Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight finale.
- HBO’s epic fantasy series has come to an end.
- One of the biggest questions going into the finale was who would sit on the Iron Throne, the seat of power in Westeros.
- By the end of the episode, the Iron Throne had been destroyed.
- Bran Stark was declared King of the Six Kingdoms after Queen Sansa left to rule the North as an independent realm.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
After eight epic seasons, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has officially come to an end.
While the last episode was filled with shocking deaths and stunning moments, there was only one question on many people’s mind as the series wrapped up: Who would sit on the Iron Throne, the seat of power in Westeros that our characters have been lusting after and fighting for over the course of the show?
This is your last warning before we dive into major spoilers for the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”
Bran Stark is now king
Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead Wright), hereafter known as Bran the Broken, first of his name, King of the Andals and the First Men, is now the ruler of the Six Kingdoms of Westeros.
The North – under the rule of Queen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) – has left the Kingdom to form its own independent realm. Bran is now King Bran and rules alongside a select set of lords and ladies.
After his death, since he cannot bear children, a new ruler will be seated in his place who’s elected by a Westerosi electoral college of sorts.
“Sons of kings can be cruel and stupid, as you well know,” Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) said on the finale. “His will never torment us. That is the wheel our 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.”
Some fans were upset with this ending
Bran has become a divisive figure on the latest season of “Game of Thrones” because of his changed personality after becoming the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran appeared to have rejected his Stark self the past two seasons and acted like an impassive stranger to his siblings and family.
When speaking with Tyrion earlier on season eight, Bran says he doesn’t want to be Lord of Winterfell because he is no longer Bran Stark, but the Three-Eyed Raven. In fact, he says he doesn’t “want” anymore at all.
So fans were both confused and troubled that suddenly the one person who had no interest in ruling Westeros is now king.
Bran- sry can’t be lord of winterfell im the three eyed raven ????????♂️
Tyrion- Aye bran you wanna be king?
— samantha fagundes (@samanthafagu) May 20, 2019
Bran: “I’m not the Lord of Winterfell…”
Tyrion: “you don’t want it?…”
Bran: “I don’t really ‘want’ anymore.”
*3 episodes later*
Tyrion: “If we choose you, will you wear the crown?”
Bran: “why do you think I came all this way?”
— Justin Schreck (@Schrecko) May 20, 2019
— Taira Almanza (@Tairy14) May 20, 2019
This wasn’t a total surprise. Not only was Bran a betting favourite to “win” the throne, but his ascension was foreshadowed earlier on the season when Varys told Tyrion on the fourth episode, “Have you considered the best ruler might be someone who doesn’t want to rule?”
Of course, Varys was at the time hoping Tyrion would support Jon Snow’s claim to the throne over that of Daenerys, but it’s likely that Tyrion remembered his friend’s advice when he suggested that Bran be the next king.
Bran becoming king bookends the series, in a way
Narratively, it also makes sense given that in the books, Bran is the first main point-of-view character that readers meet.
“He kicked the whole thing off,” actor Isaac Hempstead Wright told INSIDER’s “Game of Thrones” correspondent Kim Renfro at the final season’s red carpet premiere in New York City. “I think, truly, of many of the characters on the show, Bran has one of the most extraordinary arcs.”
Hempstead Wright is right – following Bran’s narrative arc from a young noble boy thrown out of a tower window to the new king of the now-Six Kingdoms is a compelling story indeed.
But the big question – who won the eponymous throne – was a resounding ‘no one’
The Iron Throne was only ever a symbol of power in George R.R. Martin’s sweeping epic. As INSIDER correspondent Kim Renfro theorised early on, the Iron Throne would likely be destroyed by the end of the series.
After Daenerys Targaryen’s death at the hands of Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen), her last remaining dragon, Drogon, flew to her side. Seeing his mother dead, the dragon burned the Iron Throne to the ground, leaving nothing but melted steel in its stead. He then disappeared with Daenerys clutched gently in his claws.
— Jared (@jjcottn) May 20, 2019
Drogon: *destroys the iron throne*
— Colleen.A.Lara (@Colleen_Lara_) May 20, 2019
So the question, “Who won the Iron Throne?” is “No one.” The series ends with a new dawn in Westeros as Sansa Stark rules in the north, Arya Stark sails west, and Jon Snow ventures beyond the Wall with the Free Folk, all while King Bran rules with Tyrion Lannister as his Hand.
“Game of Thrones” has officially come to a close – long live King Bran.
- Read more:
- How that devastating ‘Game of Thrones’ finale death was an imperfect fulfillment of the show’s biggest prophecy
- Why this shocking moment from the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale might have been the last major surprise George R.R. Martin revealed to the writers
- Every character who survived the entirety of ‘Game of Thrones,’ including 11 you might have forgotten about
- Emilia Clarke tried to warn fans last year about Daenerys’ final season arc on ‘Game of Thrones’
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.