Was thinking about the show again and wanted to bump this thread back up.
I was trying to think of ways to edit the show in order to make the Season 4 finale feel like it could’ve been the end of the series. Obviously it would be a rather open-ended conclusion, but I think seeing Tyrion escape King’s Landing, ominous bells for the Lannister’s future, Bran finally reaching the Three-Eyed Raven, and Arya sailing away from Westeros is a somewhat optimistic ending that leaves a lot to the imagination.
I would rather find a way to change as few episodes as possible, rather than edit the whole series. Basically, I want to end the finale in a somewhat satisfying place for all the characters.
For Jon, I would like to bring some things from Season 5, like Stannis offering to make Jon a Stark, Jon refusing and him being named Lord Commander. I feel like this would be a nice place to conclude his story.
I think Dany’s could end where it does, with her deciding not to go to Westeros and instead try to rule Essos. I’m not sure her chaining up her dragons is the happiest way to end her story, but it does mirror Jon’s story in a way, where they reject parts of their identity in order to do what they think is right for their people.
Unfortunately we wouldn’t get much of a conclusion to the White Walker story, beyond Bran learning to become the Three-Eyed Raven. But I think it would be a nice touch to somehow implement the snow falling on King’s Landing from the finale of Season 7. The tag line of the show is Winter is Coming, and showing that winter is finally here by the end of it could give the show a nice bookend. Although it is open-ended, like all of this is, it leaves some room for interpretation. Does this mean all of these characters are doomed to fail, having been too distracted playing the game of thrones?
I think it would be nice to just edit “The Children” into a longer finale that could work as an alternate ending for the show. So the objective would be to just add or delete scenes to help tie up some loose ends. If anyone has any ideas I would appreciate hearing them!