Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 6 Recap "Duty is the death of love"
There’s a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to the end of a season, let alone an entire series; it’s the end of an era.
Let’s talk about the final episode…
I don’t know what I was expecting (although this being Game of Thrones, I figured everyone would die by the end). Did I want the cliché happy ending, did I want burning and chaos, or did I want a twist?
In the end though, we got an ending that I think is fit for the series. If nothing more, we’ll have endless possibilities of what could have been (or what might be) ahead of us as fans to discuss and speculate about.
The city has been burned, the Lannister & Golden Company defeated, and the people in shock. Kings Landing, or at least the one we’ve come to recognize, is gone. Jon and Davos are seen walking down the streets before encountering Grey Worm ready to execute some of Cersei’s knights.
For Davos & Jon, the fight is over. They won, Kings Landing lost, end of story. For Grey Worm though, it’s very apparent that all he can think about it is vengeance. Like his queen Daenerys, the enemies must pay.
They try to prevent the execution of the prisoners but are met with hostile resistance from the unsullied. After a tense exchange, Jon and Davos begrudgingly leave and the slayings continue.
Daenerys speaks to her entire army – her followers – her people. What started as a celebratory thank you speech quickly morphed into calls for more violent “liberation”. Kings Landing wasn’t the end, it was the beginning. More kingdoms will fall until all bow to her will.
Tyrion, having just seen the remnants of his siblings Cersei and Jaime, has seen enough to realize that Varys was correct – Daenerys is becoming the Mad Queen. In a moment of triumph for Daenerys, Tyrion defies her and throws away his Hand of the King status in protest which is swiftly met by imprisonment.
After catching a glimpse at what Daenerys does to those that challenge her, Jon visits Tyrion in the dungeon. During this, Tyrion tries to convince Jon that he is the true king whom people will follow, and that he needs to end Daenerys’s rein before his sisters, friends, and others challenge the Mad Queen.
Jon, putting his duty before love, meets with Daenerys in the throne room while she is admiring her thrown (but never sitting on it). She tries to convince him to love her, and he calls her out on the slaughtering of innocents. In the end, Jon betrays Daenerys and stabs her in the chest ending her rule.
Finally, in seemingly great symbolism, Drogon (after seeing Daenerys killed) melts the Iron Throne and flies away with her body.
Fast forward to a couple weeks later.
The last remaining Lords and Ladies are gathered around to discuss the fate of Tyrion and Jon. Tyrion is set to be executed for his crimes, but in typical fashion he talks his way out of it to lead the discussion on the new king. After a few false starts (looking at you Edmure Tully and Sam), Tyrion proposes someone who has no desire for the throne – Brann Stark.
Everyone agrees except Sansa who wishes for the North to remain independent. Tyrion is named Hand of the King once more, and Brann, ruler of the 6 kingdoms, will break the circle, and win the game of thrones.
Jon’s story didn’t end the way I thought it would. We were set up – I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was convinced he would win in the end. Instead, for all his good deeds, he’s exiled – banished to Castle Black and the Nights Watch. At least it looks like he’ll be King of the North beyond the wall, so it’s something as far as consolation prizes go.
Tyrion is written out of the history books (except for a notable entry by Brienne in the Kings Guard White book). To him, this is worse than any negative portrayal he might have received. He will be forgotten. However, while Brann is the figure head of the Kingdoms, Tyrion will be pulling the strings – I think he’ll end up doing just fine.
Grey Worm and the Unsullied are headed for… murderous, swarms of colorful butterflies on the Isle of Naath. After all they’ve been through, haven’t they deserved somewhere slightly more pleasant?
I may have more thoughts as time goes on and I can look back and process the finale. In the meantime though, let me know your thoughts on the series end and where you think we’re headed next.
Lastly, for all the folks who have been sticking with me and these recaps for the last 6 weeks, a huge thank you for support. Let’s not let this be the last of Game of Thrones – continue the conversation and let’s keep building out this awesome community.
And so – now my watch has ended.
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