Game of Thrones series finale: Who took the Iron Throne?
This article contains spoilers. After 8 seasons, wildly popular fantasy series comes to an end
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of Game of Thrones.
After eight seasons of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones came to an end Sunday but left the possibility of multiple spin-offs in the future.
The episode saw an early but predictable death, with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) being stabbed by Jon Snow (Kit Harrington). After a wave of rage led to her unleashing dragon fire over King's Landing the week prior, it became clear the once beloved Khaleesi was no longer fit to rule.
#GameOfThronesFinale and a host of other GoT-related hashtags were trending on Twitter Sunday before, during and after the big show. All the live-tweeting during the finale didn't make it easy for fans to avoid spoilers if they were hoping to catch the episode after it had already aired.
"This almost feels like the end of an era," said Eric Goldman, managing editor of the entertainment site Fandom. "Maybe this is the last time a show has this huge a collective audience that are watching simultaneously."
The season brought in an estimated 43 million viewers on average per episode across all platforms, with the finale likely to top that number.
Almost there. It’s been utterly extraordinary. Thank you all. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GameOfThronesFinale?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GameOfThronesFinale</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GamefThrones?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GamefThrones</a>—@liamcunningham1
Now get ready for the main spoiler.
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was handed the Iron Throne, except that the Iron Throne no longer exists. It was melted down into a runny mess by Drogon, the dragon, after seeing his "mother" Daenerys's lifeless body. Turns out, Bran the Broken, as he came to be called — with prophetic visions — foresaw his destined position as king all along.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who was jailed by Daenerys for treason, became "hand of the king" once again after being pardoned by Bran.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) took off to do some soul-searching "west of Westeros."
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) freed the North and Jon Snow was banished to the Night's Watch as punishment for killing his queen.
Despite many of the storylines being neatly tied up in record time, the ending has also left room for many of the characters to return in the future. There are multiple projects in development at HBO, according to author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books on which Game of Thrones was originally based.
"We have had five different Game of Thrones successor shows in development," the novelist wrote in a blog entry earlier this month.
"Three of them are still moving forward nicely. The one I am not supposed to call The Long Night will be shooting later this year, and two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer. What are they about? I cannot say."
Goldman said the show's legacy lies in its ability to capture an audience which might not normally approach a fantasy series or novel, but was reeled in with compelling twists in a drama that went "against the grain" and often killed characters "that you think are safe."
"People love the history of this world," said Goldman. "I think that you will see a passionate interactive fan base for Game of Thrones for a long time to come."