If there’s one thing you could change about the finale of this spectacular HBO series, created by author-magician, George R.R. Martin, what would it be?
Danaerys Targaryen’s end? Jon Snow’s fate—return to the Night’s Watch? Tyrion Lannister’s switch from prisoner to free man to Hand-of-the-ruler? Cersei’s and Jaime’s deaths? Bran Stark’s unanimous election as king of Six Kingdoms?
Ever since the finale to an eight-season run of Game of Thrones aired on Sunday, May 19, 2019, the news and social media has been ablaze. Some viewers outright hated the end. Several criticized that the end was far too abrupt considering the build-up across 7 majestic seasons and 7 kingdoms. Others loved how the characters (both primary and secondary) got what they deserved like death, retribution, redemption, loss, love, freedom and for some a life-changing game that took them back full circle to where they started in season 1.
What fascinated me (throughout the series) were the countless twists, turns, complicated family and character plots and how they all came together in the war against the White Walkers and then against the Lannisters—Drogon included (just loved those dragons!!). The scale and severity of details in world-building were incredible throughout but the reversals – THE REVERSALS – and FULL CIRCLES nailed the whole series for me.
Danaerys, the Breaker of Chains, who set people free from tyranny not only outlived the biggest tyrant, Cersei, but Danaerys became a far more dangerous tyrant than the 7 kingdoms had ever seen. Danaerys freed countless people from physical chains but by doing so she emotionally chained and locked those very people into loving and serving her forever.
Tyrion Lannister, the Imp, spent the initial seasons living the life of luxury and waste that he desired and was wanted by none of the Lannisters. He was a nobody almost. At the end of the series, Tyrion holds one of the most important positions as the Hand of the new King, Bran the Broken, but he doesn’t want the title and its responsibilities because of the mistakes (he thinks) he’s made. Now he’s chained for life in servitude.
Jon Snow, the rightful heir, wanted nothing more than to loyally serve who he thought was the rightful queen in the finale. But as we plodded along the series we learned that not only did Jon have the qualities of good and noble king, but he didn’t want the title, the kingship or its responsibilities. He just wanted to serve. He ended up serving a life sentence of (almost) exile in the finale.
Cersei spent the entire series holding on to the Iron Throne for her children (or so she claimed) and lost all her children as a result and finally the Iron Throne while pregnant with another child.
Jon Snow, began the series as a member of the night’s watch and after the incredible journey and so close to claiming title of King of the 6 Kingdoms, he sacrificed himself for the greater good, lost everything as a result and was sentenced to a lifetime of being a member of the night’s watch. Or who knows… he may have abandoned that to live free among the Wildlings?
Jaimie and Cersei (incestuous relationship) were wrapped in each other’s arms in the beginning (when they pushed Bran from a turret window) and died at the end holding on to each other as rubble caved in on them.
The series (I remember) began with a quest for a wise and noble person to sit on the Iron Throne. At the end, Danaerys (originally wise and kind hearted) finally reached the Iron Throne in King’s Landing and touched it but that’s precisely where her story ended along with the Iron Throne itself so that no one could ever claim it. Danaerys wanted to break the wheel and that’s what she did. The quest for a new king / queen for a new and better world (6 kingdoms) started a new wheel in the finale.
I could go on but I think there are enough wise people out there on social and news media talking, challenging, petitioning for a different end or fates for several characters. Which goes to show the power of story can transcend suspension of disbelief altogether. Think about it…Westeros, King’s Landing, Naath and Drogon don’t exist but when you have a story this incredible and spectacular the physical logistics go out the window and the audience believes the story in their hearts.
Who knows how hard and for how long members of the series’ international audience will fight for their perfect end?
In The End, the phenomenal author, George R. R. Martin, HBO, all the members of the crew, leading, supporting and tertiary actors have dueled, fought, raged, ravaged wars and are now listening to the sweet sounds of cash cha-ching all around. Funny enough, this is what the author-creator has to say about all the hype on the internet.
It’s fiction, I repeatedly tell myself. Pure fiction. A group of very talented people brought a story to life and now we the audience are dueling and raging over The End of this marvelous piece of fiction!!
And guess who is having the last laugh? https://youtu.be/VLNHQMgvngc