Game of Thrones finale: Winners and losers of “The Iron Throne”


Game of Thrones has ended, as have all of our watch (parties). We’ve recapped the biggest winners and losers of the series finale here.

After eight years of watching and waiting and wondering how this whole Game of Thrones saga was going to shake out, we finally have an answer.

As has become a hallmark of this season, major villains are dispatched with relative ease, and it’s left to our surviving heroes to somehow construct a new world order out of the rubble.

With that in mind, it’s time to determine one last time who the winners and losers of “The Iron Throne” are.


Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark,

and Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

The Stark legacy

Ned Stark would be proud. I don’t think that anyone would have predicted that when the dust settled at the end of the show, there would be four surviving Stark children, and they’ve all done pretty well for themselves.

Sansa stands up for the North one last time and does what her father and brothers couldn’t do: secure their independence. Arya closes the vengeance chapter in her book once and for all, but still continues her life of adventure as an explorer. Bran, somehow, ends up getting elected king, which falls somewhere between having a bizarre sort of logic but also being entirely infuriating.

And Jon, the bastard Stark and last Targaryen, having saved the realm from a fiery tyrant, is exiled to the Night’s Watch, the one place where his skills have an actual use. Big pro for him though — he is reunited with his beloved Ghost and wildling pal Tormund. Not too shabby.

“Sweetrobin” Arryn

Cue an endless stream of comments and think pieces about how Robin Arryn, cousin of the Starks and famous victim of extended breastfeeding, is the Neville Longbottom of Game of Thrones after he shows up at a council of the great houses several years older and significantly less creepy-looking.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

The people of Westeros

So the war seems like it’s finally over. And now that they’ve shifted to a new system where they elect rulers rather than having their idiot sons inherit the throne, there should be fewer dynastic squabbles that somehow pull the whole kingdom into war. All of this bodes well for the average Westerosi citizen, who is just minding his own business trying to live his life and not get burnt alive by a giant dragon.


Game of Thrones S8E4 production still. Photo: Courtesy of HBO


This poor sweet angel. He’s had a rough time. First he had to fight his own brother, then is complicit in the murder of an entire city, and finally has to mourn his dead mother. The moment where he is nudging Daenerys, trying to get her to wake up, is one of the most compelling smaller moments in a season that has been strangely emotionally muted. We hope that wherever he has flown off to, he’s able to heal from the garbage the humans have put him through.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO


A lot of the grief Tyrion faces in this episode are things of his own making, which makes it even more devastating. He was the one who led Jaime and Cersei through the tunnels, where they were crushed to death. He sold out Varys, who could see the truth about Daenerys when Tyrion still believed he could influence her. And now he’s punished for finally standing up to Daenerys and resigning as her Hand publicly. Tyrion has been through a lot, and the fact that he’s essentially forced to be Hand to Bran when all he really wants to do is curl up and die is evidence that he’s going to continue to suffer and be guilt-ridden for the foreseeable future.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO


Sam’s entirely reasonable proposal for democracy was laughed off the stage today by the noble lords of Westeros. Don’t fret, Sam — you were ahead of your time, but your day will come (maybe).

Related Story. Best social media reactions to the Game of Thrones series finale. light

What did you think of the Game of Thrones series finale? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.