The final episode of Game of Thrones starts in the ruins of King’s Landing Thousands of people are dead because last episode, Daenerys burned the city

And now Grey Worm is killing prisoners He says that Lannister soldiers are “free men” who “chose” to fight for Cersei But random soldiers don’t really choose – they’re forced into war by their lord Feudalism is kinda similar to slavery But Grey Worm has no sympathy, and kills the Lannisters


Tyrion sees the small council room, where he served in the early seasons There are so many memories here of Tyrion’s successes and failures and his family Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei’s bodies under a surprisingly light dusting of bricks Tyrion tried to protect his siblings from Daenerys , but he supported her war because he thought she would make the world better Now, Daenerys is a tyrant, and Tyrion’s family’s dead anyway

So all Tyrion’s work these last seasons have only brought death to his family and to thousands of others Daenerys goes full Targaryen She gives a victory speech to her soldiers, and it looks just like a Nazi rally, with Daenerys as Hitler – but with a dragon She says she “liberated” the people of King’s Landing, which is delusional – she killed those people, after they’d surrendered And she says she’ll continue her war, to ‘liberate’ “all the people of the world”

She mentions Winterfell and Lannisport – threatening Jon and Tyrion’s family homes She also mentions Qarth – in Season 2, Daenerys threatened to destroy that city So Daenerys is set to bring death and destruction to the world That flaming spiral in Episode 1 does look like the Targaryen sigil Turns out the real threat to the world isn’t icy white walkers – it’s Targaryen fire

Tyrion quits as Daenerys’ Hand And his Hand pin looks like Jaime’s hand – Tyrion refuses to follow the woman who killed his family Daenerys arrests Tyrion for treason – because he freed Jaime, and tried to save Cersei Arya warns that Daenerys is a threat to Jon, because Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne Dany’s also a threat to Sansa, because Sansa won’t accept her as queen

So Daenerys is not just a threat to the world, she’s a threat to Jon, and to Tyrion and their families Tyrion tells Jon that Varys was right about Daenerys – she went bad, and supporting her was wrong So when Tyrion ratted out Varys, he got his friend killed for nothing Jon tries to defend Dany, but Tyrion argues that her massacre was unjust and unnecessary Tyrion says that for the sake of their families and the world , Jon should kill Daenerys – even though Jon loves Daenerys

So once again, Jon has to choose between love and duty This is like when Jon gave up his love Ygritte to stop the wildlings Now, Jon has to kill Dany to save the world This scene is similar to when Varys convinced Ned Stark to make a false confession – to do something dishonourable to protect his family Ned was only convinced when Varys mentioned Sansa’s safety

And now Jon is only convinced when Tyrion mentions Sansa’s safety So Jon is following Ned Stark’s example, even though Ned isn’t Jon’s father – Rhaegar Targaryen is But as Jon says, people aren’t defined by their blood – they make their own choices And Jon chooses, like Ned, to do the right thing, even when it costs everything Daenerys approaches the Throne

She’s wanted this for eight seasons, and it’s not quite how she imagined She thought the Throne would be bigger, “a mountain of swords” – and in the books, the Throne is much bigger Daenerys had a vision of the Throne in Season 2, and this scene recreates it But this time, Daenerys touches the Throne Jon confronts Dany about the killings and imprisoning Tyrion

Dany argues that she has to punish Tyrion for conspiring with her enemies – just like Jon has killed people who disobeyed him But Daenerys has no justification for killing the people of King’s Landing She just says she’ll build a new world , and that she knows what’s good, and other people don’t get to choose As Tyrion said, Daenerys has spent years gaining power and killing people and being rewarded for it She’s been surrounded by adoring followers, people who worship her as messiah

Daenerys once said that what keeps her going is “faith” in herself Now her faith blinds her to the evil she’s committing She’s so convinced of her destiny to destroy tyranny that she’s become a tyrant Daenerys tells Jon to join her, fulfil his destiny, and rule the galaxy together as nephew and aunt – and Jon makes his choice They embrace one last time, and Jon stabs his lover in the heart

It’s like the legend of Azor Ahai, a hero who sacrificed his lover to save the world There are lots of hints in the series that Jon is this prophesied hero , and it seemed as though that meant that he would stop the white walkers But in the end, Jon’s destiny is to save the world from the woman he loves Dany dies in his arms like Ygritte – Jon chose duty over love The dragon Drogon sees Daenerys dead

She was his mother, she hatched him from his egg And a for a moment it looks like he’ll kill Jon, but instead, Drogon burns the Iron Throne Cause in a way, it was the Throne that killed Daenerys The Throne represents power, and all the ways that power corrupts people We saw Cersei and Joffrey and Robert and Stannis all destroyed by power in different ways

Wars for the Throne tore Westeros apart, so the Throne is the real enemy, just as much the Night King was By destroying the Throne, Drogon finally ‘breaks the wheel’ that Daenerys talked about It ends the cycle of conflict in Westeros – symbolically, at least And the Throne is destroyed in dragonfire, just like it was originally forged in dragonfire It’s like the One Ring in Lord of the Rings – it also symbolises power, and drives people mad to possess it, and is destroyed in the fires that forged it

Drogon takes Dany’s body and flies east Dany thought that Westeros would be her home, but it never felt like home The east is where she found love and success, so that’s where she returns In her vision in Season 2, Daenerys leaves the Throne, then goes to be with her dead lover Drogo Now, in death, Daenerys returns to her love

Weeks later, a meeting is held with the high lords of Westeros There’s Sansa for the north, Edmure for the riverlands, Robin for the Vale, Gendry for the Stormlands, Yara for the Iron Islands, and the new prince of Dorne Grey Worm has Tyrion and Jon prisoner – Tyrion for his treason , and Jon for killing Daenerys Sansa has brought down an army of northmen to secure Jon Davos says the Unsullied should start their own house in the Reach, which is a weird suggestion – cause the Unsullied are eunuchs, so how could they start a noble family? Grey Worm says he just wants justice for the murder of Daenerys – so you’d think that Grey Worm would’ve just executed Jon by now

Jon murdered Grey Worm’s queen, surely the punishment is death Why does he wait around to ask Jon’s family for their opinion? Tyrion says they need to choose a new king And Edmure says he’d like to be king Edmure is Sansa’s uncle The Red Wedding was his wedding, then he was imprisoned by the Freys for half the series

Edmure’s kind of a doofus, so Sansa makes him sit Then Sam suggests democracy He says the King of Westeros should be chosen by all the people Some parts of Westeros do have elections The Night’s Watchmen vote to choose their leader

And the ironborn lords elect their king But the lords laugh at the idea of giving peasants a vote – it’s a big step from feudalism to democracy Tyrion says that stories unite people , and Bran has a great story As the magic three-eyed raven, Bran is the world’s memory, he remembers the past – so he should lead Westeros in the future And all the lords agree to make Bran their king

Which is a very weird choice These lords don’t know Bran, and they don’t know what a three-eyed raven is – they have no connection to the magic of the old gods of the north Even to his own family, Bran is confusing and mysterious To these southern lords, he’s a creepy foreign cripple Bran also has no claim on the Throne

For the last three hundred years, the Throne of Westeros passed down a line of succession That’s why Daenerys had a claim, as the daughter of the Mad King Jon Snow has a better claim, as the son of the Mad King’s firstborn Jon also has a pretty good story, and he’s an actual political leader who people know and support Jon’s identity as the true heir to the Throne was a mystery built up throughout the whole series , but his claim is not even mentioned in this scene

Tyrion says they should ignore the line of succession, cause the sons of kings are often terrible like Joffrey Ending the line of succession is ‘breaking the wheel’ , it’s stopping a bad system But this could also lead to more conflict Tyrion says that each new king will be chosen by the lords of Westeros Which means every time a king dies, there’ll be new uncertainty

At least the old system had the stability of a royal family – now, anyone can be king, so it could turn into a free-for-all every time a king dies Sansa says that the north will be independent from this new realm All the other kingdoms will be ruled by Bran Stark, but the north will be ruled by Sansa Stark This whole meeting is basically a Stark coup – their family takes over Westeros, and for some reason, all the other lords agree What happened to their ambitions? In Season 6, Yara made a deal with Daenerys that the Iron Islands would be independent

But now she kinda forgets that and agrees to be ruled by Bran And Dorne has a long history of proud independence, and they should be in a strong position now, since their armies were untouched in the recent wars But this unnamed prince hands his kingdom to the Starks This whole story was about ambitious noble families fighting and scheming for power But now, in one scene, all the great houses agree to give up their power to a weird psychic kid cause ‘he has a good story’

Maybe everyone’s just too tired and confused to argue right now But Sansa set a precedent for kingdoms to secede, so there could be rebellions in the future This brave new realm is delicate and uncertain, but there is hope King Bran represents a different kind of ruler Past kings have been bad because they’ve been proud or cruel or power-hungry

Bran doesn’t care about power He has no pride or cruelty He barely has a personality – so in theory, he’ll be fair and unbiased He’ll be a good ruler because he’s inhuman – which is a very depressing message Game of Thrones was always about the struggle between human good and human evil within each person

Bran being king suggests that the solution to human evil isn’t human good, it’s being not human And with the failure of Jaime and Daenerys, this whole season feels deeply cynical about the very possibility of human good Bran makes Tyrion Hand of the King , which is another strange choice Tyrion totally failed at being Daenerys’ Hand, and he ended up betraying her And Tyrion’s widely hated as the Imp – a kinslayer, kingslayer, and betrayer

It’s hard to believe that any of these lords even listened to Tyrion at this meeting But Bran says that Tyrion will be Hand as punishment for his crimes – he’ll spend his life fixing his mistakes The Starks want Jon freed, but Grey Worm wants justice for Daenerys So they make a compromise – Jon is sent to rejoin the Night’s Watch , where he was in Season 1 The purpose of the Watch was to defend the realm from white walkers and wildlings

Now, the walkers are gone, and the wildlings are friendly, so Tyrion says the Watch will just be like a penal colony for “bastards and broken men” Jon feels guilty and conflicted for killing Dany She was a threat to his family and the world, but Daenerys trusted and loved Jon Daenerys was Jon’s queen, and she was his aunt, which makes Jon a kinslayer – a terrible crime in Westeros This makes Jon the last Targaryen – and as Aemon once said, “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing”

Tyrion says he’ll visit Jon – that he’ll come and “piss off the edge of the world” , like when he visited in Season 1 We see some Dothraki at the docks In Episode 3, it seemed like all the Dothraki died , but apparently many survived to the end These guys were fanatically loyal to Daenerys, they saw her rise from fire twice – and they followed her across the world to win her Westeros – so how’d they react to Dany’s death? In Season 6, Dany made all her Dothraki her blood riders , her sworn protectors The books say that if a khal is killed, his blood riders live to avenge him

So surely when Jon killed Dany, her blood riders would be honorbound to kill Jon But here, the Dothraki just walk past Jon They don’t even react to the man who killed their khaleesi What are the Dothraki doing now that Dany is dead? When Drogo died in Season 1, his khalasar scattered into warring factions The Dothraki way of life is to raid and pillage other people

In Season 1, Daenerys was conflicted, cause she knew that invading Westeros with Dothraki would have serious consequences But the show never explores how the Dothraki and Westerosi get along – there’s only one named Dothraki in Season 8, who only gets one line The Dothraki were part of Dany’s story all series, but in the end they get no closure Grey Worm and the Unsullied sail to Naath Because Naath is Missandei’s home

They dreamed of returning there together , and for the Unsullied to protect the Naathi – so Grey Worm is honouring his dead girlfriend’s memory In the books, Naath has a disease carried by butterflies that kills foreigners, so hopefully that’s not a thing in the show But now that the Unsullied are gone, who’s forcing Jon to stay at the Wall? You’d think most people would be glad that Jon killed the tyrant who burned King’s Landing King Robert pardoned Jaime for killing the Mad King Why doesn’t King Bran pardon Jon for killing the Mad Queen? As the last Targaryen, some people are gonna wanna make Jon king

Staying at the Night’s Watch can be a way of staying out of politics That’s why Aemon joined the Night’s Watch Years ago, Aemon was almost made King of Westeros, but instead, he chose to join the Watch, and give up his claim, so that his brother could be king instead Maybe Jon is staying at the Watch so his brother Bran can be king Another sacrifice for the good of the realm

Jon farewells his family at the docks, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings And Sansa apologises for having Jon sent north She should probably also apologise for breaking her oath and revealing Jon’s parentage to undermine Daenerys That contributed to the conflict that drove Dany mad and got Jon exiled – removing Jon as King in the North – and making Sansa queen Last season, Arya accused Sansa of undermining Jon so that she can rule the north

And that’s kinda what ends up happening Sansa uses information to create chaos and climb to power – which is exactly the strategy used by her mentor Littlefinger In Season 1, Sansa was a naïve girl who dreamed of being a queen But she learned that queens and princes aren’t as wonderful as she thought To survive, Sansa learned politics from the worst people in Westeros – like Littlefinger and Cersei and Ramsay , and those people made Sansa who she is now

So it is a triumphant moment that someone who was abused for so long finally gets power of her own And no doubt, Sansa will be a strong ruler of the north She won’t make the mistakes that Ned and Robb and Jon made But there’s something dark in that Sansa got here by embracing the lessons of her abusers Arya says she’s not coming home – she’s sailing west, to discover new lands , as she said she would in Season 6

So Arya is rejecting a life as a noble lady, and rejecting the violence of being an assassin Her story was always intertwined with death – but now she’s killed the Night King, she’s defeated death, and she chooses a life of adventure and freedom instead But she’s also abandoning her family In Season 6, she declared she was Arya Stark, and her home was Winterfell But in Season 7, when she tried to reconnect, she ended up almost murdering her sister

After everything she’s been through, Arya feels unable to come home Like Frodo, she’s damaged, so she’s sails into the sunset sea – it’s kind of a metaphor for death And practically speaking, everyone else who’s sailed west hasn’t returned Like this is some Columbus Magellan edge-of-the-world type shit, and Arya’s not exactly an expert sailor So Arya is letting go of her old lives

But she keeps Needle – a symbol of her home and family Bran makes a weird comment that Jon was exactly where he was “supposed to be” At the council, he hinted that becoming king was Bran’s destiny all along Bran has had visions of the future before And it seems like Bran guided recent events – he gave Arya the dagger than she used to kill the Night King

And he told Sam to tell Jon about his parentage – which divided Jon from Dany, leading to her death and his exile, clearing the way for Bran to become king Like Sansa, Bran spread information that created conflict that gave Bran power – like Littlefinger does In Season 7, Littlefinger gave Bran Arya’s dagger, and Bran quoted Littlefinger’s line that “Chaos is a ladder” Littlefinger once said you should see all possibilities in your mind all the time , which is kinda what Bran does as the magic three-eyed raven So did Bran manipulate everything to become king? It would be pretty evil if Bran knew that King’s Landing would burn, but he made it happen anyway

But that’s exactly the sort of magic Machiavellian shit that the three-eyed raven does Like, the previous raven used visions to lure a crippled boy to a cave full of skulls, and deleted his personality to make him an avatar for the magic of the old gods In the books, the raven is called Bloodraven, and he has an even longer history of doing terrible things for the sake of some vague prophetic greater good Bran Stark as we knew him is dead Bran said that he’s not Bran any more , he’s the three-eyed raven now

So given the raven’s long history of psychic fuckery, it’s very possible that Bran has manipulated everyone around him to gain power, and what we call is Bran is now really a puppet, a host for the ancient psychic hivemind of the old gods What if the raven never gives up power? The previous raven said he’s been alive a thousand years , sustained by the weirwood roots Maybe Bran will become an immortal god-emperor like in 40K or Dune Author George Martin’s old sci-fi stories are full of evil hive minds doing crazy shit like this But the show mostly avoids the high-magic stuff, so Bran is left ambiguous

What he is and what kind of king he’ll be is open to speculation Brienne becomes Commander of the Kingsguard – the highest and most respected position for a knight of Westeros And there’s a new symbol on the Kingsguard armour In Targaryen times, the armour had a Targaryen dragon Under Robert, it was a crown

When Tommen joined the sparrows, it was the Faith’s star And now it’s a three-eyed raven, to represent Bran This highlights again how weird it is to make Bran king Cause the raven is a mysterious mystical figure of the children of the forest and the old gods, who are only* worshipped in the north – and the north isn’t even part of Bran’s realm This’d be like if the USA used a Canadian maple leaf to represent their presidency – culturally and politically it’s just jarring

But as Commander of the Kingsguard, it’s Brienne’s job to update the White Book, which records the accomplishments of every Kingsguard knight Jaime’s page had no great achievements , so he hoped to get some good deeds in there before he died So now, Brienne fills in Jaime’s page He took Riverrun peacefully He outsmarted Daenerys’ war plans

And he helped the living save the world from the dead Brienne writes that Jaime rode south to save King’s Landing from destruction, which is not really true Jaime said he went south to be with Cersei He said “She's hateful And so am I” , and he died saying he and Cersei are all that matter in the world

Jaime died hateful, and his redemption failed But one of the great lines in the books is that “Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths” Jaime’s death was a failure, but he did great things in his life – and maybe that’s what matters in the end This room is where Jaime gave Brienne the sword Oathkeeper, and showed her the trust and respect that she needed – so the legacy of Jaime’s good deeds lives on even if Jaime failed in death Also apparently Podrick has become a Kingsguard knight, and it’s great that he’s rewarded, but Kingsguard knights swear vows of chastity, they’re not allowed to have sex – which seems a terrible waste of Pod the Rod

The small council is the government of this brave new realm Tyrion is Hand, Davos Master of Ships, Sam is Grand Maester, Bronn Master of Coin, and Brienne’s there as Commander of the Kingsguard It’s surprising that Sam is Grand Maester, cause becoming a maester takes years of study – Sam just scrubbed bedpans, stole books and ran, so is he qualified to represent the Citadel? And maesters take vows of chastity, they’re not meant to have children and wildling girlfriends Maybe the rules have changed But Bronn as Master of Coin is even more questionable

What does he know about responsible fiscal management? A few seasons ago, he said himself that he doesn’t know how loans work And that’ll be a problem, cause the Throne owes money to the Iron Bank – Cersei never paid back her Golden Company loan We’ve been warned all series that the Iron Bank is ruthless – they might start a war if they don’t get their money After all these years of expensive conflict , Westeros could face financial crisis – and it’s up to Bronn to prevent this Bronn is also Lord of Highgarden, and Lord of the Reach – Tyrion kept his ridiculous promise and made Bronn one of the most powerful lords in Westeros – even though Bronn is a disloyal amoral murderer who threatened to kill Tyrion just two episodes ago

There are many powerful houses in the reach who’ve wanted Highgarden for centuries – they’re not gonna easily accept Bronn as the overlord Tyrion always said that he pays his debts, and he’s Bronn deserves a reward for eight seasons of service to the Lannisters But giving Bronn this much power is not a recipe for peace Sam has a new history book about the recent wars It’s called “A Song of Ice and Fire”, which is the title of the Game of Thrones book series – it’s how there’s a Lord of the Rings book at the end of Lord of the Rings

Thrones author George Martin has said that that Sam is the character most like him , so it’s appropriate that Sam presents this book Tyrion is upset to learn that he’s not mentioned in the book Realistically, Tyrion would be mentioned – he was Hand to a king and queen, he killed Tywin, and supposedly killed Joffrey But this is a reference to what Varys said in Season 2 – that Tyrion will never get recognition, and the histories won’t mention him , because he’s a dwarf and a misfit, he’ll always be misunderstood and hated But that only makes Tyrion more heroic for fighting to make the world better anyway

King Bran arrives and says they need a Master of War , which is ominous The Master of War position was invented by Cersei You’d hope that this new regime would wanna emphasise peace, not continue Cersei’s legacy Bran also says they need a Master of Whisperers , which is a spymaster, like Varys And you’d think Bran could just do that himself, since he can spy with animals, and has visions, and claims to “see everything”

In the books, the previous three-eyed raven was once the Master of Whisperers, and used his magic and spying to basically run the realm for decades King Bran really is a continuation of his legacy Sam says that Drogon is flying towards Volantis If he continues that way, he’ll reach Valyria – the ruined empire of the dragonlords, and homeland of the Targaryens We saw Drogon in Valyria before

So maybe he and Daenerys are going back to their ancestral home Bran says he might find Drogon with his magic, but he doesn’t say why Does he wanna make sure that Drogon’s safely far away? Or does the three-eyed raven have some sinister plan? Bran lets the council do the ruling while he goes and does whatever the three-eyed raven does The last line of dialogue in Game of Thrones is Tyrion telling his joke about the honeycomb and the jackass , but once again we don’t get to hear the punchline The scene pans out, and we see the map of Westeros – it’s cleared of rubble, but there’s still a crack in the floor

Cause this new realm isn’t perfect There are problems and divisions, and the king is possibly an evil tree But there are good people in government, and there’s hope that the wounds will heal The final scene in Game of Thrones has Jon and the wildlings riding north It seems like Jon is escorting the wildlings, or maybe he’s abandoning the Night’s Watch and joining the wildlings

He reunites with Ghost and Tormund – maybe he’ll spend his life with friends and have some fun for once instead of freezing his ass off on the Wall The scene recreates shots from the first scene in the series, with rangers riding north These rangers were hunting wildlings, and got killed by white walkers Winter was rising against them But now, the Watch is friendly with the wildlings, the walkers are gone, and it seems like winter is ending

The first line in the Game of Thrones books is “We should start back” But as Jon and the wildlings ride north, it feels like they’re moving forwards Things aren’t perfect, but there’s hope – it’s a dream of spring Author George Martin always said that the end of Thrones would be bittersweet And it was sweet in the show, to see Brienne knighted, Sansa crowned, Theon redeemed

We got eight seasons of Lannister drama, Daenerys’ conquests, Jon and Arya’s journeys, adapted from the books with exceptional production, acting and music The tv show made some nerdy fantasy books into the biggest thing in pop culture, with a global community of fans [Start showing just S1, fadein other seasons showing book gap] But it’s bitter that the show ended before the book series was finished So for the last few seasons, the showrunners didn’t have material to adapt They made up their own plots, and tried to connect them to the book ending that the author told them

So sometimes there were dumb plotlines like the wight hunt Sometimes the dialogue was weak cause there was no book dialogue to use Characters like Daenerys and Jaime had sudden twists in their stories, which felt rushed and undeveloped because they were squeezed into shortened seasons The politics lost the realism and sense of consequences that defined the early story And the seasons of built up mystery and magic kinda went nowhere

Complex characters like Varys and Littlefinger and Cersei became less important, while asshats like Euron had huge impacts on the plot without any character depth to give that impact meaning Stuff happened not as a consequence of character choices or themes, but simply to surprise the audience The main points of the ending on the show are apparently partly the same as what’s planned for the books But the show’s ending doesn’t have the same depth and detail that gives the books so much meaning So it’s bitter that we didn’t get Daenerys’ conflict with Young Griff from the books

We didn’t get the horror of book-Euron and Victarion We didn’t get the book Dorne plot, with Arianne and Quentyn, and Alleras in Oldtown Or Sansa with Harry in the Vale, and Barristan in Meereen, and Marwyn and Moqorro Varys and Illyrio’s Blackfyre conspiracy, and the northern conspiracy Rickon on Skagos, and Stannis’ Battle of Ice

Lady Stoneheart, Patchface, Strong Belwas, and Nimble Dick Crabb We didn’t get the full prophecies of Azor Ahai and the valonqar, the mysteries of the white walkers, the Nightfort, Horn of Winter, ice spiders and a long Long Night, and everything else that’ll happen in the next two books Martin recently hinted that the next book will be out in a year It’ll be sweet to read his ending And it’s sweet that the tv show happened

But it’s bitter that the show is not what it could’ve been Alt Shift X will make more videos on the Game of Thrones books We’ll also make videos on other series There are TV shows coming of Watchmen, His Dark Materials, Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, and movies of Dune There are also Netflix gems like Dark and Maniac

So these are the kinds of series we’ll make videos on in future [YouTube cards vote] We’ll hold votes and updates on the Alt Shift X Patreon There’ll also be an Alt Shift Podcast about short stories – subscribe at the link below There’s also Alt Shift ZZZ for readings of old books Alt Schwift X is some kind of parody channel(?), and we don’t endorse it, but it also exists

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