It is difficult to envisage any kind of ending to the Game of Thrones saga that would appease all sections of the GoT fan club, but with ‘The Iron Throne’ the show attempts to do exactly that.
It begins where the previous episode trails off, amid the ruins of King’s Landing where Tyrion, the only surviving Lannister, digs up the bodies of his brother and sister and mourns their deaths. The finale ends with Bran sitting on whatever followed the former Iron Throne (and now just molten metal).
Despite a season that has suffered from negative to mixed reviews, thanks to the fact that they rushed so much of the storyline into just six episodes, the final one does manage to redeem some of what was lost. Jon wants to believe that Daenaerys is not what everyone else says she has turned into; that she is not the evil Mad Queen and yet the evidence surmounts against that notion – eventually pushing him to do the very thing he had hoped to avoid. Sticking a dagger through her may not have been the way people saw the now evil Khaleesi going, but it did seem appropriate. However, what I don’t understand is how Jon was allowed to live after that by Grey Worm who was willing to kill Lannister soldiers just because they fought against Dany. He is supposed to be okay with exile for the man who murdered his Queen - really?
For me, the most symbolic moment was the dragon spewing fire at the Iron Throne, eventually reducing it to nothing more than liquid metal. It felt like a pivotal incident in view of things that followed – that no monarch shall rule by bloodline anymore and that the one material obsession for person after person from Cersei to the Tyrells to Daenaerys no longer existed (even if it was only symbolic, as they craved power more than the physical object that is the throne).
Bran the Broken, as Tyrion refers to him , eventually ends up as the man in charge of the Six Kingdoms (Sansa has independent rule in the North) thanks to the logic that the man who remembers the past and the present, is a collection of all living memory, and has the best story to tell, should be the one to take the mantle. I have nothing against that logic per se, but Brandon Stark does not have the best story. Arya, Sansa, Jon, Daenaerys, Jaime and even Cersei for that matter had better stories to tell than Bran. To me, Bran is like that kid in a group project who doesn’t do any work but gets an A anyway. The succession line to the Throne was the hallmark and the pillar on which much of the show was based on from the very first season when the Lannisters visited Winterfell and it should have been dealt with a lot better than it ultimately was.
The most symbolic moment was the dragon spewing fire at the Iron Throne.
The episode wasn’t all bad. I did like the comic relief that Edmure Tully provided before being put down by Sansa. And the idea of democracy being scoffed at seemed natural to me given the era that the story was set in. Plus, Bronn as the Master of Coin and Davos as Master of Ships is a spinoff that is sure to generate a lot of laughs – if it ever was to happen. There were things that could have gone better. Jon, in my view should have been executed summarily by Grey Worm, even making it a fairly romantic way to be reunited with Dany in death. Arya probably deserved a better ending than becoming Arya The Explorer – although this may not be too bad given how she has always been more wildling than noble.