A new generation of leaders has emerged in Westeros.
Spoilers follow for the Game of Thrones series finale.
For even more on Game of Thrones’ final episode, check out our what to expect from the GoT spin-offs, photos from the documentary about the show, the finale’s most meta moment, and why Drogon did what he did in the finale.
Game of Thrones has racked up quite a body count over the course of eight seasons. Many of the great lords and ladies of Westeros at the beginning of the series are now long dead. Perhaps no scene in the series finale better illustrated how much the political landscape of Westeros has changed than Tyrion’s judgment at Dragonpit. Tyrion stood before the surviving leaders of a war-weary kingdom, pleading his case to lords and ladies both familiar and unfamiliar.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all the surviving rulers of the great Houses of Westeros present in this pivotal scene, including a little speculation for characters who aren’t immediately recognizable.
For all that the Stark family have suffered over the course of the series, they came out pretty well in the end, all things considered. Sansa, Bran and Arya all survived the last war and attended the meeting to decide the fates of Tyrion and Jon. And by the time the meeting was over, both Bran and Sansa were crowned as monarchs.
Though Tyrion technically was being judged by the council rather than sitting as a member, the fact remains that he’s now the only significant surviving member of House Lannister. That fact is clearly of little comfort to Tyrion at this point, though he will now go on to serve as Hand to Bran.
Despite being a prisoner of House Frey since the infamous Red Wedding, Edmure Tully managed to survive to the end of the series and reclaim ownership of Riverrun. He’s clearly still deferential to his niece Sansa, though.
House Arryn emerged from the wars against the White Walkers and King’s landing more or less unscathed. That’s the benefit of hiding out in one of the most notoriously hard-to-reach castles in Westeros. Both Robin Arryn and his protector/adviser Yohn Royce were at the council. Robin even seems to have grown up and moved past his sickly, petulant phase.
Though House Martell lost many important figureheads in its clashes with House Lannister (including both Prince Oberyn and Prince Doran), the ruling family of Dorne has clearly weathered the storm. We can see a new Dornish prince attending the council. This character was mentioned earlier in Season 8 as being loyal to Dany, but we never wind up learning his name. It’s possible he’s actually the head of a different family who took over from House Martell.
Yara Greyjoy finally got her wish and now leads House Greyjoy and the Iron Islands. It’s just a shame she had to lose her father and brother and endure the wrath of her crazy Uncle Euron first.
Though Samwell Tarly gave up any claim he might have had to his father’s title and lands when he joined the Night’s Watch, the fact that he’s the only surviving son of Randyll Tarly seems to outweigh all other concerns. Sam represented House Tarly at the council, though as we later saw, he has a bigger responsibility now as Bran’s Grand Maester.
Brienne may have been denied a life with Jaime Lannister, but she now has her knighthood and officially leads House Tarth. Not only that, she’s a member of the Kingsguard along with Podrick. Not a bad ending for one of the few truly good people in Westeros.
Gendry Baratheon really came up in the world this season, with Daenerys officially recognizing him as the heir of Robert Baratheon, making him head of House Baratheon and giving him control of Storm’s End.
There’s an unfamiliar character sitting in the council, but given their rugged style of dress, we assume they’re representing House Reed. It’s possible this is Howland Reed, father to Meera and Jojen and a character who previously only appeared in flashbacks set during Robert’s rebellion.
Two more mystery characters are present in this gathering of lords. One can be seen sitting to the right of Yara:
While the other is seen sitting to Gendry’s left:
It’s not immediately clear who either character is meant to be. Are they lords of their own houses or simply attending the council as seconds-in-command to Yara and Gendry? The first character’s dress is similar enough to Jon’s Night’s Watch attire that he could be representing Castle Black.
As for the second, we have to wonder if some remnant of House Tyrell remains even after this once great family was brutally eliminated by Cersei’s forces. This character could also be one of the many other bastard sons of Robert Baratheon, with Gendry using his newfound authority to legitimize his half-brother. The two characters are sitting close enough that they could both be members of House Baratheon.
Let us know your theories about these two mystery characters in the comments below.