GAME OF THRONES Star Says The Controversial Ending To The Series Was George R.R. Martin's Plan All Along

The vast majority of Game of Thrones fans were disappointed by who ended up on the Iron Throne, but one of the show's cast members has confirmed that it was author George R.R. Martin's plan from the start.

For the past few years, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been forced to tell the epic tale without George R.R. Martin's novels to fall back on. That's obviously led to them having to do their own thing to some extent, but it's no secret that the author filled them in on where he plans to take the books and how the story wraps up.

It's probably going to be years before we find out how close the conclusion of the Song of Ice and Fire saga winds up being to the TV show, but Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead Wright has now dropped a bombshell which should take some of the heat from Benioff and Weiss as they gear up to start work on their Star Wars trilogy.

"[Creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king," Wright reveals. "So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up."
So, yes, the plan always was for Bran to be named King. Whether Martin's take will be a little more satisfying remains to be seen, but this isn't what fans were hoping for and it now sounds like fans of the books will also wind up being disappointed.

Now that some time have passed, how do you feel about the finale?

Hit the "View List" button for a recap of questions which will
never be answered following the Game of Thrones series finale!

What Was The Lord Of Light's Role? 


Even before Jon Snow was resurrected, we heard about the Lord of Light and assumed that this apparent God would play a key role in the final season. Well, while Melisandre does return and Beric obviously dies to save Arya, we never get any real answers regarding what the Lord of Light's role was and the Red Woman's demise only further confused matters.

Are we supposed to believe that this Lord of Light is just a God who manipulated matters to ensure our heroes would defeat the Night King? If so, that's extremely lazy storytelling, as Game of Thrones never bothered to shed any, well, light on why he'd want that.

Why Did Jon Snow Head North?


The sight of Jon Snow heading North of The Wall with the Wildlings may have made a cool visual, but what was it supposed to mean? A TV show like this doesn't need to spell everything out to us, but considering the fact that these final scenes are bringing Jon's story to a close, you'd think we'd have got something a little more concrete regarding what comes next for him.

As things stand, we don't know if Jon was helping the free folk find a new home, abandoning his post as a member of the Night's Watch, or was simply allowed to go free because the Night's Watch is made up of Wildlings now and Greyworm is far enough away to not know that he's been freed. 

Did Bran Know He Would Become King?


Had the final two seasons of Game of Thrones not been so rushed, the motivations of its leads could have been explored in a far more satisfying manner. We know that Bran can see the future and his remarks to Tyrion about why he travelled to King's Landing seem to be a pretty clear sign that he must have known that he would ultimately take control of the Seven Six Kingdoms.

Had there been a hint that he manipulated events to his liking, these final episodes would have taken on a completely different feel and Bran winning the "Game of Thrones" would have been a whole lot more satisfying. As it is, this choice of King still feels like the worst possible outcome for the show.

Is Jon Snow "The Prince That Was Promised"?


George R.R. Martin's novels feature a lot of different prophecies, but the show has only really referred to them sporadically. However, one that factored greatly into the series was "The Prince That Was Promised," a supposed savior who would rescue the realm from impending darkness. Melisandre believed it was Stannis but was wrong, so who is this prince? 

Arya doesn't fit the description despite her being responsible for killing The Night King, so was Jon's fateful decision to stab Daenerys what makes him the one who saved the realms? While casual viewers may have forgotten about prophecies like this, it's a shame that the show almost betrayed its fans by introducing these ideas and then glossing over them.

What Happened To Daario?


Remember this guy? 

Well, Game of Thrones certainly didn't during its final season because while Daario may have played a key role in the Mereen subplot as the eventual leader of the Second Sons, his relationship with Daenerys was totally forgotten, as was the fact that he had an entire army that would have no doubt come in very handy to her during her invasion of Westeros. 

While the character was never overly interesting, he was a key part of the series and to just forget he exists after the sixth season seems lazy and far too convenient when there was more story to be told.

Will Drogon Return?


We know that HBO started developing a huge number of Game of Thrones spinoffs when it became clear that this would be the show's final season, so that might explain why we get some sequel set-up in this finale. The stage appears to have been set for Arya to return in her own show as she explores what's West of Westeros, but what about that big hint about Drogon? 

We know the dragon has flown East with Dany and that's probably because he's returned to where the rest of her ancestors were laid to rest. Bran, however, seems keen to find the dragon and that leaves us with a lot of questions about what he might do with him, especially now the world is supposed to have found some element of peace. Maybe another threat is coming?

Is Ellaria Sand Dead Or Alive?


While this may have been another subplot that felt like filler, the fate of the Mother of Sand Snakes still managed to stick with fans. 

As you may recall, Cersei chained her up in the Red Keep and forced her to watch her daughter Tyene die slowly in front of her after she was poisoned. Presumably, she died in the siege or was starved to death as a means of a punishment, but it feels like this was another abandoned plot thread ditched for the sake of convenience, especially as Dorne's new prince factors into the finale. 

Why Didn't Gendry Put Himself Forward To Be King?


After Dany and Jon, Gendry was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and while he's clearly been given the title promised to him by the Mother of Dragons, why would he remain silent and allow Bran to be named King when he would have arguably done a job every bit as good as him? 

Gendry was also instrumental in defeating the White Walkers by forging all those weapons while Bran was just bait, so it's baffling that he didn't even consider putting himself forward here. 

Where Is Meera Reed?


The Reeds played a significant role in Bran's journey and Game of Thrones never elaborated on the importance of Howland Reed after he was shown in that Tower of Joy flashback. The show ditched Meera when Bran brushed her off (which made him look like a total ass at the time), but remember when Jojen suggested a fiery ending for them and told her this wasn't the end for her story?
It would have been nice to learn a little more about her fate, but maybe she wasn't as important to the series as we were led to believe. 

What Happened To The Dothraki?


When Jon is taking his walk of shame to return North and rejoin the Night's Watch, we see some of the Dothraki mulling around the harbour but it doesn't appear as if they're going to join the Unsullied.

Have they found a home to call their own in Westeros, or is the rebuilt King's Landing now their home? You'd think this would have been touched on to some extent, but considering the fact that the Dothraki have become glorified background extras in recent years, this being glossed over isn't a surprise. 

As for the Unsullied, it seems like they will continue trying to spread Dany's message. 

What Is West Of Westeros?


Arya has become a breakout character in Game of Thrones and it's fair to say that fans would probably like to see much more of her. Well, the stage has certainly been set for that to happen in a spinoff series of some sort, as the show wraps up with her on a ship heading for parts unknown. 

The question of what's West of Westeros (and why it's never been explored) remains unanswered, but as questions like this go, it's not necessarily a bad thing to imagine what sort of adventures she embarked on after the events of this finale. What's more baffling is why she never used her ability to change faces during the final six episodes when it could have come in handy on multiple occasions.

Will We Ever Hear The Punchline Of Tyrion's Joke?


There are lots of questions we'll never get an answer to (is Brienne pregnant with Jaime's baby?!) but this is perhaps the most frustrating. On three occasions, Tyrion has tried to tell his joke about the time he brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel but he's always been cut off from telling the punchline, and the camera cuts away during the finale before we can hear the punchline.

So, I guess the answer to this question is destined to be no! 

Continue reading below to find out how the
Game of Thrones finale let down its fans...and characters!


It Was All Too Rushed


The entire eighth season was far too rushed, with that long awaited battle with The Night King playing out over a single, dimly lit episode which felt like an even easier victory for our heroes than the very human Battle of the Bastards. The same can be said for this finale. 

We get pretty much no time at all to deal with the fallout from the previous episode, and the fact that there are two time jumps (both of which gloss over a lot of story) further emphasises just how much of a sprint to the finish line this entire season has been as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss start setting their sights on Star Wars instead. 

The final destination of pretty much every character (more on that later) feels like little more than fan-service, and none of their respective endings feel earned as a result of this rushed episode. 

The Fall Of Daenerys Targaryen


During the eighty minute finale, we learn that the seemingly still very sane Daenerys has no real explanation for her horrific actions. Instead, she puts it down to everyone in King's Landing supporting Cersei (something she knows wasn't true) and it appears as if Dany has gone from being The Punisher to the Green Goblin over the course of two episodes.

Over the course of the series, she may have acted as judge, jury, and executioner for some evil men but that's a far cry from slaughtering thousands of women and children, while her new attitude about crushing those who oppose her in a similar manner is baffling - especially now she has the Iron Throne and is Queen of the Seven Kingdoms by default. 

Despite telling us from the start that this was what she wanted, it seems Dany is more interested in travelling across Westeros to ensure her dominance by continuing to free the oppressed where there are none, and this mostly out-of-the-blue change of course has taken one of television's greatest anti-heroes and transformed her into, well, a crazy b*tch.

The Destruction Of The Iron Throne


If Jon Snow and Dany's relationship hadn't been thrown together at such a late stage, the moment he plunges a knife into her chest probably would have felt far more emotional. Despite that, it's still a very good scene but what follows...well, it feels like the audience is just being trolled. 

Since day one, we've been following a literal "game of thrones" as these characters vye for the Iron Throne. However, when Drogon looks down at his mother's corpse, he spares Jon and instead melts the Throne in what I'm sure was meant to be a deep and meaningful moment that instead feels cheap, especially as no one even gets to sit on the damned thing! 

Viewers have spent years waiting to see who would end up there, and the answer is no one. Of all the many possibilities - a reluctant Jon as King or even Arya wearing the face of another character - we're left with one that makes this entire journey feel pointless. 

"Bran The Broken"


Bran Stark has never been a particularly compelling character in Game of Thrones. His transformation into the Three Eyed Raven has been one of the show's least enjoyable subplots and was so unimportant to the series, he was actually nowhere to be seen for an entire season a few years back. 

Despite all of that, he's ultimately chosen to be Westeros' new King and while he's probably the best choice in terms of how good-hearted he is, it was only a few episodes ago that we learned that Bran is essentially gone and what we've been left with is an emotionless, manipulative shell.

So, yes, we spent all these years watching the series for Bran to wind up on the Throne!

A Lack Of Logic


Those time jumps prove to be problematic for this finale in a number of ways. Jon Snow may have never wanted to become King but after seeing what Dany had done, why not cover up her murder and take his rightful place even if it was only for a little while? Plus, why would Greyworm imprison him rather than cut Jon down where he stands, especially after slitting those throats moments earlier?

The same could be said for the way Tyrion is pardoned by the new King, and the way everyone just accepts that despite the fact that, to an outsider, he was arguably instrumental in bringing Dany to King's Landing and the mass slaughter that obviously followed. 

These may seem like nitpicks (and the show does address them in a satisfying enough way if you don't think too much about them), but remember when it looked like that entire crypt collapsed on Cersei and Jaime? Well, it turns out that it was just one well-placed pile of bricks so that Tyrion could find them and confirm that they are indeed dead and didn't escape. 

Convenient Endings


As I mentioned earlier on in this post, by the time the episode ends, characters like Brienne, Bronne, Gendry, and Samwell are all where you'd pretty much hope they would be by the time the show ends. Unfortunately, none of this feels earned, and the fact that they end up where they do comes across more like it was just for the sake of convenience rather than what was right for the story. 

What doesn't help is that there simply isn't enough time to get them where they need to be, and so when we do find them there, it comes across more like fan-service rather than the best possible ending. We didn't need a couple of what would have essentially been epilogue episodes, but if they'd had more time devoted to them across a longer season, this would have been so much better. 

Right at the end of the episode, a montage puts the spotlight on the remaining Starks, so let's take a closer look at each of them. 

Arya Stark's Fate


In the case of Arya, she boards a ship to find out what's west of Westeros. It's an open-ended way of wrapping up her story and seemingly sets the stage for a spinoff series (which may very well be one of the ideas HBO considered for a while). This certainly isn't a bad ending for the fan-favourite character, but could they have done better? Honestly, this feels like a cop out to at least some extent!

Sansa Stark's Fate


Sansa Stark gets what she's wanted for years by becoming Queen of the North. As Game of Thrones has handled her in such a topsy turvy manner since day one, it's hard to say whether she'll be a good Queen, but fans of hers will surely walk away happy with this. Why the North so easily gets to become an independent state while the others don't is another logic leap/convenient ending.

Jon Snow's Fate


This is a tricky one.

On the one hand, Jon being sent back to the Wall feels like a convenient way to spare him (think of the backlash!) and a complete step backwards for the character due to the fact that his story has gone around in a complete circle. Of course, he doesn't stay there for long because we then see him heading North with Ghost and the Wildlings in order to finally live the life he's wanted for years.

Is he simply guiding them to a new home, or have his fellow members of The Watch allowed him to go free out of respect for everything he's done? We don't find out, but it's hard to escape the feeling that the show goes out with a whimper rather than a bang with this final scene...
What did you think about the Game of Thrones series finale and the final season in general? Do you agree with our complaints? As always, share your thoughts in the comments section below. 
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