The final episode of Game of Thrones has aired and the consensus is . . . it sucked. I though the ending had problems myself (hence the qualified defense) but as I have now finished a second viewing I don’t think it was that bad. Primarily, what jumped out at me was the final small council meeting. Around the table everyone was at one point or another a misfit or outcast and now at the end they hold power.
Tyrion is a dwarf and as he said to Jon Snow in season one “all dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.” Of course Tyrion being a Lannister had tremendous privileges and was hand to the king/queen before so this is not a new role for him but still in the world of the show a dwarf holding power is unusual.
Bron is now master of coin and the lord of Highgarden which is one of the best castles in Westeros. This is not bad for a jumped up sell sword, people who are usually seen as having no honor since they sell their sword to whoever is buying, in other words in the realm of the lords and ladies of Westeros an outcast. It’s interesting to compare Bron’s ending with Littlefingers. Both of whom started with nothing and achieved a lot but Bron is still alive at the end because instead of conniving behind people’s backs like Littlefinger his transactionalism was always out in the open.
Ser Davos is now the Master of Ships which is a good position for someone who started out as a smuggler – another profession looked down upon by the higher ups. Of course Davos like Tyrion had power before by serving as hand of the king to Stannis but Stannis was a loser
Sam is now Grand Maester and although he like Tyrion was of noble birth he was also hated and ridiculed by his father and he also forced him to take the black or else he would kill him. Definitely an outcast.
Brienne is now head of the Kingsguard. She was also of noble birth but was not in the mold of a traditional lady. Another outcast who ascends to the highest position a knight can achieve in Westeros.
Finally, Bran as King. Obviously Bran is also of noble birth but he is also crippled and as Sansa says to everyone in the last episode he can’t father children. This is not traditional King material in Westeros.
One of the earliest episodes in the series is called “cripples, bastards, and broken things. ” Reading the series through this lense the ending makes sense, maybe not satisfying but makes sense.