The Last War saw Daenerys Targaryen bring the might of her army to bear on King’s Landing.
It was not a pretty sight.
*WARNING : SPOILER AHOY*
For the Good of the Realm
Goodbye, Lord Varys.
After decades of surviving the hellish minefield that is Westerosi politics and Essos brutishness, the Master of Whispers finally met his end at Dany’s hand. His crime? Officially, treason. Unofficially? Doing what he could for the good of the Realm.
Varys, like the rest of us, can see that Dany is teetering on the edge of madness. Not that hard to spot, especially after the death of over half her army, her best friend, her friendzoned best friend, two dragons and her husband.
And so he made moves to maneuver Jon as the favoured claimant to the Iron Throne. He felt emboldened enough to actually confront Jon and compel him to make the claim himself. Jon, knower of nothing, rebuffed him.
Tyrion had to turn him in, and in doing so doomed the closest thing he had to a best friend to death. His final act of kindness to Varys, reaching out and laying a hand on the latter’s arm, was accompanied by some chilling words from the Spider.
"I hope I deserve this. Truly, I do. I hope I’m wrong. Goodbye, old friend."
Here lies Lord Varys, Master of Whispers, loyal defender of the Realm.
Sidenote: How many Westerosi lords did Varys manage to contact with this explosive piece of news?
One Last Waltz Between Dragon Queen and Wolf King
Dany makes one last play to bring the love out of Jon into the open - as though giving herself one last chance to feel any kind of positive emotion. Jon, for reasons that are understandable by now, cannot abide by the incestuous nature of such a relationship. He’s just not built for that sort of thing.
Dany finally says what we suspect she’s always known - there is no love for her in Westeros.
As Jon steps away from her (probably for the last time), her words foreshadow what we now know is inevitable.
"Alright then. Let it be fear."
One Last Hail Mary for Peace
Tyrion & Dany
Tyrion pleads with his queen to show mercy to the inhabitants of King’s Landing, arguing that they are hostages to circumstances. Dany’s unravelling sanity is on full display, completely ignoring the irony of claiming that she and her forces will be bringing the mercy of freedom from a tyrant… while pretty much acting like a tyrant herself.
Tyrion leaves the meeting with Dany very much disturbed, convinced that he needs to find another way to minimise the bloodshed. Which leads us to…
Tyrion & Jaime
After finding out that Jaime has been captured by the Dragon Queen’s forces, Tyrion plays one last card. The plan? Get Jaime close to Cersei, and have him convince her to run away, to save her baby and the people of King’s Landing.
Jaime, hesitant initially, comes to realise just how sincere and earnest his brother is. The manacles are removed, and what follows is the most touching scene that has ever been shared by the Lannister brothers.
As Tyrion struggles with the spectre of thousands dying, and the real possibility that he is sending his brother to his death, he embraces him, and utters what will turn out to be the final words he ever says to Jaime.
"You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had."
The Battle of King’s Landing
Phase 1 - Waiting
Both Cersei’s and Dany’s armies ready themselves outside the gates of King’s Landing. Tyrion manages to convince Jon and Davos to commit to stop fighting if they hear the bells of surrender. Euron, the Iron Fleet and the Scorpion troops on the walls of the city get themselves ready for a dragon attack. Cersei watches over the city, Qyburn and the Mountain by her side. The Golden Company march out to meet the oncoming forces.
Phase 2 - Drogon’s Attack
Dany, seemingly taking a leaf out of World War II air tactics, divebombs (we called it!) on the Iron Fleet with Drogon, while putting the sun at their back! Unable to angle their Scorpions high enough to cover his approach, and also too slow to adjust their aim to compensate for Drogon’s speed, the last remaining dragon makes matchsticks out of the Euron’s forces.
Drogon then proceeds to destroy all of the Scorpions on the city walls, and annihilates the city gates. The Golden Company are roasted before they even begin to fight.
Phase 3 - The Charge Through the Gates
From there on, it’s a rout. The Lannister army is no match for the Dothraki, Unsullied and Northmen. Greyworm suitably fights like a man possessed by vengeance; Jon, like a man who’s great with a sword but hates the fact that he is.
The Lannisters are finally backed into a corner, between the vanguard and the rush of civilians trying to find somewhere safe to hide. They throw down their swords. Cries of surrender ring around the city. The bells are tolled. The fight is over.
Phase 4 - The Slaughter
It’s not enough for Dany. She hears the bells… and begins to commit mass murder. She makes for the Red Keep on Drogon’s back, as though to accept Cersei’s surrender, before making a sharp turn and incinerating everything and everyone in sight!
Greyworm, seeing his Queen exact her vengeance, takes it as a cue to start killing the surrendered soldiers of the Lannister army. The blood rush infects everyone but Jon, as Dothraki, Unsullied and Northmen indulge in slaughter. The good guys have turned bad.
The Mad Queen has truly arrived, carrying out the dying wish of her own father from 21 years before.
"Burn them all."
The Wolf & The Hound
As the world is on fire, Arya and Sandor make it to the Red Keep. Belatedly, it dawns on the Hound how close he is looking into the face of death - and shows just about the most amount of affection he has ever mustered in the past 10 years, to convince Arya to not waste her life on gunning for Cersei.
Arya is thrown by The Hound’s immensely vulnerable show of emotion, and wordlessly accepts his advice. Sandor, for his part, knows that he’s been staring at his own mortality for a very long time - a path that he’s trying to get Arya to avoid. Arya Stark, slayer of the Night King, leaves the Red Keep with a subtle emotional display of her own.
"Sandor… Thank you."
The Kingslayer & The Pirate
Jaime manages to make his way to the beach under the Red Keep, where he meets the fantastically distasteful Euron Greyjoy. The ensuring brawl is brutal and ham fisted - both participants clearly not at their fighting best.
Euron gets a couple of dagger stabs in, before Jaime turns the tide with one last thrust of Widow’s Wail, right into Euron’s guts. We’ll admit that we were glad to see him go. A prick till the very end.
As Cersei finally realises that there is no place in King’s Landing safe from Dany’s dragonfire wrath, Qyburn and the Mountain, with a handful of loyal guards, escort her to safety. Many perish as the walls start to collapse. The remaining guards do not survive Sandor Clegane’s blade.
The showdown that has been teased since Season 1 finally happens, as the Mountain ignores Cersei’s and Qyburn’s orders (resulting in a broken skull for the latter). With the Red Keep falling to pieces around them, the showdown begins; Sandor is fighting with decades of utter resentment and hate roiling within him.
The Hound’s mastery of the sword is unmatched, and he repeatedly lands blow after blow, stab after stab. What skill! What prowess!
Yet, he is fighting against a literal dead man, who shrugs off each ‘wound’ with little more than a deeply taken breath. ‘Tis but a scratch, for the zombie that the Mountain has become. As parts of Gregor’s armour fall off, the rage in Sandor builds accordingly as the true extent of the monster that the Mountain has become is laid bare.
"That’s you...That’s what you’ve always been."
Just when it seems Sandor has been bested, his head about to explode like Oberyn Martell’s, the Hound stabs the Mountain in the eye and spears him through a wall as they both fall hundreds of feet into the roiling oceans of dragonfire below.
Here lies Ser Sandor of House Clegane, the last of his House, the man who finally defeated the Mountain.
The Final Reunion of The Lannister Twins
When it was all said and done, Cersei had only Jaime left. One could argue the merits of having the show’s main ‘villain’ of the last three seasons get to die a relatively happy death in the arms of the only person in the world that still loved her; Cersei is hateful, as is Jaime, and they get to comfort each other as death knocks on the roof. How unsatisfactory!
We’re going to disagree with that, on the basis that this is probably Cersei at her absolute lowest, knowing that she has lost everything. She will have lost another (unborn) child as a result of her own actions and inability to give in. She has lost the game of thrones. And now she faces the prospect of losing her life, and causing the death of Jaime.
It’s a credit to Lena Headey’s acting that when the moment of her demise arrives, Cersei becomes a sympathetic character. After all the machiavellian nastiness that she’s indulged in, this is surprising.
There’s a bit less sympathy for Jaime, knowing what he knows about Cersei and returning to her anyway. However, Jaime finally accepts who he is, even if that realisation doesn’t really give him any joy as the end nears.
While they both hold one another with their world literally collapsing around them, one more prophecy gets ticked off. As the valonqar prophecy in the books mentions, Cersei is supposed to die with the hand of her younger brother around her neck - she did indeed get crushed with Jaime’s hand conveniently placed there. However, it was there as a comfort, with no malice intended. The bricks did the rest.
Here lies Ser Jaime, and Queen Cersei, of House Lannister; they came into the world together, and leave it together too.
Arya Stark & The Call of Destiny
Once she had turned her back on an assassination attempt on Cersei, Arya just wanted to make it out of King’s Landing alive - a task easier said than done with Dany’s murderous rampage.
We get to see up close and personal just how savage and wantonly destructive Dany is being, as Arya tries her best to save whomever she can. It’s all in vain as nearly everyone around her is either burnt to a crisp, or charged down and murdered by the Dothraki.
It all sets up Arya for one last kill mission, as she escapes King’s Landing with the help of one of the prettiest horses we have ever seen. We bet that’s Bran’s doing.
The prophecy that Melisandre reminded us of in Episode 3 rings a few bells.
"Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes."
Daenerys Targaryen has green eyes.
The highly-anticipated final season of 'Game Of Thrones' will be invading your TV screen starting 15 April and you get to watch it the same time as the United States on HBO (Astro Ch 411, 431).
Here's the best part: the episodes on demand will be uncensored!
If you're not a fan of the series but you're afraid of being left out when your friends discuss how awesome that week's episode is, you can actually catch past seasons of the series on Astro On Demand and Astro Go.