So that’s it. Game of Thrones has come to its end. There’s a new ruler for Westeros, and while a whole bunch of people died along the way, a lot of fan-favorite characters managed to make it through the game of thrones and win, or at least didn’t die.
In Episode 6, “The Iron Throne,” we saw what finally became of the Stark kids after years of them dodging death at the hands of their enemies. Here’s what happened to the Starks in the final moments of the show–as always, there are tons of spoilers for the finale episode from here on out.
Let’s start with Jon Snow. In the aftermath of the destruction of King’s Landing, Jon had to choose whether to serve Daenerys Targaryen as a tyrant queen. Instead of ruling at her side (or taking the risk of letting her kill him and the rest of his family at some later point), Jon assassinated Daenerys, stabbing her in the heart with his dagger.
Grey Worm imprisoned Jon, but he somehow avoided being executed for his crime. Jon didn’t win the throne, however–as a compromise between Sansa Stark and Grey Worm, Tyrion exiled Jon back to the Wall. Right after rejoining the Night’s Watch, Jon teamed up with Tormund, the wildlings, and Ghost (hooray!), and headed North, presumably to live in freedom now that there are no White Walkers to kill everyone.
With no new monarch left for Westeros, the surviving lords and ladies of the kingdom gathered at the King’s Landing dragon pit to choose a new leader. At Tyrion Lannister’s suggestion, they landed on Bran Stark as the new king. Bran can’t father children, though, so the next king of Westeros won’t be his son; instead, the lords and ladies of the country will choose a new monarch when Bran’s rule ends.
Sansa might not have won the throne, but she won a throne. When everyone in the council was voting on a new king, Sansa abstained, instead refusing for the North to rejoin the Seven Kingdoms. That makes Bran the ruler of the Six Kingdoms, with the North remaining independent. Meanwhile, Sansa was named Queen in the North by her bannermen, leaving her with a kingdom of her own.
Arya often said she was no lady, so she didn’t hang around in Winterfell with her sister or marry a lord (like Gendry Baratheon). She made good on her idea to find out what’s west of Westeros, which she mentioned back in Season 6. We see her taking a ship to go exploring in her final moments.
While a lot of great houses went extinct through the course of the show (RIP House Tyrell), the Starks only lost a majority of their members. The head of the house, Ned Stark, was beheaded by Joffrey Baratheon back in Season 1. His wife, Catelyn Stark, died at the Red Wedding, along with her eldest son, Robb Stark. And Rickon Stark was killed by Ramsay Bolton during the Battle of the Bastards. But against all odds, the rest of the kids survived.
Of all the great houses of Westeros, the Starks wound up making out better than most of the others. Three of the five kids survived (or four of six if you count Jon, who’s technically a Targaryen), and most of them got what they wanted. Sansa gets to be queen, her desire from Season 1; Arya got the freedom to do what she wants; Bran can use his Three-Eyed Raven powers to make the world a better place; and Jon gets to live among the Freefolk. All in all, not a bad result, especially compared to their enemies.
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Author: Phil Hornshaw