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‘Duty is the death of love’ – Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 6 review

DStv’ s favourite drama opens up to the final episode in dramatic fashion, as only the Game of Thornes franchise can, with some startling imagery as Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow wander, almost aimlessly, through the ruins of King’s Landing, surrounded by piles of rubble and burnt corpses.

It is at this point that we realise the true devastation of what Daenerys Targaryen has done as if it was not highlighted enough in the previous episode just how mad the ‘Queen of Dragons’ had gone when she burnt innocent children, women and men.

Pain and sadness are evident on both the face of Tyrion and Jon as they try to internally rationalize what has occurred before the two operate. Tyrion off to the Red Keep dungeons where he finds the bodies of his brother and sister, Cersei and Jaime, crushed by the collapsing castle, and much like the building imploding so does Tyrion’s faith in his Queen as he weeps for his siblings.

Jon goes in search of Daenerys and encounters Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied, as he looks to execute the surviving Lannister soldiers to which he objects but is met with confrontation. Grey Worm says he is acting on the orders of his Queen, and it is at this point that we start to think Daenerys is beyond saving.

Any hope of Daenerys changing her ‘mad’ ways was completely destroyed in the next scene in which the Queen addresses her troops in three languages (Valyrian, Dothraki, and English) as she lays out her ultimate goal – conquering the entire world and giving people freedom at the end of a spear.

The Dothraki and Unsullied are clearly enchanted by the idea, and it is this speech that signals the beginning of the end for Daenerys as both Tyrion and Jon watch on in amazement. At this point, we understand that the Queen is one of the most dangerous people in the world, an idealist with the power to make her ideas into reality, and King’s Landing is only the first step in her plan to ‘break the wheel’ and kill anyone who gets in the way.

Following the address Tyrion relinquishes his role as the ‘Hand of the Queen’ in dramatic fashion by tossing his badge down a flight of steps, further signalling how far Daenerys has fallen. Tyrion is immediately seized by the unsullied and taken away for treason, for the freeing of his brother in the previous episode which the Queen saw as a betrayal.

Jon then goes to visit Tyrion in his cell which set-ups one of the most important conversations in the Game of Thrones series where the two debate the ethics of what Daenerys is trying to achieve by ‘breaking the wheel’ and freeing the oppressed.

It is this exchange of words that Tyrion convinces Jon that what the Queen is doing is wrong and that he is the only one who has the power to change it. But Jon, being the noblest man in the series and truly in love with Daenerys, battles with the decision and highlights his commitment to his Queen by saying ‘Love is the death of duty’, to which Tyrion responded ‘Sometimes duty is the death of love’.

Jon then finds Daenerys in the Red Keep, where she stands in front of the Iron Throne, and it is at this point that he tries to give her one more chance to explain her actions and redeem them. Jon pleads with the Queen to pardon Tyrion as they try to build a world of mercy and not violence, but she refuses and is adamant she knows what is best, even if it is killing thousands to free a nation.

Daenerys is then betrayed by one of the few honourable people in her circle, the one person who she no doubt felt would never actually betray his Queen, at the cost of his own honour. ‘You are my queen, now and forever’, Jon whispers into her ear as he embraces her and stabs her in the heart.

Like the man who raised him, Ned Stark, Jon sacrifices his personal honour to keep his word, not to Tyrion or Daenerys or the Starks, but to the Realm itself. Even when it’s at great personal cost, even when he hates it, Jon does his duty.

The death of the Queen awakens her dragon, Drogon, who flies to her side and mourns by burning the Iron Throne, lashing out at the thing that cost Daenerys her life in the end.

Skip forward a couple of weeks and we find out that both Tyrion and Jon have been kept prisoner.

Tyrion is led to King’s Landing’s Dragonpit by Grey Worm where he addresses a gathering of Westeros’ great lords (Bran, Arya and Sansa Stark, Samwell Tarly, Robin Arryn, Yohn Royce of the Vale, Ser Davos Seaworth, Ser Brienne, Ser Edmure Tully and a few more).

It is here where Grey Worm demands justice for the death of his Queen, but end up anointing ‘Brandon the Broken, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm’ as the new king.

Bran can have no children, and so his Rule cannot be passed down. Tyrion tells Grey Worm that this is the ‘wheel-breaker’ that their Queen would have wanted.

Bran then makes Tyrion his new Hand and sends Jon once more to The Wall as justice for the death of the Queen where he cannot marry. With the absence of Wildlings and White Walkers, the Night’s Watch is now a home for ‘bastards and broken men’.

In the end, everyone feels like they’re in the place they’re supposed to be in a way that seems fairly well earned.

Jon returns to The Wall where we see him go beyond to supposedly live with the wildlings where he found his first love. Arya travels the world discovering new lands and Sansa rules the North.