We’re all still reeling from the end of Game of Thrones. Some fans took the ending well, and some (even part of the cast) found their characters’ endings palatable. Others took to the internet to create a petition demanding a do-over for Season 8.
Many favorite characters were unceremoniously lost, with some massive surprises that shook the fanbase. As it turns out, however, it looks like at least one of them was originally supposed to survive until the very end.
Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the series finale of Game of Thrones.
According to writer Dave Hill, it wasn’t Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) who was originally supposed to survive, but her trusted advisor and friend, Ser Jorah Mormont. When the writers began to plan out season 8, they originally wanted Jorah hanging back with Jon Snow beyond The Wall in the final scene of the show. Instead, they changed their minds.
“For a long time we wanted Ser Jorah to be there at The Wall in the end,” said Hill in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “The three coming out of the tunnel would be Jon and Jorah and Tormund. But the amount to logic we’d have to bend to get Jorah up to The Wall and get him to leave Dany’s side right before [the events in the finale] … there’s no way to do that blithely. And Jorah should have the noble death he craves defending the woman he loves.”
With that in mind, we know Jorah would have had to suffer through seeing Daenerys’s seemingly instantaneous turn into “madness,” as some theorized after she burned King’s Landing to the ground. Entertainment Weekly asked the actor who played Jorah himself, Iain Glen, what the character would have thought about seeing his beloved carrying out such actions.
“There’s a sweetness in that because Jorah will never know what she did,” said Glen. “That’s probably best. It’s a blessing for him that he never found out what happened to her. And from a pragmatic story point of view, his death served a greater purpose. Where could we have taken Jorah from there? Fuck if I know.”
We don’t know either, but it would have been nice to get a few more moments with Jorah all the same.