5 literary Game of Thrones endings George R. R. Martin could use
Ever wondered how Game of Thrones can possibly wrap up all those characters and plotlines? Some classic types of literary theory might provide some clues. Read on to see how each theory would affect the ending. (We've tried to avoid spoilers, so don't worry, this isn't an L + R = J blog.)
The White Walkers are not really trying to kill humans after all, they’re trying to teach them about the power of nature and are really just advanced versions of the Children of the Forest. The Night Watch fall in love with them and wander out into the sublime wastelands to embrace nature at its finest and become more Walkers. Bran becomes their wise man and Tyrion their leader, because disabilities endow nobility of spirit, obviously.
The White Walkers are not really trying to kill humans after all
The remaining Starks move back into Winterfell, because it’s so beautiful now it’s a ruin. Winter comes, and a lot of people freeze in the snow, or become Walkers. The rest of Westeros is burned up by the dragons and all cities and industry are destroyed, because industrialising nature is tacky, and you don’t need to burn carbon-based fuels when you’re a Walker anyway, what with being frozen internally.
The peasants start a revolution and overthrow the aristocracy. Hodor becomes Premier
All the peasants get sick of being repetitively called pawns in the great game of thrones, start a revolution and overthrow the aristocracy. This wipes out all the main characters as they’re all nobles (unless Hodor becomes Premier), but we know that GRR Martin doesn’t mind killing off interesting characters and adding new less interesting ones, so there’s no problem with inventing new peasant characters at the last minute. This also solves the problem of how to bring all the characters back to the action in the last book. They then maintain a Cold War with the White Walkers and threaten to nuke them if they come over the Wall. Eventually the Wall falls and all the hipsters from King's Landing move north as Winterfell becomes gentrified.
Daenerys takes over the whole of Westeros and becomes an acclaimed ruler, uniting all the warring factors and letting her dragons eat White Walkers and ‘mansplainers’. Brienne becomes head of the Gold Cloaks and teaches women’s self-defence classes on the side. Sansa pushes Littlefinger out the Moon Door and decides not to marry anyone after all.
Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Cersei promotes a woman’s right to have sex with whomever she chooses (even if it involves twincest) on public speaking tours throughout the south. The prostitutes start a cooperative dedicated to raising their children properly and selling women’s clothes that cover their breasts and aren’t see-through, which becomes a wildly successful fashion line as it’s such a novelty. Illegitimate children are no longer called derogatory names like ‘Snow’, and a child support agency is set up to prevent children being dumped on wealthy relatives or shipped off to the Night’s Watch. Arya puts her lack of squeamishness to use as a doctor and starts a women’s clinic offering the first legal abortions.
Daenerys becomes a figurehead ruler, devoting herself to blood sports with the dragons, inbreeding with her long-lost cousins and opening galas.
The inhabitants of Mereen, Astapor etc realise that being ruled by a white foreign queen with completely different moral values isn’t for them and revolt. They promote dark-skinned locals instead and go back to their old systems of government, even though they’ve slightly changed their minds on whether impaling people on spikes is a good method of rehabilitation.
This spreads throughout Westeros until Daenerys and the Lannisters are left disputing the much smaller country of King’s Landing, at which point they realise that they need to start building trade and tourism with their former colonies to survive. Daenerys becomes a figurehead ruler, devoting herself to blood sports with the dragons, inbreeding with her long-lost cousins and opening galas. The Lannisters realise the real power is in banking rather than empire-building, and start the Royal Bank of Kings Landing to rival the Iron Bank of Braavos.
Everyone looks gloomily into their pernod and worries they’re not real. Nothing happens.
What do you think would happen in a postmodern Game of Thrones ending? Add other scenarios in the comments! Are you a fan of the books or the series, or both? Have a read about what makes a good adaptation.