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How Does 'Game Of Thrones' End? Preparing For The Finale17:05
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This image released by HBO shows Emilia Clarke in a scene from "Game of Thrones," that aired Sunday, May 12, 2019. Daenerys has reduced King's Landing to ashes in a dramatic, heart-stopping episode of Game of Thrones, but don't count the city out. (HBO via AP)
This image released by HBO shows Emilia Clarke in a scene from "Game of Thrones," that aired Sunday, May 12, 2019. Daenerys has reduced King's Landing to ashes in a dramatic, heart-stopping episode of Game of Thrones, but don't count the city out. (HBO via AP)

With David Folkenflik

"Game of Thrones" comes to a close with the Season 8 finale. Who will sit on the Iron Throne after all is said and done?

Guest

James Poniewozik, chief television critic for The New York Times. (@poniewozik)

From The Reading List

Wired: "What We Need From The 'Game Of Thrones' Finale" — "First, an awkward acknowledgement: This final season of Game of Thrones has been hella uneven. For every incredible high—Ayra shivved the Night King!—there have been scores of lows. (Like, seriously, does anything Tyrion proposes make rational sense?) Granted, the show has a lot of loose ends to tie up, but in doing so, it's left quite a few of us totally frayed.

"But there's hope. Season 8 may have been a roller coaster up until this point, but Game of Thrones has one final episode left in which it could make everything right. It is possible! It's highly unlikely, but still possible. To that end, WIRED gathered some in-house Thrones enthusiasts—writers Emily Dreyfuss, Emma Grey Ellis, and Peter Rubin, and editors Angela Watercutter, Jason Kehe, and Andrea Valdez—to talk about what they need from this final episode, and what questions they need answered, in order to feel satisfied with the show's ultimate conclusion."

Vox: "How Game of Thrones did Daenerys wrong" — "The fifth episode of Game of Thrones eighth and final season, 'The Bells,' showed us the true horror of a dragon unleashed on a city. Daenerys Targaryen, riding her last remaining dragon, systematically laid waste to King’s Landing — seemingly going block by block to ensure that no one and nothing remained of the city she wanted to conquer. It was an arresting and disturbing sequence, an excellent dramatization of Game of Thrones’ fundamental theme that war is hell.

"At the same time, though, it made absolutely no narrative sense.

"There was no reason for Daenerys to burn the city so systematically, to so deliberately target civilians who posed no threat to her. She’s been callous and even cruel before, but never murderous for the sake of being murderous. It felt as if Daenerys had become a monster simply because the show needed her to become a monster, not because it was paying off a thoughtfully developed character turn."

Quartz: "TV History Tells Us 'Game Of Thrones' Will End In One Of Six Ways" -- "It’s Sunday night, and the final moments of Game of Thrones are playing out in your living room. After every major character has died, the camera pans over a gently stirring dragon egg, and the scene fades to black. You turn off the TV and stretch, evaluating the life choices that led to your spending more than 70 hours watching this show. And GoT, like so many shows before it, joins a canon of beloved television that faced immense pressure to bring it all home in a series finale.

"We’ve boiled the quintessential series ending down to six archetypes, any of which could indicate what’s in store for Game of Thrones. (Spoilers ahead… albeit dated ones.)"

The Cut: "How Does 'Game of Thrones' End?" — "On Sunday night, Game of Thrones will end after eight long seasons of tricking a record number of people into being enormous nerds for a dragon show. It’s given us so much in its many years on the air: rich plotlines filled with endless machinations; boundless hotties; a healthy rotation of going-out tops; roles for multiple former cast members from the hit Danish political drama Borgen; a reason to mute everyone on your timeline on Monday mornings; and, again, dragons.

"Before we say good-bye, five Cut writers predict how the finale’s going to go down."

Adam Waller produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on May 17, 2019.

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