Game of Thrones Season 8 ending: Bran is completely DOOMED from the start

The way HBO wrapped up the complicated politics and power plays of Westeros has divided fans. Many decisions were unpopular, but George RR Martin has never been afraid of making hard choices to serve his plot. The main problem is that his brutal choices were always true to the storylines. Fans know the books will end with some of the same fixed points, so Bran will be on a throne but it is impossible to believe it will be like this. The final episode ending is impossible (some might say ridiculous) and has doomed Bran from the start.

This explanation sums it up: “Bran’s government isn’t merely about to collapse, it’s completely impotent from day one. The other lords don’t secede because there’s no point; Bran’s government effectively creates seven independent kingdoms.”

There seems no way Bran will be able to govern the remaining Six Kingdoms in any form, nor does there seem to be any reason why any of them would remain under the throne at King’s landing.

Sansa set an extraordinary precedent that was authorised with no discussion but simply a nod at a meeting primarily attended by Starks, with their army camped outside the remains of the city.

Bran now has TWO major problems that seem impossible to solve.

Firstly, everything that just happened is enforced by the situation at Kings Landing. What happens when the Northmen and their armies leave?

Sansa and the North will blatantly have no interest in what happens beyond their borders, so who will actually enforce Bran’s government or stop any of the other regions from devolving back to their original kingdoms?

The explanation on Reddit points out it all happened simply to serve the crowd-pleasing twist of Sansa being Queen in the North: “It gets Bran out of Winterfell. That leaves Sansa as the rightful heir. Bran’s kicked upwards, but he hasn’t got any jurisdiction over the North.”

Secondly, the only person who could have united all the lands behind Bran and has military credibility is Jon, but he has been banished.

So, where does the power now lie in the South?

King’s Landing is destroyed and for the first time ever, its new king has no army or land of his own. Why should anyone listen to him? Robert Baratheon was a powerful lord with armies and land of his own. The Targaryens had all that and dragons. What does Bran have?

Those who agreed to his coronation were Sansa and Arya Stark, with their uncle, the ineffective Edmure Tully. 

The others were the minor noble Lady Brienne with no armies, Ser Davos with no wealth or armies, Samwell who is not even a maester and technically has no authority and the new nameless Dornish prince who will go back to Dorne and has no major army.

Yara Greyjoy who was loyal to Daenerys and is head of the most fiercely independent former kingdom in Westeros, is hugely unlikely to ever risk her men or small wealth to prop up a government she has no ties to and no need to fear.

Bronn is now lord of Highgarden, but with no actual personal wealth or armies of his own. How long will the houses of that region tolerate him?

Gendry is now Lord Baratheon of the Stormlands, he may be able to wield power and influence but has no experience or support base in his own lands yet.

Tyrion potentially has the most power now as heir to the Lannister fortune and head of the Westerlands. This will count for much but he has served so many masters, he is unlikely to ever be well-received, trusted or supported by the major lords of Westeros.

The other major military force is The Vale, currently under the regent Yohn Royce and primarily loyal to the Starks when there was a common enemy. Now, though, they have the manpower and easily defensible lands to reclaim the Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale, especially once the erratic and proud Lord Robert (Robin) Arryn comes of age.

How will Bran ever rule in these circumstances?

The show made it clear he actually won’t since he will be off somewhere warging and looking for Drogon?

How, then, will the Small Council (Brienne, Samwell, Bronn, Ser Davos and Tyrion) achieve anything with no money, no armies, no capital city or people to tax and no way to enforce anything at all?

It is much more likely in the books Bran will become king but in a way more tied to his role as The Three-Eyed Raven. Fans will be hoping George RR Martin manages to make this ending more satisfying and believable.

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