And it ends with Game Of Thrones S8E6
WARNING: This article is long and full of spoilers.
OUR WATCH HAS ENDED.
Yes, I said it. I’m the 829,529th person (no, I didn’t really count) that said it. Are you satisfied? I’m thematically satisfied, but dramatically discontented. What sucks is that I don’t care. Let me explain.
I’ve gone on to say “just accept the six-episode format and it will be better.” The season ender and my reaction falls well into it; it makes sense but where it falls short is the emotional impact that the audience is left with. After so many plot point skips (read: Foreshadowing is not storytelling, especially if you foreshadow things that don’t materialize. I’m sorry), I was ready for a rushed ending. The Starks ruling the 6+1 kingdoms, Jon Snow back at the wall and Arya discovering west of Westeros—it works but as far as Game Of Thrones goes, “It works” doesn’t really cut it.
This isn’t Lost because the ending we got qualifies as a pass, but it is far from the emotionally charged series ending we wanted.
Some ups, a lot of downs and a bittersweet goodbye ahead.
Peter Dinklage, you stole the episode
The dramatic walk to the Red Keep, the conversation with Jon Snow, the final descent into the Red Keep where he saw his dead siblings—wow. That scene where he was crying over them was magnificent. You could feel Tyrion’s pain through the TV screen! It’s one thing for the scene to be written but it’s totally another for the actor to telegraph his kind of emotion directly to the audience. This is just one example of the Dinklage Brilliance that we’ve seen so many times.
Tyrion slapping Joffrey (Jack Gleeson was an excellent I-love-to-hate Joffrey Baratheon!), Tyrion’s trial, Shae’s betrayal—probably so many more instances that I can’t recall—Tyrion has always shone through, thanks to Peter Dinklage. What makes his accomplishment so difficult yet so immense is that the actors around him are not chump change at all. So many big fish in this pond and yet Peter Dinklage consistently tops them all. Give the guy the Emmy already, right?
We got our closure, I am a happy Stark-fan
Take a shot if you’ve been a Stark fan since season one. Yes, there are probably that many direwolves reading this that I dare to call it out. How many times have we had our guts busted? Ned’s death, The Red Wedding, Rickon “why didn’t you zigzag” Stark’s arrow through the chest, Sansa as Ramsay’s prisoner—shall I continue? Stepped on so many times but people love to cheer for the underdog.
It was only fitting that the Starks rose up to rule over Westeros, the North and, in some way, beyond The Wall. It gave me a sense of fulfillment, ahhhh they deserve this, after all that crap they went through. Fitting though, doesn’t mean that I don’t have a big “WTF happened?” stamped onto my brain. I’m looking at you, Bran The Broken, King of the Six Kingdoms.
Bran Stark, the boy who was pushed, the Three-Eyed Raven, the enemy of The Night King—the king that was chosen in less than five minutes?! And he meant for everything to happen? Too big a story not to tell. No wonder there were so many memes floating around the internet about Bran after the show. We were made to think that he was integral to everything but in the end, why do I feel like he’s done nothing?
Dramatically, this episode was as bland as a piece of bread
Do you remember when you saw finally Daenerys sailing towards Westeros with Tyrion, Varys and the Iron Fleet? Or maybe the episode where Tyrion killed Tywin and Shae? While the two season enders were very different, they do share something very concrete: They both made us feel swells of emotion. Whether it was feeling Tyrion’s sweet revenge or the satisfaction of seeing Dany finally cross the Narrow Sea, you felt something and I’m sure of it.
This was the total opposite for this episode. I am a huge Stark fan. I threw A Storm of Swords when I read about The Red Wedding, I felt Sansa’s journey through the Veil and I smiled when I read chapters about Bran warging! Despite knowing about them before show, I still managed to go through a whirlwind of emotions when I saw them on screen because of the perfect storytelling. Again, I look back at the series ender and I bitch quietly because I felt absolute zero for the characters that I have cheering for since day one.
What props this up on such a high pedestal is that I know I won’t see another season, not another trailer, let alone another episode because we’re simply at the end. Is this end correct? Yes. The Starks won, hooray. Was my journey as fanboy—shielding Monday evenings (Philippine time) from any other activity, dodging the internet spoilers like the plague, having many a drunken conversation over theories and arguing over character deaths—justified and satisfying in the show’s final moments? As much as I wanted to, I didn’t feel it.
A disappointing close to a wonderful, one-of a-kind series. In the end, it was too rich a story for the manner it was told. I will still hold this as one of my favorite shows ever, except for how it ended (not the ending itself but how we got there). There’s talk that George R.R. Martin is going to write the end differently and I can’t wait to read it. The show has opened my nerdhood can of worms and I don’t see myself letting go of Game Of Thrones at all. There will be more stories in Westeros, I’m sure. I’m just sad to have said goodbye to this one, this way.
Words Yosu de Erquiaga
Art Alexandra Lara