Daenerys Targaryen takes her place on the Iron Throne after destroying King’s Landing with fire. Her transformation into the Mad Queen was complete when she refused to stop her attack when she heard the bells ringing, which meant that Cersei had surrendered. Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya, Davos, and more watched in horror as Daenerys killed so many innocent people in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 8.
The last episode begins with Tyrion walking through the ash and rubble after Dany’s attack on King’s Landing. In the midst of the carnage, he sees dead bodies everywhere. Most of the bodies are nothing but skeletons. Fires are still burning. There’s nothing but silence. Davos and Jon Snow walk behind him. They come upon the bodies of the mother and child Arya tried to help.
Tyrion wants to confront Daenerys alone. Jon Snow wants to send men with Tyrion because it’s not safe, but Tyrion refuses. Jon Snow and Davos run into Grey Worm, who is about to kill the remaining Lannister soldiers. Grey Worm is ready to execute and Jon tries to intervene. The Lannister soldiers have surrendered. They are no threat to Dany now. Grey Worm says he only takes orders from his queen, who wants everyone who supported Cersei dead. Grey Worm and Jon Snow nearly face off, but Davos stops them from fighting. He urges Jon Snow to talk to Daenerys. Grey Worm follows through with Dany’s orders and executes the soldiers.
Tyrion makes it inside what’s left of the Red Keep and stumbles upon Jaime’s golden hand. He pulls the rocks off Jaime’s body and cries over his dead brother. Jaime died trying to protect Cersei, his body draped over hers. They came into this world together and went out together. Tyrion is angry and devastated.
Meanwhile, Arya is still in King’s Landing. Her face is bloody and bruised. Jon Snow is making his way to Daenerys. When he makes it to the top of the steps, Daenerys is walking out to address her soldiers. Jon Snow stands at the side. “Blood of my blood,” she says to her men. “You kept all your promises to me. You killed my enemies in their iron suits. You tore down their stone houses. You gave me the Seven Kingdoms!” The Dothraki don’t stop cheering and Drogon roars beside her. She makes Grey Worm her Master of War. Daenerys vows to liberate all the people of the world. Tyrion comes up behind her and stands by Jon Snow. His anger is terrifying.
Tyrion walks up to Daenerys. She says he committed treason. He doesn’t deny it. “I freed my brother and you slaughtered a city,” he tells her. He takes off his Hand of the Queen pin and throws it away in front of her face. She orders Tyrion be taken away. Once Tyrion is gone, it’s just Jon Snow and Daenerys. She looks right at him and walks away. Arya comes up beside him. “What are you doing here?” he asks her. She came to kill Cersei but Daenerys got that honor. Jon Snow wants Arya to meet him outside the city gates where it’s safe. She has a few choice words for him. Daenerys knows who he is and she won’t let it go. “You’ll always be a threat to her,” Arya tells Jon. “I know a killer when I see one.”
Jon Snow goes to see Tyrion, who has accepted his likely fate. Jon Snow says he can’t justify what happened but the war is over now. Tyrion doesn’t think Daenerys’s reign of terror is anywhere near over. She’s never going to stop. Jon Snow is still seeing the best in Daenerys. He tries to defend her, but Tyrion puts him in his place. Tyrion asks him if he would have done what Daenerys did. “I don’t know,” Jon says. Tyrion knows that’s a lie. Tyrion understands that Jon Snow doesn’t want to betray Daenerys. “She believes her destiny is to build a better world for everyone,” Tyrion says. Daenerys is going to kill everyone who stands in the way of her perfect world.
“I know you love her,” Tyrion says. He admits that he loves her, too. “Love is the death of duty,” Jon says, repeating Maester Aemon’s words. Tyrion replies, “Sometimes duty is the death of love.” Tyrion wants Jon Snow to kill Daenerys. Jon Snow still isn’t ready to betray Dany. Before he leaves, Tyrion brings up Arya and Sansa. He knows that they’ll never bend the knee to Dany. Tyrion urges Jon Snow to choose now. Jon has the ability to change all this. Only he can stop the madness and prevent further bloodshed.
Jon Snow heads to see Daenerys, who is making her way to the Iron Throne. It’s still standing despite the destruction she caused. The scene echoes her vision in the House of the Undying. She touches the Iron Throne. Her entire life has been leading up to this moment. When she turns around, Jon is there. He brings up that Grey Worm is executing Lannister soldiers. She says it’s necessary. He tells her that she hasn’t been down there and seen the bodies of burned children. “I tried to make peace with Cersei. She used their innocence as a weapon against me,” Daenerys says. He asks Dany to forgive Tyrion. She refuses. Daenerys is only seeing things through her eyes. She refuses to see what she’s done. Jon knows what he has to do now. “You’re my queen, now and always,” he cries. They kiss and he plunges a dagger right in her heart. He cries over her body as she takes her last breaths. Drogon flies to her side, trying to wake her up. In anger, he melts the Iron Throne down with his fire and then carries Daenerys’s body away.
Later, Grey Worm brings Tyrion to a council meeting that includes Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Sam, Gendry, Davos, Bran, Yara, the Prince of Dorne, Robin Arryn, Edmure Tully, and more. Yara is still Team Daenerys and starts to speak badly of Jon. Arya threatens to kill her right then and there if she talks about Jon again. Jon is being held a prisoner by Grey Worm and his men. Grey refuses to set Jon free. Tyrion says Jon’s punishment has to be decided by the king or queen, but there is no one. He says it’s time to choose a new ruler.
Edmure Tully tries to make his case, but Sansa tells him to take a seat. Sam offers up the idea of a vote and most of the men laugh at him. Tyrion has had a lot of time to think about who should rule and believes it should be Bran. “He is the memory, the keeper of all our stories of the past,” Tyrion says about Bran. “Who better to lead us into the future?” Sansa brings up that Bran has no interest in ruling and can’t father children. Tyrion believes that’s a good thing. Rulers will no longer be born, they will be chosen. When asked about being king, Bran says, “Why do you think I came all this way?”
Everyone agrees on Bran becoming the new king. Sansa is the only one who hesitates. She wants the North to remain an independent kingdom. Bran agrees to let that happen. “All hail Bran the Broken,” Tyrion says. Bran names Tyrion his Hand of the King. Tyrion doesn’t want it, but Bran doesn’t let him walk away. Grey Worm wants justice for Tyrion’s betrayal. Bran says being Hand of the King is justice. “He’s made many terrible mistakes. He’s going to spend the rest of his life fixing them,” Bran says. Grey Worm still isn’t satisfied. There’s still the Jon Snow of it all.
Jon Snow is ordered to go back to the Night’s Watch. Bran had to compromise. No one is completely happy with Jon’s fate. Sansa and Arya wanted him freed, while Grey Worm wanted him dead. Tyrion is the one to tell Jon his punishment. He can have no wife, father no children. This is fine for Jon. He still feels guilty for what he did to Daenerys. Jon Snow doesn’t think he’ll ever see Tyrion again. “I wouldn’t be so sure,” Tyrion says.
Before he heads back north, Jon Snow says goodbye to Sansa, Arya, and Bran. Sansa asks for his forgiveness for what she set in motion and he gives it to her. They hug and Jon goes to Arya next. “I’m not going back north,” she says. She’s going west of Westeros. No one knows what’s out there. “It’s where all the maps stop. That’s where I’m going,” she says. They share a tearful goodbye. Jon kneels before Bran and apologizes for not being there for him when he needed to be. “You were exactly where you needed to be,” Bran tells Jon.
Brienne grabs the History of the Kingsguard book and finishes Jaime’s story. The last line of Jaime’s history is that he “died protecting his queen.” Brienne is too good for this world. At Bran’s first council meeting as the new king, Tyrion is joined by Bronn, Brienne, Davos, and Sam. Sam brings Tyrion the book A Song of Ice & Fire. He came up with the title, a nice nod to the man who created it all, George R.R. Martin. The council gets down to business. No one knows for sure where Drogon is. “Perhaps I can find him,” Bran says. Podrick has been knighted and wheels Bran out as the council continues to discuss the matters at hand. Meanwhile, Grey Worm and his army leave King’s Landing to free other slave cities.
Jon returns to the Night’s Watch where Tormund and Ghost are waiting for him. The series finale ends with Jon, Sansa, and Arya ready for the next chapter in their lives after everything that’s happened to them. Arya boards a Stark ship heading west, Sansa is crowned Queen of the North, and Jon takes Tormund, Ghost, and others beyond the Wall. Their stories are far from over. This is just a new beginning for all of them.