Game of Thrones (SPOILERS)

Viperlord

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That's why this episode is fun for all the wrong reasons. Actually, this applies to the season as a whole, come to think of it.
I read someone describing it as the moment where the show turned into the West Wing, with Tyrion somehow winning the day with one speech, and that does seem an apt summary.

My positive take is that I imagine that if Martin ever actually finishes another book, this ending will probably work with the context filled in and some changes to the order of events. (It seems likely that KL going down in a Dany/Young Grift confrontation happens before the showdown at Winterfell in the books)

The biggest problem with the Bran-as-King ending wasn't the concept, it's just that show Bran long since lost anyone's interest or affection and then did nothing in the story to justify earning the spot.
 

Viperlord

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Anyway, I originally came here to share this tidbit as to how the elective monarchy is likely to play out. New Acquisitions: Elective Monarchy and the Future of Westeros


What then does the future hold for the Six Kingdoms? I see a few paths:
First: and I think most likely, the Austria/Prussia solution: the Starks continue to interfere in the elections, dividing the Six Kingdoms, while slowly chipping away at them. At some point, the Stark claim on the Riverlands is pressed successfully, decisively shifting the balance between the two kingdoms. At some point, the Starks use their vote (as Lord of the Riverlands) to get another Stark made king, and then another and then another, until the Six Kingdoms are subsumed into the North in a personal union. Unlike weak king Bran, the future ruler of the North (let’s call her Queen Arya II) already has a strong base of power outside of the Six Kingdoms and the Crownlands, much like the Austrians and the Prussians, which she can use to rip away the autonomy of the constituent kingdoms. The wheel breaks at last, beneath the boot of an Empire of the North.
This is essentially what happened to the elective monarchy of Bohemia. One of the largest states of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia was also a kingdom and had an elected king. In the 1520s, they elected the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand to the kingship, and afterwards the Austrians Habsburgs, with their greater power and wealth were able to ensure the election of a succession of Habsburgs to the throne. In 1620, the Bohemians (many now Protestant) decided they had had enough of the Habsburgs (who were quite Catholic), but it was too late – an effort to elect a non-Habsburg triggered an invasion of Bohemia, cementing hereditary Habsburg control of the kingdom.

Second: Bran is too weak, militarily, to hold the Six Kingdoms together, and they dissolve into their constituent elements. Recognizing the danger of the North, this probably creates a shifting set of alliances to both jockey for power in the South and try to keep the North out, creating a system of interstate anarchy in which (to borrow Kenneth Waltz), “war is normal.” Nothing changes, the wheel turns again and again and again.

Third: The Lords of the Six Kingdoms, recognizing the grim futures available to them (and probably under pressure from the North), pull together behind a single dynastic claimant to the throne – probably a Baratheon (because the memory of Robert’s long summer will, over time, imbue his rule with a sort of friendly glow) descendant of Gendry. The new Baratheon monarchs will be endlessly troubled by Lannisters and Starks with competing claims to the throne and with the North – if a Targaryen claim can survive in exile, why not others? The wheel turns.

In short, I have no expectation that this new elective system in the Six Kingdoms will endure long. Ironically, almost anyone at the meeting in the Dragonpit, probably including Grey Worm, would have been a better choice for first elected monarch, over Bran.
The fundamental problem here is that Westeros’ problems arise out of its culture and norms, not from who sits on the Throne. Varys was always, in a way, wrong – the fate of millions never depended on who sat on the throne, it depended on the nature of that rule. We saw no evidence of any steps taken to change that. If anything, Lord Bronn will provide the sterling example of conquering lords and military adventurers for centuries to come, as House Blackwater became potentially the strongest House in the Six Kingdoms through pure violence, unfettered by loyalty or honor. So long as that kind of rule – personal rule through military performance – remains the gold standard of kingship, the violence will not stop here.
Our heroes, alas, have spun the wheel, not broken it, because they are a product of itand thus could not see beyond it. It is a very human failing, but not, perhaps, a very uplifting one.
 
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aggienation

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With Bran as king, considering he doesn't actually use his warging or greensight for any good, without any loyalists with an effective military force to keep others in check, is a disaster waiting to happen. Inside five years there would be a rebellion of the barons lords and suddenly Bran is signing the Westeros equivalent of Magna Carta. LOL
 
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Maki

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My headcanon is that Bran manipulated everything into becoming king. That's the only way I can make the ending have a bit of sense.
 

aggienation

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My headcanon is that Bran manipulated everything into becoming king. That's the only way I can make the ending have a bit of sense.
It was tossed out that way in at the last episode, with Bran's comment, "Why do you think I came all this way?” to Tyrion, hinting that he knew he'd be offered the crown because he staged everything. But none of that makes any sense.

Even if he managed to manipulate some of the events, which was basically to remain silent and not help against the White Walkers, and to tell Sansa about Jon Snow's actual parentage, knowing she'd tell everyone and that Dany would go nuts for completely unrelated reasons and Jon Snow would kill her and leave the throne open, the manner of how he became king ("he had the best story," LOL) was still a completely random event, unless he warged into Tyrion to suggest that, which is impossible since book canon is that only very simple minded humans, like Hodor, are capable of being warged into.

I'm not saying they couldn't have done it it that way, made Bran manipulate them all to become king. Just that the TV series didn't show that and that brief line serving as exposition was outright stupid. But then again, the show has dramatically went downhill since season 6, and that was entirely the fault of the show's writers, who rushed and botched season 8 beyond any sense of standards.
 
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Maki

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I know it didn't happen, I do think however that would have been an interesting development.
 

Viperlord

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I almost like the ending in a purely ironic way, per the link I shared above, because it sets up the next conflict and a way for the wheel to break under the boot of an expansionist North, but the problem of course is that D&D had no idea they were doing that.
 
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Viperlord

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As another comment on this season, it was bizarre, but not in a bad way, that somehow the most satisfying character arc and its resolution ended up belonging to Theon Greyjoy of all characters.
 
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Maki

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As another comment on this season, it was bizarre, but not in a bad way, that somehow the most satisfying character arc and its resolution ended up belonging to Theon Greyjoy of all characters.
That's because he's the only character that the show really did perfectly and Alfie Allen was IMO the best actor on the show.
 
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Viperlord

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That's because he's the only character that the show really did perfectly and Alfie Allen was IMO the best actor on the show.
Agreed, Alfie Allen is definitely the most underrated of the main cast.

Also, Dany's plotline for this season has received much deserved criticism in some cases, but I will say I actually thought Emilia Clarke , who has occasionally taken some crap here and within the wider fandom for her performance in the past, was rather good here, commendably so given the actress seemed to be rather disappointed with her character's direction and ending.
 
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