By Adhirath Sethi May. 17, 2019
How will the final battle for the Iron Throne play out? Between Jon Snow and Daenerys, we have no viable options left, and with just one episode to go, I’m aiming for the most improbable ending (I’m also expecting Kejriwal will become PM, so don’t take me all that seriously).
Regardless of their opinions on the quality of the final season, fans of Game of Thrones are united by an eerie sense of foreboding going into the series’ last ever episode. After all, with the Night King turned into enough ice cubes to cater to every house party in Versova and the anguish of the Battle of Winterfell behind us, we all expected things to wrap up neatly. Mentally, I had settled down to wait for my son to be old enough so that we could discuss the psychology of Jaime Lannister pushing a small child out of a window and still managing to win his way back into our hearts.
But then, character arcs started bending backwards like Baba Ramdev’s spinal column and logic decided to go hide behind a cloud from where neither radar nor dragon would be able to spot it.
Ever the optimist, I’m allowing myself to hope for redemption. You’re allowed two dumb episodes in a string of successes, right? I mean, even Michael Jackson occasionally made a bad song. (What’s that? What do you mean we can’t hear his music anymore? Why? Oh dear! That’s bad… I never knew… What’s that? We did know and chose to ignore it for years? Is iTunes going to refund my money for the songs, though? No? Ah well…)
In fairness to the writers, when you add multiple twists into a plotline, you run out of places to go. Everything is so tightly wound together that most of us were simply hoping like idiots that Jon Snow and Daenerys would marry and rule together. The fact that the show started by using our disgust of incest to set the stage, and then brought us to the point where we were shipping Jon and his aunt is rather remarkable!
But, assuming the writers don’t suddenly do a U-turn on Jon’s character and make him murder his second girlfriend, there really are only a few things that can happen from here on. Considering we have fewer characters left than the end of Macbeth, there isn’t too much room for the plot to move forward.
So how will the final battle for the Iron Throne play out?
The popular option is that someone kills Daenerys and Jon ascends what’s left of the Iron Throne. The real question here is “Who kills the dragon?” Given Drogon’s affinity for a good old-fashioned barbeque, it’s going to be a task convincing him to leave quietly and with minimal fuss. He has been rather finicky thus far. Also, the idea that Arya Stark would kill the Mad Queen would be too much of a cliché. She already killed the Night King, and anyone doing anything amiss in King’s Landing would do well to expect her to leap out from behind them at any time. Furthermore, she’s riding a horse now, so they’d hear her coming. So, Jon would need to kill Daenerys and just explain to Drogon that “Mummy went to live on a farm.” There. Peace achieved.
Personally, I’m hoping all of them die and Gendry Baratheon just waltzes in and claims it all for himself.
Option two is that Daenerys keeps killing everyone and it ends up being one of those stories where the bad guy wins. Like at the end of Silence of the Lambs… or every Bugs Bunny episode. At this point, why shouldn’t we expect an unsatisfying ending? It’s not as though the writers have ever bothered to align with our expectations. The moment they chopped off their lead actor’s head in Season 1, we should have known that anything could happen. We were all sitting there thinking, “That’s Sean Bean, he has top billing. He played Boromir in Lord of the Rings. There’s no way they’re going to — holy hell, he’s dead! It’s fine though, Robb will avenge him for sure. Robb has a dire wolf! Woah! Didn’t see that coming. So, what do you guys think of Stannis? Stand up guy if you ask me! Really seems to love his daughter…”
With options limited and all of 90 minutes of show time to go, I’m aiming for the most improbable ending. (I’m also expecting Kejriwal will become PM, so don’t take me all that seriously).
Personally, I’m hoping all of them die and Gendry Baratheon (now High Seat of his House, and Lord of Storm’s End) just waltzes in and claims it all for himself. Then he makes a new Iron Throne, because he’s such a skilled blacksmith. He can finally marry Arya — because she’s now ready to settle down and her new spirit animal is a horse — and they bring the kind of North-South harmony that would put Delhi-ites and Chennai-ites to shame. Tyrion — now the tallest Lannister by so many feet — remains as Hand of the King. Sansa returns to King’s Landing to be with Tyrion and makes medium-height babies, Grey Worm becomes head of the army and Davos… Oh come on, like we really care what happens to Davos? Okay, fine! Davos adopts a small girl and raises her, keeping her away from any fires.
It’s interesting to see that the fan theories online are equally stunted in their reach. Most point to the uncomfortable choice that Jon needs to make in killing his aunt/lover. As though having an aunt/lover in the first place wasn’t uncomfortable enough.
Maybe I’m a true fan, in that I’m still holding out for one last super-twist that takes back the narrative and gives Game of Thrones the ending it deserves. Maybe Drogon kills Daenerys and just sits there laying eggs. Surprise! She’s a girl. No one had the guts to check. Everyone will have to move north and start saying, “Summer is coming.” Or maybe, annoying as it seems, the fan theory that Sansa takes the throne comes to pass.
The truth is that despite how infuriating the last two episodes have been, we will all watch the finale. We will watch it for the same reason I watch the IPL final even though RCB never makes it. Because, deep inside, we need to find some closure. We also owe the show for years of wondrous entertainment. Even though we might have been dealt some disappointment toward the end; it cannot take away from all those times we waited desperately for a new episode and were rewarded with something mind-numbingly, fantastically, awesome. And for one last time, we can all sit down together, and collectively say, “Winter is coming.”
Adhirath Sethi is a novelist based in Bangalore. When he is not writing satire, he dabbles in darkness. His latest book, Where the Hills Hide their Secrets, is a product of such dabbles..