Game of Thrones just aired its conclusive episode, and, to put it nicely, it was terrible.
A quick recap: Daenerys took her turn to tyranny to its natural conclusion, announcing a world-wide campaign against, well, tyranny. Tyrion mourned his dead siblings, then Daenerys imprisoned him for his role in their futile escape. Tyrion convinced Jon Snow to end Daenerys’s reign of terror; Jon kissed Daenerys, swore his allegiance, then stabbed her to death. Drogon burned the Iron Throne, then flew away with Dany’s body. All the surviving Westerosi lord and ladies gathered at King’s Landing, and after Tyrion gave a stirring speech about the magic of storytelling, voted Bran as King of the Seven Kingdoms. Tyrion became his hand, and Bronn, Ser Davos, Ser Brienne, and Sam sat on his small council. Sansa announced the North’s secession from the Seven Kingdoms and became Queen of the North. Arya declared her intention to travel west. Jon return to the Night’s Watch.
Though so much happened, most of the events lacked context outside of the wider span of Season 8, with few logical conclusions arising from the seven previous seasons of world-building. The finale left the show with more questions than answers, and legions of disappointed fans expecting better of a series that spent so much time dwelling on detail and nuance its first six seasons.
Following the finale’s airing, here are the questions fans need answered.
Jon as a Targaryen
Jon Snow’s heritage as the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen was the subject of much debate before the show confirmed it in Season 7. In fact, the R+L=J theory dates back to 1997, the year after the release of the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. That’s a full 14 years before Game of Thrones would premiere its pilot episode.
And yet, the show only used this information to give Jon an opportunity to ride a dragon. It’s true that he posed the greatest threat to Daenerys’s claim to the Iron Throne, but she showed no sign of using that information against him. Plus, he didn’t have to to kill her; anyone (including Arya wearing someone’s face) could’ve snuck up on her in the Throne Room.
Perhaps Jon’s Targaryen blood kept Drogon from killing him after he stabbed Daenerys, but even if Drogon had, would it have made a difference? Jon returned to the Night’s Watch (a move we’ll get to in a moment) as if his journey over the last eight seasons never happened at all.
The Night’s Watch
Jon’s sentence begs another question: What is the purpose of the Night’s Watch if the White Walkers are gone? Jon himself asks this question, to which Tyrion gives the lamest response of all time: “The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men.”
Jaime and Cersei’s Demise
It’s unclear how Tyrion so easily found Jaime and Cersei’s bodies in the depths of the Red Keep. Shouldn’t they buried under tons of rubble?
Everything with Arya
This is less of a plot hole and more just bad writing, but as @andreagonram points out on Twitter, the show could’ve given Arya a dozen different, worthy conclusions. Instead, it made her a colonizer.
Also, the final season made no use of Arya’s time with the Faceless Men, another lost opportunity.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the White Horse at the end of Episode 5 was completely pointless:
In conclusion: The final season of Game of Thrones was a disgrace.