Now that Game of Thrones is officially over, I am proud to say that I am not in the camp of the entitled cry-babies petitioning to have it remade. The disappointment is mainly a consequence of the extreme hype that preceded the final season. This was good TV, let’s not ruin it with unfounded saltyness.
However, I do have a minor criticism to make, concerning the show’s choice of final line.
“I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel.”
So we had Tyrion Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Bronn, Sam and Davos Seaworth gathered at the table in King’s Landing to sort out what the f**k to do with Westeros now, under King Bran’s leadership. As the squabble over how to govern Westeros, Tyrion interjects with the seemingly random and nonsensical line, setting up a joke for which we’ll never know the punchline.
As it turns out, that line is actually a joke that Tyrion Lannister has attempted to tell multiple times throughout the series. The first time we heard it was in season one back when Tyrion was on trial for the attempted murder of Bran. It came up in a list of terrible things he had done in his life, but Lysa Arryn interrupted before the punchline.
Then in season six during a conversation with Missandei and Grey Worm in Meereen he tries again, and even gets to “The madam says”, before the Masters interrupt him.
In season six, he had another go during a conversation with Missandei and Grey Worm in Meereen.
In the final episode, the scene cuts away to the montage of Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, and Jon Snow, once again cutting off the end of the joke.
It’s a fine little easter egg, and satisfying I’m sure for the diehard fans that remember one of hundreds of lines Tyrion Lannister has had across eight seasons. But as a final line, it’s a miss.
The reference falls flat because it doesn’t register for most viewers. We love easter eggs, but the final line ever to be spoken in the epic journey that is Game of Thrones probably should have been something we could understand.
Then again, the cleverness of repeating this line once again is impressive once you know. So all we can really do now is spread the word about the significance of the final line and all retrospectively appreciate the reference.