How Game of Thrones Was Supposed to End: An Insider’s Look

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Do you remember the excitement leading up to the final season? Unfortunately, for many fans, the final season didn’t live up to their expectations. But did you know that the ending we saw on the show wasn’t the original plan? In this article, we’ll take an insider’s look at how Game of Thrones was supposed to end.

A. Context and background of Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones was a cultural phenomenon that aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019. Based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, the show followed the political intrigue and power struggles of various noble families in the fictional world of Westeros. With its complex characters, shocking twists, and epic battles, Game of Thrones quickly became one of the most popular shows on television.

B. The anticipation of the final season

As the show approached its final season, fans eagerly awaited the conclusion of the story. Would Daenerys Targaryen finally claim the Iron Throne? Would Jon Snow and his allies be able to defeat the Night King and his army of the dead? The excitement was palpable, and fans couldn’t wait to see how it would all end.

C. The disappointment of the final season

Unfortunately, many fans were left disappointed by the final season of Game of Thrones. The pacing felt rushed, and characters seemed to act out of character. The decision to have Daenerys turn into a villain felt unearned, and the final episode left many questions unanswered. Fans took to social media to express their disappointment, and even some of the actors spoke out about the ending. But what went wrong? And how was the ending supposed to be different?

The Original Plan

Could an alternate ending have saved the final season?
Could an alternate ending have saved the final season?

A. George R.R. Martin’s Vision for the Ending

George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, had a different ending in mind for Game of Thrones. While the show initially followed the books closely, it began to deviate from the source material around season 5. Martin had been working with the showrunners to provide them with a general outline of how the story would end, but the show eventually went in its own direction.

In Martin’s original plan, the ending would have been bittersweet, with some characters achieving their goals but at a great cost. He also intended to delve deeper into the motivations of the characters, particularly Daenerys Targaryen. Martin had previously stated that he didn’t want to create a simple story of good versus evil, and his ending would have reflected that.

B. The Show’s Initial Adherence to the Books

While the show eventually diverged from the books, it initially followed them quite closely. The first four seasons adapted the first three books, with some changes made for the sake of television. However, as the show began to catch up to the books, the showrunners had to make more significant changes.

Some of the changes made included leaving out entire storylines or combining characters. For example, Lady Stoneheart, a major character from the books, was left out of the show entirely. Some fans were disappointed by these changes, but others understood that they were necessary for the sake of television.

C. The Changes Made by the Showrunners

As the show went on, the showrunners began to make more significant changes to the story. Some of these changes were minor, such as aging up certain characters or changing the order of events. However, others were more significant, such as the decision to have Jon Snow kill Daenerys Targaryen in the final episode.

The showrunners have stated that they made these changes because they felt they were necessary for the story to work on television. They also had to consider factors such as budget and scheduling. However, many fans felt that these changes were not true to the spirit of the books, and that the show suffered as a result.

The Final Season

The tension between the original vision and the show's adaptation
The tension between the original vision and the show’s adaptation

The final season of Game of Thrones was highly anticipated, but unfortunately, it fell short of expectations. Here’s a closer look at why:

A. The rushed pacing and lack of character development

One of the biggest criticisms of the final season was its rushed pacing. With only six episodes to wrap up the story, many fans felt that the show didn’t take the time to properly develop the characters or storylines. Plot points that had been built up over several seasons were resolved quickly, leaving fans feeling unsatisfied. This was particularly evident in the final battle with the Night King, which some fans felt was over too quickly.

Additionally, many of the characters seemed to act out of character in the final season. Daenerys Targaryen’s descent into madness felt sudden and unearned, and Jaime Lannister’s decision to leave Brienne of Tarth and return to Cersei felt like a betrayal of his character arc.

B. The controversial decisions made by the showrunners

Another major criticism of the final season was the controversial decisions made by the showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Some fans felt that they were more interested in subverting expectations than in telling a satisfying story. The decision to have Daenerys burn King’s Landing to the ground, for example, felt like a cheap shock tactic rather than a logical progression of her character.

Additionally, some fans felt that the showrunners took too many liberties with the source material. With George R.R. Martin’s books still unfinished, the show had to come up with its own ending. While some fans appreciated the attempt to bring the story to a close, others felt that the changes made to the story were unnecessary and undermined the themes of the show.

C. The backlash from fans and critics

The final season of Game of Thrones was met with a significant backlash from fans and critics alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 58% approval rating from critics and a 33% approval rating from fans. Many fans took to social media to express their disappointment and frustration with the ending, and some even started a petition calling for the season to be remade with new writers.

The backlash was so intense that some of the actors even spoke out about it. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, called the backlash “silly” and defended the show’s ending. Emilia Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen, admitted that the backlash was “profoundly flattering” but also said that it was “impossible to please everyone.”

The Alternate Ending

A. The rumored alternate ending

Rumors have been circulating that an alternate ending to Game of Thrones exists. According to some reports, the alternate ending was filmed in secret to prevent leaks and was only shown to a select few people. However, there has been no official confirmation from HBO or the show’s creators about the existence of an alternate ending.

B. The potential for a more satisfying conclusion

If the rumors are true, what could the alternate ending have been? One theory is that the show would have followed George R.R. Martin’s original plan for the ending. In this version, the Night King would have been the final villain, and Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen would have joined forces to defeat him. This would have led to a more satisfying conclusion for many fans, as it would have tied up the storylines of these two important characters.

Another potential alternate ending could have focused on the political repercussions of Daenerys’ actions. Instead of turning her into a villain, the show could have explored the consequences of her decision to burn King’s Landing and its impact on the other characters. This would have been a more nuanced approach and could have led to a more satisfying conclusion for fans who felt that Daenerys’ arc was mishandled in the final season.

C. The missed opportunities of the final season

Regardless of whether or not an alternate ending exists, it’s clear that the final season of Game of Thrones missed some opportunities. The rushed pacing and lack of character development left many fans feeling unsatisfied. The decision to have Bran Stark become king instead of Jon Snow or Sansa Stark felt unearned, and the final episode left many loose ends.

In the end, Game of Thrones will always be remembered as a groundbreaking and influential show. However, the final season will also be remembered as a missed opportunity to provide a satisfying conclusion to the story. Whether or not an alternate ending exists, it’s clear that the show could have done better.

The Legacy of Game of Thrones

As disappointing as the final season may have been, there’s no denying the impact that Game of Thrones had on popular culture. Let’s take a look at the show’s legacy.

A. The impact of the show on popular culture

Game of Thrones was more than just a TV show – it was a cultural phenomenon. From the infamous “Red Wedding” to the epic Battle of Winterfell, the show captured the attention of millions of viewers around the world. The show’s popularity led to countless memes, merchandise, and even themed food and drink. It also helped to cement HBO’s reputation as a provider of high-quality, must-see T

B. The lasting influence of the characters and themes

One of the reasons that Game of Thrones was so successful was its complex characters and themes. From Jon Snow’s struggle to do the right thing to Cersei Lannister’s ruthless pursuit of power, the characters were all flawed and relatable in their own ways. The show also tackled complex themes such as power, family, and morality, which allowed for deeper discussions and analysis among fans.

C. The future of the franchise

While the main Game of Thrones series may be over, the franchise is far from dead. HBO has already announced that it’s working on a prequel series set thousands of years before the events of the original show. The prequel, titled House of the Dragon, will focus on the Targaryen family and their rise to power. There are also rumors of potential spin-offs or sequels in the works. Regardless of what happens next, it’s clear that Game of Thrones has left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry and will continue to be talked about for years to come.


In conclusion, the ending of Game of Thrones was a major disappointment for many fans. But as we’ve seen, that wasn’t the original plan. George R.R. Martin had a vision for how the story would end, and the showrunners made some controversial decisions that deviated from that vision.

While we may never see the original ending on screen, it’s interesting to imagine what could have been. Could Daenerys have remained a hero? Could Jon and his allies have succeeded in their mission to defeat the Night King? We may never know for sure, but it’s fun to speculate.

Despite the disappointment of the final season, Game of Thrones will always hold a special place in our hearts. The impact it had on popular culture and the lasting influence of its characters and themes cannot be denied. And who knows? Maybe someday we’ll get an alternate ending that lives up to our expectations.

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