MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
The last episode of Game of Thrones has aired and reactions are coming in to what has proven a divisive final episode for many.
The result, for many viewers, proved an unexpected surprise and continued the mixed reactions to the final episodes of the long-running show which has so far seen over 1 million people sign a protest for HBO to rewrite the final season.
Here then are some of the reactions to the episode’s most shocking moments – warning: major spoilers ahead.
Tyrion discovered the bodies of Jaime and Cersi
The opening scenes of the final episode were among the shows most emotive to date, with Tyrion walking around a cindered King’s Landing as he looks on the burned bodies of infants all around. Entering the Red Keep, Tyrion later discovers the bodies of his siblings and weeps at the side of them. Whilst there may have been little love lost between Tyrion and Cersi, Jaime and Tyrion’s relationship was a different matter entirely, with Jaime being the only Lannister to truly love and respect Tyrion, something he’d never forgotten. The moment proved heartbreaking for many viewers:
Jon Snow killed Daenerys
After throwing his Hand of the Queen badge away in disgust at Daenerys’ actions in King’s Landing, Tyrion was thrown into prison. With Dany also knowing that Tyrion had freed Jaime, his fate was all but sealed until a visit from Jon Snow changed the course of Westeros’ history. Whilst Jon initially chose to defend “his queen”, it was left to Tyrion to spell it out to Jon’s ‘still confused’ face that what Dany had done was in fact evil and that it had been building for some time. Moments earlier, Dany delivered a terrifying speech to her army implying that her “liberation” had only just begun and that more wars were imminent.
For fans critical of the speed at which Dany’s descent into seeming madness occurred, Tyrion’s summation of her actions here served as a timely reminder that her power had been out of control for some time, as did Arya’s cutting comment to Jon: “I know a killer when I see one.” One of the most powerful moments of the episode came via Tyrion’s speech to Jon about love at a time when he was still questioning Dany’s actions: “love is more powerful than reason”, he began. “Love is the death of duty”, Jon replied, realising what he must do with echoes of his Night’s Watch days. Dany had a brief moment aside the throne before she was eventually killed by Jon in a shocking scene that split viewers:
Drogon melted the Iron Throne
As metaphors go, this wasn’t exactly a subtle comment on power and destruction but visually, it made for one of the episode’s most stunning moments. More emotive still was when Drogon, Dany’s last remaining dragon, tried to wake her after her death before eventually flying off with her body. Before he did, Drogon melted the throne to liquid with fire, leaving nobody in doubt about the show’s message on power and authority – it was the throne and power that killed Dany and the others before her. As Drogon prepares to fly Dany off, cue all the tears:
They made Bran king
Yes, you read that correctly. Bran “I didn’t do anything at the battle of the Long Night episode” Stark was made king in a move that proved to be the season’s biggest and most divisive shock. At a hastily assembled gathering of lords and ladies with Sansa, Sam, Tyrion, Yara, Sir Davos, Greyworm, Briene, Arya and more, Bran was named King of Westeros unanimously. The most insightful comment came from Sam, who seemed to invent democracy in Westeros by suggesting that the people vote for their next king or queen – only for him to be laughed at by all (cue a thinly veiled Brexit dig).
“There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story” Tyrion says, before declaring “Bran the Broken” king. “He is our memory, the keeper of all our stories…who better to lead us into the future.” Naming Tyrion his hand, Bran accepts – at which point the internet melted:
Arya appears to be going on a gap year
“What’s west of Westeros?” Arya asks as she lets Jon, Sansa and Bran know that she plans to travel on her very own gap year experience – and after what she’s been though, who can blame her? After reaching the heady heights of killing The Night King, Arya’s ending came as a bit of an anti-climax for some – others were thrilled she was free and following her own path:
Jon and Ghost were reunited
“The world always has a home for bastards and broken men” Tyrion tells Jon, as he lets him know he must head back to the wall and to the Night’s Watch. To appease the unsullied for killing Dany and sparing his life, Jon had no option but to return to the place he started. However, with most of the other Stark’s now in high positions of power – Sansa as Queen of the now independent north – and Bran in King’s Landing, this nevertheless felt like an unsettling move. Sansa’s earnest “I wish I could have done more” rang a little hollow.
The most heartwarming scene came, however, when Jon was reunited with Ghost – a moment that was closely followed by his tender goodbye to Arya. After Jon and Ghost’s lukewarm parting in episode 4, many viewers were left upset as Jon’s coldness towards Ghost who had saved Jon’s life several times over. Here, those wrongs felt corrected and a sense of enjoyable finality came as Jon rode out with Ghost and his old mate Tormund at the end.
Other notable highlights came via Sansa being named Queen in the North, Podrick being knighted and Bron being in charge of the Iron Bank. You can read more reactions to the show’s end here.