A Game of Thrones casualty was originally meant to survive - and it would've changed the show's final moments

Game of Thrones
Image credit: HBO

Oh, what could have been. While Game of Thrones more than provided its fair share of deaths across the final six episodes in Game of Thrones season 8 – one Battle of Winterfell casualty wasn’t originally meant to die. In fact, the plans for the person who shuffled off this mortal coil in the fields outside the Stark ancestral home were so great, according to one writer, they would have featured in the show’s last-ever scene.

“For a long time we wanted Ser Jorah to be there at The Wall in the end,” writer Dave Hill tells EW, referring to the moment where Jon Snow and Tormund head North past the Wall and into former White Walker territory.

But, of course, that’s not went down. As Hill explains, the final scene would have been “The three coming out of the tunnel…. 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.”

Hill then reveals the about-turn included the idea that “Jorah should have the noble death he craves defending the woman he loves,” which, honestly, yeah, makes a great deal more sense than Jorah having a jolly up north without as much as a proper goodbye to his Khaleesi would’ve been jarring to say the least.

While some would argue that the Game of Thrones final run we got was the darkest timeline, the handling of Jorah’s death was inarguably perfect. He outlived his plot usefulness well before Game of Thrones season 7, and his loss made Dany’s descent into the Mad Queen persona at least a tiny bit more palatable as she became increasingly isolated.

So, in the end, we got one more notch on the memorial wall instead of a bittersweet ending for Ser Jorah of the Friend Zone. Of all the things you could make a case for Game of Thrones potentially doing wrong in recent weeks, this definitely wasn’t one of them. He went out on his own terms – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sob.

What about those we never got to say goodbye to? A look at those who just came and went without so much as a returning whimper in Westeros.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.