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This page is about the episode. For the throne, see: Iron Throne

"The Iron Throne"[3] is the sixth and final episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones. It is the seventy-third and final episode of the series overall. It premiered on May 19, 2019 on HBO. It was written and directed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Premise[]

Series finale. The fate of the Seven Kingdoms is at stake as the final chapter of Game of Thrones is written.[5]

Synopsis[]

Queen of the ashes[]

Tyrion Street S8 Ep6

Tyrion walks through the ashed capital.

Ash falls over the wreckage of King's Landing as Jon, Davos, and Tyrion walk through the ash-covered devastation, with charred bodies of civilians and soldiers everywhere. Tyrion leaves Jon and Davos as he walks alone towards the Red Keep. Once inside, he heads towards the cellar and takes the same escape route Jaime had taken him through on the eve of his scheduled beheading courtesy of their father's sentencing, when Tyrion was falsely accused of killing Joffrey Baratheon. Tyrion walks through the rubble and remains of the Red Keep, searching for his siblings. He then spots Jaime's golden hand under the rubble. Devastated by this sign, Tyrion clears away the rubble stone by stone to find the corpse of his sister Cersei Lannister, and is visibly shaken by it. Knowing his brother is next to her under the debris, Tyrion painfully continues to clear away broken rock and begins to weep when he finds Jaime's corpse. His dead brother's death-wish has been fulfilled: Jaime "died in the arms of the woman he loved."

Meanwhile, Jon finds Grey Worm about to execute the remainder of the Lannister forces and tries to stop him, telling him it's over. Grey Worm, however, tells him it won't be over until Daenerys's enemies are defeated. Though Davos too tries to get him to stop, the Unsullied commander reminds him that he only obeys the queen's commands and not his. When Jon asks him on what are those commands, Grey Worm reveals that he has orders to kill all who follow Cersei and that the soldiers the Unsullied captured chose to fight for her. Grey Worm then takes out his knife to begin the execution before Jon grabs him by the arm in an attempt to stop him. Immediately, all of the Unsullied present threateningly aim their spears at Jon and the Northmen, who, except for Jon, draw their swords in self-defense. As Grey Worm scowls at Jon for attempting to intervene, Davos immediately diffuses the confrontation, telling Jon that they should speak with Daenerys. As the two leave, Grey Worm starts to slit the prisoners' throats one by one.

Captured King's Landing S8 Ep6

House Targaryen is restored.

Outside the gates of the city, the Dothraki are celebrating their victory while a stony-faced Arya appears from the ruined city covered in ash, blood, and grime. Jon pushes his way through the crowd of Dothraki and goes toward the gate, upon which a huge Targaryen banner is hanging. As he reaches the top, Grey Worm also appears and they exchange a tense look. Drogon then appears with Daenerys and lands behind them. She walks out to address her army, amidst much cheering from them. In a loud voice, Daenerys tells the Dothraki, "You tore down their stone houses, you gave me the Seven Kingdoms". Turning to Grey Worm, Daenerys promotes him to Commander of all her forces and Master of War. She also praises the Unsullied and calls her forces 'liberators' for 'freeing' the people of King's Landing while Jon watches in concern. Tyrion then comes to the scene, looking devastated by his brother's death. Daenerys then declares that she now wants to break the wheel and enlists her army to aid her in 'liberating' not only all of Westeros, but the world: "From Winterfell to Dorne, from Lannisport to Qarth, from the Summer Isles to the Jade Sea," destroying the tyrants of the world. From behind the cheering armies, Arya looks up balefully at Daenerys, angry that the latter had killed Cersei ahead of her. When Daenerys sees Tyrion, she accuses him of treason since he freed Jaime. He replies, "I freed my brother, and you slaughtered a city,". With a look of disgust, Tyrion resigns as Hand of the Queen, removing and discarding his brooch of office. Outraged by this show of defiance, Daenerys orders Tyrion arrested. As the Unsullied lead him away, Tyrion pointedly makes eye contact with Jon before Jon turns to face Daenerys. They share a tense silence before she leaves with some of the Unsullied.

Arya silently appears beside Jon while he watches Daenerys leave. Jon is surprised that his sister is in King's Landing; when he notices her bloody face, he asks what happened to her. Arya tells him that she came to kill Cersei, but Daenerys got to her first. Jon tells her that Daenerys is "everyone's queen" now, only for Arya to coldly suggest that he try telling that to Sansa, as she knew that their sister will never bend the knee to Daenerys. When Jon tells her to wait for him outside the city gates, Arya warns him that Daenerys knows who he really is and will view him as a threat due to his claim to the Iron Throne. Before she leaves, Arya tells Jon in reference to Daenerys, "I know a killer when I see one."

Jon visits Tyrion in prison. After asking Jon if he brought wine, Tyrion tells him that their queen doesn't keep prisoners for long, and that there's supposedly a crude kind of justice. He then tells Jon that he had betrayed Varys and watched him burn to death, grimly noting that once he's been executed, Varys's ashes will be able to tell his ashes "I told you so" about Daenerys. Knowing his death is certain, Tyrion asks Jon if there is life after death and Jon tells him, "Not that I've seen." Grimly noting that oblivion is the best he could hope for, Tyrion goes over his past sins, including murdering both his lover and father and betraying their queen. When Jon tries to tell Tyrion he didn't, the dwarf insists he did and that he'd do it again, now that he's seen what Daenerys is truly capable of. Tyrion tells Jon, "I chose my fate, the people of King's Landing did not." Disturbed by what Daenerys did and unable to justify it, Jon simply insists the war is over now.

In response, Tyrion questions him, "Is it? When you heard her talking to her soldiers, did she sound like someone who's done fighting?". He goes on to say, "She liberated the people of Slaver's Bay. She 'liberated' the people of King's Landing. And she'll go on liberating until the people of the world are free and she rules them all". Jon angrily retorts that Tyrion has been at Daenerys's side, counselling her every step of the way until now. Tyrion agrees, stating, "Varys was right. I was wrong. It was vanity to think I could guide her. Our queen's nature is fire and blood." Jon is upset by the notion that blood defines who they are, and tells him that Daenerys is not her father as Tyrion is not his father. Tyrion admits that Tywin and Cersei were both evil, but reminds Jon that Daenerys has killed more people than Tywin, Cersei and any of the evil people they know. Jon tries to defend Daenerys, going over her various traumas (Missandei's execution, Rhaegal's death) and Cersei's actions, but Tyrion reminds him that she burned King's Landing for it. Jon argues back it is easy to judge Daenerys's actions far from the battlefield, but he's given pause when Tyrion asks "Would you have done it?". Tyrion presses Jon, trying to make him see that, if he had been in the same place, knowing what it's like to be on dragonback, wielding that kind of power, Jon wouldn't have done the same thing. Realizing that Jon doesn't want to betray Daenerys, Tyrion goes over her history of killing evil men, and how everyone supported her for it, but she grew more and more powerful, more convinced of her rightness. Tyrion then reveals that Daenerys is convinced it is her destiny to make the world better for everyone and will do whatever it takes to build the ideal world she wants, no matter how many must die to make it a reality.

Unable to argue against Tyrion, a tortured Jon sinks down. Tyrion sympathetically tells him, "I know you love her. I love her too. Not as successfully as you. But I believed in her with all my heart. Love is more powerful than reason." Recalling Maester Aemon's words, Jon reflects, "Love is the death of duty.", to which Tyrion agrees. The dwarf says that sometimes, duty must be the death of love, and tells Jon, "You are the shield that guards the realms of men. You've already tried to do the right thing, no matter the cost. You've tried to protect the people," before asking "Who is the greatest threat to the people now?" Tyrion acknowledges that assassinating Daenerys is a terrible thing he's asking Jon to do, but says it's also the right thing. As Jon struggles with the idea of killing the woman he loves, Tyrion says he won't be the last man she executes and asks, "Who is more dangerous than the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?" Jon accepts being executed by Daenerys if that is her choice and apologizes to Tyrion that it came to this, but the latter tries again and he reveals that both Sansa and Arya won't bend the knee, which would put all of House Stark in great danger. Though Jon insisted that his sisters will be loyal to the throne, Tyrion responds that the reason Sansa told him about his parentage is because she doesn't want Daenerys to be queen. Jon says that's not up to Sansa and Tyrion agrees, but he tells Jon he needs to make a choice, telling him "And you have to choose now." Jon then leaves with a rattled look.

Troubled, he walks through the ruins of the Red Keep. From under the pile of ash, Drogon appears. The dragon comes face to face with Jon before going back to sleep.

Meanwhile, Daenerys comes to the throne room and sees the Iron Throne for the first time in her life, the same thing that she saw in the House of the Undying years ago. She is visibly overwhelmed by her emotions since to conquer this throne has been her lifelong dream. In awe, she goes to touch the throne as Jon appears. Seeing him, Daenerys tells him that when she was a child, her brother Viserys would tell her that it was made from the thousand swords of the fallen enemies of Aegon the Conqueror, and asks Jon, "What do a thousand swords look like in the mind of a little girl who can't count to twenty?" before telling him, "I imagined a mountain of swords too high to climb. So many fallen enemies, you could only see the soles of Aegon's feet." Jon confronts her over Grey Worm executing the Lannister prisoners in the streets but Daenerys defends it is necessary. This caused Jon to protest, saying "Necessary? Have you been down there? Have you seen? Children! Little children, burned!". Daenerys responding back saying she tried to make peace with Cersei, but she used their innocence against her, and thought she would have been crippled by her. Jon urges Daenerys to forgive Tyrion and the people of King's Landing, who she's ordered to be executed, and pleaded her to make them see they made a mistake and make to them understand she isn't the person she is. However, Daenerys says she can't and is resolved, stating "We can't give in to small mercies," she rallies. Jon urges her that they need a world of mercy, but Daenerys tries to convince Jon that her way is the way to the better world. A distressed Jon asks her how she knows, and she assures him it's because she knows what is good and gently tells him that so does he. Jon tearfully says he doesn't know and asks, "What about everyone else? All the other people who think they know what's good?" Daenerys simply replies, "They don't get to choose." Daenerys embraces Jon and, sincere, she tells him to join her and that she wants him to help her break the wheel, trying to convince him of her new vision. Heartbroken, Jon declares, "You are my queen, now and always." They kiss and as they do so, an anguished Jon drives his dagger through her heart. Stunned, Daenerys collapses as Jon catches her. She dies in Jon's arms as he weeps over her body.

Drogon S8 Ep6 02

Drogon destroys the Iron Throne.

Drogon then arrives from behind as a grieving Jon holds Daenerys's body, while snow falls. When the dragon approaches, Jon carefully lays her down and Drogon tries to wake his mother up to no avail. Upon knowing that she is dead, a rageful Drogon faces Jon, who prepares for the dragon's flames, waiting for his impending death as Drogon roars and breaths fire in several directions in grief. However, Drogon does not kill Jon; instead, he channels his rage towards the Iron Throne and melts it down. He proceeds to gently pick up his mother's body and flies away in the gloomy sky, still bellowing in grief.

The Great Council[]

Main page: Great Council in the Dragonpit

Weeks later, Grey Worm escorts a disheveled and grimy Tyrion to the Dragonpit. Sansa, Bran, Arya, Yara Greyjoy, Brienne, Davos, Gendry Baratheon, Sam Tarly, Yohn Royce, Robin Arryn, Edmure Tully and the new Prince of Dorne are all present there. Jon is also imprisoned for regicide, but he's not brought forth along with Tyrion. When Sansa demands Grey Worm on where Jon is, the Unsullied commander replies that Jon is their prisoner. Sansa protests that Tyrion is also his prisoner and that both him and Jon are supposed to be brought to the Dragonpit together, but Grey Worm firmly tells her that he decides what to do with their prisoners and that King's Landing is their city now. Not appeased by this, Sansa warns him that if he looks outside "his" city, he will see thousands of Northmen who believed that harming Jon wouldn't be in Grey Worm's interest, only for Grey Worm to respond back in equal measure, saying there are also thousands of Unsullied who think that it is.

Yara sides with Grey Worm because she swore to follow Daenerys, causing Sansa to accuse her of agreeing to follow a tyrant. In response, Yara hypocritically states that Daenerys freed all of Westeros from a tyrant, that Cersei is gone because of her and Jon put a knife in Daenerys's heart. She demands that the Unsullied be allowed to execute Jon, only for Arya to threaten to cut Yara's throat if she speaks another word of harm towards her half-brother. Davos immediately defuses the situation, saying they've had enough of cutting each other's throats. He gives Grey Worm's men credit for their aid in the war against the undead and if it weren't for them, they would have lost. He suggests that Grey Worm and the Unsullied should take land in the Reach and start their own house, stating, "We've had enough war. Thousands of you, thousands of them. You know how it ends. We need to find a better way."

Rejecting Davos's suggestion, Grey Worm states that they do not need payment but justice for Daenerys's assassination and insists Jon cannot go free. Though Grey Worm tries to silence Tyrion, the dwarf nevertheless reminds him that he does not get to decide Jon's fate, since it rests with their new queen/king. When Yohn Royce pointed out that there isn't one, Tyrion says that as the most powerful lords and ladies gathered, they should pick one from their number. Grey Worm relents and tells the assembly to decide the new ruler. The assembly start looking at each other until Edmure Tully rises from his seat and starts to give a speech putting himself forward for the position, but is cut short by Sansa, who sternly asks him to sit down. Visibly embarrassed by this, Edmure sat back down. Sam, familiar with the voting system for the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, suggests that the new ruler should be chosen by "everyone" through a vote - not only lords but all the people of the realm. This is met with scornful laughter from almost everyone, with Edmure and Yohn comparing the idea of giving votes to the smallfolk with giving votes to horses and dogs.

When Tyrion is told that perhaps he wants the crown himself, he disagrees as he is hated by half the people for serving Daenerys and the other half for betraying her. When Davos asks who he thinks should be king, Tyrion responds that stories unite people and are powerful things. He concludes, "And who has a better story than Bran the Broken? A boy, pushed from the tower, who couldn't walk but learned to fly. The crippled boy who crossed the wall and became the Three-Eyed Raven. He's all our memory. Who better to lead us to the future?" Sansa objects the proposition by mentioning that Bran is not interested in kingship and cannot father any children. Tyrion replies that it is good since sons of kings are often cruel and stupid as she well knows, referring to the cruelty and sadism of Joffrey Baratheon. Turning to Grey Worm, he tells him that it is the wheel that Daenerys wants to break.

Proposing an elective monarchy, Tyrion declares that from this day forth, future monarchs will be chosen by the high lords and ladies in the Dragonpit. He then asks Bran whether he will accept the crown, even though he does not want it, to which Bran replies, "Why do you think I came all this way?" Tyrion waits for the response of the other leaders. All of them, starting with Sam, slowly start saying "aye" one by one, showing that they accept Bran as their new ruler. However, Sansa is hesitant and tells her younger brother that while she believes he will be a good king, the North has suffered too much because of the Great War and those that survived have witnessed and fought too much to ever kneel before another ruler. Sansa then declares that the North will once again be an independent kingdom as it had been for thousands of years. Bran gives his assent to her request. Tyrion and the assembly proceeded to hail him as Bran the Broken, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

As Tyrion turns to leave, Bran stops him, saying that he wants him to be his Hand. Though Tyrion was flattered by this, he refuses to take up the position, saying that he doesn't deserve it. He then advices Bran that he choose either Davos or anyone else but Bran refuses and remains firm with his decision. This caused Grey Worm to object, saying that Tyrion deserves justice, to which Bran reveals that Tyrion being his Hand is the justice he gets, but acknowledged that Tyrion has made a lot of mistakes and will therefore spend the rest of his life rectifying them. Unsatisfied, Grey Worm shakes his head, saying that it is not enough.

Tyrion pays a visit to a dejected Jon in prison and informs him that to placate everyone and to avoid another war, a compromise has been reached and that he is going to be sent to the Night's Watch, which Jon had presumed was disbanded following the extinction of the White Walkers. Tyrion explains that it continues to serve as a quarantine for the banished, poor and unfortunate, despite having served its purpose. Sansa and Arya wanted Jon to be pardoned while the Unsullied wanted his head. The compromise that King Bran made makes neither party happy, but both have no choice but to accept it, with Sansa and Arya understanding that Bran needs to make peace. Jon shakily asks, "Was it right? What I did?" but Tyrion corrects him by saying "What they did." However, Jon responds that killing Daenerys doesn't feel right and Tyrion tells him to ask him again in ten years. However, Jon believes they won't ever see each other again, but Tyrion is not so sure, saying, "A few years as Hand of the King would make anyone want to piss off the edge of the world."

A dream of spring[]

A defeated Jon is shown leaving King's Landing. As he is brought to the port so he can set sail for Castle Black, the city is bustling with people again with much of the city having been rebuilt. As Jon passes Grey Worm's ship, their eyes meet as Grey Worm gives him a fierce look before he and the Unsullied left the harbor to sail to the island of Naath, with Grey Worm keeping his promise to Missandei of protecting her people.

Stark Sibling's S8 Ep6

The Starks bid farewell to each other.

Sansa, Arya, and King Bran meet Jon at the harbor before he leaves. Sansa asks for Jon's forgiveness, but Jon hesitates, and he tells her that she has gained independence for the North. However, she replies that the North has lost its king, but Jon tells her, "Ned Stark's daughter will speak for them. She's the best they could ask for." The two then share an emotional hug.

Turning to Arya, Jon tells her that she can come and see him at Castle Black, but she gives him a sad smile and tells him she's not coming back North. When Jon asks her on where she's going, Arya asks Jon of "What's west of Westeros?", revealing that she is going beyond the Sunset Sea. Jon returns her sad smile, saying that he doesn't know, and Arya replies that no one knows what's beyond West, since it's where all the maps stop, and that's where she is going. When Jon asks her if she has her sword Needle, she replies that she has it with her and starts to cry. Jon wipes away his sister's tear and they both share a long hug.

Jon turns to King Bran and kneels before him, apologizing for not being there when he needs him. However, Bran responds, "You were exactly where you needed to be. in his usual quizzical fashion. After this Jon gets up, and, after a few moments of looking at his siblings one last time, leaves for the boat that is waiting to take him to Castle Black.

The Starks separate, never to meet again.

Elsewhere, in the Red Keep, Brienne, who became the first Lady Commander of Bran's Kingsguard, is going through the Book of Brothers and finishes Jaime Lannister's record. Reluctantly she adds, "Died protecting his Queen," with tears in her eyes.

Tyrion, at the Small Council chambers, is met by Davos and Bronn, the latter now Lord of Highgarden. Sam also arrives, now appearing to be the Grand Maester, and presents a book called A Song of Ice and Fire, written by himself and Archmaester Ebrose. It details the wars after Robert's Rebellion. Tyrion asks whether he is mentioned in a positive or negative light, Sam informs him that he is not mentioned at all, much to everyone's amusement. Brienne and King Bran also arrive. Bran tells his advisors that they lack Masters of Whisperers, War, and Laws, to which Tyrion replies that suitable candidates for the titles will be brought to him in the coming weeks. When Bran asks on the whereabouts of Drogon, Sam replies that the dragon was last spotted flying east to Volantis, but Bronn cuts him off saying,"The farther away, the better." Since no one could give a satisfying answer, Bran decides to search for Drogon himself and leaves the room with Podrick, now a knight. Shortly after the new king's departure, Tyrion asks Bronn, who is also the Master of Coin, to provide food supplies from Highgarden, to which he assents with Davos asking for funds for rebuilding the navy. Tyrion talks about building a good sewer system to improve the hygiene of the city while Bronn talks about rebuilding brothels and they start squabbling with each other, apparently signaling a return to normalcy.

While wearing the black garb of the Night's Watch, Jon reaches Castle Black and sees Tormund on the castle walls, who gives Jon a sympathetic look. Jon reunites with Ghost, with the direwolf now missing an ear and visibly scarred like his master. Meanwhile, Sansa returns to Winterfell, where she is crowned Queen in the North.

Jon Beyond the Wall S8 Ep6

Jon heads beyond the Wall.

As for Arya, she, looking content, stands on the bow of her own ship which flies the Stark banner; she sails forth towards unknown lands and an uncertain fate.

Back at the Wall, Jon and Tormund lead the wildlings outside the gates of Castle Black. As they walk beyond the Wall, Jon silently watches the gate close behind them and then, looking at the wildling men, women, and children as they make their way, has a brief look of peace. He rides among the group as they progress to the true North, as the wildlings are finally free from what has haunted them for thousands of years. As they walk by, a piece of grass can be seen emerging from the thawing snow as the first signs of spring begin to slowly appear in Westeros.

Appearances[]

Main page: The Iron Throne/Appearances

Firsts[]

Deaths[]

Cast[]

Starring[]

Guest starring[]

Uncredited[]

Notes[]

Quotes[]

Jon Snow: "You are my queen. Now and always."

Behind the scenes[]

General[]

  • The episode title refers to the royal seat of the King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, which was forged at the order of Aegon I Targaryen following his conquest.
  • The opening credits have been updated to show evidence of the damage in King's Landing, including holes in the walls and the Lannister sigil gone from the throne room. Last Hearth appears despite not appearing in the episode. The opposite is true for Castle Black: it appears in the episode but not in the opening credits (the Wall appears, but the opening credits focus on the eastern part where Eastwatch-by-the-Sea used to be instead of the central portion where Castle Black is).
  • This episode marks the return of Edmure Tully and Robin Arryn, both of whom have not been seen since Season 6 ("No One" and "Book of the Stranger", respectively).
  • When Brienne is updating Jaime Lannister's entry in the Book of Brothers, she writes that he fought in the "Battle of the Goldroad" - a name invented by the Wiki of Westeros itself. In behind the scenes videos from Season 7, the showrunners didn't give this battle a formal, in-universe name, and referred to it as "the Loot Train Attack" (capitalized) in production materials. After several rounds of discussion, the Wiki of Westeros Administrators invented on their own the in-universe name "Battle of the Goldroad" - on the logic that they were stated to be crossing the Blackwater River, but were not within sight of King's Landing, and the only other crossing is farther upstream from the city, where the Goldroad crosses over it.
  • The attire of the Kingsguard changes once again upon Bran's ascension to the throne, and now features a picture of the Three-eyed raven on the breastplate.
  • Podrick has been promoted from a squire to a knight (a wish he expressed to Brienne in "High Sparrow") and is a member of the new Kingsguard.
  • Tyrion addresses Bronn as Lord Paramount of the Reach, the first time the title has ever been mentioned in the show as well as the first and last time, in fact, any Lord Paramount title has been mentioned.
  • The Iron Throne is destroyed by fire from a black dragon. It was created using the dragonfire of another black dragon.
  • Jon's return to the North ironically fulfills a wish he expresses to Tormund during their farewell in "The Last of the Starks": when Jon says to Tormund that Ghost will be happier in the North, Tormund replies that so will Jon. Jon says "I wish I was going with you." After Jon says, "This is farewell then," Tormund responds, "You never know. You've got the North in you: the real North" (meaning beyond the wall with the free folk). This exchange foreshadows Jon's return to the North (as a life sentence for killing his Queen, Daenerys) his reunion with Tormund and Ghost, and his venturing out beyond the wall. It is ironic because when he had a chance to go to the North, he chose not to, instead choosing to fight at King's Landing; the punishment for the assassination of Daenerys is to be sent to the North against his will.
  • It fits that Bronn, as the new Master of Coin, values the importance of brothels since one of his predecessors, Petyr Baelish, was the infamous owner of many brothels, while another predecessor, Tyrion himself, was known to be a frequent patron of brothels.
    • It would have been ironic had the new Master of Coin been opposed to brothels, since the reason they are valued so highly is they are a guaranteed source of income for the crown.
    • As another irony, in "Walk of Punishment", Tyrion told Bronn that Baelish had been borrowing money to cover the crown's debts. The concept of loans and repayments was lost on Bronn, who claimed "I've never borrowed money before. I'm not clear on the rules," and he insinuated that if he borrowed money and was expected to repay it, he would simply refuse.
  • The ensuing movements and the current whereabouts of the surviving 50,000 Dothraki riders, who followed Danaerys to Westeros, are unknown, though two of them are later seen as Jon makes his way to the harbor.
  • The Night's Watch still exists, although the army of the dead has been destroyed. When Jon asks "There's still a Night's Watch?", Tyrion replies "The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men. You shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children", so the organization's secondary purpose—of serving as a lifetime prison for criminals and exiles from the rest of Westeros—continues.
  • The final scene of the show mirrors its first scene: The door in the Wall opens, and members of the Night's Watch go out into the wild.
  • Of the six Stark children (including Jon, although he bears the Targaryen name), four—Robb, Jon, Sansa and Bran—have been monarchs; three King/Queen in the North.
  • Jon's fate is very similar to Maester Aemon's: each of them was a Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne, waived his titles and served at the Night's Watch; the only difference is that Aemon acted willingly, while Jon was banished as a punishment.
  • Houses Stark, Tully, and Lannister are now the only great houses with multiple members known to be alive: The Starks - Sansa, Arya, and Bran; the Tullys - Edmure and his unnamed son, and the Lannisters, only Tyrion in the episodes, but other members referenced in props. The other great houses have been reduced to one living member apiece: Jon (Aegon Targaryen), Robin Arryn, Yara Greyjoy, Gendry Baratheon and the new Prince of Dorne are presumably the sole surviving members of their respective houses.
  • The new Prince of Dorne, who appears in this episode only, was briefly mentioned by Varys in "The Last of the Starks".
  • It is not mentioned on-screen that Brienne has been appointed as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and no one addresses her as such. It can be deduced from two facts: first, she attends the Small Council; second, she updates the Book of Brothers, which is the responsibility of Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
  • After bidding farewell to Sansa and Arya, Jon kneels to Bran. While the circumstances are different, this depicts a reversal of Torrhen Stark bending the knee to Aegon I Targaryen. In this scene, another Aegon - Jon Snow, born Aegon Targaryen - bends the knee to a Stark, Bran.
  • With the climax of the series, the only main characters who were introduced in "Winter Is Coming" and who are shown to be still alive are Tyrion, Sansa, Arya, and Bran; Jon may qualify, even though he was killed in "Mother's Mercy" and resurrected in "Home".
  • Season 8 continues the show tradition of killing off at least one monarch per season (except Season 7): Season 1 - Robert; Season 2 - Renly; Season 3 - Robb; Season 4 - Joffrey; Season 5 - Mance Rayder and Stannis; Season 6 - Balon Greyjoy and Tommen; Season 8 - Daenerys, Cersei, and Euron (and maybe the Night King).
    • For the first time in the show:
      • More than two monarchs are killed in the current season.
      • There are queens among the killed monarchs.
      • There is a non-human monarch among the killed monarchs (if the Night King counts).
  • The music played during the final scene is the first time we hear the Game of Thrones theme sung by a choir with lyrics. The lyrics are in High Valyrian:

    Hae elēni ā iepagon (I remember a land)

    Tcheret gere vēja pelothos (Glorious people lived there)

    Tchaïmè leda kivio yn tegon (Formidable dragons flew there)

    Tchere iā mili bano (Strong hearts were beating there)

    Dori mēha eee tchaïmè na (Someday we will rise from the ashes)

    Tchoile ka eee tchaïvei ja (And bring back our majesty)

Daenerys and Jon[]

  • Daenerys Targaryen is the only named character to die in this episode, and the last character to die in Game of Thrones.
    • Daenerys's death, by coincidence or design, is somewhat similar to the death of Alexander the Great. It has been suggested by both contemporary and later writers that Alexander was poisoned by his generals to prevent him from launching an invasion on the Arabian Peninsula. Unlike Jon, Alexander's generals were not so much bothered by the promise of death and destruction; rather, they were tired of living their entire lives on campaign. Like Daenerys however, it was becoming apparent that Alexander was obsessed with conquering rather than ruling.
  • By killing Daenerys, who was both his aunt and queen, to whom he swore fealty, Jon has become a kinslayer, queenslayer, and an oathbreaker.
    • Daenerys is the second monarch whom Jon killed; in "The Wars To Come" he shot Mance Rayder. Of course, Mance would have died in any case, and Jon shot him in order to grant him a quick death, but it was still a regicide.
  • Jon's act of killing Daenerys, the woman he loves, to save the world from more destruction is perhaps a reference to the legendary Azor Ahai, who killed his beloved wife Nissa Nissa by stabbing her in the heart to fight the darkness.
    • The prophecy about Azor Ahai has been arguably fulfilled, though not the sense Melisandre meant: by killing Daenerys, Jon saved the world from her plan of destruction, and it had nothing to do with the army of the dead.
  • Interestingly, both Jon Snow's two love interests throughout the series - Ygritte and Daenerys - share various similarities:
    • Both start off as Jon's enemies, then become his allies and lovers, and finally end up on opposing sides from him again.
    • Both are associated with fire: the redhead Ygritte is regarded by wildlings as "kissed by fire"; Daenerys is a member of House Targaryen, whose words are "fire and blood" and its sigil is a dragon, and she is the Mother of Dragons.
    • Jon gets to know each of them better inside a cave ("Kissed by Fire", "The Spoils of War").
    • Both die in Jon's arms.
  • Normally, if someone attempted to harm Daenerys Drogon would kill him on the spot. It is unknown why Drogon did not harm Jon as a payback for killing his "mother".
  • Jon's act is similar to Jaime's act of killing the Mad King:
    • Both killed a Targaryen monarch, to whom they swore fealty;
    • The victim was a deranged person, who was responsible for killing many innocent people;
    • The victim trusted its killer;
    • The motive for the killing was not revenge, hatred, or political gain, but to prevent mass killing of innocent people;
    • The killers committed oathbreaking and regicide, and also kinslaying - if the fan theory about Aerys and Joanna Lannister is correct (See The Winds of Winter#Notes).
  • Both Tyrion and Sam have become what their fathers did not want them to, and did their best to foil them: Tyrion is now the Lord of Casterly Rock, and Sam is the Grand Maester.

The Great Council[]

  • At most, 14 houses are represented at the meeting at the Dragonpit (assuming the Starks are the only ones with multiple members present). While many houses (e.g., Tyrell, Bolton, etc.) have (seemingly) been driven into extinction over the course of the show, there are still more than 14 houses remaining, especially if one counts minor houses and knightly houses. Then again, all great houses are represented, so presumably, the subservient houses would follow the choice of their liege-lords. The lack of representatives of more houses, and the presence of nobility not powerful in their own right (for instance, Arya, Samwell and Brienne do not have any titles of their own) can be explained by the meeting at the Dragonpit not originally having been intended to act as an election of a new monarch, but as the trial of Tyrion and Jon.
  • Davos is unsure if he gets a vote. In the books, Stannis does raise Davos to lordship, naming him Lord of the Rainwood. However, no mention of this has appeared on the show, and Davos has consistently been referred to as "Ser Davos" instead of "Lord Davos" or "Lord Seaworth." The Small Council meeting following the Great Council, in which Davos sits as Master of Ships, is the first and only time Davos is called "Lord Davos" (by Tyrion).
  • Samwell suggests the idea of "letting everyone decide who gets to rule everyone" (ie. democracy). This is deemed hysterically funny, with Yohn Royce even saying he would ask his horse. This illustrates the intellectual leap required to go from feudal societies to democratic ones.
  • Sansa correctly states that the North was once an independent kingdom and that the Northmen tried in the War of the Five Kings to regain that independence. Left unsaid is that all the other regions of the Seven Kingdoms were also once independent kingdoms, save for the Riverlands and the Crownlands, which were carved out of other kingdoms. Three of those other regions had also fought for independence from the Iron Throne in recent memory: The Iron Islands fought for independence in the War of the Five Kings and the Greyjoy Rebellion, the Riverlands had attempted to join with the North under Robb Stark, and the Vale had joined with the North under Jon Snow. Only the North demands independence at the Great Council.
    • It seems that Yara has, off-screen, decided to remain loyal to Daenerys, even though the deal they struck was for an independent Iron Islands.
    • Yohn Royce appears to retain a degree of control over Robin Arryn, so the Vale remaining in the Six Kingdoms might be his decision. This still doesn't explain why he doesn't continue to support Sansa, however.
  • It's not surprising that a Stark is chosen as king given the makeup of the council: Three Starks, their uncle Edmure Tully, their cousin Robin Arryn, at least one Stark bannerman, at least one of Robin Arryn's bannermen (who himself had previously declared for House Stark), Arya's friend and former lover Gendry, Brienne who had sworn an oath of loyalty to Sansa, Davos who had followed the Starks' cousin Jon Snow, and Jon's friend Samwell.
  • Although the realm will now be known as the Six Kingdoms, the name is still a misnomer as there are eight regions remaining: the six kingdoms are the Vale, the Iron Islands, the Westerlands, the Stormlands, the Reach, and Dorne, while the Crownlands and the Riverlands remain within the realm.
    • The moniker "Seven Kingdoms" actually predates Aegon's Conquest, and historically referred to the kingdoms of Westeros even when they were all independent, and when there were more or less than seven kingdoms in total. Indeed, the Targaryens still used the title "Lord of the Seven Kingdoms" when in reality they only ruled over six, as Dorne had yet to be conquered. Thus the change of name to "Six Kingdoms" is a bit striking, but it could be argued that the name is meant to affirm the independence of the North and the relinquishment of any claim on the North by the ruler of the remaining kingdoms - whereas the Targaryens used "Seven Kingdoms" in order to assert their claim on Dorne, Bran uses "Six Kingdoms" to show his respect for the North's independence.

Callbacks[]

  • Daenerys thanks the Dothraki for helping her slay her enemies in their "iron suits" and tearing down their "stone houses". This echoes Khal Drogo's promise to conquer the Seven Kingdoms in "You Win or You Die," which Daenerys herself later repeated in "Blood of My Blood."
    • For obvious reasons, Daenerys has omitted on both occasions the part of Drogo's speech which regards raping women and taking children as slaves. On the other hand, her Dothraki riders seem to have engaged in the mass murder of innocent women and children during the fall of King's Landing.
  • Daenerys grants Grey Worm the title "Master of War", the title Cersei invented in "The House of Black and White".
  • Tyrion, disgusted by Daenerys's murderous actions, removes and throws away the badge of Hand of the King, similarly to what Eddard Stark did in "The Wolf and the Lion".
    • According to the novels, Qarlton Chelsted, who served as one of Aerys's Hands, did a very similar thing: after trying in vain to dissuade Aerys of his diabolic plan to destroy King's Landing, he disgustedly took off his chain of office and flung it down on the floor. Aerys burnt him alive for that.
  • Arya surprises Jon by silently appearing next to him, just like she did in "Winterfell".
  • Jon mentions the deaths of Missandei and Rhaegal ("The Last of the Starks").
  • Whilst incarcerated, Tyrion recalls strangling his lover, as well as shooting his father in "The Children".
  • Tyrion tells Jon "I'm talking to the only man alive who knows where I'm going" - indirectly referring to Jon's death ("Mother's Mercy").
  • Tyrion says that Daenerys murdered the slavers of Astapor ("And Now His Watch Is Ended"), crucified hundreds of Meereenese nobles ("Breaker of Chains"), and burned alive Dothraki khali ("Book of the Stranger").
  • Tyrion tells Jon "You are the shield that guards the realms of men" - referring to the oath of the Night's Watch.
  • Jon recalls Maester Aemon's words to him in "Baelor": "Love is the death of duty." Aemon also told this to Sam in "The Watchers on the Wall".
  • When Tyrion urges Jon to kill Daenerys for the sake of the people, peace in the realm, and to save himself, Jon finds he can't do this. Tyrion invokes Jon's sisters, Sansa and Arya, as a final attempt to convince him. In "Baelor", Varys urges Ned to acquiesce to Cersei's demands for the sake of peace in the realm and to save himself. Like Jon, Ned is unswayed by the argument to save his own life, but Varys invokes the life of Ned's daughter Sansa, as a final attempt to convince him.
  • Daenerys enters the ruins of the throne room, covered in ash, recalling a vision she had in the House of the Undying, in "Valar Morghulis".
  • Daenerys says Viserys told her once the Iron Throne was made from Aegon's fallen enemies. It is similar to what Viserys told Doreah in "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things", though he said the throne was made from "the swords of the vanquished", without mentioning Aegon's name.
  • Daenerys asks Jon "How have you treated people who've done the same to you, even when it broke your heart?" - referring to the execution of those who conspired against him and murdered him ("Oathbreaker").
  • Daenerys mentions to Jon her vision of breaking the wheel of the great families, something she initially shared with Tyrion in "Hardhome".
  • Jon cradles Daenerys's body in a similar way to how he cradled Ygritte when she died in "The Watchers on the Wall".
  • Sansa returns to King's Landing for the first time since she left in "Breaker of Chains". In accordance to what Sansa told Brienne in "Beyond the Wall", she only returns to the capital after Cersei is no longer Queen.
  • At the Great Council, Tyrion tells the attending people that Bran fell from a high tower and survived ("Winter Is Coming"), and became the Three-Eyed Raven ("The Winds of Winter").
  • Tyrion says "Sons of kings can be cruel and stupid", undoubtedly referring to Joffrey and the line he said in "The Old Gods and the New": "We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings, but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!"
  • In Season 1 episode "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things", while discussing Bran's disability, Arya laments to her father that he will never achieve his ambition to be a knight of the Kingsguard. While Eddard concedes that this is true, he reassures Arya that there are other ways for Bran to rise to a high station in life; speculating that he might become a great lord in his own right, raise castles like Bran the Builder, or even sit on the Small Council. With Bran's accession as king, and the Red Keep in the process of being reconstructed - all three of these things have come to pass.
  • Tyrion tells Jon "The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men", referring to his words about "cripples, bastards and broken things".
  • When Jon believes he and Tyrion will never see each other again, Tyrion seems less sure, saying: "A few years as Hand of the King would make anyone want to piss off the edge of the world." This is a callback to "Lord Snow", where he does just that; in "The Kingsroad" he said to the other Lannisters "l just want to stand on top of the Wall and piss off the edge of the world".
  • Grey Worm sails to Naath, the place he and Missandei planned to go to in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms".
  • Brienne updates Jaime's entry in the Book of Brothers, which was first seen in "Two Swords".
    • Joffrey commented that Jaime's entry was brief, but by the time Brienne filled it in, there was much more to it.
  • Sam shows the council members A Song of Ice and Fire, the book Ebrose told him about in "Stormborn"; Sam tells Tyrion that the book does not mention him, a callback to Varys telling Tyrion that the histories would not mention him in "Valar Morghulis."
    • The fact that Tyrion isn't mentioned in the in-universe A Song of Ice and Fire book is ironic, since he is the character with the most POV chapters than any other of the viewpoint characters in the actual novels (48 chapters, by the point the novels and the sample chapters reached), and also appears in many more chapters of other POV characters (Jon, Catelyn, Sansa); he appears in 67 episodes of the TV show, more than any other show character. This meta-reference could have been intentional by the writers of the show. Also, it is quite strange that Ebrose would not mention Tyrion in his book, considering that he plays a huge part in the War of the Five Kings: his abduction by Catelyn caused the early engagements between Houses Stark and Lannister; his defense of Blackwater Bay caused Stannis to fail to conquer King's Landing; the assassination of his father started the downfall of House Lannister.
  • Davos corrects Bronn's grammar, something he learned from Stannis Baratheon and which he already did to Jon in "The Spoils of War".
  • Tyrion mentions the sewers of Casterly Rock, which he talked about in "The Prince of Winterfell" and "The Queen's Justice".
  • Tyrion once again tries to tell the story of bringing a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel. He first attempted to tell the tale as part of his "confession" to Lysa ("A Golden Crown"), and again to Missandei and Grey Worm in "No One." Each time, he is interrupted and never finishes the story.
  • Jon asks Arya if she has "her needle" - a callback to the sword which he gave her in "The Kingsroad".
  • Arya fulfills her dream to explore the uncharted waters west of Westeros, a dream she told Lady Crane about in "No One". She repeats to Jon what she told Lady Crane, that nobody knows what's west of Westeros and that's where all the maps stop.
  • Jon and Ghost's reunion plays out similarly to their reunion in "First of His Name."
  • In "Winter Is Coming", Sansa said "I’d be queen someday"; her statement came true.
  • Brienne mentions the following events in which Jaime was involved, in his entry of the Book of Brothers:

Errors[]

  • When Bran Stark is elected King at the Dragonpit, a plastic water bottle can faintly be seen behind Samwell Tarly's left foot. Another bottle is behind Davos Seaworth's foot. The bottles have since been digitally removed from HBO Now - but have yet to be removed from several international streaming services.
  • Tyrion and Jon both refer to Arya and Sansa as Jon's sisters, and Arya says Jon is her brother - although they know Arya and Sansa are Jon's cousins. Despite the revelation of Jon's true parentage, they still see themselves, and are seen by others, as siblings.
  • Edmure says he is a veteran of two wars, although he is only known to have participated in the War of the Five Kings. It could be argued that he was flat-out lying to make himself appear as a more appealing candidate for the crown. It is alternatively possible that the second war referred to Robert's Rebellion, during which Edmure could have fought (though his activities at that time are unknown), or some hypothetical campaigns were he retook control of the Riverlands (it is not made clear how Edmure returned to power after the massacre of the Freys).
  • According to Arthur Dayne's entry in the Book of Brothers, he is a member of House Gaunt instead of House Dayne.
  • Robert Baratheon's surname is misspelled "Bara" in the aforementioned entry.
  • Maelys Blackfyre's given name is misspelled "Madys" in Barristan Selmy's entry.
  • In Arthur Dayne's entry, the name of the legendary sword Dawn is misspelled as Daww.
  • Brienne closes the Book of Brothers very shortly after she finishes writing. She should have waited till the ink dried, or used an absorbent material to prevent the newly-added text from smudging.
  • Brienne writes in the Book of Brothers that Jaime was "Set free by Lady Catelyn Stark in return for an oath to find and guard her two daughters." Jaime never promised to find and guard Sansa and Arya; as mentioned in six episodes ("The Bear and the Maiden Fair", "Two Swords", "Oathkeeper", "The Broken Man", "No One", and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"), he promised to return Catelyn's daughters to her.
  • Brienne writes in the Book of Brothers that Jaime "Took Riverrun from the Tully rebels, without loss of life". Actually, Brynden Tully was killed ("No One").
  • According to Arthur Dayne's entry in the Book of Brothers, Jaime was knighted at fifteen; according to Jaime's entry, he was knighted at sixteen.

In the books[]

Main page: Differences in adaptation/Game of Thrones: Season 8#"The Iron Throne"

Gallery[]

Video[]

Images[]

References[]

  1. GAME OF THRONES (HBO). The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  2. Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6: "The Iron Throne" (2019).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Iron Throne. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  4. Game of Thrones. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Game of Thrones: Season 8. HBO. Retrieved February 25, 2023.

Notes[]

  1. In "Winter Is Coming," which takes place in 298 AC, Sansa Stark tells Cersei Lannister that she is 13 years old and Bran Stark tells Jaime Lannister that he is 10 years old. Arya Stark was born between Sansa and Bran, making her either 11 or 12 in Season 1. The rest of the Stark children have been aged up by 2 years from their book ages, so it can be assumed that she is 11 in Season 1. Arya is 18 in Season 8 according to HBO, which means at least 7 years occur in the span of the series; therefore, each season of Game of Thrones must roughly correspond to a year in-universe, placing the events of Season 8 in 305 AC.

External links[]


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