Post Your Alternative Version of GOT Season 7 & 8

Think you could do better? Here’s your chance!

(I thought it best to pull this out of the specific critique of episode 8.06, and the discussion of the ridiculous internet petition.)

Given the state of the gameboard at the end of Season 6: Dany is sailing towards Westeros with 3 dragons and 2 armies. The Night King and his zombie horde are marching south. Cersei Lannister on the Iron Throne.

How would you wrap it all up? Account for the major military clashes, the actions of the major characters, and who’s your pick to wind up on the throne?

(Personally, I’m not sure. I think all the major developments happened pretty much as best as they could, some character resolution was anti-climactic, and Bran was a bad choice, mostly because he’s a boring character and a bad actor.)

My alternate version:

  1. During the battle for Winterfell, there are no “tv show cliffhanger” shots of our heroes getting overwhelmed only to be fine the next time we see them.

  2. Also during that same battle, the trebuchets are inside the walls and constantly fire on the undead, killing an extra 10k compared to what we saw but not enough to really matter.

  3. In 8.5, instead of a surprise attack killing Jon’s dragon, Dany sees Euron’s ships, charges them with both dragons, and even though she manages to kill all the boats there (including Euron), they manage to take out Jon’s dragon.

  4. In the sack of King’s Landing, none of the crowd shouts for the bells to be rung, and Dany doesn’t stop to consider. Instead, after routing the defending troops she just keeps firing on everyone and everything.

  5. In the finale, the North agrees to bend the knee to the newly elected king because he’s a friggin’ Stark!
    That’s all I’d need to be quite happy.

Huh? How’s that work? In your version Dany’s still alive, can’t marry Jon because of northern customs, Jon doesn’t want it anyway, and she’s still as power hungry as she’s ever been. There’s no way him getting installed by the people doesn’t go very badly.

I’ll limit it to season 8, which I still enjoyed, warts and all. I leave the main story line (apparently coming from GRRM himself) intact as well.

No major changes to episodes 1 and 2, except clarifying that Dany left a considerable force of unsullied and dothraki in Dragonstone to prevent Cersei’s forces from capturing it.

Episode 3: my main gripe is the plot armor of most (co-)leading characters. I’d have Samwell in the crypt, not at the front - he can lead the defense against the wights raised there, which is far more believable than him surviving wave upon wave of bloodthirsty wights. Brienne, Podrick, Tormund die defending the castle. Rhaegal dies in the fight with wight Vyserion. I’m OK with the rest, except I would have Arya sneaking up to the back of the night king rather than jumping from wherever. Having the NK do a swordfight with Jon does not make sense - why would he?

Episode 4: the weakest of the season for me. Changes: Jaime still leaves for KL, but also because Brienne is gone. Euron’s fleet still sets the trap, Dany spots it, but a few near misses from the scorpions makes her back off. Euron destroys Dany’s fleet, captures Missandei and decapitates her there and then, her head washes up to the shores and gets found by GW. No negotiations at KL, while standing in reach of the scorpions. Dany makes a reconnaissance flight with Drogon of KL and spots the danger points (scorpions, but far less than in the series). The war council decides how to attack KL and the whole bells thing (shifted from episode 5).

Episode 5: Jaime arrives in time at KL before the gates close and goes to the room with the map on the floor. Dany and Drogon take out the scorpions, and burn Euron to death, while the Golden Company does something for their money, engaging the attacking force. Strickland and GW battle and GW wins. At that moment, Dany destroys most of the remaining GC soldiers and the attackers advance into KL. As the bells sound for surrender, we zoom in to the changing faces of Dany and GW, alternating, suggesting that they had agreed on this beforehand. At the same time they both resume the attacks and the carnage follows. Less shots of Arya, the Clegaynebowl happens as in the series.

Episode 6:
I’d keep this pretty much the same upto the Dany/Jon encounter (except GW does not execute the prisoners, but another unsullied). More time for the encounter, more discussion between the two, Jon giving her more time to make him change his mind. In the end, he still kills her. I love the Drogon reaction (dragons are supposed to be highly intelligent, and it shows in this scene). The council meeting a few weeks later will include Jon as prisoner (just like Tyrion). Bran will do the talking initially, highlighting the need to elect a king/queen. He’ll ask for candidates, and after Edmure gets shot down by Sansa, no-one comes forward. He then suggests that Tyrion, who has served as Hand on both sides, makes a proposal. Tyrion points out that Jon is the most logical choice, but before GW explodes, Jon refuses, stating that as queenslayer he cannot do it, and he does not want it anyway - he volunteers to take the black. Then Tyrion suggests Bran, with the same outcome as in the show. Instead of the meeting of the small council later (which was one of the lowlights of the episode for me), we see Thyrion as hand discussing with Bran who should be on the small council (including Bron to close that arc). Bran agrees with all proposed names and says “I must go now” flipping his eyes away. The Starks’ goodbye scene and the rest of the episode stay the way they are (obviously without Tormund).

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

I think there’s some different ways that could have gotten there, that maybe, maybe would have been more satisfying.

In the battle of winterfell, either more people die, or even the odds a bit more so them surviving wasn’t so ridiculous.

I think it was necessary for Dany to die, but maybe it could have been during battle by getting a little bit too cocky. She flys to the Red Keep to get Cersei instead of nuking the city first, then takes a ballista through the chest without properly clearing it first. We get to be a little bit sad that she dies, while realizing it was her hubris that got her there.

I personally expected Cersei to die at Jamie’s hand, similar to how Jon killed Dany. That would have been the impetus of the bells being rung and the Lannister army giving up. I personally would have been okay with Jamie living, but hey, I like the dude. Sue me.

Jon ends up being King, Bran is the “Master of Whisperers” or whatever. Tyrion is is hand.

I mean, they clearly tried to give this a more or less happy ending, so why not a little bit more. Again, I’m fine with the way it turned out, but I think I would have liked this a little better.

I think I’m OK with the large strokes. I’d tweak some character resolutions:

The demise of the Night King didn’t pack enough of a wallop, and I think it was just because of the special effects. Instead of having him shatter like glass, I’d have him wither and collapse, like the Witch King of Angmar (since the scene looked like a direct lift from Return of the King anyway – go for it.)

Arya kills Cersei, by pushing off the Red Keep parapet, saying “…the things I do for love.” I’d find a way to redeem Jamie and keep him alive.
Hound kills The Mountain by shoving his head in the fire. More poetic justice.

As I alluded in the OP, I really dislike the character of Bran. I’d either re-write his entire arc to make him more interesting and more involved in the denouement…or failing that, give the crown to Jon.

I did too - my favorite scene in the episode. You could sense Drogon’s rage, and how we would probably love to roast Jon Snow, but he can’t since he’s a Targaryen and a dragon-rider. So he takes it out on the throne.

  1. Completely remove the ridiculous mission beyond the wall to capture a zombie

  2. The dead get through the wall by overwhelming the severely depleted night watch, if they needed a dragon to get through then the heroes are directly responsible which is even worse given how stupid their mission was

  3. Viseryon dies during the battle of winterfell, Rhaegal is very injured (they actually did show this, but completely forgot about it after the episode)

  4. No shots of the main characters being completely overwhelmed every five minutes during the battle of Winterfell, specially Sam who spent the last 45 minutes on the ground covered in zombies.

  5. Make the battle look like there was a realistic chance for half their armies to survive, specially the Dothraki who clearly took way more losses than they claimed

  6. Dany engages in battle with the iron fleet, she easily dodges the scorpion bolts. Rhaegal goes down due to being injured (come on there was a damn hole through his wing in episode 3), but still puts up a good fight.

  7. During the battle for Kings Landing Dany is burning troops inside the city from the start, she still ignores the surrender bells, but they don’t trigger her attack on civilians.

Those are really the more important parts. There’s still minor stuff like Jon not petting Ghost, and Tyrion easily finding Cersei and Jamies corpses that are annoying or make no sense, but they are not important plot points.

My list of 5 Most Memorable Moments from 8 Years of GOT (available upon request), includes the Night King re-animating Viserion. So their mission may have been stupid strategically, but it made for great TV. :slight_smile:

It could have happened during the battle of Winterfell instead, specifically when he raised all the defenders.

Not sure where you got “Dany is still alive” from my edits; she’s not. My alternate version doesn’t change a single plot point, except that Sansa bends the knee to Bran. My changes are all very minor.

I wouldn’t change much other than give more time to develop the Dany darkside plot.