SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Game of Thrones"
Most of you reading this probably already know about the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones." If not, it is originally a book series called "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. Martin. The TV series started in 2011 and it is in its eighth and final season. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are closing out the season this weekend by directing and writing the final episode.
Now into the show details…
Episode 5 consisted of the long-awaited siege of Kings Landing. Daenerys with her own foreign forces and Jon Snow's Northern forces take on the Golden Company, the Lannister army, and the Mountain. But before that Queen Daenerys deals with her advisor Lord Varys who was conspiring against her and even trying to poison her.
In this, she holds no trial only a death sentence. Before when she was still in Mareen she had advisors dissuading her to deal with traitors this way, but she is no longer the Mhysa. Daenerys Targaryen is true to her lineage to the Mad King and burns Lord Varys alive.
This isn't the first we see a glimpse of the "Mad Queen." Benoiff and Weiss have built up this shift across the seasons but mainly in Season 7. However, realizing she does not have the love of the North in Season 8 Episode 3, losing her child (dragon, Rhaegal) and best friend/advisor (Missandei) in Season 8 Episode 4 and the traitorous acts of Lord Varys stoked the building flame within her. Though Benoiff and Weiss did this rather quickly there is this sense of anticipation on when she will snap.
The attack on King's Landing ensues and Daenerys's forces very quickly overcome Queen Cersei Lannister's defenses. The bell towers ring of surrender but earlier in the episode when she was with Jon, she had decided she will rule with fear rather than from love. So. She. Burns. Them. All.
Jon Snow in charge of the Northern forces is on the ground with the foot soldiers when the bell tower goes off. He has always been a supporter of his queen, but you can tell that he no longer believes in the new Daenerys rising from the ashes. Grey Worm's forces continue the attack after the Lannister army has thrown down their swords, thus going against everything Jon's core beliefs. He is now on defense against his own men to try and salvage what's left of the people. His change of heart will be key in the finale.
Arya Stark and the Hound (Sandor Clegane) venture to King's Landing for their own revenge. Arya to kill Queen Cersei and the Hound to kill his brother the Mountain. As the city crumbles around them, the Hound dissuades Arya in her revenge knowing that it will kill her because he knows his own will lead to his own death. Arya leaves to flee the wreckage while the Hound continues to pursue is vengeance. We finally get to see the Clegane-bowl with a satisfying end to his character arc.
Queen Cersei watches all that she has built burn and soon escapes with her brother/lover Jaimie Lannister. They see their demise in the rubble of the castle the same way they came into this world, together. Though it can be rather unsatisfying that Queen Cersei never had to deal with the repercussions of her crimes she was left powerless in her own fate. Jaime Lannister died with his love and apparently both hands…Benoiff and Weiss gave him a redeeming character arc but let him end back with his addiction, Queen Cersei Lannister.
Now to the good stuff. What is happening next?
There is a lot of possible foreshadowing in the final episode and a lot of fan theories on where this 8-season series can go.
Let's start with Daenerys Targaryen.
She is now the Mad Queen. She has the iron throne, her dragon, her army, but no people. A lot of the theories out there don't see her surviving the final episode, but who ends her storyline.? Going with the common heroic arc it's set up for Jon to kill Daenerys. Whether Benoiff and Weiss want to continue with the possible Azor Ahai prophecy and have Jon kill his love in order to bring peace to the land. Daenerys and Jonn had much love for each other, but that Daenerys and Jon died the day the city burned. Jon is a very moral character and honorable man; he has even died for what he believed in. What he saw with the Unsullied and the Northern army ravage the people left in the city goes against everything he stands for. This could be his call to action to end the Mad Queen's reign.
Another theory is that Daenerys has Jon executed for treason as Grey Worm saw him stop fighting after the Lannister armies surrender. This could be one of Daenerys's last acts as queen.
But there is more to the story, Arya was told by the Red Woman that she will kill someone of eyes of brown, eyes of blue and eyes of green. Though we all expected this to be Queen Cersei it could very well be Daenerys. Arya saw the wreckage and the people murdered by the queen's fire barely escaping herself. But after a very drawn out and emotional scene with Arya and a horse this could be her mentally adding Daenerys to her list. It's likely Arya will bring death to Daenerys, just whether Jon makes it through to the end.
Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen has a better claim to the throne. He has never wanted to be a ruler, but this makes him the best candidate to rule. If Jon can survive the episode there is a large pull for him to end up as King. If he doesn't rule than who will, where will they rule?
King's Landing is gone. Left to the ashes. It's likely that the new capital of Westeros could be moved North where the majority of who is left of Westeros lives. This leaves Sansa Stark the only viable candidate to rule once Daenerys and Jon are gone. Arya has never shown interest in the throne and its very unlikely that Tyrion would survive this episode with damaged ties with Daenerys.
Although there are other characters like Brandon Stark and Ser Brianne of Tarth, I doubt they'll have a major impact on what occurs next episode or a nice ending.
These are just a few possible events that can occur on this Sunday's episode, but we will only know for sure when it airs. To Game of Throne fans everywhere: Valar morghulis.