GAME OF THRONES RECAP S8EP6 THE IRON THRONE

Paul Mendoza

“Blood of my blood. You kept all your promises to me. You killed my enemies in their iron suits. You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms!” – Daenerys to her army, after their victory.

Well, that was that. Amid so much anger from the fans leading up to the finale Game of Thrones came to an end. The finale was filled with some beautiful images and some shocks and surprises. Only one more death! All the Starks survived but went their separate ways. And Drogon disappeared. And we got an Edmure Tully sighting!

“I know a killer when I see one.” Aya about Dany

As Jon, Ser Davos and Tyrion surveyed the wreckage of King’s Landing Tyrion had only one thing in mind; to know if his brother and sister had survived or not. They passed charred bodies and skeletal remains and one man who wanders in a daze with his skin scorched from his body which reminded me of images from Vietnam and the effects of napalm. Tyron makes his way into the Red Keep and down below seeing a pile of rubble. He notices a small hole at the top of the rubble which gives him some hope but then he sees Jamie’s golden hand. He starts to remove the rocks and discovers the bodies of Jamie and Cersei. He’s reduced to tears and so was I. It’s very das, in fact, the whole episode feels very sad and chilling.

Jon comes across Grey Worm in the middle of executing a group of Lannister soldiers. Jon and Davos please with him to stop. “Look around you, friend. We won!”, Davos tells him. It makes no difference. He is following his Queen’s orders. Jon tries to stop it but Davos cautions him to speak to the Queen before another burst of violence breaks out. Grey Worm carries out Dany’s order as Jon and Davos walk away.

The vision of The Unsullied and The Dothraki assembled in force in front of the huge Targaryen banner hanging before them. Dany makes her appearance at the top of the stairs with Drogon behind her, spreading his wings that made it look as if she, herself, had wings. It was a gorgeous shot. This was something right out of Triumph Of The Will and it was scary. Dany gives a speech in Valyrian so Jon may not have understood it when she said the war is not over and that they will free everyone from ‘Winterfell to Dorne’. Tyron understood. He walks up to her and she con fronts him. “You set your brother free.” to which Tyrion responds, “And you destroyed a city’. He then takes his Hand Of The Queen pin off and tosses it down the steps. Dany has him arrested. Ayra watches in disgust and makes her way next to Jon who’s stunned to see her there.

“She’s everyone’s queen now.” – Jon to Arya
“Try telling Sansa that.” – Arya

Jon visits the imprisoned Tyrion who is thankful because “Our queen doesn’t keep prisoners very long”. Tyron makes one last plea for his life and for everyone’s life. Jon still resists but you can see he knows Tyrion and Arya and Sansa are right.

“Everywhere she goes, evil men die and we cheer her for it. And she grows more sure that she is good and right.” – Tyrion

Jon leaves Tyrion without consenting to what Tyrion is asking of him but he heads straight to The Great Hall where Dany is. We get another gorgeous image when Jon comes across Drogon who’s been napping under a pile of ash and rubble. He emerges from it and shakes it off like a sleepy puppy. He’s nose to nose with Jon and since he knows the dude and his friendly with his mom he lets him pass. Oh, he will have to live with that mistake for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile Dany is reveling in her victory as she walks through the destroyed throne room. It’s exactly like the vision she had in the House Of The Undying in the Season Two finale. She approaches the Iron Throne with lust in her eyes. She touches the steel cold arm but doesn’t sit.

Jon walks and she’s happy to see him. Jon tries to make her see what a terrible thing she has done but she’s not remorseful. She is in such a daze, happy, looking towards the future. She’s so earnest you almost forget what she’s just done as much as she could care less.

“Be with me. Build the new world with me. This is our reason. It has been from the beginning since you were a little boy with a bastard’s name and I was a little girl who couldn’t count to twenty. We do it together. We break the wheel together.” Dany to Jon.

A sad Jon takes her in his arms and it’s just like old times and she’s smiling into his eyes.“You are my queen. Now and always.” – Jon to Dany, and they start kissing, passionately, sweetly and then Jon before stabs her. The look of surprise on her face is so sad. She wanted to believe that he was all in. He lays her down and she dies. Then we hear Drogon circling. Oh boy. he lands and looks at mom. he nudges her with his nose. He looks at Jon. He is pissed. I thought for sure he was going to incinerate Jon but just as you see the fire start forming in the back of Drogon’s throat he turns and shoots his anger at the Iron Throne and melts it into liquid. Dragon picks up Dany in his claw and then flies away to who knows where.

There’s a time jump as we see Tyrion looking more worse for the wear than the last time we saw him but he’s still alive. Grey Worm comes and takes him to The a Dragon Pit where there is a large gathering assembled much like in the Season Seven finale. It seems the heads of all the Seven Kingdoms are there plus a few honorary others (Davos, Sam, Brienne). Sansa wants to know why Jon wasn’t brought out as well. Grey Worm is still sore at him for killing his queen. Let the negotiating begin!

They convince Grey Worm to abide to whatever the knew King or Queen decides. So who steps up to the plate to throw his name in the hat?

The long missing Edmure Tully! I was wondering if he was still wasting away with n a dungeon but no, he looks fit and healthy and as stupid as ever. “Uncle, please sit.” Sansa chides. Sam offers the novel idea that everyone in the Seven Kingdoms should get a vote and he’s quickly laughed back into his seat. Tyrion comes up with the idea to select ‘Bran the Broken’! Bran who has been claiming he doesn’t want at all not even to be ‘Bran Stark’ eagerly accepts the crown and all give their approval…..except Sansa. She loves him but after all that’s happen she stays true to what she’s been fighting for ever since she escaped from Ramsey Bolton and Bran nods his head and grants her her demand.

“The North will remain an independent kingdom, as it has for thousands of years.” – Sansa to Bran.

The assembled Lords and Ladies cheer!

“All hail Bran the Broken! King of the SIX Kingdoms!”

On top of it all, Bran names Tyrion to be his Hand. Tyron admits he wasn’t very good Hand to Dany but Bran is sure. “He’s made many mistakes. He’s going to spend the rest of his life fixing them.” Grey Worm abides to the pardon of Tyrion but not Jon. There needs to be justice.

A cleaned up Tyrion comes to see a straggly looking Jon. He tells him that his punishment will be to return to the Nights Watch. Why is there a Nights Watch anymore? To rebuild that spot where there’s a big home? When Jon asks if Tyrion thought they did the right thing Tyrion responds by saying “Ask me in ten years”. This was a preplanned response from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to all the fans they knew would hate the last few episodes. They were right on both counts.

Jon puts on his IKEA rug once more and says goodbye to his siblings on the docks before he boards that boat North.

“What’s west of Westeros” Arya asks.
“I don’t know” Jon says.
“That’s where I’m going” Which is what she always talked about.

“You have your needle?” and that’s when I started to cry.

“The North is free thanks to you” Jon says to Sansa.
“But they lost their king” Sansa tells him.

Then Jon kneels before Bran.
“Your grace.  I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me.” he tells him.
“You were right where you were supposed to be” says Mr. Know it all.

I loved how nervous Tyrion was as he prepared for his first small council as The Hand Of King Bran. He even straightened out the chairs! Sweet. Then in walked in Sam in his maester attire, Bronn as master of coin, Brienne is commander of the King’s Guard and Ser Davos as master builder or perhaps ‘rebuilder’? Sam presents a new history that Archmaester Ebrose has written about the wars after the death of King Robert. . Sam is proud that he helped with the title; A Song Of Fire and Ice, of course. The biggest kick in the seat is that the book makes no mention of Tyrion whatsoever. Don’t worry, Tyrion, King Bran remembers.  Ser Pod rolls the King in. Bran remarks that they’re short a master of Whisperers and a couple others. Tyrion’s working on it. No word about where Drogon is do King Bran lets them carry on while he wargs into his ravens and goes to look for Drogon. The small council begin to squabble about building new brothels or new sewage systems as the camera pulls back. Normality is back and I can’t help but thinking how boring things will be now around Westeros.

We see Brienne writing in the Book of Knights. Jamie’s history stopped with him becoming the ‘King Slayer’. Brian fills in what happened since and makes it all sound honorable. The last entry was simply ‘he died protecting his Queen’. Some people thought this was demeaning to Brienne after what Jamie did to her but I found it sweet. She loved him and he loved her as much as he could, he certainly respected her. He had redeemed himself a great deal since pushing that little boy out the window in the very first episode. But his greatest weakness was his love for his sister. He died in her arms, they died wrapped together just as they were in the womb. It was the death he wanted.

The final images followed the Stark children. Aya sailing away on a boat to the far ends of the world just as she always wanted. Sansa is crowned Queen of The North. She became a Queen just as she always wanted. Jon arrives at Castle Black, where only Tormand and a bunch of Wildings reside. And he finally pets and hugs Ghost. He is such a good boy and he looked so happy. He leads the rag tag game of Free Folk through the gates and ride off past The Wall and into the True North. He can finally find peace. And maybe a Wilding woman like Ygritte to settle down with.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed the final episodes. They were all magnificent. We have never seen anything of this scale on the small screen before. Would I have liked an extra episode or two? Sure. Could the transformation of Daenerys been handled better? Sure. But everything happened the way it should have. All things must come to an end and most times it’s not the end we expected or wished for but end they must. A show like this with so many storylines and characters and twists and turns was never going to be able to satisfy everyone in the end. I, for one, am satisfied. I am sad. And it left me feeling lonely. I imagine that all these very very angry people crying about how the show was terrible and they wasted eight years of their lives will look back ten years from now and see it differently. It was an amazing show. I am thankful I got to experience it with my dearest friends year by year, Sunday after Sunday. We should all be thankful. And we will all be secretly hoping for everyone to get back together somewhere down the road and give us a sequel.