There are going to be millions of disappointed fans when the last episode of Game of Thrones fades takes the black and the final credits roll. Some fans will be happy they were a part of the Game of Thrones phenomenon. Other fans will be disappointed because no ending could live up to the hype HBO is bound to unleash. Whether it’s next year or 2019, season eight has a lot of ground to cover. Her’s a few helpful ideas and theories for showrunners to mull over before Game of Thrones is history.
Arya Stark’s Hit List
Arya Stark was on her way out of the realm of sanity when she started reciting her hit list like a mantra. Somewhere along her travels and training with the Faceless Men (Yes, Arya, no matter what you told Brienne you’ve had training) Arya left sanity behind and became Arya “Psycho” Stark.
Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr made it on the list because they sold Gendry Waters to Melisandre. Thoros is dead and Gendry is still alive. Will it be enough to remove his name for her list? In Beyond the Walls, Beric tells Jon the two of them were resurrected for a reason and then points to the Night King. Beric, whether he lives or dies, fighting in the final battle with the Night King would be more satisfying then a death at Arya’s hands.
The Hound, who Arya thinks is dead, can easily be added back onto her hit list. She handled herself against Brienne and Brienne defeated the Hound. Odds are she could handle herself against the Hound, but then we’re deprived of the battle between the Hound and the Mountain, who is also on Arya’s list. The battle between brothers will make a much better tv than Arya killing another person.
In terms of distance and good storytelling, Cersei is way beyond Arya’s reach. Melisandre, who we assume is hanging around to die in “this strange country,” could still be a possibility. Of course, this means they have to meet and then only after Melisandre brings Beric back from the dead.
(We haven’t forgotten Ser Ilyn Payne, the executioner, but he’s not a player in the story. It would take a lot of wordsmithing to work him back into the story)
It would be nice, in a demented kind of way, to see Arya’s list completed. Try as she might, some folks are simply out of the range of possibility and there’s no time to dedicate to revenge fulfillment. Skip the kill list.
Theon Saves Yara
Figuratively, Theon grew a pair in “The Dragon and the Wolf.” There’s every reason to believe he’ll take his reclaimed manhood and bring the fight to Euron. However, it has to be quick battle. Showrunners have sped things up quite a bit in the past two seasons. It took the Unsullied all of two minutes of screen time to capture Highgarden, It’s won’t be wasted time if Theon and Yara rest control of the Iron Fleet from Euron. Daenerys would have the fleet she needs to fight Cersei and the undead. At the very least, Euron will be dead.
Jamie Kills Cersei
We would all like to see Daenerys and Cersei face off in battle or even hand-to-hand combat. How Daenerys on a dragon and Cersei, who knows nothing about actual fighting, would “face off” is another question. What actually needs to happen is Jamie killing Cersei. It sounds brutal, but that’s what needs to happen.
The Jamie Lannister character has been and still is the best written character on the series. We’ve seen the character evolve since his time as Rob Stark’s captive and traveling with Brienne. The other characters have’t evolved and some haven’t needed to evolve. Jon “Christlike” Snow will never not be the guy who does the right thing. Daenerys’s holier than though attitude is a part of who she is as a character. Tyrion, who was never a “bad guy,” has gone from drunken whoremonger to the Right Hand of the Queen. The Tyrion character has gone as far as it can go. At this late stage there’s zero reason to change Cersei. The Hound is the only other character on Game of Thrones who has evolved as a character.
Jamie, however, is still an evolving character with plenty of room to grow. Cersei’s last act of betrayal sent Jamie running to the North presumably to warn Jon and Daenerys. There’s going to be plenty of time in season eight dedicated to Cersei. Cersei has already proved herself to viewers that she’s the “Mad Queen.” After the season seven finale, Jamie knows it too. Killing Cersei would complete the character’s journey.
Sansa Becomes Queen of Winterfell
Jon’s credit with the people of the North was seriously stretched when he left Winterfell. Sansa stayed behind and proved herself a capable leader. There won’t be any goodwill to extend when the people learn he accepted Daenerys as Queen. There’ll be even less when, and if, they find out he’s a Targaryen. Bran may be the next in line to assume the mantle of King of Winterfell, but he won’t accept the title. Three Eyed Ravens don’t do the king thing. Sansa is the likeliest choice to assume leadership. And it never hurts to have a psycho little sister ready to cut anyone who looks at her the wrong way.
Jon Snow Fights the Night King
If there is an amount of time allotted to each character’s story arch or to individual plots most of the time needs to be focused on the Night King and his army of the dead moving South. The dead were moving quick at the end of “The Dragon and the Wolf.” The dead could easily be at Winterfell’s doorstep by the time the season eight opening credits end.
There will be a big to do about the amount of dragon glass being mined from Dragonstone. Of course, most of it will be lost before it can be made into weapons. The battles should be big and brutal. Jon will be armed with dragon glass and fire, the two things that can kill the undead.
When Jon kills the Night King the other zombies will die. We say it when Jon killed the White Walker in “Beyond the Wall.” Remember the giant crossbow Bronn used in the “Spoils of War?” Now imagine it with a giant bolt made of dragon glass and fired by someone with better aim (Tormund Giantsbane?). The zombie dragon has to die somehow.
Of course the Night King won’t die before thousands have died and Jon succumbs to mortal wounds. This time Melisandre won’t save him.
No More “Game” For the Iron Throne
Even if the rumors are true and season eight’s six episodes are 120 minutes long (average time running time for a feature movie) there’s a lot of story still to be told. Showrunners have wasted an incredible amount of time on things that aren’t relevant to the story. Does anyone care let alone remember Ellaria Sand is still Cersei’s prisoner? Does more time need to be wasted on Sam Tarly? He’s a cute character, even killed a White Walker, but he brings nothing to the table.
The “game” that we came to love in earlier seasons came to an end when season seven came to an end. Too much time was invested in who was doing what to seize control of the Iron Throne. Showrunners need to realize the game is now about who survives the army of the dead. All of the plots and plans have amounted to nothing and were basically a long side bar to the Night King’s invasion. Who ever survives the dead will be on the Iron Throne.
Finally, the only real choice for the last ass on the Iron Throne is Daenerys. It would be too cheesy to have Jon survive to sit on the throne. Cersei will be dead and Jamie will have become tired of everything. No other character alive will have claim to the throne.
Personally, I’d be happy if the last scene was the camera slowly pulling back to show a landscape littered with bodies, thousands of dead bodies laying in a field. Only a few remain alive moving among the corpses. One of those figures who’s still alive is a battered and bruised Tyrion, leaning on an equally battered and bruised Bronn. Both of them realize a little too late that everything they had done was for nothing. (I can dream)