So. Farewell then Game of Thrones. Of all the unabashedly adult (by which I mean ‘graphic’) shows ever created by HBO, it was this one that got a reputation for being chock-full of sex and violence. It’s not as if that’s in any way unfair, with the show chasing after the all-important 18-25 demographic like a dog chasing another dog for the purposes of either sex or violence. So, with the finale out, with it all done and dusted, how did this last episode do in the categories that really matter?
A group of five Lannister soldiers are summarily executed by Grey Worm, who’s holding the ‘just following orders’ award two weeks running. The main event this week, though, is obviously Daenerys – stabbed through the heart by the man she loved, earning Jon the prestigious ‘I know it was you, Fredo’ award. We’ve followed her through thick and thin, then in the last five minutes she goes mental and gets bumped off by another protagonist. That’s, like, the twist. (If women abruptly going mental and dying seems a little overdone to you, why not look up Jean Rhys’s novel ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’?)
Perhaps the more interesting category is those who didn’t die. Both Jon and Tyrion squeak through having committed treason pretty easily. More notably, we’ve been told that the war against the dead had whittled down Daenerys’s armies, we saw only a handful of Dothraki come back from the first charge and the unsullied were dropping like flies, yet here she suddenly has enough Dothraki and Unsullied to fill a Triumph of the Will-style parade ground.
If we are making this category more flexible, and we are, then there’s also the metaphorical murder of Edmure Tully. He hasn’t been onscreen for two seasons, he’s Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, he just wants to contribute, and Sansa immediately tells him to shut up and sit down.
Oh dear, none of that, again. Is this even HBO any more?
Bronn, at least, does his best not to let the side down. Installed as the kingdom’s Master of Coin, his first and only policy is to provide state subsidies for hundreds of prostitutes. Tyrion attempts to match his incurably dirty mind by bringing up his old anecdote about the jackass and the honeycomb. Just what did he do with them? Who knows – at this point any actual punchline could only be disappointing, and the thought he had sex with either is simply too weird.
This category should really be renamed ‘dragon’, since there’s only been one of them left for two weeks now. Still, as the last dragon standing, Drogon gets his share of screentime this week, including two particularly hilarious moments – one absurdly on-the-nose shot where he’s fluttering his wings behind Daenerys, making it look as if she has wings, and one bit where he’s hiding under the snow, apparently purely to give Jon a surprise. For all the spikes and fire-breathing, he does act a bit like an enormous gamboling puppy.
Despite this, Drogon ultimately proves to be a more committed liberator than Daenerys ever was. For all her big talk about breaking the wheel, she was about to plonk her arse right down on the Iron Throne. It takes the honest, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth dragon to do what needed to be done and finally destroy it once and for all. As such, there’s a strong argument to be made that Drogon, or should I say comrade Drogon, is the true hero of the piece, the only one who was in the end able to resist the allure of what’s obviously a symbol of the state monopoly on violence. True to form, like all those spaghetti-Western heroes, we last see him flying off into the sunset – bound, if I’m any judge, for HIGH ADVENTURE!