Because anyone can die at any moment, Martin has propped himself up for success. Ned Stark dies and the world loses their minds. The Red Wedding occurs, people are devastated. Ten more people die, and death loses its sting a little. Finally at the end of last season, people were both shocked at the outcome but ultimately were not surprised. “Classic Martin, killing tons of key characters.”
The story was never about which royal house would remain on top, it’s about what’s north of the Wall. I can’t tell you who sits at the Iron Throne when this all ends (I never read the books). But I can tell you that in the final season, the ultimate villain will come to wreak havoc: White Walkers. Conflict will ensue and there will be (I presume) a happy resolution. As for who sits atop the throne? Who cares? Just so long as the White Walkers are defeated.
At the end of the day, one house’s defeat just means they got Martin-ed. There will be winners and losers, but that’s ok. The reason George R.R. Martin is brilliant is because you’re taught right from the get-go to be prepared for your favorite house to lose.
Often when shows and books end, there is an uproar. That’s not how it should’ve ended. So-and-so didn’t get what they deserved. XYZ should’ve done ABC. This will not be the case with Game of Thrones because Martin has people bracing themselves for the worse. And when it’s all said and done, people will look back and think: “Huh…that was a great story.”
I applaud Martin for setting himself up for success no matter who sits atop that throne. Well done sir, I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Till Next time!