After eight seasons, Game of Thrones series finale had a lot of hype and expectations to live up to. The final season was full of ups and downs, and the grand finale was no different. From shocking deaths to heartwarming reunions, the show ended it's run with one of the most anticipated endings in television history. Here is everything you need to know about what happened, so you can start to make sense of all the drama for yourself.
Jon's Confrontation With Danaerys
Jon Snow is unlucky in love, to say the least. After losing Ygritte in season four, Snow found love again with Danaerys at the end of season seven. Then, in the series penultimate episode, Khaleesi unleashed Drogon on King's Landing, burning it to the ground and revealing her true self as the Mad Queen.
In the series finale, Snow approached Danaearys, kissed her, then stabbed her, ending her very brief reign as the Queen. Of course, that wasn't the end of the confrontation, as Drogon appeared, ready to avenge his fallen mother.
Say Goodbye To The Iron Throne
With Jon Snow suddenly staring death in the eye in the form of Drogon, the show looked like it was about to off its most popular character for the second time. The mighty dragon leaned its head back and furiously let loose.
Fire rained from Drogon's mouth, but it wasn't aimed at Jon Snow. The creature torched the Iron Throne, melting it so that no soul could ever sit on it and rule in cruelty again. With nothing left to do, Drogon picked up his mother and flew off.
Samwell Did His Best To Start The First Democracy
With the Mad Queen gone, as well as the Iron Throne, the people of Westeros were left in ruling limbo. The shocked state nearly led them to change their political ways and form a democracy.
The suggestion was made by Sam, who was instantly voted down. No, there would be no Democracy in Game of Thrones, not with Tyrion Lannister still alive. He may have been on trial for treason, but that didn't stop him from speaking out about who he thought should take over the throne.
And The New Ruler Is...
Jon Snow, as Bran told him, was the rightful heir to the throne. He was the easy choice for the new King, although he preferred a different future. Snow made it clear throughout the final season that he didn't want to rule. So who would?
Tyrion Lannister had an idea, suggesting that Bran should take over. Not Sansa or Arya, but Bran; the Three Eyed Raven. To justify his nomination, Tyrion proclaimed, "There's nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken? The boy who fell from a high tower and lived."
Jon Snow And Ghost
Fans were outraged in the fourth episode of the final season when Jon Snow sent Ghost to Castle Black with Tormund without saying goodbye. The series finale finally delivered the emotional goods, reuniting Jon with Ghost again, this time more affectionately.
Snow pets his direwolf on the side of the face and receives a loving lick in return. The scene was a high point of the finale, as it signaled the end of Snow's eight season journey, while also hinting at the start of another one.
Jon Snow Went Back To His Roots
Betraying his queen came with a heavy price for Jon Snow. Held captive by the Unsullied, a deal had to be struck for his freedom. That deal sent Snow all the way back to where he originally began his journey; the Night's Watch.
The final shot of the finale showed Snow, with Ghost and Tormund setting off beyond the wall to Night's Watch, where the should be king would take up a new position. What exactly that position was meant to be was left unclear as the credits rolled.
Arya Faces An Uncertain Future
Is Arya Star getting a spin-off of her own? That was the speculation after her character was left with an uncertain future in the Game of Thrones series finale. As the Starks are deciding what they will do now that Bran is king, Arya made a shocking announcement.
With everything she's been through, Arya decided she doesn't want to stay in the North or King's Landing. Instead, she wants to venture beyond the map into uncharted territory. She is last seen on a boat, heading into an unknown and exciting future.
Sansa The Queen
Near the end of the episode, Bran is the king of the Six Kingdoms, and Sansa declares that while he'll be a great king, the North should remain independent. Without Jon to rule, the middle Stark takes her rightful place as ruler.
In Sansa's final scene, she sits down and has a crown placed on her head. The crowd around her during the ceremony cheers the coronation. For the Starks, it's the ending that was always hinted at; they are in command with the Six Kingdoms finally at peace.
Grey Worm's Last Act Was For Missandei
As Danaerys' right-hand man, Grey Worm became the unquestioned leader of the Unsullied after her death. Once he deals Jon Snow to Night's Watch, there is nothing left to do but leave King's Landing and find a new home for his people.
Grey Worm chooses Naath, the place his love, Massandei, said she always wanted to return to "to see the beaches." Even with Missandei gone, the leader of the Unsullied uses his pull to grant her one final intimate gift.
Tyrion Lannister's Last Betrayal
Tyrion Lannister made his name on Game of Thrones by aligning himself with the best side that gave him a chance to live. The latter half of the series saw that allegiance fall to Danaerys. When she burned his home to the ground, however, Tyrion had a change of heart.
While in prison for treason, Tyrion spoke to Jon, and convinced him to turn on the Mad Queen despite his love for her. This conversation led Jon to confront Danaerys, first with a kiss, and then a dagger.
Danaerys' Big Speech Drew Some Historical Comparisons
With the Iron Throne belonging to Danaerys at the start of the series finale, she turns to her followers and makes a speech. Her words, along with the banners hung declaring the land hers, are similar to that of the Third Reich.
The comparison makes it clear there is no redemption for Danaerys. She declares freedom from tyranny against a backdrop of red and black, with Drogon carefully watching over the crowd for traitors. This leads Tyrion to tell Jon in the next scene, "...she grows more powerful and more sure she is good and right." But she isn't, and action must be taken against her.
Danaerys' True Views On The World
When Jon Snow confronts Danaerys at the Iron Throne, they have a conversation about right and wrong. Khaleesi says she knows what is good, and tells Jon that he does too. He responds, "I don't."
Snow then asks, "What about everyone else?" This is when Danaerys says, "They don't get to choose." She tries to convince to help "break the wheel" with her. Jon, heartbroken about what he is going to do, tells her softly, "You are my queen, now and always."
What Happened To All The Magic?
At the end of the Game of Thrones series finale one thing was missing; the magic. Throughout the course of the show, magic and prophecies were used to keep fans interested in what could happen and what would happen.
With the show now over, it seems that all the magic was just a smokescreen. There will never be answers about the Red Priestess and the Weirwood trees. The series was more interested in political trappings and showing how the fantasy could reflect our reality.
The Prophecies Unfulfilled
Another major element the series finale seemed to ignore was the prophecies. Throughout the final season, characters died while their prophecies were left unfulfilled. It happened in the penultimate episode with Cersei, and it happened again with Danaerys in the finale.
In an early season, Danaerys was told that she would only have children when "the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves." Even if that prophecy was correct, it wasn't the ending Khaleesi was given.
The True Dragon Queen
A lot of energy has been spent on how Danaerys turned from hopeful liberator to delusional oppressor. Was the power of being able to control dragons too much for her? Were her intentions ever noble?
This haunting image shows just how much Danaerys was changed by the end of her character arc. As rushed as it might have felt for fans, there were hints sprinkled throughout eight seasons that hinted at her transformation. Perhaps if Game of Thrones had one more season, her end wouldn't have felt so rushed.
Who Is In The Dragon Pit?
The rulers of the Seven Kingdoms come together in the series finale to determine who will rule them all. The scene takes place in the "Dragon Pit" and sees a collection of characters show up who have never been introduced in Game of Thrones.
The new Prince of Dorn is there, dress like Oberyn for identification purposes. There's also an unknown and unnamed male. And the familiar faces? They don't look as familiar as they should. Robyn Arryn was given the world's most lavish makeover and Vale's representatives are nondescript at best. Edmure Tully is there, too, for good measure.
Bran Never Warned Anyone
As plot holes go, this is kind of a big one. Bran was the three-eyed raven and could see the future, so why didn't he warn anyone about Danaerys and the destruction of King's Landing?
Despite this failure on Bran's part, he is named the new king at the end of the series. This must have been his plan all along, right? He played the "Game of Thrones" better than anybody, and was justly rewarded for his subtle strategy.
Brienne Becomes Commander Of The Kinsguard
Brienne of Tarth, like so many characters on Game of Thrones, had a long and harrowing journey leading to the series finale. She loved Jaime Lannister and fought by his side, even though he would never love her back.
At the end, she was rewarded for her heartbreaking loyalty by being named the Commander of the Kingsguard. During her speech, she even chooses to honor Jaime, proving her devotion to him goes far beyond the living realm.
Danaerys Never Sat On The Throne
This is a small but important detail that Game of Thrones' writers made sure to play with in the series finale. Danaerys becomes the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms but is never shown sitting on the Iron Throne.
When we see her in the throne room, she touches the handle of the large chair but doesn't take her rightful place on it. The next time we see her, she is giving her "liberation" speech to her new followers.
Tyrion's Journey Is Complete
On trial for treason, Tyrion is sentenced to clean up his mess as the Hand of the King. The "punishment" comes after he talks his way out of execution. This scene, however, is hardly as important as one that comes before it.
Before completing his character's journey, Tyrion retraces the steps that brought him to his climax. If you didn't notice, when he enters Cersei's map room, he walks on the map from his birthplace at Casterly Rock to the last place he stood with Danaerys at Dragonstone.
Sam Gets A New Gig
Though Sam was mocked for suggesting that the people of Westeros vote for their next ruler, his fate wasn't entirely for nothing. He was the first to agree to Tyrion's suggestion that Bran be crowned king and as such, Samwell Tarly became the newly appointed Grand Maester in his Small Council.
While many fans were pleased with the fate of this character, the same obviously can't be said of everyone. At the very least, George R.R. Martin isn't done telling his tale despite the fact that the show is over.
All Fared Well For Davos
Ser Davos Seaworth nearly had a treacherous end to his character but successfully survived the Battle of Winterfell and even brought the Northern army to victory. Relieved at not having to do much to defeat Melisandre, Davos celebrated before heading off to finish business with Jon Snow.
The skilled military man appropriately got the perfect position on Bran's council. At the end of the series, Davos was elected the Master of Ships but, of course, no one could have imagined anyone else in that position besides him.
Bronn Didn't End Up Doing It
Many fans weren't quite sure if Bronn of the Blackwater would execute Cersei's plan. If you recall, Bronn was approached by Qyburn and instructed to assassinate Jaime and Tyrion. He was even given Joffrey's crossbow and several chests of gold for his troubles.
Of course, Bronn slyly went against those orders and visited his targets to tell them what had happened. That sort of loyalty put Bronn in a good position later on, as he was named the Lord of Highgarden and the Master of Coin on Bran's Small Council.
Were You Expecting To See Them?
Most of us should have guessed that this would happen in the series finale. Many unexpected characters made sudden appearances in the final episode. But of course, what is a proper series send off without having to say goodbye to characters who've played important roles in past seasons?
We saw Gendry Baratheon, Yara Greyjoy, Robin Arryn, Edmure Tully, and even Yohn Royce gather 'round the Dragonpit in the series' final moments. They not only rejected the idea of a democracy, but they also helped instate Bran into his rightful position as king.
Dany Mirrors Khal Drogo
In one of the best scenes of the finale when Dany spoke with her Dothraki army, she pretty much mirrors the same speech her former romantic partner Khal Drogo gave in season one. “You killed my enemies in their iron suits,” she declared. “You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms.”
In Drogo’s speech, he said, “I will kill the men in iron suits… and tear down their stone houses.” You can credit that to great writing and Dany being in the moment and remembering his words.
Lack Of Self Reflection
The one thing that might have ultimately led to Dany getting stabbed to death by Jon Snow is her lack of self-reflection. In the books, the characters have inner monologues that readers get to enjoy, but that is void in the show. After Dany asked Jon how he would treat people if they were to cross his back, there’s no doubt he thought of Olly and the other brothers that tabbed him.
He had them hung, but he felt bad about it afterward. Dany did what she did to King’s Landing and lusted for more. Maybe it was that trait that finally convinced Jon to make the stab.
No More Night Watch?
Jon’s ending might seem fitting to some as he gets sent back the Night’s Watch. He also is reunited with Ghost and Tormund, so things looked somewhat like a happy ending for him, besides having to kill Dany.
The question at hand is why is he back at the Night’s watch at all? Aren’t all the White Walkers gone? Aren’t the wildings friends now? What is the point here is all we’re asking. Perhaps a spinoff is in the works…
Tormund Predicted Jon's Fate
In many of the wild fan theories out there, one noted that Tormund predicted Jon would be back at Castle Black once the battle at King’s Landing finished. The prediction came about after the the two said their goodbyes at Winterfell.
“You got the north in you, the real north,” Tormund told Jon as they embraced each other for a hug. Sure enough, Jon went back to the real north as Tormund so boldly claimed he would.
Jon Holds Both Women
Jon Snow just can’t catch a break, can he? There is a reference to how Jon’s old girlfriend passed away in an earlier season. An arrow mortally wounded Ygritte. Jon finds her near the Lord Commander’s Tower. He cradles her in his arms as she dies.
The only difference between these moments is how the two women die. Dany ends up in Jon’s arms as well but thanks to him. Ygritte wasn’t murdered by Snow’s hand, but she and Daenerys both ended in the arms of their lover.
Arya Never Did It Again
One of the most awesome aspects of Arya's character was the fact that she underwent training to be able to swap faces with someone, thanks to the magic of the Faceless Men. In fact, Arya is seen getting this training for two seasons in order for her to unveil her wrath on those who were still left on her kill list.
Sadly, we only saw her use this unique talent when she killed the Freys. Other than that, she never uses it again. We don't know about you but we sure would've liked to see her do it again at all in season eight.
Who Was The Azor Ahai??
Here is another prophecy that didn’t exactly pan out how fans thought. Who was the Azor Ahai? This might have been more important in the books since Benioff and Weiss decided to skip out on revealing who the Azor Ahai was.
Many thought the true identity would be the one who killed the Night King, but that ended up being false. The best guess is to assume the Jon became the Prince that was Promised after he killed his beloved Mother of Dragons.
The Beginning And End
It only fits that things ended how they began. With so many things that happened between the pilot and finale, Westeros will never be the same again. The final moments of the show looked practically identical to the opening scene of the pilot episode.
We saw Jon heading back up north with the wildlings as things were coming to a close. This is the same as how the series started, showing a few members of the Night’s Watch walking the same territory as they travel beyond the wall.
They Could Have Elaborated On This
There are still some unanswered questions for many fans, who weren't too pleased that those questions didn't get any answers in the final episode. One such example of this was the fact that Jon was actually Aegon Targaryen.
In fact, the relationship between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen was a plot point that drove the beginning of the series. Plenty of fans thought that Jon's true identity would mean something more than it did. But once the secret was out, it didn't stop him from kissing his aunt and killing her.
Legend has it that the Iron Throne was originally forged with dragon fire. That would make sense because it did take 1,000 swords to make. In the finale, it happened to go out the same way.
As we said earlier, Drogon flamed the throne to nothing more but an iron puddle. Did Drogon understand the symbolism there or was he just distraught at the passing of his mother? That is a question for another day.
The Fate Of Drogon
Where exactly is the huge fire breathing dragon that burned down King’s Landing going? After he picked up Daenerys and flew off into the mist, Drogon was last seen flying east according to the intelligence briefed to Bran.
Shouldn’t they be more concerned with where the fire-breathing thing went off to? Perhaps Drogon traveled back to Valyria, Targaryens ancestral homeland. Wherever Drogon decided to venture off to, fans may never get to find out now.
Drogon Flew East
As for Drogon, we all know what epic role he played in the final episode. But what happened afterward? Though we know that he melted the Iron Throne and flew off with Daenerys' dead corpse, we don't exactly know what this dragon had in mind.
In the episode, Sam reports that Drogon was "last spotted flying east," which suggests that he isn't likely to return. However, Bran believes he could summon this dragon with the help of warg powers. Some have taken this statement to suggest that it isn't the last we've seen of this dragon.
The Long Night Promises More GoT Action
Indeed, word of a prequel wasn't just a rumor. In 2018, HBO confirmed that they were working on producing a prequel to Game of Thrones, unofficially titled The Long Night. This is likely what the prequel will actually be called, considering the fact that George R.R. Martin himself divulged the title on Twitter.
"Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first GAME OF THRONES successor series ordered to film," Martin announced in his tweet. We'll take his word for it despite the fact that HBO hasn't said anything themselves. That's not all we know about this new series either...
"Not The Story We Think We Know"
When it comes to "The Long Night," we're likely to get a glimpse into how the world came to the dark times depicted in Game of Thrones. The prequel is set several thousand years before what happens in GoT, starting with the golden Age of Heroes.
The official description reads: "From the horrifying secrets of Westeros's history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East tot he Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It's not the story we think we know."
What Will This Pre-GoT World Be Like?
The world depicted in Game of Thrones turned out to be quite a universe. But that universe was once different from the terror we've seen in the Seven Kingdoms. Even George R.R. Martin has admitted he hasn't written much about what Westeros was like before Game of Thrones.
"There's no King's Landing. There's no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens – Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built," he said. Because the prequel details an older world, the writers are bound to get pretty creative with it.
Naomi Watts To Star In "The Long Night"
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of "The Long Night" is the female-led cast that it is slated to feature. The cast will be led by Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, who will be joined by the likes of Naomi Ackie, Denish Gough, Sheila Atim, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, and others.
We can only imagine what thrilling characters these talented actors are bound to play. One thing that we are not likely to see in "The Long Night" is the return of GoT characters. Those guys weren't even born yet in this prequel.