The end has finally come: Game of Thrones is over.
Across eight seasons, we’ve watched and waited to see how this saga of politics, sex, families, power, dragons, and magic would shake out. There was a Red Wedding and a Purple Wedding. There were wars against villains, against dragons, and against an army of the undead. And there were so many vibrant characters — or there were, before the last couple of seasons culled many of them (RIP the one true queen, Olenna Tyrell).
But headed into the series finale, “The Iron Throne,” most of Game of Thrones’ main characters were still alive. And they had to deal with the problem of Daenerys Targaryen having just obliterated King’s Landing with dragon fire. Would they follow their new queen no matter how ruthless she was, and no matter the consequences? Or would they try to buck her power and save the world from her reign?
Well, Daenerys’s cruel reign was dealt with, and though the death count for this episode was relatively slim, the ending wasn’t exactly a celebration. Many of the characters who survived ended up on fairly divergent different paths, some in much better places than others. Here’s where all of Game of Thrones’ main characters ended up at the conclusion of the series finale.
Jaime and Cersei Lannister: Dead, squished like little paninis by the rubble of the Red Keep. Tyrion found them dead in each other’s arms.
Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion was taken prisoner and charged with treason after Daenerys found out that he released his brother Jaime Lannister in the last episode, “The Bells.” While he was locked up, Tyrion essentially talked Jon Snow into assassinating Daenerys Targaryen (more on that in a second). Then Tyrion was put on trial by the most powerful people of Westeros, who just sorta let him take control of the situation to make a speech and install Bran Stark as the new king of the Seven Kingdoms. Bran then picked Tyrion to be his Hand.
Daenerys Targaryen: Dead. After Daenerys gave a speech worthy of a Star Wars villain about how she will “liberate” all people (or really, burn everything to the ground), Tyrion, Jon, and Arya all decided, through various independent conversations with one another, that she needed to be stopped. Jon, because of his intimate relationship with Daenerys, went to see her, and after a kiss, stabbed her. A very angry and sad Drogon then melted the Iron Throne with his dragon breath before flying away to some undisclosed location with her corpse.
Jon Snow: Jon ended up as a prisoner, held by the Unsullied, because he killed Daenerys. Even though he seemed to be largely forgiven for his actions by the various powers of Westeros, save for Yara Greyjoy and the Unsullied, the Unsullied would not agree to his release. Instead, a deal was set in which he returned to the North — apparently to the Night’s Watch and the not-Wall, though the episode wasn’t totally clear on what he was meant to be doing. Sansa and Arya Stark said they could not visit him, but he did reunite with Tormund Giantsbane and his loyal direwolf, Ghost. In the finale’s very last scene, Jon was north of the Wall, riding through the snow with a crowd of wildlings.
Bran Stark: Thanks to a moving speech from Tyrion Lannister and the seemingly lax Westerosi policy of allowing treasonous criminals to dictate governing policy, Bran is king! Bran doesn’t really want the throne, but that makes him the perfect candidate for it — he’ll rule justly because, well, as we were told throughout the season (through Game of Thrones’ “wise” characters like Varys and Tyrion), only someone who doesn’t want the throne can rule fairly. He also has all-seeing powers from being the Three-Eyed Raven, which should presumably be an asset to the realm.
Arya Stark: Arya tells Jon, Sansa, and Bran she’s not going to stay in the North, nor is she going to stay in King’s Landing. She wants to go west — past where all the maps stop — and is last seen on a boat on some kind of seafaring adventure.
Sansa Stark: Sansa, during Tyrion’s trial and Bran’s appointment to kingship, says that while she thinks her little brother will make a fine king, the North needs to remain independent. And with Jon exiled, she becomes queen of the North, and in her last scene, a crown is placed on her head while her constituents cheer and chant.
Grey Worm and the Unsullied: After ensuring that Jon will not be allowed to live as a free man in Westeros after killing their queen, the Unsullied, led by Grey Worm, set out for Naath. This is significant because in the second episode of the final season, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” Missandei said she wanted to go back to Naath to “see the beaches again” and live peacefully there. Grey Worm promised that he would go there with her, and that his people would protect her people. Missandei died in episode four, so Grey Worm won’t have the love of his life by his side, but he can still keep his promise to her by going to Naath and having the Unsullied protect Missandei’s people.