Game of Thrones - Death & Dragons (Season finale review)
Review by Jack Foley
COULD Game of Thrones surpass the breathtaking conclusion to penultimate episode Baelor? You bet!
Season 1 finale Death & Dragons was a mesmerising final hour that really did leave this viewer begging for the second season.
The fate of just about every cast member hung in the balance in one way or another, setting up infinite possibilities for the future, while the fallout from Ned Stark’s [surprise] death continued to drive proceedings emotionally.
Villains became ever more powerful and despicable, heroes seemed destined to fail and strength was found in the unlikeliest of places.
It’s a measure of the sustained quality of this new HBO landmark series that almost every surviving character has grown in some way, displaying hitherto untapped strengths or weaknesses that few could have seen coming during the early stages.
For Dany (Emilia Clarke), in particular, the finale marked the end of an amazing transition from virginal (and sacrificial) bride during the opening episode to reborn warrior spirit.
If the death of her husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), came as an unforeseen surprise, then her own survival and strength was every bit as unpredictable if you haven’t read the book.
I doubt few could have predicted her ability to emerge from the ashes of her husband’s funeral pyre complete with newborn dragons on her shoulder. It was a lasting final image every bit as jaw-dropping as Stark’s death the episode before. And what does it mean for the future?
Clarke has been one of the season’s great assets… and proof that Game of Thrones is bigger than any one star.
Likewise, Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister, now despatched by his father (Charles Dance) to rule Winterfell as the hand of the king.
A habitual schemer, Tyrion must now surely have his work cut out avoiding the chop at the hands of the vengeful Starks, especially now that the Northern armies have declared their allegiance to new King of the North, Robb Stark (Richard Madden).
And what will become of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), now that he has joined a troupe to venture beyond the wall and tackle whatever evil power lurks beyond it head-on? Can he survive the unimaginable force we have caught only fleeting glimpses of so far?
How long is Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) for this world, now that he is being held captive by Ned’s widow Catelyn (Michelle Fairley)? And can young king Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) possibly get even more evil without being killed?
So many questions… and such excitement that Game of Thrones has a secure second season to answer them.
It is, without doubt, one of the finest shows on TV at the moment (or even in its history) and one that has truly hit the highest heights during its glorious debut season. We simply cannot wait for more…
Related story: Baelor reviewed
- Baelor reviewed
- HBO and Sean Bean defend Baelor shocker
- Sean Bean interview
- Peter Dinklage interview
- First episode reviewed