And Now Our Watch Has Ended.

Richard LeBeau
May 20 · 7 min read
Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner as Arya, Bran, and Sansa Stark (Image Copyright: HBO/Warner Bros.)

  1. Provide some logic or nuance to Daenerys’ descent. The somewhat long-winded, but nevertheless exquisitely well acted, scenes between Jon and Daenerys and Jon and Tyrion managed to put her behavior in some type of psychological, social, historical, and philosophical context. It wasn’t particularly satisfying but they get points for trying.
  2. Leave the Three-Eyed Raven mythology alone. Here is where they failed the most miserably in my eyes. Bran Stark is by far the least interesting and least developed character in the entire universe and the decision to have him end up on the Iron Throne was lazy and nonsensical. (I thought he wasn’t Bran anymore, but the Three Eyed-Raven? And didn’t he say he was not interested in ruling anything?) Sure, they didn’t delve into his status as the Three-Eyed Raven, but rather they actively ignored it (or at least minimized it) while putting his character center stage. And that is arguably worse.
  3. Send Tyrion out with a bang. Here is a place where the series finale excelled. It gave a spectacular showcase to Peter Dinklage. Even if Emmy voters decide against giving their top awards to the divisive final season, I find it hard to believe they won’t reward Dinklage with his fourth Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (which would be a record number of wins in that category.)
  4. Give a noble end to Sansa and Brienne. This one is a bit more complicated. Sure, Sansa got passed over for the throne in favor of her disinterested and far-less-qualified brother and Brienne’s most poignant moment was writing about her fallen lover in a book. But, the most important thing is that Sansa and Brienne both ended in positions of power (Sansa as Queen of the North, which retained its independence, and Brienne as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard). So I’ll call it a win.
  5. Not end too happily or cleanly. This is perhaps where the finale disappointed me the most. It all felt too pat. It could have been worse — they didn’t invent democracy (they shut down Samwell pretty quickly on that front) or have any gushy romantic climaxes. But there was only a single death (Daenerys) and there was the overwhelming sense that good prevailed, that remaining characters have peace and mutual respect between them, and that there are no imminent threats from the outside. Although none of this was particularly cheesy or illogical, it didn’t feel true to the spirit of the story to me. I always found Game of Thrones to be a savage tale about the brutal reality of shifting power dynamics and to have it end on an upbeat note just felt supremely unfitting to me.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen (Image Copyright: HBO/Warner Bros.)
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harrington as Jon Snow (Image Copyright: HBO/Warner Bros.)
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth (Image Copyright: HBO/Warner Bros.)

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (Image Copyright: HBO/Warner Bros.)
  1. “Blackwater” (Season Two, Episode Nine). This game-changing battle-set episode features some stunning visual effects and some of the best moments of Cersei and Tyrion’s entire run.
  2. “The Rains of Castamere” (Season Three, Episode Nine). No three words evoke the intense emotional reaction in Game of Thrones fans as “The Red Wedding.” Far more than a grisly shock-fest or plot contrivance, it was one of the most masterfully staged twists in television history.
  3. “The Mountain and the Viper” (Season Four, Episode Eight). The culmination of Tyrion’s trial and the brutal death of Oberyn Martell highlight a flawless outing.
  4. “The Winds of Winter” (Season Six, Episode Ten). No sequence in modern television history has captivated me to the degree of the extended opening sequence in which Cersei destroys the Great Sept, with numerous pivotal characters inside.

Rants and Raves

Richard Reflects on Hollywood

Richard LeBeau

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Clinical psychologist. Passionate cinephile. Avid traveler. Music lover. History buff. Social justice advocate.

Rants and Raves

Richard Reflects on Hollywood