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What’s the Most Fan Service-y Thing ‘Game of Thrones’ Can Pull Off Now?


This season of Game of Thrones has been filled with moments that have delighted fans, from the most devout to the most casual. With the returns of Benjen and the Hound, Sansa and Jon’s reunion at Castle Black, and Ramsay’s gruesome — but satisfying — death, Season 6 has been all about giving the audience what it wants. So what’s the best act of fan service left for David Benioff and D. B. Weiss to trot out? Our staff has some ideas.

Give Tyrion and Theon their revenge

Alison Herman: If the “Battle of the Bastards” was partial compensation for the Starks’ previously never-ending series of Ls, it stands to reason that the next item on the Let’s Wrap This Sucker Up checklist is letting the unluckiest non-Stark get his. Fortunately, both contenders for that title happen to be in the exact same place, along with three huge dragons and a screaming horde of Dothraki warriors. Tyrion Lannister and Theon Greyjoy may be sincere when they say they would like nothing more than to see rightful, qualified, and, most importantly, female rulers on the Iron and Salt thrones. But there’s nothing wrong with getting some vengeance, too. Balon, Ramsay, and Tywin may be dead, but Euron and Cersei are both begging to get flambéed. Maybe Tyrion and Theon can ask Dany to make a few pit stops on her way to the throne room?

Give Bronn the reward he deserves

Mallory Rubin: A lot of people have died on Game of Thrones. Myriad more will perish before this tale concludes. So wouldn’t it be nice if Thrones’ wittiest anointed knight, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater and son of “you wouldn’t know him,” actually got what he wanted in the end? Bronn walked away from the prospect of a comfortable life with Lollys at Castle Stokeworth to help Jaime rescue Myrcella from Dorne, and though J-Dog’s daughter expired, there’s no reason that his promise to his bestie should meet the same fate. Jaime vowed that he’d give Bronn “a much better girl and a much better castle” if Bronn lent a hand (sorry), and dammit, he’d better.

Think of the vistas Bronn will be able to enjoy when the Wall crumbles and Dany’s dragons roam free in the new spring sky! Imagine how the reformed sellsword will serenade his fair maiden with songs of the Night’s King’s fall! Allow yourself to dream of the stories he’ll exchange with squire-turned–brothel keep Sex God Pod!

When the last raven chirps, we’re all going to need to soothe our nerves with many horns of mead, and few things would make me happier than watching Bronn down some mead of his own, battlements to his back and bride by his side.

Lock in the continent’s most tense romance

Allison P. Davis: Give the people what they want: A scene where Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister — the Pam and Jim of Westeros — get together after this long, subtle, slow burn of a buildup. And please let their love scene rival Jon Snow and Ygritte’s cave union.

Give us all the weddings

Sam Schube: WEDDINGS. Season 7 is just all nuptials, all the time: Jamie and Cersei, Sam and Gilly, Tyrion and Missandei and Grey Worm. Will the Night’s King find a date? Tune in and see!

Start a spin-off miniseries

Riley McAtee: Reading this week’s Ask the Maester made me realize how starved Westeros is for talented warriors. Sure, Jon can hold his own, but he isn’t all that intimidating without Ghost by his side. I want to see a world where legendary fighters like Barristan Selmy, Arthur Dayne, Robert Baratheon, and Jaime Lannister regularly meet in combat. I want to see Robert’s Rebellion.

HBO, you have no excuse here. You’ve already cast young Ned! There’s no way a 10-episode miniseries centered on the end of the Targaryen dynasty wouldn’t be a slam dunk. Think about it.

Reunite Arya with one of her best friends

Zach Kram: “I’m going home,” Arya told us after completing her coursework at assassin training school (kids these days, all moving back after graduation!). But that’s easier said than done, with seemingly every ship in the world flocking toward Meereen.

But, her last seafaring journey aside, Arya doesn’t need a full-sized Braavosi vessel to cross the Narrow Sea. A humble rowboat can do the trick just fine. Good thing she knows a guy.

Fans have clamored for Gendry’s return to the show for years, despite the bastard Baratheon blacksmith not appearing on screen since Season 3. When he began his rowing, Joffrey was still king.

But hey, Benjen Stark recently returned after five years of inaction, and the Hound is back after two years of building septs in the Riverlands. Arya and Gendry teaming up again would be just the latest in a season full of forced character reunions and “surprise” returns.

(Note: I hope this doesn’t happen. Let Gendry and his surely-at-this-point-J.K.-Simmonsesque biceps stay away from the fray/Freys in peace. But if he must return, at least let the two stop for some hot pies to carb up before the killing begins.)

Bring our favorite child back to life

Gabe Fisher: Overlooked amidst last week’s carnage was the scene where Ser Davos, taking some me-time to stave off sleeplessness the night before the battle, stumbled upon Shireen Baratheon’s stag figurine. Until that moment, Davos — who cared for Stannis’s daughter arguably more than her own parents had — was in the dark about her fate. His discovery sets the stage for a confrontation between Davos and Melisandre, whom Davos will likely blame for Shireen’s death.

But what if Melisandre, aware of Stannis’ false promise, staged Shireen’s death? This may be wildly improbable, but there’s support for the possibility in the books.

Reuniting Davos with Shireen would be a sheer delight. But, most of all, Shireen’s horrific murder was arguably the least fan service-y act of the whole series. No one needed to see that. It’s time for Thrones to atone for its sins.

Do away with the Lannister twins

Chris Almeida: I have not had much sympathy for the Lannister twins. Despite Jaime’s moments of redemption and Cersei’s somewhat sympathetic motivations, these two have done almost exclusively horrible things in their pursuit of greatness. I would enjoy them suffering at the hands of Bran, who they crippled a long time ago in defense of their relatively inconsequential goals. Of course, it is somewhat implausible that somebody with Bran’s powers and big-picture concerns would end up involved in the relatively small-picture shenanigans at Riverrun/King’s Landing. But if a Bran-controlled dragon were to tear the realm-ruining duo to pieces before their dragon-denying minds can even process what is happening, I wouldn’t complain.

Give our heroes their ultimate redemption in the series finale

Kate Knibbs: In the series finale, after a devastating battle that ends in the destruction of the White Walkers, we discover the fates of our heroes: Jon and Daenerys rule together harmoniously. Brienne and Tormund have a baby and name him Jaime. Varys and Theon get their dicks back after Melisandre stumbles upon a genital-specific resurrection spell.

Write the ultimate epilogue


SUPER: Spring. The White Walkers have been defeated, but the toll was enormous. Humanity is all but extinct. The realm lies in ruins.

GHOST emerges from the woods. He is lean and hungry. His fur is dirty and spotted with blood. He sniffs the air warily then pads across a meadow to a stream and begins to drink.

There’s a rustle in the underbrush across the stream. GHOST’S head snaps to attention, his ears at full alert, a low growl rumbling in his chest.

The rustling grows louder. It’s NYMERIA at the head of a huge pack of wolves and wild dogs.


HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.