Game of Thrones Episode 6 Review: “The Iron Throne”


Game of Thrones Episode 6 Review: “The Iron Throne”

“Game of Thrones” is over, and we’re having a hard time letting go. Our final On The Throne Deep Dive examines whether “The Iron Throne” helped or hurt this monumental series’ legacy and why things ended the way they did.

Gene and Big D discuss whether Bran was the right choice for King, whether justice was served, and what the heck the Dothraki do now that they’re stranded in Westeros and don’t get speaking roles.

We couldn’t bring you a “Game of Thrones” Season 9, but Gene argues the final episode of Season 8 had all the makings of its own season … so he wrote it. And we reflect on each major characters farewell and how it fit his or her tale.

Also, if you were confused about who the heck also those randos were at the Kingsmoot, we’ve got you covered.

The Storyline for Episode 6: “The Iron Throne”
Jon and Davos survey the destruction Daenerys wrought on King’s Landing while Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei’s corpses in the ruins of the Red Keep. Daenerys makes a speech in front of Unsullied and Dothraki, declaring that she will liberate not only Westeros, but the entire world. Tyrion publicly resigns as Daenerys’ Hand in protest to her rule and is arrested. Both Arya and Tyrion warn Jon that Daenerys will have him and Sansa killed and the fate of Westeros is in his hands. Jon confronts Daenerys in the throne room and stabs and kills her when he sees she’s become a tyrant. Sensing Daenerys’ death, Drogon melts the Iron Throne with his breath and carries Daenerys’ body away. The lords of Westeros convene to decide who will be the next ruler, and Tyrion suggests that future kings be picked by the lords of Westeros rather than through lineage. He also nominates Bran to be the next king under this new system, which the rest of the lords unanimously agree to. Bran appoints Tyrion to be his Hand, allows the North to secede from the Seven Kingdoms, and says Jon is to rejoin the Night’s Watch as penance for killing Daenerys. Afterwards, Grey Worm leads the Unsullied and Dothraki back to Naath, Tyrion reorganizes the Small Council to rebuild King’s Landing, Bran goes off to search for Drogon, Arya decides to explore the uncharted seas west of Westeros, Sansa becomes Queen of the North, and Jon heads north of the Wall with the wildlings.

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15 Responses

  1. Lea says:

    Thanks for the podcast 🙂 I am kind of confused by something you guys have said here. You say how Grey Worm deserves justice and that the Unsullied were robbed of Jon’s execution, despite Jon making the correct choice — but Grey Worm took part in the massacre of a surrendered city full of Westerosi civilians and he, along with Dany’s other forces, are viewed as invaders by much of Westeros. But moreover, I’m not sure why Grey Worm deserves justice after taking part in an unjustified massacre on civilians. I mean, I’ve seen some say Jon is complicit just due to his support of Daenerys and marching the North’s forces to help her take the throne — and Jon, along with Davos, tried to stop their forces from taking part in the sacking. However, Grey Worm and the rest of the forces actually took part, slaughtering the civilians and surrendered soldiers when Dany started burning them from above.

    So I’m confused by the reasoning that Jon kills Dany to stop her tyranny and Grey Worm deserves justice for that via Jon’s execution… but Grey Worm, the Unsullied, and Dothraki took part in an unjustified mass slaughter of Westerosi civilians under Dany’s lead and they get to walk. I don’t know… I’m trying to see your argument but… I have a hard time agreeing. I can’t see how the Westerosi nobility would be on board. Yes, punish Jon for queenslaying per Westeros’s laws — but not to appease Grey Worm. However, I do think Jon should have died shortly after assassinating Dany (probably by the Unsullied when Jon turned himself in or even Drogon’s flames). Jon looked prepared to die when he faced Drogon powering up his flames — I think it would have been a fitting end (yes, he’s living on borrowed time), but even without it, I think Jon loved her (and vice versa) without him dying alongside her.

    The main reason I bought Grey Worm being able to appear at that council without repercussions for his actions against King’s Landing was because he probably has the largest military force in Westeros and with that and can make demands – but that’s different from deserving justice when he, too, took part in atrocities committed on surrendered civilians.

  2. Paul Matthew Ernspiker says:

    I can’t believe no one gets it! This show was not designed to tell the entire story. Part of the joy of watching Game of Thrones in the beginning was how it made me hunger for more information. This eventually led me to read the books and before too long I stayed just a little behind….full disclosure, I still haven’t read a Dance With Dragons and probably still won’t until I finish rereading the rest (I’m getting close). While reading you notice several subtle nuances and several rather large omissions and changes. For instance, when I read first read “Asha” I wondered why they’d change her name, amongst numerous other questions.
    The answer to most of those changes is the medium in which it is displayed. You see, other than time spent, this story took zero to very little money, relatively, to write. George R.R. Martin is one man, with one imagination, that created an intricate, precise, yet vast world by simply putting pen to paper. One man! One imagination!
    When you tell a story, you know, one of your good ones from Spring Break ‘99. How annoying is it when one of your buddies repeatedly chimes in interrupting your thought and ruining punchlines and climaxes? Now imagine D&D taking on this task with SO many details, and SO many variables. Be it actors, budget, contracts, ratings, whatever the obstacle, they were there.
    For six seasons (in what seems to be most people’s opinions) they absolutely nailed it! We ignored the absence of Daeron Blackfyre, figuring not to be significant to the stories end. We we’re ok with not much of Euron Greyjoy, assuming much the same.
    So here we are, Jon Snow is dead and the source material has run out. Nicolas Coster-Waldau apparently has a contract that states he’ll appear in every episode, Lena Heady and whatever Bronn’s real name is can’t stand to be in the same country with each other. They inadvertently either introduced storylines or characters too late. Never mentioned dragonbinder or horn of winter. Now GRR tells them the wall falls, and Dany ends up with only one dragon and actually does become “Queen of the Ashes”. Yada, yada, yada… Eight years into this project. Eight years, as artists and actors, who yearn to expand their horizons and do something different, who are now expected to kind of come together and finish a story in two years, that the aforementioned one man, with one imagination hasn’t fully been able to put into words in those eight years. Not only that, but to also act those words out on camera. Not only that! To also please millions and millions of people in doing so with only a Winds of Winter CliffsNotes pamphlet as your guide! You never ace the test if you don’t read the book, although you may get lucky and pass.
    You can’t just jump in and bogart someone else’s story and finish it anymore entertaining than it would have been from the source. You can’t tell another man’s story. You are, even as a television watcher, bound to be disappointed. So Arya kills the Knight King, Bran is King because of stories, the Cousin of Dragons killed the Mother of Dragons, ahem Dragon, and it all seemed to happen waaayyy too fast and I get it, but it all boils down to lack of tools to do George R.R. Martin’s job for him. We still don’t know how GRR gets all these characters to these spots. If D&D were able to go off on their own endings and theories I’m sure they would’ve given us something just as compelling as we’ve all come up with on our own. One man, or one woman with one imagination.

    Disclaimer: This is in no way to say that D&D would write a better story than GRR.

  3. Cam Lochhead says:

    IF, as you suggest, Drogon is intelligent and knows exactly what’s happening around him, would it be naive to suggest he is taking Daenareys to a Red Priestess for revival? My mind almost exploded when the thought swept through my brain! Who better for the Lord of Light to revive than the mother of dragons!!!!

    • Gene Lyons says:

      I saw a few key moments in the finale that seemed to be a way for HBO to revive the series if it wanted.

      • Paul Matthew Ernspiker says:

        I theorize that they only showed us Winds of Winter and didn’t even touch on A Dream Of Spring. This isn’t how the entire story ends.

  4. Myles says:

    Loving your take on the final episode.

    We only ever saw the one flashback of the children of the forest creating the Night King by stabbing him in the heart with dragon glass. AND we know that the Night King was able to mark Bran in the midst of his warming/visions/whatever it was.

    So, imagine a final twist for your “episode 9 – the call of the mild” where we discover the children of the forest also have that ability to crossover between the physical and metaphysical worlds. Bran is met in a vision by the children of the forest and pinned down and stabbed in the heart with dragon glass.

    Leave it open ended to let us debate the outcome forever more.

    • Gene Lyons says:

      I think people really love the Night King.

      • Kenny P. says:

        Funny you should mention that Gene!

        It appears as if the Long Night/ code name “Bloodmoon” will be the prequel HBO releases next. Certainly a ton of story there to tell.

        What I feel like is worth mentioning, the night king was NEVER the story on the show, OR the books. While he’s a fascinating character and subject, there wasn’t ever much back story to him. Most of what we think we know is legend/ myth which isn’t a fact, it’s a story. It can go many different ways. GRRM has always stated it’s a legend and a myth. Not TRUE, it could be 5 percent true, 0 percent, or 99 percent…. the key is that no one knows! It’s all alleged, and it’s strongly suggested we don’t know the REAL STORY.


        • Myles says:

          Greenseers, wargs, time travel and faceless men definitely are… so I’ll be going to books to delve further into them. Such a shame none of these become a factor in season 8, except for one exceptionally brief mention. Cant’t wait to learn more about those prequels!

          I am going to go now.

          • Kenny P says:

            That’s exactly my point. While Game of Thrones wasn’t in essence, the story for the things you mentioned. They were all a part of the essential characters journeys. So like a Disney movie, for reference, Scar was essential to the story, The Lion King, but essential in that he was a main plot point in what happens to Simba. He doesn’t really get a back story, he’s just a guy wanting power. That’s the key with THIS story we have 8 seasons of. It’s not Night King’s Story. He effected the characters, he got a brief backstory on the show. It’s myth/legend in the books.

            I think it’ll be the same in the last 2 books, I’m not preaching that he doesn’t deserve a story.

            Hell, HBO agrees with YOU, Myles, and countless other fans (myself included), by green lighting and giving the Night King a proper story for him.

            I understand the frustrations when a character, that you get so invested in, is gone. Without gleaning the knowledge of that character. It’s always hard to parse out my exact objective opinion because of course we wanted more from it. I actually think they are doing the proper thing in this instance. Instead of allowing a “Q Rating” to dictate who gets more screen time, they had a story and stuck with it good or bad. My best example is the Man In Black from westworld. The farther it got from that S2 finale though, the more I understood it wasn’t a lack by the storytellers, actually quite the opposite.

            Never spoke a line of dialogue, and had everyone hooked on the character, that’s fantastic execution.

            There’s going to be more Game of Thrones Universe Content, trust me, you’ll get all those stories you’re craving for. I’m excited for that day

      • Myles says:

        He was very cool.

        The mystical possibilities of this world are arguably the biggest loose end the shows have left behind.

        Will have to become a book reader after all.

  5. Lui says:

    So the Where did the Dothraki go? Remember the honored body guards, Guess they were ok with The Starks (the scumbags of Westeros) using their Queen for half her army and two dragons. Just for Mr. Morality to commit murder, so that weirdo Bran could get a throne that doesn’t belong to him or the Starks. The Usurpers.

  6. Gayle Luster says:

    Thank you for helping me find peace with the episode too. I was disquieted when the episode wrapped. But here is the odd thing, with the exception of the scene where they decided to put Bran on the throne, I was good with each part of the episode in the moment.

    I’m okay with Bran on the Throne but the scene was farce like. Reading that the scene was the final scene filmed and the actors didn’t know if they were filming for 3 days or 10 days helped. Was it Sophie Turner who said she was crying between takes because she just didn’t know who much longer she could on?

    I laughed as Tyrion fiddled with the chairs. Bron as the Master of Coin!!! Perfection. Loved it when Ser Brienne showed us she would be okay. Even cheered for Ser Podrick wheeling the new King around.

    But when I put the episode together as a whole it was a bit like going to one of those mega buffets and looking at the remnants of crab legs, fried chicken, sweet and sour pork, Mongolian barbecue, mac cheese and mashed potatoes on your plate. The elements stand on their own but put them together and you are reaching for a Tums (okay… a lot of Tums.)

    With that said, listening to the Instacast helped me pull it together and keep my head out of the toilet.

    I won’t be signing The Petition. In the Game of Thrones you win or you die. It stands as a winner for me.

    Valar Morghulis,

    Gayle L.

    • Kenny P says:

      Nicely done Gayle…. it stands as a winner even still, exactly right. I loved the take, thanks for sharing.

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