Updated: May 23, 2019
A journalist recently asked about my prediction for the “ending” of Game of Thrones: Before the beginning of the final season, I was convinced that one of the women, who survive horrific challenges, especially Sansa or Arya Stark, would end up producing if not a happy ending, then at least a resolution of sorts. The more we get to the end of the series, I am convinced that an open ending or continued chaos may be what we are left. It seems like the only logical conclusion because the Game of Thrones can never really end. The prehistory as well as the depicted history of the fantasy world that is Game of Thrones is cyclical, similar to the world view depicted on the shield of Achilles in the Iliad. Events, wars, weddings, alliances, and generations of characters, repeat the same noble and horrific acts ceaselessly, like boats beating against the cruel current of fate. From a medievalist perspective, the wheel of fortune or fate is what best symbolizes the story of Game of Thrones. There will not be a war to end all wars or a battle to cease all battles. We will be left with what T.S. Elliot says, in the Waste Land, about the world after World War I, the war supposed to end all wars:
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.