Game of Thrones, Season 8, April 14th 2019. The final season. I remember, in 2017, hearing that it would be a whole two years before the next season came out. I was in Australia, in my freezing cold house under a duvet streaming a fuzzy version of the show on my laptop. I could barely see the blue eyes of the white walkers but it was still one of the most captivating pieces of cinematography I had ever watched. Two years seemed to be such a long way away to find out how long it would take Jon Snow, I hoped, to sit on the iron throne. It was a relieving thought, however, that the time it would take HBO to finish this incredible series would mean that they finish it properly. At least, I hoped they would.
If we think about how season 7 unraveled, it’s no wonder that the 8th April 2019 was one of the most anticipated days in television history. We were treated to the ultimate betrayal by Cersei, the Night Kings exceptional aim, Jon Snow and his…aunt finally getting it on and Daenerys and her dragons saving the day when Jon was cornered by White Walkers. For me, Olenna admitting to the murder of Joffrey was the most important part of the series. Thank god it was a powerful old woman who finally rid Westeros from that blonde shrew and, thank god Cersei found out.
To say that the final season of Game of Thrones has been given mixed reviews by its fans would be a lie. Everyone, it seems, hated it. So much so that a petition started to remake the season has already surpassed a million signatures. Obviously, HBO is not going to shell out another £69 million in order to please the people who have complained and, let’s be honest, watched it all anyway. From a rogue Starbucks cup to an easy defeat of the Night King, there were too many faux pas to count, however, I am here to lift everyone’s spirits and point out the moments that were unforgettable for the right reasons.
First of all, the power of the women in this series was undeniable. It has been widely reported that Dany’s journey into madness was too quick and unfairly destroyed her character development, which had been building for eight years, in just a few hours. However, I think it is important to ask the question; just because she is a woman, why should she be a goody? Dany has developed her strength and compassion throughout the series and became one of the most interesting and loved characters of the show. In fact, 560 babies were named Khaleesi in the year 2018. But, because of the trauma she has suffered, in the end, she became a dictator, and I kind of love that. Emilia Clarke herself refuses to condemn her character and, although she hates that fans are calling her the Mad Queen, decides to “stand by Daenerys” as I believe we all should.
Secondly, although the death of the night king happened all too quickly in just a 90 minute long episode, the fact that Arya killed him was undeniably epic. From her impressive aim in the first ever episode to the ominous utterings of Milisandre in season 3, where Arya was told by the Red Priestess that she sees “darkness in (Arya). And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes…”, there were a number of mouth watering hints that pointed us to Arya’s destiny of plunging her dragon glass blade into the Night King's chest and thus ending his reign. When she finally did so, it was a moment of pride and utter fulfilment.
Finally, and this might be the most contentious of all. I enjoyed the final episode. It would seem that the collective hatred from the fans of this series would have made the last episode impossible to love by anyone. However, I thought that the kiss between Dany and Jon was both tender and heart breaking, Tyrion was awesome as always, I sobbed when Jon said goodbye to Arya and I thoroughly enjoyed the comedic exchange between the new Kings Counsel. Granted, this series left open a huge amount of unanswered questions and opportunities for spin- off series but, and I’m sure I’m speaking for a number of people, I would definitely watch Masie Williams in ‘Arya Stark; West of Westeros’.