Normally when we get pre-season teasers like the wall of faces or the aftermath, they are just promotional and don’t really give any clues to the upcoming season. This re-write surprises us all because we learn that “The crypts” teaser with Arya, Sansa, and Jon, really was a clue to the ending.
My rewrite isn’t a completely new version of S8E6, but rather an enhancement. Much of what led up to the end remains the same, but here’s how I would change Jons ending.
The set up:
The only major change to the story prior to the events in S8 is that there was a secret romance developing with Sansa and Podrick. We would have seen hints of Podrick’s puppy love throughout season 7 with Breanne warning him to keep his eyes to himself.
We pick back up in S8 to learn that Pod has indeed won Sansa over, and they’re in a full-blown (but secret) relationship.
We still have the scene where Sansa send’s little Ned Umber back to the Last Hearth but this time Podrick volunteers with to go with a few other guys to help him out.
That same night we see Sansa & Pod having an impassioned conversation where Sansa is telling him how she had given up on love and felt she was too broken to open her heart ever again, but he has changed that. They’re sick of keeping their relationship hidden and decide to get married when Pod returns from the Last Hearth. They figured that if they both die in the war to come, they want to die as husband and wife. Unfortunately, we all know how that road trip to the hearth ended.
We see Vary’s send out the raven scrolls, but they never actually get anywhere because Bran warged in to the ravens to intercept them. (I’d like to believe this is true of the real S8E6 as well)
I totally agree with you saying we should have been given some perspective of the common folk after this massacre so my S8E6 opens with, Jon, Davos, Tyrion on the battlements hearing an angry mob of burnt & bloody survivors outside the gates of the Kings landing. The unsullied and Dothraki have the city locked down and those outside the gates can’t get back in. It’s heartbreaking to see all these people begging to get back in to find their loved ones. Some of the survivors that made it out are already talking about organizing an uprising to get revenge for what Dani had just done. The basic sentiment among them is that Targaryen blood is the root of all evil in the world and Dani needs to die so they can rid the world of this bloodline once and for all.
The episode continues on exactly as it was up until Jon finds Dani in the throne room. We see the Red Keep is in really bad shape structurally. Jon and Dani have their dialog, they kiss, we see Jon reaching for the dagger behind his back, but Dani whispers something to Jon and begins to back away from him. Just as this happens, Drogon lands on the side of the building, and his weight causes it to begin to collapse. It seems likely Jon and Dani have both just died, but we later see Jon walking out of the rubble with Dani’s dead body. He places her on the ground, Drogon does his sad nudging thing, sets the rest of the Red Keep on fire (inadvertently destroying the iron throne) and flies away with Dani cradled in his claw.
This gets Jon is off the hook for killing Dani and trashes that whole dumb unsullied thing. People love Jon Snow and think he is a brave honorable man, but he knows if people find out who he really is, they will want him dead simply because of his Targaryen blood. We see Jon all tore up and feeling guilty about everything that’s happened and inevitably lets Sansa and Arya know that he wants nothing to do with this crap and is going back to live the rest of his days beyond the wall and we get a tearful goodbye.
Skip ahead to the epilogue.
We still have the kings moot, Bran is king, Sansa is queen OfDaNorf, Arya is planning her adventure west, yada, yada, yada.
After Sansa is crowned queen, there is an additional shot of Sansa alone holding something that belonged to Podrick and we see her touch her stomach and begin to cry.
Cut to Jon walking all alone in the snow. The camera pans back and we see that he is near the waterfall where he and Dani went in S8E1. He abruptly stops walking, listens for a second, and then takes off running. (The music is making it seem like this has something to do with white walkers) He enters a cave where we see a very pregnant Dani in labor. It’s a boy. They cry, they’re happy…then Dani dies. We see Jon go from tears of joy, to tears of pain.
(What Dani whispered to Jon before the building collapsed is that she was pregnant. The thing we don’t see is when Jon found her after the collapse, they decided to let everybody believe she’s dead to protect their child)
Cut to a maester at the courtyard of Winterfell gleefully proclaiming “praise to the gods, it’s TWINS!” We see Sansa in bed lovingly holding her new babies. Shortly after, we see Sansa asking the maester to help her and the babies to the crypts. Sansa says “this is your grandfather” as she lights a candle near Neds statue. The camera pans past Ned and we hear Arya’s voice saying “and this is your uncle Rob and Uncle Rickon” (who finally have statues in the crypts). Sansa and Arya share a hug and Arya lets her know that her ship is finally ready but she couldn’t leave without meeting her nephews first. Sansa is holding one baby, and Arya takes another from the Maester. Sansa says “and this is your uncle Jon” We see a statue of Jon next to Rob’s. The camera remains tight on his statue as the girls tearfully talk about how wonderful and brave their father and brothers were. They let this go on long enough to make us really confused about Jons status…then we hear Jon’s voice say “do you think this is really going to work” and Sansa replies “yes”. We learn that the Maester is helping them pass off Jons son as one of Sansa’s twins. He has also agreed to say that he married Sansa and Podrick in a secret ceremony prior to his death.
We get a really sweet goodbye from Arya and she leaves. Jon then holds his son and begins a tearful goodbye telling his son that this is the only way to keep him safe and how much he loves him. Jon then tells the maester he is the reason his son will have the life he deserves and how grateful he is for his help. The Maester assures Jon that he will take this secret to his grave just as Ned had done to protect him.
Sansa promises Jon that his son will be loved and be raised with all the values Ned instilled in his family. Jon and Sansa share a tearful goodbye as this will be the last time they ever see each other. There is a long silent stare between them and the camera lingers on Sansa’s face as Jon walks away. Sansa wipes the tears away trying to compose herself as best as she can. She looks at her babies, takes a deep breath, we hear a raven squawk, and then Sansa starts to frantically scream for help. The camera pans behind her to show the maester laying dead on the ground. Off camera, Jon and Arya didn’t actually leave right away. We don’t see it happen, but Jon grabbed the maester, apologized for what they were about to do, and Arya slipped him some tears of Lyse, and with that, we have come full circle.
Jons story ends with secret son of ice and fire being raised by another, but this one doesn’t have to live his life as a bastard. He’s prince Eddard Stark of Winterfell.
Thank you guys so much for doing this. I was not ready to put my tin foil hat up just yet.
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