Where to start with this episode. My wife said “Westeros is purgatory in a logging town”, a reference to the final episodes of both Lost and Dexter. I can’t say I disagree with her. I have said many times that I think people are going to look at this episode the same way they regard the final episode of those shows. So here we go, just going to get right into it and tear the band-aid off.
TYRION LANNISTER: THE CAUSE OF, AND SOLUTION TO ALL OF LIFE’S PROBLEMS
I still cannot figure out how Tyrion was not mentioned anywhere in Maester Ebrose’s Song of Ice and Fire history compendium. I understand that it’s supposed to be a jab at Tyrion, but he was so important to so many events throughout the series that his omission has to be a willful and hateful act. I suppose we’ll never know why it happened, but that’s true for so many other plot lines as well.
Tyrion has been so instrumental to this entire story you could make the argument that he is the main character. Think about all of his contributions. He secured the hill tribes to fight alongside the Lannister forces and helped win a war, he was able to outsmart Stannis’ forces in the Battle of Blackwater Bay, he was Hand to Joffrey and was, at least a little bit, able to curtail his cruelty and keep him in check. His involvement with Daenerys as well as his own family was the reason the struggle for the realm took as long as it did. He killed his father and weakened the Lannister family by doing so. He was instrumental in keeping Jorah Mormont alive long enough to get his Greyscale cured so he could die for Daenerys at the Battle for Winterfell, and so much more. It’s terrible that he was omitted from the histories.
THINGS I WANT ANSWERED!
- Did Gilly have a boy or a girl, and if it was a boy did she still name it after Jon?
- What did the voice in the flames say to Varys?
- Where’s Nymeria?
- What did they do with Jaime and Cersei’s bodies?
- Who got which castles and lands?
- Is Sam allowed to have a family and still be a Grand Maester?
- Who was the new prince of Dorne?
- Why didn’t we see Bran warg into Drogon?
- How many people were left in King’s Landing?
- Why is there a Night’s Watch if there is no Night King to worry about?
- Was the Night’s Watch reformed while Jon was imprisoned?
- Why didn’t Gendry make a claim for the Throne?
- If Jon is going North with the Free Folk, isn’t that desertion and punishable by death?
- What laws have changed now that Bran is king?
- Did the Azor Ahai prophecy really mean nothing?
- Why was Jon resurrected?
- Why didn’t Jon’s true parentage mean more at the end?
- Not everyone who lost the Game of Thrones died.
- If the Wall is in the North, and the North is its own Kingdom, is Jon bound by the laws set forth in King’s Landing?
I’m sure there are more but I’m really tired at this point and kind of irritated.
I liked the epilogue for the Northern Starks. I liked that one storyline was paid off by having Arya sail west like she said she always wanted to, but when did the Starks get a fleet? Who else is on that boat with her? I would have liked to found out more about that. But her story was satisfying to me, she didn’t get a peaceful resolution to her story but one of uncertainty and for a character like her who embodies chaos and chance and adventure, I thought this was rather fitting.
I’ve been saying that Sansa would be Wardeness of the North, but Queen of the North is much better, honestly. She deserved it. She battled and fought and endured terrible things to get to where she is now. I like the fact that she didn’t vote for Bran and instead told him the same thing that she told Daenerys, only unlike Daenerys, Bran could see logic and rationality. He understood why the North should be its own separate entity because he knew the history of the world. And of course, there must always be a Stark at Winterfell.
Jon’s story was the most bittersweet to me. We kept hearing about a bittersweet ending but none of us really had any idea what that would mean. For me it all focuses on Jon’s journey. He was very much Ned Stark’s son. He was honorable and did everything he could to maintain a sense of right and justice, including when choices had to be made that would be harmful to him. Almost every other character put their own self-interests before the greater good. Jon literally gave his life for what he believed was the right thing to do, and technically you can say he did it twice. He could have been king but instead he chose to forsake his claim because he knew someone else would be better. For him to end up where he was the happiest was probably the best ending he could have asked for, especially considering his actions in the final episode.
This is what the show was, to me. Everything came down to the choices made by the characters to do what was best for themselves, or what was best for everyone else. Sometimes those lines were blurred and the characters had difficulty seeing them clearly. Other characters completely ignored them and did what they wanted because they felt it was owed to them, or they were above the choices of others. They felt that the ends justified the means, in every case however and that is the one thing that every character had in common. They all did what they wanted in order to get the outcome they thought they should have. Some were altruistic, some were destructive. Some couldn’t tell the difference. But that’s what happens with a massive story with so many characters whose actions are constantly affecting those around them and out into the world like ripples on a lake.
As much as many folks might not have likes this season the best, and I can be counted among them, you have to admit that the task facing the writers and directors was daunting. It’s difficult to find a way to satisfy everyone, and it’s really easy to upset almost everyone. They had to walk a fine line, and to be honest I think they did the best they could with what they had at their disposal. The story is told now. We can’t speculate on what might happen, who lives and who dies, who will win the throne, who will betray whom…and I think that’s really what is driving this fan backlash.
We will always have our memories, but the past is written and the ink is dry.