Before we get into the discussion, let's just get the rating out of the way. The final episode of Game of Thrones ever was given a 57% rating by Rotten Tomatoes, which means the final season of Game of Thrones ends with three rotten ratings in a row. Bear in mind, this is a show where out of 73 episodes, only four have ever been given rotten ratings. And three of those episodes came in season eight. Ridicule the petition all you want (which btw, surpassed 1 million signatures), you just can't deny that the final season of Game of Thrones was a let down by its own lofty standards. Now, on to the discussion.
I was expecting that we'd be calling Jaime the Queen Slayer had he killed Cersei, but it looks like Jon will be the one who will hold this title. I honestly had no idea what to expect of Jon. He's always been the most loyal and naive character on the show, so it really could've gone either way. He really was the only person who could get close enough to Daenerys to kill her, and when he did I was partially surprised. What happened next was even more exciting though.
He's still a Targaryen
I had this vision of Daenerys and Jon arguing over the Iron Throne, Daenerys then sentencing Jon to death for treason, and Drogon refusing to burn Jon after Daenerys says "dracarys". It didn't happen exactly that way, but I wasn't too far off. Drogon knew Jon killed his "mother", but either willingly refused to burn him, or somehow he literally couldn't since Jon is a Targaryen. Instead, Drogon channelled his rage to something else.
The Iron Throne is no more
Did Drogon melt the Iron Throne because he considers it to be the reason why Daenerys was killed? Could he really be that smart? Or did he just release his anger on it because he couldn't burn Jon? Whatever the reason, the destruction of the Iron Throne is really symbolic, as it marks the end of this long journey we've been on. Daenerys always said she wanted to "break the wheel", and without the Iron Throne, that wheel is symbolically broken. But it takes more than a symbolic gesture to truly bring about change.
All hail Bran the Broken!
Many people expected Bran to sit on the Iron Throne (metaphorically now) by the end of the season, and he will. Tyrion's plea to "break the wheel" by no longer having rulers born, but chosen, was a drastic change to Westeros, as was Sansa's wish to allow The North to be its own kingdom. I have no problem with Bran being the new king, but somehow, something just doesn't feel right.
Return to the wall
What's the purpose of the Night's Watch now since the Night King has been defeated? Is it merely a lifetime prison sentence? Wildlings are not a threat either, so is it just a precaution? Regardless, Jon returning to the wall seems like a missed opportunity. When it was revealed at the end of last season than Jon is the rightful heir to the throne, people were excited. Could Jon and Daenerys be going head to head for the Iron Throne? What would everyone else think now that a child born of Stark and Targaryen lineage was discovered? This reveal could've made a huge impact in Westeros, but in the end, nothing really happened. Jon eventually gets sent back to the wall, carrying his strong bloodline between his legs. Seems like such a waste.
I'm sad the show is over. I think many people will be feeling the same. The thing is, our sadness is probably masking how poorly the show ended. Some characters were too easily written off, like Cersei and Jaime. The biggest battle ever, between the living and the dead, ended up a disappointment. Character development that took seasons to build, thrown out the window in a single episode. Pointless character arcs (like Bronn's assassination attempt of the Lannister brothers). So much potential gone to waste. I still feel like the show suffered towards the end because the story was rushed. Ten episodes a season was perfect, so with seasons seven and eight truncated, the story suffered. Season seven was still well received, but there was no saving season eight.
Game of Thrones will forever go down as one of the best TV shows ever, which was let down by a terrible final season. Instead of being celebrated, we're left wondering what could've been. Nevertheless, it was one heck of a ride. We now have some potential prequels to look forward to, but I don't think anything will ever be able to replicate what Game of Thrones did. Not for a very long time.