‘Game of Thrones’ Finale One Year Later – Have the Hard Feelings Faded?

Game of Thrones Finale Daenerys

Game of Thrones ended one year ago, and it’s no secret that fans were feeling pretty down when the adventures in Westeros ended the way they did with Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) on the “throne” and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) being slaughtered by Jon (Kit Harington) along with various questions left unanswered.

The world itself has changed a lot in the past year, leading us to wonder, have the hard feelings faded? Which questions have been answered since Thrones officially signed off on HBO? The dust has had plenty of time to settle and some blunders that appeared to anger fans directly after the finale have finally become something they can laugh over. But make no mistake — just because they’re laughing, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to forgive for the plots that were, for lack of a better word, disappointing.

What would those plots be? First and foremost, the death of Daenerys, who endured one of the least satisfying arcs of the series next to Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Going full mad queen in the span of about one episode, Daenerys left “The Battle of Winterfell” with King’s Landing in her cross-hairs, and her finger on the trigger, which happened to be Drogon’s ferocious flames.

Sure, different developments were used to “explain” how she got there, but after going from a team player to a cold blooded mass murderer, the jump felt extreme and that hasn’t faded in a year. One of the biggest questions remaining following the finale is where was her body taken to? Drogon picked up the Mother of Dragons’ corpse after burning the Iron Throne and it remains unclear today where her final resting place was.

Game of Thrones Season 8

(Credit: HBO)

Then there’s Jon Snow, whose importance had repeatedly been reiterated throughout the series, only to have him murder Daenerys “for the greater good” and return north beyond the wall with the free folk. What was the point of his harrowing history that included some of TV’s biggest twists and turns? Whether it was his raising from the dead in Season 6 or the parentage reveal in Season 7 which proved he was the son of Lyanna Stark and Aegon Targaryen — just like Daenerys, Jon deserved better.

The only questions that seemed to be answered following the finale were unveiled when the script was made viewable via the Emmys website as it was among the 2019 nominees. Before it was taken down, script descriptions and directions “clarified” some of the most baffling developments including Bran’s seemingly random ascension as Westeros’ King of the Six Kingdoms after Sansa (Sophie Turner) declared the north as its own independent locale.

After Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) suggested “Bran the Broken” as a new ruler, the youngest living Stark replied, “Why do you think I came all this way?” In case fans thought they were the only ones weirded out, the script revealed Tyrion felt the same. “A strange response but Tyrion has come to expect strange answers from Bran.”

Unlike Tyrion, fans haven’t been willing to except the new ruler and that remains true today as Bran’s power remains the main point of their displeasure when it comes to the episode. After nearly 10 years of playing the game, you can’t blame people for being upset when the player who’s been phoning it in most of the time wins.

Game of Thrones Jon Snow Tormund

(Credit: HBO)

Meanwhile, there’s the Iron Throne, symbolically ravaged by Drogon after Daenerys’ death — or at least fans thought so. “We look over Jon’s shoulder as the fire sweeps toward the throne — not the target of Drogon’s wrath, just a dumb bystander caught up in the conflagration,” is what the script stated. In an episode where fans were fishing for possible breadcrumbs of meaning, this script reveal dashes any such beliefs of the major moment where the seat constructed of swords was melted down.

Instead of letting the burning symbolize Drogon’s fury over his mother Daenerys’ loss by wrecking the figure which ultimately led to her death, the writers and creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose for it to be an accident. Adding more salt to the still unhealed wounds, the script also provided insight regarding Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) finishing Jaime’s page in the Knight’s book. Instead of being upset after him leaving her for Cersei (Lena Headey) in Episode 4 of Season 8, the writers chose to point out that, “Brienne takes a moment to think about a man she both hated and loved, often at the same time.”

While fans surely weren’t fond of the finale, the statement about Brienne’s torn feelings for Jaime serves as a great representative of how viewers likely feel about the series as a whole, “both hated and loved.” Because despite the low points, Thrones is still a piece of incredible TV history that offered some satisfying conclusions, particularly for the Stark women. After seasons of horror, fans got to see Sansa crowned as the queen she’d proven herself to be and Arya (Maisie Williams) remained true to her curious nature, setting out on her journey to discover what’s “west of Westeros.”

The finale remains a hard pill for fans to swallow because the low points of the episode make it harder to reach its far and few between summits. After all, a journey to the top of Everest is made that much harder by starting from below sea level. The bottom line? The Game of Thrones finale isn’t good, but it’s not the worst either. No matter the case, if fans haven’t forgotten the episode’s faults one year later, it’s likely they never will.

Game of Thrones Season 8

(Credit: HBO)

Below, see how some fans are reacting to the series finale one year later and let us know how you’re feeling about the episode in 2020.