The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones hits tonight! We’re diving into our thoughts on the season thus far, and where things may end.
Game of Thrones has become a cultural landmark, and with two episodes left, there’s no real telling how this whole adventure will end. This season has had its ups and downs, and fans have been slightly divided by how they feel about the way it’s played out. In some ways the final season has felt rushed, as it races through 8 episodes to find a conclusion to every character’s story. But the final season has given us a few gems along the way. We’re going to look at what we’ve enjoyed, what we’re still hoping happens, and what missteps the show has taken.
The Good Stuff
The most satisfying element of this season has been seeing the characters come together. Finally seeing all of the Stark kids in Winterfell is a good feeling after having them separated for so many seasons. Having Podrick, Brienne, Tyrion, and Jaime all sitting together drinking was fantastic. Seeing Daenerys and Sansa butt heads has been a great element of the season, as Sansa deserves the chance to look at Daenerys and say, “prove you’re worthy.” Seeing Arya and the Hound reunite has been fun, as their relationship throughout the earlier seasons was a major highlight of the show in its entirety.
It’s also been satisfying to get some resolution to things. No matter how that resolution may come about. Seeing Jon discover the truth of his parentage was a highlight and has been an interesting element of the plot this season. Seeing Arya finally be acknowledged fully for being the badass that she is has been long overdue. Watching Daenerys’ struggle this season has been interesting as well. She’s been tested before but each challenge she faced always seemed like something she could easily overcome with the use of her wits and dragons. Now that she has to make bigger moves in Westeros we’re seeing true challenges to her character, and it’s an indication of what type of leader she may or may not be on the Iron Throne.
We don’t care about the coffee cup. It’s funny and ridiculous that it happened, but goofs like that occur all the time. The really difficult thing, which we began to unpack with last week’s episode, is the way it’s treating the characters. For one, killing Missandei felt wrong on multiple levels. She’s one of only two black characters, and they murder her to give Grey Worm a fridging plot, and anger Daenerys. Her character was worth so much more than that, and there’s plenty of other ways to establish what they did in that scene without murdering her.
The show has also been iffy on the way it’s treated Sansa. It always has, but this season is truly hit or miss. Her ability to stand tall against Daenerys and Jon has been a major highlight. Her actions as the de facto Warden of the North have been a fitting conclusion to the path that she’s taken these 8 seasons. But moments like her talk with the Hound in the last episode cheapen every good thing she’s done so far. To treat the fact that she was abused and raped as “character building” is fucking ridiculous. To say that she couldn’t have grown as a character without that trauma is something that is beyond idiotic, and honestly is just shitty writing. She deserves better, Sophie Turner deserves better, and we as an audience deserve better.
The other major character to get shafted this season is Tyrion. Up until the last episode it’s felt as though he has just been there. Which is a major disappointment. Tyrion has always been one of the most compelling characters on the show. His rise to become a true hero and a valued member of Daenerys’ council was one of the best arcs of the entire series. In many ways the success of the show has always been connected with Tyrion. He is in many ways the heartbeat of the show, and yet he’s literally done nothing half this season. It’s understandable that the show is rather crowded and has to fit a lot into these episodes. But there’s no reason to barely touch one of the most significant characters in the entire series.
What We Hope To See
For one, these last two episodes better have a whole lot of Cersei. It’s likely she’ll be killed, maybe even before tonight’s episode. But if that happens, it better not be quick. Cersei has been, quite possibly the best character of the entire series. Her arc throughout the eight seasons has been insanely satisfying, and she’s been one of the most interesting characters ever written for television. On top of that Lena Headey deserves every award possible for her performance. Cersei hasn’t seen much screen time this season as the series has focused on resolving the conflict against the White Walkers and preparing to battle her. But hopefully, it will make up for it in these final two episodes.
We don’t want to name anyone as the person who sits on the Iron Throne, because that wouldn’t be satisfying. Game of Thrones has always worked out best when it takes us down a path we never considered. The beheading of Ned Stark, the Red Wedding, the Sparrows betraying Cersei, Hodor holding the door, the Mountain vs. the Viper, all of these moments caught us by surprise and were excellent turns for the show. The only way the show ends on a high note is if we get someone sitting on the Iron Throne that wasn’t who we expected, but who maybe deserves it. Something that fits with the story they’re telling here, and someone who is worthy to be called ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
There’s honestly no telling how tonight or next week’s episodes will play out. No matter what anyone thought of the previous episodes this season, I honestly don’t think anyone could have predicted things to play out the way they did. Especially not when you explore the details of it all. Arya killing the Night King, Cersei beheading Missandei, Daenerys entering the battle with only one dragon, Jaime sleeping with and abandoning Brienne. It’s all been surprising, and it likely will continue to be surprising in these final two episodes. Hopefully it ends in some sort of satisfying way. But no matter what we’ll be here for the end of the ride.
Check back with us tomorrow morning when we recap tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, and be sure to watch the penultimate episode tonight at 9pm ET on HBO.