Season 7 of Game of Thrones was spectacular in terms of cinematography and effects (some of the best yet), and there were some plot maneuvers that were unexpected. But there were some moments last season when fans and critics alike were questioning the predictability, red-shirting and bank of “untouchable” characters that were left at the end.
If following previous seasons, HBO’s Game of Thrones’ writing team could have done more to maintain the “shock and awe” in Season 7. And, part of that shock may have been killing off some more main characters. After all, R.R. Martin has no problem terminating characters in his books, even likeable ones like Ned and Catelyn Stark, Margaery, Tommen, and Hodor. But after this season there still remains a huge core of characters heading into the short, but long-winded Season 8.
How will Benioff and Weiss kill off a reasonable amount of characters in the remaining six episodes to keep true to Martin’s nature? There sure are a lot. We counted over two dozen active main characters ranging from Jon Snow to The Mountain. Could the series end with most of these characters still living? Or, will there be a major kill-off in one episode that wipes half of them out?
Given the way previous seasons have followed R.R. Martin’s “no one is safe” montra, there could have been more shocking things happening in Season 7 and less characters heading into the conclusion. Here are some things that could have happened in Season 7. [Warning: Spoilers ahead.]
Theon Greyjoy Should Have Died Saving Yara
In Episode 2 “Stormborn” Theon Greyjoy should have died trying to save Yara. At least then we wouldn’t have to follow his sad story anymore, and, he could have died being a hero. In addition, some of the empathy we felt for Theon may have been transferred to his sister and become a plot point for a potential take down of Euron (if the Greyjoys could be turned against him) — unknown to him as he strategizes with Cersei. Instead, as the major focus in Season 8 will likely be the face-off between the living and dead, we’ll have cuts to Theon and his “heroic” rescue of Yara. Maybe he can do it. He does have that secret weapon (that’s not so secret to the unsullied) that might come in handy if he ever faces that bully Euron.
Jon Snow Should Have Died in the Ice
Jon Snow has already died once after being stabbed multiple times in the gut, so having him miraculously come back to life was already pushing our suspension of disbelief. The crawling out of the icy waters was just silly. Was he wearing a life vest under all that fur? In Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” they should have killed him off, if not for any other reason than everybody loves him. Of course, it would have really messed things up for the uniting of the North with Daenerys and her cause, and his eventual bending of the knee to her, but how many times can this guy come back to life? It was obvious the writers were building more of an emotional connection between him and Daenerys, and adding to the loss of her dragon. In that one scene, she potentially could have lost two things she loved.
Drogon Should Have Died Not Viserion
In the same scene there were cries of sadness from viewers when Daenerys lost her dragon Viserion (Emilia Clarke really did pull off that scene nicely), but what would have been even more dramatic and shocking is if her favorite pet, Drogon died instead. We really did have a relationship with Drogon, especially when both Tyrion and Jon connected with the beast intimately. But, we never really saw much of Viserion or Rhaegal throughout the season or seasons. Imagine the sadness we would have felt if Drogon would have died. Add to that, Daenerys’ quest for revenge against the dead would have been multiplied by ten.
Jaime Should Have Died at the River (Or Captured by Daenerys)
In the opening of Episode 5 “Eastwatch” at the burning of the wagons Jaime should have died in the river, or, he and Bron been caught. The scene just seemed too unbelievable. What? There just happened to be a 40 foot lake there and Bron and Jaime were able to stay under water and swim fast enough to get half a mile away to safety? Instead, Daenerys and Tyrion could have captured them and agreed to let them go to back to Cersei. This could have acted as a quick bridge to get Jaime and Bron to Castle Black. Instead, they just happen to pop up at the castle, and so does Tyrion, to meet behind Cersei’s back upon invitation of Bron. And, how did Tyrion know Jaime would be there? Did he know he escaped in the river? This was a missed opportunity to connect the dots.
Thoros Lived Too Long
In Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” Thoros died when he froze overnight, but he should have died after the flaming zombie bear mauled him. What was the point of having Thoros on the verge of death only to have him die later in the episode? If he died, you would have felt more fear and regret from The Hound, who failed to save Thoros amidst the flames. Maybe there was a reason why the writers needed to show the healing of Thoros’ chest gash with a flaming sword, but there doesn’t seem to be enough reason to have healed him temporarily.
Someone Else in Episode 6
Like we mentioned before, we’re going into Season 8 with at least two dozen main characters, not including many who may have been forgotten, or any who might come back to life in a different form (like maybe Benjen Stark – was he really killed or just turned into a wight?). In the scene at the ice in Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall” all the sherpas we never knew (also referred to as red-shirts) that trailed the “Magnificent Seven” in their quest to capture a wight all die, but all the heroes live. It was just too predictable. There should have been at least one more main character who died there like Jorah, Tormund, or the Hound — this would have offset the typical pattern of Benioff and Weiss killing off one main character at a time (with the exception of the multiple kill offs at the Sept of Baelor in Season 6, Episode 10), and, made this epic scene more believable.
Jamie Should Have Been Axed By The Mountain
You want shock value? How about if Cersei gave the word to The Mountain and axed Jaime at the conclusion of the season? There would have been so much ire, so much hatred for Cersei going into Season 8 that viewers would have been begging for her downfall. We understand the writers are building up conflict between Cersei, Tyrion and Jaime for an eventual conclusion. But, couldn’t that conflict have been maintained with just Tyrion alone? Jaime has been one of the most intriguing characters in Game of Thrones because of conflicts with his sister (and maybe the divide will get even deeper with Cersei’s merging with Euron), but the season ended so gallantly with Jaime riding off to join the “free folk.” In Season 7, Jaime somehow became the cat with nine lives (not unlike Jon and his immortality) and should have been killed off at some point in Season 7.
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