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How HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Should Have Ended?

Game of Thrones told a story with real characters that dealt with real consequences, but things fell off the rails in the final season. (A Game of Thrones 10th Anniversary Special Article)

Ritika Kispotta - Fri, 16 Apr 2021 14:35:23 +0100 3572 Views
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Game of Thrones 10th Anniversary Special


Game of Thrones was a series that was able to conquer the small screen and capture the imaginations of people around the world in no time. It did this by being unafraid to push the envelope in several areas and take risks that paid off greatly. This was a story and a world filled with real characters that dealt with real consequences. As the final season was rolling around, many were ready to proclaim this as the greatest series in history. Sadly, things fell off the rails in the final season, and the series missed the mark in the eyes of many.


In a perfect, fairytale world, I would have loved to see Queen Daenerys sitting victoriously on her throne, reconciled with the Stark girls and with her faithful Ser Jorah at her side, Jon her King and ruling as she dreamt of in the early days of her story. But that of course would have been far too predictable and not at all in keeping with the shock and awe tale that we all love, and we were well warned early on by Ramsay Bolton that “If we thought this would have a happy ending, we haven’t been paying attention!” I think it might have been epic for the Night King to have been victorious, let the villain triumph for once, and end the season with him on an icy Iron Throne, surrounded with our faves trapped forever as White Walkers! ‘It certainly would have made for the ultimate shock finale, though perhaps a logistical nightmare for the prosthetics department/budget!


Dany always talked about breaking the wheel, and seeing this theory happen would have been magic. In short, the story should have been the last two Targaryens in the world finding their way back to each other and destroying the Throne (which was ultimately the downfall of their house) and thus ending the ‘game’. Rheagal should have lived, and Dany and Jon should have used their dragons to burn the throne. The wheel would be broken — the throne having been created by dragon fire (and the Targaryens) and then destroyed by dragon fire (and the Targaryens) – bringing the story full circle. It would have been clever if throughout the whole story we were made to believe that Dany wanted to sit on the Iron Throne when all she wanted to do was destroy it.

 

The show’s ending was a huge disappointment for me. We’ve impatiently waited for the final season and I expected it to be epic but the showrunners rushed everything and honestly ruined it. So many plot holes, so many unanswered questions, David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] did the characters dirty and it’s really sad. ‘As a huge fan of Daenerys, I just wanted her to be happy not necessarily on the throne, but it would have been amazing to see her rule the seven kingdoms with Jon because they’re both good leaders who care about people and have helped others their whole journeys.’


Daenerys deserved more. More than a knife in the heart by the man she loved, more than a dragon who couldn’t bring itself to murder her killer — but mostly, more time to go from being the kind and virtuous breaker of chains to a war-hungry villain. Over less than half a season, her character entirely transformed. After many, many long, drawn-out seasons where I came to know her as someone who mostly wanted to free slaves and ride dragons, her total decimation of King’s Landing — and her out-of-nowhere plan to go to war with each of the Seven Kingdoms — just wasn’t believable. I think Daenerys’s devolution into a mad queen felt wrong. It only took three episodes for her to switch from breaker of chains to blazer of children. It was rushed and didn’t feel right. She was an inspiring character who left us in a very uninspiring way.


The ending felt rushed, so as a bit of a completist, I’d have just really liked to see a bit more about what happened to some of the other characters and regions we’d invested time in. ‘Where exactly did Meera Reed go? Did the Slave cities in Essos rise again or did Dany get her to wish to end slavery? Where did the Dothraki go? ‘As a Targaryen fan, I would have loved to have seen the continuation of that family dynasty with Jon and Dany. It was always said, “Every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.” It would have been nice if when the gods tossed that coin, it came down on the side of sane rather than mad. It seemed a shame for a whole dynasty to just collapse overnight. ‘I would also like to have seen Arya kill Cersei, but in terms of how the show storylines had been written and the fact she had already killed the Night King, it did make sense for it to not be her. ‘While I thought Theon’s character arc was wrapped up perfectly, a small part would have loved him and Sansa to live happily ever after.

 

The bulk of Jon’s time on Game of Thrones sees him trying to figure out how to deal with the Night King, and seeing him eventually become the ultimate evil in Westeros would have been bonkers. It would have added a taste of bittersweetness into the series, and it could have led to a more interesting ending for Jon's arc.


Sansa giving birth to a Bolton would have been such a dark thing to deal with for Sansa and fans alike, and it would have been interesting. In this theory, Sansa is pregnant with the child of Ramsay Bolton, who was nothing but terrible to her. It would have been something to unfold throughout the final season.


I wanted some closure on Brienne’s ending, I think she and Jamie should have been together and Bran’s ability should have been used in a much more effective way. If Bran was to always become king,  he should have been more involved in the series. My biggest annoyance with the final episode was that the North was able to so easily remove itself from the Seven Kingdoms without the other kingdoms joining them. I think the Seven Kingdoms splitting back up into those seven once again would have been a fitting end as they no longer needed to come together to fight the Night King and his army.


Brienne should not have been left alone to look sad. Jaime absolutely should have gone back to King’s Landing but not to be with Cersei. Cersei and Jaime’s death was an absolute cop-out — the most formidable villain in the entire series killed by falling rubble? What if Arya plunged a dagger into Cersei’s heart in the room with the giant map on the floor, and Jamie went back to Brienne. They could have fixed his entry in the Kingsguard together.

 

“Game of Thrones” ended almost exactly as it should have after a season that I found tough to watch. The plot holes and character inconsistencies in the first five episodes left me frustrated, so the triumph of the Starks was the happy ending I hoped for but didn’t expect.


Seeing Sansa crowned Queen of the North and Arya riding a ship to unknown lands are both great culmination of each character arc. Jon joined the Wildlings north of the Wall (but why is there still a Night’s Watch?), which I thought was a great homage to his first love, Ygritte.


When Tyrion, Jon, and their men walk around the burned and dead civilians in the aftermath of their attack on King’s Landing, that moment highlights even more how suddenly the writers turned on Daenerys. She is at this point — and not even subtly — painted as a copy of her father, the Mad King. As Dany steps out to speak to her army, you are reminded of how far she’s come from the little girl who was tossed around between men, given to Khal Drogo as a gift from her brother to further his connections. If she were a man, would you expect her to show mercy at every turn?


I don’t disagree with the somewhat diplomatic solution the writers went with. Electing a new ruler was a positive turn of events, and choosing someone who wasn’t thirsting for power for their gain was a reasonable decision as well. But I do blame the writers for what happened to the women — not because they didn’t give us the strong female ruler we hoped for, but because they turned Daenerys into a monster. I’m not the right person to decide how this should have ended, but betraying the character of Daenerys wasn’t it.

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