After eight seasons and 72 episodes, Westeros’s brutal game of thrones will arrive at the finish line. And based on two new series finale images released by HBO, Daenerys and Tyrion are going to be the players to watch. In one image the Mother of Dragons-turned-Mad Queen surveys the ruins of her years-long campaign to recover the Iron Throne, as well as her surviving troops. Speaking of those soldiers, many on Twitter are wondering how so many of the Unsullied and Dothraki managed to make it through the back-to-back bloodbaths of the Long Night and the Last Battle.
game of thrones vfx team copying and pasting dothraki and unsullied to fill the frame pic.twitter.com/de0b8qZAYd— 𝐋𝐈𝐕 (@TARGYARYEN) May 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister grimly contemplates what plans Daenerys might have for Westeros after burning King’s Landing to the ground. He’s also smarting from the way she executed his partner-in-scheming, Varys, not to mention bringing a castle down on his Lannister siblings. At this point, he’s got the motive for renouncing her as his queen. But after a prolonged break from scheming, will he be able to strike before he is struck down himself?
“Grim” is also a fair way to characterize fans’ feelings about the show heading into the finale. Last week’s penultimate episode, “The Bells,” was easily the most divisive installment in Game of Thrones history, unleashing a frustration that had been building amongst the show’s audience throughout this shortened final season. And showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have borne the brunt of that anger, with critics accusing them of betraying the arcs of key characters — particularly women like Daenerys, Cersei and Brienne — and ignoring questions raised by the dense mythology they inherited from novelist George R.R. Martin.
One fan even started a petition on Change.org asking HBO to consider making a second version of Season 8 with different writers in charge. To date, that petition has collected over 25,000 signatures. Meanwhile, Star Wars fans have taken to Twitter to petition Disney to remove the duo as the writers/producers behind the next chapter in that franchise, due in theaters in 2022.
Even if fans seem to be dreading the series finale, oddsmakers are definitely excited. Both BetOnline and SportsBetting have pegged Bran Stark as the likely ruler of Westeros, which seems improbable, but there’s a way in which we could see it happening. Jon Snow and Sansa Stark are next in line after Bran, with Bronn bringing up the rear of Iron Throne winners. While Daenerys’s odds at taking the Iron Throne have taken a steep dive, she’s jumped to the top of the pack as the character predicted to die first in the finale, with the majority betting that she’ll die at the point of a sword or a dagger. Hey, you know who’s experienced with both of those weapons? Arya Stark. And she’s almost certainly riding her pale horse in Daenerys’s direction...
The Game of Thrones finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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