Warning: Contains Spoilers
So there we have it – the last ever episode of Game of Thrones has been and gone, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake and countless fans to pick up the pieces, trying to decipher what it all means, and wondering whether it was a satisfactory ending or just a bit ‘wait, what?’
If you’ve not seen episode six of season eight, there are MAJOR spoilers ahead…
I supposed all the death and destruction actually happened in the previous episode, as the Battle of King’s Landing played out and Daenerys left pretty much everyone in King’s Landing very, very dead.
So episode six, titled The Iron Throne, was inevitably going to be an episode full of pieces being picked up, loose ends being tied off and the last few questions finally being answered. A bit like the last day of school – all the work is done, most of your mates have left and you’re just waiting to be picked up.
Feeling like a headteacher after another successful school term, Daenerys Targaryen had assumed everything was good, her army was chilling after their victory and – when needed – ready to follow their queen to the next battle. She had the Iron Throne and almost, almost sat on it.
— Cynthia (@cyndeejc) May 20, 2019
But then Jon Snow sauntered in, lulled her into a false sense of security and swept the rug out from under her feet. Except he didn’t just sweep the rug out or stab her in the back metaphorically, he literally stabbed her in the chest while kissing her.
If The Bells had the highest death toll, The Iron Throne needed just the one (and a couple of Lannister army men) to remind us how favourite characters aren’t always safe in Game of Thrones – especially when it comes to a fierce, dragon-riding queen whose whole character arc has been building to this moment. Jon knew he could never be safe while Dany knew the truth about his heritage, and – after seeing Grey Worm executing prisoners under her orders, and imprisoning Tyrion – in the end Daenerys was just another tyrant who had to be defeated.
So, naturally, Daenerys’ death has divided fans, some thinking it was inevitable, some saying it was a huge disservice to such an iconic character.
As some people pointed out:
DANY'S DEATH WAS SO CHEAP AND UNDESERVING OF SUCH AN IMPORTANT, ICONIC CHARACTER pic.twitter.com/2rLHcfJ6PR
— niklaus mikaelson enthusiast (@SADHEXGIRL) May 20, 2019
they really just used dany’s resources to get rid of the white walkers—a fight that apparently didnt matter in the end because no one even mentioned it?—and then demonized her ambitions and killed her off. this is how women feel every day in this country
— Bran the BROKE (@antisansa) May 20, 2019
i'm really baffled people are buying into the writers retcon of dany's actions in essos as bad. they weren't trying to convince you she was morally grey by killing slave masters they told you to cheer for it. until they needed her to be evil then they made those actions bad
— cecilia (@cinegoth) May 20, 2019
AND ANOTHER THING the worst part about Dany’s death is the she was killed while thinking that Jon still loved and supported her like… she had felt betrayed all season and she died betrayed #GameOfThrones
— Queen in the North 🐺 (@Nelson649) May 20, 2019
While others saw it another way:
i cheered for dany and adored her and rooted for her [as i rooted for all the other terrible people doing terrible things]. but she was a self-serving colonizer and ultimately kiiiiiiinda a fascist who believed in her own manifest destiny. still love her but let's keep it real
— ser wikipedia brown of the free north (@eveewing) May 20, 2019
Jon snow stabbed Dany to save the 7 Kingdoms! He messed up but he fixed it for us in the end. A TRUE HERO!
— Anya (@PhoenixSansa) May 20, 2019
All of the stuff with Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Drogon including the final scene between Jon and Dany is so well done. I didn't like how quick her death came but I knew it was coming. Again like ep 5 this felt like 3 episodes shoved into one.
— Nick Volney (@ChaosMode) May 20, 2019
• Dany’s death was PERFECT. The most powerful person in the realm had one weakness: Jon Snow. And that’s what killed her
• Sansa and Arya ultimately ended up in perfect spots (would’ve liked to see them together tho)
• The overall cinematography of the entire episode
— Tyler Dencker (@T_Danks_) May 20, 2019
One thing it seems everyone has agreed on though, is that the final season made a fair few missteps. But then again, you can’t please all the people all the time, just ask Jon Snow.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.