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GOT’s bitter-sweet end: Nothing in the world more powerful than a good story

Warning: Spoiler alert! 

After eight captivating years and 73 episodes, ‘Game of Thrones’ has concluded and our watch has ended. The withdrawal symptoms will begin soon when it sinks in that there won’t be any looking forward to knowing the happenings in Westeros and its inhabitants, the plottings, the battles, the conspiracies, the betrayals, the doomed romances, the lords and royals and of course, the dragon. 

Based on the 5 stages of grief – denial, anger, withdrawals, depression and acceptance – Star World has opened up a #GOTHelpline – a first-of-its kind engagement activity that is exclusive to India. All viewers need to do is give a missed call on 1800 313 6311to get access to the #GOTHelpline. 

In India, viewers got to watch the 6th and final episode along with the global audience on Hotstar at 6.30 am this morning. It seems Daenerys Targaryen’s last remaining dragon Drogon was the most sensible one – he simply melts the Iron Throne to one molten pulp after Jon Snow kills his beloved Dany. The very Iron Throne that had caused so much bloodshed. For one moment it seemed that Drogon will incinerate Jon too, but the dragon gently lifts his mother and flies away. 

A few scenes later, we see Tyrion Lannister suggesting ushering in a democratic process of choosing the king of the six kingdoms (after Sansa insists that the North remains a free kingdom), instead of a dynastic rule. Hmmm... that seems hard not to draw parallels with the ongoing General Elections in India. 

To cut a long story short – Bran is elected king of the six kingdoms, Sansa is crowned Queen of the North, Jon Snow is sent back to the Night’s Watch (when did they repair the Wall that a zombified Viserion had destroyed?), Arya sets off on an adventurous journey to explore what lies to the west of Westeros, Jaime and Cersei are truely dead (discovered buried under debris lying side by side by Tyrion in an emotional scene). 

As the show’s creators David Benioff and DB Weiss had promised, the finale of ‘Game of Thrones’ was bitter-sweet. The war was won, but inner battles remained as each of the remaining characters set off on their individual journeys. I am hoping that in the future we would get to see spin-offs of GOT – there were some media reports that there could be a prequel. But having invested the last eight years and watching the characters (and the actors playing them) grow in front of my eyes, I would rather have spin-offs following the key characters and what is happening to them. 

How different was Dany from Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, who obliterated half the world’s population because he thought an overpopulated world would collapse on itself, destroying everything. All Dany wanted was to bring justice and freedom to all (of course, under her rule). 

Disappointingly, Jon Snow turned out to be the weakest character – when the time came to take on the responsibility of bringing order as a ruler, he withdrew. But he did carry through with what he had told Tyrion: “Duty is the death of love”, when he stabbed Dany in the heart to stop her mad plans. His grief, as he holds a dying Dany, reminded us of the time when he had held his beloved Ygritte as she died in his arms several seasons ago. What adventures and what kind of a life awaits him as he heads a team of wildlings along with Tormund Giantsbane beyond the Wall – ahh... that’s for another day. 

Meanwhile, David Benioff and DB Weiss are moving from the Middle-Earth environment straight to the frontiers in outer space with their Star Wars movies. After GOT Season 8 Episode 5, titled ‘The Bells’, both Benioff and Weiss were heavily trolled for turning the mother of dragons into mad queen as Daenerys ‘Dracarys’ all of Kings Landing – men, women, children, soldiers, towers, diabolical Cersei and all. In fact, over quarter of a million GOT fans have filed a petition on Change.org that GOT Season 8 should be re-written and remade with more competent writers and directors. 

Benioff and Weiss were on uncharted territory for the season finale, with no source material of George RR Martin’s books to fall back on (Martin is yet to write those chapters). That, and the fact that Season 8 was wrapped up in just 6 episodes meant that everything had to be fast-forwarded, compelling the creators to hastily crunch everything.

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