The final season of Game of Thrones begins this weekend, but you already knew that. You’ve seen all the preview pieces and refreshers and rankings. You’ve watched the trailer. You’ve developed your own expectations and hopes and, whoops, maybe you’ve actually forgotten a lot of what happened because the previous season ended over a year ago. It’s okay. You’ll figure it out. It’s like riding a bike, or riding a dragon, to the extent riding a dragon is like riding a bike. It’s probably pretty similar.
We have our hopes and expectations, too. And, it turns out, without really coordinating any of this, most of those hopes and expectations fall into two main categories. Most. There is also a third category. You’ll see.
Below, please find the Uproxx staff’s wishlist for the final season of Game of Thrones.
A little levity, a touch of whimsy, just a bit, please
What I want to see isn’t possible in Westeros, but let’s do this anyway. As silly and trivial as it sounds, I’d like to see a few characters cut loose for a few minutes. Jorah Mormont and Brienne of Tarth, for example, deserve some sunshine more than almost anyone else in this series. I’m not saying they should get together (or anything on that level) because they’d probably both argue like crazy about who would serve the other. (Imagine that drama.) Yet both of them have based their own identities on what they can do for other people, and they’ll likely go down fighting for these folks. A scene of levity for each of them would be lovely, and there’s gotta be a little love for each in these episodes’ bloated runtimes. Oh, and obviously, it’d be perfection to see Viserion free himself from the Night King’s clutches and find his way back to Dany, but the poor undead dragon’s probably too far gone for that wish to be fulfilled. — Kimberly Ricci
As is often the case, I just want a big romp before the death and dismay ramp up to 11. Let’s see Samwell Tarly on a date night and Arya and Sansa sharing a bottle of wine and telling stories about better times. Bron, Tyrion, and Jorah on a boy’s night out. Something, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Hell, dream sequence it into existence. So many bad things have happened to literally every character, so it might seem odd if Jon and Dany go for a dragon flight into a one-off adventure where no one gets flayed, burned at the stake while screaming, impaled through the throat by a sword, or head squished. But I’d look all the way past that story hole if it brought a few smiles before everyone besides Brienne of Tarth dies. Because everyone besides Brienne is super duper going to die in a myriad of heartbreaking and inventive ways over these next six gut-wrenching weeks. — Jason Tabrys
I miss weird sex and incest, and fight scenes that feel slapsticky. I think this happens with a lot of shows, where they start out trying to be provocative and get talked about, and then once everyone starts watching, things start to get more serious and traditional and suddenly there are no more princes sensually shaving their gay cousin’s nipple or whatever. Come on! That was why I tuned in! Likewise, I used to love how the “battle scenes” (such as they were) felt true to what medieval combat was probably actually like. I’m thinking specifically of The Hound wrecking shop at the chicken hut. It wasn’t like medieval soldiers were these deadly samurai, nine times out of 10 it was probably just some big asshole wearing hundred-pound armor kicking peasants down some stairs. I miss that, and I’d love to see more of it.
And I know that zombies were always a part of this story, but they were sort of in the background, sort of a way to create a world as superstitious people in the Dark Ages would’ve experienced it. Now, I’m sure they’re going to turn it into this climactic battle between humans and zombies. And just, ugh… please don’t. Game of Thrones is about the petty squabbles between the rich and how regular people get caught up in it — hence the title. (Yes I know what the book series is called, do not “well actually” me or I will pop your skull like the Red Viper). I know I’m bleating into the void here but go easy on the huge battles and zombies, please. — Vince Mancini
Chaos, backstabbing, anarchy
What do I want from the final season of Game of Thrones? A lot, actually. Dragons are a good place to start, specifically dragons causing fire-based chaos. Jon Snow not making it until episode eight would be cool, too. (Sorry?) But the thing I most want, the thing I would ask Westeros Santa for (were I to believe in Westeros Santa; my allegiance lies with the Hanukkah Wight), is for Tyrion Lannister to be interesting again.
Cersei and Jaime’s baby bro used to be one of my favorite characters on the show, but over the past couple of seasons, he’s turned into a lovestruck fool (for Daenerys) who’s not very good at his job (advising Daenerys). There’s a darkness to early-season and book Tyrion that’s been wiped clean; now, he’s one of the morally stable characters left alive… unless he’s playing the long game. My more specific wish for season eight: for Tyrion to have been secretly working against the Lannisters and the Targaryen/Stark alliance — and for himself — this entire time. The final shot of the series is Tyrion Lannister on the Iron Throne, finally getting to finish his honeycomb joke in peace. That’ll do. — Josh Kurp
What I want from the final season of Game of Thrones is simple: I want chaos. I want just the wildest course of events you can possibly imagine. I want stuff to happen that makes the diehard book-reader fans lose their minds, in a good way or a bad way, I don’t care. Let the Night King win. Give me a bloodthirsty Zombie Tommen who has been brought to life through wizardry like The Mountain. Have one of the dragons suddenly develop the ability to speak and get Gilbert Gottfried to do the voice. Just get nuts. Burn the message boards to the ground. I’ll sit in the middle of the inferno and cackle like a mad man.
Admittedly, this is a bad impulse. The rational part of me actually wants a satisfying ending. Something that ties up as many loose ends as possible and is exciting and gripping and leaves viewers happy and content. This has been one of the biggest and most important television shows in history. It might be the last one ever — or at least for a while — that we all watch together, in the time slot it airs, sometimes in large groups. I shouldn’t want to see the whole thing devolve into anarchy.
And yet… here I am. I have this can of gasoline, too. I’m not even sure how I got it, to be honest. But I’m ready to start pouring it the second I see a spark. I’m sorry. Kind of. — Brian Grubb
What I am about to suggest is not only unoriginal, but most Game of Thrones viewers have probably already thought it at least once during the previous seven seasons. What if, by the time the series finale’s final minutes begin counting down, no single person or party has won the Iron Throne? Sure, the final poster put out by HBO seems to suggest that Daenerys, or at least the Targaryen family, will eventually win the right to rule over all of Westeros, but it’s just an ad. Not only that, it’s an ad for a show that tries really, really hard to keep its major plot points a secret from drone cameras, invasive paparazzi, and overzealous fans. So what if it isn’t indicative of the show’s end at all? Of all the upsets that George R.R. Martin, David Benioff and Dan Weiss have cooked into their hugely successful Game of Thrones meat pie, an empty throne (or no throne at all) would be the biggest surprise yet. — Andrew Husband
The dragons must live
Look, I’ve had years to prepare myself for the bloody demise of the humans on this show. I’ve seen eyes gouged from heads, limbs sliced off by swords, slavers roasted by dragon fire – violence and bloodshed among the citizens of Westeros is old news at this point. But the one form of emotional terrorism I cannot withstand is the death of more dragons. Hodor, Robb and Catelyn Stark, Ned’s beheading, Shireen burning at the stake? Nothing made me sob harder than watch Viserion fall lifeless into that frozen lake and emerge with icy blue eyes and a need to do the Night King’s bidding. Starks, Targaryens, Lannister – I could give a f*ck who ends up on the Iron Throne as long as Drogo and Rhaegal get to fly off into the sunset, burning an innocent goat or two for dinner, maybe razing a few fields, and generally having a hell of a good time. Is that too much to ask? — Jessica Toomer