The ending of Game of Thrones could never have lived up to the expectations of the most committed fanbase in television history.
More so than The Sopranos, more so even than Breaking Bad, the final season of Game of Thrones dominated pub discussions for weeks on end.
And when the payoff turned out to be a little shaky, the disappointment was palpable; channelled through memes and infuriated petitions.
Screenwriter Daniel Whidden has decided to take matters into his own hands, re-imagining the story arc of season eight through an extremely inventive 16-minute YouTube video. And I have to say, this would have been a far more satisfying season to watch.
According to Whidden:
We start with episode three, the Battle of Winterfell. And for the most part, this episode will play out much like it did in the real version.
The combined forces of the Unsullied, the Dothraki, Northman and wildlings face off against the Night King and his undead horde.
Meanwhile, Cersei, the Golden Company and the Iron Fleet chill in King’s Landing having reneged on their promise to help in the upcoming war. But this episode will have one major difference that will completely change the episodes to come.
The Night King will be victorious and the remaining forces of Winterfell will be forced to retreat to King’s Landing.
Whidden continued to explain how he wouldn’t have put Tyrion Lannister, the children and the women in the Winterfell crypts, describing it as ‘lazy writing’. He would have instead moved them to the main hall, which he believes would still have had an ’emotionally visceral’ impact.
At the same time, Daenerys and Jon would be taking on the Night King while riding dragons, much like in the original version. However, in this version, a series of events leads to Jon facing off the Night King in a sword battle.
You can check out the video for yourself below:
The Night King would prove too powerful for Jon, and so Bran – using his woefully underused powers – would warg into Viserion and breathe fire all over the icy enemy. However, much like in the real episode, the Night King would emerge unscathed from the flames.
Jon would stab the Night King with a dragon glass sword, to no avail. At this point, viewers would realise the sinister villain is actually – dun dun dun! – impervious to dragonglass.
The survivors flee a burning Winterfell, with the episode concluding with the fallen Winterfell fighters rising from the dead. Bran is also found to be in a catatonic state, which he will remain in for most of the season.
With the dragonglass revelation raising the stakes significantly, the action moves to King’s Landing where the survivors will try and seek refuge from cruel Queen Cersei.
A reformed Jaime convinces her to allow them refuge. However, she permits this only on the condition Daenerys bend the knee to her. Daenerys puts her people before herself and agrees, in a stark contrast to her actual character development in season eight.
Jaime would eventually take out Cersei in a fitting completion of his roller-coaster character arc. Bran would awaken from his coma and reveal the Night King can only be defeated by burning the Weirwood tree in the God’s Eye lake.
Daenerys and Drogon fly to the God’s Eye lake to burn the magical tree, duelling with the Night King before once again emerging untouched from the flames.
The destruction of the tree leads to the Night King’s demise. However, it also rids the world of magic, leading to the death of the resurrected Jon.
Five years after the action, we see Daenerys visiting Jon’s body in the Winterfell crypts, where he lies beside Ned Stark. She is accompanied by her son – also called Jon – and says he will one day sit upon the Iron Throne.
It would appear fans would have watched the dragon poop out of Whidden’s version, with many preferring it to the conclusion they were actually given.
One person commented:
While listening to your story, I kind of imagined all your story and forgot what I have watched, and feel much happier now, thanks for that.
This was 100x better than how the show really ended. Great work man. I’ll pretend that the show actually ended like this.
In thirty or so years, perhaps future showrunners tasked with remaking Game of Thrones will take note from Whidden’s excellent video.
In the meantime, somebody please give Daniel Whidden a fantasy epic series to work his magic on…
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.