The End Of A Pop Culture Phenomenon: Game of Thrones (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Source: LA Time

With an over eight-year journey finally coming to a close, Game of Thrones fans can finally browse the internet without having to worry about the next twist of the captivating show being ruined for them.

With that being said, there are many detailed spoilers ahead as I will try to sum up some of the show’s story lines that ended in the show’s final episode.

After the upsetting end of the 5th episode in which some of the show’s major characters met their ends in both satisfying and disappointing ways, and with Daenerys Targaryen razing the city of Kings Landing, everyone was waiting for the next move of the once honorable and virtuous but now mad queen. 

Even more importantly, viewers wondered what all the other characters were going to do in response.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys makes her dramatic entrance (Source: HBO)

With no one having been able to stop her, she had successfully leveled most of the city that she had sought for so long.

After arriving on Drogon’s back and walking out to one of the most powerful appearances in the show (see above), she delivers an influential address to her ever loyal troops: the Unsullied and the Dothraki warriors.

They cheer and rally behind her terrifying prospects of bringing peace to the land in her true mad queen fashion. After addressing Tyrion, which I will touch on later, she makes her way into the ruins of the Red Keep.

It is in the throne room that her goal is within reach, which she does reach out and touch only briefly.

With the surprise of Jon Snow walking in, we see the crowd favorite king-to-be claim that Daenerys will always be his Queen and bring her life and newly established power to an end.

After she dies, we hear the screams of Drogon and he comes to mourn the loss of his mother. The last we see of her is Drogon picking her up and flying away to parts unknown.

Jon Snow being the one to kill her is personally satisfying on the grounds that Jon truly does love her, and had to be the one to lose both his love and the throne.

Drogon

Drogon inspects his mother’s death (Source: HBO)

Daenerys’ last remaining dragon child named Drogon has one of the least touched on stories in the Game of Thrones series but has the most important role to play in the finale.

After Jon Snow kills Daenerys, Drogon knows immediately and makes his ever-dramatic entrance. With his discovery of Daenerys’ death, he with an air of understanding, destroys the Iron Throne by melting it to perhaps show his last and largest display of resistance to the world of men. 

The last we see of him is him flying out of the Red Keep with Daenerys in his claw and he disappears into the clouded sky.

With him being the last of his kind, it would have been great to see where he ended up with Daenerys’ body, but the mystery will stand if it isn’t covered in George R.R. Martin’s upcoming book release.

Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen)

Jon Snow heading north of the wall with the wildlings (Source: HBO)

Jon Snow has arguably been a  main focal point of the Game of Thrones series.

Following him from his time as a bastard in Winterfell, to his time as a bastard in the nights watch, to being dead, to being a contender for King as we find out his royal lineage, he has been the one to watch throughout the whole series.

After the destruction of Kings Landing, Jon’s journey isn’t near the end.

It is telling that he has a hard choice ahead of him when he stands there as Daenerys delivers her speech and watches her show her true intentions to “liberate” the rest of the world. So, after he kills Daenerys and stares down the very angry Drogon, he rightfully ends up in prison awaiting his execution.

His ending punishment of being banished to the nights watch for life, that he takes with stride and as much honor as he can muster, works well for the many fans that don’t want to see him end up like Ned.

Jon has travelled farther than most in the series. His walking out of the gates of the great wall and into the forest after his banishment, leaves us wondering if he is just running from his punishment or taking it to an extreme and being as far from the throne as possible.

I personally see it as the set-up of a new series with the loveable Tormund and Jon ruling over the north.

Tyrion Lannister: The Tallest Lannister

Tyrion taking his new seat as head of the small table (Source: HBO)

Tyrion, much like Jon, has had a very eventful and complicated path through this whole story.

He has been the focal point for much the story and is a much-needed link across the narrow sea. Beginning with his discovery of his brother and sister to confirm for us that they had both died, he has started off the finale with very little to lose.

When he approaches Daenerys after her address, he quickly renounces his most important role as hand and is taken into custody, likely to be executed for treason, which Daenerys had said would be the last in his long line of questionable choices.

From his cell, he delivers the most literally and figuratively sobering monologue to Jon, trying to reason with him about Daenerys’ intentions and what needs to be done about them.

He likely would have heard that Drogon was rather upset and hopefully knew that the deed was done.

Much to his surprise later when he meets with the lords and ladies of Westeros, he does not end up dead, but instead had the much worse fate of fixing all of the things that he helped ruin as the new hand of the King and lead of the Small Council.

He, more than most, got what he deserved at the end, even if he didn’t expect it or want it. He is in charge of the Small Council which is still lacking a few key roles hopefully to be touched upon in a successor series.

Bran Stark: The King Of The Six Kingdoms

Bran Stark reacting as he becomes King of the Six Kingdoms (Source: HBO)

Bran Stark, the Three Eyed Raven, the Ruler of the Six Kingdoms, and the Broken, can be argued to be the winner of the Game of Thrones.

He has moved past the great wall to become the Three Eyed Raven, he has discovered his role in one of the most upsetting story arcs in the whole series, and has maneuvered his way to the top by being the voice of understanding and reason with his intimate knowledge of the past, present, and future.

He wasn’t able to fight in the great battles and cannot father children. This, on its own, is a fitting end to the Game of Thrones series because it successfully ends the reign of kings and queens to bring the land to a more democratic government.

It wasn’t exactly what Daenerys would have wanted, but it does serve to fit the goal of a more peaceful world for all.

I like Bran as King; his abilities make him one of the most powerful people in Westeros and have led him to be a calm and collected person who will know if what he is doing is best.

Sansa Stark

The newly declared Queen of the North Sansa Stark (Source: HBO)

With Sansa now being the declared Queen of the North, the safety of her people is almost entirely assured as they are now a sovereign nation and she is able to rule the north as she sees fit.

Her story over all of the series has been satisfying, and I have been waiting to see if she would end up being Queen of the North or more, but I had little doubt that her drive would have her let her be less than Queen.

Her rise to Queen has been fraught with danger and intrigue, terrible people with their own terrible goals, and upsets from the first season until the last episode.

With her experience with Littlefinger and Ramsey, she has developed the wit and skills to rule better than most of those who have come before her. Ned, Robb, and Catelyn would be proud.

Arya Stark

Arya Stark on her way to whatever is west of Westeros (Source: HBO)

Arya started the episode in shock as she had left the city in the previous episode and had arrived to see what Daenerys had to say.

She uses her sneaking ability one more time to meet Jon one last time and warns him that Daenerys knows who he really is and that he needs to be careful.

Arya’s travels have taken her along one of the longest routes in the whole series that had her meet some of the most interesting characters in the series: from Hot Pie, to the Hound, Littlefinger to Gendry, Jagen H’ghar to Brienne, and many more.

She is one of the most developed characters in the show with many stated goals, mostly having to do with killing the people on her list (most notably Cersei Lannister and the Hound, who she had never gotten the opportunity to check off her list).

She has lived through so much and has had some of the most endearing relationships in the whole series. The last that we see her she is heading off for parts unknown to find what is west of Westeros.

Unsullied

Grey Worm giving the order after the unsullied are boarded (Source: HBO)

The unsullied are one of, if not the most, formitable fighting forces that the world of Game of Thrones has ever seen.

They had folowed Daenerys after she freed them from their slave masters and had only ever wanted to fight for the breaker of chains that freed them.

Now with Daenerys gone, they have no real connection to Westeros and have decided to leave and follow Grey Worm to the land of naath.

One of Missandei’s requests early on from grey worm was that he and the unsullied would go to her home land and protect her people. It is there that they will find hopefully a peaceful land, it is also likely that a future spin off would take place there and cover grey worms and the unsullied’s challenges.

It was a fitting end for the warriors who followed Daenerys across the narrow sea to go and fight for their own people and those they care about.

Wildlings

The Wildlings heading back north to reclaim their homes (Source: HBO)

The Wildlings are one of the groups that we will likely be seeing again in the upcoming successor series.

They are one of, if not the most, affected groups that were touched by the Night King as they had to flee their homes for the prospect of being safe behind the wall.

They had been the beginning of the rising army for the Night King as he marched south and took everyone who fell behind.

With the dwindling numbers that had survived the coming winter, they have begun walking home and are the most satsifying ending that I have seen in the series.

It’s satisfying, not just because they get their home back, but because they may have both Jon Snow and Tormund to turn to in the upcoming successor series.

There are a great many more characters and people that have so much to be talked about in the end of the series that either I didn’t mention here for no fault of their own, or didn’t get a conclusion in the show.

With over eight years and 71 episodes, there just doesn’t feel like there was enough time to gather the nuances and repercussions of everyone’s paths and choices.

I personally cannot wait to read what George R.R. Martin have to say on them in his upcoming novels The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

Regardless of what comes of the series’ characters and lands in one of the currently 5 different script options or the officially canon novels, the show Game of Thrones has forever changed the landscape of popular culture.

About The Author

Brad Mill is a Videographer/Editor at Nex Gen Dynamics. He has over 7 years experience working in the media industry. This includes video production at Pinnacle Marketing, large scale print production at Oakley Signs & Graphics, as well as videography and digital media at CCSI International. He is a huge film and television buff because he is passionate about the visual elements, symbolism, and character development.