WARNING: This post contains spoilers. Do not read on unless you’ve seen the entirety of the final season of Game of Thrones.
After eight long, dense seasons, beloved and much-debated fantasy series Game of Thrones has finally reached its end.
On Sunday night, viewers finally learned the fate of their favourite characters from Westeros in a slow-paced, pensive finale.
After Tyrion witnesses the destruction Daenerys unleashed on King’s Landing, he pleads with Jon Snow to rebel against her — and, as widely predicted by critics, he ends up stabbing Daenerys to death, ending her short reign (she never actually got to sit on that Iron Throne). Drogon incinerates the throne with dragon fire, takes her body and flies off into the distance. Looks like no new ruler will ever sit on the Iron Throne again.
READ MORE: More than 1 million upset ‘Game of Thrones’ fans sign petition to remake Season 8
The remaining people of power end up making a democratic decision as to who will lead the Kingdoms, and in a surprise choice, they select Bran to take the throne as the next king. He’s known as “Bran the Broken,” first of his name. Going forward, no one has a right to the throne by blood alone; it has to be a decision agreed upon by the majority. Sansa declares the North to be its own domain, and she becomes the Queen in the North. Arya heads off “west of Westeros” on what appears to be her own ship, adorned with the Stark direwolf sigil.
Jon Snow, as the known murderer of Daenerys, is forced to take the black again and become a member of the Night’s Watch. The last we see of him, he’s walking beyond the Wall with the Wildlings. We also see him reunite with Ghost, his direwolf.
Reactions to the finale on social media were varied, but in most cases, fans were either disappointed or outright devastated by the ending.
Earlier in the day, series star Emilia Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen, posted an emotional message to her Instagram page.
“Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me,” Clarke wrote on Instagram hours before the show’s final episode aired. “The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life.”
“This woman has taken up the whole of my heart,” she continued. “I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given justice.”
“But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you, there is no us. And now our watch has ended,” she wrote.
Co-star Gwendoline Christie, who played fan favourite Brienne of Tarth, shared a more humorous post on her Instagram page. She claimed she was being told the ending to Game of Thrones in the photo.
Actor Raleigh Ritchie, a.k.a. Grey Worm, also paid tribute to the Game of Thrones cast and crew earlier on Sunday prior to the finale.
Some fans of the epic, long-running show haven’t been pleased with the way things have gone in Season 8. More than 1 million people have signed an online petition at Change.org to get the eighth season rewritten.
The petition initially sought 35,000 signatures. Its target goal is now 1.5 million.
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