SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE GAME OF THRONES SERIES FINALE

When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. That's how the saying goes. Or that's how the saying went.

Turns out you can play and not die, and only kind of win?

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO

LAST CHANCE BEFORE SPOILERS FOR THE FINALE

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After Dany quickly becomes another totalitarian ruler and Game of Thrones briefly becomes a sci-fi dystopian instead of a fantasy epic, the dragon queen's march towards the Iron Throne is snuffed out by her lover/follower/nephew.

Despite standing next to the throne she's been chasing this whole series, Dany never even got the chance to sit on it.

Jon Snow, after pleas from Tyrion, does the only thing he can — he puts a knife through her mid-embrace, bringing to an end her brief reign of terror over the innocent people of the realm.

You can't pledge to bring your so-called "tyranny busting" to all corners of Westeros after murdering thousands of them. It doesn't look good.

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Drogon, wailing in agony, burns down the Iron Throne but not Jon, perhaps instinctively recognising that power is what ultimately killed Dany.

He takes her in his talons and carries her body off to east, possibly to that acid-trip cave from How to Train Your Dragon 3.

Game of Thrones is over. How did it all go down? Photo / HBO
Game of Thrones is over. How did it all go down? Photo / HBO

But Jon doesn't replace Dany. Instead, the remaining lords and ladies of Westeros decide to vote, but only among themselves, to decide who the new King or Queen should be.

We see the return of Yara Greyjoy, who's miffed that her Queen was killed, but then again she didn't witness all the wanton death and destruction of the previous episode.

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Robin Arryn is here to vote, and so is Edmure Tully, who puts his name forward before he's laughed down by his own niece. Poor guy.

Gendry was present.

Sam briefly flirts with the idea of extending the choice to everyone — democracy! More like demo-CRAZY, smirk the others.

Roll forward, Bran Stark, who already comes with his own throne. Bran the Broken, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, Ruler of the Six Kingdoms.

Oh yeah, now there are only six kingdoms after Sansa declared the North will once again be an independent kingdom.

Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO

The gathered folk agreed that from now on, the monarch will be chosen by the lords of Westeros and hereditary rule will be over.

Tyrion will be the Hand of the King, even if he doesn't want it.

Sam becomes the new Archmaester, Bronn gets Highgarden and the purse strings while Davos gets to be Master of Ships (and the Master of Shade).

Brienne remains a knight of the not-quite-roundtable in Bran's counsel of advisors, and finishes Jaime's story in a big old book.

Grey Worm, the Unsullied and the Dothraki sail back across the sea, their bloodlust for vengeance not quite satiated.

Jacob Anderson and Kit Harington in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO
Jacob Anderson and Kit Harington in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO

Arya sails off on a boat, flying the Stark banner, to where the map ends. Sansa is declared Queen in the North.

Jon is spared from death for his treasonous act, and as a compromise, is sentenced to take the black, seemingly ending where he started.

But when he gets to Castle Black, he finds Tormund and the rest of the wildlings waiting for him. He finally, finally pats the very good boy, Ghost.

The gates open to beyond The Wall and the whole band rides off into the "real north", Jon finally at peace.