We open in the City of Ashes.
Tyrion and Jon and Co. stand around like human side-eye emojis and take it all in. Dead peeps everywhere. One lone flayed straggler wanders by in a daze. Tyrion makes his way to what was formerly The Red Keep.
Greyworm reminds us that he’s a hired killer and singularly-minded in obeying Dany’s managerial directions aka MURDER EVERYONE. He kills the followers of Cersei in the street.
The Imp takes a stroll down Memory Lane, then goes to find his awful siblings buried beneath one whole layer of bricks. This gratuitous b.s. brought to you by men who thought this would somehow be a tearjerker moment. NO ONE CARES THEY DIED. I would have been much happier with their untimely demise if Jaime had killed her first and then they died together. And Tyrion should be the last one crying over these incestuous dicks who did fuck-all to make the world a better place for anyone but themselves.
Dany gives her “Final Solution” speech in Alexander McQueen to the Dothraki, the Unsullied, and the four mangled villagers left in town.
Dany: YOU KILLED EVERYONE.
Dany: LET’S KILL THE REST OF THE WORLD
Crowd: “Death! Is! Fun!” “We’re saving people!”
She gives Greyworm a promotion: Queen’s Master of War. Tyrion quits his job in a very public way. Arya and Jon have a Starkaryan reunion.
Arya: You’ll always be a threat to Dany.
Jon: She’s my–
WE GET IT, JON.
Jon visits Tyrion in prison. “Did you bring any wine?” There’s the old Tyrion I know and love. He puts some Truth with a capital Treason on Jon about Dany’s professional goals and murderous trajectory. The scene is long and reminds me that only the men on this show get long, intriguing conversations which takes me out of the show and into my anger. Dracarys.
Daenerys and The Iron Throne have a moment but she never gets to sit in it because Jon Snow — sorry, Aegon Targaryen — shanks her during what should have been a celebratory smooch. It’s very Days of Our Lives.
For the duration of this episode, I didn’t feel stirred by many of the obvious moments that were written solely so the audience could EMOTE — except when Drogon was trying to wake Dany. I teared up and thought, “Oh my god, that’s so sa–”
And then Drogon was like BURN IT ALL, MOTHERFUCKERS. Naturally this heart-wrenching moment needed more HEAVY-HANDED PENIS TIME so he melts the Iron Throne with his fiery grief (OOO SYMBOLISM), grabs Dany, and flies off to… I mean, where, exactly? A luxury cave, maybe? Dragon Shangri-La.
Pour one out for the Mother of Dragons, an epic character like no other, whose death felt like it took place on a sexier Young & The Restless. Emilia Clarke is a wonderful actress. It’s safe to say that she was the perfect Daenerys Targaryen.
And now, a corporate shareholder’s meeting at The Dragonpit at King’s Landing!
Tyrion is brought before… everyone, basically. Even the glowed-up Robin Arryn was there. They squabble — Arya threatening Yara was excellent — and The Onion Knight tries to mediate. The most powerful people in Westeros have a think. Who should be the next ruler?
Sam puts in a vote for democracy, which gets a good laugh. Oh, Sam. You sweet rube. Never, ever come to America.
Tyrion: People love stories.
And then he tells the story of the most annoying WTF character on this goddamn show: FUCKING BRAN. My eyes rolled back so far that I thought I might warg into a murder of crows. So… I guess Bran was always gonna be King and he knew it? and now it is so. Aight.
Friend: When no one else is a clear choice, Bran’s the only one, I guess?
Tyrion gets named Hand of the King as punishment, lol.
Jon, now in prison and with Unibomber hair, is sentenced to a lifetime in The Night’s Watch — a tidy full-circle for him, I guess. He gets to hang with his wildling friends and go on adventures with Tormund and Ghost. I have to say, we all burst out laughing when Jon hugged Ghost.
Me: SOMEONE went back for a reshoot to get some doggy points!
Justin: They one-hundred percent did.
Jon says goodbye to the siblings who aren’t his siblings. Sansa’s going North to rule. Arya is going “West of Westeros,” where all the maps stop.Soap opera hugs all around.
Jon: Sorry for stuff.
Bran: You were exactly where you were supposed to be.
Jon: Fuck, you’re annoying. Bring on the exile.
Brienne, the knightiest bad bitch around, thumbs through the Knights of Westeros Wikipedia page and lands on Jaime. She dips her quill into ink and begins writing the legacy of Jaime Lannister.
Justin: “Mediocre lover. Died for nothing.”
She writes of his pledges and oaths, his heroism and how he faced the Army of The Dead. Rode South in an attempt to save the Capital from destruction.
Justin: Did he go back to save the capital, though? Or did he just go back to hug his sister one last time with a boner?
Justin: What, you’ve met Jaime.
Died from protecting his Queen.
Justin: Protecting her from what? Banging Euron one last time?
Me: Oh my god.
Justin: Did she have to learn this Westerosi calligraphic font just to write in this official book?
(He continued to yell this – I didn’t correct him, because “Thormund” is hilarious – and something about the Jonas Brothers throughout the show. Josh kept apologizing for how bad the storytelling was and kept raving about whiskey. It was a very active watching experience last night!)
That act of service to Jaime was nice and also very typical of Brienne but 1) making Brienne’s last moments of this show be all about preserving Jaime’s legacy didn’t sit well with me, and 2) that whole angle would have been cooler if she saw HER KNIGHT PAGE or had created a page for herself. Brienne’s the Captain of the Kingsguard now and still a badass, but I felt this scene would have gone farther had they never slept together.
Tyrion prepares for the first small council meeting.
In 7th grade, I went to the New Kids on the Block concert wearing my New Kids on the Block t-shirt. I remember my friend shrieking ‘You wore the shirt of the band we’re seeing?!’ and me feeling like a fucking asshole the rest of the night. That’s roughly how I felt when I saw the book A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE inside of this show based on a book series called A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Oh my god.
Sam: And I helped!
Tyrion: Am I in this book anywhere
Sam: Lol, no
Bronn: Why am I here
*WORST FIRST MEETING EVER*
Bran: So what’s up
Council: Council stuff
Bran: Where’s Drogon
Bronn: WHO CARES
Um, why is Bronn even in this episode? And how is he MASTER OF COIN?
PODRICK IS A SER. YAY.
Tyrion: BRAN THE BROKEN
Council: BRAN THE BROKEN
Me: This is a fun name
They pan out from the meeting, jovially talking about brothels.
Justin: Finally, what the show’s been missing forever: brothel talk.
Arya and Needle pack up; her boat farewell screamed Lord of The Rings ending but if anyone deserves to go to a higher plane, it’s Arya. Sansa gets crowned and all that she deserves. Jon hugs his goddamn direwolf. I might have teared up a little, because even with all this season’s missteps, the show — and the books — always felt like the alternate title could’ve been Shitting On The Starks. They were often the moral compass of the show, they were The Good Guys, they were heroic and brave and relatable and easy to root for. So even though this felt, personally, like a daytime soap opera episode, I’m good with the outcome. I’m 1000% okay with The Starks running the fucking table and ending up 1) alive and 2) on top. Rulers of two different kingdoms, three if you count Beyond The Wall (you know Jon Snow could be the next Mance Rayder), four if you count where Arya is going — West of Westeros — because you know she’ll conquer the shit out of wherever she lands. After watching them endure trauma after trauma, lose so much, and fight so hard: seeing them make it to the end still meant something to me. It felt like I finally took a real breath after many years.
The last few episodes were inelegant and lazy in many ways — but Season 8 is not the whole show. I’m trying to view this as a whole show, now that it’s over. I think it was well done overall. I’m still annoyed they blew this whole season on two battles that didn’t make a ton of sense, but at least it was just six episodes. I might tell someone to skip the last season but would still recommend the series.
What a strange dragon ride it’s been! Thanks to everyone who has stuck with the recaps — it’s been a lot of fun. In my last blog post, I invited people to throw some suggestions at me for what I should recap next. It’s a good writing exercise and I enjoy it, so if you have any burning ideas, pitch them! You know I watch it all.
GAME OF THRONES RECAP STORY ARC: COMPLETE.