On Expectations and Disappointment

I watched the final episode of “Game of Thrones,” excited to see how such a mammoth undertaking could stop. I found it quite satisfying, nodding internally throughout. The next morning, I read angry, disappointed, horrified, upset reviews. Some had expected neatly tied plot themes or some cheaply found “happily ever after.”

As a story teller and writer, I usually let stories come at me.

Of course, it doesn’t end! I re-watched the last episode last night, having read all the dashed expectations of many who felt insulted, let down, left out, and more levels of disappointment. They lamented the rapid tying up of loose ends, while a fantastically sad dragon melted the meaningless symbol. So many bashed the endless walking of Tyrion as a waste of time.

But wait a minute. With all the killing, shuffling of thrones, vivid examples of how power corrupts, Tyrion reminds us that there are/were millions of unknown people living and struggling under that power. Dinklage’s remarkable acting reminds us of the people. He can still grieve for his flawed brother and sister, after viewing the real point of the stories. He cries for everyone.

It was not about the throne(s). It was about the unsullied, who were seemingly infinitely replacable. It was about using a whole population as a lure — or dare — to destroy a kingdom. It was about dynasties determining what happens next. Only Sam has continued to represent “the people,” although there have been a few others who tried, and he was laughed off the podium.

Jon, with his blank, miserable boo-boo face, returns to “the people.” Aryia leaves civilization to find something better. Sansa rules an untidy society somewhere between Westeros and the wildness of the far north. No one knows what The Broken King will do.

If I were to want more story, it would be about Jon and the other two Starks. It’s all about the people.