Earlier this week, Game of Thrones, one of HBO's most popular series, finally came to an end after 8 seasons. This awe-inspiring fantasy series, based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, has made a lasting impact on fans since 2011.
Compared to previous seasons, the show’s final season has garnered mixed reactions among fans. While the season has no shortage of awe-inspiring moments, there are still some that made fans want to cry out of sadness and/or frustration. Here is a list featuring 5 Best Moments from Game of Thrones Season 8, and 5 that Made us Cry. Warning: This article features major spoilers for the final season of Game of Thrones!
Following the events of the previous season finale, fans learned that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen. In other words, Jon is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. This relation to the House of Targaryen also implies that he too has a special connection with the dragons. In the first episode of season 8, Winterfell, Jon accompanies Daenerys Targaryen to meet her dragons. What follows suit is Jon flying the dragon Rhaegal alongside his new love interest. After such a thrilling experience, we would expect Jon and Rhaegal’s relationship to grow from there. Unfortunately, they never got the chance.
In the third episode, "The Last of the Starks," Daenerys and her forces are ambushed by Euron Greyjoy's Iron Fleet on their way to King's Landing. The aftermath of this attack resulted in the tragic death of Rhaegal. In response to Rhaegal's death, some fans have argued that Greyjoy's ambush should not have succeeded in the way that it did. After all, Daenerys was told of the Iron Fleet’s location earlier in the episode and should have spotted them from the air. Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff says in an interview that Daenerys simply "forgot about the Iron Fleet." This does little to dissuade the impact of Rhaegal’s loss, as well as the realization that the extinction of the dragons is all but inevitable.
Tormund Giantsbane's “I’ve always had blue eyes" scene is one of the funniest moments of the first episode. However, that light moment of humor is quickly overshadowed by the grizzly scene that follows. Whilst investigating the aftermath of the Night King’s attack on Last Hearth, Tormund, along with Edd Tollett and Beric Dondarrion, encounter the body of Ned Umber. In addition to being staked to the wall and turned into a wight, his body is also surrounded by human limbs depicting the symbol of the White Walker's spiral. After destroying Ned with fire, the macabre spiral is set ablaze. The scene effectively foreshadows the Night King’s arrival and the destruction that is to follow.
After surviving the Battle of Winterfell in "The Long Night," many were hopeful that Missandei, Daenerys' trusted advisor, would make it to the show’s finale. Unfortunately, this was not meant to be. After being captured by Euron Greyjoy, Cersei orders the Mountain to execute her in front of Daenerys and Grey Worm.
Missandei’s death and final words serve as a tipping point for Daenerys and essentially seal the fates of thousands of innocent people. The death of one the show’s two remaining minority characters caused outrage among fans. Many of them have even accused the show of “fridging” her for the sake of the plot involving Daenerys.
The “The Long Night” features the long-anticipated confrontation between the forces of man and the Night King. In addition to being the most epic battle in Game of Thrones, the Battle of Winterfell is also the show’s longest filmed battle scene.
This battle is so intense to the point that audiences can almost feel the feeling of hopelessness of Jon and Daenerys’ forces as they are slowly overrun by the Night King and his forces. Even bathing him in dragon fire was not enough to stop him. Although the Night King’s death may have been somewhat anticlimactic, the Battle of Winterfell is still one of the greatest moments in the show’s history.
In the fifth episode “The Bells,” Daenerys begins her invasion of King’s Landing. By the end, she and Drogon reduced most of Cersei Lannister’s army to ashes. However, in one of the shows most controversial moments, Daenerys refuses to show mercy to Cersei and her army regardless of their intent to surrender. What follows is nothing short of a massacre as Daenerys completely abandons her ideals and commands Drogon to burn down the city along with its inhabitants. Daenerys' controversial decision is one of many reasons why fans have signed a petition demanding a remake of season eight. As of now, that petition has acquired over 1 million signatures.
In “The Bells,” Sandor the Hound and his brother Gregor the Mountain finally face off in their final showdown that fans have termed the Cleganebowl. In one of the most brutal brotherly feuds in TV history, both Sandor and Gregor hold nothing back. Just when it seems like Sandor would die the way of Oberyn, he turns the tables on his brother and pushes them both off a staircase and into a raging inferno. Even though they both died, Sandor is definitely the victor. After all, he overcame his fear of fire and sacrificed himself to put an end to his monster of a brother.
While not as powerful as the Night King, Cersei easily surpasses him in terms of committing evil acts. These include driving her son to suicide, forcing a mother to watch her daughter die a slow painful death, and most recently, ordering Missandei's execution. By the end of the series, Cersei is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the deaths of thousands of people.
After all the evil she has committed, one would expect her to face justice and to suffer for her crimes. Instead, she dies in the arms of the man she loves, crying for their child to live. In the end, Cersei’s death feels nothing short of a hollow victory.
In the final episode, "The Iron Throne," Daenerys embraced her role as the Mad Queen, forcing Jon to take drastic measures and end her life. As if sensing something was amiss, Drogon quickly flew to his mother’s side. Although instead of killing Jon, Drogon destroys the coveted Iron Throne.
While puzzling at first, there is some reasoning behind Drogon’s actions. Daenerys wanted the Iron Throne and fought like hell to get it in order to “break the wheel.” In the end, Drogon made sure that if Daenerys could not have the throne, then no one else could either. By destroying the throne, Drogon brought forth the end of an era.
Towards the end of "The Iron Throne," a new king of Westeros was chosen. Surprisingly, the new ruler is none other than Bran Stark, now known as Bran the Broken. On the one hand, as the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran certainly holds the power and wisdom to be an effective ruler. On the other hand, Bran has not really done anything noteworthy to deserve this position. Tyrion supports Bran’s right to rule by arguing that his story more than qualified him as a worthy candidate. This argument does not really work in Bran's favor as there are quite a few characters that went through hell and back to reach the finale, including Jon, Sansa, and Daenerys.