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What to Do If You Didn’t Like the Ending of 'Game of Thrones’

by A Dreamer 3 years ago in tv
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There’s a whole world of alternative endings out there.

The number of dissatisfied Game of Thrones fans is monumental. A petition for season eight to be remade has gathered over 1.5 million signatures as I write this, which is clear proof that we want something different.

Many hope the pending books will deliver another ending, but we have no idea how long it will take for us to finally have them in our hands. So, what should we do in the meantime?

I’m inviting you all to give a chance to the alternative endings and stories written by fans. Yes, I’m talking about fanfiction. I know, the term has gotten a bad rep over the years. It carries the stereotype of poorly written sexual fantasies written by teens, but believe me, it’s much more than that. Actually, according to the Archive of Our Own (AO3) census, the current leading fan fiction website, only 3.6 percent of its users are 15 or younger, most are between their twenties and thirties. Also, when it comes to Game of Thrones, most fans are adults. However, age aside, the quality of these stories is astounding. Look, I read a crazy amount of books, and I can assure you I’ve read fanfictions that are miles better than plenty of published books. Also, why should we trust something more just because it’s been published, anyway? I deeply trust artists who write for the love of art instead of money, and these fans put their heart and soul into these stories for no monetary nor reputational retribution—they’re literally writing behind hidden usernames. They can be the size of novels, short stories, or even flash fiction. There’s literally something for everyone’s taste.

Why trust fans?

Fans love these characters. They have studied and analyzed every sentence in their book chapters, and every scene on the show. They know what they’re up to. Many of these fanfic writers also write analyses of their favorite characters in other platforms such as Reddit or Tumblr, so they know these characters, and strive to write a just ending for them. After watching season eight, I don’t think it’s bold to say that many of these fans know the characters better than Benioff and Weiss do, so why not give them a shot?

But can’t ANYONE write and post their work in these websites?

Yes. Just as there are remarkable stories, you can also find some that just aren’t so—some actually fit the stereotype of poor written sexual fantasies. The solution lies in the filtering, and sorting tools that these websites offer us. For example, in AO3, you can filter and rank them from most to least popular. Many have thousands of comments, and hundreds of thousands of views. Yes, popularity isn’t a synonym for quality, but if this many people like them, then there’s something the authors are doing right. Many even have editors, called ‘beta readers’, who closely read and correct their grammar, advise them about their plots, characters, etc. before they post their work.

Honestly, I’ve read such high-quality fanfics that I've felt like I was reading the continuation of A Song of Ice and Fire. A common type of comment one finds on fanfictions, for example, are ones where readers say they’ve stayed up until three AM reading them, because they just can’t put it down. How many books can you say this about?

After all, you’ve already given a shot to the most famous ASOIAF fanfiction out there: Game of Thrones. Benioff and Weiss strayed away from the books after season five, and started writing their own story since. Why, then, should other stories, written by experts, be less legitimate than this one?

Also, you could try out some other stuff for a good laugh, like comedy fanfictions, or weird pairings like Daenerys/Jaime (yes, it’s a thing out there) or even Robb/Theon. You can read stories about your favorite pairing in the 21st century, in Victorian times, or in outer space, and, of course, you can also find ones that are entirely sexual (have you ever wondered what else did Jon and Dany do in that boat? *wink*). Their creativity has no boundaries, and reading the characters in such different scenarios can be a refreshing breath from their canon ending.

If you’re new with fanfic, here are some useful tips:

The website which holds the highest number of GOT/ASOIAF fanfictions is ArchiveOfOurOwn, and on a much lesser amount, Fanfiction.net.

You can search by category, by characters or even by the relationships you want to read about (Jon Snow/Daenerys Targaryen, Gendry Waters/Arya Stark, etc.), and you can even choose the types of stories you want to read: “Fix it Fic” is a common tag for alternative endings, for example. These websites automatically sort the fanfics by upload date, but you can also do it by their number of words, chapters, comments, or ‘Kudos’, which is a synonym for ‘likes’.

What are you waiting for? You don't have to settle for the ending HBO has given you. Go, and find the perfect one for you!

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About the author

A Dreamer

Passionate about fiction, politics and human behavior in general.

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