Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.
The finale of Thrones‘ eighth season saw Jon Snow kill Daenerys Targaryen to keep yet another tyrant from sitting on the Iron Throne. But while fans were divided over this depressing twist, there were still brief moments of hope scattered throughout the episode.
Read on for a complete list of everyone who lived and died in the series finale of Game of Thrones.
Here’s who lived in the Game of Thrones season 8 finale
After deciding to kill Daenerys to prevent the Mother of Dragons-turned-Mad Queen from ruling over the Seven Kingdoms, Jon Snow was predictably in a tortured state. During a conversation with Tyrion, he wondered: “Was it right, what I did? it doesn’t feel right.”
While Grey Worm called for Jon’s execution, Sansa helped negotiate Jon’s life, and his return to the Night’s Watch. His request that Arya come visit him at the wall was politely rebuffed, as she will embark on her own adventure.
After a long journey back to the North, Jon left Castle Black once again to lead an expedition beyond the Wall alongside Tormund and a group of Wildlings.
In the finale, the Lady of Winterfell demanded northern independence from her new king, Bran, who gave it to her. In the final moments, she was crowned as Northerners raised their swords and shouted “the Queen in the North!”
With all the heartbreak and suffering she has endured over the past eight seasons, we can only hope that Sansa will be able to live out her days in peace in her family home. After all, there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.
Just as she told the Hound in episode four of season 8, Arya apparently has no intention of ever returning to Winterfell. Instead, the youngest Stark sister set out on her own to discover what was “west of Westeros.” With no one left to cross off her kill list, it seems like Arya may finally be able to move on from the quest for vengeance that has consumed her since her father was beheaded in season 1. In the final moments of the episode, she was seen on a ship — bearing the Stark sigil — headed into the great unknown by herself.
With Daenerys dead and Jon off to live his life in exile, Bran was voted in as the new King of the Seven Kingdoms by a council that included Edmure Tully, Samwell Tarly, Brienne of Tarth and his sisters, Sansa and Arya Stark. Tyrion laid out a strong case for Bran as king by citing that he “is our memory, the keeper of all our stories. Who better to lead us into the future?” After Sansa pointed out that Bran can’t have children, Tyrion dubbed that a positive thing, as sons of kings are notoriously difficult.
Tyrion continued: “I know you don’t want it. I know you don’t care about power. But I ask you now, if we choose you, will you wear the crown? Will you lead the Seven Kingdoms to the best of your abilities from this day to your last day?” Bran responded simply: “Why do you think I came all this way?”
By the end of the episode, Bran had already proved himself to be a low-key monarch by leaving his Small Council of Hand of the King Tyrion, Master of Coin Bronn, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Brienne of Tarth, Grand Maester Samwell Tarly and Master of Ships Davos Seaworth to debate while he went off to attempt to find Drogon using his Three-Eyed Raven powers. His parting words? “Do carry on with the rest.”
After being arrested on Daenerys’ orders for freeing his brother Jaime in the penultimate episode, Tyrion was put on trial in a scene that mirrored the trial he stood for Joffrey’s murder in season 4. But after he vouched for Bran to become King of the Six Kingdoms — Sansa maintained her insistence on the North being independent — Bran returned the favor and named him his Hand.
“He’s made many terrible mistakes,” Bran said of Tyrion. “He’s going to spend the rest of his life fixing them.” In a later scene, Tyrion took his place at the head of the Small Council — where he was joined by his old friend Bronn, among others.
Brienne of Tarth
After the dust had settled in King’s Landing, Brienne added to Jaime Lannister’s Knightsguard pages, filling in his many triumphs. She ended the entry by writing that he “Died protecting his queen,” and the scene quickly turned into a meme.
It was later revealed that Brienne had been named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Bran’s rule.
In a brutal turn of events, Grey Worm went from being the queen’s Master of War to a soldier grieving both his leader and his loved one. After Dany was killed, Davos offered the Unsullied land in the Reach. But they chose to set sail for Naath — the home of Grey Worm’s deceased love Missandei — instead.
After voting Bran in as Westeros’ new king, the Onion Knight was appointed Westeros’ Master of Ships. In the first small council meeting, he asked the new Master of Coin, Bronn, to help rebuild the continent’s fleet, a sign that the realm will soon return to politics as usual.
Not only is Samwell the de facto new head of House Tarly, he was appointed Grand Maester as well. Not to mention that he also helped come up with the title of the kingdom’s newest historical text: A Song of Ice and Fire.
Sam was pivotal in helping Westeros adopt democracy, a suggestion that others on the council laughed at until Tyrion and others supported the idea of there at least being a vote to decide on the new ruler of the realm. He is also soon to be a father of two in a family that already includes Gilly and little Sam.
Gilly didn’t appear in the finale, but it seems likely that she and little Sam are hanging out with Sam’s mother and sister at Horn Hill while they wait for Sam to return from King’s Landing and the new baby to be born.
The Queen of the Iron Islands made her first appearance since the season 8 premiere to vote on who should rule over the Seven Kingdoms. At the council, Yara sparred with Sansa over Jon’s betrayal of Dany — but eventually consented to Bran taking the throne. Based on her continued loyalty to Daenerys, it seems Yara will keeo her promise to end the Ironborn tradition of reaving, roving, raiding, and raping.
Gendry wasn’t able to convince Arya to marry him and become the Lady of Storm’s End, but as the new head of House Baratheon, it seems like he’s going to have more than enough on his plate helping the new and improved Westeros get up and running. He appeared at the council representing his house and voted in favor of Bran’s coronation.
Or should we say Ser Podrick? Podrick appeared in the Game of Thrones finale as a knight in the newly-crowned King Bran’s Kingsguard and was assigned to pushing his wheelchair. As Tyrion once said, “there has never lived a more loyal squire.”
We’re sure that will be true for his knighthood as well.
We last saw Edmure when Jaime forced him to claim his place as the rightful heir of Riverrun and then surrender to the Lannisters by threatening to catapult his son over the castle’s walls if he didn’t. But the season 8 finale proved that Edmure’s years as a prisoner of the Freys had made him no wiser than he was before the Red Wedding. After Tyrion proposed that the lords and ladies of Westeros choose a new ruler during his trial in the dragonpit, Edmure stood up to throw his name into the running. Luckily, Sansa was quick to shut him down before he could get too far into his pompous speech: “Uncle, please sit.”
Tyrion finally made good on his and Jaime’s debt to Bronn by not only making him Lord of Highgarden, but also the new Master of Coin on King Bran’s Small Council. First order of business for the former sellsword: rebuild the brothels of King’s Landing.
It had been years since we’d seen or heard from Lord of the Vale Robin Arryn, who first made a name for himself as the Moon Door-obsessed son of Jon and Lysa Arryn. If that doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember him as the kid who was shown breastfeeding way past the time when it was age-appropriate. But judging by the Internet’s reaction to Robin making an appearance at the Dragonpit council, it seems people think there was no harm done in the long run.
Yohn Royce had been hanging out at Sansa’s side ever since he led the Knights of the Vale north to aid her in the Battle of the Bastards. In the series finale, he voted to instate her brother Bran as the new King of the Six Kingdoms while Sansa took over as Queen in the North.
Tormund returned north of the Wall with Ghost and the surviving wildlings following the Battle of Winterfell. And in the show’s closing moments, he and Jon led a brigade north of the wall — perhaps to guide his people back to their nomadic way of life.
Despite the fact that Jon didn’t even pet him goodbye before sending him north with Tormund in the in the fifth episode “The Bells,” Ghost was dutifully waiting for Jon when he returned to the Wall after killing Daenerys. The pair shared a tender moment — and the loyal direwolf then followed his master north on yet another adventure.
Following Daenerys’ death at the hands of Jon Snow, Drogon burnt down the Iron Throne and then mournfully carried his mother’s body to an unknown final resting spot. Sadly, it seems as though he truly will be the last dragon. According to Samwell Tarly, Drogon was last seen flying east and Bran Stark is determined to find him.
Here’s who died in the Game of Thrones season 8 finale
Daenerys’ ruthlessness finally caught up with her after she burnt King’s Landing and its people to the ground in season 8’s penultimate episode. After Tyrion resigned from his post and was imprisoned, he convinced Jon that Dany had a long track record of bloodshed that would only continue if she was allowed to rule. He then pled with Jon to finish her off by flipping a Maester Aemon quote on its head: “Sometimes duty is the death of love.”
When Dany finally arrived in the throne room and caressed her new seat of power, she was met by Jon. She implored him to join her in an effort to “break the wheel together,” and he replied with, “you are my queen now, and always.”
But as she kissed him one final time, he stabbed her to death.