Game of Thrones ended well for all of Ned Stark’s children—with Bran as King of the Six Kingdoms, Sansa as Queen in the North, and Arya headed out on a grand adventure—except for Jon. His thanks for saving the world from a mad tyrant was a life sentence at the Wall. At least that’s what his punishment was supposed to be, because in the series’ final scene Jon was rewarded for always serving Westeros by being granted freedom from it.
Jon was transported from King’s Landing to the Wall by two members of the Night’s Watch, whose numbers are minuscule after many died fighting at the Battle of Winterfell. Waiting for him there was Tormund and the wildlings, many of them old men, women, and children. Tormund had told Jon they’d stay at Castle Black until the winter storms passed, roughly half a year earlier.
When he arrived at Castle Black, Jon was wearing his Stark clothing, but soon was back in his black Night’s Watch garb. He also appeared to have been reappointed as Lord Commander, as we saw him standing on the raised platform above the mixed group of wildlings and his fellow brothers in the courtyard. It makes sense they named him their leader again after Dolorous Edd died fighting the dead.
When Jon walked through the crowd the wildlings and his fellow brothers parted for him with reverence. Jon saved the freefolk by letting them come through the Wall, and without his efforts to unite everyone at Winterfell, the Night’s Watch and the world would have fallen to the White Walkers. Everyone there knew what Jon had done for them, and how he was murdered at that very castle and sent back there after killing Daenerys, all for doing the right thing. If any two groups know Jon got a raw deal with his sentence, it was the wildlings and Night’s Watch. The final scene of the show proved that.
There was no need for Jon to escort the wildlings through the gate. The lands beyond the Wall aren’t just free of enemies now, they are free of anyone. Those who stayed behind when Jon brought them to Castle Black were surely consumed by the army of the dead, and Tormund doesn’t need directions on how to traverse his homeland. As they continued out past the Wall amid signs of a thawing winter, Jon was surprised to hear the gate behind him closing. There was no reason to shut it. The wildlings and Night’s Watch will likely have a friendly alliance for a generation, since they all fought and lived together.
The gate was shut because the Night’s Watch was letting Jon go. They know he didn’t deserve a fate of living at the Wall defending Westeros against nobody. His brothers were thanking him for everything he had done for them and the Seven Kingdoms by freeing him of any responsibilities to it.
We thought Jon might make that decision on his own before the finale. He had told Tormund he wished he was going with him, and it was the only place he had ever found true happiness, when he was with Ygritte. Instead, it appears the Night’s Watch made that decision for him. As Jon realized what they were doing for him, a slight smile came across his face, before he headed out into the forest, another one of the freefolk who bends no knees and plays no part if any future game of thrones.
Tyrion said there would still be a Night’s Watch because “the world will always need a home for bastards and broken men,” but Jon is neither. He was a good man who always tried to do right by the Realm, no matter the personal cost, and in the end he was rewarded for his service by finally being allowed to stop living for everyone else. He was given his freedom and the chance to find peace. “And now his watch is ended.”
Game of Thrones ended well for Ned Stark’s children. All of them.
Kit Harington said anyone who hated the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ could ‘go f— themselves’
It’s no secret that the final season of ” Game of Thrones” had its share of critics. In fact, a petition to remake season eight with “competent writers” now has over 1.3 million signatures.
But while viewers have complained about who won the throne in the finale, about drinks receptacles being left on the set, and even about the dim lighting of various scenes, those involved in the show’s production were quick to jump to its defense.
Kit Harington, who has played the character Jon Snow for the past eight years, didn’t hold back in an interview with Esquire when asked about the show’s critics.
“How I feel about the show right now is quite defiant,” he said. “I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season — and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here — but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their judgment on it, in my head they can go f— themselves. ‘Cause I know how much work was put into this.”
“I know how much people cared about this,” Harington continued. “I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show, because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down.”
Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark for eight seasons, also recently defended the show to The New York Times. She said she wasn’t surprised at the backlash because fans always “have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish” and sometimes “speak up about it and rebel” when it doesn’t go their way.
“All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season,” she said. “Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”
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Hempstead Wright, who played Bran Stark, told The Hollywood Reporter that the petition was “absurd.”
“I can’t even fathom it. It’s just ridiculous,” he said. “It’s ridiculous that people think they can just demand a different ending because they don’t like it. I have stupidly taken it quite personally, which obviously I shouldn’t. In my opinion, it’s a great ending.”