Game of Thrones season 8 finale: The meaning behind “The Iron Throne”


Game of Thrones has been keeping season 8’s episode titles super-secret — so what can they tell us about what to expect? Let’s look at “The Iron Throne.”

If you’re looking for something else to be annoyed with now that Game of Thrones is finally over, how about this? HBO purposefully kept the title of every single season 8 episode secret all season for no reason at all.

Sure, it makes sense that the network wanted to play its cards close to the vest about this episode, and even the entire final season. But given what the titles actually turned out to be, it’s not 100 percent clear why this was the hill they chose to double down on in the end.

Does anyone feel like they would have been painfully spoiled had they known what these installments were called? Particularly given the fact that the series’ final season was plagued by leaks, including one that basically spoiled the entire finale episode… Which, by the way, was called “The Iron Throne.”

What a shock, right? Considering the Iron Throne is the thing that everyone’s been fighting over since Game of Thrones first began? And that this episode definitively told us what happened to it – and who ended up ruling Westeros?

I mean, what else were they going to call it? “The End?”

Given that season 8’s other installments were called “Winterfell,” “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” “The Long Night,” “The Last of the Starks,” and “The Bells,” that idea is maybe not that far-fetched. So we probably should have expected something like this.

None of these titles were particularly descriptive, nor did they reveal much about the episode’s actual content.

The famous throne was, of course, forged on the order of Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen king. There’s a certain nice symmetry to the idea that it would end up being destroyed by the dragon of the last Targaryen king. Er…queen, in this instance.

Even if the show didn’t bother to really explain why Drogon suddenly decided to melt the throne instead of Jon Snow following Daenerys’ death.

But, hey, I’m willing to go with the theory that says he could just be a reincarnation of the original dragon – Balerion the Black Dread – who forged the pointy thing in the first place. If that’s true, at least he would have known what it was already. And, as I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for symmetry.

Fans everywhere probably expected the Iron Throne to be destroyed in some fashion before the final credits ran, but the title also works as a sort of coda to the entire season. It’s the point of the show, really. Who will lead this kingdom and its people into the future? Now we know.

Unfortunately, as an episode title – worse still, as a surprise episode title – it just feels kind of plodding and predictable. Too bad no one thought to use “A Time for Wolves,” the rumored first title of author George R.R. Martin’s final novel in the series (which is now supposedly “A Dream of Spring”), especially given that so many of the Starks ended up triumphant in the end.

Ah well, a girl can dream.

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What did you think of the Game of Thrones finale? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.