by Juliana Kulak ’20
This article discusses season 8 of “Game of Thrones” and will contain spoilers.
I have been a huge “Game of Thrones” fan since binge watching it a few summers ago, so to say I was both excited and sad for the final season is an understatement, especially after the shocking ending of season seven when the Night King resurrected Daenerys’s fallen dragon as the White Walker Army’s newest addition and used the zombified dragon to tear down the Wall in the North. It was also revealed that Jon Snow, who had struck up a romance with everyone’s favorite, Khaleesi, is actually a Targaryen (gross!) and rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
The first episode, “Winterfell,” featured the return of Jon Snow to Winterfell and the arrival of Daenerys with her armies. We finally saw Jon and his half siblings Bran and Arya Stark reunite since the first season.
It was almost comical when Jon asked Arya, a trained Faceless Assassin who has spent most of the series crossing names of her list of people to kill, if she had ever used the sword Arya named Needle before. The episode also made clear that the people of the North were not happy about Daenerys being their new queen, particularly Sansa Stark.
Jon rode one of Daenerys’s dragons, though that felt more like five minutes of the CGI time showing off than an actual relevant point to the plot.
“Winterfell” was an episode of characters reuniting for the first time in seasons and preparing for battle, but by the end scene with the White Walker boy pinned to the wall surrounded by severed limbs, it was clear that the battle was coming.
Though episode two, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” still had no epic showdown between the Army of the Dead and the living. Instead, it was a look into the lives of everyone in Winterfell as they waited to be attacked. While it was nice to see Jaime Lannister knight Brienne of Tarth and Jon’s reunion with Tormund, I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a battle against the Night King.
After episode two, I spent the next week emotionally preparing to see all my favorite characters die, but when episode three, “The Long Night,” came around I was shocked (and disappointed) that no relevant characters died. The Red Wedding was more tear jerking than this battle. I also spent half the episode squinting at the screen to make out who was who just based on how dark it was.
Despite this, the episode was pretty epic. When the Dothraki army charged towards the Army of the Dead with their swords on fire (probably the only good thing Melisandre ever did in the series) and the flames slowly went out, I knew this was going to be an insane fight.
Lyanna Mormont’s death was a little sad since I enjoyed seeing a little girl constantly stand up to old men, but the way she died was so brave that I’m glad they decided to have her go out in the process of killing a zombified giant.
Nothing was better, however, than Arya’s role in this episode. Arya has been one of my favorite characters throughout the series, and it seemed fitting that she would be the only one capable of killing the Night King. The way she killed the Night King was legendary and will go down in pop culture history as one of the best moments in the show.
Some of the significant deaths in the episode were Theon and Jorah. Theon’s death made me tear up a little since his character has been through so many hardships. I never really liked Jorah, but it was a significant death, especially for Daenerys.
“The Last of the Starks” had me feeling mixed emotions. The funeral scene for those who died in the previous episode was sad and well done; however, I did not like Brienne and Jaime’s fling. I thought it would have been much more entertaining to see Tormund and Brienne end up together. Not to mention that Jaime then abandoned Brienne for his psychotic sister, Cersei, who has been down in King’s Landing plotting everyone’s destruction.
The way Daenerys’ second dragon died was dumb to put it bluntly. The entire show demands suspension of disbelief, but the fact that Daenerys led her dragons into a battle without using their fire breathing abilities even once is ridiculous. Furthermore, it was just stupid that her dragon died at the hands of what essentially was a giant crossbow.
As if that weren’t enough, I nearly lost it when they killed Missandei. Instead of letting her go out in a blaze of glory, she was just beheaded during the confrontation on the walls at King’s Landing. There were multiple opportunities where Missandei could have grabbed onto Cersei and jumped off of the wall.
These disappointments didn’t make sense at the time, but at the very end of the episode ,when the camera’s focused on Daenerys’s infuriated face, it was clear that the writers were setting up Daenerys’s demise.
This was confirmed in “The Bells” when Daenerys brutally burned King’s Landing in its entirety after their surrender. I was actually pretty happy with this episode because it was both climatic and shocking.
We got to see the Hound finally face off with his brother the Mountain. It was a wild fight and the Hound finally got revenge on his brutal brother which was the perfect way to end his storyline. In Arya’s attempts to escape Daenerys’s destruction of the city, she is witness to the horrific deaths of innocent people, including a mother and daughter who she tried helping.
Cersei and Jaime also met their deaths, though I wasn’t entirely impressed. The acting itself was incredible, but Cersei is the most evil character on the show, and they just let a building collapse on her.
This episode made clear why Jorah, Missandei, and the dragons had to die. They were trying to make it believable that Daenerys would become the Mad Queen, following in her father’s footsteps. The mistake was that Missandei’s death, along with the dragons, felt rushed and sloppily written. Daenerys’ descent into madness also felt rushed, making it a little less believable considering that her character was formerly known to be incredibly merciful.
I was extremely disappointed by the finale “The Iron Throne.” I did not like how easily Daenerys was killed, nor did I like how anticlimactic her death was. She has been a main character since the start of the series, and it feels as though the writers didn’t put much thought into her storyline or death this season. Jon Snow deserved more than just being cast away by the kingdom to leave north of the Wall with the wildlings. I felt like they could have done so much more with Arya’s ending, like having her be the one to kill Daenerys. I didn’t mind her setting out to explore the world, but it just didn’t feel right. Sansa should have ended up being the monarch of the seven kingdoms, but I wasn’t too upset because she became the Queen of the independent North. Bran has been practically irrelevant in the series, so it just felt wrong that he became the king.
This final season left no closure, and almost every character was wronged by the show’s writers. This show has been a huge part of my life, and it is infuriating that it had such a horrible final season. It pains me to say that “Game of Thrones” could not have had a weaker ending.