'Game of Thrones' Finale - Hallelujah, Jon Is Free!
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Need I say "Spoiler Alert." Read on with caution if you haven't had the chance to see the Game of Thrones Finale.
Sure it was a little rushed in the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones. Seven seasons of character development went into hyper-speed overdrive that left many fans disappointed, some enraged.
Even though there were many hints along the way as to how things would turn out, if you feel a bit cheated out of some drama in Season 8, you aren't alone. But if you don't, then you probably are more like me who was okay with it, enjoying every final and frantic moment, and looking forward to the myriad of spinoff possibilities.
Here's the last episode upshot - Jon kills the Mad Queen after she goes on a full progressive rant, and her dragon melts the iron throne.
Grey Worm is over all things Westeros as Bran "The Broken" Stark becomes King of the Six Kingdoms and his sister Sansa is crowned Queen of the North.
Tyrion gets to live and is punished with being the Hand of the King once more, alongside Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, Ser Davos, Ser Brienne, and Samwell Tarly, while Arya Stark heads off to explore the unknown West of Westeros.
And Jon Snow is banished back to the Night's Watch, a rather unsettling outcome for many GOT fans. However, and this is my unpopular opinion, this was the best ending for Jon.
The parting shot shows him and the Free Folk heading farther north into the forest. Jon's not burdened with cleaning up Daenerys' mess nor must he deal with being king, a role he never truly wanted. And - bonus - Jon gets to be reunited with the one who loves him most - his wolf, Ghost.
Let's face it - Jon is due a break. Throughout the story, he's been manipulated and used to always do the right and good thing.
To his credit, he tried to be faithful to Daenerys, but destroying a city and the people who supposedly she had come to liberate is a bridge too far. At first Jon is conflicted by the notion "love is the death of duty" and feels powerless to interfere with the queen's destiny.
But Tyrion brings the sanity, as the one who, perhaps, understands the Mad Queen best as he councils Jon one final time:
Everywhere she goes, evil men die and we cheer her for it. And she grows more powerful and more sure that she is good and right. She believes her destiny is to build a better world for everyone. If you believed that - if you truly believed it - wouldn't you kill whoever stood between you and paradise.
Jon doesn't want to face his destiny - either choose Daenerys (love) and continue burning those who refuse to bend the knee or end the Mad Queen's reign (duty) and what he rightly assumes is the end for him as well.
It doesn't help matters that Daenerys has an answer and perverted reasons for every evil deed she has done which ultimately helps Jon, who argues mercy should be given to Tyrion's treachery, with his final decision:
She tells Jon:
We can't hid behind small mercies. The world we need won't be built by men loyal to the world we have . . . It's not easy to see something that's never been before - a good world . . . I know what is good.
But when Jon doubts her logic and asks what about the others who also think they know what is good, Dany replies, "They don't get to choose."
Is it no wonder she had to die? Jon always has to make the toughest decisions and deliver the final action. His watch is deservedly done for now and he is free.
So HBO's done with the game and its writers are off to work on Star Wars films. But is the story really over?
Not by a long shot as the future of this story appears to be headed toward the past (Night King origin story perhaps).
The way Season 8 left things, there are many spinoff possibilities: What adventures does Arya find West of Westeros? How successful will Bran the Broken, Queen Sansa and Tyrion be ruling the Seven Kingdoms? What will Grey Worm do next? Have we really seen the last of Drogon the dragon? What new crisis will bring Jon back from the forest?
Tyrion hints they'll all be back in ten years as witnesses to if killing the Mad Queen was the right thing to do. And when Jon predicts they won't ever see each other again, Tyrion replies, "I wouldn't be so sure."
Another GOT hint - baby it's not over 'til it's over.