'Dany knows what she has to do.' The alternate Game of Thrones ending that explains everything.


This article contains spoilers for the finale of Game of Thrones. Go and watch the final episode, then come back and join us. 

Since the final ever episode of Game of Thrones aired on Sunday night in the US, fans have expressed a sense of overwhelming disappointment.

After investing in 71 episodes, thousands of deaths, three dragons, some very confusing symbolism, several armies of the living and one very scary one of the dead, no one was expecting a ruler to be chosen after a chill, five minute conversation.

For most of us, the end of season eight, episode six left us with countless questions:

Why did a prisoner get to make the ultimate decision about who would be King?

How did Bran become the most powerful person in the world by doing precisely nothing?

Why is there still a Night’s Watch?

How did a fictional dragon end up with the best character development of all?

In the wake of the finale, fans started to share their own alternate endings, to explain some of the central plot points of the series and fulfil their desire for… literally anything to make sense.

There’s the theory where the entire show stays as is, apart from the final seconds of the final episode, where the camera starts zooming in closer and closer until we see only Bran’s eyes.


He blinks, and his eyes flash to the blue shade of the Night King.

night king

Or, there's the theory where Daenerys finally gets to the throne, and it's revealed that it was never her plan to sit on it, but to destroy it.

But by far, the best alternate ending is one shared on YouTube on Wednesday by Think Story.

In the 16 minute video, which has now been viewed over one million times, a fan rewrites the last four episodes of the show, fulfilling major character arcs and extending the tension presented by the threat of the Night King.


Here's how Think Story proposes it should have gone down:

While episodes one and two of season eight are the same as the original, the plot starts to change at episode three.

During the Battle of Winterfell, the women and children go to the hall - not the crypts - given that everyone knows that the Night King can raise the dead.

As the Night King and his army appear set to wipe out the north, Jon Snow frees the people of Winterfell, allowing them to escape through the tunnels.

Watch the full video explaining how Game of Thrones could've ended. Post continues after video.

Jon Snow ends up in a face off against the Night King, and just as things aren't looking good for Jon, Bran wargs into Viscerion and breathes fire onto the Night King. Like in the original episode, however, he can withstand dragon fire, and so doesn't die. Jon takes the opportunity to stab the Night King with his dragon glass sword, but it doesn't work. It turns out the Night King is immune to dragon glass. He grabs Jon by the throat, and just in time, Dany arrives with Drogon and knocks the Night King out of the way, freeing Jon.

Jon, Bran and Dany escape, while Rhaegal is overrun and killed.


The survivors are headed to King's Landing, but Bran is stuck in his warg state.

This means that we still have all the major characters coming together, but the Night King is still in play.

At King's Landing, Cersei has to decide whether to let her enemies in, as they try to seek refuge from the threat of the undead. Jaime convinces her to, but Cersei says she'll only allow them to enter King's Landing if Dany bends the knee, publicly.

Dany ultimately agrees, wanting to put her people before herself.

Episode five, then, is the Battle of King's Landing, but the enemy is the Night King, not Dany's forces.

As the Army of the Undead approach, the temperature drops, and the water around Euron's ships starts to freeze. Therefore, the white walkers have access to the port, forcing the living to defend from two fronts. It's not just the white walkers, though. There's Dothraki on undead horses, undead Unsullied soldiers, and undead giants.

But just as King's Landing starts to fall, Bran wakes.

This way, Bran actually does something useful. Image via HBO.

He has been going back in time, searching for clues that might help him learn the weakness of the Night King, so he can be defeated. He pieces together all the signs that have been spread through the entire series of Game of Thrones to find an answer.

Bran concludes that the Weirwood tree is the source of the Night King's power, because this is where he was transformed from a man into the Night King by the children of the forest.

If the Weirwood tree created him, surely it can destroy him too.

Remember the Children of the Forest? And the Weirwood tree? Images via HBO.

Dany is told that destroying the Weirwood tree, however, will destroy all magic in the world. Destroying it, therefore, would also kill Jon, who was brought back from the dead using magic.

She explains what she has to do to Jon, who is understanding (because he's Jon Snow), and it's at this point that she reveals she's pregnant.

She flies off with Drogon to the Weirwood tree, where she faces the Night King. According to Think Story, this is the "real battle of ice and fire".

Dany yells "Dracarys!" and Drogon burns everything in the vicinity - the Night King, the Weirwood tree, and Dany.


As the tree burns, so does the Night King's flesh, and Dany pierces his heart, in the same manner it was pierced when he was turned.

As he dies, however, so does Jon.

Of course, the Weirwood tree provides a way for all the symbols that have been threaded through several seasons of Game of Thrones to mean something.

it all
makes sense (not really).

Back in King's Landing, Jaime is on his way to Cersei, and viewers are unsure whether he's going to kill her or save her. But as he's walking through the halls of the Red Keep, Ellaria Sand emerges and stabs him in the chest.

Remember how Cersei imprisoned Ellaria Sand and made her watch as she poisoned her daughter? REMEMBER? Images via HBO.

She's broken free, either because someone has helped her, or because the destruction of King's Landing has allowed her to escape.

But as Jaime clings to life, it's revealed that it's not Jaime at all - but Arya using his face.

The real Jaime then locates Cersei, who assumes it's all over and her enemies are destroyed. She wants to kill everyone who was loyal to Dany, but Jaime pleads for their mercy, given that their actions ultimately saved King's Landing.

Cersei reveals that there never was a baby, and yells that she wants to 'kill them all!' in a way that's reminiscent of how the Mad King wanted to burn them all.

Ultimately, Jaime kills Cersei, becoming the Queen slayer as well as the King slayer.

Jaime deserved redemption. Image via HBO.

When Dany arrives in King's Landing, Jon is dead. Tyrion tells everyone the story of Jon Snow's true heritage, and now that Dany is carrying his child, she is the rightful heir. She sits on the throne, having achieved what she set out to do.

In the final moments of the final episode, the show flashes forward five years, and we see Dany visiting the crypts at Winterfell, which have been rebuilt with Sansa as Queen of the North.

Dany stands in front of Jon, who has been buried next to Eddard and Catelyn Stark, when a little boy runs through. She calls, 'come on Jon,' after her child - the son of Jon Snow.

game of thrones

Is it a perfect ending? No. But is there any such thing? Probably not.

Think Story's alternate ending, however, is far more satisfying than the one that made it to air.

And at the very least, it doesn't end with Bran as King.