‘Game of Thrones’ Guide, Week 6: Every Question We Have After “The Iron Throne”

     May 20, 2019

“There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story,” said Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), referring, of course, to the moving, heartrending, but ultimately satisfying finale of HBO’s Barry, which aired just minutes after the characters on Game of Thrones decided a psychic Hot Topic t-shirt with a bowl cut who hasn’t said more than eight goddamn words all season should be king of the Seven-ish Kingdoms. That’s right friends, fans, and probably George R.R. Martin feverishly jotting notes in an “Ideas 4 Books” sketchpad, you heard correctly: Game of Thrones‘ series finale, titled “The Iron Throne,” concluded with a Westerosi council guffawing at the idea of democracy before unanimously voting Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright)—now going under the the extremely passive-aggressive nickname Bran the Broken, which I can’t imagine Bran ever signed off on—as the king of Westeros. When you play the game of thrones you win or you die, especially if you have a cheat code that allows you to nap through all the important bits.

‘Twas but one of the many wonky conclusions drawn across GoT‘s final hour, an episode both written and directed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss because very much like Thanos they said “fine, we’ll do it ourselves” and proceeded to decimate an entire world. I’m kidding (kind of). “The Iron Throne” certainly wasn’t the pitch-perfect conclusion I’d personally dreamed up—Jon and Tormund kiss a whole lot more in that version—but it was far from the complete disaster I’ve been expecting pretty much since Season 8 began. There was good, there was bad, there was that dope shot that made Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) look like she’d literally morphed into one of the gargoyles from Gargoyles. In a few words, it was an ending fit for the back-half of Game of Thrones: Bittersweet, bold, and a bit annoying, a blend of epic fantasy, brutal fire, and undeniable frustration through which Kit Harington managed to not change his facial expression, not at all, not even once.

Even now, here at the very end, there are questions. So many questions. Beginning, of course, with the most important question of all…