The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has finally reached the end. Ahead, The Hollywood Reporter‘s resident Westeros expert Josh Wigler offers up a guide to the must-see moments of the series finale. What should you expect from the latest adventure of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and anyone else who is still lucky enough to be alive? Who will die this week? What monstrous twists have creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss cooked up as Thrones rushes toward the end of the line? Chew on those questions and more in the story ahead.
Season 8, Episode 6
Directed by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss
Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss
Airdate: May 19, 2019
Runtime: 80 minutes
Number in series: 73 out of 73
Where we left off: Fire and blood. Daenerys Targaryen long warned about taking back the Iron Throne using such means, but nobody ever imagined how thoroughly she would live up to the brand. After executing Varys (Conleth Hill) and weathering way too many other recent losses, Dany finally broke bad. She single-handedly destroyed the Iron Fleet, the Golden Company and all of the scorpion crossbows, but even after the city’s surrender via the bells at the heart of “The Bells,” it wasn’t enough. Daenerys went into burn-everything-that-moves mode, resulting in thousands of lives lost, including both Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey). Also, the Clegane Bowl happened, both brothers died, and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) found a horse.
What we expect to see: The Iron Throne’s fate, resolved. Daenerys crushed Cersei as well as so many in the city who may or may not have supported the Lannister queen, and now, she has the throne she’s coveted for so many years. Will she keep it? Almost certainly not. Will the throne even exist when all is said and done? I don’t think so, either. Heading into the final season, HBO pushed forward with an eye-catching hashtag: #ForTheThrone. We now know the depths to which a powerful, self-styled hero will sink in order to get the thing. Now, there’s nowhere left for the throne to go except all the way down to its metal parts.
What we won’t see: The Lord of Light breathe new life into folks like Jaime, Cersei or the Brothers Clegane. All dead. We won’t see Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) revealed as the true identity of Arya’s horse, either, though perhaps he will warg into a dragon. (Unlikely, but keep hope alive!) We also probably won’t see a whole mess of deaths — main character deaths, that is. There should be plenty of fatal fallout from Dany’s rampage, but it feels like the bloodbath is over, with only a few critical demises still waiting to unfold.
What we’re hoping to see: A dream of spring, both the book from George R.R. Martin, as well as a guiding light for the series finale’s tone. The defeat of the Night King was indeed sweet. The fall of King’s Landing? Immensely bitter. Balance must be restored, and in some way, that involves shining a light on the survivors of Thrones who can instill some hope for the future — whether that’s by finding out what’s west of Westeros with Arya, by Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) finally publicizing some of the late Jaime Lannister’s good deeds, or anything along those lines. Also, hoping to see Hot Pie.
Catch up on the past week of THR’s Thrones coverage:
• Recap: Who Died in The Final Battle for the Iron Throne?
• Podcast: “The Bells,” Explained
• Interview: Pilou Asbaek (“Euron Greyjoy”)
• Interview: The Game of Thrones Cast
• Deep Dive: 23 Burning Questions Before the Series Finale
• Deep Dive: Inside Daenerys Targaryen’s Fiery Transformation
• Deep Dive: Who Will Win the Iron Throne?
• Deep Dive: How Arya Stark Defeated Death
• Deep Dive: Who Will Die in the Series Finale?
• Deep Dive: 15 Key Quotes From “The Bells”
• Deep Dive: 12 Fantasy Shows to Watch After Game of Thrones
• Forecast: How Will the Series End?
• Trailer: What’s Ahead in the Series Finale
• Critic’s Notebook: In the End, Game of Thrones Finds a Way to Make Its Woman Problem Worse
• News: Final Season Draws Backlash Over Portrayal of Female Characters
• News: Game of Thrones Draws Series-High Ratings With Penultimate Episode
• News: Game of Thrones Leads MTV Movie & TV Awards Nominations
• News: David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ Star Wars Film Arrives in 2022
• News: Game of Thrones to Spider-Man: Why Big TV Film Productions Shoot in Eastern Europe
• News: This Week in TV: Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory End
• News: Game of Thrones, This is Us Soundtracks Top TV Songs List
• Running Times for the Final Season
• Complete Guide to the Final Season
• George R.R. Martin on the Final Season
• Season 8, Episode 1: Everything to Know Ahead of “Winterfell”
• Season 8, Episode 2: Everything to Know Ahead of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
• Season 8, Episode 3: Everything to Know Ahead of “The Long Night”
• Season 8, Episode 4: Everything to Know Ahead of “The Last of the Starks”
• Season 8, Episode 5: Everything to Know Ahead of “The Bells”
Read all of THR’s Final Path series, featuring character-by-character predictions:
1. Jon Snow
2. Daenerys Targaryen
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Cersei Lannister
5. Jaime Lannister
6. Sansa Stark
7. Arya Stark
8. Bran Stark
9. Samwell Tarly
10. Theon Greyjoy
11. The Hound
12. Brienne of Tarth
15. Davos Seaworth
16. Jorah Mormont
18. Tormund Giantsbane
19. Beric Dondarrion
20. The Dragons
21. The Night King
22. Across the World of Ice and Fire
23. Final Predictions
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for continuing coverage all season long.