya trained to be the most lethal assassin and she ended up killing the embodiment of death himself.
      -Brienne was introduced to us trying to become a King’s Guard, and throughout the entire series her role was to be the bodyguard of someone, and she ends up as Lord Commander of the King’s Guard
      -Podrick started as a squire with zero combat/fighting experience and after a long time spent as Brienne’s squire and training under her he became a very capable fighter and a King’s Guard himself.

      Every one of those characters are proof that experience, training, and preparing for a particular position, actually pays off in the end.

      The ones that are a bit more iffy are Bran, Bronn, and Jon, but not entirely:

      -Bran is the person with the most knowledge of anyone, someone who acts and decides without letting emotions cloud his decisions, someone who has no cravings of power, grandeur, or recognition, and he ends up as King. He may not have done anything to suggest he should be King, but the characteristics he does have actually do seem very suited for someone with the power a king commands.

      -Bronn always concerned himself the most of any character with gold and making sure all debts were paid, which is fitting for a Master of Coin.

      -Jon was always shown as a great leader, and while not king, he did end up as a leader too, so while not the exact job many thought he’d get, it was still a similar one.

      So for the most part, people ended up where they were the most fit to be, how is that showing a lack of meritocracy?

      I really would like for you to square what to me seems a complete 180 degrees interpretation of what actually happened.

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    200. Mango:
      Enharmony1625,

      The pacing was terrible – he knighted Brienne, fought beside her, slept with her, got threatened by Cersei with murder, left her, went back to the person that tried to assassinate him – in just 2 episodes.

      What about it happening over 2 episodes makes the pacing terrible?

      Did we need a 15 minute scene somewhere in the middle of Hot Pie at the inn? Maybe 15 minutes to show Sexy Robin all grown up, or 15 minutes of Edmure being shown not in a jail cell?

      The picking of nits has really jumped the shark.

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    201. Isabelle: Another gem from the Vox article, on why GRRM ultimately emerges as one of the winners of the season.

      What a crappy “gem.” So because internet trolls have bitched and moaned loudly because they didn’t get the ending THEY wanted, which is what exactly… Martin is the winner because he can now give them such an ending?

      Lots of LOLing.

      The ending of the show made a lot of sense. Martin has said before the books/show really are about the Starks (sans Tony) so people shouldnt be surprised.

      Bitch about “pacing” all you want. Yes we couldc have had 2 or 3 more episodes of filler for pacings sake, but its way over cooked at this point.

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    202. Enharmony1625,

      Arya is more likely to name her son Jon than Sandor but I can see an argument for it. They better stretch the decision making over several long episodes to keep the pacing police satisfied, however.

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    203. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface:
      Enharmony1625,
      Arya is more likely to name her son Jon than Sandor but I can see an argument for it. They better stretch the decision making over several long episodes to keep the pacing police satisfied, however.

      Haha! Jon would, of course, be a solid and likely choice, but Sandor rings so true for me because he unquestionably saved Arya’s soul; he made her choose life and hope.

      I do agree with you that the pacing argument is really getting out of hand. People are using it now to try to justify the ending they didn’t want for a character or plot. It’s become a “go-to” line in pretty much any argument about this season and the ending.

      Having said that, yes, I think a few more episodes would have benefitted the ending and some plot lines. A little more fleshing out of Dany’s descent, a bit more on Bran that could have given us a better idea of him as King and making him more of a “character” instead of a plot device, and more exploration of Jon and how he’s dealing with the RLJ reveal (including Arya and Sansa’s reactions). Apart from that, there are many scenes I would have liked to see, but I’ll admit that’s part of me being greedy and not wanting to admit it’s over.

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    204. I find that looking at GOT like a chess game where the king sits back and does nothing while everyone else fights to protect him makes Bran look more plausible than I originally thought. He’s not evil, I see him somewhat like Dr. strange who knows the future or a best possible future even though many have to die to make it happen. Most fans wanted the Starks to come out on top and they did. They have seven kingdoms. John got what he really wanted because Bran knows what he wants. Arya might get her own spinoff who knows? Oh yeah Bran and he’s not telling. Maybe Mr. Martin will bring Danny back to life in his books. Maybe he will bring them into bookstores where we can find out. In a couple more years. That’s going to be tough.

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    205. Thanks for the Round-up

      I finally got round to watching it

      Generally I’m fine with the broadstrokes

      Only irritating part of the Episode as such was the absurd moment Sansa said in front of an entire council of otherwise disparate people to her own brother ahead of her in line for King of the North title that the Northerners wouldn’t somehow accept him as King of the North along with the rest of the 7 Kingdoms

      Not only that he’s the living breathing embodiment of the Northern religion (Old Gods)

      The Iron Islands spilled as much blood in their bid to be a separate Kingdom, pledged to Dany and now she’s dead would have stood up straight away wanting independence for the Iron Islands

      That said it is setting things up for the future and “post-Bran” they know they wouldn’t accept any Southron…of course how does that work, plant a new Weir Tree in Kings Landing in place of the Iron Throne, meld him into it and it’s a matter of changing Hand everyone so often

      But that taps into how the writing has gone downhill since Season 5 and 6 and like others we needed 10 seasons of 10 episodes to properly flesh it all out

      Obviously a real “Cersei” move by Sansa, shows she learned plus she went full circle from wanting to get away from Winterfell and be a Southron to fully embracing the North and of course she got to be Queen by Lord Election (because of course she’s behind Bran and of course Arya given Sansa was married off and Arya wasn’t…).

      I’m expecting her Alayne arc to show her become Machiavellian cunning, plus to become Queen of Riverlands and Vale ruling out of Harrenhall, but North will do for the Show as it is easier to distinguish – plus she’s like the Second person to be wearing a Crown

      Show is interesting, as she left KL a tortured person, went back “home” to Winterfell still tortured and then worked her way up

      Northern Independence was a long-running theme in the show since season 1 so fair enough we ended there

      Jon will be happy enough, as we recall season 1 “I always wanted to be a Ranger” and he was satisfactorily re-united with Ghost – living as a Ghost beyond the Wall

      I guess we can all assume though Arya DID release Edmure Tully from the Dungeons after killing the Freys?

      Good grief though the writing

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    206. Inga,

      Actually, upon further reflection, I love the idea that Arch-Maester Ebrose left Tyrion out of the Song of Ice and Fire. It’s a hilarious commentary on the limitations of even those historians who document contemporary events. Ebrose wrote the book without leaving even leaving Oldtown – what were his sources I wonder? Also, what were his personal biases? Did he have a hate-on for Tyrion in particular?
      I think you’re right that historians search for truth. But that truth tends to be informed by their prejudices and perspective.

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    207. Young Dragon:
      Tyrion was also in the right about not setting Dany’s dragons on King’s Landing. Laying siege and having the people overthrow her was absolutely the better option. It’s the difference between Danerys ruling with fear and ruling with love. Monarchs who rule with love last a helluva lot longer. In hindsight, it’s easy to see Tyrion’s plans as foolish, but only if you didn’t see it from his POV. Tyrion was playing the long game.

      He wasn’t right, though, and the penultimate episode proves it. Daenerys was able to conquer the city with little to no civilian casualties by using the dragon in the manner she was entirely capable of doing prior to Season 7 Episode 1, when Tyrion suddenly began insisting that any military action against KL would cause tens of thousands of deaths by firestorm because the writers wanted to prolong Cersei’s involvement in the series; which would be inconsistent, but if they had stuck to that it would be one thing; but they add more inconsistency, because the civilian casualties only start when Dany deliberately turns Drogon on civilians.

      The notion that Dany attacking the city would somehow doom her government from the start is also ludicrous, because Robert (or rather, Tywin in Robert’s name) outright sacked King’s Landing at the end of the rebellion, and that regime didn’t have that problem. Tywin himself was even cheered as a hero and saviour of the city later on. Episode 703 even makes a joke of how the population of KL are just a mob who just like to see people’s heads cut off.

      Solar:
      -Tyrion was always shown as the most capable of running the day to day matters of government and he ended up as Hand of the King

      Tyrion’s big picture thinking for the past four seasons has been almost uniformly bad, so it’s questionable how him being Hand is warranted.

      -Sam was always shown as a bookworm, and one who actually had trained to be a maester, and he ended up as Grand Maester

      Sam was at the Citadel for a couple of months; he isn’t even a maester, he certainly doesn’t warrant being Grand Maester.

      -Bronn always concerned himself the most of any character with gold and making sure all debts were paid, which is fitting for a Master of Coin.

      Bronn was made Lord of the Reach despite having no background in administration nor interest in justice, nor even being from the Reach, as far as we know; and Master of Coin despite having no background in finance or any sort of education; in Season 3 Tyrion had to walk him through what a loan was. His character history would suggest that his ministry would soon become a cesspool of corruption, with him happily accepting bribes.

      Ghost’s Lunch:
      I’m expecting her Alayne arc to show her become Machiavellian cunning, plus to become Queen of Riverlands and Vale ruling out of Harrenhall, but North will do for the Show as it is easier to distinguish – plus she’s like the Second person to be wearing a Crown

      Sansa’s arc in the books is all about her returning northward and her reconnection with her Stark heritage, not anything to do with the Riverlands; the Vale is important insofar as she can bring it into the war.

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    208. Sean C.,

      Daenerys was able to conquer the city with little to no civilian casualties by using the dragon in the manner she was entirely capable of doing prior to Season 7 Episode 1, when Tyrion suddenly began insisting that any military action against KL would cause tens of thousands of deaths by firestorm

      What Tyrion argued for was to keep the dragons away from burning things, and that the troops that would eventually take KL should be Westerosi because otherwise the people would always see them as invaders and not liberators. That is why he wanted to use Dorne’s and the Reach’s armies to take KL as opposed to Dothraki and Unsullied. If the city was to be taken by force, the taker had to be seen as one of them.

      Robert was able to take KL without a massive rebellion afterwards because he was seen as one of them coming to get rid of the ruler they were already fed up with, and as a result of a war that started internally in Westeros.

      Dany coming out of the blue to take the city with armies of foreign troops, one of which was famously known for being raiders keen on raping women, enslaving people, and destroying cities in their path would have rightly been seen as an invader. A point that Cersei hammered to the people and all the lords loyal to her to gain their support. What Tyron suggested both before he knew about the WW and after they were defeated was to simply park the armies outside KL to cut off supplies and let the people throw out Cersei themselves. Dany just never had the patience for a proper siege.

      As Young Dragon said, Tyrion always focused not just on the military conquest (which is always the easy part), but also took into consideration what would happen afterwards and his focus was on making sure the peace lasted.

      Tyrion’s big picture thinking for the past four seasons has been almost uniformly bad, so it’s questionable how him being Hand is warranted.

      All of Tyrions mistakes as Hand of the King with Dany were related to military strategy, which in reality should be the main duty of the Master of War, not to mention that military strategy was never his main strength. When it comes to governing, which is the main responsibility of a Hand of the King in peace times, he was the best choice presented throughout the entire series.

      Sam was at the Citadel for a couple of months; he isn’t even a maester, he certainly doesn’t warrant being Grand Maester.

      Yes, and in those couple of months there he was shown as being far smarter and more knowledgable that every other Maester there. Pycelle, who was the last Grand Maester was always shown as a bit of a bumbling idiot more concerned with staying in the good graces of the King and trying out every woman in the brothel. So Sam would be a definite improvement over him.

      I’ll put it this way, if not Sam, who would have been a better pick? The only two other Maester’s we got to know were Wolkan who was already at WF, and was never shown doing anything else beyond sending ravens, and the Archmaester at the Citadel, who we were shown as been less savvy than Sam. If it were up to him, Ser Jorah would have never been cured, and the NK would have been able to reach KL.

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    209. Sean C.,

      It wasn’t about civilian casualties, it was about optics. How will Danerys be seen, as a conqueror or a liberator? Setting houses on fire would have made Danerys look like any other tyrant, which is the exact opposite of how Tyrion wanted to be seen. Tyrion wanted Danerys to be better than Tywin and better than Robert. Whether or not Danerys sets her dragons on King’s Landing is the difference between ruling with love and ruling with fear.

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    210. kathy: I also wondered why, when Sansa asked if Jon forgave her he didn’t answer because perhaps he doesn’t.

      I had wondered about this too and was curious to get other people’s takes on it. From his reaction and non-answer, it appeared to me that Jon is pretty angry about Sansa’s betrayal of his secret but because of the finality of this interaction (it’s probably going to be a long time before he sees Sansa again), his love for her wins out and he responds with something he can be 100% honest about (“The North is free thanks to you”/”Ned Stark’s daughter will speak for them. She’s the best they could ask for”) and hugs her tightly all the same.

      But I don’t know if that’s a hot take or not 😉

      I did love the farewells between the Stark kids. I love how soft Arya’s face gets especially.

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    211. Young Dragon:
      It wasn’t about civilian casualties, it was about optics.

      No, Tyrion very much emphasized civilian casualties as a reason not to do it. He claimed that attacking King’s Landing would necessarily kill tens of thousands.

      How will Danerys be seen, as a conqueror or a liberator? Setting houses on fire would have made Danerys look like any other tyrant, which is the exact opposite of how Tyrion wanted to be seen. Tyrion wanted Danerys to be better than Tywin and better than Robert. Whether or not Danerys sets her dragons on King’s Landing is the difference between ruling with love and ruling with fear.

      If the people of the city already don’t want to be liberated, then nothing is going to change their minds on that point. And episode 703 specifically depicts the citizens of KL as a brainless mob who’ll cheer for whoever parades severed heads around.

      Moreover, you can rule with love once you actually, y’know, take control and rule.

      The Starks conquerered the North with foreign troops in Season 6 (Valemen and the hated Wildlings), but that had no effect whatsoever on their perceived legitimacy.

      Solar:
      As Young Dragon said, Tyrion always focused not just on the military conquest (which is always the easy part), but also took into consideration what would happen afterwards and his focus was on making sure the peace lasted.

      This is what’s known as putting the cart before the horse, frittering away Dany’s advantages by refusing to use them.

      Yes, and in those couple of months there he was shown as being far smarter and more knowledgable that every other Maester there. Pycelle, who was the last Grand Maester was always shown as a bit of a bumbling idiot more concerned with staying in the good graces of the King and trying out every woman in the brothel. So Sam would be a definite improvement over him.

      I’ll put it this way, if not Sam, who would have been a better pick? The only two other Maester’s we got to know were Wolkan who was already at WF, and was never shown doing anything else beyond sending ravens, and the Archmaester at the Citadel, who we were shown as been less savvy than Sam. If it were up to him, Ser Jorah would have never been cured, and the NK would have been able to reach KL.

      The Citadel is an independent organization with its own hierarchy. The next Grand Maester would be drawn from the leadership of the Citadel, not somebody who isn’t even a maester. Sam is completely unqualified for that position, and much like Bronn, could only occupy it due to cronyism and the Small Council abrogating the traditional independence of the Citadel.

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    212. Adrianacandle,

      I have a similar take in that Jon finds it difficult to completely forgive Sansa, but he still loves her and focuses on that in this goodbye. I honestly can’t blame Jon as I would find forgiving such a breach of trust very difficult, and it would take some time for me to come around on that. All things considered, I think Jon handled the goodbye well.

      Adrianacandle:
      I did love the farewells between the Stark kids. I love how soft Arya’s face gets especially.

      Jon’s goodbye to Arya kills me every time. The acting by Maisie is just so spot-on. She completely captures the crying-but-trying-not-to face. And then she just lets it go..

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    213. Enharmony1625,

      Yeah, those are my thoughts. I don’t know if Jon can ever fully forgive Sansa because this helped contribute to such a series of horrific and devastating events that’ll likely haunt him forever, culminating in having to kill the woman he loves, resulting in Daenerys being dead. I think he’d love Sansa, Arya, and Bran no matter what but I don’t think this will ever go away. I felt for Sansa too – it broke my heart seeing her so sad when she said good-bye to Jon. And it breaks my heart that she’s ruling Winterfell alone without any friends or family around – and when she just got them all back too.

      Enharmony1625: Jon’s goodbye to Arya kills me every time. The acting by Maisie is just so spot-on. She completely captures the crying-but-trying-not-to face. And then she just lets it go..

      Oh, I know! And that tear drop falling from her eye. We so rarely, rarely see Arya cry. Arya, ASNAWP, but Maisie Williams trying to hold back Arya’s tears… kind of starting to cry right now!

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    214. Team_Sansa,

      With respect, but leaving Tyrion out of the story is just a plain nonsense. We don’t know what type of historian Archmaester Ebrose was, but court-historian wouldn’t have left Tyrion out of the story, because he came out as a winner, and a truth-seaking historian wouldn’t leave him out because of the facts. Personal bias may be present, but history is science, and schience is about facts and the truth. And the truth and facts are impossible to conceal. I grew up in Soviet Union which always tried to replace the historical truth propaganda, but propaganda failed. People learned the truth from samizdat, from forbidden books, from grandmothers and grandfathers… And even when it comes to something more distant like the Middle Ages, you would be surprised how much truth you can find, if you seek it. I’m a professional medievist, so I know what I’m saying.
      So, all that blabbing about history being biased and relative is just an insult to the common sense.
      And if Archmaester Ebrose wrote a totally irrelevant book, what was the point of presenting it?

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    215. Gfx:
      Lilian Taylor,

      Man do I have a co-worker like that this past week. He hated this season and I’m perfectly fine with him not liking it, but because I enjoyed it he feels the need to remind me everyday why he hated it, going out of his way to start the conversation. He just can’t let it go. It was at the point when he told me this season is just fan fiction that I realized he’s just repeating the internet at this point. He’s never even read any ASOIAF novels or any other book for that matter since I’ve known him. He only started binging last year. It took tornadoes in our state to finally distract him from complaining. I wish I was making this up, I really do.

      Us fans who enjoyed it do exist. I think a lot of us just aren’t very vocal. In my experience nearly everyone I knew liked it. But all of us have busy lives and don’t live on the internet and interact on that level. When I started hating The Walking Dead, I just stopped watching and moved on in life. Why be so toxic about it?

      I’m really glad to see a lot of people on here did enjoy it, and glad to see people who didn’t still being civil. But man the rudeness and childishness of others is downright embarrassing.

      This.

      I enjoyed the tv show immensely. I enjoy the books even more and look forward to a more detailed story when they are published.

      But it’s a tv show!! It’s something I enjoy as a small part of my life. Many posters sound as if this is the only thing in their life. Time to do something in your community for actual people – volunteer at a charity for the amount of time you obsess about hating a story that isn’t yours to write. “Investing” your time in the world around you rather than “investing” in a world of non-reality will actually help others and bring a real fulfillment to your life. Give it a try!

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    216. Adam,

      I could see Jon having kids and sending one as a ward to Sansa someday.
      I think with time to heal, he would eventually reconnect with her. He’s only 25, right?

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    217. Milutin,

      Exactly. The knighting of Brienne was a stronger culmination of their love story than the physical love scene. It should have ended there.

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    218. kevin1989:
      Mango,

      oh Jaime is my favorite character of the saga, I love his character. But for me it was more, he went back to Cersei because Brienne was too good for him, he judge himself morally very harsh, he though Cersei was on his level. For me somebody who thinks the horrors he did (Which he did) was evil and wrong, tells me his moral compas changed from bad to the best of the show. He judge his deeds with for instance pushing Bran out of the window as evil. Would it be morally right if he could forgive himself. Maybe it is, maybe not, for me him seeing it as something un-redeemable made me feel Jaime moral was even higher then before.

      Yes.

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    219. Ten Bears,

      Arya in the books wants to belong. Taking her away from her home isn’t a good ending for her. Breaking up the pack is not a good ending for the pack. It was best for her in the show, but disregards her book counterpart completely and contradicts what she said in ep. 1 to Jon, “don’t forget that”, meaning we’re family. Where’s the family now if they’re all away from each other? Oh, forgot, subverting!

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    220. Efi,

      Being a family doesn’t mean staying in the same place. Being a family is a feeling. Eventually, children grow up and go there own way, live their own lives. Are the Starks no longer a family because they’re apart? Of course not, just like my family is still my family, despite living in a different state.

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    221. Solar,

      Oh, god, lets see, point by point. I’ve written details elsewhere, but it’s ok, I’m generally so mad these days that I can’t stop thinking abt it no matter what I do, lol.
      Let’s start with the fact that this is medieval setting, alright? The middle ages worked on the basis of certain principles. Those principles have been upheld for the most part in the previous 7 seasons. Not in season 8 (I’ll get to particular points below).
      Also to keep in mind is that season 8 was all about Daenerys. Nothing else exists in 6 episodes.

      Point 1. Terrorism. Daenerys got what she deserved, even though I’d prefer it if she got arrested and faced a trial, but, this is the middle ages, trials were not very popular, lol. Plus, her army is there and is really powerful, no matter how many she lost in the battle for the Dawn (another inconsistency), so arresting her wouldn’t really be an option. So what she did is pure terrorism, and her line “let it be fear then” in ep. 5 really underscores it.
      Then why ffs do they made her remember her childhood in the last minutes, instead of standing by her decision to rain fire on KL? Well, obviously, because once more they intended to make her look sympathetic in the eyes of the viewers. That’s like justifying terrorism.
      I could also add what led her there, i.e. Missandei’s execution. M. is a woman of color with no particular arc in GOT apart from her romance with GW, who got executed by D’s main antagonist, pretty much like D executed the Tarlys. Both the Tarlys and M. served in the show to further D’s plot. Because if mrs 1000 titles hurts, then it’s justified to burn down an entire city. I’ve seen comments and heard Dstans justifying what she did to KL, screaming Justice! Well, they obiously didn’t get that it was terrorism, did they?
      They made sure that they bring out that D hurts, that she once was innocent (so give her a second chance!) while all along it’s a political decision: considering that D won’t have Jon by her side, Jon who is loved and popular, she needs strategically to make sure that everybody knows what she is and what she can do. So her decision to burn KL was not because she hurt, it was perfectly rational. But it’s obscured bc they made her look hurt, in pain, on the verge of madness because of it. She’s not crazy. She’s been talking abt burning cities to the ground since season 2. Targaryen madness is not of the soul; it’s political. Their power relied on dragons, it was a power of spreading fear. They unified the country by using dragons, and that’s what Daenerys set out to do. Remember Olenna’s “be a dragon” in s7? Well, this was a way to put on screen what’s in the books: “if they are monsters, then so am I”. Until they decided to throw it down the drain for fanservice.

      Meritocracy
      Sansa is my favorite. She’s a normal person, without magical powers. She’s in a good place. Still, she’s alone, no family around her, and it’s melancholic for her. Sansa never wanted power. She wanted the prince, the fairytale. It was never about power with her. They gave her her home back and she gets to be queen, which she is worthy of because she has worked hard, but she’s alone. It’s against her entire arc, books and show. In the show they even made sure to underline how she bypasses all offers made to her about ruling, so she rejects that in seasons 7 and 8 –the lords, LF, Tyrion, they all offer her power; what does she say? nothing. She just wants Jon, she wants her family. They gave her power instead, ok.
      Tyrion: I completely disagree with you. Tyrion is competent no doubt, but remember the medieval setting: he’s the one who brought Daenerys to Westeros in the first place. In Westeros Tyrion has a horrible reputation. He committed double murder. In 8.05 he betrayed the Starks (by snitching on Sansa) his best friend, and Daenerys all in one (by freeing Jamie). He’s responsible for the slaughter as the “master mind” who set the stage for this to happen. Talk about stupidity! So getting him to sit at the great council is actually rewarding all this behavior. If you’re a traitor and a murderer you get rewarded in Westeros! Nice.
      Bronn is the same, taken the competence out of the equasion. With him, it’s a straight up a cutthroat at the council.
      And Sam, who quit his studies mid-semester, who didn’t even have one circle in the chain (remember it’s build-up, the chain of maesters, you earn those circles by studying different subjects), got to become grand maester. Well, apart from the foreshadow in the books that Sam becomes lord (of Horn Hill, but perhaps also of the Reach, considering that his father was appointed Warden of the Reach in the show), he’s now a father of bastards –he now has two children. You know what they say about bastards in Westeros in all 7 seasons, don’t you?
      Davos: yeah, but Davos is connected with Jon and it doesn’t make sense that he’s not with Jon in the end. Davos is foreshadowed to become hand of a “mighty king” in the books. Not to mention that he served absolutely no purpose in season 8.
      Arya: ok, but Arya always wanted to belong. She thinks “what’s west of Westeros” when she is in Braavos, but that was show invention. The first part of her arc in the show clearly demonstrates that she wants a family. She gets to explore? Good for her, but all she wanted was her family back. Arya in the books also has issues of justice. In many ways, the ending they gave her just doesn’t add up with her family and justice themes. Arya sits by and watches her beloved brother get punished for killing a tyrant? I don’t think so.
      Brienne: she has given an oath to Sansa. She is Sansa’s sworn shield, which in medieval settings is very serious, and which the show made explicit in the related scene. It doesn’t make sense that she gives it up to become commander of someone else’s kingsguard; it’s actually oathbreaking, and this is heavily criticised in Westeros. It’d only make sense if Sansa was queen, or Jon married to Sansa (it wouldn’t even be justified if she became Jon’s kingsguard).
      Pod: ok. What a waste of a good lover!

      The big issue: Bran.
      I am honestly not displeased with the outcome. The story according to Martin was always about the Starks, and in the end they get to rule everything from shore to shore, with three kingdoms. Alright?
      But the show made it all about Daenerys and her fall, while people with just a bit of judgement saw this coming. Because she is a fan favorite, everybody’s arcs disappeared to the point that in season 8 they became plot devices for justifying Daenerys’ turn to the dark side (:justification of terrorism; she doesn’t get Jon’s magic dick? Dracarys!). Considering this, even the Starks’ domination feels unearned, but it is a matter of perspective, so this is just my opinion and not a universal truth.
      Bran’s arc is connected to the North, the weirwood tree and nature in a magical sense. He’s the prince of Winterfell in the books, the rightful heir of Robb. Apart from this inconsistency, which the show completely disregarded (I’m ok with that), it is not logical that the answer to the political problem of Westeros is a not-completely-human, or even magical creature (and even in s8 they made this clear) as king, while at the same time the show condemned Daenerys, Stannis, Melissandre, for using magic (and Quayburn for his scientific experiments on humans). Plus, it doesn’t make sense that the youngest of the Starks is in the South, where “men from my family don’t fare well in the South”, or that he’s away from a heart tree, when he was “gone” in front of WFs heart tree during the battle for the Dawn.
      But let’s say that we go with that, lets say we forget everything the show has been telling us for 7 seasons and up until 8.05. Now, remember medieval setting. In it a child-king who’s best is “I’m going to go now” wouldn’t even last a year on the throne. Bran books and show has never had any connection to the South and the other kingdoms. Making Tyrion his hand would only foment dissent because Tyrion would draw all the criticism from the other kingdoms on account of his own reputation and his family’s crimes. In addition, Bran wouldn’t be able to cement his reign with a good marriage. You’ll say, “election”. Yes, sounds nice, but nothing guarantees that the next -elected- ruler won’t want to re-establish primogeniture through the male line. Succession was paramount in the middle ages. So if the lords, under the weight of what happened, agreed at first that hereditary succession should be abolished, there’s nothing convincing that it’d be like that forever. You might say that yeah, but Bran is a Stark, he’s connected with the Vale and the Riverlands through previous marriages. And what’s to say that the Vale and the Riverlands won’t denounce Bran in favor of Sansa, simply because Bran chose a Lannister as his hand? Tywin made sure to destroy the Riverlands through and through, and the Vale doesn’t actually have any real connection to KL since Arryn’s murder. Do you see the political complication here?
      In addition, in that stupid meeting at the Dragonpit, Sansa says that the North is independent, but no one else actually thinks, yeah, we should be independent too? Does Yara’s agreement with Daenerys about independent Iron Islands doesn’t count? Has she forgotten? And Dorne, which is quasi-independent anyway, is ok with Bran as king? The Dornish have no connection to the Starks whatsoever. For them to agree to KLs suzerainty, they need a Targaryen on the throne, and that’s Jon.

      Now, Jon.
      This is the most painful; it’s a gigantic plot inconsistency within the show (not to mention book deviation), a character assassination (book- and show-wise) and a gross injustice done to his character, all at once.
      Considering that he did participate in mass murder, show-wise he should be exiled. So I’m good with that. It would be good if they addressed this fucking issue. But nope, Jon is accused for the murder of Daenerys, not for the massacre.
      It is implied that he becomes king-beyond the Wall. Well, what’s to stop Sansa, who’s now queen in the North and the Night’s Watch is under her authority, to pardon him in, say three months, so that he returns home? And, to be honest, the Night’s Watch doesn’t fucking exist anymore. It was established in ep.2 (“we’re the last of the Night’s Watch”, Jon, Edd, Sam talking on the battlements). Normally, after the threat is gone, the Wall should be melting, but let’s say that it doesn’t. There’s still a gigantic hole in it, dug by the undead dragon, so it’s not about guarding “the Wall”. Moreover, what is the threat that needs to be checked by still maintaining a Night’s Watch and the Wall? What, is CB a grand prison? Is Jon the director of that prison? Because the Freefolk have reconciled with the people south of the Wall, that was the point of Jon bringing them south in the first place. That’s why he was murdered in the first place, JFC! Even the final scene, which they wanted for connecting it with the opening scene of season 1, actually contradicts the idea of his punishment. Jon is not meant to live free beyond the Wall; he’s meant to stay in CB, hold no lands, father no children. So you see that the entire punishement of Jon is actually nonsensical.
      “THE TRIAL”
      First of all, there was no trial for Jon. He wasn’t given the opportunity to explain; only Tyrion was.
      Point 1: Jon is held for murdering Daenerys, not for participating in the massacre. Well, hello!!! Daenerys is an invader; a conqueror; someone had to kill her. There was absolutely no legitimacy in her claim to the throne, even if Jon didn’t want it in the first place. Westeros had a queen; Cersei. You don’t want her? That’s fine, dethrone her, but you don’t get to murder an entire city for one person only. So Daenerys is a butcher, Jon kills her, and they still hold him accountable for actually liberating Westeros from a tyrant, meaning Daenerys. Make it make sense.
      Point 2: the guy who was actually an accomplice of Daenerys in the butchery, GW, gets to dictate who is punished and who isn’t. It is implied here that GW has established a policing of terror in KL. However, it is only i m p l i e d. Sansa is actually the only one who threatens with another war if anything happens to Jon, which was a nice touch. This means that they should have made it more explicit, e.g. Sansa bringing whatever forces she can gather to KL (i.e. Glover, the Vale, the Riverlands’ army) to save Jon; or Dorne and Storms End also bringing forces with them (Gentry, anyone? wasn’t he friends with Jon?). They didn’t have to show it, just say it, damn it, put it in the script. Someone had to say that Daenerys wasn’t a lawful ruler, so GW has no authority here, and actually doesn’t represent anyone in this meeting; his queen is dead, and there’s an actual power vacuum at that point. Make it make sense.
      Point 3: Tyrion. ugh!
      Another accomplice. Dragged in front of the court for betraying Daenerys, whereby everything in the previous paragraph applies in his case, too (D was a conqueror, she’s not a legitimate heir). Tyrion is like GW and Jon. You don’t get to reward an accomplice of the massacre with a position in the grand council, let the other one go free, and punish Jon for killing the tyrant. And why exactly do Tyrion and GW get a second chance to make it up to the people of Westeros (whatever that means) and Jon doesn’t? Jon, who liberated Westeros, who was a hero of the war in the North, the rightful heir to the 7Ks, a Stark, who actually withdrew his troops from the massacre?
      They have gone so far with whitewashing Tyrion, that they make him actually suggest who the next king should be! A murderer, a Lannister with all the bad implications his name carries, a follower of the tyrant, a traitor to everybody and to his own country, dictates who becomes king! This is where all logic actually
      blows up.
      Well, talk about double standards!
      Fucking Tyrion is rewarded, Greyworm is implicitly excused for killing thousands because he lost his girlfriend and he hurts, poor boy (of course, only Daenerys and her following count in this show), Jon ends up at the Wall or beyond, forever a Snow, a bastard, reputation tarnished, dishonored. And that’s supposed to be a good ending for Jon.

      In a nutshell, they made Bran king because they couldn’t imagine that the audience would be ok with Jon becoming king without Daenerys. For bringing things to that, they twisted everything, ignored their own story even from s8, let alone the other seasons.
      In the end, RLJ, building up for seven seasons, didn’t matter apart from only stressing up queen entitled; the Tarly’s execution didn’t matter apart from giving Sam a pretext to tell Jon; Varys’ conspiracy against Daenerys didn’t have any repercussions for the story whatsoever.

      Jon’s destiny is to become king. That’s what the whole AOIAF is about. It’s something that will overturn any situation in Westeros as it had been for the previous 20 years. Based on what I said above (the hero thing etc), the only real solution would be to make Jon king and give him the chance to make it up to the people of Westeros. This should be his punishement.
      Instead, they gave it to fucking murderer-traitor Tyrion. Tyrion according to this plot shall be a king in all but the name. Which really makes me sick.
      Jon’s entire arc has been about being recognized as a Stark, learning who his mother was, being thrust in positions of power without seeking for it, and about family. Jon always wanted a family (at least in the books, but it is also implied in the show too). Targaryens still have supporters in the South, mostly because no one in the South liked Lannisters. And show-wise Varys plotted to make him king, Sansa plotted to make him king. It had no pay-off.
      Politically, it would make sense to have Jon and Sansa marry; Jon would take the Stark name bc of parentage and marriage; it would bind North and South. Sansa as a guarantee for the North’s ties to the South, and to the South that this Targaryen king won’t go mad, because in the South they know her well (since her captivity), and she trusts him. It’s a win-win for the political problem of Westeros. In this scenario even the North could be independent with Bran as king in the North. Remember Bran is connected to the heart-tree. And then Jon and Sansa’s second born son could succeed him in the North.
      They could make an extended council where all kingdoms would be represented, finally implementing Rhaegar’s legacy, who wanted to overthrow his father and institute this council.

      But nooooo! That would be a Jonsa ending, right? No matter if it’s the only one that makes political sense, if it’s heavily foreshadowed books and show and heavily implied with framing even in s8, they wouldn’t just risk to enrage Dany’s fans more, would they?
      But still they had to account for the potential “sexism” allegation they’d face with Daenerys’ murder (which is incomprehensible, because women can be criminals too, so why shouldn’t a female criminal be punished for her crimes?). So they made Sansa queen in the North, but completely alienated from her family. But that’s breadcrumbs, bc Sansa is foreshadowed to become queen of Westeros. She’s been preparing for this all her life.

      Instead they fell back on established patterns as they were before Daenerys. A small council, a king that “goes” whenever he pleases (honestly, what’s new? all the previous kings were out of touch with reality), a hand of ambivalent reputation, a corrupted master of coin.

      Ignoring all this suddenly in season 8 makes the entire GOT series out of balance. This is why I am not going to watch any of the eps again. I’d rather wait for WOW. I hear Martin goes for seven independent or semi-independent kingdoms, pointing perhaps to a loose confederation (with Jon as king of all).

      As someone wrote somewhere, this entire finale seemed like they picked up a thread from Reddit and put it on screen. What does the audience want? Bran king? check. Sansa queen? check. Arya travelling? check. Sam maester? check. Tyrion hand? check. Bronn in a good place bc ultimately it’s all about balls, right? check.
      The only thing the audience didn’t get is the full-blown Jonerys romance; Jon and Dany and a magical Targ baby was never in D&Ds plans, or Martin’s for that matter.
      Oh, and the valonquar. The audience didn’t get that either. They gave it to Jonerys, lol.

      If all that isn’t insulting to the audience, I don’t know what is.
      I think that the audience’s reaction to the show, in particular to the ending, show that most of them don’t actually have a problem with it.
      So in reality it was D&Ds choice to not make Jon king. Everything we saw in that finale was their doing.
      And I’d be happy if they were ruined forever, but obviously the main message we get from their story and from GOT is that if you screw up and you’re a male in this world (and in Westeros), you get rewarded.
      Gotcha!

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    222. Young Dragon,

      Exactly! There is more to the pack mentality than being physically together. They will always be united as Starks, which is reinforced in a big way with Arya’s super awesome dire wolf ship. She has completely rejected being No One — she is a Stark.

      I’ve seen some who didn’t like this ending for Arya that say that she should have stayed either at Winterfell as Sansa’s Queensguard, or a guard/assassin/enforcer for Bran in KL (or his Master of War). However, the point of the ending for the three Stark kids is that they are off on their own stories; their endings reflect their respective arcs. Having Arya serve Sansa or Bran at the end would be a huge disservice to her story. She, as Sansa and Bran, is the master of her own destiny and her own story.

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    223. Efi: Considering that he did participate in mass murder, show-wise he should be exiled.

      What do you mean? Jon didn’t participate in mass murder. He tried to hold his men back. He clearly didn’t approve of the massacre.

      But I think there’s a point in that Jon is inadvertently complicit by his devotion to and support of Dany. Yet, neither Jon, Davos, or even Tyrion knew Dany would unnecessarily burn King’s Landing to the ground and would plan to use this means to ‘liberate’ the world. I don’t think Dany herself knew she was capable of this. 805 and 806 Dany wasn’t the Dany I knew.

      Jon hasn’t seen Fire and Blood Dany. He’s seen the entitled Dany, he’s seen the “I want to storm the Red Keep and take out Cersei right away” Dany, he’s seen “bend the knee ASAP” Dany, he’s seen a Dany who executes individuals for individual crimes via fire (which Stannis did as well and Jon supported Stannis despite his discomfort with this method) — but those are far cries from the Dany we saw in 805 and 806 (which I think is part of the problem in the execution of that plot) who needlessly mass slaughtered a city full of people after she had already won.

      (I also wonder why Sansa disliked Dany so much — I understand Sansa being wary of Dany and distrustful of her but Sansa seemed to really dislike Dany without even seeing her Fire and Blood side and I’m not sure what this was based on.)

      Jon has also seen Savior Dany, who was as much a part of Dany as the other sides — she was the girl who completely won him over with her efforts to save and protect people. He saw a Dany who vowed to fight the Night King alongside him when Jon spent half the series telling anybody who would listen that the dead are coming and only Stannis came to his aid. Most everybody else was all, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got other problems.” There’s definitely truth in — since Jon pledged himself to her — it’s Dany’s duty to protect the kingdom she is now queen to, but Dany fully honoured this duty and was this person prior to the events of 805 and 806.

      I don’t think even Tyrion could anticipate what Dany did – he’s seen Dany torch the opposing side at Slaver’s Bay, the Lannister forces in battle, perform executions he didn’t agree with via fire, and insist on storming the Red Keep — but this, too, is a far far cry from unnecessarily burning down an entire city full of civilians after surrender. Dany has never, ever before gone after the innocent, especially with no reason and when the city has surrendered. Dany had been motivated by a desire to protect innocent life, thus her rage at the slavers.

      But I also think there’s validity that Jon had a part to play in Dany’s mental break. Jon was firm he would tell his sisters, he felt they needed to know who he really was, but he was incredibly naive in his belief that Sansa would keep his secret. Sansa contributed to Dany’s mental break because she betrayed Jon and told Tyrion in hopes of replacing Dany as a contender for the Iron Throne with somebody she preferred. Tyrion, for reasons I don’t understand, contributed to Dany’s mental break by telling Varys. Varys sealed the deal by proceeding to get on that right away, plot against Dany, and prepare to tell everyone possible — and this completely realized Dany’s fears.

      I mean, Dany is definitely responsible for her own actions — she had choices, other characters have faced immense loss and betrayal and didn’t have the urge to decimate the city — yet everybody contributed to her declining state.

      But Jon didn’t participate in the mass murder, no more than Davos did, who likewise supported Dany.

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    224. Adrianacandle,

      Good intentions do not exonerate him from participating. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, you know? It is still a road to hell. Seeing that he marched into the city really messed me up. I was thinking, “don’t go, you idiot”. He could have just held back his troops. But he did go in, and he has to pay. Accomplices are not exonerated because they didn’t mean to hurt anybody, because that doesn’t undo the harm they’ve caused. Dany is a conqueror, a mass murderer, and he participated in that. He became a conqueror himself, an enemy of his own country. There’s no going back from that, and the dead won’t come back to life.
      This is why his treatment and Tyrion’s treatment are so out of balance. You can’t just reward one of Dany’s supporters and exile the other, it doesn’t make sense. There’s enough foreshadow in the books that Tyrion might end up at the Wall, but Tyrion is D&Ds fave; they’ve whitewashed him so much he’s unrecognizable compared to the original GRRMs character. Tyrion in the books is the personification of the “road to hell” thing. He’s hateful, contemptuous of others, a rapist, self-righteous, arrogant, sexist, he’s an abuser because only through abuse he is able to get what he wants.
      Everything in season 8 is about showing Dany’s slide to the dark side. In my opinion it didn’t have to be like that, but it is true that they’ve portrayed her as a savior for 7 seasons. I didn’t like her since season 1 and as seasons progressed nothing happened to change my opinion. She embraced the Dothraki culture that was all pillage and rape, because it served her purpose to get the IT. She’s been talking about freedom for the people, but she used the people she freed to gain power for herself. The Unsullied followed her blindly, the slaves followed her blindly, she brought chaos in Meereen because she didn’t have an alternative for replacing the old economic model. Her crimes are indisputable; she burned people indiscriminately, without trial; she crucified people. She’s been talking about burning cities to the ground since season 2, so I really don’t see how burning KL comes as a surprise. If you talk about it, it means that you’re thinking about it as an alternative, and if you’re thinking about it you’re only a step away from making it come true. If you watch again her speech to the Dothraki from 6.9 or 6.10 (don’t remember which, sorry), you’ll see how disturbing her perspective is. It only amplified that she was coming against Westeros at that point, talking about destroying castles, burning down cities and tearing iron armors; she was coming against Cersei, Jamie, Jon, Sansa. It feels different when the people she’s affecting are our faves, doesn’t it? Culturally different people in Essos were not meant to cause us this much agitation for what’s awaiting them, were they?
      Filming it from Dany’s POV however made it all look like a triumph, and I do get how people were confused into seeing a hero instead of a conqueror. In Essos she also had boys over 12 years of age killed, which didn’t make the show. Martin knows that this is what conquerors do. The Germans did this to my own country, but Americans due to their positioning in the map don’t know what it’s actually to have a conqueror in your own land, so the producers chose to leave this out, because it would mess the audience up and would demonstrate that Dany is not such a hero after all. I, because of my training (I’m a medievalist), tend to think of the other side in these cases. For example, I know exactly what crucifixion means for the crucified, and there’s no way I can condone that as a punishment for any crime. But that’s just me. The first time we saw what the effect of her actions is, however, was in 7.4 against the Lannister army. The first time we saw how entitled she was, how arrogant, was in 7.3 when she met Jon. You say, this guy here has been through hell, he has a war to fight, he’s just won his home back and he’s been proclaimed king, but she wants him to give up his title in exchange for her help, which, at this point, she’d give only after she won the IT. Something is wrong here. It took Jon four episodes to convince her. Her disbelief caused the destruction of the Wall, because that stupid mission she sent them was her fault. So excuse me for not being impressed that she fought for undoing the catastrophy she created herself. Had she been easier to convince, the Wall would still be standing, none of this would have happened. Of course, season 8 is so rushed, that it wasn’t addressed either.
      In season 8 Jon, Tyrion, Sansa, Varys, Missandei, are meant to further Dany’s plot and her final turn to the dark side. This causes problems inside the season and disconnects season 8 from the previous seasons, because it wasn’t Dany’s story to begin with, it was the Starks’ story (Martin has confirmed as much). The showrunners chose to make Dany the face of season 8, and this came to the detriment of all characters that were reduced to simple plot devices, but also of the story itself.
      For Dany, clearly, the Red Keep represents everything she’s suffered for; exile, abuse, poverty, what she lost (family, a brother, a child, a husband), so she decides to destroy a symbol, not just a palace. However, her choice is a strategic one, not one caused by her suffering. She’s doing exactly what Aegon the Conqueror did to Harrenhal, only in much grander scale, without any intention to stop. Raining fire and blood all over the city would keep her enemies at bay. If Sansa wouldn’t bend the knee, she’d burn too, just like the Tarlys burned, and this is clear in her speech in 8.6. By doing that, Dany actually takes away from people their choice. It’s either bend the knee or die, there’s no alternative; she takes no prisoners, Dany has rejected that option as early as 7.4 and it is once again exemplified in the treatment of the prisoners in 8.6.
      So what we see in season 8 is Dany, Dany, Dany. In season 8 we see Sansa much better than we see Jon. Jon’s POV is almost completely wiped out and we never get a real explanation why he has become such a “fervent” supporter of Dany –there’s only indications and very subtle clues. But Sansa is clear. For her it becomes personal, just like ST said in one of her interviews. It’s not just about the independence of the North that has a role in her handlings with Daenerys, it’s about Jon. Sansa sees that Daenerys intends to take Jon away and keep him with her, and she doesn’t want that. Why, it’s unclear, since the showrunners didn’t dare to follow this thread through to its completion. My interpretation is simple, but it’s also hotly debated in the fandom and since it was never made explicit, it remains an interpretation. They’ve been filming Jon and Sansa as a ruling couple since season 6 (like Ned-Cat 2.0, with lots of parallel scenes and even LFs choking scene in 7.2 ffs!), but didn’t dare to go there because Sansa is the female competitor of Dany both for the IT and for Jon’s heart, and they wouldn’t risk the backlash of Dany’s fans. The male hero killing the female hero and then marrying another female that happens to be the most debated (if not hated) in the show would be just too much. Sansa didn’t have to ask Jon if he bent the knee out of love for Dany. She didn’t have to tell Tyrion who he is, being herself on the verge of collapse; she didn’t have to get up and leave the table when she saw Jon smiling at Dany; she didn’t have to come down to KL to try to save Jon, and she didn’t have to threaten with another war if anything happened to him. But she did all these things. Why? Since we don’t have a clear answer in the show, interpretations are open.
      If Sansa had any questions about Jon bending the knee, she got her answer as early as ep.2. It’s all about the “who manipulated whom” situation. So, Jon manipulated Dany into coming North, offering his crown and even himself to convince her and get her personally invested in “Jon’s war”, and Dany used Jon to get to the North, because she and Tyrion know that with the North one has access to the Vale and the Riverlands, which means, three out of seven kingdoms. Dany wouldn’t have a chance to get the IT without that and Tyrion knew it, so he manipulated the situation into making these two fall into bed together, because that would cement Dany’s power and authority, and the Starks command great respect all over Westeros. What Tyrion didn’t take into consideration, was Sansa’s discomfort with this situation and her feelings for Jon. Sansa in reality is out of control; she just can’t bear the thought that Jon will follow Daenerys South. A number of issues could have been explored here, i.e. how does Jon feel about being a Targaryen? We knew he always wanted to be a Stark. What does his parentage mean for Sansa, what does it mean for his family? For Sansa I suppose there is no question, that since Jon is a Targ, he wouldn’t really mind a little bit of Targ incest, would he? He chooses to support Daenerys after all, and he didn’t answer the “bend the knee about love” question. But we don’t get a view about any of these issues. It’s all bloody obscured because of the hollow narrative.
      Jon is in a very difficult position in season 8. He’s bent the knee, brought an army North and two dragons. Dany’s displeased with the cold reception she experiences, and she threatens Sansa right away. In eps 1, 4, 5 and 6 there are explicit threats hurled at her direction, and Jon is present in all of them. Already in season 7 it was established for Jon that Dany’s volatile and turns against her councilors, that she’s quick to anger and acts on emotion. So in season 8 he stands as a wall between Dany and his family. He’ll be the guarantee Dany wants that the North will comply to her wishes, much more so because he now knows what she did to those who chose to not bend the knee to her (the Tarlys example). He keeps repeating “you’re my queen” like a parrot, like a programmed doll or sth. He only tells her he loves her in ep5, after the burning of Varys and after she once more threatens Sansa. Surprise, the only time in 9 eps that Jon interacts with Dany and tells her he loves her is the one time Dany doesn’t believe him. “Let it be fear”. So what does that mean? Did Jon have to fall into bed with Daenerys, ignoring that she’s his aunt, just for pleasing her and making himself her whore for not committing the massacre? Did he have to not tell his sisters the truth about himself so that she doesn’t go mad? It’s not only Jon’s secret. His family was under the impression that Ned was a dishonorable man, that he cheated on Catelyn; his children deserved to know that this was not true, because children are affected from this behavior of their parents. In ep4 Jon more or less suggested that they could be family with Dany. But for this to happen, his identity should be known, and she didn’t accept it. She basically asked him to continue being a bastard, and that’s really sick. The way they chose to show their relationship makes it very sick and abusing to Jon. She uses her power and authority against him, threatens his family, just for keeping him around, docile and submitted. Jon must know at this point that he’s walking on thin ice with her, that she’s so moody that nothing guarantees his safety, even if he’s her nephew, no matter how many times he repeats that she’s his queen. This becomes amply clear in ep5, and now he’s really scared of her (excellent performance by KH).
      So Jon does the right thing telling his sisters. This could also be seen as a call for help, but we’ll never know, because it is never explicitly addressed how scared he is, how trapped he is. All they show us is that he’s loyal, that he sustains Dany’s claim to the throne, while in reality he just wants to get Dany away from Winterfell as fast as possible.
      However, as long as Jon is alive, he’ll always be a threat to Daenerys, and to whoever sits on the throne –and that goes for Bran as king, too. Sansa knows this; she recognizes it immediately, she’s clever and she’s been trained by the best in the political game. Dany and/or Tyrion would come to the same conclusion sooner or later. So by telling Tyrion, Sansa knows that she undermines Daenerys, that she puts Jon in danger, but at the same time she knows that his identity becoming public is the only way to protect him by gathering support for him and get him back for her. It’s not betraying Jon, it’s about saving him, and her coming to KL probably with an army, or in any case taking charge of the Northern army there exemplifies this. This is civil war in the making; had Jon not killed her, it would escalate in a civil war.
      The thing is, Jon knows all these things, he doesn’t need Tyrion’s speech to be convinced, he doesn’t need to know what happened in Essos, he’s seen her, watched her, heard her threaten his family. This is the reason why Tyrion’s and Jon’s discussion in 8.6 is so screwed up (it could have been a discussion between Tyrion and Varys instead). Its not Tyrion addressing Jon, it’s the showrunners addressing the audience, reminding them of what Daenerys has been doing for seven seasons. In the end, Jon chooses to kill her for Sansa, because he knows that she’ll be Daenerys’ next victim. The “love is the bane of duty” discussion is Jon choosing love (Sansa and family) over duty (Daenerys), just like Ned did so many years ago. Jon chose to protect his family, because he loves them. But the way they’ve given it to us, it’s like it’s the other way round. Tyrion says “sometimes duty [: killing] kills love[: for Dany]”. Once again, it’s someone else telling us that Jon loves Daenerys. Jon himself again doesn’t say anything like that, and when he kills her, he says “your’e my queen” again. Sansa’s influence on Jon, her love for him and his love for her, the “I’ll protect I promise” thing looms over the entire season 8 without once being openly addressed.
      But all this is extremely subtle, this is why people don’t really get it. The Stark POVs were deliberately obscured for bringing out Dany’s madness. As I said, it’s not madness, it’s a rational choice for her, one that she’s been contemplating since season 2, and the burning of KL is a choice for establishing her dominion, now that she knows she won’t have the North, and she won’t have it because Jon doesn’t love her. But the way they showed this to us, it’s as if every single character does something that pushes her to it, so in reality the blame is with them, not Dany. That’s justifying terrorism, it’s deflecting Dany’s own mistakes. That’s abuse in a grand scale for all the characters involved, for justifying Dany’s inability to deal with real problems and with the bad choices she made (Missandei’s death and Rhaegal’s death was a result of her own rush). Abusers have this attitude: see what you made me do, it’s your fault. But it’s Dany’s decision that she “pushed the trigger” on KL, it’s her fault that she didn’t see Jon as family but only as competition and a boyfriend.
      So in the end, in my opinion, it’s no one’s fault that Dany did what she did. She would have done it anyway. (well, unless they had opened the gates ealier and laind out the red carpet for her to pass).
      In the end, Sansa got what she wanted; she got Jon back. He’s in the North again, and they’ll be able to see each other from time to time. I don’t know what that means for the story in general, but in my opinion it’s a mockery; it’s an ending that’s not at all brave by the showrunners and it smears Jon as a character for eternity, because, let’s face it, how many people are going to read the books and realize what a great character he is, with all his flaws and his merits?

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    225. Efi,

      He could have just held back his troops. But he did go in, and he has to pay. Accomplices are not exonerated because they didn’t mean to hurt anybody, because that doesn’t undo the harm they’ve caused. Dany is a conqueror, a mass murderer, and he participated in that. He became a conqueror himself, an enemy of his own country. There’s no going back from that, and the dead won’t come back to life.

      When Jon, Davos, and their troops went in, the plan wasn’t to massacre the city. It was to fight soldiers in a battle to take the city. It became a massacre when Grey Worm, the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and the Northern troops started massacring civilians — and what’s more, after the battle was won, after the city surrendered. Jon, Davos, and Tyrion were explicitly shown not fighting. Jon did try to hold back his forces but he doesn’t have magical powers to make them obey, to cast a spell and physically hold them all back himself.

      Her crimes are indisputable; she burned people indiscriminately, without trial; she crucified people. She’s been talking about burning cities to the ground since season 2, so I really don’t see how burning KL comes as a surprise. If you talk about it, it means that you’re thinking about it as an alternative, and if you’re thinking about it you’re only a step away from making it come true. If you watch again her speech to the Dothraki from 6.9 or 6.10 (don’t remember which, sorry), you’ll see how disturbing her perspective is.

      Dany has never advocated rape and she’s never, never, never wanted innocents harmed — especially for no reason. This is why King’s Landing is a surprise because she went after everyone when she had already won the battle — not just her enemies, not just Cersei, she didn’t even target the Red Keep itself. She’s never, never done anything like this before.

      In contrast, Dany’s crucifixion of the slavers and torching of Astapoor masters was targeted with a specific purpose. I mean, it was pretty brutal but not nearly on the KL massacre level. On paper, it sounds right but in reality, it could be seen very differently. However, Tyrion nor Jon witnessed it first-hand.

      As for her executions by fire, Dany burned specific people for individual actions. She went after the slavers for their crimes against the slaves. There is a level of indiscriminate punishment there because it was based on a title rather than investigating each slaver’s crimes and customizing a punishment. Still, even that was far more targeted than what she did in King’s Landing because Dany was going after slavers specifically for a specific purpose. In King’s Landing, Dany went after everyone — man, woman, and child — even after she won the battle. There’s a big, big difference between the two.

      Dany may have talked about burning cities to the ground but she was always dissuaded and demonstrated the ability to listen. I also don’t think I can agree with, “If you talk about it, it means that you’re thinking about it as an alternative, and if you’re thinking about it you’re only a step away from making it come true,” because I say a ton of things out of anger that I’d never do 🙂

      It’s not just about the independence of the North that has a role in her handlings with Daenerys, it’s about Jon. Sansa sees that Daenerys intends to take Jon away and keep him with her, and she doesn’t want that. Why, it’s unclear, since the showrunners didn’t dare to follow this thread through to its completion.

      I’m sorry, Sansa didn’t really have a reason to dislike Dany as much as she did. She didn’t know Dany. She didn’t witness any of Dany’s actions in Essos. And Dany was coming there with her forces to help defend the North.

      True, Dany had a duty to do this because she was now their queen and Sansa had a reason to be wary of her and be distrustful — but she didn’t have a reason to be so hostile, even with Dany’s refusal to grant Northern independence. Sansa, of all people, should know you catch more flies with honey but Sansa outright alienated Dany and didn’t hide her hostilities for her.

      My interpretation is simple, but it’s also hotly debated in the fandom and since it was never made explicit, it remains an interpretation. They’ve been filming Jon and Sansa as a ruling couple since season 6 (like Ned-Cat 2.0, with lots of parallel scenes and even LFs choking scene in 7.2 ffs!), but didn’t dare to go there because Sansa is the female competitor of Dany both for the IT and for Jon’s heart, and they wouldn’t risk the backlash of Dany’s fans.

      I’m not into Jonsa so I’m going to have to disagree on anything Jon x Sansa related 🙂

      If Sansa had any questions about Jon bending the knee, she got her answer as early as ep.2. It’s all about the “who manipulated whom” situation. So, Jon manipulated Dany into coming North, offering his crown and even himself to convince her and get her personally invested in “Jon’s war”

      I think Dany was misremembering things a bit there or she was being hyperbolic because Jon didn’t manipulate a thing. Jon didn’t lie about the Army of the Dead, he didn’t twist factors, and he didn’t like about the threat it posed to humanity so I don’t see how there’s any manipulation. Dany vowed to fight the Night King because she saw the undead for herself and she witnessed the Night King taking down Viserion.

      Dany vowed to fight the Night King well before she and Jon had sex so I’m not sure how Jon offered himself to get her to fight the NK when Dany already agreed to do so.

      Wait, how is Tyrion responsible for boatsex??

      Already in season 7 it was established for Jon that Dany’s volatile and turns against her councilors, that she’s quick to anger and acts on emotion.

      Not really. Dany is quick to anger but she also listened to her advisors in season 8 and backed off. At this point, she was against harming the innocent, which is precisely the reason why she held off — and she didn’t want to be “queen of the ashes”.

      And there’s also that Jon supported Stannis, who would burn rebels and traitors. Jon is always opposed to execution-by-fire but it’s not a deal breaker. As with Dany, Jon felt Stannis would be good for the realm and Stannis also wanted to take the Iron Throne by force.

      Dany is a conquerer, yes, but so was Robb, so was Stannis, so are a lot of characters in this series. Jon, himself, as a young boy, dreamed of conquering cities and leading men to glory to be the big “conquering hero.” However, Jon’s role in the series became very different and that of unification and peace-making rather than conquering.

      So by telling Tyrion, Sansa knows that she undermines Daenerys, that she puts Jon in danger, but at the same time she knows that his identity becoming public is the only way to protect him by gathering support for him and get him back for her.

      I’m not sure how Sansa is protecting Jon by getting people to plot against Dany — who’s lifelong goal has been the Iron Throne, is determined to take it, and who has a dragon. Dany can just torch whatever support Sansa may be able to muster up for Jon and even then, that’s a big risk. Dany already has a giant army that has seemingly respawned and what’s more, she still has a dragon.

      It’s not betraying Jon, it’s about saving him

      Nah, it’s betraying Jon. Jon swore her to secrecy in front of the heart tree and Sansa broke that promise like ten minutes later. He doesn’t want to rule. Sansa put her interests above Jon’s explicitly stated wishes and before his safety. Dany still has a dragon.

      That’s not to say Dany isn’t responsible for her own actions, she is, but Sansa had a pretty big part to play in the lead-up: Sansa ignited a dangerous situation by telling the secret in order to pit Jon’s claim against Dany’s and this situaton resulted in Jon having to kill a woman he loves. Sansa made Dany’s fears come true, which is part of what led to Dany’s mental decline. I don’t think there’s any way Sansa can be absolved from that and I don’t think Jon should forgive her. Jon had his own part to play too, I doubt he’ll ever forgive himself, and yes, Jon loves Sansa (as a sister) — but forgiveness is something else entirely.

      This is civil war in the making; had Jon not killed her, it would escalate in a civil war. The thing is, Jon knows all these things, he doesn’t need Tyrion’s speech to be convinced, he doesn’t need to know what happened in Essos, he’s seen her, watched her, heard her threaten his family.

      Well, I agree Jon had to kill her but I think he needed convincing to do it himself. Jon loves Dany. You may disagree but this is scripted, the writers/cast/Kit Harington himself all say Jon loves Dany. Jon has never had to face the prospect of killing somebody he loved by his own hand. Of course it’s going to be agonizing for him.

      Kit Harington’s words on this:

      “This is the second woman he’s fallen in love with who dies in his arms and he cradles her in the same way,” Harington notes. “That’s an awful thing. In some ways, Jon did the same thing to [his Wildling lover] Ygritte by training the boy who kills her. This destroys Jon to do this.”

      So yes, for Jon, I think it’s very much duty over love as was stated in the show in 806. This is why Jon tried to dissuade Dany from this path of destruction, to show mercy, because he really doesn’t want to kill her.

      Of course Jon loves his family but he loves Dany too and he has a duty to the people. Tyrion certainly pressed the button on Jon’s Big Brother Instinct in hopes it would push Jon to that point but Jon needed to see for himself that this was the last resort before he had to kill a woman he loves. Jon knew what Dany did and was horrified by it but Jon still had hope that this isn’t who Dany would continue to be, he was looking for any reason not to kill her. If Jon wasn’t in love with Dany, the choice would be far easier but he is. Love doesn’t just die in an instant.

      But when Dany showed she was resolved, she truly thought her actions were “good”, that she “liberated” the people, that agonizing decision became clear. The Dany of before was a Dany who didn’t think like this. That Dany said, “I don’t come here to be queen of the ashes.” She said, “The blood of my enemies, not the blood of innocents.”

      Just three episodes prior, Dany was doing her duty to the realm and risking all she has to protect a people she is now queen to. She wasn’t willing to kill the small folk and children, especially not needlessly, and she didn’t view killing them as ‘liberation’. In season 5, Dany — to her own distress — locked up her dragons because Drogon ate a toddler.

      Per the showrunners, Dany did experience a mental snap when she was on the walls of King’s Landing and Dany fell wholly and completely into delusion.

      But the way they showed this to us, it’s as if every single character does something that pushes her to it, so in reality the blame is with them, not Dany. That’s justifying terrorism, it’s deflecting Dany’s own mistakes.

      No, not exactly. It’s showing how a series of events can lead somebody to snap. And Dany did snap. This wasn’t who Dany was before. Now, I don’t agree with how they did it – I think they would need a season to build up to something like 805.

      Yes, Dany is responsible for her own actions. However, they needed some motivation to get Dany from point D all the way to point Z. While I personally hate the notion of Dark Dany, I know there were seeds — but boy o boy, the Dany of 803 vs. the Dany of 805 and 806 have a huge, huge, huge divide for the reasons I’ve already stated.

      I didn’t address every point because I simply don’t see what you see (ruining Jon forever), I don’t want to go down the Jonsa road because it’s something I can’t get on board with (another instance of me not seeing what you see in their interactions), I’d be repeating myself, or it’s a battle I don’t want to pick.

      But yeah, those are my views. I don’t expect to convince you but I wanted my arguments out there.

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    226. Efi,

      Okay, I suck – I need to correct two important typos 🙂

      – “In King’s Landing, Dany went after everyone — man, woman, and *children […]”

      – “Jon didn’t lie about the Army of the Dead, he didn’t twist *facts, and he didn’t *lie about the threat it posed to humanity so I don’t see how there’s any manipulation.”

      Sorry about that, Efi! I hope that clarifies my words a bit in case my typos muddled them 🙂

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    227. Young Dragon,

      Today you can get into an airplane and go see your family wherever you are. In the middle ages people died during journeys. To appreciate situations like that you need to forget about everything you know today (that’s what I tell my students). There were no phones, no post services, every journey was either on foot or on an animal that also needed to be fed. If you didn’t find food for your animal, it would die and then you would, too. The storms caused shipwrecs so people drowned. Infections killed people. There’s a zillion dangers when travelling in the middle ages. Getting from one place to the other took months, and time only multiplied the dangers. In the middle ages many of people setting out on journeys never returned (how many western pilgrims died on their journey’s to the Holy Lands? Even western emperors died in the East).
      Apart from that, Arya’s journey is unearned in the show as well as other things. Arya says she wants to travel west one day when she’s at her lowest in Braavos. At this point she knows she has no family, she just escaped near death. Returning to WF and reuniting with her family is the answer to what she wanted as she was travelling through Westeros. She spoke about the “pack survives” in season seven, and about “family” in season 8; it’s reconnecting with family and roots and home and the past. So leaving on a journey from which she might never return feels odd. She could do that after some time, after she stayed close to one of her siblings. In the books Arya might be destined to rule, but they discarded that along with everything else. So the ending they gave to her story, even though it’s an open ending like Jon’s, is just checking another bulletpoint in a fanservice list.

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    228. Adrianacandle,

      I hope I can keep this somewhat short, lol. I don’t mind the typos, don’t worry; you are far too kind. I’m not native english, I’m not sure I can control my typos or syntax mistakes, you know? So forgive me in advance for anything that might have escaped my attention.

      In the heat of the battle you can’t control the soldiers, it’s true. It’s a fact though that Daenerys is a conqueror and Jon was her sworn ally. Daenerys’ conquest of Westeros escalated in a massacre of civilians after their surrender, and the northern troops took part in that. It’s a fact. You can’t go back from that, it happened. Someone has to pay, and in these cases it’s always the commander that takes the blame. Well, apparently, not in Westeros. It wasn’t addressed either way.
      Dany did embrace the Dothraki culture that was all about pillage and rape; she felt more comfortable with them, she understood them better, that’s why she came to command them herself, she wasn’t any khal’s wife at that point. She wasn’t that comfortable in Meereen, was she? Meereen had a different culture, there it was politics, but somehow the principles followed in Meereen, their values and morals of the Meereenese society eluded her. The show gave us well the uprising interwoven as it is with the slave issue, but failed to give us how uncomfortable Dany felt there with their culture. In the books she makes fun of it, she’s mocking it, she doesn’t understand it, that’s why she ultimately fails and returns to the Dothraki culture, which is simple: the stronger prevails, and who’s stronger when Dany alone has dragons?

      Dany punishes her enemies by becoming her enemies, by embracing their idea of justice, and that shows no superiority of character. If you want to be better, it doesn’t make sense to repeat what your enemies do, much less if you intend to rule over different peoples with different cultures, codes of honor and morals. She locked up that guy (what’s his name, I don’t remember) in his safe that was empty after she repeatedly heard him say that he was stinkingly rich (show-wise only); she took charge of the Unsullied like another master; she crucified 163 masters after seeing that they had crucified 163 children. And so many other things that I don’t remember the details right now. The fire thing is kind of different because it applies to her Targaryen side, but it also calls you to examine it side by side with what Melisandre and Stannis did. The idea here is which kind of punishment can be chosen to advocate justice. If you think that Melisandre was wrong when burning people, why is it that Dany’s burning people alive is a just punishment? Couldn’t she have chosen another way of punishment? Couldn’t she set up fair trials and then decide on the right punishment, preferably sth other than burning them alive? If you think that Aerys burning Rickard Stark (show-wise also Brandon), Stannis burning his non-adherrent to Rh’llor relatives and Mance was wrong, why is it that Daenerys’ burning of her enemies is justified? Because they were bad? Again, how do we know? How did she know? They weren’t put to trial; there was no investigation. Their burning was an intimidation act targeting the dissidents of her regime, it wasn’t justice.
      So I don’t see how it is that it should be prepared better that Dany turns against civilians. Perhaps they needed to focus more on Meereen where she does some really fucked up things, like allowing a child to be tortured, or killing the boys over 12 yo?

      Each and every scene involving Daenerys in GOT was designed to show how she gradually became more comfortable with using violence and indeed the kind of violence her dragons gave her. And she did it for political reasons, for stabilizing her rule. You say that you speak out nasty things when you’re angry, just like everyone else, but that’s not an argument. Dany is not real people like you and me. We don’t have access to weapons of mass destruction like Dany does, and we live in countries that have laws and crimes are punished. In a medieval setting absolute power means that you can do whatever you want with justice (to set things straight, that wasn’t the case neither for the West, nor for the East), and we are called to question exactly that type of authority and decide how far it can go. The showrunners used Hitler’s imagery for Meereen and for KL. They’re equating her to Hitler, and frankly, it was messed up, but it is even more messed up that our real history has images like that which served as a pool for the showrunners to draw their visual parallels from.

      So I don’t think that the destruction KL was unearned, but perhaps it would have been done better had they chosen to give it a solid political foundation, instead of the sentimental one they went for, which made her look mad. But that’s just my opinion, and I’m just one person, so it doesn’t mean anything. Many things were unfounded and unearned in the last GOT season.

      So, I read a post today, claiming that for this to have gone well and for the producers to give us a solid ending that would feel earned and justified and wouldn’t reek of plotholes everywhere, they should have given us one of two things: a) a full blown tragic romance between Jon and Dany, whereby we’d weep for the tragic ending and we’d all be alright with Jon feeling like shit for doing this to the love of his life, or b) a full blown political treason of Jon to Daenerys, in which Jon would have done everything he did to get Dany North, keep her invested by becoming her lover, support her to the end because he wants her out of Winterfell as soon as possible, and then kill her. Then he could be exiled to the far North, forever a kinslayer and a queenslayer, and a hated Targ on top of that; it would have been a fitting ending in this case.
      It is the latter that is heavily foreshadowed in the books; Jon will be Daenerys’ doom, he will be her treason for love, she loves him but he doesn’t for whatever reason. (and frankly I don’t see why Jon book-wise or show-wise should end up with wildlings, while he constantly criticises them in the books; for him they’re almost semi-barbarians, but ugh, I don’t like other things either so I won’t winge about that).

      But, they didn’t do that either. Jon and Dany’s scenes were undercut by underwhelming lines, ominous voice overs, dragons, unwanted incest, Dany’s threats, etc. The showrunners didn’t give us a romance, they gave us an abusive relationship, which they do well (they’ve given us rapes and abuses and abusive relationships in every season). We were constantly told by others that Jon loves Daenerys (Tyrion, Sansa, Davos, and then Tyrion again in the last ep). Jon told Dany he loves her only after she burned Varys and once again threatened Sansa. Ironically, it was right at that moment that Daenerys understood that Jon actually doesn’t love her. So, no, I am not convinced that Jon was ever in love with Daenerys, and this wasn’t a romance. If it started that way, if Jon was mesmerized by her, it was immediately undercut (Bran’s v.o in 7.7 to show the political conflict there) and was never meant to become a true love affair.

      That’s why I for my part don’t see what you see (lol; we don’t have to agree). The duty vs love thing is not well fitted in this discussion, as as I said (but perhaps elsewhere) they could have Tyrion having this discussion with Varys, instead of trying to convince Jon about killing Daenerys (wtf?! Tyrion brought her, why doesn’t he kill her himself? she’s responsible for his brother dying, he contributed to her instability by betraying her, and someone else has to do it for him? it’s really fucked up situation). It wasn’t Tyrion talking to Jon, it was Tyrion speaking to the audience.
      Jon says that “love is the bane of duty” which… wtf does he mean? If he’s in love with Dany, and following her and taking part in the conquest of KL is his duty, then there’s no conflict, love and duty actually coincide.
      But Tyrion says “sometimes duty kills love”, because, once again, we are told that Jon is in love with Dany. That’s what Tyrion understands, and in this case, Jon’s duty is to kill her (another wtf show moment; murder is never a duty).
      Tyrion says that to one who killed Quorin for going undercover, who betrayed Ygrit whom he loved (and told her he loved her) because his duty was with the Night’s Watch, who mercy-killed Mance, defying Stannis’ orders. So Jon knows duty when he sees it (eg the people, as you said) and he needs no reminder about what’s the right thing to do.
      Instead, his conflict is “love is the bane of duty”. For Jon, as he said in ep4, it was a matter of honor to follow through his promise to Daenerys and put her on the throne. So Daenerys being crowned queen is actually his duty, and even when he kills her, he doesn’t tell her that he loves her, he tells her that she’s his queen, so she, being his queen to be obeyed is actually his duty.
      But then, what is his love, if the two are conflicted? Well, I know that Jon loves his family and that he seemed to finally take this decision when he was reminded of his sisters.
      Again, this wasn’t done well. Jon knows that Dany will turn against WF, and it’s pretty much a certainty when he speaks with Arya that he has to kill her if he doesn’t want WF to burn with Sansa in it, so the whole discussion with Tyrion is pointless. It would be better done if they gave Jon a trial, where he’d explain himself, or a conversation with someone from his family. But they wanted Tyrion to speak to the audience (as if the audience is dumb) and they wanted to whitewash Tyrion once again to put him in the council while all this time everything that happened and Daenerys’ lapse to madness is largely his fault.

      Sansa has her own motivations. Jon giving up the North’s independence is a good motive for her to dislike Daenerys. She still strives for northern independence. I also remind you that Sansa has dealt with worse than Daenerys, so she wouldn’t be intimidated by her, wouldn’t be impressed and wouldn’t respect her just because she came with armies and dragons. In fact, if Sansa was aware of Dany’s instability, she would be reminded of particular situations she herself has been into. Sansa is jealous of Dany, and Nutter specifically directed ST as being jealous (from the inside the ep). Why did she have to get up and leave the table when she saw Jon smiling to Dany? So what is she so jealous of, that even Dany fighting with all her forces for WF didn’t make her change her mind? In ep4 it is Arya that puts that into perspective for her. But Sansa still can’t bring herself to like her, and Jon’s identity only makes it worse for her.
      The answer is in ep2 as well as in 4. Dany said “your brother”. It’s Jon, it’s Dany claiming Jon, that’s why Sansa is jealous and can’t bear the thought that Jon is leaving WF for Dany. I think it is very specific and very clear in ep4. Make of that what you will (Jonsa or not, lol, it’s all about Jon). The entire manipulation scene I didn’t particularly like. It shows that Daenerys is very well aware that Jon manipulated her into coming North and putting her plans on hold for him. You say that he slept with her long after she had agreed to aid him. It’s true, but then Jon knows that Cersei’s probably lying, and also probably suspects that the NK has raised the dead dragon (otherwise the dead bear behind the Wall makes no sense, lol; it was a damn expensive filler scene).

      Again, none of these issues were explicitly addressed in season 8. They decided to wrap it up as fast as possible, and deliberately decided to leave open ends, which is suspicious.
      Scenes were filmed in season 7 and never made it to screen, like Cersei’s miscarriage, why? Scenes were designed and made it to the final scripts, like Dany ordering Jon to her cabin, but were never filmed, why? Other scenes were swapped; eg Jon’s scene with Ghost, where he says “take care of her [:Sansa] for me”, was filmed and swapped with LF’s choking scene, which is even more explicit where Sansa is concerned in relation to Jon. Why? It’s not just money, the bear scene alone beyond the wall cost them a huge amount of money for CGI.
      My guess is that they decided around the time they were editing season 7 to omit scenes that would make things explicit (eg Jon-Dany’s power dynamic within the relationship); this would give them the freedom to do whatever they wanted with season 8, but at the same time they kept open the Jon-Sansa dynamic, because… you never know. At this point they probably knew at least roughly where season 8 would be going, and they knew it was a more open ending.
      Retrospectively, I can very well see a TV continuation of the story in a few years; perhaps Jon’s adventures, of Arya’s. Jon’s and Arya’s endings are the most open.
      In this respect, however, I have to add, that all of us reading the books and noticing the insane Jon-Sansa foreshadow, when we saw this ending we shook heads and throught, oh, Bael the Bard 2.0, right? Both in the North, both king/queen (Tormund specifically declared Jon a king); both have insane insinuations about having bastard children in the books. It’s for laughs, actually.

      Minor issues
      You can’t compare Robb and Stannis and whoever with the conqueror with dragons. In addition, the armies are not comparable. The Dothraki alove draw parallels from Hunns, Turks and Mongols, and Westeros is modelled on western Europe.
      Stannis in addition was condemned show-wise (and book-wise, but he’s still alive there) for his use of magic. This drives home the issue of Bran. How is it that another magical creature ends up on the throne? If that was the solution, Dany would do.
      Tyrion: he’s the one who told Dany that Jon loves her; Jon in s7 took advantage of Dany’s feelings, she was very partial to him, but he didn’t convince me that he was partial to her (Jon seemed distrustful of her, wondering, making faces and wincing whenever she’s not looking all through season 7). In 8.4 Tyrion pretty much confirmed it for me in his discussion with Varys. Tyrion wanted these two together, he still did after he knew about Jon’s parentage.

      In general, at least another episode was still needed to put everything into place.
      It wasn’t a brave narrative, it was sheepish, spineless, it left many things ambivalent and open to interpretations.
      By trying to strike a balance between the story, their love for particular characters (specifically for Daenerys and Tyrion), the various ships, the sexism allegations they’ve been facing, they managed to upset more than 50% of their viewers.
      If that isn’t a screw-up, I don’t know what is.

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    229. Efi,

      In the heat of the battle you can’t control the soldiers, it’s true. It’s a fact though that Daenerys is a conqueror and Jon was her sworn ally. Daenerys’ conquest of Westeros escalated in a massacre of civilians after their surrender, and the northern troops took part in that. It’s a fact. You can’t go back from that, it happened. Someone has to pay, and in these cases it’s always the commander that takes the blame.

      Okay, I can agree with that on a legal basis but that still doesn’t mean Jon, Davos, or Tyrion took part in the massacre.

      Dany did embrace the Dothraki culture that was all about pillage and rape; she felt more comfortable with them, she understood them better, that’s why she came to command them herself, she wasn’t any khal’s wife at that point.

      I’m not sure there’s any scene where Dany is actually encouraging rape. If so, can you point this scene out?

      She wasn’t that comfortable in Meereen, was she? Meereen had a different culture, there it was politics, but somehow the principles followed in Meereen, their values and morals of the Meereenese society eluded her. The show gave us well the uprising interwoven as it is with the slave issue, but failed to give us how uncomfortable Dany felt there with their culture. In the books she makes fun of it, she’s mocking it, she doesn’t understand it, that’s why she ultimately fails and returns to the Dothraki culture, which is simple: the stronger prevails, and who’s stronger when Dany alone has dragons?

      I’m not sure if I’m following this. Dany being comfortable with her Dothraki group doesn’t mean Dany approves of everything the Dothraki do. Jon is comfortable with the wildlings but he does not agree with their custom of pillaging or raiding.

      From what I can remember, Dany hated the idea of the fighting pits of Meereen and hated being forced to accept customs she objected to on a moral basis. She sucked it up in order to bring peace and stability to Meereen, growing increasingly more frustrated.

      I’m not sure how any of this shows Dany was advocating rape or needless violence against the innocent at this point?

      If you think that Melisandre was wrong when burning people, why is it that Dany’s burning people alive is a just punishment?

      The difference is context. Dany wasn’t executing innocent people via fire for the sake of a sacrifice, she was executing enemies, traitors, or those who disobeyed her as Robb did, as Jon did, as Ned did. Fire is her method of execution.

      What I will agree with is some of her killings have an element of being somewhat indiscriminate rather than individualized but Dany always had the command that her soldiers not harm innocens.

      Couldn’t she have chosen another way of punishment? Couldn’t she set up fair trials and then decide on the right punishment, preferably sth other than burning them alive?

      But why does Dany have to choose another way of punishment?

      Did Robb set up a trial for Rickard Stark? Did Jon do so for Janos Synt? Did Stannis do so for Mance Raydar? Did Ned do so for Gared?

      These executions were done on these characters’ legal authority or by right-of-conquest (prisoners of war).

      If you think that Aerys burning Rickard Stark (show-wise also Brandon), Stannis burning his non-adherrent to Rh’llor relatives and Mance was wrong, why is it that Daenerys’ burning of her enemies is justified? Because they were bad? Again, how do we know? How did she know?

      Aerys was unusually sadistic in his torture and killing of Rickard Stark. That is what he was condemned for. Stannis executed Mance as his captor, which was in Stannis’s legal right to do.

      Dany’s individualized executions of individuals are as justified as Sansa letting hounds eat Ramsay Bolton alive.

      Where I quibble with Dany’s killings is in cases like when she crucified a mass of slavers based only on a title. I felt that was too indiscriminate but not nearly on the level of King’s Landing. I can’t see any link between the two as Dany has always fought to protect the innocent and downtrodden, not burn them indiscriminately.

      So I don’t see how it is that it should be prepared better that Dany turns against civilians. Perhaps they needed to focus more on Meereen where she does some really fucked up things, like allowing a child to be tortured, or killing the boys over 12 yo?

      Well, that was in the books, not in the show and still — strafing the streets of King’s Landing, deliberately going after men, women, and children en mass (without criteria, without a purpose) after the war was won is extraordinarily different from burning enemies or punishing individuals. With her massacre of King’s Landing, Dany had no criteria — nothing. It served no purpose. Even in the example you cite, that is far different because Dany had a criteria and objective there. In King’s Landing, there was none.

      You say that you speak out nasty things when you’re angry, just like everyone else, but that’s not an argument. Dany is not real people like you and me. We don’t have access to weapons of mass destruction like Dany does, and we live in countries that have laws and crimes are punished.

      “If you talk about it, it means that you’re thinking about it as an alternative, and if you’re thinking about it you’re only a step away from making it come true,” isn’t a great argument because there’s no basis for it. If real people aren’t the basis for statements like this, because Dany is fictional, what is the basis for such an argument like this? Does it only apply to Dany? And if so, why? Before King’s Landing, has Dany indiscriminately and needlessly slaughtered entire populations before without purpose?

      The showrunners used Hitler’s imagery for Meereen and for KL. They’re equating her to Hitler, and frankly, it was messed up, but it is even more messed up that our real history has images like that which served as a pool for the showrunners to draw their visual parallels from.

      Here, you’re relating Dany to a real person, a real person who is part of recent history who lived in a society with laws and punishable crimes, but why can’t we relate Dany to you and I and what we’d do in relation to your “If you talk about it […]” argument above? Why does this argument only apply to Dany in this instance because she’s fictional but she can still be compared to monstrous people in real life?

      So, I read a post today, claiming that for this to have gone well and for the producers to give us a solid ending that would feel earned and justified and wouldn’t reek of plotholes everywhere, they should have given us one of two things: a) a full blown tragic romance between Jon and Dany, whereby we’d weep for the tragic ending and we’d all be alright with Jon feeling like shit for doing this to the love of his life

      For me, this was successfully done but YMMV 🙂

      or b) a full blown political treason of Jon to Daenerys, in which Jon would have done everything he did to get Dany North, keep her invested by becoming her lover, support her to the end because he wants her out of Winterfell as soon as possible, and then kill her.

      I think this is referring to the Political!Jon theory. I’ve never been on board with the Political!Jon theory for a wide variety of reasons. I’ve read all the metas, the posts, everything, but I see quite a few problems with it/ I’ve written about that a few times, most recently here.

      Ironically, it was right at that moment that Daenerys understood that Jon actually doesn’t love her. So, no, I am not convinced that Jon was ever in love with Daenerys, and this wasn’t a romance. If it started that way, if Jon was mesmerized by her, it was immediately undercut (Bran’s v.o in 7.7 to show the political conflict there) and was never meant to become a true love affair.

      It’s totally fine that you see it that way but I’m going by what the show intended and they scripted for Jon to be in love with Dany. The cast/crew/writers say Jon was in love with Dany. However, like examining facial features, this is an area I’m not going to pursue because it’s something that can go on forever without conclusion.

      The duty vs love thing is not well fitted in this discussion, as as I said (but perhaps elsewhere) they could have Tyrion having this discussion with Varys, instead of trying to convince Jon about killing Daenerys (wtf?! Tyrion brought her, why doesn’t he kill her himself? she’s responsible for his brother dying, he contributed to her instability by betraying her, and someone else has to do it for him? it’s really fucked up situation). It wasn’t Tyrion talking to Jon, it was Tyrion speaking to the audience.

      Tyrion was imprisoned at the time. Jon needed convincing because, whether you buy it or not, he didn’t want to kill a person he loved. However, Jon’s greater duty is to protect the people of Westeros — greater than his political allegiance to Daenerys — and he sacrificed his love to do so.

      Jon says that “love is the bane of duty” which… wtf does he mean? If he’s in love with Dany, and following her and taking part in the conquest of KL is his duty, then there’s no conflict, love and duty actually coincide.

      “Love is the death of duty” – which I take as you forsake your duty to do the right thing because of love. Jon’s greater duty — past legality — is to the people of Westeros, his duty to do the right thing, to protect the people as the “shield that guards the realms of men.” This is what Tyrion was arguing. Legality =/= right thing. Aemon’s speech to Jon all those years back wasn’t about doing the legal thing, it was about doing the right thing. A person’s duty to the right thing over love.

      When Aemon poses the question to Jon about what his father would do, Jon answers, “He would do whatever was right, no matter what.”

      But Tyrion says “sometimes duty kills love”, because, once again, we are told that Jon is in love with Dany. That’s what Tyrion understands, and in this case, Jon’s duty is to kill her (another wtf show moment; murder is never a duty).

      To stop more massacre, it is. Jaime also made a similar choice — the right thing (protect the people of King’s Landing) over his oath (serve Aerys Targaryen), which brings to mind Jaime’s monologue about oaths:

      “So many vows…they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”

      What is Jaime’s greater duty? What is Jon’s greater duty? To uphold a legal duty? Or uphold their duty to protecting the people?

      In Jon’s case, it is a situation where he chooses his duty to the right thing over love. If he chooses love, Jon knowingly allows massacre to continue in Dany’s quest to liberate the world. If he chooses to protect the people, Jon puts that over his personal desires, his love of Daenerys.

      So Jon knows duty when he sees it (eg the people, as you said) and he needs no reminder about what’s the right thing to do.

      As I said above, it’s agonizing for Jon to contemplate killing somebody he loves. He’s never had to do that before. Of course, Jon doesn’t want to kill Daenerys. Whether you believe he loves or her not, the show says he does. So of course, the show is going to have him in agony over it. Jon doesn’t want to kill a woman he loves.

      Instead, his conflict is “love is the bane of duty”. For Jon, as he said in ep4, it was a matter of honor to follow through his promise to Daenerys and put her on the throne. So Daenerys being crowned queen is actually his duty, and even when he kills her, he doesn’t tell her that he loves her, he tells her that she’s his queen, so she, being his queen to be obeyed is actually his duty.
      But then, what is his love, if the two are conflicted? Well, I know that Jon loves his family and that he seemed to finally take this decision when he was reminded of his sisters.

      Legal duty and honor do not always align with duty to the right thing. As I said above, this is Jon’s greater duty, a duty to the people, a duty to the right thing. That’s what the conversation between Tyrion and Jon is referring to.

      At the point Tyrion brought up Jon’s sisters, that was not when Jon decided to kill Daenerys. It may have spurred Jon to confront Daenerys and get out of Denial Land, but it did not make Jon decide to kill her. Jon was still intent on dissuading Daenerys from this path. It was only when Daenerys said, “[The people] don’t get to choose,” that Jon made this decision.

      I also remind you that Sansa has dealt with worse than Daenerys, so she wouldn’t be intimidated by her, wouldn’t be impressed and wouldn’t respect her just because she came with armies and dragons

      Those armies and dragons are there to help defend Sansa and their home. I’d hope if I came to help somebody with everything I have, I’d get a modicum of respect rather than assumptions based on my lineage. Sansa was unfair to Dany, she disliked her on the basis of her Targaryen heritage, which isn’t Dany’s fault. If Sansa is making assumptions about Dany based on others, that’s likewise hugely unfair as well.

      As for the rest, I’m sorry, I just won’t get into Jonsa/jealous Sansa stuff. It’s not a thread I wish to debate.

      It shows that Daenerys is very well aware that Jon manipulated her into coming North and putting her plans on hold for him.

      But how on earth did Jon manipulate Daenerys into coming North? Jon didn’t lie to Dany about the army of the dead, he didn’t twist truths, nothing Jon did meets the definition of manipulation in any way.

      Dany came North because Dany saw the army of the dead for herself. She saw the Night King take down Viserion. That’s when she vowed to fight the Night King.

      You say that he slept with her long after she had agreed to aid him. It’s true, but then Jon knows that Cersei’s probably lying, and also probably suspects that the NK has raised the dead dragon (otherwise the dead bear behind the Wall makes no sense, lol; it was a damn expensive filler scene).

      How would Jon know this about Cersei and the NK? Even Tyrion and Jaime believed Cersei and they know her far, far better than Sansa and certainly Jon.

      In this respect, however, I have to add, that all of us reading the books and noticing the insane Jon-Sansa foreshadow, when we saw this ending we shook heads and throught, oh, Bael the Bard 2.0, right? Both in the North, both king/queen (Tormund specifically declared Jon a king); both have insane insinuations about having bastard children in the books. It’s for laughs, actually.

      Again, I won’t comment on Jonsa. I’m not seeing Jonsa forshadowing in the books, it’s not something I’ll get involved in because it’s just not convincing to me and not something I want to debate. I won’t dissuade anyone else from Jonsa, I think we all have the right to speculate and theorize and wonder and create metas, but it’ll never be something I’ll discuss at length.

      You can’t compare Robb and Stannis and whoever with the conqueror with dragons.

      Well, if you’re condemning Dany on the basis of her being a conquerer, I think it is a fair comparison because Robb and Stannis are conqerers as well. She has dragons — but having dragons doesn’t necessarily make somebody better or worse than others. Dany has a greater responsibility in handling her dragons because they have the potential for great destruction but having them does not make her better or worse as a person.

      Tyrion: he’s the one who told Dany that Jon loves her; Jon in s7 took advantage of Dany’s feelings, she was very partial to him, but he didn’t convince me that he was partial to her (Jon seemed distrustful of her, wondering, making faces and wincing whenever she’s not looking all through season 7). In 8.4 Tyrion pretty much confirmed it for me in his discussion with Varys. Tyrion wanted these two together, he still did after he knew about Jon’s parentage.

      But how did Jon take advantage of Dany’s feelings? What did Jon lie about to Dany? What truths did Jon twist to get Dany to believe him on the basis of affection?

      Tyrion wanted Dany and Jon together in 804 because it would join their claims. If Jon and Dany married, nobody could pit Jon’s claim against Dany’s and cause a war.

      Likewise, I tend to avoid discussion of a person’s facial expressions because, for me, that leads to endless debates that never reach conclusion. I’ll just say I’m not seeing what you’re seeing.

      I’m sorry if I missed points n your post. I tried to pick the points I’m interested in debating. I don’t agree the narrative was left ambiguous, I think it was pretty much what they wrote is what you get. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy around dropped plot points or deleted scenes, I think it just is — for whatever reason, the showrunners didn’t think it fit the story anymore.

      However, I think we’re going to have to call a draw here. We’re interpreting the show in two very different ways and I don’t think we’ll see eye to eye on this.

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    230. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,

      Not at all! Arya taking out the Night King worked out beautifully, and (I’ve argued this before) even though they technically retconned the eyes prophecy, it works. And that’s all we should care about.

      This was an amazing season for ASNAWP, capping off her amazing series-long arc. I couldn’t be happier with where she ended up. I’m also rather surprised that she never used her face-swapping skills again after eradicating House Frey. You were right on that! I was wrong about a lot now that I look back on it, but I was right on the most important thing: Arya survived! 🙂

      Also, Arya killing the Night King doesn’t really make her Azor Ahai or the PtwP. I think that’s still Jon. It just subverts the idea that the hero is the one who lands the killing blow. Jon was still monumentally important in the defeat of the AotD, but they needed someone with the skills of Arya to land the killing blow.

      Lastly, in my head cannon, Arya returns years later after exploring the west and reconnects with Gendry, settles down and they have a son named Sandor.

      It’s the 29th and I finally have time to return to WotW from the GoT wars elsewhere. This is home and relatively calm and sane. So in case you see this: I think THIS was Arya’s season. I hoped it would be after her being Sansa’s appendage for the last 3 episodes in S7. Season 8 opened with her and closed with her and the siblings. Maisie said in some early interview that she’d get to show every facet of the emotional spectrum…and she did! You both brought me round to preferring her not to use a Face again (though many fans have whinged). And of course we all wanted her to regain her full humanity, which she has. (Thank you, Sandor.) And Enharmony, I agree with your headcanon. My variant is that she rises from her captain’s bunk and leaves Gendry sleeping while she sheathes Needle and the Dagger, grabs her telescope (an anachronism, but don’t tell the haters) and heads on deck. And that the first lush, peaceful island she comes across she names Sandoria!

      The spouse and I were generally satisfied and often exhilarated. I agree with the critics that D&D rushed things and made some big gaffes, but they did right by our Maisie. She’s has an excellent shot at an Emmy nomination, and both Variety and Gold Derby think she could win. I would award it to her based just on that amazing sequence where she flees through the Kings Landing Holocaust yet tries to help others. In the end, she rises from the ashes like a phoenix, her face a mask of ash and blood, and embraces peace in the form of that white horse.

        Quote  Reply

    231. I’ve been avoiding reading this article simply because I didn’t want the negativity from critics to drag down my enjoyment of the finale. Reading through now I’m glad probably two thirds are positive in their review, the other third still disappoint me though.

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