Spoilers ahead. If you haven't watched the series finale yet, don't scroll down.
The last ever episode of Game of Thrones ended today. And while the showrunners stuck to their promise of delivering the unexpected, the ending was a bit familiar.
But that is not something to complain about. Not today.
This show started many years ago with the Starks of Winterfell. This was always meant to be the tale of the honourable Ned Stark and his family. So after 8 seasons, it would have been a disappointment, if the show hadn't ended with his children.
From the very first episode, we saw the Starks going through tragedy and surviving despite it. Each of them. From Ned to Catelyn to Jon, each of them had their own struggles but they all lived and died with honour.
But the tragedies that were visited upon them often made us question the intelligence of that honour.
But the Starks never did.
Remember, Ned Stark's death? That is still the reason I've trust issues in life.
Remember the time he was imprisoned and Lord Varys came to visit him and offered an easy way out.
And this honour has been the only constant in a show about the politics of betrayal. As have been the Starks.
Robb Stark beheaded Lord Rickard Karstark, his closest ally for killing Lannister boys even though the North was in war with the Lannisters.
He did that knowing that act would most certainly weaken his army and make enemies out of an ally the Starks have had for a thousand years.
But he did it all the same. Honour demanded it.
When all this was going on Jon Snow was betraying the love of his life because he had sworn an oath to the Night's Watch.
During the course of the series, Jon was faced with impossible moral odds and yet he always managed to do the right thing.
Be it killing Mance Rayder to save him the suffering of burning or going beyond the wall to Hardhome to save the free folk from the dead.
Sansa meanwhile went through trauma nobody else could have survived but effectively won the Battle of Bastards herself.
She was put through a meat grinder with Joffrey and Ramsay and Littlefinger. Nobody expected her to survive. But she did. And she did more.
“Tens of thousands of Northmen fell in the Great War defending all of Westeros. And those who survived have seen to much and fought too hard ever to kneel again.— ❃ Taniia ❃ (@TanitaIL) May 20, 2019
The North will remain an independent kingdom, as it was for thousand of years.” #TheFinalEpisode #Stark 🐺 pic.twitter.com/VTHSHghk39
Arya saw her father being beheaded as she crouched under the statue of Baelor. She was a little girl dressed like a boy who should not have survived the world.
But she held her own against the mighty Tywin Lannister and made the bloody Hound fond of her.
It was her who actually avenged the death of Robb Stark.
Hell, she murdered the Night King and won the Great War.
Bran didn't have it easy either. He was literally the first victim of the show.
But he rose above it. This last season might have screwed with his character development but that hasn't always been the case.
His powers were attained through rigorous meditation and sacrifice. A lot of people sacrificed so that Bran could tell their stories.
The story of Game of Thrones began with the Starks, all going their separate ways.
It was tragic and painful to watch. They suffered and they persevered. Sure, they have all gone their separate ways again now but it was heartening to see them get what they wanted.
Jon belonged North of the Wall. Arya had always been adventurous and Sansa learnt the hard way to be the Queen.
Sure, the show is over but the Starks will live on and perhaps someday, they will come back together again.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.
- Lord Eddard Stark