Game of Thrones: Farewell To the Seven Kingdoms

Game of Thrones | Season 8 | Episode 6 : “The Iron Throne”
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For a quick read, go to Review. For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“How much more defeated do you want them to be, man? They’re on their knees.” Ser Davos Seaworth

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) walks through the wasteland that was the thriving city of King’s Landing a few hours ago. He sees the body of a little girl in the street, a shirtless burned man walks by him in a haze and he sees the mother and daughter statue [created by dragon fire] that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) saw in the last episode. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) silently follow behind him.  Tyrion sees the ruins of the Red Keep ahead of him and tells Jon he is going there alone.

Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) prepares to execute the kneeling Lannister soldiers before him. Jon tries to stop him, but Grey Worm tells him that Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) told him to kill everyone who fought for Cersei. Davos: “How much more defeated do you want them to be, man? They’re on their knees.” When Jon tries to physically stop him, the Unsullied raise their spears, the north soldiers raise their swords to protect Jon. Davos gets between the two men and convinces Jon to leave and go speak to the queen. As they are walking away, Grey Worm begins slicing the Lannister soldier’s necks.

Tyrion enters the Red Keep. He finds a torch and heads towards the tunnels. He discovers that the entrance that would have led Jaime and Cersei out to the beach is blocked by rubble. He begins searching the rubble on the floor and sees a golden hand. Tyrion begins clearing the rubble and finds Jaime and Cersei’s bodies together. Tyrion cries as he sees the twins together in death.

Arya stumbles out into an opening in the city near the Red Keep and sees Jon trying to make his way through the Dothraki’s horses. They all hear Drogon overhead as he flies over them and lands a top the Red Keep. The Dothraki cheer and celebrate because Daenerys has arrived. Jon walks up the steps that are lined with the Unsullied. Grey Worm has somehow beat Jon there. Tyrion also emerges. Daenerys gets off Drogon and then in a great shot, Drogon’s wings are behind her, making her look like a dragon. He flies off and Daenerys addresses her army.  Directly to the Dothraki she says, “Blood of my blood. You kept all of your promises to me. You killed my enemies in their iron suits. You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms!” They whoop in excitement. She turns to Grey Worm and appoints him to be in charge of all of her armed forces. Daenerys: “Unsullied. You were torn from your mothers’ arms and raised as slaves. Now… you are liberators! You have freed the people of King’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant! But the war is not over. We will not lay down our spears until we have liberated all the people of the world! From Winterfell to Dorne, from Lannisport to Qarth, from the Summer Isles to the Jade Seas! Women, men, and children have suffered too long beneath the wheel. Will you break the wheel with me?” They rhythmically strike their spears in approval.

“Jon, she knows who you are, who you really are. You’ll always be a threat to her. I know a killer when I see one.” Arya Stark

Jon and Tyron painfully look at each other. Tyrion walks up to his queen. Daenerys: “You freed your brother. You committed treason.” Tyrion: “I freed my brother, and you slaughtered a city.” He throws his hand of the Queen pin down the steps. Everything goes quiet. Daenerys orders her guards to take him away. She and Jon just stare at each other before she walks away. Arya quietly joins Jon. Arya: “Jon, she knows who you are, who you really are. You’ll always be a threat to her. I know a killer when I see one.”

Jon enters Tyrion’s cell to see him. He is grateful to Jon for seeing him, they both know that Daenerys gets rid of her prisoners quickly. Tyrion jokes about his ashes meeting Varys ashes and Varys telling him, “I told you”. Tyrion admits that he was wrong about Daenerys, he’s been wrong about a lot of things, like turning in his best friend Varys. He attacks her for burning down King’s Landing, especially after they surrendered to her. Jon says it’s easy for Tyrion to say that when he wasn’t in the frontlines. Tyrion asks Jon would he have done it, he’s ridden a dragon, felt that power, would he have done it? Jon won’t answer Tyrion’s question. Jon points out how Cersei goaded her into doing it by killing her dragon Rhaegal and executing Missandei in front of her. Jon asks how can they judge her when they’ve all have done bad things. Tyrion admits his crimes and that his father was evil, Cersei was evil, but he adds that the both of them together hadn’t nearly killed as many people as Daenerys did in one day. And going by her speech, how many she will kill in the future. Tyrion: “Everywhere she goes evil men die and we cheer her for it and she grows more sure that she is good and right. She believes her destiny is to build a better world, she believed that. If you believe that, wouldn’t you kill whoever stood between you and paradise? I know you love her. I love her, too. Not as successfully as you, but I believed in her with all my heart. Love is more powerful than reason. We all know that. Look at my brother.” Jon: “Love is the death of duty.” Tyrion: “You just came up with that?” Jon: “Maester Aemon said it a long time ago.” Tyrion: “Sometimes, duty is the death of love. You are the shield that guards the realm of men. You’ve always tried to do the right thing, no matter the cost. You tried to protect people. Who’s the greatest threat to the people now? It’s a terrible thing I’m asking; it’s also the right thing. Do you think I’m the last man she will execute? Who is more dangerous than the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?” Jon: “That’s her decision. She is the queen. I’m sorry it came to this.” Jon pats him on the shoulder and prepares to leave. Tyrion: “And your sisters. Do you see them bending the knee?” Jon: “My sisters will be loyal to the throne.” Tyrion: “Why do you think Sansa told me the truth about you? She doesn’t want Dany to be queen.” Jon: “She doesn’t get to choose!” Tyrion: “No. But you do! And you have to choose now.”

“You can’t hide behind small mercies. The world we need won’t be built by men loyal to the world we have.” Daenerys Targaryen

Jon walks back to the Red Keep and runs into Drogon who is hidden in the snow. Drogon sniffs him and lets him pass. Daenerys is in the throne room looking at the Iron Throne. Her eyes light up like Christmas lights when she touches the chair. After all she has been through and had to do, she finally possesses it. Before she can sit down on it, Jon enters the room. She’s in a much giddier mood than she was the last time they saw each other. She tells him how her brother told her the Iron Throne was made up of a thousand swords. As a little girl she couldn’t even count up to 20, so she thought the throne must be so high that her ancestors’ feet couldn’t touch the floor. Jon doesn’t share her light mood and asks her has she seen all the children she killed. Daenerys blames the deaths on Cersei, she forced her to do this, and was trying to play on her mercies. Jon thinks we need a world of mercy and asks her to forgive Tyrion, forgive the people she defeated and show them who she really is. Daenerys: “You can’t hide behind small mercies. The world we need won’t be built by men loyal to the world we have.” Daenerys plans on building a new world. Jon asks how she knows this new world will be better than this one. Daenerys: “I know what is good and so do you.” Jon: “What about all the other people who think they know what’s good?” Daenerys: “They don’t get to choose.” Jon finally faces the truth. “Be with me,” Dany implores Jon. “Build the new world with me. This is our reason. It has been from the beginning since you were a little boy with a bastard’s name and I was a little girl who couldn’t count to 20. We do it together. We break the wheel together.” Jon: “You are my queen, now and always.” They embrace and begin to kiss and we hear a stabbing sound. Daenerys looks in shock as she realizes that Jon has stabbed her. She can’t speak but continues to look at him. Jon lowers her to the ground and begins to sob. Drogon screeches outside and enters the room. He sees her dead body with the knife sticking out of her. Drogon nudges her to wake her up, but Daenerys doesn’t move. He looks at Jon and begins to flame up, Jon prepares to die, but instead of setting Jon on fire, the dragon sets the Iron Throne on fire, melting it. Drogon picks her up with one of his claws and flies away.

Maybe up to a month later, Tyrion hears footsteps. His hair and beard are unkempt. Grey Worm walks in with some troops and they lead him out of the room with handcuffs on. He is led to the dragon pit where Cersei and Daenerys met to discuss joining together to fight the Night King and his army. Seated in front of him are the Lords and Ladies of the leading houses in Westeros. On the stage are Arya, Davos, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead Wright), Bronn (Jerome Flynn), Gendry (Joe Dempsie), Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart), Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), the Dornish Prince (Toby Osmand), Ser Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). They are there to discuss Jon and Tyrion’s fate. Grey Worm wants to kill them for Daenerys’ death. Sansa warns him that there is an army of north men who won’t accept that. Grey Worm counters his army holds the city and are prepared to fight. Davos reminds everyone that there has been enough fighting already. His proposal, they will give the Unsullied and Dothraki the land in the Keep and they can form their own house to rule it. Grey Worm tells him they don’t want a payment, they want justice. Tyrion to Grey Worm’s dismay speaks up. He tells them they need a king or queen to decide this. I think Yohn Royce says they don’t have one. Tyrion says they should pick one. Grey Worm reluctantly agrees. Everyone on stage looks around. Finally Edmure Tully stands. Edmure: “My lords and ladies, I suppose today is one of the most important days of our lives. What we decide today will reverberate through the annals of history. I stand before you as one of the senior lords in the country, a veteran of two wars, and I’d like to think my experience has led to some small skill in statecraft and understand…” Sansa: “Uncle? Please sit.” He looks hesitant, but he obeys Sansa and sits.

“From now on, rulers will not be born, they will be chosen, on this spot, by the lords and ladies of Westeros to serve the realm.” Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion takes over now, “I’ve had nothing to do but think these past few weeks. About our bloody history, about the mistakes we’ve made. What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken? The boy who fell from a high tower and lived. He knew he’d never walk again, so he learned to fly. He crossed beyond the Wall, a crippled boy, and became the Three-Eyed Raven. He is our memory, the keeper of all our stories. The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines. Our triumphs, our defeats, our past. Who better to lead us into the future?” Sansa: “Bran has no interest in ruling, and he can’t father children.” Tyrion: “Good. Sons of kings can be cruel and stupid as you well know. His will never torment us. [Tyrion turns to Grey Worm]That is the wheel our queen wanted to break. [He turns back to the council] From now on, rulers will not be born, they will be chosen, on this spot, by the lords and ladies of Westeros to serve the realm.” He asks Bran if he will take on the responsibility of being king. Bran replies calmly: “Why do you think I came all this way?” Tyrion gives his vote to Bran, after a few seconds, Sam votes for Bran. Soon one by one everyone on the stage gives Bran their vote. When they come to Sansa, she turns to him and tells him she knows he’ll be a good king but that the north has sacrificed much and will be independent like they were for thousands of years before. Bran thinks about it and gives his approval. Tyrion: “All hail Bran the Broken first of his name, king of the Anders and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms, protector of the realm.” King Bran names Tyrion as his hand of the King. Both Grey Worm and Tyrion object, Tyrion because he’s messed up the job before and Grey Worm because he wants to punish Tyrion. King Bran says this is Tyrion’s punishment, he’ll have to correct the mistakes he made before.

One of Tyrion’s first duties is to see Jon. He informs him that Grey Worm wanted to hold on to him, but Sansa wasn’t going to let that happen. So King Bran came up with a compromise, Jon will be sent back to the Night Watch as a life sentence. Jon: “Is there still a Night Watch?” Tyrion: “The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men.” Both Grey Worm and the Stark sisters accepted it. Tyrion: “No one is very happy which means it’s a good compromise I suppose.” Jon isn’t only troubled by this. Jon: “Was it right what I did?” Tyrion: “What we did.” Jon: “It doesn’t feel right.” Tyrion: “Ask me again in 10 years.” Tyrion says he’ll probably come up to visit him since he’ll probably need the break from being hand of the King. Jon thinks this will probably be the last time they see each other, so they say their goodbyes.

“Ned Stark’s daughter will speak for them, she’s the best they could ask for.” Jon Snow

Jon is escorted out of his cell, after getting cleaned up with some new clothes. Grey Worm is on a ship and sees Jon walking down the dock. The two men stare at each other for a few seconds. One of his men tells him the Unsullied [And I guess the Dothraki?] have all boarded. He tells his officer they are on their way to the Isle of Naath, Missandei’s home. He is going to fulfill his promise to her to protect her people. Jon meets his family at the end of the dock to say goodbye. Sansa apologizes that she couldn’t prevent Jon from being sentenced to Castle Black. He thinks a minute and says that the north has her for their freedom. She sadly says the people of the north lost their king. Jon: “Ned Stark’s daughter will speak for them, she’s the best they could ask for.” They hug goodbye. Next is Arya, he tells her she can visit him. Arya to Jon and Sansa’s surprise says she isn’t going back north with them. They ask where she is going. Arya: “What’s west of Westeros?” She is going out exploring. She and Jon hug goodbye. Jon bends his knee to King Bran. He tells Bran he wishes he could have been there to help him. Bran tells him he was where he was supposed to be. Jon gets up and gets on a boat to begin his journey back to Castle Black.

Brienne is now the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and she is looking though the White Book, the History of the Kingsguard. She comes upon Jaime’s page, and it calls him the Kingslayer and that he served both King Joffrey and Tommen. It ends there. Brienne fills in the blank pages with the many great deeds Jaime did after that. She ends it that he died protecting his queen. A meeting of the small council begins after this, with Tyrion as the hand of the King, Bronn is the Master of the Coin, Davos is the Master of Ships, and Sam is the Grandmaester. Sam shows him the new book that one of the maesters had written about the time after King Robert’s death. Sam renamed it A Song of Ice and Fire. Tyrion looks through it to see what they wrote about him. Sam admits he isn’t mentioned. Brienne enters with King Bran, with Ser Podrick Payne [He’s been knighted] pushing Bran’s wheelchair. Tyrion begins the meeting, Bran asks where Drogon could be now. Sam heard back east, Bronn is happy he’s far from them. Bran: “Perhaps I can find him.” He leaves them to continue the meeting. Tyrion stands and recites, “We serve at your pleasure, King Bran the Broken, ruler of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm. Long May He Reign.” The rest of the small counsel says separately, “Long May He Reign” but it sounds off, Tyrion assures him it will get better and King Bran is sure it will. After Bran leaves, Tyrion reminds Bronn that they need to feed the hungry citizens, he asks Sam about getting clean water, he reminds Davos they need new ships and to repair the port. Davos says that depends on the Master of the Coin. Bronn will work with everyone about the finances and he mentions that the brothels were also destroyed, and he’s willing to help get them rebuilt. Both Sam and Brienne don’t see rebuilding the brothels as a priority. Bronn disagrees with them. Tyrion’s contribution to the discussion, “I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel.”

The final scenes involve the Stark children. Bran is King of the Six Kingdoms. Jon is back at Castle Black where the Wildlings now reside. He finally pets Ghost. Sansa is getting dressed for her crowning, she is now the Queen of the North. The Lords of the North proclaim: “The Queen in the North! The Queen in the North!” Arya is on a ship which flies the Stark banner as it heads west. Jon is on his horse, beside him his Tormund (Kristofer Hivju). They lead the Wildlings beyond the Wall into the ‘true north’. Jon looks back and has a small smile, there’s a chance he’s not going back. Thanks to Jon, and the army of the living he was able to form, the Wildlings are free to go home. The last thing we see is Jon and the Wildlings heading further north.

KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

The episode begins immediately after Dany destroyed King’s Landing. Jon and Tyrion are in shock at the damage and loss of life. Tyrion is broken when he finds Jaime and Cersei’s remains. His faith in Dany has evaporated as he regrets the mistakes he made in advising her. He realizes he could never have kept her from becoming her father’s daughter. After Jon and Tyrion listen to Dany’s victory speech, they both realize she will try to ‘liberate’ the world. The world will be guaranteed more King’s Landings. After Dany has him imprisoned, Tyrion speaks to Jon and is able to make him realize how dangerous Dany is and that he is the only one who will be able to stop her. Jon resists as long as he can, but he soon realizes after talking to her privately that he has to kill her. With a broken heart, he stabs her. Drogon senses something is wrong and enters the throne room. He tries to wake up her lifeless body, he looks at Jon, but instead of burning him alive, Drogon melts the Iron Thorne. Why Drogon did this will remain a mystery. Maybe he sensed that Dany’s pursuit of the Iron Throne led his ‘mother’ to her death, or he thought the knife sticking from her body came from the Iron Throne and he burned it, or in his grief he was spewing fire and the Iron Throne just happened to be in the way. He doesn’t try to burn Jon, either because he didn’t know Jon killed her or he couldn’t harm him because Jon is a Targaryen. Either way Jon lives. About a month later, Tyrion is led out of his cell to meet the Lords and Ladies of the main houses of Westeros. He is able to convince them to elect Bran Stark as the new king of the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa pulls a smooth power move and convinces her little brother to let the north be its own independent nation. So Bran is actually the king of the Six Kingdoms now. He loses a kingdom on the first day on the job, great work genius. The show ends showing what happens to the remaining Starks. We know that Bran is king, Sansa becomes the Queen of the North, Arya sets sail to explore the lands west of Westeros and Jon is sentenced as a compromise to Grey Worm, to go back to the Night Watch for life. The last scene of the series is Jon leading the Wildlings beyond the wall, to go back to their old homes further north. There is a good chance Jon will be staying with them.

Unless you’ve been in a coma the last few days, or just don’t really care, you know how divisive this episode was. It’s not surprising since this season has been divisive. There are some fans who absolutely hated it. Bran becoming king was the last straw. I’m probably in the middle on this one. I didn’t hate the episode, but it was my least favorite of the season. The first half was great with its apocalyptic feel. The scenes between Tyrion and Jon, and later between Jon and Dany were great. Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington gave some of their best performances, but Peter Dinklage was brilliant throughout the episode. The second half of the episode after Jon killed Dany was disappointing. Aside from the Stark kids touching goodbyes, it felt like they used up all the good material for the first half of the episode, and were just trying to finish the episode and wrap up the series as quickly as possible.

I didn’t hate the season, but it is surely the show’s worst season. I think most of the show’s creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, decisions on the show were perfectly fine, but the show’s execution in getting there was off. A prime example is Bran being named king. I wouldn’t have picked him personally, but the reasons for naming him king were sound. Unfortunately, they haven’t established to the audience why he ended up king. Nearly anyone on that stage could have been named, and some of them, like Sansa, have had her story illustrate why they should have named her. We’ve seen Sansa grow from a selfish girl, into a strong and wise woman who loved the north and was actively working to service and save her people. We’ve seen Bran, but stuff just happened to him, he became the Three-eyed Raven and then he became weird. He has all the knowledge of Westeros, but does anyone believe he could lead Westeros. If they had named Sansa, Jon, Tyrion, Davos or even Arya the ruler, the audience would have accepted it more. The show didn’t develop Bran enough for the audience to be invested in him. Along with Dany becoming the Mad Queen without the series spending the time to show us how she made that turn in an organic way, well you end up with a disgruntled audience. On a show like this, I’m not sure any decision the writers would have made would have made everyone happy. It isn’t their responsibility to do that. It is their responsibility to develop the story so that people can understand why they did it and maybe accept it.

I’ve enjoyed Games of Thrones and I’m sad to see it go. Even though Benioff and Weiss are catching a lot of heat now, overall they did a fine job throughout the seasons. After passions cool down, I think most people will see that. It’s hard to end a series, especially a popular and important show. There have probably been more failures than successes over the years. [Dexter, How I Met Your Mother] Thanks for following Games of Thrones with us. I might have something from a past season to share with you later this summer. Read the other recaps and reviews we have on the site. Farewell to the Seven Kingdoms, uh, I mean Six Kingdoms.

Let’s pay our last respects to everyone [and everything] that didn’t make it to the end.

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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