News

Game of Thrones’ Series Finale Best Moments: Breaking the Wheel and a Dragon’s Choice

The final episode of the HBO series marks the end of a television era.

by | May 19, 2019 | Comments

Melting the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

HBO’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones ended on Sunday night with a finale that tied together many loose ends – we now know the fate of doltish Edmure Tully, for instance – and left many still hanging.

One thing we learned is that in this world of Ice and Fire, a dragon is not a beast, but a passionate, intelligent participant in the world around him. Drogon chose not to burn Jon Snow, despite the fact that he killed its mother. Book readers will love that touch.

The critics are still weighing in with their verdict on “The Iron Throne,” but an early count of reviews, shows them split roughly down the middle, which gave the series finale an early Rotten score. (We should know in the next 24 hours where the score will settle.)

Until then, let’s look at some of the biggest moments of the episode.


1. Tyrion Digs Out Cersei and Jaime

Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) in Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Despite actress Lena Headey’s Instagram goodbye last week, we were unable to believe Cersei and Jaime were dead until Tyrion dug them out of the rubble on Sunday night.

The dead lovers are entwined and still beautiful in death. Considering that they were crushed by the Red Keep, that is something.


2. Daenerys’ “Break the Wheel” Speech

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

It just got all Hunger Games up in here. The scene has a fascist aesthetic – very Triumph of the Will, the 1935 Nazi propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Or – another way of looking at it – like any Star Wars Stormtrooper assembly ever.

The Mother of Dragons first thanks her Dothraki bloodriders for defeating the men in the iron suits, tearing down their stone houses, and delivering the Seven Kingdoms to her. She names Grey Worm the Master of War.

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

She addresses the Unsullied in Old Valyrian, congratulating them on being “liberators.” One person in the audience who may understand her is Arya, and she does not look happy.

Tyrion sidles up to Daenerys, who accuses him of treason. He throws down his Hand of the Queen pin, and she promptly has him detained.

Arya sneaks up on Jon: “You’ll always be a threat to her. I know a killer when I see one.”


3. Tyrion and Jon Come to an Undertanding

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Tyrion argues that Daenerys has gone beyond her initial purpose, now intending to recut the world under her rule.

“Love is more powerful than reason,” Tyrion says.

“Love is the death of duty,” Jon says, quoting Maester Aemon.

“You are the shield that guards the realms of men,” Tyrion reminds Jon. “Who is the greatest threat to the people now? … Do you think I’m the last man she’ll execute? Who is more dangerous than the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?”

The clincher? Tyrion reminds Jon that Sansa and Arya won’t bend the knee.


4. Jon Kills Daenerys

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

First, Drogon emerging from under a pile of ash to greet/inspect Jon was spectacular – the effects are, of course, perfect this episode.

Daenerys lives the moment she dreamed about: her death.

Jon begs for mercy for Tyrion and the people who followed Cersei, but Daenerys refuses, painting a picture of an entirely new world order: “I know what is good. And so do you.”

He does.

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

After her pitch/proposal, she and Jon kiss.

“You are my queen – now and always,” he says, as he stabs her.

Be comforted: Drogo and Daenerys’ son are waiting for her.


5. Drogon Melts the Iron Throne

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Drogon senses something is amiss and touches down behind Jon. The dragon grieving for his mother is both fearsome and moving. At his full height, he resembles Maleficent in Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.

After seriously threatening Jon, Drogon melts the Iron Throne, picks up Daenerys, and flies away. We’re hoping not to a red priestess of R’hllor for some resurrection ritual.


6. “All hail Bran the Broken, First of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm”

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

(Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Grey Worm brings prisoner Tyrion before a council of lords and ladies of the realm. Among them: Samwell Tarly; Lord Edmure Tully; Arya, Bran, and Sansa Stark; Brienne of Tarth; Ser Davos Seaworth; Gendry Baratheon, apparently still Lord of Storm’s End; Yara Greyjoy; a Dornish lord; inexplicably hot Robin Arryn, lord of the Eyrie; and Lord Arryn’s bannerman Lord Yohn Royce.

They are here to decide the fate of Tyrion, Jon Snow, and the realm overall. Davos offers Grey Worm the Reach (Highgarden, former home of the Tyrells), but Grey Worm is being stubborn and just wants “justice.”

Arya almost steals the scene entirely, threatening to cut Yara’s throat for suggesting that Jon should die.

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

(Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Tyrion argues that the gathering should choose a new king to decide everyone’s fate. Looks like Edmure returned simply to make an ass of himself again, but Sansa stops him before he finishes nominating himself for king. Sam suggests an open election and is laughed back into his seat.

Tyrion denies that he wants the throne and suggests “Bran the Broken” – and so it is. When Sansa notes that Bran can’t have children, Tyrion says it’s for the best.

“That is the wheel the queen wanted to break. From now on rulers will not be born. They will be chosen – on this spot – by the lords and ladies of Westeros to serve the realm,” Tyrion suggests.

Sansa breaks the North off to be an independent kingdom. Because: Sansa.

Bran names Tyrion his Hand.


7. Closure

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Tyrion informs Jon that his cousin has ordered him back to the Night’s Watch. Grim, but not death.

Grey Worm heads for Naath; presumably, he and the Unsullied will protect the people who cannot protect themselves.

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

“What’s west of Westeros? … No one knows. That’s where all the maps stop. That’s where I’m going,” a remarkably emotional Arya informs her family while saying goodbye to Jon.

Brienne becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and fills in Jaime Lannister’s pages with brave deeds.

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Bran the Broken’s small council includes Ser Davos (Master of Ships), Ser Bronn (Master of Coin – this is another bad idea, Tyrion), and Grandmaester Tarly. Bran notes that they’re missing a master of whisperers, a master of law, and a master of war. While Tyrion addresses those vacancies, Bran is going to “search” for Drogon. We really wanted to see him warg into a dragon this season – alas, it was not to be.

 Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (Helen Sloan/HBO)Helen Sloan/HBO

The final words of the series are a chant for Sansa: “Queen in the North!” The final image: men, women, and children following Tormund and Jon into the frozen north, as we end where we began, heading into the wilds Beyond the Wall.

Beyond the Wall at the end of Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6, series finale "The Iron Throne" (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

What was your favorite moment of the finale? What about the series overall? Tell us in the comments!



Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

71st Emmy Awards Academy Awards Mary poppins harry potter streaming TBS Lucasfilm YA award winner Pirates Elton John Shondaland Apple TV+ stop motion Fox News DC Universe toy story game show obituary comic books Superheroes Syfy Epix Year in Review BET die hard Marvel Studios Paramount Network Certified Fresh Marvel Star Trek MCU Disney streaming service E3 rotten movies we love dragons TCA Awards Calendar justice league breaking bad 2017 Winter TV name the review spanish language richard e. Grant cats Ghostbusters Infographic screen actors guild Sundance foreign a nightmare on elm street Black Mirror TV renewals jamie lee curtis sequels Shudder A&E Apple The Purge sequel First Look archives Character Guide President Hallmark Christmas movies Ellie Kemper dogs Binge Guide golden globes Awards Country FX VH1 Brie Larson Sony Pictures football festivals universal monsters Trivia travel Interview spanish Best and Worst joker YouTube Premium free movies Nat Geo Film Festival BBC Kids & Family Thanksgiving Super Bowl Reality Competition period drama transformers cancelled television diversity Emmy Nominations cartoon cinemax kids comic Video Games Television Academy japanese Rom-Com Amazon Prime Video 24 frames Film USA Network BET Awards Valentine's Day ESPN south america composers Adult Swim GIFs anthology New York Comic Con halloween tv Chernobyl DGA TNT festival 007 christmas movies PaleyFest satire TV Lionsgate mutant political drama deadpool Sci-Fi History Logo movie Mary Tyler Moore Paramount 2020 ratings Heroines Tarantino asian-american stand-up comedy Awards Tour San Diego Comic-Con what to watch Freeform parents sag awards Rocky italian 4/20 Rocketman Quiz sitcom nbcuniversal aliens OWN science fiction 2018 Drama Peacock Pop TV boxoffice batman game of thrones RT History Britbox documentaries Sneak Peek OneApp Cosplay cooking supernatural DC streaming service 21st Century Fox Netflix Christmas movies canceled TV shows Premiere Dates spider-man anime classics television robots Turner Classic Movies medical drama The Walking Dead HBO Go animated Musicals Walt Disney Pictures Star Wars Tumblr Mystery zero dark thirty PlayStation DC Comics WarnerMedia Fox Searchlight MTV Extras based on movie 45 crossover Writers Guild of America Nickelodeon Photos cancelled TV shows Box Office documentary indie video GoT war MSNBC Hallmark reviews spain quibi Lifetime ID laika Tubi WGN adaptation Rock cars teaser historical drama remakes TCM child's play Horror The CW book Disney+ Disney Plus Masterpiece 20th Century Fox The Arrangement American Society of Cinematographers 2016 Alien X-Men spy thriller CBS All Access screenings latino Western IFC Films zombie versus Avengers Discovery Channel SundanceTV VOD USA Vudu Polls and Games Showtime singing competition psychological thriller natural history video on demand venice Columbia Pictures technology Crackle Food Network Tomatazos Mary Poppins Returns Sundance TV Stephen King Esquire TCA 2017 Anna Paquin First Reviews Endgame police drama Travel Channel AMC fresh doctor who Podcast Family Grammys DirecTV Ovation RT21 Comics on TV true crime australia Opinion Disney Plus IFC finale Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BBC One Schedule revenge Biopics binge directors rotten Animation SXSW adventure ghosts docudrama twilight TruTV scorecard BAFTA Red Carpet mission: impossible TIFF NBC comiccon zombies disaster boxing all-time Watching Series CNN romance Mindy Kaling independent Amazon Crunchyroll worst movies children's TV VICE The Academy Dark Horse Comics comedies Emmys Acorn TV Hulu dceu Christmas Set visit vampires dramedy Black History Month Action 99% Amazon Prime Cannes serial killer reboot GLAAD NYCC YouTube 72 Emmy Awards Comic Book Hear Us Out Women's History Month Arrowverse Comedy Central Reality 2019 dark spinoff Turner Trailer A24 cancelled politics Pet Sematary rt archives toronto worst elevated horror emmy awards series blaxploitation slashers comics hispanic Mudbound crime National Geographic CMT stoner cancelled TV series nfl Fantasy french ABC Family Countdown 2015 ABC cops green book Disney YouTube Red indiana jones Marathons Holidays thriller El Rey nature PBS werewolf Netflix FOX Election news Song of Ice and Fire Starz sports Sundance Now talk show discovery Television Critics Association james bond canceled strong female leads Pride Month scary movies miniseries Musical Chilling Adventures of Sabrina superhero halloween black Martial Arts chucky CW Seed Universal Nominations TCA Winter 2020 fast and furious Oscars HBO Max blockbuster Trophy Talk theme song tv talk films crime thriller Comedy best Pop social media FXX hollywood Cartoon Network Summer ITV Amazon Studios Pixar APB Fall TV Funimation The Witch Winners Baby Yoda Holiday Bravo Lifetime Christmas movies mockumentary Apple TV Plus casting Spectrum Originals Classic Film SDCC Spike Teen BBC America franchise dc criterion TV Land Captain marvel FX on Hulu Creative Arts Emmys renewed TV shows See It Skip It Superheroe hist critics psycho LGBTQ HBO cults CBS Marvel Television Toys unscripted Music LGBT movies TLC concert Warner Bros. witnail romantic comedy facebook E! space Spring TV Disney Channel crime drama biography TCA