TV

Who Really Should Have Won Game of Thrones?

What's the fattest crow Bran ever warged?

Chaos is a ramp.

The longer Game of Thrones ran on, the more apparent it became that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had no idea who George R.R. Martin's characters actually were. After three incredible early seasons, the quality dropped and dropped and dropped, until Arya turned into an unstoppable plot armor machine, Jaime lost his entire character arc, and Tyrion became a stupid idiot. Now, here we are at last, with "Bran the Broken" sitting on the Iron Throne.

As Tyrion told the lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms while he was supposed to be pleading for his life (which I guess Grey Worm just kind of forgot about): "We need good stories or some shit, so let's make Bran the Broken king because he fell out a window, and then he can make me Hand which won't look suspicious at all, no sir." We do, indeed, need good stories. But this ain't one of those, chief.

Honestly, Bran's a pretty bad choice for king. Dude is straight warged out all the time. He immediately banished his brother, Jon Snow, for stopping a genocidal maniac––all so he could "keep the peace" with a foreign army who immediately left on a ship. Then, during his first real policy meeting, he immediately bows out to go warg into a dragon. So here's a list of everyone who would have been a better choice for the iron throne (or lack thereof) than some impotent druggie with a fuzz mustache.

Jon Snow

jon snow

Sure, Jon Snow ending up in charge wouldn't exactly "subvert expectations." But considering how much time the show wasted on Jon's lineage and rightful claim to the throne, that plotline really should have gone...somewhere...anywhere. As it stood, Bran's assertion that Jon "needs to know the truth" or whatever was total bullshit. Let the poor dude love his aunt in peace.

Daenerys

daenerys on throne

It would have been pretty cool if Daenerys really did claim total power after destroying King's Landing. She could have executed Tyrion and murdered Jon to truly wipe out any possible usurpers, and proven once and for all that in the game of thrones, bad political decisions (ie: supporting the "wrong" person) has drastic consequences.

Night King

night king

Truthfully, the Night King always should have won. He had total control over an undead army who answered to him unconditionally. He was up against a fractured group of semi-literate wildmen standing their ground atop a massive crypt full of dead people (aka more soldiers for the Night King). His loss was only due to pure deus ex machina, and his ultimate victory could have symbolically shown that unless people band together as one, we'll never defeat...global warming?

Sansa

sansa iron throne

Sansa knew how to politic better than anyone else still living at the end of the show. For instance, she would never have appointed Bronn as "Master of Coin," considering he's irresponsible with money and has no legitimate claim to a position of power. Sansa would rule fairly, responsibly, and properly, instead of just leaving meetings to get warged out like her dumb brother.

Lady Stoneheart

lady stoneheart

Imagine if Lady Stoneheart (undead Catelyn Stark for all you non-book readers) had been in the show? If she had been there, it probably wouldn't have gotten so crappy. She could have properly avenged her children, seduced the Night King with her own zombie powers, and then assumed her rightful position as Queen (with the Night King as her Hand, of course). So cool, so good.

Ghost

ghost game of thrones

Ghost was a good boy and deserves the Seven Kingdoms and all the treats.

Euron

I've spoken about this before, but Euron was the single best character on season 8 of Game of Thrones. He was basically the embodiment of what the show became under D&D––a total shitshow. So it would have made perfect sense for him to assume the ultimate role as the undisputed winner in the end. He still could have had his totally unnecessary ten-minute death match with Jaime, too. Here's how it would go down:

Jaime and Euron fight to the death in 8.5, with Jaime seemingly killing Euron and Euron grinning as he "dies," thinking about how he killed the Kingslayer for no reason.

Then, in 8.6, Euron wakes up. Jaime's blade missed his vital organs. He survived. And because he was outside King's Landing proper, he missed Dany's genocide, too.

Euron wanders through the blown out city, finally encountering Tyrion. He's never properly met Tyrion before and has no reason to kill him, but he stabs Tyrion anyways.

Then Euron makes his way to the Red Keep. Daenerys is giving her victory speech to the Unsullied and Dothraki. Euron can't understand her language, which upsets him. He interrupts her by singing a song out loud as he dances his way up the stairs. Everyone is delighted and entertained. When he reaches the top, he beheads Daenerys with one fell swoop of his cutlass and announces, "I'm the man who stuck a finger in Cersei's bum."

Everyone is onboard except Jon Snow, who steps forward and yells, "MUH KWEEN!" Euron promptly kicks him down the stairs. Jon takes a tumble and breaks his neck. Euron throws his hands in the air and says, "Did I do that?"

Then he drops trou, takes a piss on Daenerys' corpse, and shouts, "EURONation."

The Unsullied pound their poles and chant, "Euron, Euron, Euron."

Drogon comes out all sad, so Euron fucks him in front of everyone.

Cut to: one year later. Euron sits on the Iron Throne. Drogon is his queen, and three little baby dragons fly around, except they all have Euron's head, just like in Shrek.

Expectations––subverted.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com

Zelda Williams

This weekend, Eric Trump gleefully shared a video of the late Robin Williams making fun of presidential candidate Joe Biden that bore the caption, "Robin Williams Savages Joe Biden."

Zelda Williams tweeted in response, "While we're 'reminiscing' (to further your political agenda), you should look up what he said about your Dad. I did. Promise you, it's much more 'savage.' Gentle reminder that the dead can't vote, but the living can."

Robin Williams, who would have turned 69 last month, had certainly poked fun at Joe Biden. In the clip shared by the younger Trump, Williams quips, "We still have great comedy out there, there's always rambling Joe Biden, what the f***... Joe says s*** that even people with Tourette's go, 'No. What is going on?'" He continued, "Joe is like your uncle who is on a new drug and hasn't got the dosage right...I'm proud to work with Barack America — 'He's not a superhero, you idiot — come here!'"

His comments about the current president were far more incisive and far-reaching. For example, in 2012, he referred to Trump as "a scary man" and "the Wizard of Oz" because "he plays monopoly with real f***ing buildings."

Of course, these jokes are based in very real calamities. Many of Trump's real estate projects and business ventures have notoriously fallen through or crash-landed completely, landing him in massive debt. Yet time and time again he was bailed out by his father, Fred Trump, who paid millions to keep his son's delusions of glory alive. He was also bailed out by a variety of banks (and still owes Deutsche Bank an outstanding $350 million). In some ways, it's no surprise that Trump will leave America sick, in debt, and in crisis.

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How David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Destroyed Every Main Character in Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones' showrunners basically declared "Dracarys" on all the character development in their series.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss seem to have approached Game of Thrones season 8 with one goal in mind––to destroy every single narrative arc that has made the series compelling thus far.

The final season is so god awful that hating it is becoming cliche. From the hacky, fan-fiction-esque dialogue of every interpersonal scene to the unwatchable lighting of the most important battle of the series, the only salvageable element might be the set design. Minus the Starbucks cup snafu, of course.

But worse than any surface-level issues, this season of Game of Thrones seems to completely throw away everything that makes our favorite characters compelling. It's fine to make a character we love do something we don't want them to do, even if that something is downright evil––as long as that action is properly motivated. Likewise, we might enjoy watching a character we like doing something cool (like shanking the Night King), but unless that action feels earned, their feat rings hollow. So without further ado, let's dissect exactly how Benioff and Weiss have decimated all the best narrative arcs:

Daenerys

daenerys

The core issue with Daenerys laying waste to King's Landing was not that she did something evil. In fact, Daenerys' shift from "Breaker of Chains" to "homicidal lunatic" could have been a fantastic character shift if it made even a lick of sense. But based on everything we've seen in the entire show, Daenerys destroying the townsfolk of King's Landing was simply something her character wouldn't do.

D&D want us to believe that Dany, whose entire arc has revolved around freeing slaves and coming into her own as a benevolent ruler and figurehead, would suddenly commit genocide because her friend was murdered, a few of her advisors are gone, and her nephew (Jon Snow) doesn't want to sleep with her anymore. They try to convince us of this by having characters around her say things like "don't do anything crazy, Daenerys!" and second-guess her authority in the episodes leading up to the genocide, even though she hadn't done anything to warrant those actions.

They could have found ways to make her descent into madness convincing. They also could have reached the same point in the plot without actually making her intentionally genocidal. For instance, she could have burnt the Red Keep, triggering a chain reaction of wildfire planted by Cersei beneath the city. This would have been consistent with Daenerys' impulsive nature, while not going against everything she's stood for as a character (ie: freeing slaves, killing slavers, not murdering innocent people). It also would have looked like genocide to the people on the ground, meaning the need for her political removal would still ring true. But nope, Daenerys is a genocidal monster now because girl power or something.

Jaime

jaime lannister

Everyone loves a great redemption arc, and Jaime certainly seemed to be heading in that direction. Jaime's case was especially interesting because the actions he was being redeemed from––chief amongst them, pushing a child out a window––seemed so unforgivable. This made his general likeability, a budding friendship with Brienne, and occasionally noble actions all the more compelling. Jaime may have done awful things because he loved Cersei, but he also understood his flaws and wanted to change for the better. Could a character like that ever be redeemed?

Everything in the show seemed to point towards "yes," giving Jaime one of the most powerful redemption arcs in fiction. He had fully broken free of Cersei's grip and moved on to another woman (Brienne) who accepted him for who he was––that is, until Cersei sent Bronn to murder him with a crossbow and, for some reason, that experience makes Jaime decide to leave everything behind and return to her. It's fine that Jaime never completed his redemption arc; it's not fine that his motivation for going back was nonsensical. Why, after everything Jaime had been through, would Cersei sending someone to murder him cause him to run back to her?

Brienne

brienne of tarth

What better way to deal with a strong bastion of female empowerment like Brienne––a woman in a patriarchal society who has dedicated her entire life to subverting gender roles and becoming a knight––than turning her into a sobbing mess over a man leaving her for his sister after taking her virginity? Would the Brienne we knew in the first seven seasons ever act like that? Really? REALLY?

Tyrion

tyrion

Tyrion is very clever. We know this because everyone in the show is always talking about how clever Tyrion is supposed to be. Except he's not clever anymore. He was certainly clever during the earlier seasons, but that might as well have been a different character. Currently, Tyrion has an almost prophetic ability to pick the most incorrect option imaginable, from thinking Cersei would actually help him fight the White Walkers to backing Daenerys right before she commits genocide. For whatever reason, D&D turned Tyrion into a total moron.

Jon Snow

jon snow

Jon is a great leader. We know this because...sensing a pattern here...everyone tells us he is. At one point in the show, Jon really did broker some degree of peace between the Night's Watch and their sworn enemy, the Wildlings. But at this point in the show, Jon seems to prefer being entirely useless at all times. His best recent "leadership" moves were kind of shouting at a zombie dragon and meekly telling two dudes to "fall back" after King's Landing had already been on fire for three hours. He also really loves "muh queen," which is apparent because the script makes him say this constantly.

Varys

varys

People say Varys is one of the few characters who stayed consistent. They're wrong. Old Varys would never have politicked out in the open. He was the "Master of Whispers," not the "Master of Shouting Intent." Why, then, did he make his intentions to overthrow Daenerys so crystal clear to everyone around her? Did he forget how to Game of Thrones? Good riddance.

Night King

night king

The Night King was set up to be the greatest evil in the history of the world, the worst threat humanity has ever faced. From the beginning of Game of Thrones, we heard one refrain over and over: "Winter is coming." The Night King was winter, and he came only to get single-handedly thrashed by a teenager. He never got reason or motivation or character development either, which probably would have been fine if he had actually been the great evil he was chalked up to be. But, again, he got absolutely bodied by a teenager within two seconds of meeting her. Total waste of space.

Arya

arya stark

Yes, Arya is very badass. She can teleport and shoot arrows and kill the world's most ultimate evil, no problem. She can also steal people's faces, or at least she could at one point but seems to have forgotten how, so who knows? When she's running scared in the middle of King's Landing she doesn't seem to have her teleport powers either, but luckily she still has the thickest layer of plot armor that anybody has ever had. Her plot armor is so thick that everyone seems to die in her part of King's Landing except her. So Arya's still totally cool, she just doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Euron

euron

Euron is the best character on the show, hands down. People love shitting on Euron, but he's the perfect embodiment of everything Game of Thrones has become. Every scene with Euron is like watching some guy from a different set wander on to create a mess. Need something killed to move on the plot? Have Euron do it. Need a ten-minute fight scene for no reason with a character nobody currently has any reason to fight? Have Euron do it. Want somebody to talk about sticking fingers up people's butts out of nowhere? Euron's your guy. He's like some weird Jack Sparrow x Game of Thrones fanfiction bullshit and the show is totally ruined now so hey, why the hell not? #TeamEuron


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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