EDITORIAL: Minor Changes That Would Have Changed ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale Forever
It’s been two weeks since the series finale for HBO’s mega-series Game of Thrones. While some fans hated the ending; most took it as a just ‘ok’ ending such as myself. The ending was very much safe by the series creators giving every Stark a happy squeaky-clean ending. However, Game of Thrones is known for foreshadowing and this editorial will show how the creators could have done this.
SPOILERS AHEAD: Arya travels the world like she always wanted. Sansa becomes the first Queen in the North. Bran the Broken is elected King of the now 6 Kingdoms. And Jon Snow is sent back to the Wall and essentially becomes King Beyond the Wall. Everything worked out for the children of Ned Stark. However, in this post, I’ll be going over some minor details that the writers could have done to change how the ending of the show would have been presented to the fans. Now know these changes will actually lead directly back to the way the writers wanted the show to end and aren’t some random fan theories that some of you may have read online. It essentially changes the final two episodes of the show for the better in my opinion or makes it worse after your done reading this…
After The Long Night and Arya defeat The Night King she travels with the Hound to King’s Landing in order to murder Cersei Lannister; who is at the top of her kill list since Season 1. The Hound himself is traveling there to protect the young Stark girl but also to finally face his brother The Moutain. We also learn that Jamie Lannister has traveled back but had been captured by the Northmen and Unsullied as he too travels back to protect Cersei from the coming battle. Many fans myself included wanted Jamie to have a full redemption arc (Much like Theon Greyjoy) and finally leave his lover/sister for Brienne of Tarth. However, he was always destined to die “in the arms of the woman he loves.”
One minor change I would have done is after Tyrion commits treason and lets Jamie go free. Jamie’s final heroic action should have been the one to ring “The Bells” of King Landing to stop the Unsullied from burning the city down. As foreshadowed with the Mad King it was Jamie who couldn’t allow innocent citizens to be burned at the stake. So he saved the entire city by stabbing the King in the back. This would have given Jamie some type of redemption moment that it was he who tried to save the city by ringing the bells before heading to save Cersei himself.
As we know Daenerys goes from the “Breaker of Chains” to full Anakin Skywalker and turning into the Mad Queen. After the death of Joarah and Missandei, something inside Dany snaps and while the Bells are being rung to signify King’s Landing has surrendered Dany along with her final dragon Drogon decide to burn the city to ruin. Another great way to have a throwback to her Father would have Dany whisper in Drogon’s ear before the onslaught, during the silence if the bells “Burn them all” before decimating the city.
It would have given the audience much more of an “Oh no” moment. For at that moment Dany decides that in order to fulfill her destiny in saving the 7 Kingdoms from a tyrant; she must herself burn the city to ruin to start again. This is very much reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker’s destiny in Star Wars. He is thrust into the idea that he must turn from the Light to the Dark Side in order to save the ones he loves. In his mind, it was the only way. This is what happens to Dany; which was foreshadowed in Season 2 as Dany sees a vision of the Iron Throne covered in snow but turns out to be ash she created herself. During the massacre it’s here Jon sees Arya his favorite sister enter the Red Keep from a distance with the Hound. He knows deep down she will not survive and is here to kill Cersei
Cut to Jamie sneaking his way into the Red Keep to take Cersei away from the massacre. It’s here we learn the real reason Cersei had most of the citizens of King’s Landing take shelter in the Red Keep was due to her contingency plan. She had Qyburn fill the Red Keep (and the rest of Kings Landing) full of Wild Fire just like the Sept of Balor. That if Dany and her forces were to breach the city she herself will burn the entire city to the ground instead of surrender. This again would make the audience realize how evil Cersei really is. Again, this would be a throwback to season 2 where Cersei is willing to give Tommen essence of Nightshade instead of surrender to Stannis Baratheon at the Battle of Blackwater Bay. It’s here that Jamie out of sheer terror of how evil Cersei; is realizes he must kill her himself. Qyburn insists the two leave as the city has fallen and he will signal the Wild Fire to burn the rest of the city.
The rest of the battle is how the writers portrayed the episode. Both Cersei and Jamie try to make it to the Dragon catacombs. The Mountain kills Qyburn before he could make the signal. And finally, The Hound and the Moutain battle it out on the stairs but not before Arya and The Hound have a moment together about revenge and she needs to leave.
However, after the battle between the Hound and The Mountain; Arya reappears and faces both Jamie and Cersei trying to escape. All three face off together in what seems to be a final battle. Does Jamie keep his oath and protect Arya from Cersei? Or does he kill Cersei to save Kings Landing from the Wild Fire? None of it matters…for it’s here during the climax of the episode Dany in her madness burns the castle of Kings Landing down with all 3 inside igniting the Wild Fire.
Cut to outside where Jon is trying to save as many as he can from the madness within the city. It’s here Jon from his point-of-view sees Dany burn the castle down with Arya inside. This is what tears Jon apart from the inside. Watching the woman he loves murder, not just the city; but his own sister. Which would have made her killing spree personal to him. After seeing the horror on his face as he now knows what Dany is capable of; cut to black and end the episode.
The series finale episode picks up just like the real episode did. Tyrion is arrested for treason for setting Jamie free the day before. Dany speech to the Unsullied is that they will not stop until every Kingdom in the world is “set free” from tyrants. And she then names The North as the first Kingdom they must set free. And names Sansa Stark an enemy of the state and rebel to be dealt with. Jon stands there struggling with the fact Dany had just killed Arya but now she is at war with The North. Jon goes to speak with Tyrion. Tyrion convinces Jon that he must save not just the Realm but Dany from herself.
It’s here Jon enters the burned down thrown room to confront Dany. Dany just like Anakin claims they together can free the world from tyrants. As long as they are together. Jon now feeling the internal struggle between his love for The North and Ayra. And his love for Dany he again just like in the real episode stabs Dany in the heart. He has to protect the North at all costs even if he sacrifices of the one he loves. This isn’t before Dany in her final breath says “You know nothing, Jon Snow. This was the only way.” Drogon like in the real episode then poetically burns down what is left of the Iron Throne and takes Dany’s body away…
Just like in the real episode Grey Worm along with the Unsullied demand blood for the assassination of Dany. It’s here that the show takes a turn and it is revealed that Jon will be beheaded for his crimes. But he has accepted this just like Ned Stark did in season 1 (above). For his actions saved The North and the rest of the realm. He never wanted to be King or asked for it. He just wanted to protect his home. It would also be a throwback to Braveheart (1994) as William Wallace is beheaded for his crimes against the Crown of England. Which would be the final “shocking” death in the show. Jon was nothing more than a bastard his whole life. Looked down upon by everyone in the North. Sacrificing himself so selflessly he is shown as the real hero of the story. The rest of the episode is played out like the real one as Sansa becomes the Queen of the North. And Bran is elected the first King of the 6 Kingdoms with Tyrion becoming his Hand. While filling in Jamie’s story in the Book of Knights; Brienne decides to name the now deceased Arya Stark a Knight of the 6 Kingdoms. For only a Knight may name another Knight. The show then ends as it began with a beheading. And so ends the Game of Thrones. Cut to black…
This was just a few ideas I personally would have changed to the final two episodes for Game of Thrones. It essentially comes back full circle and ends almost the same as the writers initially intended. It would have added more depth to Jon’s internal struggle killing Dany and protecting The North. As well as add a little more suspense with the deaths that occurred from Dany’s turn to madness. Hope you enjoyed!