How Satisfying Is The Ending Of Game Of Thrones Going To Be?

In ten days, Game of Thrones is FINALLY going to be over. The recent episodes have drawn more criticism than usual, even from journalists who always praise the series. If the spoilers can be trusted, the next two episodes are going to be [Spoiler (click to open)]highly divisive and will not leave every fan happy.

How satisfied will YOU be with the ending of GOT, if the spoilers are true? Do you consider the ending "bittersweet"?

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Daenerys Targaryen

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Fate? Grief-stricken and mad, Dany unleashes her fury on King's Landing and lets her soldier slaughter innocent peasants. Jon tries to argue with her, but she refuses to see reason. As a result, he stabs and kills her. Dany dies in the throne room and is carried away by Drogon.

Payoff? Dany is one of the protagonists of GOT and was more often than not portrayed as a true hero, one of the very few rulers who showed compassion and kindness. As recently as the third episode of this season, she deployed her considerable army to help defend the North and the realm as a whole. That is not to say that Dany doesn't commit mistakes or doesn't have flaws - she does, plenty - but for the biggest part of the show, she was nonetheless portrayed as a force of good. Her recent decline into madness is not illogical, but is badly written and happens too quickly, which makes it seem as if a double standard is used against her.

From a narrative standpoint, the conclusion of her story is very dissatisfying. She started out as a trafficked, scared girl and acquired more and more power due to her own intuition and cunning. In the end, she's simply deemed "too unstable to rule" and is punished for her ambitions and lack of humility - the point seems to be that whoever strives for the throne doesn't deserve it. Since GOT is watched worldwide, in lots of places where female leadership isn't really accepted (including the US), this is a bitter ending for a female ruler.

How satisfying? (0 of 5 stars)


Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen

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Fate? Jon refuses to betray Dany even while his family and Dany's former advisors beg him to, but he turns on her after she justifies the brutal rampage of her soldiers in King's Landing. He stabs her and returns to the Night's Watch, grieving deeply.

Payoff? Very little to none. He apparently ends up right where he started: no family, no relationship, no lands of his own, only the Night's Watch and a grim future of guarding the North ahead of him. Why does the North need guarding anyway? There is speculation that the white walkers might not be all dead, but since that goes against every flimsy pieces of lore D&D have provided us with, I'm going to refrain from taking it seriously.

There's upside to Jon's fate: he gets reunited with Ghost (not that he deserves him). His direwolf's departure correctly foreshadowed that Jon doesn't belong in the South. On the downside, the reveal of Jon's heritage turns out to be completely meaningless in the end. His big role isn't killing the Night King or ending up on the Iron Throne, but rather murdering his lover because she's C R A Z Y. So that's cool.

How satisfying? (0 of 5 stars)


Cersei Lannister

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Fate? Dies in the arms of Jaime during Dany’s attack on King’s Landing.

Payoff? Considering how long Cersei lasted and how much damage she inflicted, beating the odds again and again, I’m inclined to label her one of the winners of the game of thrones. Cersei’s story arc pretty much went in the expected direction. The only surprise is that apparently neither Jaime nor Tyrion are going to kill her, which means one of the few book prophecies included in GOT will not be fulfilled. I suppose D&D might have been worried about using the same misogynistic storyline TWICE in the remaining two episodes (“crazy bitch isn’t fit to rule and needs to be put down by her lover for the good of the realm”).

How satisfying? (4 of 5 stars)


Jaime Lannister

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Fate: Fights Euron and kills him, but is mortally wounded. Makes it to Cersei and dies in her arms.

Payoff? When Jaime made his way South, many viewers assumed he wanted to deal with Cersei himself and kill her. This might have been his original intention, but it seems the bond between the siblings is so strong that Jaime ACTUALLY returns to Cersei. I’m of two minds: if Jaime is mortally wounded and wants to die in the company of someone he once loved, it’s understandable. If it’s played straight and he wanted to return to her all along, this writing choice nullifies his considerable character growth during the last seasons.

How satisfying? (2 of 5 stars)


Sansa Stark

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Fate? Helps to turn Jon against Dany. Conspires with Tyrion for the Iron Throne, aiming to rule together with him, but betrays him. (Why? Not clear!) Ends up ruling in Winterfell, presumably as the Warden of the North.

Payoff? There IS a lot of payoff to her character arc, since she becomes shrewd, pragmatic, and confident, and ends up ruling in her own name. However, it is deeply disappointing that she attributes her success in part to her sexual assault, "as it helped her to become less naive". (Yeah, that's definitively how trauma works, and watching the brutal downfall of her family and observing the world's best schemers for years didn't teach her anything.) Sansa is also leaning a little too much in Cersei's direction of leadership. Her lack of gratitude to Dany's forces after the long night is grating, and woo boy, if you thought the neckbeards were mad at Sansa after season 1, only the thousand gods beyond counting can help her once she betrays Tyrion.

In sum: not a bad character arc, but not entirely thrilling either.

How satisfying? (3 of 5 stars)


Tyrion Lannister

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Fate? When Dany captures Jaime, Tyrion asks her to show mercy and she refuses. Tyrion frees Jaime - and possibly even Cersei - and tries to get his siblings out of the city. It's unclear whether he'll be put on trial for this, but he will somehow NOT be executed. In the end, Tyrion schemes with Sansa for the throne, but she betrays him and he becomes an advisor to the king once more.

Payoff? After seasons of idiocy, this fool is rewarded with his life intact, a seat on the small council, and the House Lannister? SPARE ME YE GODS. RIDICULOUS. One of the most disappointing character arcs for sure. D&D refused to show him in a less than stellar light, diverging sharply from the books, and the trouble started there.

How satisfying? (0 of 5 stars)


Arya Stark

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Fate? Arrives in King's Landing with the Hound but separates from him once there. Is caught up in the destruction of the city (no doubt to show the effect of the attack on one the main characters). Helps a group of people trying to survive and is hit by debris. Survives.

Payoff? One of the best payoffs among the main characters. Her skills and determination were crucial in ending the threat of the white walkers; without her, humanity might have been doomed. She has come a long way from the little girl who watched her father being executed.

Arya's overall fate is still left in the air by the spoiler leaks. It seems she might leave Westeros or at least travel around solo. On the one hand, this is a fitting fate for a character as independent and non-traditional as hers, who has been self-reliant for so long and might not want to be tied done to one place when there's a whole world left to explore. On the other hand, hasn't her journey always been about going back to her family? What is she going to do once there are no hordes of enemies left to skewer? One of the saddest turns of Arya's story might be the realization that the home she has lost will be lost forever.

How satisfying? (4 of 5 stars)


Brienne of Tarth

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Fate? Tries to bargain for Jaime's life after he is captured by Dany, but fails to free him. Survives the attack on King's Landing.

Payoff? Well... Brienne became a real Knight, so there's that. On the other hand, every ideal she once held dear should be tarnished by the end of the show and her seasons-long back and forth with Jaime ended in he most disastrous way imaginable. A crushing end, but in GRRM's universe sadly very fitting for her character.

How satisfying? (3 of 5 stars)


Varys

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Fate? Is executed for treason by Dany.

Payoff? FINALLY. As an advisor Varys has been near useless for several seasons, no doubt because his storyline in the books sharply diverges from the one in GOT and there was simply no greater use for him. His death is expected, but there is no payoff for his story arc. It's disappointing how uninteresting one of the once most intriguing characters turned out to be.

How satisfying? (3 of 5 stars)


Bronn

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Fate? Word on the street is he ends up on the king's council and gets his own castle.

Payoff? Pure male wish fulfillment. Will never not rage how one of the worst characters is rewarded like this.

How satisfying? (0 of 5 stars)


Bran


Fate? Is voted in as the king and supported by a council of Tyrion, Ser Davos, Bronn (lmao!), and Sam.

Payoff? I mean... HOW? WHY? TF??? And I say that as a fan of Bran's (original) character. THIS MAKES NO SENSE. You can't have him be a robo tree/plot device for countless episodes and then sit his ass on the throne. It's not like he has expressed an overwhelming interest in helping the realm (or expressed an interest in anything at all). D&D wrote him as a high-powered character in one scene and as completely useless in another, but according to their latest interpretation, he doesn't have his gifts under control. It's the other way round: his psychic powers render him near mute and action-less. Even if that were different, even if he were a benevolent and all-knowing entity who knows the right answers for everything, there is still a lot more to ruling and politics than just being right. You think Westeros is going to accept a weird ass tree robot who spies on people having sex as their divine ruler? I think not.

I mean, it would be an improvement.

But still.

I'm never going to stop laughing if Bran actually KNEW what awaited Dany in King's Landing but didn't tell her because he wanted the throne for himself.

Oh god, that's going to happen, isn't it?

How satisfying? (1 of 5 stars just because the backlash is going to be so fun to observe)


Westeros

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Fate? Feudal system remains unchanged. (?) Line of succession is unclear. (?)

Payoff? Still royally fucked.




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