The fate of Westeros stands revealed.

[This story contains spoilers for the series finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne.”]

As series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss once wrote, and as a very evil and very dead man once said: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” Game of Thrones viewers came to understand those words all too well in “The Bells,” the series’ brutal penultimate episode in which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) stormed King’s Landing with fire and blood, killing thousands and thousands of innocent lives in the process. 

Given the shocking act of violence, any illusions about Game of Thrones ending on a happy note were well and fully eviscerated, rendered ash much like the rest of Westeros’ central city. At the same time, it felt inconceivable that Benioff and Weiss would allow Daenerys to remain on the Iron Throne after such a disturbing conquest, certainly not when author George R.R. Martin and so many others in the Game of Thrones inner circle have described the ending with a single word: “Bittersweet.” An ending in which Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and the others stand idly by while Daenerys rules with fire and fury would land too firmly on the side of bitterness. Even in an unhappy ending, there must be some measure of sweetness, right?

“Right,” is the thankful answer. While Game of Thrones definitely did not end as a full-fledged fairy tale, the story closed with some notes of happiness. The best news of all? We finally have resolution to the central question of the series: who will sit on the Iron Throne when all is said and done? The Seven Kingdoms’ seat of power has been at the heart of the series’ fictional universe as well as HBO’s marketing campaign from the very beginning, with countless different contenders to sit on the throne along the way. For most of the series, the Iron Throne belonged to House Lannister, most recently Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). After Cersei’s death in “The Bells,” the Dragon Queen Daenerys finally landed on the throne, the object of her desires for so many seasons. How did the deadliest game of musical chairs in television history resolve? Look no further for the answer.