With our usual "big spoilers" ahead warning, we finally have the answer to the most-awaited question on Game of Thrones: Who will sit upon the Iron Throne? That would be … no one, because Drogon incinerated it in the series finale. The HBO show drew its last breath Sunday night, meaning finally, per Jennifer Vineyard of the New York Times, "the game is over." And Vineyard thinks it's probably for the best, as "no longer will it beckon to those who want to play the dangerous game of thrones, even if it corrupts or kills them." She adds, "Perhaps it was a good judge of character. Or at least a good judge of cruelty." More farewell analysis:
- She called it. Alyssa Rosenberg says that she always anticipated the show's protagonists ultimately "must be destroyed by the systems they've attempted to transcend or give way to something entirely new." And that's exactly what happened, she notes in the Washington Post, though "I just didn't expect that it would be this goofy." Still, "it's absolutely the case that Game of Thrones ends on a note that is as fantastical and optimistic as anything that happens in the high fantasy it ostensibly critiqued."
- A historical look back. Joanna Robinson writes for Vanity Fair that "literally no one thought it would end this way," going back to when creators DB Weiss and David Benioff first introduced the concept for the show, promising "when we give [viewers] this show, they will lose their f---ing minds." Robinson isn't so sure they pulled it off as a whole, noting, that "for those of us who have been there from the start, it's been a puzzling—and not entirely welcome—transformation." One of the main beefs, per a podcaster she cites: "Thrones has become a victim of its own hype. The pursuit of spectacle has come at the expense of something that was sacred to the show."
- Not having it. Kerry Lawler is even more brutal, proclaiming in USA Today that "this isn't what we signed up for." Lawler calls the final episode "hacky" and "cliched," leaving every surviving character with a "saccharine coda. Closure is one thing, but pandering is entirely another."