If, like sane people, you opted for your bed rather than a 2.00am appointment with the last ever Game of Thrones episode, 9.00pm tonight represents the end of a decade-long love affair with George R R Martin’s brutal fantasy story.
What remains to be seen is whether GoT will play safe and tie up all loose ends in a convenient bundle or stay true to itself and shred through a few more much-loved characters before the credits roll.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the highly anticipated showdown between the Lannisters and the armies of just about everywhere else in the seven kingdoms turned into a one-sided genocidal pyre of charred remains.
The manner of the destruction of King’s Landing can hardly have been a surprise. For those paying attention, the writing has been on the wall from day one with sweet little Daenerys. She’s queen for sure, but she’s watched impassively as her brother received a crown of molten gold; she burned alive the priestess she blamed for the death of her husband; crucified hundreds of slavers; burned Dothraki chiefs and torched Samwell Tarley’s father and brother rather than show mercy. So last week’s dragon-powered retribution for the public beheading of Missandei was as predictable as night following day – even discounting the Targaryen trait of power madness.
So here we are, one mad queen atop the Iron Throne and a several trusted lieutenants who now see her for what she is. GoT has led us a merry dance these past years and it will feel strangely fulfilling if we end up back at the beginning with a mad monarch being deposed by a confidante. Let the Game begin!
Game of Thrones – Monday at 9.00pm on Sky Atlantic.