Game of Thrones: Season 8 Episode 6 – The Iron Throne (Recap & Review)

Please note: there are FULL spoilers for the entire sixth and final episode of season 8, as well as all preceding episodes. I won’t list the cast of the main characters, only the bit players or interesting additions.

Tyrion. Jon and Davos wander through the ruins of King’s Landing, surveying the destruction around them, destruction that Tyrion explicitly sought to avoid. Tyrion heads below the Red Keep to find any trace of his siblings, Jamie and Cersei, while Jon and Davos come across Grey Worm, summarily executing the surrendered Lannister soldiers. In the crypts below King’s Landing, Tyrion finds the bodies of Jamie and Cersei, and finds himself as the last of his family name.

Still wandering the ruined streets, Arya comes across the gathering of Daenerys’ remaining forces. Jon approaches, being closely watched by Grey Worm, and Daenerys declares that she and her army will sack the rest of the planet, to liberate the men, women and children remaining, in order to break the wheel. Daenerys, the Mad Dragon Queen, sentences Tyrion to death for his treason in freeing Jamie, which Tyrion accepts, throwing away his badge of the Hand of the Queen: “I freed my brother, and you slaughtered a city.”

Arya and Jon reunite, and Arya tells Jon that Sansa will not accept Daenerys as Queen. In a make-shift cell, Tyrion and Jon discuss what to do with Daenerys. Tyrion believes he should be killed for the things he has done in his life, and expresses that Varys was right in his opinion of Daenerys, that she cannot be guided or counselled. Tyrion tells Jon that Jon knows what he has to do.

In the throne room, Daenerys finally reaches the Iron Throne, but before she can sit, Jon arrives. Daenerys relays a story from her childhood, when Daenerys was just a little girl, and how she couldn’t even imagine what the Iron Throne would look like. Jon does all he can to convince Dany to change her mind about the “liberation” of the free world, and Dany asks Jon to join her in her conquest. Seeing no other choice, Jon kills Daenerys. Drogon is not happy, and out of either grief or anger, burns the Iron Throne before taking Daenerys’ body in his claw and flying away.

Some weeks later, in the Dragonpit of King’s Landing, the Lords and Ladies of the seven Kingdoms, along with several of Daenerys’ advisors and allies, meet to discuss who should rule: Samwell Tarly; Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies); the three Stark children, Arya, Bran and Sansa; Brienne; Ser Davos; Gendry Baratheon; Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan); the new Prince of Dorne; Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli); and Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart), as well several unknown, but clearly important newcomers. Discussions do not progress very far, with the group’s loyalties split between the murdered Daenerys, and the prisoner, Jon.

Edmure Tully puts himself forward, but is brutally shot down in front of the others, before Sam suggests letting the free people vote for who is leading them; he, too, is quickly laughed down. Tensions begin to flare, as Yara and Arya make threats towards each other, before Tyrion offers a solution: Bran Stark, Bran “the Broken”, should be King, as he knows the whole history of the world, and technically is not affiliated to any house. Tyrion asks Bran if he’ll do it, if the houses vote for him, and Bran cryptically replies, “Why do you think I came all this way?” The remaining houses pledge loyalty, except for Sansa, who requests that the North be an independent monarchy. King Bran the Broken selects a very unwilling Tyrion as his Hand.

As Hand of the King, Tyrion tells the imprisoned Jon that he will be sent to Castle Black once more, and the Unsullied, commanded by Grey Worm, set sail for the Isle of Naath, Missandei’s homeland. Jon says his final farewells to his Stark siblings, where Arya tells them she will be sailing west, to find out what is west of Westeros. “It’s where all the maps stop.”

Brienne fills out the records of the Kingsguard for Jamie Lannister, noting that he died protecting his Queen. Tyrion reforms the Small Council with Sam as Grand Maester, Bronn as Master of Coin, Brienne as the Captain of the Kingsguard, Ser Davos as the Master of Ships and himself as Hand. Sam presents to Tyrion a history of Westeros since the death of Robert Baratheon written by Sam and Grandmaester Ebrose: A Song of Ice and Fire.

As Jon reaches Castle Black, he is reunited with Tormund and Ghost; Arya begins her journey towards the unknown; and Sansa is declared Queen of the North at Winterfell. With the threat of the White Walkers gone, Jon and Tormund lead the wildlings beyond the wall, back to their homes.

+ that shot of Daenerys with Drogon’s wings behind her was great. It was a bit cheesy, sure, but they certainly should have used something similar before her descent into madness (along with, as I said last time, the whispers/insults/curses that were overlaid her scowl following Missandei’s death in the episode 4 recap)
+ I really liked how anticlimactic Daenerys’ death was. No final monologue, no slow bleed out or, worse still, final quip against Jon. Just stab and death. It was episode 6 of the first season when Daenerys’ brother was killed, too.
+ Robin Arryn, with his, so-called Neville-Longbottom-like transformation from goofy teen to slammin’ hottie, is the currently longest-reigning Lord of any house. His father, Jon Arryn, died in the first episode (you know, the reason the events of the show happened at all) and Robin has been ruling ever since
+ Tyrion suggested Bran reign until his death, but don’t Three-Eyed Ravens live for thousands of years? Tyrion you cheeky boy
+ the very first scene of the first episode was a group of Night’s Watchmen going beyond the wall, and the show ended in the same way. It’s like poetry, it rhymes

gameofthrones_s8e5_thebells_4b.png
This has no relevance to the episode, I just want to show off this picture I made.

– so Jamie and Cersei were just under a few rocks? I thought the entire catacombs, if not a large section of the Red Keep fell down on top of them. They should have been paste
– was Daenerys and her army gathering meant to invoke some serious Nazi imagery (or, if you will, Scar and the hyenas from The Lion King)? And was the fact that her army did battle against the “iron suits” and “stone houses” of her enemies meant as a dig against the enemies? Sounds like her followers are just uncultured savages, who literally rapes and murdered the more advanced civilisations
– Jon still standing by Daenery’s actions, justifying them for Missandei’s death (despite literally saying “I can’t justify what happened” a few seconds earlier to Tyrion) made me mad. Either he is addicted to some sweet Targaryen loving, or he’s a fool, and it was at that moment that I hoped and prayed he would not end up on the Throne
– not once since Jon’s parentage reveal have they teased him being invulnerable to fire. Daenerys stated in just the sixth episode of the series that “Fire cannot kill a dragon”, and I guess we’ll just never know
– those random new characters introduced at the Dragonpit council didn’t make a lot of sense. For one, a new Prince of Dorne should be a pretty damn big character
– Bran’s response to Tyrion, “Why do you think I came all this way?” is a bit of a bullshit answer. Nobody knows why you came all this way, mate, and you expressly said you don’t want to be King. So either you’re lying, or, in the more likely outcome, the show writers had nothing for you. Considering you can see the past, present and future happenings of EVERYTHING, you must have known this was coming
– as if the Unsullied (and I assume the Dothraki) were allowed to just leave. Not only can the Unsullied not start their own House if they wanted to, but both groups committed obscene atrocities in the sacking of King’s Landing. And how can they even know if Jon stays at Castle Black (especially considering he doesn’t)?
– If we weren’t just a few minutes out from the end of the series, when Sam handed Tyrion the book and said “A song of Ice and Fire” I would have dropped this show then and there
– so after everything between Cersei, Qyburn and Bronn, Joffrey’s crossbow was a non-factor in everything, and Bronn and Tyrion are back to being buddies? Whatever

Final thoughts: This was a boring, uneventful and poorly written episode, which about sums up this entire season, if not the last few seasons. This was not nearly as bad as it could have been, whatever that phrase means to you personally, but considering the slipping quality of the show, this was a mercy killing at best.

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