Hello everyone I’m feeling even happier than usual that this series is entirely about relationships, because it means I don’t have to deconstruct that entire finale and that I don’t have to talk about a certain CGI dragon breaking my heart with his weirdly good acting.
But also this means I can’t spend the entire post talking about my one true queen, the Queen in the North, and what else even matters?
SPOILERS FOR THE SERIES FINALE OF GAME OF THRONES
No, seriously, for this entire post, imagine a background chanting of “QUEEN IN THE NORTH QUEEN IN THE NORTH QUEEN IN THE NORTH” because that’s my whole brain.
We sure didn’t really get any happy endings to any ships in this show, huh? Sam and Gilly probably had a happy ending, but we don’t actually get to see Gilly in the finale. The only ships we actually saw directly acknowledged were, uh, pretty tragic.
Seriously, let’s take a look.
Jon and Dany: I’ve already written on my general feelings about the Jon/Dany ship (“this probably isn’t good but ugh I’m a sucker for it anyway”). Even when it became obvious the ship was likely to sink, I still didn’t enjoy watching it!
- Despite their many many flaws, I love both of these characters. I wanted them to be happy. I wanted everyone to be happy, because I’m a sap.
- The whole season kept showing ways they couldn’t work together (Jon betraying her, Dany threatening Sansa, Jon being a threat by existing, Dany burning a city) but I still kept hoping for some miracle.
- That said, I’ve assumed for awhile that they can’t both live, and that one was likely to kill the other.
- The scene in the throne room played on my emotions real good. I expected Jon to kill Dany, or for her to have him taken away, but they gave us just a moment where it looked like they might stay together.
- The implications of that might not have been overall good, what with the mass death and Dany wanting to rule the world and all the Starks probably being murdered in the process, but, I already said I’m a sap and a sucker.
- I don’t know how to describe what I felt when Jon stabbed her. A sort of…finality? Acceptance? I’d been waiting two years for this, I’d been loving Daenerys since season one, I loved “foolishly noble as any Stark, can’t win a battle on his own” Jon. I cared about how their stories would end and was worried about where they would go.
- I guess it was just good to finally be able to release that tension.
- But also goddammit.
Jaime and Cersei: I don’t have much I can say that I didn’t say in my last post, but that one last shot of them dead in each others’ arms nearly broke me.
Grey Worm and Missandei: I’m happy Grey Worm lived. I was so, so worried they would kill him, too. I’m kind of confused about why he seemed mostly just grumpy about Dany’s death – like everyone else – but at least he lived.
- I am utterly destroyed by him captaining a ship to Naath, where he’ll stand on the beaches Missandei missed so much.
- They deserved a better, happier ending. I will be eternally angry over Missandei’s death.
- But if Missandei had to die (she didn’t), at least they gave us this.
Brienne and Jaime: Most of the commentary I’m seeing is upset that Brienne’s storyline wrapped up in telling Jaime’s story. I’m not sure how I feel yet. I think it helps that she appears to be the new Commander of the Kingsguard, and I also always read Brienne as being a more emotional, sentimental person than others seem to. I think it makes sense for her to write his story. She did love him, after all, and now she’s mourning him.
- But maybe that shouldn’t have been the last Brienne-focused scene we got.
At least we can take comfort in Jon reuniting with Tormund and their son, Ghost.
Listen. Game of Thrones has done a lot wrong. I’m still not sure how I feel about this season overall – I think I feel more positively than many, but I also keep messaging my friends with things like, “Wait, so what happened to the Dothraki after Dany died? Did Jon being a Targaryen really end up not mattering at all? Why does Tyrion think the people of Westeros will give a single hecking fuck about Bran being the Three-Eyed Raven? Why didn’t Yara jump in when Sansa said the North would be independent with “hey, hey, the Iron Islands, too?”
But possibly part of why I still feel fondly towards it is because it generates a lot of questions (even when it didn’t mean to) and because it captured so many imaginations that I don’t have to delve into forums or fandom-specific places to spend hours discussing theories and finding plot holes and then rationalizing the plot holes.
(I’ve realized that while my habit to take what little the writers purposely gave us and make it into something more complex might give them more credit than they deserve, I also have a lot of fun with it. Talk to me sometime about why everyone on Dany’s side was so terrible at battle strategy compared to Cersei. In reality, probably just Bad Writing, but I can give you character context to back it up anyway.)
There’s also just something special about being involved in this kind of phenomenon. I’ve watched video after video of rooms and bars full of people cheering when Arya kills the Night King. They all follow the same pattern – the silence as the Night King reaches for his sword. The cheer as Arya appears out of the shadows. The gasps and screams when he catches her by the throat. The tense hush, broken by whimpers and soft “no”s as they wait to see if they’re about to watch Arya die. And finally, the explosion of cheers when she stabs him.
It gives me chills every time.
When Harry Potter ended, I thought I’d never get to experience that kind of huge community energy around a story again. After the last book and the last movie, I cried not just because the series that had been my world since I was nine was over, but also for the experience of being surrounded by other fans as we breathlessly waited for midnight on release day.
Game of Thrones taught me there will always be another story. I don’t know what the next big one will be, but I’m excited to find out.
Anyway, back to what’s important:
All hail the Queen in the North!