I’ve edited together an 11 episode finale for Game of Thrones combining seasons 7 and 8. I’ve rearranged the episodes, cut out a ton of the garbage, did a ton of editing, minor visual effects and a few lines of voiceover, and made a much more satisfying conclusion.
Game of Thrones Redeemed Trailer
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My main fixes:
- Dany’s character arc
- Jaime’s character arc
- The Night King having substance
- Bran having substance
- Several plotlines that didn’t have a payoff like Jon’s heritage
- Removed or toned down the fast travel
- Fakeout deaths, especially in the battle for Winterfell
- and tons of other changes
Cersei’s Downfall Arc (Episodes 1-6)
Dany still arrives in Westeros and plans her conquest. I tried to take out as much as I could of Tyrion looking at Dany as a monster. There is still a bit of tension when some of Tyrion’s plans fail, but it does not build to the Mad Dany plotline.
Sadly, Varys has no story in the final seasons other than plotting against Dany, so he is mostly gone now except for being a background character.
I completely removed Tyrion trying to reason with Cersei. He no longer goes to King’s Landing to talk to Jaime or Cersei. After Dany destroys the Tarlys on the Road and nearly kills Jaime and Bronn, she goes straight to Kings Landing. She no longer loses one of her dragons either, she goes right in and destroys Euron’s fleet and him in the process. She then takes out the Golden company, and then everyone surrenders. But she isn’t done yet. She doesn’t go crazy, but instead heads straight for the castle and burns Cersei.
This fixes a lot. Cersei still mostly just drinks wine, but there is a lot less so it doesn’t feel like she’s a useless character anymore. And of course, Dany doesn’t go mad which was so against her character this whole time.
Onto Jon. He still visits Dany in dragonstone and she still wants him to bend the knee, but his reason for leaving for the wall changes. He now gets a vision through Bran of the Night King. Bran wants to guide him past the wall, behind the Night King’s army to assassinate him before he can make it to the Wall. Jon leaves Dragonstone before Dany goes on the Road to attack Cersei’s armies. I hated the capture a zombie plotline, but I’ll get into that in the next section. One big fix here was Jon fast traveling up to the wall within the same episode as he left. He now arrives 3 episodes later. Not perfect obviously, but the best I could do.
There are two character problems in this section. 1st is Jorah. In the original season 7 he arrives at Dragonstone after being cured, he hears about the mission to capture a wight and asks to join, and then leaves instantly. I couldn’t keep his line in that justified him leaving so now he just arrives in Dragonstone and then leaves with Jon without any reasoning. It goes against his character which I assume he would stay with Dany. Couldn’t fix it though. 2nd is Gendry. Since Tyrion no longer goes to Kings Landing to talk to Cersei there is no reason for Davos to go there either. In this edit Gendry just appears with Davos to go talk to Jon. He doesn’t get his proper introduction but I don’t think it’s super important as this scene serves as his intro enough.
Night King Arc (Episodes 7-11)
Before I get to all the Night King stuff some explanation of a lot of what was removed. Littlefinger’s plot was only getting Sansa and Arya to go against each other, so I removed this completely making him hardly more than a backing character, same as Varys. He also doesn’t get outsmarted by them and killed. I really like both him and Varys but there just wasn’t footage I could use to make a decent story for them. All of Sansa being against Dany is also removed. It doesn’t make any sense in this edit.
Onto the edit: Jon arrives at the wall and the plot continues as normal except for some additions of Bran talking to Jon in visions. All the capturing a zombie plot are gone, now once they get further in it appears that the Night King knew what was happening and wanted Jon to come North. Bran is confused as to why he would draw Jon up there just to kill him off slowly. Then Bran realizes that the Night King was using Jon and Bran to draw Dany North to capture her dragon to get past the wall.
This provides much more depth to the Night King. He has some actual tactics. It also gives more character to Bran who lost basically all substance in the final seasons.
Rather than two episodes of “before the battle for Winterfell” I condensed them into one, cutting out a lot that I thought was unnecessary including the whole Gendry/Arya relationship. I focused instead on her relationship with the Hound and left it at that. Jaime’s arc is done now after he knights Brienne. No more sex scene or going back to Cersei. I think it ends perfectly with the knighting, and then he can die in battle.
The battle for winterfell is split into two episodes. This gives some illusion of a longer battle, but also the way I arranged it just works better as two parts. The battle starts the same with the Dothraki charging out and all dying. This makes a lot more sense when they don’t respawn the next episode. I took some of the main characters out of the first fight outside the wall. I hated having every major character on the front line. Ned’s death also gets pushed to be later when the army breaks into the castle since he’s no longer in the first fight. The calling for the trenches to be lit is removed. Now Melisandre just goes straight out to light it. There was no need for that dumb little plotline. The first battle episode ends when the Night King raises the dead.
The second episode starts with Arya sneaking through the castle. I actually liked this section but it was so out of place in the original episode, going from heavy battle to this really quiet section. It works much better now. The fight continues and has Sam, Jaime, Pod, and Brienne all dying to the horde. The Night King’s end is much different now. Right before he dies Bran tries to go back to the Night King’s creation to force the Children to stop. It doesn’t work and Bran tries to come back, but the Night King forces Bran into the original Night King’s body. When he gets stabbed then Bran becomes the actual Night King way in the past, but it also changes him in the present. Then Arya jumps on the Night King, but doesn’t immediately kill him. The Night King snaps her neck and kills her instantly. Bran wargs into her and uses the knife to end the Night King. After he dies then it shows all the walkers die and ends with Jorah and Melisandre dying. This section is a bit convoluted, but again was the best I could do.
All the deaths give a lot more weight to this episode, especially with Arya. And the changes with the Night King give him an actual story, and reason for why he was trying to stop Bran. While it’s not explicitly explained, you can assume he wanted to stop Bran from creating himself. Also, this technically makes it Bran who kills the Night King who, aside from Jon, feels like the most important character to kill him given how tied his story is with the Night King (especially in my edit). Afterwards there is a short funeral, and I removed Jon’s speech, and I brought in the unused track - Stay a Thousand Years. I thought it fit nicely over this. The funeral adds several of the killed characters. I couldn’t fit in everyone though.
The end of the show has Dany in the throne room. Jon knows now that he is the rightful heir. He doesn’t want her to rule. But he doesn’t want it either. Instead of them ruling he calls on the dragon to burn the throne down. This gives some actual reason for Jon’s heritage being in the show. He uses it to end the reign of kings. He and Dany then fly away afterwards and there is a short montage of all the characters still alive. After the montage are the final clips. The show is going to end on the discovery of the Night King symbol with the burning child (from the end of Ep1 S8), and then Bran warging away. This has an open ended approach for Bran and the future of the Night King, and also gives at least a bit more importance to the Night King symbol.
Jon and Dany’s arcs are complete, and their last shots will be them flying away on dragons. Both Varys and Littlefinger will be lurking at the end giving them open ended endings. The Hound’s arc ends nicely with him overcoming his fears to save Arya once more. He doesn’t need to go back for revenge after all of this. Jorah and Theon already had good ends I thought.