Articles

We Went Ahead And Fixed The Final Season Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ For You

By Psquared - May 20, 2019
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Like Frodo said in Lord of the Rings – the epic fantasy that inspired this story – “It’s done… it’s over.” Game of Thrones has come to a close. After eight seasons and eight years of political drama, battles, mystical creatures and more main characters dying than we care to remember, we all now finally know how it ends. How are fans reacting? Not… great. To say this final season was divisive would be a massive understatement. A petition has been created to redo season eight, and it’s been signed by over a million fans.

Was it really that bad? No. But after such consistent excellence for so many seasons, only for them to drop the ball at the end in many ways, well… is it massively disappointing? Absolutely. This season suffered from a number of issues. It’s childish and impractical to expect them to start over again and redo it from scratch, but you can’t help but wonder how it could have been improved. Here are some solutions to fix the problems in the final season of Game of Thrones… at least in your head, because they’re definitely not remaking it.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Dany Snapping

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Possibly the biggest issue of contention among fans with season eight is in episode five when Dany snaps and murders tens of thousands of innocent citizens in King’s Landing.

Many feel this was completely out of character for her. However, if you’ve been paying attention, you’d see she’s always threatened fire and blood, the motto of her house, Targaryen.

Her becoming as evil as her mad father has always been foreshadowed. However, while the destination is exciting and interesting, the journey getting there wasn’t as satisfying or logical as it should have been. One of the biggest reasons for this was…

The Pacing

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Did everything in not just season eight but season seven as well feel rushed to you? That’s because they had fewer episodes.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were offered the standard 10 episodes per season, but elected to wrap it up with seven episodes in season seven and six episodes in season eight.

As a result, this show that was built on slowly building tensions to satisfying climaxes had to zip through the events, offering climax after climax. While it made the show more exciting, it didn’t make it feel more satisfying.

Kill Rhaegal Later

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Here’s one solution that would have made Dany snapping feel more coherent in the moment and not so unnatural.

Her dragon Rhaegal was killed by surprise while flying over Euron Greyjoy’s fleet… that she somehow didn’t see while above them.

Instead of going for a nonsensical shock death, why not have Rhaegal in the city with her while they fought Cersei’s forces. Then, while the bells tolled, signifying their surrender, an errant soldier fires a scorpion bolt, killing the dragon, sending Dany over the edge and punishing everyone, innocents included.

Jon And Dany's Romance

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A crux of the finale was Jon and Dany’s romance… or at least it was supposed to be.

We were supposed to believe that Jon spurning her was enough to convince her to try and rule through fear… and murder tens of thousands of children.

Then, we were supposed to believe that Jon killing Dany was heartbreaking for him, as this was a woman he loved with all his heart. Sadly, we were told they were in love far more than we were shown. So when these moments happened between characters who hooked up like two episodes ago, they didn’t feel earned.

Jaime's Relapse

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Many fans claim the reason they hated this final season is because there were several character assassinations.

Possibly the most unforgivable example is that of Jaime Lannister. Throughout the series, he’s been on an arc of redemption and change.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he has a relapse and decides to go back and save his vile sister, that he admits was a driving force for doing all the evil he’s done, which he hates himself for despite all his honorable deeds.

Cersei's Influence

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Jaime leaves Brienne crying, as he says he’s a hateful person and isn’t the noble man she thinks he is.

The solution to this? The Lannister twins always said they wanted to die together. Jaime shouldn’t have left to save Cersei. He should have left to kill her.

The events could have played out in the same amount of time with some tweaked dialogue. Jaime shows up to kill his sister… but when he sees her crying and broken, he can’t bring himself to do it.

Cersei's Pregnancy

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So how do they die? Suggestion… They don’t. Jaime gets out with his sister and saves them both.

That’s a far greater punishment for Cersei. Instead of being killed by a few bricks (that they could have moved three feet to the right to avoid… don’t get us started on the staging of some shots) she has to live the rest of her days in fear, poor, among the common people she hates so much.

As for Jaime, he will also be miserable, when he learns (next suggestion) that Cersei lied about being pregnant to manipulate him. They are presumed dead, but live their days out in the miserable, toxic relationship. Or, he could just kill her and die from the bricks after. He beats his addiction, but ultimately dies because of it. Bittersweet.

Jaime's Deeds

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One of the best scenes from the finale was Brienne writing Jaime’s noble deeds in the book of the Kingsguard.

This was poignant, as he lived most his life without respect for killing the Mad King, when most don’t know he did it to save the common people.

The ending we suggested lets you keep this scene, without having to have him inexplicably tell Tyrion he never cared for them, without Tyrion calling this out as a lie, since he just protected them from the army of the dead two episode prior. Also, how satisfying would it be to see Cersei miserable, living among the common people she hates and that Jaime protected. He’s remembered as a hero, and she as a villain.

Tyrion Lannister

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Speaking of Tyrion, he’s another character the fans believed was written poorly this past season.

The truth is, Tyrion’s character assassination began a long time ago. His whole thing is drinking and knowing things, and yet, the smartest character in the show has been an idiot for as long as we remember.

It became a plot point that Dany threatened to kill him if he made any more idiotic mistakes. He could have still made strategically sound battle plans that would have won them the day, but have someone on the field go against the plan to cause their defeat. Or, have his plans ignored, and because they were ignored they lose, and Dany slips into madness, blaming him anyway, setting her turn up more naturally.

Varys' Gambit

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Varys is another genius character that just wasn’t quite himself in the final episodes. He was suspiciously silent or absent altogether.

Then, he is told by Tyrion of Jon’s true parentage, and he starts blabbing to everyone that will listen how he should be the king, knowing it would get him killed.

Then, surprise, surprise… it got him killed. Worse yet, Tyrion snitched on him after being the one to tell him in the first place. It was subtly implied he tried poisoning Dany. We should have seen him acting more cautiously, trying to manipulate others by leaking the info secretly, not out in the open. He could have still been caught trying to kill her, only out of desperation, seeing that his plan wouldn’t work in time. Better yet, have Tyrion be smart and catch him, heartbroken to do it.

Bran The Broken

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Okay, we need to talk about who wound up as king in the end. All hail Bran Stark aka Bran the Broken aka The Three Eyed Raven aka King of the Six Kingdoms.

…what? He repeatedly said he didn’t want to be nor should he be king. Yet he was elected seemingly out of nowhere by nobles who wouldn’t have wanted him king. Heck, Dorne would have asked for independence alongside the North.

Who should have been king? No one, and we don’t mean Arya by that. Sam suggested democracy, and they laughed in his face. Of course, democracy would have taken a long time to set up, but that moment was played for laughs, fell flat and was the actually the best option.

The Battle Of Winterfell

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Honestly, Bran should have died during the Battle of Winterfell. Hear us out on this.

The first scene of the entire series was foreshadowing the immense threat of the White Walkers returning after thousands of years, and how all the squabbles over who sits on the throne is meaningless.

Then… they were taken out in one episode with a single stab. That moment was cool, but an unsatisfying conclusion to their story. There is a prequel series coming out detailing the origin of the White Walkers, so it makes sense they didn’t want to explore their mystery here and save it for the new show. So how should this battle have gone?

The Night King

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The Battle of Winterfell was a spectacle that took 55 nights to shoot.  So it’s a shame that it ended so unsatisfyingl (and was also so dark we could barely see it).

We’re told so little about the White Walkers and specifically the Night King’s purpose. He wants to kill Bran, the Three Eyed Raven.

Why not let him succeed? Then, perhaps, they crumble or head back North, having completed their mission. If you want to set up a mystery for the new series and make us wonder how they were defeated during the first Long Night, that’s how you do it. Now, we’re left with a show watching a threat we know is killed by a single sneaky stab wound. Plus, we don’t know if they’ll ever return, making Jon returning to the Night’s Watch more meaningful, because without the threat of the Night King and with Wildlings as peaceful friends of the realm… why is there even a Night’s Watch anyway?

No One Likes Euron

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In the books, Euron Greyjoy is possibly the most terrifying villain around. He’s an elite fighter.

He has a horn that can control dragons. He’s dark, brooding and violent on a whim. In the show… he’s a prancing Jack Sparrow wannabe in guyliner.

Just… why? And worst of all, this annoying character is shoved into so many scenes and his importance is inflated. Imagine if he had that horn and controlled Rhaegal, making Dany have to kill her own child. That would have made her going berserk make more sense. If you had to exclude it, fine. Just have him die when his boat catches fire. That’s a more fitting end to a Greyjoy than his inexplicable fight with Jaime. Also, he died satisfied saying he killed The Kingslayer… when he totally didn’t. Head scratches all around.

Set Ups With No Pay Offs

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Remember how cool the end of episode five was when Arya emerged from the rubble of King’s Landing, got on the pale horse that symbolizes death and rode off, seemingly determined to kill Dany for what she did.

Remember how she didn’t do any such thing in the finale, and just kind of showed up and said hi to Jon? Yeah, that wasn’t so satisfying.

Don’t tease us if you’re not going to follow through with events. In the prior season, Jaime and Cersei had a conversation on a map of Westeros, with Cersei standing at The Neck, and Jaime at the Fingers. This foreshadowed him killing her… yet it never happened. Why even give us hope for moments like these if you’re going to do the opposite? Just leave them out.

That Starbucks Cup

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Look, we can’t talk about the final season of Game of Thrones without talking about that Starbucks cup.

We want to give respect where it’s due. The show – in every single season – was shot beautifully. That scene with The Hound looking up the stairs of the ruined castle at his evil brother The Mountain? Sploosh.

But when you see things like this, it takes you out of the show. It reminds you these are all actors on a set, and the magic dissipates. Be more careful when framing shots. Speaking of…

Framing Of Shots

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Remember how earlier we mentioned it looked like Jaime and Cersei wouldn’t have been killed by the rubble had they moved a few feet over to where no bricks fell?

Nothing takes you out of a scene more than when it’s staged in such a way that it makes characters seem stupid.

The shot of Cersei and her forces perched up on the wall while Dany tried negotiating peace is an especially egregious example. Dany and her generals and even her dragon were all within range of arrows and the Scorpion bolts. Why would Cersei not immediately open fire? She’s as ruthless and without honor as it gets. This was another example of her acting out of character, that could have been prevented if the shot was set up with Dany’s army further back. She could have been sent Missandei’s head by Cersei or told about it from Tyrion who was there. Her actually seeing it wasn’t so important that it needed to ruin the credibility of everyone.

Stop Putting Characters In Situations They Can't Survive

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A term that fans have used to describe certain characters this season is “plot armor.”

This means that they can’t be killed, because the plot still needs them. That’s why during the Battle of Winterfell you saw Sam covered in stabby Wights, yet he somehow wasn’t killed.

Meanwhile, the majority of the Dothraki were instantly wiped out. It’s done to make us think the character will die to create drama, but when they survive and it doesn’t make sense how or why, it shows the seams of the writing. GoT became so popular because it felt like they could kill anyone at any time. When you continually put characters in unwinnable situations they keep walking out of… it ruins that magic.

Pet Ghost!

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Without a doubt the most heartwarming scene from the finale was Jon petting Ghost, who he viciously denied and abandoned two episodes prior.

This was meant to represent him turning his back on but ultimately embracing his Stark heritage of his Targaryen anscestry.

It’s a wonderful idea… however when he did it initially, he seemed so heartless that it made him unlikable. He could have still pet Ghost and abandoned him to show this character development. Then he can embrace him more fully in the end. In between, we got a character who idiotically followed a genocidal maniac that butchered a civilization and were supposed to feel bad that he killed his beloved… that we didn’t believe they were that in love. Ultimately, Jon was heavily neutered in the final season in terms of being likable, intelligent and even agency in his decision making. The least he could have done was boop the snoot.

More Episodes

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Have you noticed a pattern with a lot of these recommended fixes? Ultimately, the showrunners needed at least 10 episodes for the final two seasons and didn’t stick the (King’s) landing in 13.

Benioff and Weiss are off to make Star Wars films now. Maybe they were tired of this series and couldn’t wait to finish it? We can’t know for sure.

It’s a shame, but let’s focus on the good times. This show was one of the best in television history for several years in a row. You can still enjoy the ending by just imagining it any way you want in your mind. Edit in your imagination. And even if you despise the destination, you can still go back any time and relive your love of the journey. What is dead may never die, after all. Especially every time Joffrey got what was coming to him. Thanks for eight (mostly) great seasons, GoT. And now our watch has ended.