“I don’t have any sense of how they would rule,” I decree about the eventual “Game of Thrones” winner to Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow and Luca Giliberti in our 45-minute recap of “The Iron Throne,” the final episode of the series, which aired on Sunday, May 19. Watch our exclusive video slugfest above.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EPISODE
The final episode of the Emmy winning series saw Jon Snow (Kit Harington) become Queen-slayer by stabbing the conquering Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). The dramatic moment results in Tyrian Lannister (Peter Dinklage) bizarrely pivoting from prisoner to kingmaker by suggesting Bran Stark becomes the new ruler of Westeros. Everyone, except his sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) – who opts for Northern independence – agrees. Tyrion’s pitch was that, as a cripple who traveled beyond the wall, Bran ‘The Broken’ had such a great story it would bring the kingdoms together and the wheel of violence would be destroyed.
The throne is given to a character who, this season, did little more than warp into the body of a raven and fly around in the show’s biggest battle. Although, with the actual throne being melted by Drogon the dragon in this episode, maybe they will just pimp out Bran’s wheelchair.
Riley vents his frustration saying, “Bran had such a ‘great story’ that he was gone for a whole season and no-one seemed to care. Bran is the great thing that unites ‘Game of Thrones’ fans. Whether you loved or hated the last season I feel like we can all make fun of Bran. But the show was not in on the joke. They took Bran so seriously they had him win the ‘Game of Thrones.’”
I say that “the first episode of the series ends with Bran getting pushed out of a window. This sets into motion the political dynamics that leads to him becoming king. There are nice bookends in that. But that’s all I liked. I don’t think the journey we see Bran go on is satisfying to see him win.”
Luca makes the point that “if Bran was going to be the one to rule over the seven/six kingdom, we needed more build up. And the reasons why he would want to rule. For someone like Daenerys, we’ve known how she’s been working towards that. Bran was important in the show, but becoming king just doesn’t make sense and is insulting.”
I agree with Luca, saying “at least with Dany I had some sense of what her philosophy behind ruling was. With Sansa you also got a sense of her leadership style. I don’t know Bran’s leadership style. He was a very passive character. Maybe the show was saying it doesn’t really matter who’s king as long as there is a good story behind them. That can break the wheel. But a lot of the characters in the show had good stories. That’s why the show was such a hit.” I also consider whether “Bran is a mastermind. He probably knew he could just sit there and let all these people make these big mistakes in the game and he’d end up on top.”
Despite a polarizing end for the series, Luca thought “the entire cast and crew should get credit. The crafts people absolutely outdid themselves. The cinematography, the score, the set design, the visual effects; I don’t think the show’s ever been better on those terms. The cast also was incredible this year. I don’t think I’ve ever liked the cast this much. And we need to give all of them so much credit. And the creators, David and Dan, still gave me a show I watched for eight seasons and looked forward to every week.” Luca’s right, because whatever you think about the ending of the show it had a huge impact on storytelling and the ambition it brought to the medium of television.
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