After 73 episodes it is all over.
I was hoping the finale would redeem Series 8 but it hasn’t. I guess we just have to wait for the books.
There so many areas it fell apart this season, I can’t cover all of them. For me the biggest is Dany slaughtering innocents.
Some people have argued that she has always shown a willingness to kill her enemies, even with a high civilian toll. And that is true. But that misses the point of what she did in Episode 5 being so badly scripted.
A script writer commented on a podcast that good dramatic tension is when characters have to choose between two evils or two goods. Do you go for the less of two evils? The better of two goods? A decision between laying siege to Kings Landing and attacking it would fall into those categories – you can make a case for either.
But when the bells of surrender have sounded, and you have won, and you decide to carry on slaughtering those who have surrendered, plus fleeing children, that is not good plot. That is a caricature of good vs evil. It was unbelievable.
And so much of this season just ignored what were the main dramatic points of the past – which brother would kill Cersei, who would be the Prince that was Promised that would defeat the Night King. Hell what was the Night King even about. Season 8 just took characters from the end of Season 7 to get them to the finale, with no finesse. The major major plot in the books was about Jon really being a Targaryen, yet in the TV series it turned out to be inconsequential.
And don’t even start me on making Bran King.
Please GRRM, get a move on and finish the books.
Anyway here are the main takeaways:
- Tyrion finds Jaime’s golden hand in the ruins. A very sad moment. Then the bodies of Jaime and Cersei
- Dany does a victory speech and makes Grey Worm Master of War as a reward for slaughtering surrendered soldiers
- Arya tells Jon Dany will always see him as a threat and will eventually kill him
- Jon is defending Dany to Tyrion until Tyrion points out she has killed more innocents than all the villians
- Jon remonstrates with Dany in the throne room about how she killed lots of kids and she compares it to him hanging the boy who betrayed him
- Jon declares “You are my queen now and always” and then stabs her
- Drogon is very upset but instead of melting Jon he melts the Iron Throne instead
- Very sad scene where Drogon nudges up to Dany and then takes her away
- A great council is held and they elect Bran as King. The guy who just stares at people!
- Bran appoints Tyrion Hand of the King
- Jon puts on his Night’s Watch cloak and heads to the wall. At least he’ll see Ghost again
- The Unsullied led by their war criminal commander head overseas to fight for slaves against masters
- Arya heads overseas to explore unexplored lands west of Westeros
- Sansa becomes Queen of the North
- Sam writes “A Song of Ice and Fire” and is Grand Meister
- Bronn becomes Master of Coin
- Brienne is Master of War
- Jon gets to Castle Black and reunites with Tormund and Ghost
The 20 questions are updated below.
- Who sits on the Iron Throne at the end? Well Drogon melts it, but Bran becomes King
- Is Tyrion a third Targaryen? Or are Jaime and Cersei? Sadly, no-one is. Prophecy ignored.
- Who will kill Cersei? Tyrion or Jaime or Arya? Will her baby survive? Disappointly they ignore prophecy again and she is killed by debris from Drogon’s attack
- Who is Azor Ahai, the prince that was promised, and who will they have to kill to forge Lightbringer? Sort of Jon Snow but again the prophecy was basically ignored also.
- What impact has Bran had on the past? Did he cause the Mad King to go mad? Did he create the Night King? No.
- What secrets lie in the crypts under Winterfell? None.
- Who will win Cleganebowl? They both die, which was sort of fitting.
- Who else will Arya kill? Will she complete her list? Sadly no one else on her list
- What does Varys do before he dies? He betrays Dany who burns him.
- How does Melisandre die and what does she do before then? Helps saver the day and dies of old age
- What happens to Gendry? Lord of Storms End
- Jaime and Brienne? Got together finally but then for no good reason he leaves her for Cersei.
- Will we see Nymeria in action? Ghost? Ghost fights in the battle for WInterfall and stays north. Sadly no Nymeria. Again the whole direwolf plot seems to have been abandoned.
- Which dragons, if any, survive? Drogon who flies off with his dead mummy
- What happens to House Greyjoy? Theon rescued Yara and Euron is bedding Cersei. Theon died protecting Bran from the Night King. Euron dies after attacking Jaime. Yara gets to rule.
- Does Sam survive? And is to be a daddy
- Which cities fall before the Night King is defeated? Basically none. He got defeated in the first real battle, which again is disappointing.
- Does Bronn get his castle? HighGarden
- How does the Night King get killed? How is the undead dragon killed? Arya with her dagger
- Does Tyrion betray Dany? Not really. More she betrayed him
I’ll still regard the TV series as some of the best television ever. There were many stunning episodes. The final season does let the series down, but it doesn’t wipe out all those great hours of viewing.