Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Game of Thrones - The Iron Throne

Closing the show's controversial final season is a lackluster series finale that acts as epilogue to the events of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) burning Kings Landing to the ground. Dispensing with the two most likely candidates for the thrown by having Jon Snow (Kit Harington) kill Daenerys leaves a gaping hole for the final half of the episode to stumble through and awkwardly come up with a suitable candidate to sit on the (now melted) throne. The writers, who promised a "big surprise" on who would emerge as the new ruler, turn to the blandest choice possible as the survivors come together to crown Bran the Boring (Isaac Hempstead Wright), first of his name.

Ending with more than a whimper than a bang, the episode does offers some solid moments including Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) convincing Jon on what must be done to stop the death and fire their queen has in mind for the world. Drogon's reaction to discovering his mother's corpse is also a highlight, though I'd much rather of seen Jon fly off with the dragon (or take to the seas with his sister) then end up back north of the wall once more. In the end little has changed from early in the series. The true heir to the Iron Throne is in exile, someone without a legitimate claim sits on the throne, and Jon Snow is a member of Knights Watch (watching out for what exactly, now that the Night King is dead, remains unclear).

After all of this, despite Tyrion's speech, things seem much more status quo than "breaking the wheel." After all, what happens when Bran (not likely to have a long life if a world with limited medicine) dies? Do we really believe the same group will come together as civilly as they do here to elect a new king? No, the battles for the seven kingdoms will rage once more (which is why George R.R. Martin has said he never really planed for an "ending" to the saga). Arya's (Maisie Williams) final moments seem more about setting up a potential spin-off than closing the book on the character, and while Sansa's accession to Queen of the North placates some fans, her reasoning for not backing Bran could just as easily broken apart the loose new status quo (in a situation that would have changed little, if at all, as her brother would have likely given her full control of the northern region). And now both of my least-favorite Stark offspring ascend to the throne. Joy.

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