This is NOT at spoiler-free review of the final season of Game of Thrones. If you intend to watch Game of Thrones and have not watched all the episodes, STOP READING THIS POST.
The long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones has now aired. For those who have watched from the beginning, we have seen numerous contenders for the iron throne, some more successful than others. I don’t think anyone in the first season could have imagined who would finally be king.
This season had a lot to get through. While the series started off mostly as a conflict between numerous would-be rulers, we soon found that there was a greater threat. Beyond the wall were white walkers, an ancient race that could reanimate the dead, and they were coming.
The Night King led his forces through the wall and had the final battle at Winterfell. Many watchers didn’t like the filming of the battle as it was dark and confusing. I rather liked it as it expressed the chaos of the situation. The army of the dead breached Winterfell and almost killed Bran, but the Night King ended up being killed by Arya.
Defeating this enemy was a great victory but it greatly diminished Daenerys Targaryen’s forces, while Cersei was preparing herself at Kings Landing to defend the iron throne. But that wasn’t Daenerys’s only problem. It was revealed that Jon Snow wasn’t Ned Stark’s bastard but actually her nephew and rightful heir to the throne. This was awkward as they had become lovers.
Meanwhile Cersei had readied Kings Landing, even arming it in protection against Daenerys’s dragons. They were successful in killing one dragon but one dragon was enough to ensure Cersei’s defeat.
After experiencing some personal loss, Daenerys had a mental break and succumbed to the insanity that ran in her family. Instead of capturing the city and only killing Cersei, she used her remaining dragon to destroy King’s Landing, including the men women and children.
While Daenerys’s troops from the east still worshipped her, those from west saw her for what she had become. This led Jon to a position of killing his queen, his aunt and lover. I had assumed for the last few seasons that Jon would be the king of the seven kingdoms. I was wrong.
Instead, at the suggestion of Tyrion (who happened to be on death row at the time), Bran Stark was nominated to be the king. For the last number of seasons, Bran had become my favourite character and so I was quite pleased at this choice.
How good was this final season?
In terms of a list of events, I was satisfied with how things turned out. I liked the defeat of the Night King and I liked Bran becoming the new king. I was even okay with the fate of Daenerys.
However, after so many seasons that just moved the plot incrementally, too much was packed into just six episodes of the final season. I would have preferred that the Night King plot be taken care of in the previous season to give more room for Daenerys’s descent in insanity and the attack on King’s Landing. It felt way too rushed.
Still, I thought it was a pretty good conclusion to Game of Thrones. I appreciated the much diminished nudity, as it felt like previous seasons went way over the top.
There were some incredible highlights, including the knighting of Brienne of Tarth and the final battle between the Mountain and the Hound. Still, it would have been much better if the producers had reconsidered the pacing of the last few seasons.
Overall, I’m glad that I stuck with the series, despite some temptations to quit. We now know who has won the Game of Thrones and I love that it is someone in a wheelchair.