Why did Samwell Tarly want a democracy?

The first episode premiered on April 17, 2011 and quickly generated enthusiasm. In spring 2019, "Game of Thrones" ended after eight seasons disappointingly for most fans - why actually? Before taking a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the finale, it is necessary to briefly recapitulate the events of the last episode.

That happens in the last episode of "Game of Thrones"

After Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) attacked King's Landing on her fire-breathing dragon Drogon and killed thousands of innocents, the Iron Throne finally seems to belong to her. She calls on her followers to Dothraki and Immaculate to "free" the rest of the Seven Kingdoms with her and lets Gray Worm (Jacob Anderson) murder prisoners of war. Meanwhile, Tyrion discovers the bodies of his siblings, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady), under the Red Keep.

Shocked by the extent of the destruction and the sudden outbreak of the "mother of dragons", her hand Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and her lover Jon Schnee (Kit Harington) discuss how to proceed. After one last conversation with Daenerys, her dangerous megalomania can no longer be denied, which is why Jon finally stabs her. Drogon then destroys the Iron Throne and flies away with the corpse.

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After a leap in time, the lords and ladies of the most important houses of Westeros have gathered to decide on the future of the continent. Tyrion's proposal to crown "Bran the Broken" the new king is ultimately accepted, and he himself is appointed the new old hand. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), in turn, successfully calls for the independence of the north under her leadership. Jon, however, is sent back to the wall to resume his duty with the night watch.

Later you can see how he moves further north with Tormund (Kristover Hivju) and the wildlings. Finally, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) sets sail to explore the areas west of the Seven Kingdoms.

The strengths and weaknesses

A lot of the problems with the last "Game of Thrones" season lie in its hastiness. While the HBO series of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, based on the books George R.R. Martins based, until then stood out for their balanced narrative style and coherent developments, the finale of the fantasy epic seemed hasty. Suddenly the actions of some characters no longer seemed comprehensible.

That got most dramatic on DaenerysTargaryen, of all things, one of the most popular characters in the series. Also because of her radiance as the liberator of the oppressed and her mission to finally break the ever-turning wheel of changing rulers who are only after power, her end was awaited with great tension. Her megalomania and her tendency to brutality were already indicated again and again in the previous seasons. But telling a well-founded development that would justify her ultimate outbreak, in which she simply sacrificed King's Landing to the fire, completely missed the series.

Not only that her seven seasons spanning efforts to get to Westeros at all, unsatisfactorily simply fizzled out or she found an unworthy death with the rather carelessly staged murder by Jon Schnee. Most of all, she was simply disappointed that no way had been paved for such an end beforehand and that her sudden madness seemed largely out of thin air.

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Speaking of which Jon Snow: While many fans were bothered by the fact that his ancestry was discussed comprehensively over and over again, but was ultimately almost irrelevant (similar to the threat posed by the white hikers), his whereabouts were still one of the more successful. If it had been he who would ultimately have taken his place on the Iron Throne, the decision would have been on the tastiest option of all: A chosen one who had a “good guy image” from the first episode would have wins and “Game of Thrones”, which until now has been characterized by its ambivalences, would have degenerated into a kind of fairy tale.

One of the weaknesses is that it is with Bran Stark nevertheless came to a seemingly fateful new ruler. His supernatural abilities and metaphysical powers accompanied him on his predetermined journey. The last line of the “Song of Ice and Fire”, the newly created order, is thus not man-made. The efforts of various parties to use the unrest that had been going on at least since Robert Baratheon's death to their own advantage or to achieve a generally satisfactory result, had a completely redundant effect against this background. Anyway, all purpose.

Where the series slipped away from the dragon queen, she actually managed to bring the story of the reigning queen to a coherent ending. Cersei Lannister remained as true to her motives as her brother Jaime. It was her stubborn uncompromisingness that led her to death, and in turn his absolute devotion that caused him to die with her. With that, “Game of Thrones” has given its less popular to generally hated characters a worthy end. The series has remained true to itself in its elaborate figure drawing beyond the black and white categories of “good” and “bad”, which often leads to a correspondingly uninspired outcome. Also related subtleties, such as a Brienne of Tarth, which Jaime's entry in the book of the brothers completes positively, are among the strengths of the last episode.

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While the Lannisters represented narcissism and ethical reprehensibility, the Starks represented moral superiority. Even if their house suffered badly over the eight seasons, they always embodied a certain moral authority. That this tendency was not over-stylized was shown above all in the sometimes dubious development Arya and Sansa Starks.

While the former learned to defend itself and acted increasingly unscrupulous in their campaign of revenge - after all, she served Walder Frey his sons as pies - the latter did an apprenticeship with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and soon became a shrewd tactician herself. What is disappointing, however, is that both end up completely unscathed as sensible, respectable personalities - while apparently far less was enough to abandon Daenerys to madness and to fall from grace.

Ultimately, the disappointment with the finale of the epic is probably also due to the fact that it did not lead to any major success, such as the introduction of a democracy such as that proposed by Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) at one point. Precisely the stepping on the spot, the gradual thought process and slow human progress, however, brings fantasy very close to reality. And the series was valued for its talent for (inter-) human authenticity anyway - even if it featured dragons.