Many of us sunk 8 years of our life into Game Of Thrones and were thanked with one of the worst conclusions of any TV series. But how did the fans really want it to end? This is our thoughts on the Game of Thrones ending.
If there’s one thing that managed to unite people more than the World Cup or another royal sprog, it was the unprecedented furore of Game of Thrones. No other series has triggered the same kind of buzz. The anticipation. The suspense. The office dramas about who was the biggest Thrones fan because they read all the fan theory pages… (we all know at least one of those psychopaths).
But it’s because of this unparalleled adoration that the concluding season /s hit so hard. To say it ended badly would be generous (cue the horse meme…).
But George R. R. Martin has yet to finish the series’ literary counterpart – and in an interview, he gave after Season 8’s finale aired, he confirmed that the books would have a different ending (probably because the backlash was heavier than one of Gregor Clegane’s thighs).
And it’s not necessarily the actual GOT conclusion that was so disappointing: it’s the speed with which
Benioff and Weiss rushed us there. Everything else in seasons 1-5 was a slow build. Scenarios were constructed carefully and precisely; character transitions were slow and believable. But trying to convince us that Daenerys – the people’s champion and defender of the downtrodden – went entirely mad and killed thousands of innocents in one season after no previous hints of insanity? I don’t think so.
So if we could have our time over with a director /s who didn’t halfheartedly rush the ending to go and film a Star Wars movie, what would be the ideal closure for true GoT fans?
The best script suggestion I’ve read is from longtime fan and screenwriter, Daniel Whidden. To check out his unedited version, head over to the ThinkStory YouTube channel where you can watch it in full.
Here though, I’ve taken his original concept but injected a few major alterations into the Game of Thrones ending. The result is arguably the best GoT conclusion I’ve ever read.
We begin our overhaul in episode 3 of season 8: The Long Night. Much of the action at
Winterfell remains the same, with the combined forces of the Unsullied, Dothraki, Northmen,
and wildlings warring against the Night King’s army of the undead. But despite Jon taking on the icy psycho himself in a sword battle to end all sword battles, it isn’t the living who come off victorious.
Instead of falling from Rhaegal, Jon dives from the sky to join the conflict, fighting alongside the men who chose him as their leader. He runs to the godswood just in time to see Theon stabbed by the Night King (cue aforementioned epic sword battle).
But when Jon stabs the Night King with dragonglass, it doesn’t kill him. Nor does Bran warging into Viserion (the undead dragon) and breathing fire onto him.
Instead, Whidden’s ending sees Viserion’s flames turn the Night King’s spear into dragonglass, which he uses to kill Viserion and trap Bran into his warg state.
This is where my first major Game of Thrones ending deviation with Whidden comes into play. Instead of the Night King killing Viserion with his dragonglass spear, his stabbing the dragon has another effect. Just as the Night King didn’t die when Jon stabbed him, nor does the dragon: instead, it turns Viserion into an ice dragon, the polar opposite of Drogon. Before Jon can escape, Viserion torches Jon with his new icy breath, and Jon falls lifelessly to the ground.
The undead win the battle of Winterfell, and a heartbroken Daenerys is forced to retreat to
King’s Landing with the rest of the survivors, where Cersei now holds all the cards. As they flee, Dany takes to the sky with Drogon, torching the earth and creating fiery walls to slow the march of the undead. Eventually, she allows herself one final look back. None of the undead remains in Winterfell. In fact, she sees only two things: the body of the man she loved, and Rhaegal.
As a distraught Daenerys disappears over the horizon, we cut to Jon’s icy body lying in the
snow. The camera pans out, and Rhaegal is now standing on his hind legs, wings outstretched. He sends a torrent of fire over Jon, and the last thing we see is a tower of flames where Jon’s body lies.
As the survivors finally reach King’s Landing, Cersei agrees to offer the refugees sanctuary in the capitol on one condition: Daenerys bends the knee and pledges fealty to her.
Fueled by the knowledge of the danger that’s hot on their heels, as well as her grief over losing Jon, Daenerys puts the lives of others before her own pride and agrees.
As her knee hits the ground and the people of King’s Landing cheer in relief (not knowing about the unkillable horror that’s soon to arrive), we cut back to Winterfell. With the cheers of King’s Landing still echoing in the background, Rhaegal rises up before the singed patch of earth that still smoulders from his fire. And there, sat on his back…Jon.
The Song of Ice and Fire; killable by neither. And just like a dragon is born in fire, so
half-Targaryen Jon was revived by Rhaegal.
When in our Game of Thrones ending we next return to King’s Landing, so too has the Night King and his army.
Instead of a lousy clash between Daenerys and Cersei, we get what all fans really wanted: an epic battle between the living and the sort-of-dead. Oh and not forgetting the showdown
between the Clegane brothers.
But as the fight rages on into the night and dawn is about to break, the Night King and his army overpower them again, and the castle falls.
However, just as all seems lost, Bran emerges from one of his warg-like trances and delivers
information that holds the key to their survival…The God’s Eye.
In George R. R. Martin’s novels, there’s a great lake in Westeros called the God’s Eye. It has a mysterious island in the centre known as the Isle of Faces. There, the magic of the Children of the Forest is strong, as this was where the pact between the Children of the Forest and the First Men was made. It’s hidden by mist and has such an ominous reputation that few people have ever been there. But one thing we do know is that it’s filled with Wierwood trees.
During Bran’s trance-like state, he saw that, on the island, stands a supreme Weirwood – like a ‘Grand Weirwood’ – that supplies Westeros with magic. If this tree were torched, the Night King would die. He suggests that Daenerys fly there with Drogon and set it alight.
This is where my second major Game of Thrones ending deviation occurs.
At this point, Whidden believes that burning the Weirwood would also kill Jon, as his
resurrection was as a result of magic. Daenerys continues with the plan to burn the tree,
sacrificing her beloved Jon in order to save mankind. This is how – in Whidden’s version – Jon dies.
But Melisandre resurrected Jon with powers from the Lord of Light – which seem to have no
correlation with the magic connected to the Children of the Forest.
Instead of Daenerys sacrificing her beloved Jon in order to save mankind (Whidden’s Game of Thrones ending proposal), here’s how I see the conclusion unfolding.
As Daenerys leaves to turn the Weirwood tree into one almighty bonfire, the Night King flies with Viserion to protect it. Meanwhile, Jon arrives at King’s Landing and, after tearful reunions with all who thought he was dead, Bran asks to speak to him alone.
Bran tells Jon about his vision and Dany’s mission to burn the tree. As Jon turns to leave and follow Dany, Bran has one final revelation:
Daenerys is pregnant with Jon’s child.
After Jon’s departure, we see Cersei go back on her word and demand the deaths of every
single person who had been loyal to Daenerys. Jaime hears this as an echo of the Mad King
Aerys. Trying to reason with her only fuels her madness, and Cersei screams that she’d never really been pregnant, but said she was to manipulate him. Jaime stabs Cersei, completing his arc as a Kingslayer and a Queenslayer.
Fast-forwarding to the God’s Eye, we see an echo of another aerial duel that took place in that very spot between two of the most powerful dragons, Vhagar and Caraxes, and their riders, Prince Aemond Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen, during the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons. After a climactic battle between the three dragons and their riders, it’s Jon who winds up face-to-face with the Night King by the tree. While he distracts the Night King, Dany swoops down and unleashes a torrent of dragon fire onto the tree. As realisation hits, Jon drives his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, into the Night King’s chest, sealing his fate.
Dany drops to the ground and Jon turns to meet her. She runs to be reunited with him but, as she gets closer, his smile turns to a grimace, as the Night King throws his spear in one last act of defiance and pierces Jon through the heart. As she cradles his head on her lap, he places his hand on her stomach and with his last breath, whispers, “I love you both”. This concludes Jon’s arc as ‘The Prince That Was Promised’ and affirms that his resurrection was solely to fulfil his destiny of killing the Night King.
Daenerys returns to King’s Landing on Drogon, with Jon’s body secured in the gentle grip of
Rhaegal’s talons. After she mourns the death of the man she loved, she finally ascends the Iron Throne on shaky legs and assumes her place as ruler.
GoT Conclusion Epilogue
Ten years later, Sansa is the new Lady of Winterfell, which has been completely rebuilt. In an
echo back to the first series when King Robert makes the journey, we see another royal
carriage pulling into the courtyard – this time with Targaryen banners.
We follow Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, down to the crypts, where Jon’s grave sits beside his father’s.
He stops at Jon’s statue, along with Daenerys and her ten-year-old son. After a while, she
kisses the statue, and they turn to leave.
“My father was a great man, wasn’t he ?”
“The greatest,” says Daenerys.
“Do you think I’ll be like him when I’m older?”
“You already are Jon,” she smiles. “You already are.”
“I’ll never be like him if I can’t swing a sword.”
“Well,” Daenerys says, realising they’re not alone. “I know someone who could teach you.”
As in the aired ending, Arya has been away exploring the unmapped world but has returned to commemorate the tenth anniversary of her brother’s death. She steps sheepishly out of the shadows, apologising for intruding on a private moment, but Dany waves her hand in the air and dismisses it. “You have nothing to apologise for. Unless you’re saying you won’t teach him. In which case, I have a hungry dragon outside.” They all smile.
“I’d love to,” Arya says.
“But I don’t even have a sword,” Jon sighs.
Arya kneels down in front of him and pulls out a small but familiar smallsword.
“A great man once gave me this weapon. A man who believed I could be anything I wanted to be,” Arya says, placing it gently in Jon’s hands. “I call it Needle. But it’s yours now. And you can call it anything you like.”
As they emerge from the crypts, the courtyard is brimming with people – spilling out all across the surrounding countryside. At the front are Sansa, Bran, Tyrion, Jaime, Tormund Giantsbane, Brienne of Tarth and Samwell Tarly.
“To Jon!” shouts Tormund. “A madman, and a King!”
As he takes the knee, ripples of “to Jon!” start echoing through the courtyard and beyond. One after the other, they all kneel.
“To Jon,” whispers Daenerys. And walking in front of her child, for the only meaningful time in
her life, she kneels and bows her head low to their son; future King of the Seven Kingdoms, and Jon’s heir.
Is this a Game of Thrones ending you would’ve liked to have seen, how would you improve on the GoT conclusion to the show, how do you think George R. R. Martin will wrap things up? Leave us a comment below.
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Read IMDB information about the Game of Thrones TV series HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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