Game Of Thrones: What’s Next?


It’s been two weeks since the end of Game of Thrones, and people are still bitchin’ about it.  The problem is there are just too many unanswered questions.  For example, who paid off Cersei’s debt to the Iron Bank?  What was the conversation when Grey Worm and the Unsullied show up on the Isle of Naath – unannounced?  (“Who the hell are you guys?”)  And who was that Dornish-lookin’ dude at the High Council?  So, in the interests of a little closure, here are a few (somewhat plausible) scenarios that could happen after the credits rolled for the last time.  There are tons more, but seriously, does anybody have another nine years to invest in the soap opera that’s Westeros?  (D’uh!  Of course we do!)

The Dothraki – Suddenly unemployed (it’s not as if rape and pillage are marketable skills) the Dothraki are pretty much screwed.  A lot of them hitch a ride home on whatever ship will take them.  However, the ones that remain end up bitter old men, working in the stables shoveling horse poop for rich people or giving pony rides to bratty kids at Name Day parties.

Daenerys Targaryen – After Drogon carries Daenerys’ body away, he flies to Meereen and drops it at the feet of Daario Naharis.  Always the pragmatist, Daario summons Kinvara, Melisandre’s Red Priestess boss, and commands her (on pain of death) to bring Dany back to life.  After some argument (and a knife to the throat) she does.  Overjoyed, Daario hugs Daenerys, but she pushes him away screaming, “Where are my dragons?”  Realizing that the love of his life is batshit crazy, Daario builds the world’s first lunatic asylum and puts her away.  However, he commands all the guards and attendants (on pain of death) to maintain the charade that Dany is still Queen of the World and any day now, Jon Snow will show up and put her on the Iron Throne.  Eventually, Daenerys escapes, but by this time, she’s so looney tunes she thinks she can fly and jumps off the parapets of the Great Pyramid.  Daario breathes a sad sigh of relief and continues to rule the cities of Dragon’s Bay, wisely and well, for many years.  He dies quietly in his sleep.

Drogon – Since dragons live for millennia, after dropping Daenerys at Daario Naharis’ feet, Drogon spends the next several centuries getting ambushed by every wannabe tough guy trying to prove himself by “slaying the dragon.”  (This includes a much-mistold encounter with St. George.)  Finally, fed up with constantly looking over his shoulder and wanting a little peace and quiet in his retirement years, he moves to “a land called Honahlee” and changes his name to Puff.

Bran Stark – Absolutely useless as king, Bran spends most of his time flying around with his raven friends — just like he did during the Battle of Winterfell.  When called upon, he generally stares off into space and offers enigmatic instructions that nobody understands.  Invariably, all his best advisors get pissed off and quit, leaving the Six Kingdoms in the hands of the two drinking buddies, Tyrion and Bronn.  Bars, brothels and bingo halls thrive, and King’s Landing becomes a Vegas-style tourist destination for the rest of the world.

Davos Seaworth – After leaving the Small Council, Davos opens a school for illiterate sailors, called Sink or Spell.  It’s an incredible success, and soon there are franchises all over Westeros.  Davos becomes rich, buys Dragonstone, totally renovates the place and turns it into a retirement community for pirates, smugglers and other seafaring folk.

Samwell Tarly – After years of frustration, Sam also quits the Small Council (he wasn’t actually a maester, anyway.)  He moves Gilly and the kids to Castle Black, where he can be close to his only friend, Jon Snow, and pursue his passion for writing.  Away from worldly distractions, he produces a number of respected volumes, including Greyscale: Kill or Cure; Gendry Baratheon: The Man Who Should Be King; and his most famous work, The Girl with the Valyrian Dagger.

And finally:

Arya Stark – In her quest to find what was west of Westeros, Arya’s ship, the You Know Nothing (homage to her brother/cousin, Jon) sailed to the edge of the world.  Apparently, the Flat Westeros Society was right.  They narrowly escape falling into the abyss and, after a few mutinies, manage to make it back to land.  After that, Arya spends many years trying to jumpstart a series of business ventures (including forming a mercenary group called The Second Daughters) each one more unsuccessful than the last.  Reduced to living in abject poverty (with a serious ale habit) Arya’s life changes dramatically when Samwell Tarly’s biography of her, The Girl with the Valyrian Dagger, becomes a surprise bestseller.  She goes on the lecture circuit and earns a decent living, making personal appearances and selling autographs.  Unfortunately, her estate would miss out on the big money when the HBO miniseries, Arya, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Alex Baldwin (as the Winter King) is cancelled in preproduction and replaced by something called Game of Thrones.

Throne Of Endless Games

game-of-thronesI don’t mind that George R.R. Martin is a dick to Starks.  But he better finish Game of Thrones before I die, or Hell won’t hold half my fury.  I will reach out from the grave and pluck your heart out, you egomaniac!  Plus, in the end, if you try pullin’ any of that Sopranos fade-to-black crap, I swear on the souls of my grandchildren, I will hunt you down and make you pay.  Here’s the deal, George: you gave all of us the disease — you did it — now it’s time to come up with a cure.  Give it some thought!

The thing is it’s been five television years and Game of Thrones is still going sideways — in all directions.  I’m not the only person on this planet who’s looking around for a hint of the storyline.  There are lots of us, and our concern is that Martin has become so bloated with nerd worship he’s going to carry on writing into nowhere indefinitely.  Look, Sword and Sorcery centre stage has got to be a total buzz — I get it.  And being compared to Tolkien at every turn must be the ultimate ego stroke.  However, Martin needs to remember that not every fan is hanging on his every word.  Sure, the Fire and Ice people who’ve been around since the 90s spend tons of time looking for clues and constructing theories and making videos and writing fan fiction etc. etc. etc. on into the wee hours.  They love that stuff.  They’re added Cersei Lannister to Luke Skywalker in the Comic Con Pantheon, and they’re happy as puppies.  However, the rest of us — Game of Thrones folks — came to Westeros by way of HBO.  We don’t care about the detailed genealogy of the Targaryen dynasty.  We see a great tale that captured us with an imaginative premise and an uber-cool beginning.  We were willing to let it wander a bit in the middle, but now that it’s started to waddle, we’re concerned that it might not ever actually have an end.

Honestly, no audience will allow itself to be cliff hanger bait forever.  For God’s sake, George! Let’s start tying up a few loose ends and get on with it!