It Wasn’t Meant to Be a Choose Your Own Adventure

I know people are up in arms about the Game of Thrones finale.  I am sure I will be flayed for my opinions.  The thing is, unless you wrote the story, it’s not really up for debate. The idea that people circulated and signed a petition to redo the last season is preposterous.  This isn’t a “Choose Your Own Adventure”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you missed out.  In the 80’s, there were these books that were “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. You would read for so many pages, and then you would get a choice. To choose that the character will do abc, go to page x, to choose that the character will do def, go to page y.

When we watch a big epic show like Game of Thrones, I think it’s a disservice to the 8 seasons, for fans to lament the ending. I think it’s fine to be disappointed in the ending, and I wished it had gone another way, but that doesn’t negate the amazing show we all got to enjoy for 8 seasons.  The cast, crew and creative team deserve more respect than that.  This story was massive, and it had so many intertwined stories, I think it’s arrogant for us to all assume we would have done it better.

With that being said, let me lay out where I thought it was going to go, at least in the abstract. I won’t say it would have been better, just different.

Going into the finale season, it really seemed to me that there was an over-arching theme.  These “children” had created the night king and the army of the dead. They also wanted to undo what they had done.

Centuries later, and we start off seeing these groups of parents and their kids.  The pattern we see is the mistakes the parents make, and their kids trying to do better than their parents.  It seemed to me, that there was a delineation between the kids who learned to do what is right and moral, who sought to do better than their parents, while others sought to repeat their parent’s “sins” and continue/perpetuate their craven and power hungry ways.

So we see that the Starks were good. So was Asha Yara Greyjoy, even if Theon wasn’t. He takes the long road there. So does Jaime Lannister, it seems. That’s the path I thought he was taking, and I didn’t think it was just so he could throw it away at the end to stand by his sister, who hadn’t learned anything. My thought was the council at the end, should have been all the kids who learned the lesson of their parents, and the ones who were gone, would be the ones who didn’t learn that lesson.

Where does that leave Daenerys?  That’s a good question. It really felt like they were going back and forth between having her learn the lessons and then not, and then yes, and then no.  Because she gave that speech about breaking the wheel, it seemed to be that she needed to make good on that. She should have been at the head of that council, and all the kids, now the heads of their homes should have taken a piece of the iron throne, in essence having them break the throne, into 7 equal kingdoms, free from 1 potentially tyrannical ruler.

I know that may sound too nice and sweet, but Arya would still be able to have that Frodo-esque “I can’t just live a normal life, I need to sail off into the unknown” ending. Sansa would still be able to preserve the north as a free kingdom. Asha would be named queen of her kingdom, and so on. There could be major loss, without it being the equivalent of click-bait. A flashy murder, for the shock and awe. Like Missandei. She was a strong character, who had more of a story to tell, and she was sacrificed, so we could have a reason for Dany to lose it. She deserved a better story, and a better ending.

Even Cersei deserved a better ending. She already had that massive walk of shame, so how would you have her executed in a way that would make sense? Let’s say Dany didn’t snap, after the bells rang. Instead maybe Dany just goes to the tower Cersei was in, and has Drogon burn that one, so it starts crumbling around Cersei. Maybe she would still try to escape with the Mountain, and then the Hound gets his revenge on the Mountain.

Instead of her just slipping by like “this seems like an A and B convo, I’ll C my way out…”, she could have been met by Dany and Drogon at the bottom. From there, keeping her alive, would keep the sins of the past alive. She will have to be executed, but is by fire the right way? I think so, in the instance that she would be the last execution that would ever take place at that level. There would be no more top of the 7 kingdoms. King’s Landing would be transformed into a place where the leaders of the 7 kingdoms conducted joint affairs, and the citizens would be from any 1 of the 7 kingdoms.

I get this is all very loose. It’s certainly not a script. I don’t want to disrespect the creators and script writers with trying to attempt that. I’m sure many will find plenty of flaws with what I outline.

It’s just what I was hoping for.  I know I didn’t mention Jon Snow.  By the end I decided he was a pretty boy, who had a good heart, but boy was he dumb. I mean, just not a smart guy. He usually had a blank look on his face, when other characters were discussing complex political issues. I just couldn’t see fit to put him at the top, just because he was good.  I really wanted the ending he got.  Despite his heritage, and despite his upbringing, his heart belonged north of the wall, with the wildings. That’s what fit his character (and his direwolf).

So that’s my alternate ending, but that doesn’t mean I wish they would re-do the season. That’s just silly. I will say this.

It’s infuriating that Lena Headey got online hate, for her portrayal of Cersei.  She did an amazing job in that role, and she deserves praise for how well she played this villain.  The entire cast was fabulous, from the lead characters, to those with smaller parts, like Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), and Rory McCann (The Hound).

The writers, directors, producers, costume designers, set designers, makeup people, etc. They did such an incredible job of putting all these stories together.  By season 3, I had to google a map of all the characters, so I could keep them straight. I think the team that pulled all this off, deserves our gratitude, considering all we had to do was sit on our butts and watch.  It’s easy to sit in judgement of someone else’s work. Doing the work takes a lot more.

Constructive criticism is good, but let’s make sure it that and not just tearing people down, because we like feeling like we should sit in judgement. And anyone who sent crappy mean online comments to any of the cast or crew, owes them an apology. They are people and I doubt you would be so rude to their face, so there is no excuse for doing it online.

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