Once upon a time, Game of Thrones was one of the most-watched shows in television and on-demand streaming history. After a dismal final season, it has been reduced to nothing but memes. However, there is a glimmer of hope that aims to salvage the massacred show via a fan edit known as Game of Thrones Redeemed.
Fan Edits are nothing new – the geekosphere is home to countless edits of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings (not to mention incredible trailers). Basically all movies featuring content some hardcore fans may not entirely be happy with. Star Wars, for instance, is hotly debated with a new fan edit of a movie in the franchise releasing by the year. Rarely, however, will extensive fan edits of entire series ever see the light of day. After the messiness of the final couple of seasons for Game of Thrones, however, it only made sense that some fans might have a word or two to say about it.
Game of Thrones Redeemed is a grand-scale re-edit of Game of Thrones seasons seven and eight, where, over a new total of eleven (11) episodes, fan AlmightyCutie (AC) attempts to fix what has been broken. Game of Thrones Redeemed is a brand-new season where entire story arcs have been flipped and some characters have either been completely removed or reworked into the show in new ways. As is the nature of fan edits, however, AC could only work with what has already been released, making some edits a tiny bit more rough than others. With that said, they still improve the closing chapter of HBO’s Game of Thrones in a much more elegant manner than the way the now-infamous showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ever would.
Before I continue the review proper, it must be noted how a lot of key plotlines of Game of Thrones will be discussed and spoiled. If you have not seen Game of Thrones yet, I do implore you to do that first. The subject material and overarching narrative remain a television marvel that must be experienced at least once [Hans’ note: I disagree with this, as I feel the final season makes it all worthless]. While this is a review, entire arcs will be discussed as changes need much more context. Tldr; Go watch Game of Thrones first, and then go watch Game of Thrones Redeemed – it is worth it – then come back here to justify yourself.
Among fan edits, Game of Thrones Redeemed is one of the more ambitious projects I have encountered. While director’s cut versions of films are often shortened and tightened up, I have hardly ever seen entire scenes reshuffled and whole episodes snipped into puzzle pieces to be slotted elsewhere. In this case, Game of Thrones Redeemed completely sweeps the original final arc off its feet and plants it, instead, in front of the arc succeeding it. Doing so fundamentally changes the way Game of Thrones’ final stories are experienced. Normally this would jumble the story too much to make any sense, which is why AC also edited and reworked many scenes in an attempt to make it all fit nicely together.
From the onset, Game of Thrones viewers will notice how season seven and eight have been merged into a single season. It is already clear that Cersei’s Downfall Arc takes the most precedence as opposed to the Night King Arc. While Daenerys Targaryen still arrives in Westeros and starts planning her eventual conquest, her focus does not immediately shift toward the north any longer. Instead, AC focused heavily on improving (read: cutting) the “Mad Dany” plotline. In doing so, multiple storylines automatically make much more sense. I feel these parts have been expertly edited to work with the way previous (original) seasons of Game of Thrones ended.
Throughout the show, there are many little hints that Dany might indeed have more of her grandfather’s blood in her than the blessed icon she seems to be. Game of Thrones Redeemed latches on to these tinier hints, by simply re-editing certain bits to be somewhat similar to the original seasons. This means that, while the hints are there, and while tensions between Tyrion and Dany (as well as everyone else) are much higher than ever, the “Mad Dany” plotline never happens. She remains resolute.
This edit already fixes so much of what was wrong with the final seasons of Game of Thrones that it feels like this is how it was always meant to be. Sadly, there are repercussions to this. AlmightyCutie prefaces anyone watching their fan edit that Varys essentially falls away because of this. AC does preface this eBay noting how his plotting against Dany becomes redundant and useless. As such, his role is relegated and cut immensely. Varys, while still in the background, has nowhere near as much screen time as he had originally. While slightly bummed, I am alright with this. As explained, Varys’ entire role in the final two seasons largely comes down to realising his previous six-season-long plot to get the queen into power was a failure. In Game of Thrones Redeemed this is cut, and while sidelined, automatically redeems the character as the mastermind he truly was all along.
Meanwhile, the story remains focused on Jon and his quest to bolster his army up north. He still visits Daenerys at Dragonstone, and she still insists on him bending the knee. Where things take a new turn is when he must leave. AlmightyCutie took special notice that Bran’s warging powers went to waste in the original seasons, so it was reworked and some edits were made to make it seem like more was done. Jon receives a vision from Bran where he sees the Night King muster his army. They explain that Bran now wants to guide Jon past the wall and behind enemy lines, where Jon has a chance of assassinating the Night King. This improves heavily on the entire plotline where Jon and his entourage go north just to capture a white walker. It also gives the audience another glimpse at Bran’s powers, while simultaneously giving Jon a much more heroic reason to venture north.
In doing so, many plotlines for other characters also take a little bit of a turn. For instance, Jorah just pitches up with no real reason why he wants to go along with the plan, and Dany is left all alone to go and attack Euron’s fleet herself. These are extremely minor plot holes that can be explained away by pretty much anyone willing to do some thinking… and still leagues ahead of what fans were originally given. I like this change and I feel the entire gang coming together at the Black Keep essentially gives fans the “Avengers Assemble” scene they have been clamouring for since George R.R. Martin said they could expect it. I also particularly adore how AC edited Jon “fast travelling” out completely. He now arrives three days later, whereas the original episode had him go from Dragonstone to The Wall in a matter of minutes – something that never happened in the first six seasons of the show.
Back with Dany, Game of Thrones Redeemed completely removed the need for Tyrion to go to Kings Landing. She still attacks the Tarly land, however, and nearly kills Jaime and Bronn in the process. After this, she immediately flies to Kings Landing where her army awaits. This time, Cersei seems much more underprepared – while paranoid, she does not have the preparation time the original show strangely offered her. Once there, Dany destroys the Greyjoy fleet without losing a dragon, and immediately goes in for the Golden Company, after which the entire King’s Landing defence surrenders to the newly invading forces. This is the point where the “Mad Dany” plotline hit every single fan over the head with a blunt force weapon. For some inexplicable reason, D&D decided it would be wise for Dany to become a genocidal psychopath. AC fixes this by showing Dany attacking the castle outright, without waiting, and without burning the innocent people below.
The removal of the “Mad Dany” plotline changes the entire meaning of what would have been the catalyst for the show’s original ending. Now, Cersei’s Downfall acts as an introduction to what is essentially the most important battle Westeros will ever face. As Episode 6 ends, the looming threat finally gets the attention it warrants. Dany goes north.
The Night King Arc originally acted as the buffer between Dany sailing west, and Dany becoming a psycho. In Game of Thrones Redeemed, this entire arc comes to a close with six seasons of hype below its belt. To make this work, however, AlmightyCutie did have to make a few sacrifices. These include hypertension between Sansa and Daenerys, and Littlefinger getting offed most gloriously. I am sad that Arya and Sansa secretly doing Littlefinger in the plotline was cut. However, when you look at Game of Thrones Redeemed as a whole it would make zero sense to include it. As a result, however, Littlefinger is relegated to a background character the same way Varys was in the previous arc. Thankfully both Stark girls are still the major badasses the previous six seasons made them out to be – and this shows through to the end.
It’s mentioned, the whole plotline for Jon to capture a walker has been reworked into a new plot where Bran assists in guiding Jon to try and preemptively stop the Night King. This is shown via brand-new scenes where Bran talks to Jon in visions – further showcasing the incredible new ability Bran learned in season six in more ways than D&D ever did. As fans have speculated since season three, however, it seems the Night King knew what was up and only allowed Jon and his party to get as far as they did of his own will. This plotline then spirals into a twist where it is revealed that the Night King’s warging powers were used to manipulate Jon and Bran into coaxing Dany up north where he could capture one of her dragons. This little subplot, by itself, is what sold Game of Thrones Redeemed as one of the best fan edits I have ever seen. It not only rewards viewers with an exceptionally crafty plot twist but also rewards the entire book community on finally seeing what more the Night King has to offer after his powers have been alluded to in the books and (ever so slightly) in previous seasons.
This entire plotline acts as a catalyst for Jon and Dany’s romance, as well as the inevitable northern invasion by the hand of the Night King. The army of the dead quickly advances south and past the wall with the newfound help of White Dragon Viserion. Dead do not need to rest. As such, their speedy arrival in Winterfell makes sense and was not cut at all. Jaime’s arc gets a beautiful closure with Game of Thrones Redeemed, where his redemption is finalised with Brienne’s knighting and his subsequent demise. I also particularly loved how AC emphasize Arya and the Hound’s relationship above the gratuitous Gendry sex scene we all know was put in the show for no particular reason at all besides “Arya can finally show her boobs”.
The original [and extremely hasty] Battle for Winterfell episode has now been extended over two episodes to “give the illusion of a longer battle”. I adore this about Game of Thrones Redeemed. The Dothraki leads the charge, but some key characters have been removed from the fight to have them mean a little bit more later, and the Red Woman Melisandre actually does what she is meant to do, and lights the trenches pretty much immediately – no more “did she go AWOL” subplot, which is a huge amendment. The episode ends when the dead rises. So. Fricking. Good.
The second part of the battle is largely unchanged as well, but Arya sneaking through the castle after the dead has risen and the Winterfell armies have fallen back makes much more sense. AlmightyCutie also edited another scene of Bran warging back to the Night King’s creation. Once back in time, Bran attempts to change fate by forcing the children to stop, but it does not work and Bran returns. This is a far cry better than Bran just warging into a bunch of crows for the entire battle. This is also where the Night King’s [new] real motive is finally revealed. He forces Bran to warg, and the plotline we all wanted to happen since we found out Bran could warg in the first place, happens: Bran not only travels through time but also wargs into the Night King’s body. This change ripples through time and both the Night King and Bran are affected in the present. This is where Arya jumps forward and – oh… oh no…
Arya’s plotline comes to a beautifully crafted end here, but not before her blade ultimately puts an end to the Night King as well – thanks, once again, to Bran.
While I had my reservations about the changes at the start, I stuck through since they all made sense. These changes, as Game of Thrones Redeemed, comes to a close, however, are phenomenal. The Night King finally has a much more interesting story versus just being a “big bad”; Bran’s next-level warging and time slipping powers are given the breadth the books hype them up to have, and the entire last stand against the Night King is a tense and harrowing experience. All characters involved have a lot more nuance to them thanks to the little switcheroo when the arcs take place.
As with the original, the show continues with Dany on the throne. Jon arrives, but instead of backstabbing her, he calls on Drogon to burn the throne down before the newly anointed King and Queen fly away into the sunset. The show ends after a short montage of all the characters who are still alive, and a proper ending with the discovery of a gruesome Night King symbol, and Bran warging away, implying that the story is not over. This open-ended approach may be a little disappointing to some, but I particularly love how AlmightyCutie handled it.
From switching around entire arcs, to finely crafting and cutting away at some unnecessary plot points, Game of Thrones Redeemed closes one of the biggest chapters the television and on-demand industry has ever seen. It is a superb reimagining of the final two seasons, befitting all fans who feel like the showrunners stabbed them in the back. The edit is by no means perfect, but the few plot holes it leaves open are still nowhere near as gargantuan as those left behind by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. It is, genuinely, excellent.
Disclaimer: Fan Edits are not the original works, and may not fall within the same fair use as parodies. As such, Vamers will not provide direct links to this work. We can, however, implore our readers to use search engines to become more knowledgeable on the subject.
|Phenomenal new end to GoT||One or two plot holes left untouched|
|Doing many characters true justice||New plot holes opened up|
|The Night King has a goal!|
|Jon doesn’t repeat the same line anymore|
Show reviewed with files supplied by AlmightyCutie.