Game of Thrones Fan Survey

Olivia Mistretta, Staff Editor

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At last, the time has come! The 8th and final season of Game of Thrones concluded recently with many mixed opinions from fans. The internet is still buzzing with praise, disbelief, joy, and a surprising amount of criticism due to the bold and questionable plot choices Season 8 brought to the table. Before the final episode aired, I conducted a survey from other long-time fans of the show and collected 60 responses. The questions were simple: Which of the following characters is your favorite? Which of the following characters is your least favorite? Who, out of the following characters, would you most like to sit on the Iron Throne?

After each question, a list of the remaining characters in Season 8 was provided, as well as an “Other” option for those who still wanted to select characters that died in previous seasons. At the end of the article, results can be reviewed.

As a summary, the top five favorite characters were: Arya Stark (13 votes), Jon Snow (11 votes), Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister (7 votes each), and Sansa Stark (6 votes).

The top five least favorite characters were: Cersei Lannister (20 votes), Daenerys Targaryen (9 votes), Bran Stark, Theon Greyjoy, and Joffrey Lannister (5 votes each). Robin Arryn was also a close contender in this category with 4 votes.

Finally, the top five characters voted to take the Iron Throne were: Jon Snow (23 votes), Sansa Stark (13 votes), Daenerys Targaryen (11 votes), Tyrion Lannister and Sir Brienne of Tarth (3 votes each).

So, how did the results compare with what transpired in the finale of Season 8?

The people who voted for Daenerys as a favorite character were likely unsuspecting as to what would occur in episode 5, “The Bells”, or as I like to call it, “BBQ at King’s Landing”. As the bells of surrender rang out over the Lannister City, Daenerys was sparked into a sudden rampage aback Drogon the dragon and torched everything in her path. This essentially translates into a mass genocide of the people of King’s Landing, as they surrendered to the dragon queen! As for her advisor, Tyrion, he went on to be the Hand for the newest ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, who we will discuss later.

And now for the Starks! Arya set off on her own journey to explore the seas, Jon was sent to live once again as a member of the Night’s Watch after the Unsullied Army took him prisoner for killing Daenerys, and Sansa went on to detach Winterfell from any alliances, becoming the official queen.

When it came to the least favorite characters, Cersei was voted to be the worst. If fans were looking for some sort of epic battle between her and Daenerys, they would be sorely disappointed. The Lannister queen met her death as she cowered in the arms of her brother Jaime, their castle collapsing in on them due to blasts of fire from Drogon. Many fans were left feeling like both Cersei and Jaime deserved better deaths, especially after surviving for 8 seasons. I have to agree with this, especially considering how Cersei was built up to be this unbeatable character for such a long time.

As for Theon and Joffrey, both characters were dead by the finale (Joffrey was poisoned early in season 4 and Theon perished in episode 3 of season 8 as the Night King stabbed him).

When it came to Daenerys, many people were correct at marking her least favorite when it came to her final actions…But what about Bran? For people who weren’t Bran fans before the season 8 finale (many fans saw him as a dry character with wasted potential in the later seasons), they were likely disappointed by the final episode; which brings us to the last question.

In my survey of 60 people, three main candidates were selected for the Iron Throne as mentioned above. But the leadership of the Kingdoms did not go to Jon Snow or Sansa, it didn’t even go to Tyrion or Brienne. In fact, only one person chose who would go on to become the new King: Bran Stark.

The story went that the Unsullied Army, still loyal to the dead dragon queen, were preparing to kill Jon Snow who was held as their prisoner for killing Daenerys. The only punishment they would accept would be Jon going back to his old position in the Night’s Watch, taking no wife and having no children. Sansa, as we mentioned, went on to lead Winterfell alone. All of the leaders, persuaded by Tyrion’s retelling of Bran’s story, decided to select the young man to be king. After being put into power, Bran commanded Tyrion to be his hand and Sir Brienne went on to fulfill her duties as a knight.

After the conclusion of the show, many fans were disappointed, for many reasons. The general criticism is that the show’s writers changed many of the characters to the point where they didn’t seem recognizable and that the season was extremely rushed. I definitely agree with these points, especially seeing the development of the characters thrown out the window in this season. While the writers were offered the opportunity for 10 episodes, they insisted on 6 instead, which cut out quite a bit of time for building the ending. Because of this, Daenerys going full ‘Mad Queen’ and Bran becoming king just came off as far too rushed to me and other devoted fans. Regardless, the show has finally ended and I would definitely recommend it to friends because of how interesting, action-packed, and suspenseful the first few seasons were. I’m also excited to check out future spin-offs and look forward to conducting more polls in the future.

You may click on the following link to see the actual results from the survey: