'End of an era': Game of Thrones bids farewell to Iron Throne
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of Game of Thrones.
After eight seasons of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones came to an end Sunday but left the possibility of multiple spin-offs in the future.
The episode saw an early but predictable death, with Daenerys Targaryen being stabbed by Jon Snow after a fit of rage led to her unleashing her dragon's fire over King's Landing the week prior.
#GameOfThronesFinale was trending on Twitter Sunday and live-tweeting during the finale didn't make it easy for fans to avoid spoilers if they were hoping to catch the episode after it aired.
"This almost feels like the end of an era," said Eric Goldman, managing editor of the entertainment site Fandom. "Maybe this is the last time a show has this huge a collective audience that are watching simultaneously."
The season brought in an estimated 43 million viewers on average per episode across all platforms, with the finale likely to top that number.
Now get ready for the main spoiler.
Bran Stark is handed the Iron Throne, except the Iron Throne no longer exists. It was melted down into rubble by Drogon, the dragon, after seeing Daenerys's lifeless body. Turns out, the future-reading Bran the Broken, as he came to be called, foresaw his destined position all along.
Arya Stark took off to do some soul-searching "west of Westeros."
Sansa Stark freed the North and Jon Snow was banished to the Night's Watch as punishment for killing his queen.
Despite many of the storylines being neatly tied up in record time, the ending has also left room for many of the characters to return in the future. There are multiple projects in development at HBO, according to author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books on which Game of Thrones was originally based.
"We have had five different Game of Thrones successor shows in development," the novelist wrote in a blog entry earlier this month.
"Three of them are still moving forward nicely. The one I am not supposed to call The Long Night will be shooting later this year, and two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer. What are they about? I cannot say."
Goldman said the show's legacy lies in its ability to capture an audience which might not normally approach a fantasy series or novel, but was reeled in with compelling twists, "going against the grain" and "killing characters that you think are safe."
"People love the history of this world," said Goldman. "I think that you will see a passionate interactive fan base for Game of Thrones for a long time to come."