WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones series finale, "The Iron Throne".
Game of Thrones is officially done, with the biggest winners and losers in the titular game decided once and for all. And while many of the victors seem to the best interests of Westeros at heart, that still means some beloved (and some not so much) characters had to lose everything along the way.
Looking at how things play out in the end, here are the biggest losers from the Game of Thrones finale.
Initially, it seemed like Daenerys had successfully claimed the Iron Throne. The finale opened with the aftermath of the Battle of King's Landing, with Daenerys triumphant. She rallies her armies, promising to continue their crusade across the world, exhibiting absolutely no reservations about what she was forced to do. Daenerys is convinced she's the ultimate force of good in the world, and nothing she does could ever be wrong. It's a frightening prospect, bringing to mind the idea that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This knowledge weighs heavy on both Jon and Tyrion, who reluctantly agree that things are officially getting out of hand.
Jon confronts his lover, but his attempts to temper her fury fall on deaf ears. In the end, Jon is forced to kill her with a knife to the chest. It's a sudden and brutal end to one of the most important characters in the series, and completely upends all of her ambitions. Just like that, the Targaryen line is removed from any real position of power in Westeros, and with Jon vowing to take no family and fathering no children, the Targaryen name will die out. Daenerys spent most of the series as the last Targaryen, and her actions ensured she always will be.
Jon has a rough time in the finale. Although it breaks his heart, he kills Daenerys out of fear of the future atrocities she might commit in the name of justice. This action gets him thrown into a small cell by Grey Worm. Despite his desire to see Jon pay for his crimes with his life, Grey Worm eventually relents and allows Jon to live out his life in exile. Jon will not be king, and he won't be allowed to remain in Winterfell. Instead, he'll have to return to the Night's Watch, sacrificing any chance to serve as anything more than a ranger. He is quickly taken to the harbor, says a quick final goodbye to his family, and boards a ship heading north.
Although this is definitely seen as a loss by the world as a whole, it's probably the best ending for Jon. He returns to the remains of the Wall and reunites with Tormund and Ghost, joining the Wildlings as they head back into the north, moving into the forests as the series closes out. It's implied that he won't be returning. Like Tormund told him long ago, he's got too much of the North in him now. So while Jon lost his title as the King in the North, this probably works out to be the best possible ending for him.
Grey Worm begins the finale getting a major upgrade, when Daenerys names him her new Master of War, set up to work alongside her to travel the world and continue "breaking the wheel." But things take a very hard turn when Jon kills his Queen. He doesn't even get the justice that he so badly desires, with neither Tyrion or Jon paying for their betrayal of Daenerys. Instead, he has to watch Tyrion become the Hand of the King to her successor, while Jon is sent North to live his life in exile.
While many of the Dothraki seem to remain in King's Landing, Grey Worm ends up boarding a ship alongside other members of the Unsullied. Exhausted with Westeros, he's decided to sail away. Earlier in the season, he promised his love Messandi that they would find a beach to grow old together on after helping Daenerys. With Messandi and Daenerys both now dead, Grey Worm has decided to go to the supposedly beautiful "Butterfly Islands" of Naath. The book's backstory establishes that this tropical island as the birthplace of Messandi and a frequent target of slavers, meaning Grey Worm intends to keep the promise he made to the two most important women in his life: He's going to find a peaceful beach, and he's going to "break the wheel."
We hadn't seen Edmure Tully since Season 6. Perhaps one of the dumbest and dopiest lords in all of Westeros, he's spent most of the series in the custody of Walder Frey. It may be hard to remember, but it was his nuptials in Season 3 that became the infamous Red Wedding. Before that, he'd been pretty useless, and during his capture, he was just as pointless. In the series finale, he's in pitch-perfect form as an idiot. He tries to make a point of how intelligent he's become by kicking off a long-winded speech about his credentials before he gets undercut by Sansa.
It's a small moment of levity in an otherwise heavy episode, and it leads to the pretty terrific moment of him stamping his foot like an angry child when he gets told off. It's not as big of a loss as say, losing your throne or your life, but it's still a nice reminder that sometimes people just need to be told when to shut up.
Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.