Spoiler notice: “A woman says nothing. A woman retains her mouth closed. Nobody hears.” — Women, boys, and everybody alike, Jaqen H’ghar has spoken, so please keep in mind: Spoilers don’t make associates. Be happy to take e-book discussions over to our book-reader’s recap right here at WIC, however hold all spoilers to your self. Thanks!
Nicely, people, right here we’re, on the finish of an eight-season street. I don’t know whether or not to be emotional or relieved that I’ll have the ability to regulate my sleep schedule now that I gained’t be writing these recaps ‘til the wee hours of Monday morning. I feel it’s a little bit of each. Both approach, I can’t cease crying, so let’s get into it earlier than the tears — unhappy, completely happy, no matter they’re — obscure my imaginative and prescient utterly.
We start within the aftermath of Daenerys’ assault on King’s Touchdown. Tyrion leads the stroll into the town, suffering from the particles of fallen buildings, charred corpses, and small fires nonetheless crackling right here and there.
Regardless of Jon’s insistence that he not enterprise additional unaccompanied, Tyrion breaks off from the group. He heads to what stays of the Purple Hold, the place he wanders, persevering with to survey the destruction of Daenerys’ wrath. He goes down into the fort’s depths, maybe with the hope of proof that Jaime and Cersei escaped, per his directions. Any hope is dashed when he spots Jaime’s golden hand after which, after shunting apart a shallow layer of rubble, he finds his siblings’ our bodies.
Apart from the entire “being lifeless” bit, they don’t look all that a lot worse for put on, contemplating they have been crushed to dying. However then, something gory would have detracted from the poetry of the scene, so I’m not complaining.
Tyrion mourns them, perhaps even blaming himself for his or her loss. His grief just isn’t mentioned, so we will solely guess based mostly on our personal understandings of Tyrion’s character.
Again within the metropolis streets, Gray Worm is sentencing a small group of Lannister troopers to demise, as ordered by Daenerys. Jon and Davos attempt to cease him.
DAVOS: “How far more defeated would you like them to be? They’re on their knees.”
And but, it’s not sufficient.
When Jon places a hand on Gray Worm to halt him, the Unsullied heft their spears in warning. After a phrase from Davos, Jon leaves to talk to Daenerys about this specific decree. Nevertheless it’s too late for the lads who’ve already been captured; they’re executed on the spot.
Individually, Jon and Arya strategy the fort steps. The Unsullied stand stoic as ever, and the Dothraki are cheering as they await their queen’s arrival. She doesn’t maintain them ready lengthy, as she and Drogon fly overhead till they attain the near-demolished entrance of the Purple Hold. On the prime of the steep steps, Daenerys seems whereas, behind her, Drogon’s wings unfold, framing her completely and giving off a serious Angel of Dying and/or Maleficent vibes. It’s truly fairly rad, so far as villainous trend sense goes.
She addresses her gathered troops, and alludes to the speech she gave to them in season 6, which was itself a spin on the one Khal Drogo gave them in season 1:
You stored all of your guarantees to me. You killed my enemies of their iron fits. You tore down their stone homes. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms!
As soon as she’s named Gray Worm her Grasp of Warfare, Daenerys goes on to say that the warfare’s not but carried out. Tyrion and Jon trade appears of consternation as their queen speaks of liberation.
You’ve gotten freed the individuals of King’s Touchdown from the grip of a tyrant! However the struggle is just not over. We won’t lay down our spears till we have now liberated all of the individuals of the world! […] Ladies, males, and youngsters have suffered too lengthy beneath the wheel. Will you break the wheel with me?
Right here we see that Daenerys is intent on her mission to overcome, however not essentially to rule. Now that she has the Iron Throne, it’s not sufficient. She gained’t cease till she has your complete world underneath her thumb. The backdrop to her grand speech doesn’t current the image of the higher, extra peaceable world she claims to need: Smoke hangs heavy within the air, the citadel is crumbling, her dragon is screeching, and her armies — each of which both crave violence (the Dothraki), or have been raised to stay by it (the Unsullied) — wield their weapons nonetheless.
As her troops cheer, Tyrion approaches till they stand side-by-side.
DAENERYS: “You freed your brother. You dedicated treason.”
TYRION: “I freed my brother. And also you slaughtered a metropolis.”
In an open act of defiance, he removes the Hand of the Queen pin Daenerys had bequeathed him in season 6 and tosses it down the steps. Tyrion has seen her burn a surrendering metropolis, he’s misplaced what was left of his household due to it; his religion in Daenerys is irreparably damaged, and he gained’t fake in any other case. She has him taken prisoner, simply as she stated she would if he ever failed her once more.
When she walks off, Arya meets Jon on the prime of the citadel steps. She warns him towards holding an alliance with Daenerys: “She is aware of who you’re, who you actually are. You’ll all the time be a menace to her. And I do know a killer once I see one.”
Jon goes to see Tyrion in his makeshift cell. They converse at size of Daenerys’ ethical standing and her management capabilities, and the way necessary it’s that they determine what’s to be carried out instantly. There isn’t a longer time to debate the nuances of proper versus incorrect, however debate it they do.
JON: “I can’t justify what occurred. I gained’t attempt. However the warfare is over now.”
TYRION: “Is it? Whenever you heard her speaking to her troopers, did she sound like somebody who’s finished preventing?”
Nope, she actually stated “the struggle isn’t over,” though I suppose Jon couldn’t perceive that half.
Regardless of his declare that he gained’t attempt to justify what Daenerys did, Jon positive does supply up plenty of protection for her actions, in addition to her character on the entire. From “she’s not her father” to a reminder of a few of her trials, he doesn’t depart any stone unturned. This all comes on the heels of Jon’s apparent horror as he watched the town fall to fireside and blood, and now all of a sudden he’s received an evidence for all of it?
You recognize, my one huge beef with this season is what’s up with Jon. Perhaps he’s simply within the angsty throes of an existential disaster, however he can’t appear to make up his thoughts. It’s as if he deserted his sense of self someplace in season 7. There was a lot emphasis on him not following within the shadow of Ned and Robb’s errors, of not turning into a “Northern idiot,” and but… right here we’re.
I feel Ygritte actually had one thing there with that entire “You already know nothing, Jon Snow” factor. I miss her. However I digress.
Tyrion asks Jon if he would have accomplished the identical as Daenerys. He has Targaryen blood, he’s felt the facility of flying a dragon, however the query is — would Jon embrace that insanity? Would he abuse that energy?
Tyrion then fairly succinctly sums up Daenerys’ improvement:
When she murdered the slavers of Astapor, I’m positive nobody however the slavers complained. In any case, they have been evil males. When she crucified a whole lot of Meereenese nobles, who might argue? They have been evil males. The Dothraki khals she burned alive? They might have carried out worse to her. In all places she goes, evil males die and we cheer her for it. And she or he grows extra highly effective and extra positive that she is sweet and proper. She believes her future is to construct a greater world for everybody. For those who believed that, in the event you really believed it, wouldn’t you kill whoever stood between you and paradise?
And there it’s — when one is consistently lauded for his or her triumphs, how will they ever see it on these events once they go flawed? Hearth and blood has labored in Daenerys’ favor all alongside, so how can she be satisfied to cease the cycle of violence when it’s persistently gotten her what she needs?
Jon quotes Maester Aemon’s phrases: “Love is the dying of obligation.” Tyrion counters, “Typically, obligation is the demise of affection.” And as soon as once more, I can’t even start to get in Jon’s head right here. I don’t know this man, who would sacrifice harmless lives for the sake of 1 individual’s ambition, no matter his emotions for stated individual. It’s like he’s been bodysnatched. Or perhaps I’m simply too drained to attempt to determine him out.
In a last-ditch effort to make Jon see some sense of the larger good, Tyrion implores him to think about his sisters — what they need, and the unlikelihood that they’ll bend the knee.
JON: “[Sansa] doesn’t get to decide on.”
TYRION: “No, however you do. And it’s a must to select now.”
As Jon makes his approach to do exactly that, we see that the Purple Maintain is roofed in ash. It blankets the grounds and the fort like a snowstorm, obscuring even Drogon from view at first look.
Daenerys is inside, approaching the Iron Throne, which has been left standing even because the partitions round it have fallen. She seems to be at it the identical means I take a look at Kinder goodies every time I handle to get my arms on them, so, like, I get it.
Jon isn’t too far behind. When he arrives, Daenerys begins to inform him of how magnificent the throne sounded to her when her brother advised her tales of it, however Jon is, lastly, all enterprise. He calls for to know why the execution of prisoners was “vital” and he needs to know whether or not she’s seen the town because the assault: “Have you ever been down there? Have you ever seen? Youngsters, little youngsters, burned!”
I’m glad you perceive the magnitude of the state of affairs, Jon. So is that this the half the place you begin making excuses for her once more, or what? I don’t know what angle you wanna work this time, I can’t learn minds!
Because it occurs, this time, Daenerys makes her personal excuses. She blames Cersei for “[using] their innocence as a weapon towards me,” which is true, however the metropolis additionally surrendered itself, so it’s arduous to level fingers right here.
Jon begs her to grant Tyrion forgiveness, to do one merciful factor in order that he can hold believing she’s nearly as good as he needs her to be. She insists that her world can be proper and simply, as a result of “I do know what is sweet.”
It’s all very As a result of I stated so, that’s why.
JON: “What about everybody else? All the opposite individuals who assume they know what’s good?”
DAENERYS: “They don’t get to decide on.”
She says it as if it’s a given, that her conscience is uncontestedly the really proper mind-set. Only one scene in the past, Jon stated one thing comparable (that Sansa didn’t get to decide on), however listening to that sentiment from another person makes him understand how flawed it’s. The place there isn’t a selection, there isn’t a liberation, regardless of how adamant Daenerys is that that’s what she’s doing.
She proposes that Jon be together with her, that they “break the wheel collectively.” Jon tells her that she is his queen, they kiss, and earlier than the music can actually swell to its romantic crescendo, Jon stabs Daenerys, killing her virtually immediately.
Daenerys dies with no grandiosity; relatively, she is decreased to being identical to everybody else, simply as simply minimize down by a sword, dragons or no. Simply as her season 2 imaginative and prescient within the Home of the Timeless foretold, she fell in need of the Iron Throne on the final second.
As she bleeds out, Drogon seems to nostril at her lifeless physique. In a shocking flip of occasions, this tugged at my heartstrings a bit; it’s the primary time I’ve felt sympathy for the dragon, when more often than not I assumed he was simply the spoiled, clearly favored baby. Whereas that is nonetheless true, it nonetheless acquired just a little “aw” out of me.
It appears as if he may burn Jon, however as an alternative Drogon destroys the Iron Throne, as the will for it and all it represented destroyed his mom. He flies off into the sky with Daenerys’ physique in his grasp, disappearing into the fog to locations unknown. If we subscribe to the notion that he embodies Drogo’s spirit, this may increasingly symbolize Daenerys reuniting with him and their son in some type of afterlife, which was one other one in every of her visions throughout her time in Qarth.
Some indeterminate period of time after Daenerys’ dying, Gray Worm escorts Tyrion to the Dragonpit, the place the lords and women of Westeros are gathered. Named characters embrace the Starks, Samwell Tarly, Yara Greyjoy, Robin Arryn, Yohn Royce, Edmure Tully, Gendry, Davos, Brienne, and Podrick. Others stay unidentified representatives of different homes.
Sansa calls for to know Jon’s whereabouts, as he was meant to be introduced forth as nicely. Gray Worm informs her that he’s a prisoner of the Unsullied, which she already knew. So she makes the North’s place on the matter a bit of extra clear when she tells him, “In case you look outdoors the partitions of your metropolis, you’ll discover hundreds of Northmen who will clarify to you why harming Jon Snow is just not in your curiosity.”
Mess with the wolf, you get the fangs. Sansa, you’re doing nice, sweetie!
Yara, too, needs Jon lifeless on the grounds of treason. This time it’s Arya who nips that within the bud with an out-and-out menace: “Say one other phrase about killing my brother, and I’ll minimize your throat.”
My coronary heart goes out to you, Yara Greyjoy, however I’m with Arya right here. Theon didn’t die preventing for the Starks simply so the 2 households might go to conflict with each other once more.
Davos is in an identical mind set, as he intervenes earlier than issues can get bloody once more. He gives the Attain to the Unsullied, however Gray Worm rejects it as a type of cost; he needs justice for Daenerys as an alternative.
The group turns to a dialogue of how they’re meant to determine anybody’s destiny, and not using a monarch to declare the ultimate phrase. Tyrion reminds them that they’re all in cost, to allow them to merely decide a brand new one. Nobody appears to have thought-about this in any respect, as silence falls and Edmure virtually throws his hat within the ring, however Sansa saves her uncle from additional embarrassment by bidding him to take a seat.
Oh, Edmure. Some issues by no means change.
Sam’s suggestion of a democracy is met with derision, as most current mock the concept the widespread individuals ought to have a say in who guidelines them. The Westerosi one-percent are an actual hilarious bunch.
As soon as the laughter at their dangerous, privileged jokes has died down, Tyrion spins some extra selection dialogue in his nomination for the subsequent ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
What unites individuals? Armies? Gold? Flags? Tales. There’s nothing on the earth extra highly effective than a great story. Nothing can cease it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a greater story than Bran the Damaged? The boy who fell from a excessive tower and lived. He knew he’d by no means stroll once more, so he discovered to fly. He crossed past the Wall, a crippled boy, and have become the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s our reminiscence, the keeper of all our tales. The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines. Our triumphs, our defeats, our previous. Who higher to steer us into the longer term?
For all of the theories round Bran’s objective, that is what he’s meant to do. He doesn’t need for something, so he can’t be tempted for extra. He has no want for energy or wealth or accolades. He solely does what he is aware of must be carried out, plain and easy.
His lack of ability to father heirs is yet one more profit to this new system. They may “break the wheel” of succession, in order that any further, individuals (the nobles, anyway) could have a selection of their chief. Proper now, Bran accepts that their selection is him, as if he’d recognized all of it alongside, as he tells Tyrion, “Why do you assume I got here all this manner?”
Sansa stays true to her convictions when she voices her concern for the North, and what they’ve come to need after so a few years of upheaval.
I really like you, little brother. I all the time will. You’ll be an excellent king. However tens of hundreds of Northmen fell within the Nice Warfare defending all of Westeros. And people who survived have seen an excessive amount of and fought too exhausting ever to kneel once more. The North will stay an unbiased kingdom, because it was for hundreds of years.
With a easy nod, Bran agrees. All three Starks share delicate, fond smiles, maybe figuring out that they’ve lastly achieved what Robb and Catelyn fought and died for. Their house is free, and so are they.
Bran names Tyrion his Hand. Neither of them notably need their positions of energy, however settle for it as their obligation.
And so, “Bran the Damaged” is hailed as King of the Six Kingdoms. The Iron Throne, with all its pomp and energy and violent historical past, is changed by a humble boy in a wheelchair. It’s fairly the satisfying finish to that ugly previous chair.
Now, the tables have turned, and Tyrion meets Jon in his makeshift jail cell. He comes bearing the information that Jon is to be despatched to the Night time’s Watch. Sansa and Arya needed him free and the Unsullied needed him lifeless, so exile is the compromise upon which Bran needed to land.
They speak for a second about whether or not what they did in betraying Daenerys was proper, and are available to no actual conclusion. It was much less a matter of proper and fallacious, and extra of necessity in the event that they needed to finish the struggle and usher in a real period of peace. Jon expects that he and Tyrion gained’t meet once more, however the latter disagrees as he refers to their journey north collectively again in season 1:
A number of years as Hand of the King would make anybody need to piss off the sting of the world.
Jon lastly will get an honest haircut, and the Starks meet on the docks to say their farewells. Jon exchanges a significant goodbye with every of them, all demonstrating the totally different relationships he has with the respective members of his household.
He provides Sansa validation, acknowledging that she’s the chief the North wants. He makes positive that Arya nonetheless has Needle, as she means to go out on one other journey, to go discover “what’s west of Westeros.” And he apologizes to Bran for not being there when he was wanted, however Bran assures him that he was “precisely the place you have been imagined to be.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Within the Purple Maintain, Brienne sits with the White Ebook, the place a report of all knightly deeds are stored. We final noticed the guide in season four, when Joffrey mocked Jaime for his lack of recorded accomplishments. Now Brienne, the newly appointed Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, takes it upon herself to report all that Jaime had executed in service to his queen. It’s a personal romantic gesture, one final take a look at the connection between Brienne and Jaime, earlier than she closes the ebook — actually and metaphorically — and strikes on.
The brand new Small Council convenes, consisting of Tyrion, Bronn, Davos, Sam, and Brienne. There’s loads of mild comedian aid on this scene: Tyrion is teased for not being included in an archmaester’s historical past of the post-Robert Baratheon wars (aptly named A Track of Ice and Hearth); Bronn lastly will get his lands and titles, so it seems like he gained’t be capturing Tyrion with a crossbow in any case; Davos channels Stannis’ spirit when he corrects Bronn’s grammar; and there’s an general sense of camaraderie across the desk.
Bran notes that the council is lacking a grasp of whisperers (as if anybody else wants to inform him secrets and techniques), legal guidelines, and struggle, and Tyrion assures him that CVs shall be arriving posthaste. Bran then asks after Drogon’s whereabouts, of which nobody is exactly positive, however: “Maybe I can discover him. Do keep on with the remaining.”
Podrick, now within the Kingsguard, wheels him away to do Three-Eyed Raven issues, and the Small Council is left to it. They start to debate the brand new world they’re constructing from the ashes — meals provides, ports and ships and sewers, brothels (if Bronn has his method), and funding for all of it. Because the scene fades out, Tyrion as soon as extra begins to inform a narrative the viewers has by no means heard the soiled particulars of: “I as soon as introduced a jackass and a honeycomb right into a brothel…”
The collection ends with the remaining main gamers in locations of private power: Tyrion as Hand of the King, Bronn as an simply purchased ally, Sam as grand maester, Davos as grasp of ships, Brienne serving a king worthy of her loyalty, Podrick simply serving to everyone out, and Gray Worm headed to Naath, simply as he and Missandei had deliberate to do collectively.
As for the Starks, we’ve a few scenes left to go. Whereas Bran fulfills his larger objective in his reign as king, Jon, Sansa, and Arya have their very own journeys to embark upon.
When he arrives at Fort Black, Jon is reunited with Tormund, Ghost (hooray for the great boy!), and a retinue of Free People. As soon as the gates shut, we transfer on to cut-together scenes as we comply with every Stark into their new life.
The Starks are all following their very own paths now, as an alternative of being pressured into them the best way they have been originally. This can be a type of constructive mirror of the place they discovered themselves within the early seasons, and provides a promising life for all of them.
Bran is not a misplaced boy not sure of his objective on the planet, however fairly the king who will convey that world right into a brighter future.
Arya is off to seek out journey. She’s not pressured to flee beneath the guise of any aliases, neither is she motivated by revenge. As an alternative of looking for out to be an individual she isn’t, she embraces this new chapter of her life as Arya Stark, and declares her id loud and clear, upon a ship with a direwolf figurehead and her household’s sigil on the mast.
Sansa has earned her place as queen not via marriage or pressure or worry, however as a result of her individuals love her for main them out of warfare and setting them free. The North bows as she enters Winterfell’s nice corridor, a double-headed direwolf crown is positioned upon her head, and her topics increase their swords and declare her “Queen within the North!” After which there’s me, sobbing like that video of Kristen Bell when her husband employed a sloth to return to her party.
Jon is farther North, as he and the Free People depart the sting of Westeros behind. He could also be sworn to the Night time’s Watch, however in a means he’s lastly free, sure by neither a bastard identify nor the burden of being the inheritor to the Iron Throne. I’ll not have understood something this clown was doing all season, however this I get. He’s neither Stark nor Targaryen, however has discovered the place he belongs.
We finish the story the place we started: within the lands past Citadel Black, solely this time, the hazard is completed with. From one scene to the subsequent, the viewers is left with a way of hopefulness for the way forward for Westeros and the characters inside. Not all is settled, however the story concludes getting ready to change, of prosperity, and general betterment.
So we’re left with these and different inquiries to ponder: Is the world freed from supernatural powers and threats for good? The place has Drogon gone? Will the Starks reunite once more, and the way will their line reside on? Will Westeros ever turn out to be a democracy, or are all of the wealthy individuals simply going to maintain making enjoyable of the thought? And what number of of my fellow Unsullied can be testing the ebook collection now? George R.R. Martin has stated each the books and the present come to the identical finish, however what have us non-readers missed alongside the best way? I’m planning to seek out out.
There’s a lot remaining for followers to discover. I don’t assume we might have ended this collection on a finer observe than that — on the precipice of a greater world for the characters, and a lot unchartered territory for the followers to proceed to take pleasure in. The present could also be over and the books coming to an in depth with simply two extra, however we will maintain this story going for ourselves.
So far as our Sunday nights are involved, although… Our watch is ended.
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