Game of Thrones is officially over and whether you loved season 8, episode 6, “The Iron Throne’ or hated it, there are probably some lingering questions from the show that you may want to be answered. And while we lack the foresight and omnipresence of King Bran the Broken, we will do our best to offer up explanations of the biggest events that took place in the series finale. So here are our best attempt at answering six burning questions fans may have after the last episode ever of Game of Thrones.
Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 6, “The Iron Throne.”
So Westeros Is a Democracy?
Kind of? After Jon kills Daenerys at the Iron Throne (hey, that’s the name of the episode!) all of the remaining rulers gather and argue for a bit before Tyrion reminds them they have a literal superhero who is entirely benevolent on their hands. So the Westeroian leaders quickly agree to make Bran the King of the Six Kingdoms (Sansa refuses to bend the knee). From there, it is decided that the council of Lords will get to decide who rules once Bran is gone, allowing rulers to be chosen based on merits rather than who their father was. It’s really more of an oligarchy or elective monarchy than democracy but considering the alternative was tyranny, hard to imagine anyone is complaining.
Now, we never actually get an explanation of how this semi-democratic system would function in Westeros but we assume the eventual transference of power will go just fine, so long as there is another person out there who can see everything that is happening or has ever happened who also happens to have no personal desires. After all, they will be used to being ruled by Benevolent Big Brother so it’s hard to imagine people will be fine with some average schmuck who can only see what’s happening right in front of him.
Is Greyworm the Worst Negotiator of All Time?
Seriously, this guy went from holding Jon Snow and Tyrion hostage to handing them both over in a matter of minutes. Sure, it’s nice that he and the boys get to head to Naath to live out some version of his dream future with Missandei but it just doesn’t seem likely that Greyworm would have been cool with sending Jon to the Night’s Watch and letting Tyrion become the second most powerful man in Westeros. To avenge his Queen’s life, blood would have to be spilled as payment, not to mention the rage of all of the Dothraki and Unsullied who just crossed the world for their Queen only for her to be killed. Instead, he lets Tyrion become Hand of the King while Jon gets to leave behind all the worries and responsibilities of ruling to reunite with his best friend and trusty pet. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Why Exactly Is Arya Heading West?
During the very Lord of the Rings-esque Stark goodbye, Arya shocked Jon by letting him know that she wasn’t staying in Westeros, instead choosing to head west of Westeros to see what’s beyond the maps. Now, travel is an enriching way to spend one’s time but with all due respect… why? When did Arya decide that her life desire was to be Westerosian Magellan? Sure she mentioned going west of Westeros in season 6 but that was when she thought all other Starks were dead. Considering she spent pretty much the entire show just trying to get back to her family, it’s a little odd she is bailing as soon as she can.
Is Jon a Wildling Now?
After killing the Mad Queen, Jon is ultimately sentenced to the King’s Watch by Bran in order to appease the Unsullied. It’s a grim bit of parallelism, seeing Jon head right back where he started from. But the dark tone didn’t last too long, as Jon was cheered right up the second he saw Ghost and, from there, the guy seemed about as happy as he has been on the show. And in the show’s final scene, Jon is shown riding north of what’s left of the wall along with Tormund and the rest of the remaining free folk. Considering Jon’s desire to escape power at all costs, this is a pretty solid ending for the Queenslayer.
What Was This Show About?
Coming up to the final episode, there have been a lot of theories about Game of Thrones’ underlying message. Was it a giant metaphor for climate change? Was it a nihilistic subversion of the more chivalric fantasy stories from the past? Was it all Bran’s dream after being pushed out of the tower by Jaime? But the most common theory about the show’s larger lesson was the idea that Game of Thrones was an examination of power and how it shapes the people who wield it. Time and time again, we saw rulers who were either too greedy or too cowardly or too stupid to do right by those they ruled.
Viewers wondered if perhaps the show was going to give its best guess at the type of ruler who would serve the people’s needs first and foremost. For a while, most people assumed it would be Jon Snow but with Bran becoming king, the entire message is a bit less clear. Because while Jon may have been brought back to life, his resurrection was ultimately less of a fantasy than offering up a pure-hearted demigod as the ideal ruler. Of course, everyone is going to agree to let Bran be in charge but finding him doesn’t seem all that likely in the real world.
So perhaps the books will provide a more satisfying explanation or maybe we are too dumb to see the brilliance of the show but for right now, we are having a difficult time grasping what exactly the big takeaway of Game of Thrones is. And perhaps, there isn’t really a satisfying answer.
Does Drogon Understand Symbolism?
After finding Dany’s dead body, Drogon decides to burn the Iron Throne instead of Jon, the man who actually killed her. Why? It’s not entirely clear but we can only assume that it was his fun way of letting Jon know that rather than contribute to the endless cycle of violence and retaliation, he is choosing to only destroy the symbol of the system in place that has perpetuated society’s greatest woes. He then took off with his fallen Queen, to finally escape the chaos and carnage of mankind.