By Ailin L.
The HBO megahit drew 13.6 million viewers for its initial airing of the series finale Sunday night. Adding in replays and early streaming, that figure climbs to 19.3 million. Both figures are records not just for Game of Thrones, but for HBO’s entire history. After eight seasons of white-knuckling it through the show’s engrossing twists and turns, “Game of Thrones” fans tuned in record numbers Sunday night to see which character would sit on the Iron Throne.
In the end, Daenerys Targaryen was killed by Jon Snow after going mad and burning King’s Landing. Drogon, Daenerys’ last dragon burned down the Iron Throne and flew off with her body. Cersei and Jaime Lannister died in each other’s arms in the Red Keep during the destruction of King’s Landing.
When no clear king or queen could be crowned, a council of the lords and ladies of noble houses was formed to decide the nation’s future. After a rousing, convincing speech from Tyrion, they elected Bran to be the new king with Tyrion being chosen as his Hand. Sansa declared the North an independent kingdom with Bran’s blessings with her becoming the ruler. Grey Worm and Daenerys’ remaining forces demand justice for her death so Jon is sent back to the Night’s Watch.
I was disappointed with the ending of the show because it was a little unbelievable that Bran would become the new king, especially when some of the people on the council deciding who should be the new ruler seemed to be more obvious choices (for example Sansa). She has learned the best lessons from the worst people in the game who tortured her. Sansa became an unequivocal tactical and leadership genius by learning how to wield power against enemies to scheme for ultimate good.
Bran has not really contributed anything to the plot, he was one of the characters lacking the most development during season 8. Bran stated in season 7 episode 3 that he could never be lord of anything because he is the Three-Eyed Raven, so I’m sure being King of the Seven Kingdoms would be included in that statement as well. So I am confused to why he would agree to be the new ruler. Why did he tell Jon the truth of his patronage if Bran didn’t want Jon to make a move for the Iron Throne?
There were 7 seasons of Daenerys Targaryen being built up as one of the main heroes in the show and this was torn down and destroyed in the final three episodes. The downfall of Daenerys was so sudden that it was hard to take so I felt betrayed by it. When the bells rang out around Kings Landing and Dany decided to burn down the city anyway — killing thousands of people in the process — it just didn’t feel like the decision that the Daenerys we’d followed for eight seasons would make.
If I was in charge of making Season 8, I would take more time creating the last season. The whole thing just felt like it was rushed. Everything in season eight seemed to be happening too quickly. A lot of information was being crammed into one feature-length episode, we could not enjoy the big pay-off moments in the way that we had done previously like Jon riding Rhaegal. It just happened and it didn’t feel like a big event at all. The early seasons of Game of Thrones were dialogue heavy, building up characters and there wasn’t much on-screen action, season eight and to some degree six and seven were not like this at all.
I would create more exciting moments in the show. Jaime and Cersei’s death was really anti-climactic. The story arc of the sibling lovers was threatened more than once to end in betrayal or murder, but in the end, the two were killed by falling rocks while trying to run away from Daenerys and Drogon’s fire frenzy on the Red Keep. A little bit of a letdown for the fans.