For eight long years, loyal Game of Thrones fans sat through countless bloody battles, and excessive sex scenes, to find out who would ultimately take the Iron Throne. We all had our guesses, and the innumerable theories ranged from probable to downright preposterous — but no one saw that season 8 finale coming. At the end of the long war, with frontrunner Daenerys Targaryen slain and the reluctant contender Jon Snow banished to a lifetime of service at The Wall, Bran the Three-Eyed Raven was the one running things in Westeros,
Suffice to say, the audience was less than thrilled with the final episode. To many, the series finale was sloppy (as evidenced by the obvious errors in the episode), a reflection of a speedily-written last season that strayed too far from the canon created by George R. R. Martin in A Song of Ice and Fire. But it didn't have to be that way. Interestingly enough, the Game of Thrones team reportedly filmed an alternate ending that could have wrapped up the HBO epic in a much different way.
Kristofer Hivju, who played the diamond-in-the-rough wildling Tormund Giantsbane in the series, spilled a little tea (and possibly broke his contract) in a conversation with Metro UK. "We shot an alternate ending," he said. "That was mostly for fun, but I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you about that."
So, who won Game of Thrones in the alternate ending? Hivju wouldn't say ("I won't tell you!" the Norwegian actor teased), but that won't stop our imagination from running wild. Maybe Jon Snow's guilt over killing the love of his life/aunt made him realise that he was the only person alive capable of bringing peace and unity to the Seven Kingdoms. What if, in this different reality, Jon finally decided to take up the Iron Throne for himself?
Or, perhaps, in his grief over the loss of his mother, Drogon the dragon finishes the Mad Queen's mission and sets the entire continent of fire. Yes, it would be a dark and gloomy ending (we're still scarred from Daenerys turning King's Landing into a backyard barbecue), but it wouldn't be nearly as ridiculous as the real finale.
What the Game of Thrones actor did say was that he and the rest of the cast had theories about how the show would end, and just like the rest of us, were totally thrown for a loop. "To choose one path would be difficult to say, but there were many things I didn’t see coming; there was the element of surprise, which I liked."
Though this chapter of the HBO hit may be closed, the network is currently busy working on a prequel series that expands the Game of Thrones lore. House of the Dragon, inspired by George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, will be the story of House Targaryen. The plot of the forthcoming 10-episode series takes place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and will chronicle the dragon-riding family's legendary ascension.