The Iron Throne was never the top priority for Game of Thrones


The build-up for HBO’s Game of Thrones final season has been a can’t-miss cultural event. While the focus has been on the holder of the Iron Throne, the living now must shuffle priorities in order to avoid being a wight, or worse.

HBO’s Game of Thrones is unquestionably the most popular show on television. This third episode of season 8, “The Battle of Winterfell”, is the true high water mark of the series. The past seven seasons have not led to the final true ruler sitting in the Iron Throne. Everything has been building to this battle for humanity, not the Iron Throne.

Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8

The most popular question throughout Game of Thrones has always revolved around who sits upon the Iron Throne, and who is most likely to take it next. While the identity of who sits on the Iron Throne last is still a big issue to be resolved, the true series crescendo is the start of the battle between the living and the dead.

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No, the petty wars around the Iron Throne were procrastination in preparing for the war to save the history of the living. All that time in the library was not for naught, even if a three-eyed raven can hold more historical knowledge.

Unless the dead are defeated, all that history is for naught. It will mean nothing, to no one. The next four episodes all depend on the battle starting this Sunday. Nothing before really matters.

Things can change, but again, nothing really matters. Women can be knights. Lustful men and dwarfs can lose their taste for ladies. The current occupant on the Iron Throne does not matter for most every Game of Thrones character. Survival matters, nothing more.

Rumor has it that the battle will be the longest filmed since the founding of the Seven Kingdoms eons ago. Finally, we get to the good stuff. Enough with the family quarrels, and we’re all family if we’re still living.

The dead are coming. The living has known they exist since the first season. However, most believed the walking dead to be a mythical story. Sam knows they exist and are frightening beyond belief. They also can be killed, he was the first to kill one lest anyone forget. Jon knows when a Walker is killed the wights under their control also fall to the ground.

There are enough eye witnesses now. The dead are coming, and with it, they bring the moment the proverbial dragon glass blade slices through the tension, and the ordeal begins to unfold with certain answers. They also have a dragon, raised from the dead, that melted the wall of ice. The march towards the living has been expedited, and the battle begins in this third episode.

The White Walkers and Night King have a mission. Bran believes he knows what it is, and it has nothing to do with the Iron Throne. Those among the living prioritizing the Iron Throne over mere survival of the coming assault from the dead have learned little. All claims to the Iron Throne cease to exist for casualties of war. The Night King has bigger trophies to battle over.

Those still focused on the Iron Throne will likely not see the end of the war to come. Fans still focused on the Iron Throne may already be a wight. Conversations in bars, forums, and social media sites have been primarily about who will be living past this initial Battle of Winterfell.

The Night King is firm in his leadership of the dead. Anyone become a skeleton capable of sitting on a throne will instead bend a dead knee to the Night King. The residents a ruler of Last Hearth voice nary a whisper in their transition to death. Apparently, the put up barely any resistance. They had not the time nor the manpower. If only they’d had more wagons to escape the wrath.

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The characters who value life are circling the wagons. Those who value the allure and symbols of power have separated themselves from the Night King’s first full frontal assault. In the last battle, they’ll number only a fraction of the dead.

It’s a good Game of Thrones bet that this next episode is the last time we see many of our favorite characters alive. Many never had any hopes or ambitions of sitting on the Iron Throne. The Iron Throne and the associated squabbles were just a hassle, nothing to be honored over. Most just wanted to serve the glory of life, living, and leaving an honorable reputation in their wake, for history’s sake.