What an end to series.
The final season of Game of Thrones has been interesting, to say the least. For the last six weeks, our news feeds have been lighting up with the latest Game of Thrones news, memes and controversy. We’ve had the Starbucks cup, the Mysterious Case of The Regrown Hand, and petitions to reshoot the season. The series finale left many yelling at their televisions in a dissatisfied rage, with fans feeling they had had a very rushed conclusion.
The biggest issue fans seem to have had has been the drastic character arc changes and the character arcs that went nowhere. Daenerys went from the loving queen who cried when her dragon killed one innocent child in Mereen to suddenly becoming the Mad Queen, slaughtering thousands in King’s Landing. Jaime Lannister’s entire redemption arc appeared scrapped in favor of him dying alongside his sister, leaving behind a heartbroken Brienne. The Iron Fleet and the Golden Company, who had been teased as formidable foes, were destroyed in mere minutes of the Battle of King’s Landing beginning, despite successfully killing one of Daenerys’ dragons and destroying half her fleet in the previous episode. Jon Snow’s true name and parentage as Aegon Targaryen had been built up the entire season, with Varys losing his life over backing him to be king, only for it to amount to absolutely nothing. Arya who spent two seasons training to be a Faceless Man to complete her kill list, never kills Cersei, the main person on her list. Bran, who previously stated he cannot be Lord of Winterfell because he is the Three-Eyed Raven is suddenly crowned King of the Andels. All these seasons of build-up, and there is no “happy” ending.
But it was a perfect Game of Thrones ending.
Right from the start, this was not a show about happy endings. Despite the fantasy, this was no fairytale. There was no good note to end on because we never started on a good one. We start with a king whose children aren’t his own, a man forced into being the hand of the king, a young man who was a bastard and shunned by his family, a girl being sold into marriage, and a boy being pushed out of a window for the sake of preserving an incestual relationship. So you have to ask, how did you see this resolving happily? As Ramsey said, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.
Game of Thrones fans still have reason to rejoice. For those who enjoy a good book, George R. R. Martin has not finished writing the series. Season 6-8 were written only with an outline of George’s two upcoming books, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, both of which are still in the works. George has even teased a possible 2020 release for The Winds of Winter. – and he has already said that the book series won’t end the way the television series did.
Now, as we say goodbye to a series, one thing rings true: in the words of Tyrion Lannister, “There is nothing more powerful than a good story.”