George R.R. Martin’s Initial Outline Could’ve Helped Game Of Thrones’ Final Season
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George R.R. Martin’s Initial Outline Could’ve Helped Game Of Thrones’ Final Season

By Soniya Hinduja
February 2,2022

HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones disappointed fans with its controversial finale. Had the show relied on George R.R. Martin’s original outline for his books, it could have easily avoided making certain mistakes. Author George R.R. Martin’s authentic 1993 outline for his series of books titled A Song of Ice and Fire surfaced on the internet in the form of a letter spread some time in 2015.

According to the outline, the series was only supposed to be a trilogy. However, Martin then switched things up and turned A Song of Ice and Fire into a seven-book series. Moreover, Martin did actually include major plot threads from the aforementioned outline in his ultimate story. For instance, an Arya Stark love triangle with Tyrion and Jon Snow. However, other plot details like Daenerys invasion of Westeros stayed untouched upon release. 

Game Of Thrones’ Controversial Ending

House of the Dragon

Bran Stark in Game of Thrones Season 8

The last season of HBO’s Game of Thrones gathered conflicting opinions. While some fans were satisfied with the way the series concluded, it was actually the broader narrative that took a questionable turn. Both fans and critics were upset about the show’s eerie and dull visuals. Mainly because it did not allow for a clear and precise viewing experience. Not only that, the final season only consisted of six episodes. This shortening made the storylines appear hasty and careless, with several angles left unexplained.

One particular scenario that comes to mind is the battle against the Night King ( Furdík). While the encounter was stressed upon ever since the series premiered, it was over in just a couple minutes with one stab from Arya’s (Maisie Williams) dagger. These tiny mistakes aggravated fans to such an extent, that they drew out a petition online to remake the final season. This petition rapidly circulated the internet, and gained nearly 2 million signatures from Game of Thrones’ fans. 

George R.R. Martin’s Original Outline

Game of Thrones

The White Walkers Army in Game of Thrones

However, it was possible for the creators to take notes from Martin’s original outline in order to avoid making such mistakes in Game of Thrones’ final season. As written by Martin in his initial outline, the “greatest danger of all” were the White Walkers. And that Night’s Watch would ultimately become the core of the final volume in his trilogy.

In addition to this, the author writes, “The final battle will also draw together characters and plot threads left from the first two books and resolve all in one huge climax.” Apparently, Game of Thrones paid absolutely no attention to the battle with the White Walkers. And the eight season left many important questions unanswered. Seeing this, it is likely that Martin’s original outline could have helped the creators fabricate a stronger narrative. 

Also Read : Like Game Of Thrones, House Of The Dragon Has Its Own Issue With Adapting The Books

How Martin’s Outline Could Have Led The Way

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones demonstrated a bunch of controversies with the way it concluded. The promotional campaigns for the show’s eighth season heavily focused on building the hype around the impending battle against the White Walkers. However, the series quickly swept through the show’s main interest in season 8, episode 3. Once Arya stabs the Night King with her Valyrian steel dagger, it is as if the entire White Walker threat magically disappears. Following which, the series only had three episodes left. Regrettably, the final three episodes were the ones that received the most criticism. So, if the show had decided to rely more on Martin’s original outline and given the battle with the White Walkers more significance, perhaps the series would not have won such disgraceful reviews. 

Furthermore, Martin’s outline states that his conclusion will potentially “resolve” all the conflicts and tie up the loose ends. Clearly, this could have assisted Game of Thrones. The idea of a shorter, six-episode season cost the Game of Thrones finale to leave various angles unsolved. For instance, throughout the majority of the show, Arya is seen trying to learn how to change her face and become an assassin. But the show paid absolutely no attention to Arya’s Faceless Men storyline. There was not a single scenario where she uses her identity-swapping skills in the finale. So if the show had been more careful in drawing out an end, maybe fans wouldn’t have been so divided. Especially when Martin’s original outline was at an arm’s reach.