Game of Thrones S8E6 Recap (Spoilers): And Now Our Watch Has Ended
With Game of Thrones S8E6, we saw the end of the saga we’ve followed on HBO for eight years. We were promised a bittersweet ending, and I think it’s fair to say that was an honest assessment. Now, we’re all left with the emptiness of wondering what’s next in our lives. What am I going to do with my late Sunday night and early Monday mornings now that I don’t have to write these recaps any longer?
Game of Thrones S8E6 Recap (Spoilers)
The finale picks up right where episode seven left off – Tyrion, Jon, and Davos walking through the streets of King’s Landing, measuring the appalling destruction caused at the breath of Drogon. They encounter Grey Worm about to execute Lannister soldiers. Shit just about pops off when Jon asks him to stop, but ultimately, Davos convinces Jon to just keep walking. Grey Worm proceeds to slit throats.
Tyrion ventures into the ruins of the Red Keep and breaks down when he finds Jaime and Cersei buried beneath the rubble.
Dany addresses her armies, and practically says, “we’re not going to stop until we take the entire world!” That’s concerning. Jon, Tyrion, and Grey Worm are standing behind her, but after her speech, Tyrion approaches. He relinquishes his position as Hand of the Queen, and Dany orders a few Unsullied to take him away. That ain’t good for Tyrion.
Later on, in what looks like a room reserved for pottery, Jon visits Tyrion where he’s being held prisoner. Tyrion pleads with Jon one last time to claim the throne – nice moment when Jon is defending Dany’s actions and Tyrion asks, “would you have done it?” Everyone with a functioning brain knows there’s no way Jon would’ve done it.
So, Dany finally gets her moment in the throne room. Doesn’t even get to sit on the damn thing before Jon comes in guns-a-blazing. He’s not happy with her actions, though Dany tries to justify them and make him see her grand vision. They embrace, Jon utters, “you will always be my Queen,” and then stabs her. Brutal.
Drogon senses it and flies up there, melts the damn Iron Throne, doesn’t murder Jon, takes Dany’s body and flies off. Poof – she gone.
A few weeks pass, and we see Tyrion summoned to a meeting in the dragonpit. We learn that Jon’s being held prisoner, and all of the main lords and ladies of the realm have been summoned to figure out what the hell to do with him.
Tyrion suggests they just choose the next king/queen. Sam suggests democracy and is mocked for it. They ask Tyrion his take, and he suggests Bran the Broken! BRAN! Hoowee – who would’ve guessed that a couple of years ago? But, the reasoning behind it makes sense – his story is something easy for people to get behind, and Bran seems like a pretty just guy. The committee agrees, and Bran names Tyrion as his hand.
As a compromise, all parties agree to send Jon back to the Night’s Watch, and from there, it’s all a big montage of how things end up. The council now consists of Tyrion (Hand of the King), Bronn (Master of Coin), Davos (Master of Ships), Brienne (Commander of the Kingsguard), and Sam (Archmaester). That’s a fine collection of individuals.
Sansa “negotiated” the independence of the North, where she will rule as Queen from Winterfell. Arya pledges to travel west, beyond the map, to explore what’s west of Westeros. Jon arrives at the ruins of Castle Black to find Tormund and the wildlings are there to meet him, and he reunites with Ghost (definitely) the feel-good moment of the show.
Bran is the king – all is pretty well resolved.
*sigh of relief*
I liked the ending. This season has been nauseatingly polarizing, and I hate that. But, all’s well that ends well in my book, and I found this ending to be nearly perfectly fitting. We can all agree this season was undoubtedly rushed – not sure why we couldn’t have at least gotten eight episodes instead of six, but that’s neither here nor there at this point. But, as far as a payoff goes, this was a big one.
And, remember – at this point, this is the endgame that George R.R. Martin is writing towards. Whether or not he ever finishes the books remains to be seen, but this was the ending he wanted. Could it change? Maybe…but he’s been adamant before that he will not let fan reaction influence his work.
Endings are hard, people! You’re never going to write anything that pleases everyone, especially something with the deeply rooted fan culture of Game of Thrones. I can’t think of many, if any, shows that have actually had a satisfying ending. Part of it is that it’s over – so, there’s a bit of grief in that. No more theories. No more finding clues and solving riddles. That’s it, case closed.
As for our characters, this could not have ended any better for Jon. Bravo on that front. He’s always done what’s right and he’s always been of duty to the good of the realm. He was the one who stabbed Dany in the heart because he knew it was for the best. And, yes – I agree that Dany had to go. That was for the good of the world. He’s sent to the Night’s Watch, and that raised a lot of eyebrows. But, shit – Grey Worm and them don’t know much about the Night’s Watch. They probably don’t realize that there’s not much of a need for it anymore. If they do bring it back, it’ll probably be a pretty cushy job anyway.
Considering his welcoming party, it feels like Sansa and the committee probably knew they were sending Jon north of The Wall to live out his days. And, the thing is – we’ve never seen Jon happier than he was when he was living among the wildlings. Tormund even told him after The Battle of Winterfell that he had the north in his blood. It’s who he is.
Another criticism I’ve seen is people asking, “how did they know Jon killed Dany?” I mean, come on – do you have no idea who Jon Snow is? I highly doubt he was hiding from his actions. Probably went straight to the Queensguard and confessed or some Jon Snow shit. Hell, he was ready to die right there in the throne room, not backing away from Drogon at all. He really ended up being as close to Ned Stark as we were going to get.
Just think about what a character he is – raised a bastard, pledged to the Night’s Watch, successfully made peace with the wildlings, raised a dire wolf, was killed by his own men at the Night’s Watch, rode a dragon, had to deal with the deaths of the only two women he loved. Finally, he ends up where he belongs. The guy’s a true hero!
In a way, Dany succeeded. The wheel has been broken – bloodlines will no longer determine rulers, and an era of peace has been ushered in. She’s always made me a little uneasy. But, we saw just what she was capable of when she’d been broken and didn’t have anyone around her to keep her violent ideas in check. I don’t think she could’ve been trusted to institute rules the way they ended up being laid out.
For Sansa, man – it was one of the greatest character arcs of the entire story. She wanted to be a queen from the beginning of this series, and after all she’s been through, she finally got that moment. Likewise, Arya has decided that she wants to be an explorer, and that’s cool as shit, ’cause that’s Arya.
This was a triumphant tale for the Starks, a family that has endured so much. To see them split apart and broken, most of them murdered, only to ultimately rule over all of Westeros is something I didn’t really see coming. Sure, it came at a great cost, but now you have Starks ruling Westeros from north of The Wall all the way down south.
As for Bran becoming king, I don’t think a more interesting choice existed. Jon and Tyrion couldn’t have been named king without Grey Worm and the Unsullied pitching a fit. It made no sense for Sansa or Arya to take the throne. Who’s left? Gendry? Davos? Bronn? Bran makes the most sense. As Tyrion said, all of human history is housed inside his memory, he has a story that the common folk can get behind, and he’s a reasonable guy.
Plus, for me – every good ending should leave a little bit of mystery in the story. On the surface, it seems like it’s out of left field, but if you stop and think about it…it’s possible that Bran orchestrated this all so that he could end up as king. I mean, he certainly could, couldn’t he? Who is the biggest beneficiary of the story’s ending? It’s Bran, easily. So, this idea that Bran is a sort of “secret villain” is pretty fun.
All in all, it worked for me. It made sense, our main characters ended up where they should be, and we have a fine collection of individuals overseeing what is essentially a new world.
*The one thing that really bothers me – Varys’ letters. What was the point of showing him writing those letters if there was no payoff to it? I mean, if the letters were sent, people are going to find out about Jon’s claim to the throne. If they didn’t make it out, well, that’s fine. But, SHOW US! Don’t leave this open – it just looks like a huge plot hole.
*If you didn’t pick up on it, Grey Worm is heading to Naath, which is the home island of Missandei. Remember, they talked about heading back there earlier in the series, and it’s possible Grey Worm intends to protect the island in her honor.
*Y’all better keep tabs on Drogon. I mean, shit – that thing gets loose on another city and y’all are screwed. Love the idea of Bran warging into him, but I don’t know what the plan beyond that is. Just cross your fingers that he never comes back?
*Speaking of Drogon, I loved his melting down of the Iron Throne. The Tolkien symmetry there was on point. Destroying the thing that corrupts men the most.
*I guess the Dothraki are just gonna chill now? Just become card-carrying citizens of King’s Landing?
*Really dig this random new Prince of Dorne being brought in. Could potentially be a spinoff?
*At least the show acknowledged that Tyrion was being uncharacteristically dumb lately.
*Prequels are coming, folks – the GoT universe is still very much alive. That said, I wouldn’t get my hopes up about a Jon-Tormund buddy cop comedy or a pirate Arya adventure show. GRRM has said that four prequels are planned (one of those actually could come to fruition as early as 2020), but they’re all set to take place thousands of years before the Game of Thrones. One should explain the origins of the White Walkers in a little more detail. The others? Who knows? And, let’s remember – it’s television. Things could change and maybe we do get that Grey Worm in Naath series.
*All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with the ending and am eager to find out what’s next for this property.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley