Now that HBO’s Game of Thrones has reached its final chapter, what ever will fans do now? There are still moments that will be debated about the final and the last season as a whole for years to come. But no actual Game of Thrones. At least until HBO launches the prequel, or George R.R. Martin graces the literary world with his next book. Although it’s beginning to look like the prequel might beat the Winds of a Winter. In the meantime, let’s revisit a series that I did previously and see how a few changes might have effected the outcome of Season 8. First off: What if Jon had NOT been told about his lineage?
At the end of Season 7, Bran had learned that Jon’s father was NOT Ser Eddard Stark. In fact, he was the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. In addition, he was not a bastard but a legitimate Targaryen and next in line to the Iron Throne. His name was Aegon VII Targaryen. This was discovered by Bran and confirmed by a manuscript at the Citadel by Samwell Tarley. At the time, Jon was unaware of this and had fallen in love with Denaerys Targaryen, whose titles included:
- Queen of Meereen
- Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea
- Mother of Dragons
- The Unburnt
- Breaker of Chains
- Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men
- Protector of the Realm
- Lady of Dragonstone
This added one more title to Denaerys:
- Aunt of Aegon VII Targaryen (Jon Snow)
Upon discovering this information, Bran thought it incumbent on him to tell Jon. His reasons for why this was necessary and the timing of the disclosure have never been made clear. However, what he really meant was that SAMWELL needed to tell Jon. When Bran thought the time was right. Why?
The information was hard for Jon to process but he never doubted the validity of it. His main concern initially was that his honorable “Father” had kept it from him. That and the need to tell Denaerys and eventually, his sisters Sansa and Arya. The ramifications of this put a wedge between him and Denaerys that neither could fully get over. It also gave Sansa information she could use to perhaps win the North its freedom. With a little help from her ex-husband Tyrion. But “What If Jon had never been told about his lineage?”
What if Samwell decided instead that Jon did NOT need to know that information. Perhaps after seeing Jon with Denaerys, and how happy they seemed to be, he took a different route, in spite of Bran’s insistence. If Sam has proven anything, he is a loyal man and the man he is most loyal to is Jon. If it were not for Jon’s intervention at Castle Black, Sam might have not made it to take his vows. He was weak and unpopular, and considered to be a coward. Only Jon saw through all of that and recognized the man he was. Because of that, he considers Jon to be the best friend he’s ever had. Thus, rather than tell him the truth, knowing that Jon does not seek the Kingship anyway, he keeps it to himself. How would that have changed things?
For starters, Jon would never been as aloof and distant with Denaerys as he became after he was told the truth. Before that happened, he was always around her, walking and talking with her. How much different might things have been if they had kept that kind of relationship. As it was, she mentioned to Jon more than once after the fact she wished they could go back to the way it was. That issue would disappear as he no longer would have been burdened with that knowledge and the wall it created. In addition, all of those almost “couplings” might have followed through instead of Jon pulling away. What might have happened then?
Jon falls in Battle
Without that elephant in the room, their relationship would continue to grow. When the circumstances came about during the Battle of Winterfell, it was Jon and not Jorah who comes to her rescue. In that scenario, Jorah does not meet his end on that battlefield. Instead, despite of his celebrated skill with a sword, it is Jon who is killed while defending the woman he loves. As Jon falls, Jorah jumps in to protect Denaerys just as Arya kills the Night King. That possibility still exists because as things unfolded, Jon had no effect on the events at the Heartswood. He was unable to get close enough due to engaging Viserion. As she cradles Jon in her arms, he looks at her and places her hand on his chest.
Don’t mourn me, Dany. This is why I was brought back. To make sure that you live to fulfill your promise. You will make this a better world…and you will always…be my Queen.
With those last words, hanging in the cold air, Jon Snow is gone. Denaerys is heartbroken as is Arya. The same funeral takes place but with Jon in the place of Jorah. Samwell gives the Eulogy speaking about all who died with a special emphasis on his friend Jon.
His name was … Jon Snow. But he was known by many others. If you ask his Sisters, Jon was their Brother. Not their half-brother, nor their “bastard” brother. He was their BROTHER. For some, he was Lord Snow. To others, he was the Bastard of Winterfell. At Castle Black, he was our brother of the Nights Watch. It mattered not. Everyone knew who Jon was.
Jon always seemed to know what was right. Even when others did not see it. He took it upon himself to seek justice for those who had betrayed and murdered Lord Commander Mormont. He brought the Free Folk back over the wall when it was unpopular to do so. It cost him his life. The fates were kind then and he was brought back to us.
People were drawn to Jon. It was why he was selected as Lord Commander of the Nights Watch. It’s why the North chose him as King of the North. And it’s why our Queen fell in love with him. He was considered a Bastard, but he was the Leader everyone turned to, when the night was darkest. We shall never see his like again. And now…his watch is ended.
The Battle Plan
With recent events weighing heavily, Denaerys is not so quick to jump into her attack on King’s Landing. Which work’s to their advantage to plan appropriately. While Jorah comforts his Khaleesi, he also councils her about going in too readily. His concern is that while they have been concentrating on the fight for the living, Cersei has been preparing for their attack. The initial plan is discussed. They will split their forces up, sending their fleet toward Dragonstone with the Dragons while the bulk of their forces ride inland toward Kings Landing. it is Jorah that believes that it would be a mistake. Sending their most valuable weapons that close to the enemy without knowing what they face could prove disastrous.
He suggests perhaps, a small envoy of ships to scout ahead first to see what is waiting for them. Sam makes another suggestion. He recommends that they ask Bran to warg into the ravens and scout that way. They can learn what they will be facing without risking their troops needlessly. Bran seems reluctant but Sansa tells him to do it, for Jon. So now, instead of losing ships, Missandei and Rhaegal. They learn that the Iron Fleet has been equipped with the new improved Scorpions. With this knowledge, their attack on the Capital goes pretty much as previous, but this time with two Dragons. Because of the support of Jorah, and Missandei, Dany is determined to take the Throne, but not to destroy the city. When the bells ring to signal the Capital’s surrender, she pulls back. The city is hers.
The Hound, the Mountain and a Girl
While Dany was taking the city, the Hound and Arya had snuck into the city to do their respective missions just as before. This time without Dany’s previous carnage as a backdrop. Parts of the city were still in flames and the battle between the brothers Clegane went pretty much as scripted, with the brothers going down in flames. Jaime, after his battle with Euron, is struggling with his wounds to reach Cersei.
For her part, Cersei has heard the bells chime and knows the city has fallen. The tower she is in has began to crumble from the Dragons dual attack. As the tears stream down her face, from across the room she sees Jaime. She stumbles across the room just as Jaime falls to his knees. She bends down, noticing the large amount of blood running down the side of his face. “You’re hurt.” she exclaims. “It doesn’t matter now,” he tells her. As he hold her close, he leans into her ear. “The Starks send their regards,” as he slides a Valarian dagger’s blade across her throat. She clutches her neck as Jaime’s face is slid away to reveal Arya’s blood stained face. “and now…there are none on a Girl’s list.” She stands up, walking away as the tower collapses.
Denaerys Targaryen has fulfilled her quest. She has regained the family’s birthright. But the cost was high. The pain of Jon’s death is still fresh in her mind and her heart. But she will do what he had wanted her to do. She will make this world a better place. For her people and for her unborn child. Jon was right when he said that perhaps a witch was not a reliable source. She will name the child if he is a boy Jon Aegon Targaryen. He or she will be told about their father. About his bravery, and how he saved both of their lives. They will not forget their father, Jon Stark as he will now be known. In the end, it was all he ever wanted.
Lord of Casterly Rock and the Hand
Tyrion was heartbroken over the death of his sibling’s. He asked for and was given his release from his duties as Hand and assumed his place as Lord of Casterly Rock. (His father would have hated that.) Somehow he found comfort in the thought. Ser Jorah took Tyrion’s place as the Queen’s Hand. He served her and the Realm well. As for Samwell, he still took the position of Maester and made a swap with Ser Jorah. He gave Jorah Jon’s Sword Longclaw which was the Mormont family sword originally. Jorah returned Sam’s family sword Heartsbane but both were kept in a place of honor in the Throne Room. Brienne and Poderick still served as members of the Queen’s Guard, but for Sansa and not Denaerys.
Queen of the North
Bran stayed on for a bit but never took on an official title as he could not promise he would stay. Arya, with no more people on her list decided still to explore west of Westeros. Where she might end up a girl could not say. Sansa once again asked for the North’s independence. While Denaerys was reluctant to do so, Ser Jorah suggested that should allow this. But only if Sansa agreed that if the need arose, they could call on the North for assistance. In memory of Jon, Sansa agreed and took her place at Winterfell as the Queen of the North.
To commemorate her Brother, Sansa had a statue of Jon put in the Stark family crypt. Next to their father. On the other side, was a statue of Theon Greyjoy-Stark. Neither Sam nor Bran ever revealed the truth about Jon’s true heritage. He was a Stark and he was at peace.
Special thanks to @TC_Stark for giving me some plot input and a needed push. Needless to say, this is a work of fan fiction and it only begins to address the issues with the final episode and Season 8 as a whole. In addition, it is just one of many possibilities that could have transpired with just a few changes. Perhaps you have a different thought on how it could have transpired. We encourage you to let us know what you would have liked to see in the final season. In time, this season may be looked at more favorably than it is now. Perhaps not. But the series itself was must watch television. It will be sorely missed. Share your ideas with us at GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.