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In the game of thrones, you live or you die. So, uh, who lived and who died in Game of Thrones? Bran won almost by default. Daenerys lost -- hard. But, given the show's penchant for killing off characters willy nilly, almost a surprising number of fan favorites exited the show relatively unscathed. Basically all the Starks who hadn't already been killed in earlier seasons are still breathing, then there were a bunch of randos we forgot even existed who popped up to say goodbye.
Now that it's all said and done, let's take stock of who made it out of this final season.
Good on the Starks. Sure, Ned's head got chopped off in season one and Robb and Catelyn bit the dust during the Red Wedding, but in the end the Starks are the house with the strongest contingent of survivors. (Ugh, sorry Rickon. Almost forgot about you, poor bud.) Like it or not, Bran is king of the Six Kingdoms. Sansa took control of the North, making it a separate kingdom (or rather queendom) for her to rule. Arya hightailed it out of this clusterfuck to colonize whatever is West of Westeros. Jon Snow -- both a Stark and a Targaryen -- was banished to the Night's Watch, but it looks like he's just ending up as King-Beyond-The-Wall. Good for him, I guess?
That means every Stark is leading an independent contingent of people, even though Arya's rule is limited to her ship. Not a bad legacy for a family that hasn't always demonstrated the strongest political instincts.
Tyrion is the lucky Lannister after all. Jaime and Cersei got buried under a pile of rubble during Daenerys' siege of King's Landing, and, of course, their father, Tywin, and children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, were offed far earlier in the narrative. But, yes, Tyrion manages to play his cards right until the very end, despite nearly shitting the bed with the whole Daenerys thing and getting his pal Varys burnt to a crisp. He's Bran's hand and gets to figure out how to lead this brand new world.
Daenerys considered herself the last of the Targaryens, and dies believing that it was her destiny to rule. It turns out she wasn't as alone as she always thought, thanks to her nephew/loverJon Snow, the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, but he's also not changing his name to Aegon any time soon. For what it's worth, Drogon is also out there somewhere.
Hey, who can complain when Tormund Giantsbane is around? We would watch a buddy comedy with him and Jon Snow trekking around the North.
Our Assorted Faves
Sure enough, during this season we've had to say goodbye to a lot of people we grew fond of over these eight years. Farewell The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Dolorous Edd, Lyanna Mormont, Jorah Mormont, Missandei, etc. Still, a lot of buds are now helping Tyrion rule Westeros in his assembled council. Bronn gets Highgarden like he's promised and is set as the Master of Coin. His main goal: Rebuilding King's Landing's brothels. Davos, true to his Seaworth moniker, is Master of Ships. Samwell Tarly failed in his attempt to introduce democracy to the country but still gets to be a maester. Brienne of Tarth leads the Kingsguard with an assist from Westeros' resident fuckboi Podrick Payne.
Some Familiar Faces
The Grand Council that helps decide who should rule Westeros featured a lot of people that made audiences go, "Oh, that person's still around, remember him?" Edmure Tully makes an ass of himself and is promptly shut down by Sansa. Robin Arryn, the kid best known for being breastfed by his mother Lysa for far too long, uh, changed. He's accompanied by Yohn Royce. Lord of Storm's End, Gendry, participates too. Unclear if there's any awkward tension between him and Arya. There's an unnamed guy from Dorne there too. Dorne! It's still around!
Turns out there were some people on that panel of mainly old dudes that no one could identify. Who are they? We don't know! Maybe one of them is Howland Reed, the father of Meera Reed, who was not present at all this season, but it apparently still out there somewhere. But! We don't know! Game of Thrones: Confusing us with random characters until the very very end.