‘Game of Thrones’: The Series Finale No One Saw Coming


Karissa Schaefer, Freelance Editor

What an era it has been. For the past nine years, HBO has given us eight seasons of one of the best shows on television, Game of Thrones. The series came to a close with its sixth episode of season eight premiering on May 19, 2019. The episode titled “The Iron Throne” was the highest rated, totaling at about 19.3 million viewers from HBO Go and the normal airing channel. It was certainly a way to go out.

Many fans were left dissatisfied with the overall season, and even more so with how it concluded. With fan favorite, Daenerys Targaryen, dying in the finale, albeit prematurely, many people were hoping for at least a better ending than what they got. Targaryen fans were left unhappy with an ending that paid homage to Stark fans, all of them getting what they truly want. Jon was sent back to North of the Wall with Tormund and Ghost, which was meant to be a punishment, but was not actually convincing. Jon’s place is in the North so in a way it was satisfying; however, his true Targaryen lineage was left in the dust. Then we have Arya, who sets out on a voyage decked out in the Stark’s very own ship to discover “what’s west of Westeros,” a fitting ending for her character arc. Sansa got named Queen of the North back in Winterfell, a happy ending for all the torment she went through. Then we have Bran the Broken, named King of the Six Kingdoms. Being the Three-Eyed Raven, he isn’t impartial to anyone, as Tyrion points out he’s the best fit. No one disagrees, for some reason. It’s also important to note Tyrion was just raving about how Jon deserves the Throne earlier in the episode, but yet after Jon kills Dany, there’s no hope. Also, I can’t be the only one that finds it odd Greyworm or the Dothraki didn’t kill him on the spot. Tyrion was named hand of the King, Brienne named to commander of the King’s Guard, and Davos, Bronn, and Sam were given spots on the council. All in all, there were satisfying character arcs, like Jorah and Theon. Even some of these characters belong in their places. Though, there were clearly plot holes, and with a shortened season, sloppy writing that was rushed.

Being so outraged with this problematic ending, fans started a petition to remake season eight, which garnered over one million signatures. Of course it won’t happen, with the time cast and crew put in along with the $15 million budget per episode. Maybe people wouldn’t be as angry if they knew they were getting another season or even at least ten episodes. Initially, when I watched the episode, I didn’t have an issue with it. But letting it sink in, I start to think about where it went wrong. Dany’s death didn’t sit right, Bran on the throne wasn’t terrible, I’m glad Jon was happy but I wish there was more, Tyrion and Jon’s talk seemed as a waste of time now, Varys was right, Jaime should’ve killed Cersei, and the Night King should’ve been the final villain. Even with all these issues, I can still appreciate earlier seasons, scenes, and episodes. Cinematography was amazing, particularly this season. Writing in earlier seasons, besides minor dialogue scenes, was always on par. The acting and crew gave it their all, even if they had personal discrepancies or issues going on. I can truly admire the hard work that went into everything and would definitely recommend this show to anyone out there.

People are certainly sad it’s over, but Game of Thrones is far from finished. There is a prequel in the works that recently started shooting, with actors like Naomi Watts and John Simm joining the cast. The prequel is set hundreds of years before Game of Thrones establishing the first “Long Night” and will explain many origin stories including Bran the Builder, the White Walkers, etc. Also, author of the book series titled, A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin, is still working on putting out his last two books. He has hinted at the show’s ending and the book’s ending being alike in some ways and different in others. We’ll just have to wait, read, and theorize.