Oh, god, lets see, point by point. I’ve written details elsewhere, but it’s ok, I’m generally so mad these days that I can’t stop thinking abt it no matter what I do, lol.
Let’s start with the fact that this is medieval setting, alright? The middle ages worked on the basis of certain principles. Those principles have been upheld for the most part in the previous 7 seasons. Not in season 8 (I’ll get to particular points below).
Also to keep in mind is that season 8 was all about Daenerys. Nothing else exists in 6 episodes.
Point 1. Terrorism. Daenerys got what she deserved, even though I’d prefer it if she got arrested and faced a trial, but, this is the middle ages, trials were not very popular, lol. Plus, her army is there and is really powerful, no matter how many she lost in the battle for the Dawn (another inconsistency), so arresting her wouldn’t really be an option. So what she did is pure terrorism, and her line “let it be fear then” in ep. 5 really underscores it.
Then why ffs do they made her remember her childhood in the last minutes, instead of standing by her decision to rain fire on KL? Well, obviously, because once more they intended to make her look sympathetic in the eyes of the viewers. That’s like justifying terrorism.
I could also add what led her there, i.e. Missandei’s execution. M. is a woman of color with no particular arc in GOT apart from her romance with GW, who got executed by D’s main antagonist, pretty much like D executed the Tarlys. Both the Tarlys and M. served in the show to further D’s plot. Because if mrs 1000 titles hurts, then it’s justified to burn down an entire city. I’ve seen comments and heard Dstans justifying what she did to KL, screaming Justice! Well, they obiously didn’t get that it was terrorism, did they?
They made sure that they bring out that D hurts, that she once was innocent (so give her a second chance!) while all along it’s a political decision: considering that D won’t have Jon by her side, Jon who is loved and popular, she needs strategically to make sure that everybody knows what she is and what she can do. So her decision to burn KL was not because she hurt, it was perfectly rational. But it’s obscured bc they made her look hurt, in pain, on the verge of madness because of it. She’s not crazy. She’s been talking abt burning cities to the ground since season 2. Targaryen madness is not of the soul; it’s political. Their power relied on dragons, it was a power of spreading fear. They unified the country by using dragons, and that’s what Daenerys set out to do. Remember Olenna’s “be a dragon” in s7? Well, this was a way to put on screen what’s in the books: “if they are monsters, then so am I”. Until they decided to throw it down the drain for fanservice.
Sansa is my favorite. She’s a normal person, without magical powers. She’s in a good place. Still, she’s alone, no family around her, and it’s melancholic for her. Sansa never wanted power. She wanted the prince, the fairytale. It was never about power with her. They gave her her home back and she gets to be queen, which she is worthy of because she has worked hard, but she’s alone. It’s against her entire arc, books and show. In the show they even made sure to underline how she bypasses all offers made to her about ruling, so she rejects that in seasons 7 and 8 –the lords, LF, Tyrion, they all offer her power; what does she say? nothing. She just wants Jon, she wants her family. They gave her power instead, ok.
Tyrion: I completely disagree with you. Tyrion is competent no doubt, but remember the medieval setting: he’s the one who brought Daenerys to Westeros in the first place. In Westeros Tyrion has a horrible reputation. He committed double murder. In 8.05 he betrayed the Starks (by snitching on Sansa) his best friend, and Daenerys all in one (by freeing Jamie). He’s responsible for the slaughter as the “master mind” who set the stage for this to happen. Talk about stupidity! So getting him to sit at the great council is actually rewarding all this behavior. If you’re a traitor and a murderer you get rewarded in Westeros! Nice.
Bronn is the same, taken the competence out of the equasion. With him, it’s a straight up a cutthroat at the council.
And Sam, who quit his studies mid-semester, who didn’t even have one circle in the chain (remember it’s build-up, the chain of maesters, you earn those circles by studying different subjects), got to become grand maester. Well, apart from the foreshadow in the books that Sam becomes lord (of Horn Hill, but perhaps also of the Reach, considering that his father was appointed Warden of the Reach in the show), he’s now a father of bastards –he now has two children. You know what they say about bastards in Westeros in all 7 seasons, don’t you?
Davos: yeah, but Davos is connected with Jon and it doesn’t make sense that he’s not with Jon in the end. Davos is foreshadowed to become hand of a “mighty king” in the books. Not to mention that he served absolutely no purpose in season 8.
Arya: ok, but Arya always wanted to belong. She thinks “what’s west of Westeros” when she is in Braavos, but that was show invention. The first part of her arc in the show clearly demonstrates that she wants a family. She gets to explore? Good for her, but all she wanted was her family back. Arya in the books also has issues of justice. In many ways, the ending they gave her just doesn’t add up with her family and justice themes. Arya sits by and watches her beloved brother get punished for killing a tyrant? I don’t think so.
Brienne: she has given an oath to Sansa. She is Sansa’s sworn shield, which in medieval settings is very serious, and which the show made explicit in the related scene. It doesn’t make sense that she gives it up to become commander of someone else’s kingsguard; it’s actually oathbreaking, and this is heavily criticised in Westeros. It’d only make sense if Sansa was queen, or Jon married to Sansa (it wouldn’t even be justified if she became Jon’s kingsguard).
Pod: ok. What a waste of a good lover!
The big issue: Bran.
I am honestly not displeased with the outcome. The story according to Martin was always about the Starks, and in the end they get to rule everything from shore to shore, with three kingdoms. Alright?
But the show made it all about Daenerys and her fall, while people with just a bit of judgement saw this coming. Because she is a fan favorite, everybody’s arcs disappeared to the point that in season 8 they became plot devices for justifying Daenerys’ turn to the dark side (:justification of terrorism; she doesn’t get Jon’s magic dick? Dracarys!). Considering this, even the Starks’ domination feels unearned, but it is a matter of perspective, so this is just my opinion and not a universal truth.
Bran’s arc is connected to the North, the weirwood tree and nature in a magical sense. He’s the prince of Winterfell in the books, the rightful heir of Robb. Apart from this inconsistency, which the show completely disregarded (I’m ok with that), it is not logical that the answer to the political problem of Westeros is a not-completely-human, or even magical creature (and even in s8 they made this clear) as king, while at the same time the show condemned Daenerys, Stannis, Melissandre, for using magic (and Quayburn for his scientific experiments on humans). Plus, it doesn’t make sense that the youngest of the Starks is in the South, where “men from my family don’t fare well in the South”, or that he’s away from a heart tree, when he was “gone” in front of WFs heart tree during the battle for the Dawn.
But let’s say that we go with that, lets say we forget everything the show has been telling us for 7 seasons and up until 8.05. Now, remember medieval setting. In it a child-king who’s best is “I’m going to go now” wouldn’t even last a year on the throne. Bran books and show has never had any connection to the South and the other kingdoms. Making Tyrion his hand would only foment dissent because Tyrion would draw all the criticism from the other kingdoms on account of his own reputation and his family’s crimes. In addition, Bran wouldn’t be able to cement his reign with a good marriage. You’ll say, “election”. Yes, sounds nice, but nothing guarantees that the next -elected- ruler won’t want to re-establish primogeniture through the male line. Succession was paramount in the middle ages. So if the lords, under the weight of what happened, agreed at first that hereditary succession should be abolished, there’s nothing convincing that it’d be like that forever. You might say that yeah, but Bran is a Stark, he’s connected with the Vale and the Riverlands through previous marriages. And what’s to say that the Vale and the Riverlands won’t denounce Bran in favor of Sansa, simply because Bran chose a Lannister as his hand? Tywin made sure to destroy the Riverlands through and through, and the Vale doesn’t actually have any real connection to KL since Arryn’s murder. Do you see the political complication here?
In addition, in that stupid meeting at the Dragonpit, Sansa says that the North is independent, but no one else actually thinks, yeah, we should be independent too? Does Yara’s agreement with Daenerys about independent Iron Islands doesn’t count? Has she forgotten? And Dorne, which is quasi-independent anyway, is ok with Bran as king? The Dornish have no connection to the Starks whatsoever. For them to agree to KLs suzerainty, they need a Targaryen on the throne, and that’s Jon.
This is the most painful; it’s a gigantic plot inconsistency within the show (not to mention book deviation), a character assassination (book- and show-wise) and a gross injustice done to his character, all at once.
Considering that he did participate in mass murder, show-wise he should be exiled. So I’m good with that. It would be good if they addressed this fucking issue. But nope, Jon is accused for the murder of Daenerys, not for the massacre.
It is implied that he becomes king-beyond the Wall. Well, what’s to stop Sansa, who’s now queen in the North and the Night’s Watch is under her authority, to pardon him in, say three months, so that he returns home? And, to be honest, the Night’s Watch doesn’t fucking exist anymore. It was established in ep.2 (“we’re the last of the Night’s Watch”, Jon, Edd, Sam talking on the battlements). Normally, after the threat is gone, the Wall should be melting, but let’s say that it doesn’t. There’s still a gigantic hole in it, dug by the undead dragon, so it’s not about guarding “the Wall”. Moreover, what is the threat that needs to be checked by still maintaining a Night’s Watch and the Wall? What, is CB a grand prison? Is Jon the director of that prison? Because the Freefolk have reconciled with the people south of the Wall, that was the point of Jon bringing them south in the first place. That’s why he was murdered in the first place, JFC! Even the final scene, which they wanted for connecting it with the opening scene of season 1, actually contradicts the idea of his punishment. Jon is not meant to live free beyond the Wall; he’s meant to stay in CB, hold no lands, father no children. So you see that the entire punishement of Jon is actually nonsensical.
First of all, there was no trial for Jon. He wasn’t given the opportunity to explain; only Tyrion was.
Point 1: Jon is held for murdering Daenerys, not for participating in the massacre. Well, hello!!! Daenerys is an invader; a conqueror; someone had to kill her. There was absolutely no legitimacy in her claim to the throne, even if Jon didn’t want it in the first place. Westeros had a queen; Cersei. You don’t want her? That’s fine, dethrone her, but you don’t get to murder an entire city for one person only. So Daenerys is a butcher, Jon kills her, and they still hold him accountable for actually liberating Westeros from a tyrant, meaning Daenerys. Make it make sense.
Point 2: the guy who was actually an accomplice of Daenerys in the butchery, GW, gets to dictate who is punished and who isn’t. It is implied here that GW has established a policing of terror in KL. However, it is only i m p l i e d. Sansa is actually the only one who threatens with another war if anything happens to Jon, which was a nice touch. This means that they should have made it more explicit, e.g. Sansa bringing whatever forces she can gather to KL (i.e. Glover, the Vale, the Riverlands’ army) to save Jon; or Dorne and Storms End also bringing forces with them (Gentry, anyone? wasn’t he friends with Jon?). They didn’t have to show it, just say it, damn it, put it in the script. Someone had to say that Daenerys wasn’t a lawful ruler, so GW has no authority here, and actually doesn’t represent anyone in this meeting; his queen is dead, and there’s an actual power vacuum at that point. Make it make sense.
Point 3: Tyrion. ugh!
Another accomplice. Dragged in front of the court for betraying Daenerys, whereby everything in the previous paragraph applies in his case, too (D was a conqueror, she’s not a legitimate heir). Tyrion is like GW and Jon. You don’t get to reward an accomplice of the massacre with a position in the grand council, let the other one go free, and punish Jon for killing the tyrant. And why exactly do Tyrion and GW get a second chance to make it up to the people of Westeros (whatever that means) and Jon doesn’t? Jon, who liberated Westeros, who was a hero of the war in the North, the rightful heir to the 7Ks, a Stark, who actually withdrew his troops from the massacre?
They have gone so far with whitewashing Tyrion, that they make him actually suggest who the next king should be! A murderer, a Lannister with all the bad implications his name carries, a follower of the tyrant, a traitor to everybody and to his own country, dictates who becomes king! This is where all logic actually
Well, talk about double standards!
Fucking Tyrion is rewarded, Greyworm is implicitly excused for killing thousands because he lost his girlfriend and he hurts, poor boy (of course, only Daenerys and her following count in this show), Jon ends up at the Wall or beyond, forever a Snow, a bastard, reputation tarnished, dishonored. And that’s supposed to be a good ending for Jon.
In a nutshell, they made Bran king because they couldn’t imagine that the audience would be ok with Jon becoming king without Daenerys. For bringing things to that, they twisted everything, ignored their own story even from s8, let alone the other seasons.
In the end, RLJ, building up for seven seasons, didn’t matter apart from only stressing up queen entitled; the Tarly’s execution didn’t matter apart from giving Sam a pretext to tell Jon; Varys’ conspiracy against Daenerys didn’t have any repercussions for the story whatsoever.
Jon’s destiny is to become king. That’s what the whole AOIAF is about. It’s something that will overturn any situation in Westeros as it had been for the previous 20 years. Based on what I said above (the hero thing etc), the only real solution would be to make Jon king and give him the chance to make it up to the people of Westeros. This should be his punishement.
Instead, they gave it to fucking murderer-traitor Tyrion. Tyrion according to this plot shall be a king in all but the name. Which really makes me sick.
Jon’s entire arc has been about being recognized as a Stark, learning who his mother was, being thrust in positions of power without seeking for it, and about family. Jon always wanted a family (at least in the books, but it is also implied in the show too). Targaryens still have supporters in the South, mostly because no one in the South liked Lannisters. And show-wise Varys plotted to make him king, Sansa plotted to make him king. It had no pay-off.
Politically, it would make sense to have Jon and Sansa marry; Jon would take the Stark name bc of parentage and marriage; it would bind North and South. Sansa as a guarantee for the North’s ties to the South, and to the South that this Targaryen king won’t go mad, because in the South they know her well (since her captivity), and she trusts him. It’s a win-win for the political problem of Westeros. In this scenario even the North could be independent with Bran as king in the North. Remember Bran is connected to the heart-tree. And then Jon and Sansa’s second born son could succeed him in the North.
They could make an extended council where all kingdoms would be represented, finally implementing Rhaegar’s legacy, who wanted to overthrow his father and institute this council.
But nooooo! That would be a Jonsa ending, right? No matter if it’s the only one that makes political sense, if it’s heavily foreshadowed books and show and heavily implied with framing even in s8, they wouldn’t just risk to enrage Dany’s fans more, would they?
But still they had to account for the potential “sexism” allegation they’d face with Daenerys’ murder (which is incomprehensible, because women can be criminals too, so why shouldn’t a female criminal be punished for her crimes?). So they made Sansa queen in the North, but completely alienated from her family. But that’s breadcrumbs, bc Sansa is foreshadowed to become queen of Westeros. She’s been preparing for this all her life.
Instead they fell back on established patterns as they were before Daenerys. A small council, a king that “goes” whenever he pleases (honestly, what’s new? all the previous kings were out of touch with reality), a hand of ambivalent reputation, a corrupted master of coin.
Ignoring all this suddenly in season 8 makes the entire GOT series out of balance. This is why I am not going to watch any of the eps again. I’d rather wait for WOW. I hear Martin goes for seven independent or semi-independent kingdoms, pointing perhaps to a loose confederation (with Jon as king of all).
As someone wrote somewhere, this entire finale seemed like they picked up a thread from Reddit and put it on screen. What does the audience want? Bran king? check. Sansa queen? check. Arya travelling? check. Sam maester? check. Tyrion hand? check. Bronn in a good place bc ultimately it’s all about balls, right? check.
The only thing the audience didn’t get is the full-blown Jonerys romance; Jon and Dany and a magical Targ baby was never in D&Ds plans, or Martin’s for that matter.
Oh, and the valonquar. The audience didn’t get that either. They gave it to Jonerys, lol.
If all that isn’t insulting to the audience, I don’t know what is.
I think that the audience’s reaction to the show, in particular to the ending, show that most of them don’t actually have a problem with it.
So in reality it was D&Ds choice to not make Jon king. Everything we saw in that finale was their doing.
And I’d be happy if they were ruined forever, but obviously the main message we get from their story and from GOT is that if you screw up and you’re a male in this world (and in Westeros), you get rewarded.