The final season of Game of Thrones landed divisively. That’s a really nice way of framing it. A harsher and perhaps more accurate way is that the HBO drama, the biggest TV series ever by many measures, ended with a thud, leaving so many audience members with a bad taste in their mouth. Two years after the finale (and ten years after the series premiere), many of these fans are still not over their disappointment.
Some fans are so disappointed, in fact, that they are taking to these mean internet streets to call for an audible. If Zack Snyder could cut together his own platonic ideal for Justice League, why can’t HBO make a brand new Game of Thrones final season?
Here’s why, and let me put this in fancy text so we all get the point:
Because it’s a ridiculous idea, it’s absolutely never going to happen, and if you’re one of the people waiting for a Game of Thrones final season remake, you need to let it go.
Okay, with an asterisk. Maybe there’s one fun idea worth exploring here. Otherwise, here’s why we need to stop taking notions of a Game of Thrones final season remake seriously.
There is no “Snyder Cut” version of Game of Thrones
It comes down to a few simple factors. The first is that series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss made the show they wanted to make. This is not a Snyder Cut situation. Zack Snyder’s Justice League did not see the light of day until, well, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. HBO’s Game of Thrones is very much Benioff and Weiss’ Game of Thrones, warts and all. The people who made the series made it exactly the way they wanted and they have no reason to go back on their vision.
Another factor is the cast. Having already negotiated for huge pay raises for the final seasons of the series, the core Game of Thrones stars would not return without a veritable dragon-load of cash. Even then, the idea of these actors coming back seems pretty silly. The kids have all aged dramatically. A 900-foot-tall Isaac Hempstead Wright returning as Bran Stark, it simply will not work.
Beyond that, creating Game of Thrones was an exhausting all-in proposition. The actors have moved on. (Kit Harington is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe — so is Richard Madden, but he died in Season 3.) So unless you’re advocating for a full recast, the idea of a Game of Thrones final season remake is a full-on non-starter.
Among the creatives least pleased with the final season — and this is conjecture — would rightfully be the man behind the books, George R.R. Martin. But one man alone, even the creator of Westeros, can’t make a project as daunting as a Game of Thrones remake possible. Martin can barely finish two books, let alone shoulder a full creative overhaul of an already-ended television series.
(And I say none of that with malice. Truly, I don’t find the “Martin won’t finish the books” stuff funny, what with the level of pressure he’s under. Consider the real-world stressors facing us all, let alone the person holding the keys to one of the most popular fantasy franchises of all time. It’s awful!)
One way a Game of Thrones Season 8 “remake” would work
If there’s one thing worth considering, perhaps it’s this: animated versions of Martin’s planned ending.
Over at Amazon, Robert Kirkman’s Invincible is showing that there’s both power in and an appetite for dramatic animated storytelling. A dramatic A Song of Ice and Fire animated series would be a surefire hit. It could be a way for Martin’s true ending to get out into the world, if not quite as he intended it, then at least with fidelity to the content of his story.
Given his sprawling five-year deal at HBO, some form of animated “elseworlds” type project would be phenomenal — but that is as close to a final season “remake” as we are ever going to get.
Westeros is fantasy. We live in reality. And in reality, we live in a world where Game of Thrones didn’t live up to everyone’s expectations. It’s been two years, folks. Time to move on and get mad about the next thing.
Game of Thrones is streaming on HBO Max.