Or, "Many partings"
Look at Lord of the Rings: The beginnings of that story are as complex as this, but the end of that tale is very much like the end of this version of "A Song of Ice and Fire".
And one thing about that ending frightened some people, and that is the concept of "Democracy". Daenerys did not like that word, but Jon did. In fact the word did not have very much use in this tale, until this episode. The former Lords of the Seven Kingdoms did not have much use for it either. But of all of the complaints about this ending, that is probably the most prominent. Oh, the word was never used in this series at all. But the underlying concept was part of this episode. And that concept was, "Which contender for King would have listened to his constituents?" And the answer to that question is here.
I watched part of the very first episode of this series on the night it was first broadcast. I thought, "Neat, but who needs another show about stuff that happened during the Dark Ages?" - I did not realize at the time that this was an Alternate Reality, a different world even, where winter does not come every year but at intervals that can't be predicted. I was not interested in this at all, until I was given a free month of HBO one summer, and with nothing else to do, I watched the whole thing.
Of course it did not take long for me to get sucked in to Westeros, and like everyone else, I became invested in the story being told, or rather, the many stories about the many people, places, gods, and Priestesses, some that gained power by burning people at the stake or sucking their blood out with leeches. Soon I realized that there was as rich of an alternate history as there is in ay Ur-Fantasy Novels, with the added benefit that George R R Martin is still writing this tale and produced part of this version of it.
In the course of this show, a variegated assortment of characters and families had been paraded in front of us - Some of them removed from the story in the first season, others hung in there for a lot longer. But as I watched the last season of the show and then went back and watched key episodes and seasons, I realized that there was a pattern: this show was very populated at the start and there was a lot of dialogue because there were a lot of people having discussions. But each season of the show had less and less of these people talking, many of the main characters were killed off including whole families.
We were introduced to two families at the start: The Starks and the Lannisters. There was a 3rd family, the Baratheons, which had a relationship to both Stark and Lannister due to friendship and marriage. But we learned right away of improprieties within the King's own family. As viewers we knew it, the other characters in the show were mostly oblivious to it.
We know now that the whole conflict between Stark and Lannister was the result of manipulations by "Lord Littlefinger Baelish" - And the tale of his treachery spans 7 seasons. Treachery which spread across all of Westeros, affecting the remaining Baratheon family, the Starks and Lannisters, the Boltons, the Targaryen's, The Freys, even the Ironborn Greyjoys- Every one of them affected by Baelish' original act of Treason and Heinous Murder.
We were introduced to other cities, continents and cultures, particularly the Dothraki, led by Khal Drogo, and this was where we got our first glimpse of the disrobed figure of Daenerys Targaryen, sister of Viserys, and we start hearing a lot of talk about Dragons- Until we got 3 of them.
MEANWHILE, up at "THE WALL", a vast construct of Ice and Magic, we get our first encounter with a "White Walker", as we see a whole village of "Wildings" slaughtered and then rise from the dead with Blue Eyes. This is our introduction to the Watchers on The Wall, an elite group of men, usually former prisoners, who guard the Realms of Men. Against what?
For seven years, we watched the ranks of Westeros thin out. The Baratheons, dead. The Boltons - dead. The Freys, dead. Whole houses, wiped out, either by treachery or by trickery, or by the machinations of Cersei Lannister.
It was not extraordinary that at the start, we had complex dialogue, sometimes verbatim to the books this tale is based upon. But what happens, if the writer of the books, has not written any since 2011, and the show still has to move forward?
With the significant amount of major characters killed off season by season, and not replaced with new, of course the level of Dialogue was reduced somewhat, which is what happens when you have roughly less than a third of the characters you started off with. And then we had significant story and character development, unlikely relationships between unlikely characters: As we entered into the 8th season, the ranks had decisively been thinned out. So all we really have left is Tyrion with his wisecracks, The Hound and Arya fellowshipping on the taste shared revenge but also mutual respect, and the huge reveal as to the identity of one of the most major characters.
And let us not get started in the unfortunate events that brought the Night King his very own pet Ghoul-Dragon.
As I view these episodes again and again, I saw the mistakes that were made. Tyrion, smart as he is forgot the very nature of his own sister. And Daenerys had been victorious with every campaign and erringly thought she was invincible with three whole dragons, forgetting twice that Dragons are susceptible to flying projectiles.
So my take on this final episode, and this final season has to be this: Even the best stories have an ending, and a denouement. Seven seasons of one of the finest stories ever televised had to come to an end. Was I happy with all of the decisions? No, but I was happy that most of the main plot elements had been solidly wrapped up. From the first to the last, Game of Thrones has delivered one whopping kick in the buttocks after another. I think the level of hurt rump for this season is due to the creators providing plot twists and reversals that did not involve their favourite characters, and I am guilty of that as well. "The season was sparse, the episodes less complex, the dialogue more simple?" Naturally, because this is what happens when you start off with 100 characters and end with maybe 20. So no complaints, I got the see most of the show in one sitting, so I'm certainly not going to complain about it.
I will admit that as I watched the series, I became invested in it, and of course I wanted to see certain things. That I did not get to see those things? I'm not going to pan the whole season and the showrunners because of it. Because look at what I did see:
1-Three Dragons destroying a fleet of Slaver Ships.
2-The Watchers on the Wall using a huge scythe on a chain to repel thousands of Wilding Attackers.
3-The same Wildings besieged by an Army of The Dead at a port far beyond the Wall.
4-Cersei using secreted explosives to destroy the Sept of the Seven and all of the little Sparrows.
And the most incredible: Arya becoming one of The Faceless Ones.
Not to mention the sheer vastness of the imagery I was exposed to, and to this date I can't tell what was real and what was not. But it was all real I suppose, in some ways.
This was indeed, "Many Partings"- All stories come to an end sooner or later. But this ending was more hopeful than I expected. An Unexpected King, the coolest people on the Small Council, Samwell Tarly given position as a Maester above all of the maesters that dismissed him, and Jamie Lannister's story finally written in the Book of Knights by the very woman that he Knighted.
I'm really going to miss these people.
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