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The Game Of Thrones Finale Was Good (Not Great)

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 4.23.12 PM After Sunday’s finale, I was very surprised to see people on the internet were very mad on-line about Game of Thrones’ finale. Personally, as a watcher and reader of GoT from the beginning, I feel satisfied with the ending. Was it the GOAT or on par with ‘Breaking Bad’? No, but it not being at that level doesn’t mean it was bad. It successfully closed out the 8-season story where a TON of different narratives all intersected in one single moment. I don’t want to go through the entire episode, so instead here is some moments from it that I loved along with my thoughts on the main characters conclusions.

Jon Snow: He is what he always has been, the reluctant hero that does what he has to to guard to realms of men even when it means killing the people he loves. At the start of the episode he is still steadfast in his loyalty, because after all he is an honorable “Stark” and all of that. It takes a combination of what he has seen Dany is capable of, some convincing from Tyrion (the first friend he ever made in the series), and Daenerys’s rejection of his last-second plea for him to come to the conclusion that she has to die. He sacrifices his place in the world, his love and assumedly his life for this goal.And in the end, he gets to leave the world that chewed him up and spat him out, living the rest of his days with the one peoples in Westeros that don’t care about the politics of the 7 Kingdoms.

I think this is a fitting conclusion for his arc. He’s never cared to rule and he’s never wanted a fight. He’s only ever wanted to do the right thing and insure that those he loves are safe. Killing Dany accomplishes this goal, and in the end he gets to finally be free of the burdens of his bloodline, command, and politics. Also, this reveals him to probably be Azor Ahai (The Prince That Was Promised) as per the prophecy.

“Darkness lay over the world and a hero, Azor Ahai, was chosen to fight against it. To fight the darkness, Azor Ahai needed to forge a hero’s sword. He labored for thirty days and thirty nights until it was done. However, when he went to temper it in water, the sword broke.” Jon lead the fight against the Night King (tempering in water (ice))), but even after he won the darkness was not defeated. 

“He was not one to give up easily, so he started over. The second time he took fifty days and fifty nights to make the sword, even better than the first. To temper it this time, he captured a lion and drove the sword into its heart, but once more the steel shattered.” Jon defeated the Lannisters (Lions) at King’s Landing, but the darkness still remained. 

“The third time, with a heavy heart, for he knew before hand what he must do to finish the blade, he worked for a hundred days and nights until it was finished. This time, he called for his wife, Nissa Nissa, and asked her to bare her breast. He drove his sword into her breast, her soul combining with the steel of the sword, creating Lightbringer, while her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon.” Jon killed Dany with a knife to the heart, and her death brought an end to the darkness by “creating” Lightbringer (King Bran).

Daenerys: She essentially had her Anakin turning into Darth Vader moment in ‘The Bells’. She’s struggled against the worst side of her Targaryen impulses throughout the length of the show, whether characters of the show (and also viewers) chose to see that or not. She’s always been vengeful, always enjoyed death of “her enemies” and was always quick to resort to fire and blood over diplomacy unless advised against it by her council. This transition into the Mad Queen was not nearly as sudden as everyone seems to think, and it seems almost like people confuse her last straw (Missandei’s death) as the only straw, which is not the case. She’s watched basically everyone she loves either die loving her or live to hate/fear her. Her scene in the plaza where she proclaims that she will liberate the world, deeming nobody else fit to rule, is perfectly dark and an incredible moment for the conclusion of her arc. She carries this feeling into the throne room where she offers Jon the chance to rule together because her way has to be right way. This is sort of the lesson of the whole show, absolute power eventually corrupts absolutely. When she deprived the common people she’s supposed to be liberating the choice of who to follow, she’s no better than the masters she killed in Essos. When she treats human lives as something quantifiable to the purposing of teaching the realm a lesson, she is no better than Cersei destroying the Sept. Just because we’ve seen her brutality (burning people alive, crucifiction, melting her own brother) in effect vs Slavers and Dothraki doesn’t mean her methodology wasnt still inherently evil. Her dying at the hands of Jon because she cannot come to terms with the fact that she has become what she set out to destroy was a totally fitting end to her journey.

Tyrion: Sort of like a more pragmatic version of Jon, Tyrion has also usually wanted what is best for everyone. Seeing the carnage in the beginning of the episode, especially after having just betrayed his friend because of his belief in Daenerys’s inherent goodness, was a great turning point in his allegiance. He puts his life in danger by rejecting what he has come to recognize as tyranny. Later on, his moment where he makes one last jailside plea that for once isn’t for his life, but for the lives of all who would suffer under Daenerys’s rule was outstanding. The punishment he receives is also perfect, as the position of Hand of the King took everything from him. It cost him his love, his face, his friends, and more. What better way for him to “suffer” than to continue doing it for the rest of his life.

Bran: A reoccuring theme both in real life history and the history of the show is that the best rulers are the ones that don’t want to rule. Varys emphasized this a lot near the end of the show, which should have been a bigger giveaway that either Bran or Jon would end up on the throne. Bran is someone who wants nothing other than the continued existence of mankind. Was he a super-annoying, Jaden Smith-esque character that the writers didn’t do a good job of making more appealing? Yes. However, I don’t know if there is anyone that could suddenly acquire the ability to see literally the entire past, present and future without being at least a little bit touched. A lot of people took issue with the way Bran handled his newfound abilities, but there are two main takeaways I have for that. The first is that he is still relatively new to his powers. The OG 3 eyed raven was over a thousand years old and even he didn’t really figure out how to use his powers correctly to alter the future for the better. Second, it’s sort of like the Dr. Strange moment in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. If he tells people what’s going to happen, it might not happen. I’m fine with the extent of his powers being relatively non-descript, mostly because omniscience is sort of a grey area for the fantasy genre. Just ask Heimdall.

Arya: The pure outrage online that Arya wasn’t the one to kill Cersei or Daenerys still doesn’t make sense to me. I get the whole “brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes” prophecy from Melisandre, but maybe take into account that she is the same person who staked her whole life on Stannis Baratheon being the prince who was promised. She’s been extremely wrong multiple times already so I don’t see why it’s so outrageous for her to be wrong again. Arya had her moment for the season killing the Night King, and this show just isn’t about her. Her story is one of many, so having her be the sudden focus by killing every major character would suck. Her realization with the Hound that obsessing over revenge can only lead to a pyrrhic victory at best is important for her arc. As far as her deciding to go full Christopher Columbus, there isn’t much more peaceful of a transition for a trained killer than becoming an explorer.

 Sansa: Her arc is the one that I truly did feel was rushed. She went from being an easily manipulated child to essentially the new Littlefinger in what felt like far too quick of a transition. She’s supposed to be the smartest person left in the show, and yet has a total and complete failure to see the bigger picture and constantly shows her hand to Daenerys. Her insistence that the North cede from the rest of the kingdoms at maybe the one point in history that the North should be loyal to the throne was confusing. Not only is a “Stark” on the throne, but there is now a democratic system in place where there can not be another Joffrey or Cersei in power (theoretically). Deciding to rebuild the obliterated north by yourself instead of with the combined effort of Westeros had me scratching my head, but at the same time it was also sort of in line for her insular, sort of xenophobic thoughts for Westeros.

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