The winner of the Iron Throne was finally named in the Game of Thrones series’ finale, but the ending was ultimately a loser with many fans and critics.
In a decision that many found unsatisfying, the final episode named Brandon Stark as king. “Bran the Broken” was introduced in season one as a 10-year old who became paralyzed when he was pushed out of a window. Over the show’s run, Bran developed into a seer-philosopher-type known as the Three-eyed Raven.
Neither a fan-favorite or even a love-to-hate heel, the Raven’s appointment understandably ruffled many critics’ feathers:
The New York Times’ Jeremy Egner felt that the show defied its nature as a “Shakespearean saga about power, blood and loyalty” by appointing “wizard” Bran as the King, which he called “the ultimate cheat”.
Newsday‘s Verne Gay agreed that Bran’s appointment “still seems a bit of a letdown” and that in combination with Danerys’ death, the finale “seemed to ensure” the fans would become outraged.
For disappointed GoT fans, not all hope is lost. As the show concluded, plenty was still left open-ended for three of the show’s main characters: Jon Snow (last seen marching beyond the Wall), Arya Stark (gone sailing into the seas of Westeros), and Sansa Stark (now the Queen of the North after seceding from the rest of Westeros).
Each of these storylines could make for a captivating spinoff, and fans would likely eat up getting to see more of any of these characters. But while at least three separate GoT spinoffs are apparently in the works, book series author George R.R. Martin alluded that these would all be prequels in nature. If that’s true, we may have seen the last of Westeros in the day and age covered by GoT’s eight seasons.
Fans’ last hope for a satisfying ending may lie then in Martin’s pen. His book series’ plot was surpassed by the show years ago, but the 70-year old plans to complete the series by writing two more books.
For the sake of the fans, hopefully, he can deliver an ending that’s a winner.