Game of Thrones. The television phenomena that left everyone anxiously waiting for Winter came and went over the course of a bloody decade. While the show was critically and publicly acclaimed, the final season left much to be desired. There are a number of plot threads abandoned or book arcs lost, some that may have garnered a better final season. So let’s gather up some of those loose ends and jump into some of those stories that the showrunners forgot. Here are 7 lost Game of Thrones plot points to pull into the light.
SPOILERS: You probably already know all there is to know about Game of Thrones. But if not there are spoilers ahead.
1. Lady Stoneheart
When I first heard that in the books Catelyn Stark became a revived corpse-like figure hell-bent on revenge for the Red Wedding well… I was a little shocked. In the books, Arya’s Direwolf Nymeria pulls Catelyn out of the river her body was disposed of in. Having been dead and in the water for three days she was a little… ripe. Beric Dondarrion of the Brotherhood finds her and kisses her- bringing her back to life with the help of the Lord of Light. The gracious nature she had in her first life is nowhere to be seen, and her wounds never fully heal. She can barely speak due to her slit throat and leads the Brotherhood in a revenge quest for the Freys. From there on out she goes by Lady Stoneheart and is a ghost-story whisper throughout the rest of the series.
Now all of that is pretty stupid cool, and fans of the book could not piece together why that would be excluded from the series. The showrunners do have their reasons though. In the Game of Thrones behind the scenes, book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon by James Hibberd, David Benioff and Dan Weiss explain three reasons for the character’s exclusion. One of them is that it had to do with spoilers for the upcoming book, and so they couldn’t quite elaborate on it. The other two were simply that they didn’t want to lose the integrity of Jon Snow’s resurrection or the Red Wedding.
They knew that Jon Snow would come back to life. And feared that if there were too many resurrections in the show the deaths would lose their weight. Furthermore, the Red Wedding was one of the most impactful moments of the series. Resurrecting Cat would water that moment down a little bit. They decided that sacrificing Lady Stoneheart to keep the emotional weight of the other two events was worth it. We kind of get why this Game of Thrones plot point was abandoned.
Remember that ominous lady with the mask on Qarth? Right, that’s Quaithe, appearing in season 2 and then disappearing without a trace. The question of who she was and where she came from was never answered. She called herself “no one,” perhaps alluding to a connection to the House of Black and White, but there was never any other clues to connect her there. In the show, she simply helps Dany find her dragons and boosts Jorah Mormont’s sense of purpose.
But in the books, she appears a couple more times with some prophecies. One of which goes into detail on whom she should not trust. “The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal.” The meaning of this prophecy and who it refers to is still a mystery, as well as Quaithe’s origin and purpose.
Throughout the series, we met a couple of Wargs, people who can move their consciousness into animals. Considered a skill beyond the Wall, the ancient bloodline of the Starks lends itself to the genetic skill. Bran Stark is the most notable Warg in the series. But in the books, there were some more Wargs in the Stark family. When Arya was blinded on Braavos, the way she was able to survive was because she discovered that she was Warg. She Warged into a cat, using it to help her navigate and hide on Braavos. Over time she learns that she could do it with almost any animal.
Jon Snow could do it as well, although he was limited to Ghost. When Jon died, he Warged into his Direwolf and was one with Ghost until Melisandre brought him back. Jon used his ability to Warg into Ghost as an asset for the rest of the series. Jon Snow and Arya (More so Jon) were a little dry in the show, and this lost plot point loses some major cool points for both Jon and Arya. Not to mention the Stark family in general. The most likely reason it was cut out was because of how difficult the Direwolf effect was to produce on the show.
4. The Prince that was Promised
The Prince that was Promised was an old prophecy with an unknown origin, speaking on the coming of a saviour leader. There were many theories on who that might be; Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen, Stannis Baratheon, and Jon Snow all being strong contenders. But none of these people came into long term rule, and none of them brought peace or acted as a “saviour.” The Prince that was Promised never quite came into fruition as a Game of Thrones plot point and was just another of the many unfilled prophecies in the series. This did have a strong effect on Melisandre, who firmly believed it to be Stannis Baratheon. After his death, she lost her sense of purpose for a bit, and the Prince that was Promised was never seen in the show. Whether he will make an appearance in the books has yet to be seen.
5. Arya’s Revenge
Over the course of several seasons, we watch Arya grow from a spunky little girl to a hardened warrior. Training in the House of Black and White on Braavos, Arya learns how to literally steal faces… a skill she uses once. She never once breaks out her skills in the final season, which is more than a little disappointing. Furthermore, she has a list she relentlessly mutters of all the people she is going to kill one day; Cersei Lannister is on that list.
Melisandre also prophecies that she will shut “blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes” forever. The blue ones eventually referred to the Night King (another complaint we’ll get to in a second) but what of brown and green? Specifically referring to Cersei’s emerald eyes. The obvious and best trajectory that we seemed to be on was that Arya was to kill Cersei using Jaime’s face. Not only would that have been a satisfying death and completion to both Arya and Cersei’s arc, but it would have been so much better than getting crushed by a bunch of rocks. The drama and spice that would have ensued were completely lost, and Arya’s shapeshifting ability was never seen again.
6. Jon’s Return
When Jon Snow is brought back to life, it’s made clear that he would have only come back if there was a reason for him to. For the rest of the show, both Jon and the audience are left waiting to see why Jon was brought back to life. There were some obvious theories, like killing the Night King or becoming king…. none of which happened.
At the very least, Jon should have been the one to kill the Night King. His entire arc over the whole show was leading to that moment, only for it to be given to someone else. While I love Arya, it’s clear to most fans that Arya should have killed Cersei while Jon got the Night King. Furthermore, I personally was rooting hard for Jon to take the Iron Throne. He was lined up for it in his shared Stark-Targaryen genes, it was his birthright, and it would have unified the North and South. Some could argue that he was brought back to life to kill Daenerys, but that feels a little weak. At the end of the show he disappears beyond the wall, and there’s a sense of purpose left waiting.
7. The Lost Targaryen
And to wrap us up, we have a massive character left out of the show completely. While Tyrion is on his way to Meereen to meet up with Dany, he meets a blue-haired boy named Young Griff. This boy turns out to be Aegon Targaryen, the son of Rhaegar and is another individual claiming the Iron Throne.
It had been believed that Rhaegar’s wife and children were murdered by the Mountain. Meaning that Aegon, who was an infant at the time, was switched out with another baby. Some speculate that Griff is not actually Aegon, but just another conspiracy for the Iron Throne made on a false claim. Whoever he may be, in the books he has a small army on Westeros and is gunning for the Throne. Whether he wins it is to be seen, but if he is actually Aegon, he has a strong claim to Throne. Griff/Aegon never make an appearance, nor are they even alluded to in the show.
There are so many discrepancies between the books and the Game of Thrones show, so many plot lines lost or forgotten, that it would take us days to uncover them all. While the show may have left a little to be desired, the books are still alive and kicking, and there’s a lot left to discover in Westeros.
Thanks for reading our article on 7 lost plot threads from Game of Thrones. Did we miss any? Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
More from Game of Thrones articles HERE.
Read IMDB information on Game of Thrones HERE.
Squid Game – Review
The Players and Games
On 17 September 2021, South Korean, Netflix series Squid Game was released. Unbeknown to many including writer and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, this nine-part drama quickly became the most talked about and watched show around the world.
The extremely well written, staged and thought-out show is a mix of ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Battel Royal’ all rolled into one. To make an intense and binge-able series from start to finish.
The series can be watched with subtitles or dubbed. We would suggest watching it subtitled as some of the dubbed voiceovers don’t quite match up to the characters and you can lose some of the intensity in the scenes. With both options, however, you will still be able to get a good handle of the story, as you follow hundreds of money-poor contestants take on the deadly childhood games.
SPOILERS: If you haven’t watched the whole of Squid Game yet. Stop reading here as we are about to review the players and the games, with some hefty spoilers added in.
All dressed in green tracksuits the players are the focus of the story, and the costuming made sure they did just that. In Screen Rants video Squid Game: 15 Things You Missed, we find out that Dong-hyuk wanted the players in school uniforms. But after realising they would have to wear shorts and skirts, he went with the PE style tracksuits in green, the opposite colour to red on the colour wheel… to make sure the blood stood out.
The game starts with 456 players, but there are eight main characters, who we are invited to find out more about within the story.
Seong Gi-hun (player 456)
The very first player we are introduced to is gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, Played by actor and successful model Lee Jung-jae. Gi-hun lives with his mother, bets all her money on horses, has a lot of debts, and gets his own daughter’s birthday gift from an arcade game. Which cleverly links to the boxes they use for coffins, within the game.
Gi-hun, is a great main character because through his lies and bad habits, his narrative is written to show that he has a compassionate side too, which you can relate to.
Kang Sae-byeok (player 067)
The next character we meet is Kang Sae-byeok, portrayed perfectly by model Jung Ho-yeon, in her first ever acting role. The character arc of the strong, independent, pickpocket, is so interesting and endearing to watch. She goes from depending on herself to becoming part of a team and putting her trust in others.
Her back story is of wanting money to help her brother leave an orphanage and to move her mother from North to South Korea. This puts her in a very sympathetic light which urges us the viewer to root for her.
Cho Sang-woo (Player 218)
The next player we are introduced to is Cho Sang-woo, this complex character played by popular TV actor Park Hae Soo. His own story and mannerisms are what make him such an interesting and confusing character who one minute you like, for example when he helps the team out in tug-of-war game or the other minute you despise especially after the stunt he pulled with Ali, in the marble arena. This makes him one of the best characters to have in a show like this as he is unpredictable, like we saw at the end of game six.
Oh il-Nam (player 001)
The heart and soul of the team… or so we thought! Was Oh il-Nam player 001- we should have known!
One of the smartest players in the game was expertly played by actor and writer, Oh Young-soothe. The likable old man had us going all the way to the end and even made some of us cry in the marble game making the twist at the end of the series even better.
Jang Deok-Su (Player 101)
All good games need a villain, luckily there were a lot within the 456 players, but none were as bad as actor Heo Sung-tae’s portrayal of tatted Jang Deok-su.
Player 101, comes in hitting one of the female players and leaves being dragged down by another one! His well-written character had us shouting at the screen and hoping for a worthy death, and after his betrayal to Han Mi-nyeo before tug of war, she served him the cruel departure from the game we had all hoped for.
Abdul Ali (Player 199)
After saving Gi-Hun in the red light, green light game. Abdul Ali showed not only his strength but his love and trust in others which unfortunately would also become his demise…Thanks to snaky Sang-woo.
Actor Anupam Tripathi took his first big TV role and ran with it becoming one of the most loved characters in the series. Even getting a barrage of meme’s made for the character following his wrongful and underhanded death.
Han Mi-nyeo (Player 212)
Due to the copious amounts of death and blood, it’s always wise to have a little comic relief. Han Mi-nyeo’s character was certainly that, with her frequently used catchphrase of ‘I’m good at everything, except for the things I’m not’. Portrayed by Californian born actress Kim Joo-ryeong, the loud and obnoxious character really gave the competitive edge to the game, especially in the honeycomb games when she cheated, using a lighter to melt the candy! Her character, however, did get a little grating at times.
Ji-yeong (Player 240)
Our biggest issue with this character was that there was simply not enough screen time! Played by Lee Yoo-mi in her first major role, the character of Ji-yeong captured our hearts in just three episodes. Particularly as we got to know more about her harrowing backstory if only there was a way that both Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok could have left the marble arena together!
The main part of the story of Squid Game, is the six schoolyard games, which the players must play and win to get their hands on the life-changing sum of money.
Game 1: Red Light, Green Light.
The aim of the game is not to move when the ‘creepiest doll in history’ is looking, otherwise you are eliminated, and in this game, this doesn’t just mean out! When the ‘creepy doll’ isn’t looking you need to run as quick as you can and try and cross the line within the time frame. Sounds easy right? Not when you realise if you move… you die!
Red Light, Green Light is where the players realise what kind of game they are involved in and where we lost over half to the players too!
The schoolyard set and creepy doll voice just add to the tension of this game, which is also amplified by the visuals of the game in play accompanied by the switch over to the Front Man as he watched the game through monitors whilst listening to the song ‘Fly me to the moon’.
Game 2: Honeycomb/Dalgano Candy
To be safe in this game you need to successfully cut out a shape from Honeycomb, without damaging or breaking the shape. The only tool you are given to help you is a needle.
At the beginning of this game, we truly see the back-stabbing side of Sang-woo, as he realises what game it is, as the players start to pick their shape, before knowing what they need to do.
In the know, Sang-woo goes for the easiest shape, a triangle, and neglects to warn the others as Gi-Hun walks over to pick the hardest shape, the umbrella. This game separates the cheaters from the thinkers as Mi-nyeo and Deok-su use a lighter and Gi-Hun uses his brain and licks the shape free.
The climbing frames, bright colours, childish music and gunshots provide the perfect setting to make this whole scene completely unnerving for the players and the viewers.
Game 3: Tug of War
In teams of ten, it’s time for the players to play Tug of War. The main basis of this game needs no introduction, but instead of being pulled into a pile of mud like the classic game… you get pulled to your death.
Due to the Dr, Player 111, and his extra gameplay with some of the guards. (That involved selling body parts) Deok-su and his team know what game was coming up and managed to put together a team of strongmen to win their heat. Unfortunately, Gi-hun and his team didn’t have the same knowledge and in turn looked to have a weaker team than others. Luckily Il-Nam and Sang-Woo had solid gameplay ideas which saved the team.
The setting for Tug of War, took a bit of a dark turn and away from the schoolyard setting. With yellow and grey platforms set in a pitch-black room. Within this game, we lost half the players.
Game 4: Marbles
With this series, we all had the fear that at one point out favourites would be pitted against each other but not this early! Asked to pair up the players thought they would be playing together in teams like the last game, but that was not the case.
In the game of Marbles, the pairs were left to decide for themselves what game they wanted to play, with the loser being eliminated!
Probably one of the hardest games to watch as most pairs were playing a game of chance. If you were anything like us, we were hoping there was going to be another twist where some of the characters would survive in pairs but instead, we lost some big players and learned who were not to be trusted.
Having two games back-to-back where we lost half the players each time really helped keep the momentum of the story.
Game 5: Glass Bridge
To start this horrifying game of chance, the players had to pick their order, before knowing what the game was which led to a very tense moment where Gi Hun, almost went first. His indecisiveness helping him hugely here.
The aim of this game is for the remaining players to make their way across the glass bridge hopping from glass square to glass square, hoping to land on the tempered glass, rather than the normal glass which would break instantly sending them plummeting to their death.
Again, set in a pitch-black room with a few lights this game was intense! But it did however whittled the players down to three and showed Sang-woo’s ‘do anything for the money’ character again.
The added glass blasts at the end of the game also added an extra twist of tension as front runner Sae-byeok got severely injured.
Game 6: The Squid Game
With only two players left after Sang-woo eliminated Sae-byeok with a dinner knife, it was on to the final game and namesake of the series, Squid Game.
This game is divided into attacker (Gi-hun) and defender (Sang-woo). The attackers’ objective is to reach the “home” square marked on the opposite side of the field, while the defender’s purpose is to block them and push them out to win.
However, let’s be honest we saw very little gameplay as it ended up in a fight between the two finalists. The end of the game was gripping to watch, particularly with the knives in play and Gi-huns indecisive personality. Just as we think it’s all over, rather than putting his foot in the home square Gi-hun tries to get an injured Sang-woo to walk away from the game so they can both survive, giving up on the money.
But it a massive twist Sang-woo picks up the knife from the floor and instead of killing Gi-hun, like we anticipated, he kills himself. This was a great call from writer Hwang Dong-hyuk as it was unexpected and gave us a little extra from Sang-woos character. However, we can’t help but think that maybe it would have been a bigger twist if Sang-woo did kill Gi-Hun and won the games as no one was routing for him.
What do you think about our thoughts on the players and games within Squid Game? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out book to movie adaptations coming soon HERE.
Read IMDB information about Squid Game HERE.
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